Pass the popcorn: the Tories are in meltdown

The resignations of Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid after Johnson was caught out in yet another barefaced lie brings the phrase rats deserting a sinking ship to mind, although in this case twats deserting a sinking shit is probably a more accurate description.

Neither Sunak nor Javid deserve any praise for suddenly having discovered a sense of propriety. Both were more than happy to serve in Johnson’s government for many months even though they knew all about his lies, deceit, and dishonesty. They supported Johnson when he broke the law, they supported him when he told lie after lie. They supported him when he deceived the head of state in order to prorogue Parliament unlawfully. They supported Johnson when he broke international law and trashed the Northern Irish protocol and international obligations on the treatment of asylum seekers. They even supported Johnson when he insisted that his pal with links to the Kremlin should get a peerage, despite the fact that the security services had advised against it. Both of them have been complicit in Johnson’s trashing the standards expected in public office. They are as bad as he is. He is their creature.

They had no problems with Johnson’s damaging and dangerous behaviour and his manifest unsuitability for the office he holds when they thought that he was their ticket to power and influence. They didn’t have a problem when Johnson lied to everyone else but when it’s them that he lied to, all of a sudden they discover how outrageous it is that the Prime Minister lies. The Pincher scandal is merely the latest in a long line of scandals in a government drowning in a sea of sleaze. Even the most obtuse Tory MP realises by now that all that Johnson learned from his previous escapes from scandal is that he will be allowed to get away with it. He is not “chastened”, he is not “repentant” and he is certainly not about to mend his ways.

The Conservative resignations now have nothing to do with what most of us would regard as honesty, integrity, and accountability, and everything to do with their fears that Johnson is now a vote loser. At what point over the next day or two will Johnson and his dwindling band of remaining supporters ask us all to ‘move on’ from the Pincher scandal? It is always the same sorry pattern – first comes the denials, then the story changes slightly, then he gets caught in his lie, then he blames someone else or gives one of his performative apologies and claims that it’s a misunderstanding, then he asks us all to move on.

After the resignations were announced, some Conservative MPs such as Andrew Murrison, Tory MP for South West Wiltshire and a former junior minister, were predicting on Channel Four news that more resignations would follow. We are now in a full scale crisis of government. Johnson will not go quietly, he will have to be dragged out of Downing Street kicking and screaming and will not care what damage he does to the institutions of the British state or the Conservative party in the process. The Tories put him in office in full knowledge of his malignant narcissism, it’s only karma that they are now being destroyed by it. Therese Coffey, Wil Quince and Dominic Raab were deliberately and completely, humiliated by Johnson in yet another desperate attempt to save his own skin, and they deserved it.

The programme hadn’t even finished when uber-Johnson loyalist Jonathan Gullis and Tory party vice-chair Bim Afolami announced their resignations too. You know it’s bad when even Jonathan Gullis can see the writing on the wall, he’s demonstrated time and time again that he’s unable to read the room, which is why he was always trotted out for the cameras to defend Johnson’s egregious wrongdoing.

Other minor government figures submitted their resignations as the evening went on. The number of amoral Tories prepared to defend Johnson is diminishing rapidly. Other more significant resignations are likely to follow tomorrow. Meanwhile Carrie is greeting about her bespoke wallpaper and wondering which Tory donor can be hit up for the refurbishment of the Johnsons’ retirement home, and Theresa May has got the Abba music on and is chilling the champagne. Johnson is rapidly running out of options to fill the posts left vacant by the resignations. But don’t worry, Nadine Dorries, Priti Patel, Jacob Rees Mogg and Dominic Raab are all staying, so Johnson still has plenty of amoral careerists to do his lying bidding.

Allegedly Nadine Dorries tried to submit a letter of resignation, but accidentally sent off for an incontinence aids catalogue instead. Some commentators had predicted that Nadhim Zahawi would also have resigned, but it seems that he was experiencing difficulty locating a spine. Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Suella Braverman and Jacob Rees Mogg won’t be resigning because they are political no-hopers who only owe their current prominence to their loyalty to Johnson. Talking of no-hopers, Alister Jack announced that he would not be resigning because he knows that without Boris Johnson he’d be even more of a non-entity than he already is. He’d have as much power and influence as [gasp] Douglas Ross, the man described by Dominic Cummings as the Conservative party’s Mr Nobody, a fate signifying political death.

Although Johnson was once described by David Cameron as a greased piglet for his ability to wriggle free from a tight squeeze, and Cameron certainly knows a lot about pigs, this really does feel like the crisis that will finally bring Johnson down, that’s despite the fact that Jacob Rees-Mogg tried to assure Channel Four news that it was just a little local difficulty and nothing to get excited about. It’s not over yet, but Johnson will not go willingly, no matter how many resignations he’s hit with.

In the meantime keep an eye out for Michael Gove, he’s gone suspiciously quiet and appears to have gone missing. They were going to put his face on a milk carton but it turns the milk instantly sour.  Thoughts and prayers to poor Michael and his bizarre range of physical and verbal tics at this very conflicted time for him.

This is the Conservative party which insists that this is not the time for a Scottish independence referendum because governments should be focused on tackling the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine. Yet this Conservative regime is all-consumed by its own internal party politics, all that matters to the Conservatives is ensuring that their party retains its grubby and sleazy grasp on power. They care as much as Johnson does about the damage that they wreak in the process. It’s time for Scotland to escape this shit show.

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Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached, it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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The last nail in Labour’s coffin

In between Anas Sarwar making promises that are way above his pay grade and Boris Johnson telling us that Scottish independence would be a tragedy for the whole world, yesterday we also had Keir Starmer enthusiastically hammering the last nail into the Labour party’s Scottish coffin and helping to make Scottish independence all the more likely.

Sarwar of course got several minutes of puffery at the top of the evening edition of Reporting Scotland, which uncritically reported his big promise as though it was something that might actually happen. It was in very marked contrast to the scepticism which is characteristic whenever the BBC deigns to mention a pro-independence development. There was no sign of Glenn Campbell looking concerned. Sarwar was later given a few extra minutes to expound further on his non starter of an idea and was allowed to assert without being challenged that Nicola Sturgeon ‘cannot’ use the next UK General Election as a de facto referendum. Last I checked parties can put whatever propositions they want before the electorate in an election, and if the SNP, the Greens, Alba, and any other pro-independence parties say that they are going to use the election to ask the electorate for a mandate to start negotiating Scottish independence, that is a matter for them, not for Anas Sarwar. We already know that Sarwar won’t shirk from denying Scottish democracy and won’t be challenged on it by the BBC, but demanding a veto on other parties’ manifestos is a bit of a stretch even for him.

On Monday Keir Starmer announced that the Labour party will not seek to take the UK back into the customs union or the Single Market and will not seek a restoration of the right of freedom of movement for British citizens. Labour is now a hardline Brextremist party just like the Tories. We already knew that Labour wasn’t going to take the UK back into the EU, but support for a closer relationship with the EU was the one thing distinguishing Labour from the bluekip Tories. That’s gone now. Starmer has vowed to do the same as Johnson, but promises he’ll do it with a sad face. Starmer says he’s going to “make Brexit work.” That’s a lie, you can’t “make Brexit work” because Brexit is fundamentally broken. It’s like saying that you’re going to fill a vase with water after it has been shattered into a thousand pieces.

Now the only way that Scotland can get back into the EU, or even just the Single Market and Customs Union, and have the right to freedom of movement restored is as an independent country. There is no other way. That is a simple truth that cannot be obscured by all the hysterical Anglo-British nationalist scaremongering and SNP bad mud slinging in the world.

While we are on the topic of British nationalist SNP bad mud slinging, can we get one thing straight please – and this is directed at all the Iain Macwhirters, Alex Massies, Tom Gordons and Tom Harrises whose voices are so dominant in the Scottish media – the Scottish independence vote to come, whether that is an actual referendum or a de facto referendum is not going to be about casting a verdict on the SNP’s performance as the governing party in a devolved administration, no matter how much you want it to be. It’s about the people of Scotland deciding whether they want Scotland to become an independent country or not. That’s it, that’s all. An independent Scotland will be a democracy. The government elected by the people of Scotland in that independent Scottish state could come from any of the parties standing, not necessarily the SNP, and that government will be able to implement the mandate given to it by the people of Scotland without the losers of the election appealing to Westminster to tell Holyrood, “Naw, ye cannae.” So how the SNP has performed as the governing party in a devolved administration whose powers and limits are set by Westminster is frankly an irrelevance.

The verdict that will be cast in the independence vote will be a verdict on how ALL of the British nationalist parties have treated Scotland over the decades. It’s easy to see how that would be uncomfortable for those who have built their careers on keeping Scotland under Westminster rule. Mud slinging at the SNP allows them to avoid the core issue of the debate. It’s not about the SNP, it’s about the limits Westminster puts on Scotland, and in recent years it has become clear that it is also about how Westminster is a threat to democracy itself in Scotland. Starmer’s announcement that he will keep the UK outside the single market and customs union and his and Sarwar’s insistence that they will ignore the outcome of Scottish elections if the people have the audacity to vote for another independence referendum tells us that the threat to democracy in Scotland does not just come from Johnson, Ross, and the Tories, it comes from Starmer, Sarwar, and the Labour party as well.

However Starmer is still no closer to getting into Downing Street. Starmer’s big problem is that the Brexiteers in England won’t believe him – and the English remainers will be disappointed and probably will not vote or work for Labour. Labour is now contesting the same crowded electoral ground as the LibDems, who have also abandoned any idea of rejoining the EU, and the Conservatives. The last nail in Labour’s coffin is the last nail in this so-called Union’s.

Meanwhile in Scotland it is merely confirmation that we cannot look to Labour to protect Scotland from the Tories because the only way that Labour can get elected is to ape Conservative policies and to promise not to undo the damage caused by a Conservative government. The tragedy of the UK is that a party which wishes to form a British government can only do so by appeasing the xenophobic third of England. This is the Britain that Labour wants to keep Scotland a part of and for which it is prepared to destroy Scotland’s ancient sovereignty and its right to national self-determination. We know now that there is no space in the British body politic for a distinctively Scottish perspective. It’s independence, or being wheesht forever.

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Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached, it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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Oh look, another Vow

It was only a week ago that the First Minister dropped a bombshell on the Anglo-British nationalist parties by setting out how the Scottish Government intends to hold a lawful vote on Scottish independence with or without the permission of the Prime Law Breaker. The penny is starting to drop on them that they do not hold all the cards and that there will either be a lawful referendum or they face going into the next UK General Election facing a united Yes alliance seeking a mandate for independence while they try to defend a British state which has ruled that Scotland can only exercise its historic sovereign right to national self-determination with the permission of a British Prime Minister whose party has not won an election in Scotland since the 1950s. Good luck with that one lads.

The First Minister’s announcement was followed within days by an opinion poll giving a lead for Yes, a poll made more significant by the fact that it was conducted by a company which has tended to produce worse results for yes than other companies, and the campaigning has only just begun. At a comparable stage in the first referendum campaign support for Yes was languishing in the 30s and the people who were then insisting that they were not nationalists were confidently predicting an overwhelming victory for the No campaign.

It was not until the final weeks of the campaign that the Better Together parties started to realise that the result was going to be far closer than they had originally anticipated and they began to hastily cobble together some carrots to dangle before the Scottish electorate in order to fend off that dreaded majority for Yes.

This time around Better Together 2.0 is getting its panic in early. The campaign has only just begun and already the Labour party is allowing us to say, “Oh look, another Vow.” At an event in London on Monday, Anas Sarwar, Labour’s branch office manager in Scotland, will announce what he proudly claims is Labour’s alternative to independence, an alternative which essentially boils down to asking Scotland to trust that Westminster won’t shaft it again, which given Westminster’s previous track record with vows is a pretty big ask.

This time the Vow, honest to god we really mean it this time pinkie promise I swear on my dug’s life, consists of the Labour party telling us that instead of independence Scotland can have Westminster pass some legislation which would introduce a “new legal duty of co-operation between the UK and Scottish governments”. According to the branch manager this would”ensure [that Holyrood and Westminster] work together where they can and not against each other”. Now isn’t that just lovely. Sarwar seems to think that this would protect Scotland from the shameful treatment we witnessed at the hands of the Conservatives following 2016’s Brexit vote when the British Government embarked upon the hardest possible Brexit and did not bother to keep the Scottish Parliament informed, never mind consult with it or seek its agreement when its Brexit plans impinged upon the devolution settlement.

This is a vow that falls apart on even the most cursory examination. There are three big problems with it. First of all we need to trust that voters in England will return a Labour Government at the next election, which is very far from certain, notwithstanding Keir Starmer’s conversion into a hardline Brextremist who has promised that a Labour government would never take the UK back into the EU’s single market. So if you were looking to the Labour party to restore your right to freedom of movement throughout Europe, forget it.

Secondly we need to trust that Labour will implement this promise in full and will not seek to water it down the second that a vote against independence is in the bag. You don’t need a long memory to remember Labour’s unseemly haste to strip Gordon Brown’s vow of any substance in the Smith Commission negotiations following the No vote in the 2014 referendum. So it is now incumbent upon Anas Sarwar and the Labour party to prove that they won’t pull the same trick again. Quite how they can achieve that, I don’t know, but I do know it can be filed under “That would be a you problem, Anas.” Labour has already betrayed the trust of the people of Scotland, they’re not going to get it back just because they tell us that this time they mean it.

However it’s the third problem which looks to be insurmountable. The British constitution is founded upon the principle of the absolute sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament and the doctrine that no Westminster Parliament may bind its successor. Labour is as much in thrall to this fetishisation of Westminster sovereignty as the Tories are. So even if we accept that Anas Sarwar’s grand alternative to independence will be implemented sincerely, honestly, and in full, something which cannot be taken for granted. There is absolutely no way in which the Labour party can guarantee that this law would not be repealed, side-stepped, or rendered meaningless by a future Conservative Government. The Westminster doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty means that no Westminster Parliament can bind the hands of its successors, so it is impossible for Sarwar’s proposed legislation to be protected from a future Conservative Government which doesn’t like it.

We saw something very similar already with the Sewel Convention which said that no Westminster Government would meddle with the powers of the Scottish Parliament without Holyrood’s consent. It was one of the key promises of the Better Together campaign that this convention would be enshrined in law. First of all Westminster inserted the weasel word “normally” into the phrasing, so it read that the Westminster Government would not normally meddle with the powers of the Scottish Parliament without Holyrood’s consent, giving itself a convenient get out of jail free card.

Following the Brexit vote, Theresa May’s government sought a Supreme Court ruling and the UK Supreme Court ruled that the provision had no force in law as it conflicted with the doctrine that no Westminster Parliament can bind the hands of its successors. And if that was not insult enough, Theresa May’s Government added insult to injury by redefining Holyrood consent. Holyrood saying Yes would count as consent, Holyrood refusing to engage with the Westminster government would count as consent, and Holyrood saying No would count as consent too. There is absolutely nothing to prevent a future Tory Government from doing something very similar to Anas Sarwar’s proposed legislation. It could easily redefine “co-operation” to mean issuing Holyrood a direct order.

Anas Sarwar knows all this too. He knows that what he is proposing can easily be stripped of substance and meaning just as soon as Westminster decides it is in its interests to do so. But he also knows that the British nationalist parties have blown up most of the arguments that they deployed against independence in the 2014 referendum and he is scrabbling around for something to differentiate a democracy denying Labour party from a democracy denying Conservative party. The fact that the best he can come up with is this intelligence insulting nonsense merely illustrates just how much trouble Better Together 2.0 is in. And Anas Sarwar knows that as well, which is why he is hand in glove with the Tories in trying to subvert Scottish democracy and stop a referendum from taking place.

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Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached, it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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The British nationalist temper tantrum

Ever since the First Minister announced her strategy for bringing about a lawful vote on Scottish independence, the British nationalist parties have been throwing all their energies into trying to prevent another referendum. However they will not be able to prevent the vote from taking place forever, whether it comes in the form of a referendum or takes place as a de facto referendum during a UK General Election. This means that at some point, Labour, the Conservatives, and the Lib Dems are going to have to present themselves to the people of Scotland and face the people’s verdict on their attempts to stymie Scottish democracy and to prevent the Scottish Parliament implementing the mandate given to it in the last Holyrood elections. Asking the people to give you a mandate to ignore them is certainly a novel proposition in a democratic election, but that is exactly what the anti-independence parties are going to have to do.

The current anger and denialism from the opponents of independence is because they are struggling to get their British nationalist exceptionalist and supremacist heads around a new political reality, the reality created by a Scottish Government which has told them that their permission is not required, they have been invited to participate in the process, to make their case for this so-called Union which they claim is of such immense to the people of Scotland, and to let the people decide, or they can continue to try and block the question from being put to the people and see the vote go ahead without their consent, by which time they will have destroyed any pretence that this union is what they have always asserted it to be and they will have lost all control of the process.

The Anglo-British nationalist parties will be forced to defend the proposition that there is no democratic route to independence within this supposed union of equals until politicians who have no mandate in Scotland grant permission for a referendum. Their pretence that they are unionists and not nationalists will be have been stripped away and they will stand revealed as Anglo-British nationalists. Yet suppose it was England which wished to leave this union: whose permission would it have to seek? Brexit supporters would have screamed seven shades of murder if the EU had told the UK that it needed the permission of Brussels in order to hold a referendum on EU membership, they would have said that it was an affront to democracy and would constitute proof that the UK needed to leave the EU in order for the people to have their say, and they’d have been right. But that is precisely what they demand of Scotland. It’s funny how they have lost all their qualms about the denial of democracy when it’s them who are doing the denying.

It’s supposed to be Scotland which is powerless. It’s supposed to be Scotland which has no choice but to “Suck it up,” a phrase which is going to haunt Alister Jack and cause him to have long sleepless nights. It’s the phrase that will accompany his sobs when he realises that he has been instrumental in destroying this so-called union that he claims to love so much. No wonder they are raging, they have no conceptual framework for dealing with a political reality in which they do not hold all the cards.

Meanwhile let’s get one thing straight. The Anglo-British nationalists continually harp on that the 2014 referendum was billed as a “once in a generation” vote. They know full well that that was campaigning rhetoric aimed at increasing voter participation. It was not on the ballot paper, it was not a part of the Edinburgh Agreement. They also know that the people cannot be bound by the rhetoric of a politician during a campaign, otherwise Boris Johnson and the Conservatives would be in even more trouble than they are already. By this time Johnson should be dead in a ditch.

But while we are on the topic of campaign rhetoric why is it that it’s only Alex Salmond’s “once in a generation” claim that has been elevated to the status of holy writ? What about David Cameron’s claim that the UK is a partnership of equals? What about the promise that no Westminster government would ever interfere with the devolution settlement without Holyrood’s consent?

And then there is that troubling little matter of Scotland’s EU membership. Even if it were true that Scotland becoming independent would have resulted in it having to leave the EU, and that is a very big if indeed, we are now eight years down the line and Scotland would by this time have rejoined the EU as a member in its own right. As things stand we are out of the EU against our will and as part of the UK without any prospect of getting back in for many many years to come. Even if there was a sea change in British politics which is unlikely now that both Labour and the Lib Dems are Brexit parties, it is highly unlikely that the EU would want to let the UK back in. It would be like a pub landlord letting back in a patron who did nothing but complain about the drinks options before knocking over the drinks of all the other customers, starting a fight, and then vomiting all over the bar. An independent Scotland would be welcomed as a pro-European nation which sought independence in order to affirm its commitment to European values. The UK, not so much.

As I have observed on this blog before, democracy doesn’t mean holding the losers of a vote to account for their campaign rhetoric, it means holding the winners to account for theirs.

For all the challenges facing the independence movement, it at least has a clear vision of a Scotland in which the democratic choices of the people of this country are respected and implemented. All that the Anglo-British nationalist parties have to offer is a UK which ignores the will of Scotland and treats this country with contempt. No wonder they are so desperate to stop another independence referendum and are having a temper tantrum now that they realise that they cannot prevent Scotland from having its say.

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Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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Scotland in the UK : The form but not the substance of democracy

Ever since the First Minister made her announcement about how she plans to progress the second independence referendum which Scotland gave the Scottish Parliament a clear and unequivocal mandate for at last year’s Holyrood election, the anti-independence media in this country has shown that it has precisely zero interest in defending democracy, and even less interest in standing up for the basic principle of traditional Scottish unionism, the understanding that Scotland is a sovereign nation which chose to pool its sovereignty with the Kingdom of England and its dependencies in 1707 and that the union thus created will last as long as the people of Scotland want it to. It is a fundamental tenet of traditional Scottish unionism that the people of Scotland have the absolute right to decide whether Scotland becomes independent. Even Margaret Thatcher accepted that. That right is not to be subject to a veto from a Prime Minister in Downing Street that Scotland didn’t vote for.

Why the flying f*ck don’t the likes of the Herald’s Iain MacWhirter or the supposedly liberal Guardian’ s columnists write about how outrageous it is that the Conservative party aided and abetted by Labour and the Lib Dems are changing the nature of the UK from a voluntary union to a coercive one, and moreover are doing so without bothering to obtain even the pretence of a mandate from the people of Scotland? Why do they not write about how incredible it is that the First Minister has to come up with a plan for a plebiscite election in order to force Westminster to do something that Westminster’s apologists have always insisted that Scotland has an absolute right to do?

You might have thought that any journalist journalist interested in championing democracy would be screaming about that from the rooftops. You would have thought that they would be highlighting the fact that the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election was utterly dominated by the issue of another independence referendum and that whether voters were supportive of or opposed to another independence referendum we all clearly knew what we were voting for. We also know that even despite a suspiciously well funded anti-independence tactical voting campaign, the voters chose to elect a Scottish Parliament with a substantial majority in favour of another referendum. However it now appears that we are being told that none of that matters. The losers won. The parties which lost that election campaign have decided to retroactively rewrite the rules so that they can run roughshod over the will of the electorate and get their way anyway. Apparently we have government by opinion poll in this country now, but only when those polls are to the liking of the opponents of independence. Polls showing majority support for independence or for another referendum magically don’t seem to count.

Those journalists with a platform have a public duty to call this development out for the anti-democratic descent into authoritarianism that it really is. But no. They are instead fully occupied with gloating about how the UK Supreme Court will rule that the Scottish Government’s referendum plan is unlawful and how the plan to turn the next UK General Election into a de facto referendum is, in their opinion, unworkable.

From the anti-independence media there is a resounding silence on the threat to democracy, they only want to talk about process and are supremely comfortable with the notion of a Scotland in which it makes no difference how the people of Scotland have voted. Scottish democracy can be vetoed by a British Prime Minister whose party has not won an election in Scotland since the 1950s, and that is just fine with them. They do not want to examine the consequences of this or what it means for the character of this union that they are desperate to keep Scotland a part of.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If Scotland had a media that was genuinely representative of the range of opinion in this country, we’d be independent already. Instead we have a media which is so terrified of the possibility of stoking support for independence that it enables the hollowing out of democracy and the destruction of Scottish sovereignty. Scotland, we assume, is just supposed to – in the words of Conservative Scotland Secretary Alister Jack – suck it up. The anti-independence Scottish media will just nod along in agreement like a British bulldog nodding dog on the dashboard of the Brexit bus that Johnson is driving off a cliff.

The anti-independence journalists and commentators express their incredulity about how a de facto referendum could work. The SNP don’t get to determine the terms of a UK General Election, they sniff. They wonder contemptuously how the SNP – and it’s only the SNP that they ever talk about, not the Greens, Alba, the other pro-independence parties, or the wider independence movement – is going to campaign against British parties with fully detailed manifestos. Tom Gordon in the Herald scoffed, wondering if the SNP would just reply “independence” when asked about health policy, defence policy, or education policy. He is however spectacularly missing the point, just like Macwhirter in his contribution to anti-independence miserabilism in today’s Sunday Herald.

The point is that a de facto referendum is only going to happen if the British Government continues to deny the result of the most recent Holyrood election and if the UK Supreme Court rules that the British state considers it unlawful for Holyrood to implement the mandate given to it by the people of Scotland. We are used to a situation where the British parties use their seats won in the rest of the UK to overrule Scotland in Westminster. If a de facto referendum does come about it will be because the British parties have appealed to sources of authority outwith Scotland in order to overrule the Scottish Parliament as well. Under such circumstances it makes not a blind bit of difference what any Scottish political party puts to the people of Scotland in a manifesto. Scotland is only ever going to get what a Westminster in which Scottish representatives are a small minority chooses to allow it. In UK General Elections Scotland is effectively just a spectator, and the winner of that predominantly English General Election can overrule the Scottish Parliament too. So who cares what is in the manifesto for a UK General Election or a Scottish Parliamentary election? Scotland is only ever going to get what the British nationalist parties decide to allow. Within the UK Scotland has only the form of democracy, but not its substance. And all this is just fine with the Scottish media’s enablers of Anglo-British nationalism.

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Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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The Guardian’s clueless condescension

The Guardian spends half its time complaining about the archaic, corrupt Westminster system and the other half campaigning to stop anyone from doing anything about it. The latest installment in the Guardian’s campaign to tell us that if it’s Anglo-British nationalism, it can’t be nationalist is a clueless article from Martin Kettle which even by the Guardian’s low standards whenever it comes to Scotland drips arrogance and condescension.

The piece employs the usual Anglo-British nationalist trope of personalising and trivialising the issue of Scottish independence by talking about “Sturgeon” and “her” referendum. We saw the exact same tired and lazy deflection last time round when it was “Salmond” and “his” referendum. Give it a rest for god’s sake. If Londoncentric commentators like Kettle want to make a useful contribution to this debate and start to engage meaningfully with those of us who want Scottish independence, which they must do if they are to achieve their fervent wish of making this whole issue go away, they could start by recognising that around half the Scottish population want independence and that a substantial majority want at the very minimum a substantially reformed UK, a reformed UK which the Conservatives are dead set against and which Labour has no real interest in delivering.

Can we get this clear once and for all? This is not Sturgeon’s referendum. It is Scotland’s referendum. It is the referendum that all of Scotland clearly understood that it was voting for or against at the Holyrood election last year, the election which returned a Scottish Parliament with its biggest ever pro-independence majority.

We do not have government by opinion poll in this, or any other country, but Anglo-British nationalists like Kettle like to talk about opinion polls on the referendum because they don’t want to acknowledge that the only democratic way to assess Scotland’s wishes on an independence referendum is via the Scottish Parliament- where there is a majority for a referendum to take place before 2026. There was an election and by the rules of that election proponents of another referendum won fair and square. The winners of an election are determined by the number of seats won, not by the percentage of votes cast. The voting system used in Scottish Parliament elections is broadly proportional but not exactly so. It’s a voting system which was chosen by the Labour an Lib Dem parties. A pro-independence, pro-referendum majority was won by the British nationalist parties’ own rules. Opponents of independence don’t get to retroactively rewrite the rules now because the result was not to their liking. It’s nothing more than a transparent attempt to delegitimise the outcome of a Scottish election.

The vital starting point in this debate is to acknowledge that Westminster and the main UK parties are deeply resistant to meaningful reform. Despite previous landslide Labour victories, we still have the undemocratic first past the post system, we still have an unelected House of Lords,and we still have few effective checks on the power of a Prime Minister with a majority in the Commons, a majority which can be won with a minority of the popular vote. We see Westminster lurch from one scandal to the next, nothing ever changes and the powerful are never held to account.

This, together with the abject failure of the Westminster parties to deliver on the promises and commitments which they made to secure a No vote in 2014, is why we are having this independence debate now. Scotland has castigated both Labour and the Conservatives at the polls and it has made bugger all difference. Despite vowing that the devolution settlement would be safe from Westminster meddling, the Conservatives have used Brexit – which Scotland didn’t vote for – as an excuse to take a wrecking ball to devolution. Just this week the Conservatives announced their intention to overturn the Welsh Government’s 2017 Trade Union Act, which bans agency staff from being used if public sector workers go on strike. The law conflicts with the Tories’ union busting crusade. None of this appears to trouble Martin Kettle and those of his ilk.  If Scotland is not allowed to give its verdict on the promises made to it in 2014 in order to secure a No vote then democracy is meaningless.

Meanwhile we learn that the message that Keir Starmer wants to send to Scotland is that Labour doesn’t care if Scotland keeps voting for and electing pro-independence MPs and MSPs. Labour doesn’t care if Scotland votes for a Scottish Parliament with a clear mandate for another independence referendum. Martin Kettle thinks this is just grand.  For Labour it is far more important to pander to Brexit supporting voters in English constituencies. That’s some message. This is what happens when you let your Scotland policy be determined by Ian Murray and the tribal unionists of the Scottish branch office.

For the likes of Martin Kettle the elephant in the room is Anglo-British nationalism. Like Gordon Brown before him Kettle bewails that the United Kingdom is threatened by nationalism, but it’s Scottish, Irish, and Welsh nationalism that he has in mind, there is not a mention of the English nationalism that finds its expression in the right wing centralising Anglo-British nationalism which is the dominant ideology of the modern British state, an ideology that even Starmer’s Brexit supporting Labour party has fully subscribed to. All Kettle mentions, and that in passing, is “anglocentric unionism.” He complains that Brexit exacerbates nationalism, by which he means the desire for Scottish independence or Irish reunification, but like the Anglo-British nationalist he is, he fails to recognise that Brexit is nationalism. As has been noted on this blog more often than I care to remember, the defining feature of Anglo-British nationalism is its refusal to recognise that is just another variety of nationalism.

The first step to solving a problem is to identify what the problem is, if commentators like Kettle are unwilling or unable to see Anglo-British nationalism for what it is, there can be no chance of any constructive dialogue within the political framework of the Westminster state. It is quite likely that Kettle – like that other colonialist British nationalist in denial Michael White before him – genuinely believes in the consensual Union he remembers and believes exists, it is really rather sad that he hasn’t noticed, and indeed is actively cheering on, that it is being turned into into a coercive unitary Anglo-British nationalist state. It is beyond pathetic that he clings to the belief that this can somehow save the voluntary union whose demise he himself is urging on.

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I had an assessment for disability benefit yesterday. It will be five to eight weeks before a decision is made. I think it went well but they don’t give much away.  However it was exhausting to get into Glasgow for it and the process was emotionally draining.   I’m on a bit of a downer today because during the assessment you have to focus on all the things you can’t do and the things that you used to do but can no longer do, many of which you’ll never be able to do again. Stroke takes a severe toll on your mental health as well as your physical abilities. I had originally intended to wait until Monday before blogging, but needed to do something to get out of this funk and make myself feel like a productive human being again.

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Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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Getting the ‘naw ye cannaes’ in early

Aaand we’re off, you can tell when the British nationalists are rattled when they wheel out “experts” to tell Scotland “Naw, ye cannae” because we’re too wee. too shtupit, too poor, too insignificant [delete as appropriate]. The latest entry in the genre has been dredged up by the Herald’s resident SNP baddist Tom Gordon, who has called upon Professor James Mitchell of Edinburgh University to provide a suitable, “But they can’t Colin, they just can’t” quote as clickbait for the British nationalist frothers who infest the comments section of a newspaper which still claims to be “neutral” on the topic of Scottish independence. That would be the rabidly SNP hating Professor James Mitchell, who has a long and inglorious record on badmouthing the SNP, the Scottish Government and Nicola Sturgeon in particular, Mitchell is impartial in exactly the same way that the Herald is neutral on the subject of Scottish independence.

The Professor is keen to let us know that there is no such thing as a de facto referendum, an election is an election he tells us, and the SNP cannot dictate the terms of the election. “But they can’t Colin, they just can’t.” However that is not what the SNP is proposing. The SNP is not in the business of telling other parties what platforms they can stand on, that would be the British nationalists who do that sort of thing. The Tories, Labour, and the Lib Dems can put whatever propositions they like before the electorate, and so can the SNP and other pro-independence parties who agree that this election is aimed at securing a mandate for independence. However if this is a de facto referendum on independence we will all be voting in full knowledge that the British nationalist parties have stripped any meaningful sense of union from the polity known as the United Kingdom and will have denied any validity to their once proud boast that the UK is a voluntary partnership of nations.

The SNP’s manifesto for the 2019 UK General Election was 52 pages long. It contained policies on health, tackling poverty and inequality, a call for the devolution of employment law, and a whole lot more besides. While it is not for me to pre-empt the SNP manifesto in a UK General Election which will be a de facto referendum on independence, I suspect that the SNP manifesto in that election will be considerably shorter, possibly just one brief sentence along the lines of “Scotland should be an independent country.” The manifestos of the other pro-independence parties may be very similar. Tom Gordon and his pet “But ye cannaes” should look up the UK General Election of 1918 because Sinn Fein did precisely that in order to secure a mandate for Irish independence at the 1918 election, if the SNP declare that a vote for them is a vote for independence and wins on that issue, no amount of British nationalist pettit lips can change the fact that Scotland will have voted for independence in a lawful vote and will have done so without the permission of the occupant of Downing Street.

Tom Gordon has got in his first “blow for the SNP” early, risible as it is. Knowing that they have lost control of the process the apologists for British nationalism are desperate to delegitimise the vote in an effort to discourage voter participation. We will be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing in the weeks and months ahead. This is what counts as a case for the union these days, at least that is what we are still calling it for now, until either Boris Johnson or the UK Supreme Court plunge a stake through its heart.

They are also trotting out their other tropes from 2014. Expect plenty of references to “Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum” just as the last time round it was “Alex Salmond’s referendum.” It’s an “SNP referendum” not an independence referendum. It suits the British nationalists to pretend that Scottish independence is wholly owned by the SNP as they try to peel off voters who might support independence but who don’t support the SNP and hope that they don’t remember that an independent Scotland will be a democracy, indeed far more democratic than this so-called union and people will be perfectly free to vote for whomever they choose.

Ever since the First Minister made her announcement there has been a lot of angry noise and deflection from the British nationalists, however not a single one has been able to give a credible alternative route to independence, because if the democratically elected Scottish Government are not able to hold the referendum that they have been elected to hold then what exactly is the democratic route to a referendum?

It’s a question that goes to the very heart of the nature of this so called union, and it’s a question that remains unanswered because the likes of Tom Gordon who are so numerous in the Scottish media are far more interested in finding “blow for Nicola Sturgeon ” quotes, however spurious or irrelevant, than they are in questioning the nature of this supposed union that they are so keen that Scotland remains a part of.

The answers to the question that they do elicit from the Tories are even more risible than Tom Gordon’s “blow for Nicola Sturgeon,” a “blow” which even if it were something substantive would not be a “blow for Nicola Sturgeon” but a blow for meaningful democracy in Scotland as a part of the UK, not that that appears to trouble the Scottish media. On Tuesday the BBC’s Glenn Campbell asked Douglas Ross what the democratic route to an independence referendum was if it is not a majority for one in Holyrood. Ross insisted that there is indeed a democratic route to another referendum but refused to say what it might involve because he’s “not in the business of helping to break up the UK”. So his position is that there really is a democratic route to another referendum but it’s a super secret one and he’s not going to tell anyone what it is because it might encourage people to use it. This arrant nonsense appeared to suffice for Glenn Campbell, who proceeded to button up the back of his head and hoped that viewers would do likewise.

Between now and the inevitable independence vote we will be seeing a lot of “blow for Nicola Sturgeon” headlines. What we won’t be seeing is a positive case for Westminster rule or a credible means by which Scotland can be guaranteed that it can get what it votes for while remaining a part of the UK, because no such case and no such guarantees exist.

That is because if the Scottish media did start to interrogate the nature of the “union” instead of allowing Douglas Ross to fob off the question with intelligence insulting drivel they would find that it is founded on a lie. The real purpose of the anti-independence Scottish media is not to hold power to account, it is to fend off independence and to deflect any potential criticism of their beloved British state. Scotland, you had your wee dalliance with democracy in 2014, you are not allowed to change your mind no matter how many lies were told in order to secure the result that the British state wanted, no matter how much circumstances have changed. Now trot along, shut up, and do what you’re told. Westminster has some human rights to strip you of. Now here’s the terribly important Andrea Leadsom to ask “What currency are you going to use?” As though that were some clever gotcha and not just her displaying her usual Tory arrogance and ignorance, an arrogance and ignorance which is a powerful argument for independence all by itself.

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I won’t be about tomorrow (Friday) as I have to go in to Glasgow for a disability assessment. I’ll be back blogging on Monday, by which time I’m sure that there will be plenty more British nationalist desperation to scoff at.

Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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Sometimes a ‘gamechanger’ really is just that

In the immortal words of Dad’s Army’s Corporal Jones, “They don’t like it up ’em.” It is safe to say that British nationalists are not reacting at all well to the realisation that they do not after all get to dictate the terms, timing, and conditions of the Scottish independence process. The term ‘game-changer’ is much over-used, but yesterday’s announcement from the First Minister about how the Scottish Government intends to proceed towards a lawful vote on Scottish independence with or without a Section 30 order was just that. Nicola Sturgeon made it clear that Scotland is not going to be consumed by a sterile debate about a Section 30 order, a debate which only benefits opponents of independence as it allows them to avoid confronting the substantive issues in the independence debate.

Scotland will not be held prisoner by a British Prime Minister who Scotland didn’t vote for and whose party has only six MPs in Scotland, four of whom have no confidence in him. Scotland will take its destiny into its own hands and will have its say on independence no matter what Johnson wants, because this is a matter for the people of Scotland to decide, not him.

The usual British nationalist suspects are deeply unhappy about this, how dare Nicola Sturgeon pursue her “divisive” and “damaging” referendum. Being divisive and damaging is Boris Johnson’s job.

Margaret Thatcher’s Scotland Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, who spent the 1980s and 1990s denying the people of Scotland any form of self-government despite overwhelming evidence that Scotland wanted its own Parliament, told BBC Radio 4 through pursed lips that “little Scotland” was going to be lonely and friendless without Westminster, the classic trope of the spurned abusive lover, “You are pathetic and useless and no one else will have you.” Rifkind also insisted that the Holyrood election in 2021 only gave Nicola Sturgeon the mandate to “ask for” a referendum, but he insisted that it did not give her a mandate to deserve one. What one might take from this condescending attempt to avoid the issue is that Rifkind doesn’t appear to grasp how democracy works, but then those of us who can remember his time as Scottish Secretary of State knew that already.

When the electorate of Scotland voted for a Scottish Parliament with an unassailable majority of pro-independence MSPs in an election campaign which was dominated by the single issue of whether there should be another independence referendum, that is what gave the Scottish Parliament the mandate to deserve the referendum. It is for the people of Scotland to decide whether another referendum is deserved, not unelected appointees to the House of Lords like Malcolm Rifkind who were awarded a seat in that undemocratic institution by their cronies for services to the denial of Scottish democracy. The people of Scotland gave their answer to that question in last year’s Holyrood election, it is not for Rifkind or any Conservative minister to gainsay them, particularly not one who has no mandate themselves from the people of Scotland.

Meanwhile Conservative Ministers are doing their usual run away and hide routine, Rifkind’s successor, the supremely useless Alister Jack, has refused all requests to be interviewed on BBC Scotland’s morning news show as have all other senior Scotland Office ministers and other senior Tories. That’s because they fear being questioned even by the institutionally unionist BBC on their refusal to acknowledge the democratic right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future.

The reason for their panic is that they were blindsided by yesterday’s announcement. This was not how the script was supposed to go. What was supposed to happen was that the Scottish Government announced its intention to press ahead with a referendum bill even without a Section 30 order. The British nationalists – we can’t really call them unionists any more – would then decry it as unlawful, and we would spend the rest of the year arguing about process and not the substance of the independence question while the British Government took its time over referring the matter to the courts in order to avoid being seen as the destroyers of traditional Scottish unionism and to eat up time so that it would become impossible to hold the referendum on the intended date of 19 October 2023. As all this was going on the anti-independence parties and their friends in the media would be demanding that the Scottish Government publish all its legal advice in full. And all the time the clock would be ticking and the anti-independence parties could continue to avoid dealing with the substance of the independence issue while they maintained their cosy lies about the nature of this supposed voluntary union of nations.

The decision of the Scottish Government to refer the question to the Supreme Court itself cuts through all that. Scotland is now in control of the timetable, not the British nationalists. What this means is that we will have a definitive answer to the legal questions within a couple of months, and if the UK Supreme Court does rule that Scotland is a hostage to Boris Johnson’s whims the UK Government itself and not some convenient proxy will be a party to that ruling. Traditional unionism as it has always been understood will be dead, and it will clearly be seen as the Conservatives who killed it. They will be forced to own that political reality, devastating as it is for the anti-independence cause. They will no longer be able to pose as “anti-nationalist unionists” but will be clearly seen for what they really are, Anglo-British nationalists who deny the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to choose the form of government best suited to their needs. If it’s not voluntary it’s not a union, it’s a prison.

Worst of all for the Anglo-British nationalists, they have lost control of the course of events. If they do win that court ruling they will not only have destroyed traditional unionism ,they still won’t be able to prevent Scotland having a vote on independence by which time they will be forced to go to the people of Scotland to defend a United Kingdom whose Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland does not after all have the right to self-determination. That’s not a defensible proposition.

You could see how unprepared the opponents of independence were in the perplexed questioning of presenters in the anti-independence media on Wednesday morning. Kay Burley on Sky News and John Kay on BBC Breakfast persisted in questioning the First Minister about “wildcat” and “unlawful” referendums despite the announcement yesterday making it clear that the independence vote will be entirely lawful. That’s British nationalism in a nutshell. It’s just not listening.

Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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Well we are the people and we say yes

The First Minister began her much anticipated statement to Holyrood by quoting from the Scottish Claim of Right which affirmed the sovereign right of the Scottish people to choose the form of government best suited to their needs. She went on, quoting the late Canon Kenyon Wright who was instrumental in drafting that historic document which affirmed the right of the people of Scotland to choose a Scottish Parliament. Canon Wright observed, but what if the voice from Westminster says : “We say no and we are the state.” The canon retorted , “Well we say yes and we are the people.”

Right now the issue of another referendum is, as the First Minister noted, mired in questions of process which only benefit the anti-independence parties. This allows the likes of Douglas Ross and Anas Sarwar to focus on questions of process and the lawfulness or otherwise of another independence referendum and to side step questions on the substance of the matter. It is, as she correctly pointed out, vital to obtain legal clarity on the lawfulness of another referendum, otherwise all we get instead of addressing the actual issue of independence are anti-independence political opinions which the bulk of the Scottish media is only too happy to present as fact.

As a first step, the First Minister has written to Boris Johnson today in order to urge him to negotiate the terms of a Section 30 order with her in order to put the legality of the referendum beyond any doubt, the letter makes plain that Johnson’s actions to date “call into question the whole idea of the UK as a voluntary partnership.”

In order to avoid a long drawn out legal process, and to put pressure on Johnson, the letter also states that against the background of Johnson’s reluctance to respect the mandate given to the Scottish Parliament by the electorate of Scotland last year, ” the Lord Advocate has, following a request from me, decided to refer to the Supreme Court the question of whether Scottish Parliament legislation for such a referendum relates to reserved matters. The reference is being served on the Advocate General today.”

What this means is that the Conservative Government will be a party to the case and that Johnson and his allies cannot hide behind a case brought forward by some private individuals acting as British nationalist proxies. If the political pressure Nicola Sturgeon has now created forces Johnson to negotiate a Section 30 order, or if the Supreme court rules that the referendum bill is within the competence of Holyrood then all is well and good, the lawfulness of the referendum will have been put beyond any doubt and the referendum will take place on 19 October 2023 with the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The fact that the referendum will be consultative does not diminish its standing, no matter what Douglas Ross might want us all to believe. In the UK all referendums are consultative. The 2014 referendum was consultative, as were the 2016 EU referendum, the 1999 devolution referendum and the 1979 Assembly referendum.

However if Johnson continues to refuse a Section 30 order and the Supreme Court rules that the Scottish Parliament does not have the right to implement the mandate given to it by the people of Scotland in a democratic election, this will be a ruling obtained by the Conservative government, and the Johnson government will stand revealed as holding the democratic will of the people of Scotland in contempt and of having destroyed the proud claim of traditional Scottish unionism, that Scotland is a partner nation in a voluntary union which the Scottish people have the right to end should they so choose. Scotland will have been told that it does not matter what it votes for, it is subject to the whims of a Prime Minister from a party which has not won an election in Scotland since the 1950s, a party with a mere six MPs in Scotland, four of whom have no confidence in the Prime Minister whom they want to hold Scotland hostage. This would change the nature of the independence debate at a stroke, it would no longer be a debate about what is the best form of government for Scotland, but would become a campaign to guarantee democracy itself.

Such a ruling will have seismic political effects. It will, as Nicola Sturgeon pointed out, not be the end of the matter, indeed as she said it would make the argument for independence in the strongest possible terms. The independence debate is a political debate not a legal debate. It is a debate which can only be settled with a democratic event, not with a court ruling. If the UK Supreme Court does indeed rule that it doesn’t matter what Scotland votes for, the anti-independence parties will be forced to defend a UK which explicitly denies Scottish democracy and we can add “a voluntary partnership of nations” to the long list of British nationalist lies along with Gordie Broon’s Vow, the Sewel Convention being given legal status, and the promise that only a No vote in 2014 could guarantee Scotland’s place in the European Union.

If the British state is foolish enough and arrogant enough to go down that democracy denying road then there will be consequences. The First Minister went further than many were expecting and made it clear that the people of Scotland will not be denied their say. If all routes to a lawful referendum are blocked off by a Conservative party which is running scared of the verdict of the people of Scotland then the next UK General Election in Scotland will become a de facto referendum on independence, a campaign which the anti-independence parties will have to fight having made it clear to the people of Scotland that they do not respect the will of the Scottish electorate. They will be standing on a platform of “Vote for us Scotland, you have no standing as a nation and we are going to ignore you.” It will be an election where the future of democracy itself is at stake, an election where what is on the ballot is Scotland’s very status as a nation with the right to decide its own future. Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement today made it plain that one way or another, Scotland will have its say, either in a lawful referendum on 19 October 2023, or in a General Election in which it will be clear that the union is dead and Westminster does not recognise Scotland’s historic nationhood in any meaningful sense.  Johnson and the UK Supreme Court can say no if they want to, well we say yes and we are the people.

Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  I could not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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The laying on of hands

In the Middle Ages, and right up until 1714, it was believed that ills could be cured by a king or queen laying their hands on an afflicted individual. The ceremony of the laying on of hands was most commonly associated with the disease scrofula, a bacterial inflammation of the lymph glands which usually causes disfiguring but painless lesions on the neck. Noawadays it is easily treated with a course of antibiotics. The disease is rarely fatal and often goes into spontaneous remission, a miraculous seeming disappearance which was hailed by 17th century Nicolas Witchells as “Proofe that ye Monarche is indeede Marvellous.”

Today the Queen and assorted other members of her family, but not the one with the miraculously vanishing sweat glands, came on a visit to Scotland, stopping off in Edinburgh for a spot of sycophantic pseudo-mediaeval ritual before buggering off to Balmoral for a summer of massacring the local wildlife. Perhaps the British state is hoping that this spot of passing monarchical attention will miraculously cure what Westminster regards as the unsightly outbreak of independence support in Scotland. Given the other royal stories to hit the press today, that seems about as likely to happen as Prince Charles refusing to accept Fortnum and Mason’s bags and suitcases stuffed with banknotes, presented to him and his staff by some Middle Eastern potentate with a record of trashing human rights that would make even Priti Patel blush.

There has of course been no impropriety. Accepting suitcases stuffed with cash from authoritarian rulers is all part of the job for a [checks notes] working royal. It was all for *charidee* so that makes it all A-OK and totally above board.

Not that I have any affection or sympathy for Prince Charles, a cosseted and indulged man who reeks of hypocrisy, but it is interesting that just a few days after he criticised the British Government’s despicable, unlawful, and morally repugnant policy of sending asylum seekers on a one way trip to a Central African dictatorship with a record on human rights as poor as those of the regimes they’re fleeing, up pops the Daily Mail with some dirt on him dating from 2015, a story which they have known about for seven years but only now have chosen to publish.

Prince Charles has now called for an investigation into the “cash in bags” controversy, Which is a bit odd seeing as how he was the one who accepted the suitcases and shopping bags stuffed full of dosh. There’s no need for an investigation, he just needs to tell us all why he thought that behaving as though he was a drug baron in the middle of a dodgy cocaine deal was remotely appropriate behaviour for anyone never mind the next head of state. What does this sordid little episode tell us about his judgement, even if as he asserts, it was all legitimate? The Prince’s representatives say that “all correct procedures were followed”, which makes you wonder what the “correct procedures” are when it comes to accepting bags of cash from the leaders of oppressive regimes.

Meanwhile, as his maw arrived in Edinburgh on her summer hols, it came out that she and her minions have been intervening to get Scottish legislation altered even before it comes before Parliament meaning that MSPs don’t even know that the royal family has been meddling in the democratic process in order to protect the financial and other interests of the royal household. A Scottish government memo obtained by the Guardian newspaper has revealed that “it is almost certain” that draft legislation has been secretly changed in order to secure the Queen’s approval.

Under rules known in Scotland as Crown Consent, which are imposed upon Holyrood by the Westminster Parliament, the monarch and her advisors are routinely given advance sight of all legislation which could potentially have an impact on the Queen’s personal property or public powers. Effectively this gives the royal household a back door into legislation allowing it to make changes to any proposed laws that it dislikes or which it fears may affect the private wealth of the Windsor family. The fact that this intervention takes place before the proposed new laws are presented to Holyrood means that MSPs have no way of knowing if the royal household has intervened in order to protect its vast wealth.

Last year, lawyers for the royal household secretly lobbied Scottish ministers to change a draft law in order to exempt the queen’s private land from a major initiative to cut carbon emissions. The exemption they secured meant that the Queen is the only private landowner in Scotland who is not required to facilitate the construction of pipelines to heat buildings using renewable energy. Since the start of her reign in 1952, the Queen and Prince Charles have vetted more than 1,000 laws enacted by the Westminster parliament under the consent mechanism. And yet despite literally having a licence to exempt themselves from legislation that might cost them money, Members of this immensely entitled family still feel the need to accept bags of cash from Middle Eastern autocrats.

As long as Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom this kind of scandal will continue, but what will also continue are all the other instances of royal grift that we never get to hear about. The biggest scandal here are all the scandals which are kept under wraps. You can be quite sure that for every marital infidelity, suitcase full of cash, or pauchled law that we hear about there are dozens more which are kept firmly under wraps and never come to public attention. The queen passing through Edinburgh on her way to her Highland estate isn’t going to change any of that. Westminster will never change it. The only thing that will change it is independence and a written constitution. Tomorrow Scotland has a far more important appointment than a passing visit from the queen, we will find out more about the steps towards this country’s date with destiny and the independence referendum to come, when the people of Scotland can lay their own hands on Scotland’s future and cure it of Westminster’s ills.

Many thanks to everyone who kindly supported the annual fundraiser. It’s always a nerve wracking time, I’m literally asking people to put their money where my mouth is. I’m delighted to say that the target of £5000 wasn’t just reached it was smashed. From all sources, the Gofundme page, PayPal donations, and direct donations by cheque or into my bank account, the grand total raised was an incredible £11,094. In my wildest dreams  Icould not have expected it to go so well and my deepest thanks to everyone who contributed.  It is heartening to know that so many people value my writing and that there is still an appreciative audience for a positive pro-independence message that concentrates on making the case for independence and debunking the arguments of the real enemies of Scottish independence, the Conservatives and their little helpers.  That’s what I will keep doing thanks to you.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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.

You can help to support this blog with a PayPal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button below. If you don’t have a PayPal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.

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