The BBC is the big loser in this election

In this election there have been several candidates in Scotland who were suspended by their parties for allegedly making anti-semitic or racist comments or for allegedly inappropriate behaviour. There have been a number of Conservative candidates, a number of Labour candidates, and an SNP candidate. Guess which one BBC Reporting Scotland decided to headline on Monday and to doorstep? Why yes, it was the SNP one. There was no mention at all that other candidates in other parties have been suspended. Fancy that.

By far the worst of these allegations concerned the Conservative candidate and former MP Ross Thomson who was suspended from the party and his own constituency chair refused to sign his nomination papers after he was accused of a sexual assault – which he strenuously denies – on another MP. Yet from BBC Reporting Scotland this evening, not a word.

Around the same time that Neale Hanvey became the subject of allegations of anti-semitism, the Labour party suspended their candidate in Falkirk, Safia Ali, after it came to light that she had posted allegedly anti-semitic comments on Facebook. If you were waiting for Glenn Campbell to hare about her constituency looking for her, you’d have been disappointed. If you were waiting for Reporting Scotland to even mention that she had been suspended, you’ll still be waiting.

Ali wasn’t the only one. The Labour candidate Kate Ramsden was forced to quit in Aberdeenshire following a row over anti-Semitism. Ramsden was forced to stand down from the Gordon constituency where she had been a contender after the Jewish Chronicle published a blog which she had written which compared Israel to an abused child who went on to become an abusing adult. No mention of that in this evening’s Reporting Scotland hatchet job on the SNP.

Another Scottish Labour candidate, Frances Hoole, was dropped after she shared a meme on Twitter which called for her SNP opponent, Joanna Cherry to be sprayed with bleach and which referred to Joanna as a TERF, which is widely considered to be a term of abuse for women who are gender-critical. Glenn Campbell went to town on that story. Oh no. Silly me, of course he didn’t.

Meanwhile, on Monday of this week the Politics Home website claimed that Labour’s West Dunbartonshire candidate Jean Anne Mitchell had shared an allegedly anti-semitic comment about the BBC’s senior political editor Nick Robinson to a Whatsapp group. The comment was alleged to have claimed that Robinson gave Johnson an easy ride in Friday evening’s leadership debate because Robinson has Jewish heritage. During the indyref, BBC Scotland went to town on independence activists who had the temerity to challenge Robinson’s impartiality – a challenge which was founded in video evidence about Robinson’s behaviour and which in no way referenced his heritage or background. Naturally Glenn Campbell was all over this breaking story about an allegedly anti-semitic verbal attack upon one of the BBC’s most prominent journalists. Oh wait. No. He was off in Fife looking for Neale Hanvey.

The Conservatives have lost as many candidates as Labour. As well as Ross Thomson, the Conservatives have been forced to suspend several other candidates in this election – some of whom were using language which was far more egregious than Neale Hanvey or some of the suspended Labour candidates. Flora Scarabello, the Tory candidate for Glasgow Central was suspended for allegedly using Islamophobic language. Meanwhile the Conservative candidate in Aberdeen North, Ryan Houghton, was suspended for allegedly indulging in the bigotry hat-trick, and making a series of posts to an online forum which were allegedly anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic. Glenn Campbell was hot in pursuit of all three of them. Oh wait. No. They weren’t mentioned on Reporting Scotland at all.

Neale Hanvey isn’t hard to find, yet the report constructed a faux narrative that a man who is out and about in his constituency in the middle of an election campaign is somehow in hiding. Despite the fact that he has been suspended from the party and cut off from all SNP support, and that Nicola Sturgeon has personally called on SNP activists not to campaign for him – which has earned her the oppobrium of many independence supporters – Labour’s Lesley Laird was given airtime to assert unchallenged that Neale Hanvey was still being supported by the SNP. The report left the viewer with the clear impression that the SNP is the only party with a problem in Scotland, and that it was winking and turning a blind eye to allegations of anti-semitism.

I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of what any of these suspended candidates is alleged to have said or written. That’s not the point here. Now we have a different issue, one which clearly illustrates how the broadcast media in Scotland scarcely makes any attempt to fulfil its commitment to neutrality, which tells us exactly what we can expect from BBC Scotland in a future independence referendum.

What we witnessed this evening on Reporting Scotland was a ridiculously biased and one sided report which would have left any fair minded observer with the impression that it was only the SNP which has an issue with candidates who have been alleged to make inappropriate comments. There was not even a token mention at the end of the piece that other candidates in other parties had been suspended for alleged anti-semitism, islamophobia, or homophobia. It appears that BBC Scotland has deliberately and consciously set out to tell the Scottish voting public that it’s only the SNP which has a problem here. That’s indefensible. It’s inexcusable.

This happened on the very day that ITV’s Robert Peston and the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg have been accused of spreading fake news propagated by the Conservatives. It was alleged by unnamed “senior Tories” and the story spread by Peston and Kuenssberg that the Conservative Health Minister Matt Hancock was assaulted by a protester outside the hospital in Leeds where a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia had been left lying on a pile of coats. The story was not true. But as the saying goes, a lie has gone around the world by the time the truth has got its boots on. Now the story isn’t just about how Boris Johnson refused to look at a photo of the child, it’s about how the Conservatives invented a lie about the aftermath and that lie was propagated by a media which is all too willing to give the Conservatives the benefit of the doubt – despite their constant and repeated lies.

Whoever wins this election on Thursday, the big loser is what is left of trust in our public broadcaster. The BBC, and BBC Scotland in particular, is unfit for purpose.


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GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


The lies that will consume the Tories

conlogo

Thanks to voters in the rest of the UK, the Conservatives might win this General Election, but in the long term they’re going to lose. They’re going to destroy themselves as a party, and they’re going to destroy that so-called precious union that they keep banging on about. Within a couple of years of their victory, if not sooner, they will face a backlash of disgust, odium, and contempt from the very people who vote for them on Thursday. If the Conservatives win a majority on Thursday, it will signal the death warrant of the UK.

The Tories are a party who are running on empty. In the rest of the UK they bang on with the single message of getting Brexit done. In Scotland they are monomaniacal in their opposition to another independence referendum. Apart from that, they are content free in this election, yet even those two key promises that they’re making are promises founded upon lies. In this election the Tories are the zombie party. They’re still walking, still moving about, but they’ve long since become brain dead and are starting to rot.

The Conservatives cannot deliver on getting Brexit done. The phrase implies a finality, a promise that if the deliberately tousled liar is returned to Downing Street with a majority, that the UK can put Brexit behind it and return to some semblance of normality. You know, like when the most notable thing that happened in British politics was when David Cameron was accused of shagging a dead pig’s head. But get Brexit done is a lie. It’s a lie because Brexit is not merely the process of leaving the EU, but the end state of being outside of it. Brexit isn’t over on 31 January. It’s only just beginning. It’s a lie because the Tories are telling people to vote for them in order to get a resolution to Brexit, to get Brexit done and dusted, to make it go away and stop it from being the topic which dominates British politics. But that’s not going to happen.

Assuming that there is a Tory majority, the 31st of January merely signals the start of complex negotiations on the final relationship between the UK and the EU. They will dominate the news all next year, there will be the same dramas, the same approaching cliff edge. There will be an even higher risk of no deal, as there will be nothing to restrain Boris Johnson as he seeks to appease the swivel eyed free market Brextremists who now dominate the Conservative party. 2020 will be characterised by Brexit and arguments about Brexit every bit as much as 2019, as 2018, as 2017, as 2016. Brexit will deform UK politics for years to come.

In this election the Conservatives are playing the mirror image of the same linguistic trick that is played by the likes of Scotland in Union when they refer to independence as separatism. It’s like saying that emigrating to another country is all over and done with as soon as you pass through the queue at the airport. Only in the case of Brexit the final destination is a dysentry infested cess pit where you’ll have to pay through the nose for health care and the only job you’ll be able to find is on a zero hours contract, and as you go to your job which offers you no employment rights or protection, you’ll pass foodbanks, young people begging on the streets, and bailiffs on their way to evict tenants from private rented accommodation that they can no longer afford.

The reality of Conservative rule was unwittingly revealed by Boris Johnson when ITV’s Joe Pike showed him a photo of a four year old with suspected pneumonia who was left lying on the floor on a pile of coats in an A&E department in Leeds. Johnson waffled on about getting Brexit done, and – carefully out of camera shot – put the reporter’s phone in his pocket. It was only when he was challenged on camera about putting the reporter’s phone in his pocket that he was forced to confront the issue. And then we just got more waffle, more waugh fnaugh fnaugh waugh, more hums, haws, and getting Brexit done. In this brief episode Boris Johnson managed to demonstrate something that had previously been thought to be impossible. He showed that he was even more robotic and lacking in basic humanity than Theresa May.

If you’re a Conservative in Scotland, you’re voting for the end of the unionism you profess to hold dear. A Boris Johnson majority government will create anger and disgust in Scotland equal or greater to that generated by Margaret Thatcher, and you know how that ended for you. When Margaret Thatcher first came into power, Scotland was pretty much evenly divided on whether it wanted devolution. By the end of her rule devolution was the settled will of the Scottish people. Boris Johnson came to power when Scotland was pretty much evenly divided on whether it wanted independence. His government will transform the desire for independence into the settled will of the Scottish people. Be careful what you wish for, Scottish Tories. Enable Boris Johnson at your peril, because by doing so you are signing the death warrant of traditional Scottish unionism.

Vote Conservative if you don’t care about the truth. Vote Conservative if you are OK with public services being chronically underfunded while the rich get tax cuts. Vote Conservative if you don’t mind stepping over a teenager sleeping rough in a shop doorway. Vote Conservative if you’re fine with disabled people suffering cuts to their already meagre incomes. Vote Conservative if you think it’s a good thing that people have to go hungry and trudge to foodbanks in the cold in order that a charity can give them food for their kids. Vote Conservative if you are happy to see more children living in poverty. Vote Conservative if you have no social conscience. Vote Conservative to enable the cruelty and lack of compassion of the entitled posh boy who lies to you and refuses to be held to account. Vote Conservative if you want to reward a lack of empathy, compassion and humanity. Vote Conservative if you’re a turkey voting for Christmas. Vote Conservative for a lie that will consume you.


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Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Riding a bike on Boris Johnson’s ego

Boris Johnson finally did an interview today. To be fair, although he’s still in hiding from Andrew Neil, he has done other interviews. Why just the other day he appeared alongside Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning for some rigorous questioning about who his favourite contestant was on Dancing on Ice. He took some selfies with them. Who says that he’s not being held to account.

Today the bloated cowardly liar and his artifice of a hairdo appeared on the Sophy Ridge Show on Sky News. It was twenty minutes of fnaugh-fnaughing, lies, talking over the top of a woman, and smirking. When asked what was the worst thing he’d ever done, he didn’t say that it was colluding with his criminal pal Darius Guppy who wanted to have a journalist beaten up. He didn’t say that it was cheating on his wife and fathering an unknown number of children that he refused to take responsibility for while castigating single mothers in a press article. He didn’t say that it was making racist, homophobic, or misogynist comments that would shame anyone who possessed a functioning moral compass. He didn’t say that it was ensuring that the British-Iranian journalist Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe received a longer prison sentence because he couldn’t be arsed to speak with care and forethought in the Commons. He didn’t say that it was lying to the Queen. He didn’t say that it was lying constantly and repeatedly every single day of his miserable fnaugh-fnaughing harrumphing humming and hawing cheating mansplaining privileged and entitled life. Oh no.

He took quite some time to answer. We’re spoiled for choice here. He turned to look for assistance from the policy wonks just off camera. The worst thing that Boris Johnson has ever done is to ride his bicycle on the pavement. Quite possibly he did so as he was on his way to see Theresa May running through a wheatfield. He smirked as he said it. Whenever Boris Johnson smirks, he’s lying. He can’t help himself. He is convinced of his own cleverness. But riding on pavements is wrong, and if some EU migrant does it they will be deported forthwith.

It’s not so much that he thinks that we believe him. It’s just that he doesn’t care. Boris Johnson isn’t just amoral, he’s not merely immoral, he’s transmoral. There’s nothing that Boris Johnson believes sincerely and holds dear as a point of principle, other than an unshakeable conviction that he is beyond the rules of morality and decency that the rest of us should live by.

He sat there with his deliberately tousled hair, lying with every breath that he uttered, promising that he’d dew Brexit, claiming that there would be no checks on goods passing intew Northern Ireland, despite a leaked document prodewced by his own government which says that there will indeed be checks. Those experts eh? What are they like. What do they know anyway.  Boris Johnson is right and everyone else is wrong, including his own civil servants and his own Brexit secretary.

He talked over the top of Sophy Ridge constantly. That’s just how he treats women. That’s just how he treats everyone whom he considered to be beneath him. Which is everyone on the planet. And now I’ve noticed his deeply irritating pronounciation of oo as ew, I can’t unnotice it. It’s been added to the long and ever growing list of things to loathe Boris Johnson for. I fear that is a list which is only going to grow ever longer in the months to come. It’s going to be a much longer list than the list of things we hate about Margaret Thatcher, and that’s a list that fills many tear stained volumes.

How can we trust you, asked Sophy Ridge, how can we believe your promise about extra nurses? Boris Johnson still kept trying to explain how in his universe keeping 19,000 nurses who might otherwise leave the NHS actually counts as extra new nurses. He muttered about seed funding and architects. There was a lot of fnaughing. This is a man who can’t be trusted to complete a coherent sentence. He always comes back to get Brexit done, his favourite lie.

Brexit will not get done if the Tories win a majority. It will continue to dominate British politics for many years to come as there are negotiations about the future relationship of the UK with the EU. And make no mistake, the Conservatives will sell out Scotland’s fishing industry in their pursuit of deals which favour their pals in the City of London.

In his few short months as Prime Minister heading a minority government, Boris Johnson has already trashed what passes for a British constitution. He unlawfully prorogued Parliament, lied to the head of state, and threatened to ignore votes in the Commons. Just imagine the damage that he can cause if he commands a majority. Doing all that we can to ensure that this deceitful creature and his party of liars, chancers, opportunists, zealots, bigots, and extremists are deprived of a majority is a moral imperative. Never have the stakes in a UK General Election been clearer. The Conservatives represent a direct threat to decency, and to democracy itself. In Scotland, they seek to deny that the people of Scotland have a right to provide any party with a mandate for a policy that the Conservatives are opposed to. They seek to deny the right of the people of Scotland to decide the path that Scotland takes.

In Scotland, defeating the Tories means voting SNP in the great majority of seats. In England and Wales that means voting for whoever is best placed to defeat the Conservatives. We are better than the Conservatives. We can do better. We can aspire to a country that isn’t characterised by their narrow lipped bigotry, their destruction of public services, their contempt for anyone who disagrees with them. We can assert that the people of Scotland have the absolute right to decide what sort of country Scotland will be. On Thursday, vote for empowerment. Vote for a voice. Vote for decency. Vote for compassion.


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. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
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If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


 

Tonight’s episode of “We’re talking about you not to you, Scotland”

Here we go again, another exercise in “We’re talking down to you, Scotland” from the BBC election debate. Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson are going head to head, at least that is if Johnson can be bothered to turn up. Expect more of what we’ve seen from Boris Johnson for the past few weeks, a lot of fnaugh fnaughing, not answering questions, deflections, lies, turning everything into an attack on Corbyn, saying oven ready get Brexit done, some more fnaugh fnaughing, and a lot more lies, while he refuses to tell us how many children he’s got.

We can also expect Johnson to make Scottish independence one of the subjects he’s attacking Corbyn on, and there will be no one there to point out that Scottish independence will not be the unmitigated disaster that both of this pair will compete with one another in painting it to be. Neither will there be anyone there to point out that if the people of Scotland vote for a party promising another referendum, then it’s a democratic outrage for that mandate to be ignored. Scotland gets to be a mere onlooker as its own destiny is decided. Within the UK our role is that same as that of Andrew Ridgeley from Wham!, just a bystander in someone else’s limelight. The much professed love and respect for Scotland that the UK parties have is as authentic as Jo Swinson’s accent. There are those who are treating this evening’s performance from the BBC as though it was an audition for their licence fee. Don’t call us, BBC, we’ll call you.

I’m only watching in the hope that the BBC goes with a last minute change of plans and the presenter of the debate Nick Robinson says, “So let’s take our first question from a member of the audience … Mr Andrew Neil, what would you like to ask the Prime Minister?” And then Andrew Neil walks on to interrogate the fnaughing liar with the deliberately tousled hair. That would be worth it just for the look on Johnson’s face. But we’re unlikely to witness any such drama, certainly not from Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn was sold to us as the man who was going to reinvigorate and reanimate British politics. It turned out to be a bit like hooking up on a dating app with someone who promised you a groovy kind of love and then discovering that you’re stuck on a night out with a guy with a fetish for beige corduroy.

So here we go. Boris Johnson has actually been arsed to turn up. The audience in the studio in Kent is supposedly balanced, you know, in that special BBC kind of way that gave us an audience full of posh Tories in Dundee. Jeremy Corbyn’s starts with his opening statement. At least his glasses aren’t squinty, yet. He talks about poverty and the need to rebuild our public services. He says yes, that does mean making those who can bear the burden pay more in taxes. Boris Johnson says get Brexit done. Give yourself a drink if you’re playing Borisbingo. There’s no prize, just penury. And there he goes going on about the “nightmare of another referendum on Europe and one on Scottish independence. You can see why the Tories introduced the bedroom tax. Nicola Sturgeon lives in the heads for free. This guy is terrified of voting. What do you call a politician who doesn’t like it when the electorate gets to vote? Oh yeah, a dictator.

The first question isn’t from Andrew Neil. It’s from a man in the audience who wants to know why previous Tory leaders and statespersons don’t want people to vote for Boris Johnson. Get Brexit done, have a drink. Oven ready. Have another drink. At this rate the entire UK will be steaming drunk within the next five minutes, which may explain why so many people in the UK still want to vote for this liar.

There’s now a question from a leave voter who wants to know if Johnson can guarantee that Brexit will happen next year. Then a remain voter who wants to know if either leader can demonstrate that we’ll be better off because of Brexit. Get Brexit done. Get Brexit done. Oh dear god make him stop. Johnson want to get Brexit done for the cute ickle animals, and the cheap tampons. Is it politically incorrect to say that I am longing to ram something up him? Probably. But I am past the point of caring already. Get Brexit done. OH SHUT UP!

Now Johnson is trying to mislead people about the nature of the leave agreement with the EU, and trying to conflate it with a trade deal. There he goes again with the done thing. It’s his strong and stable from the last Conservative general election campaign, and we saw how that one turned out.

Corbyn talks about how the document which he released today proves that there will be a customs border down the Irish sea, treating Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the UK. There’s a lot of fnaughing from Johnson, who can’t explain why it is that the DUP don’t agree with him. So he tries to smear Corbyn with support for the IRA. Deflection is not an answer. Corbyn points out that it was a Labour government which negotiated the peace agreement which brought about an end to the violence in Northern Ireland.

In other news, Britain’s top Brexit envoy in the US has resigned with a massive tirade against UK political leaders, saying she was fed up “peddling half-truths” and is leaving her post after 33 years in the foreign service. Not even the people paid to sell Brexit believe in it.

Corbyn says that the problem is that 52/48 means a divided country, and there has to be a deal that brings people together. Johnson goes on the attack again, saying that Corbyn can’t get a deal if he doesn’t believe in it. The problem is that no one believes a word that Johnson says.

Question about the NHS now, how to deal with the shortage of nurses and how to ensure that the NHS retains them. Johnson lies about how he loves the NHS. Here come the 50,000 imaginary nurses. Tries to deflect by talking about Labour’s plans for a four day week. Corbyn says it was the Tories and Lib Dems who introduced student fees and axed the nurse bursary. He wants to end university fees, like has happened in Scotland, although he doesn’t say that bit.  The nurses’ bursary was retained in Scotland too, and is going to be increased to £10,000 next year.  He didn’t say that bit either.  He details Johnson’s lies about the number of hospitals that are going to be built. There’s quite a bit of fnaughing and waffle from the tousled one. Waffle waffle, planning, architects, plans, seed funding – forty new hospitals! He announces triumphantly as though he’d explained himself. Still, at least he didn’t say get Brexit done. Be grateful for small mercies. The reality is that it’s just the refurbishing of six hospitals. 6 is not 40. Get Brexit done will not get Brexit done. There he goes again.

Corbyn says that he’ll end privatisation in the NHS. He means the NHS in England but he doesn’t say so, because England is Britain. He warns about the risk of a deal with Trump about the price of medicines. Fnaugh fnaugh. There’s something deeply zen about watching a habitual liar accuse others of lying. But he doesn’t actually dispute that US health corporations want greater access to the NHS. Then he blames the problems on the previous Labour government’s fixation on PFI. We managed to go a whole 25 minutes without Johnson blaming a Labour government that hasn’t been in power for almost a decade. I suppose that counts as improvement. There’s some clapping from the gammonesque seals in the audience. Corbyn points out that it’s a fact that the Conservatives have presided over an NHS that is in crisis. If you think the NHS is bad in Scotland, the English one is far worse. BBC Scotland never tells you that. If you don’t believe what Corbyn has to say about the NHS, take it from a former Conservative Prime Minister. John Major said, “The NHS would be as safe as a pet hamster in the presence of a hungry python if Boris Johnson, Michael Gove & Iain Duncan-Smith rose to power following Brexit.”

There’s a programme on Channel 4 about the attractions of beige corduroy. Just sayin’. Johnson has a very peculiar pronunciation of the vowel oo. It’s more like ew. Which is what a lot of women say to him when he spills red wine on their new sofa and won’t give back their laptops. Now he’s banging on about One Nation Conservatism after he’s kicked all the One Nation Tories out of the party. Nick Robinson is letting him get away with all this. They used to be at university together. Just sayin’ that too.

Taxation now. Johnson hasn’t explained how he’ll pay for all these improved public services that he’s promising while at the same time promising to cut taxes. He says he’s going to get Brexit done. Kill me now.

Corbyn says that the Tories always look after the rich, and do so by penalising the poor. He says that his proposals will raise taxes on the rich and big business, and their proposed new corporation tax will still be lower than it is in France or the UK. Johnson says that Corbyn is saying that people who earn £20,000 a year are amongst the rich. I’m scarcely paying attention at this point, but I know he’s not said any such thing. That’s just not true Boris, or even trew. You can’t win an argument on the economy when your policy includes Brexit, so just throw in some random lies, that’ll sort it.

On to sentencing now. Johnson wants prisoners to serve their full sentences. Corbyn quite sensibly points out that all prisoners who are on fixed term sentences will come out eventually, so you can’t get away without addressing the huge problems of rehabilitation and monitoring. Cutting the number of police officer, and trashing the probation service as the Conservatives have done is what causes these problems with released prisoners. Johnson ignores all that and waffles on about making prisoners serve their full sentences. Yet suppose the London Bridge terrorist did indeed serve his full sentence, without proper rehabilitation, supervision, and monitoring that merely delays a terror attack for a few years. But then by that time it won’t be Boris Johnson’s problem. Just ours. And that in a nutshell is Boris Johnson’s approach to everything.

Still no one has asked him how many children he’s got. Where’s the “impartial” fact check from the Conservative campaign HQ twitter account?

Corbyn denying that he wants to disband MI5. Points out that someone in his constituency was murdered by a terrorist – in this instance a far right extremist who attacked a mosque.

Now they’re being asked what they’d do to get the hate out of politics. That’s going to be a hard one. I hate Boris Johnson. It’s wrong to hate people, and Boris Johnson makes me hate him. Every time he opens his mouth and says get Brexit done, I hate him even more. And then I hate him even more still for making me a bad person. He even manages to squeeze get Brexit done into his answer to this question. God I really hate him now.

We get onto anti-semitism. Corbyn says that he has no tolerance for racism in any form and has always condemned it. He says that he’s never used racist language to describe another human being, unlike Johnson. Johnson wants to get Brexit done says that Corbyn is a failure. Failure, says Corbyn, is when you use racist language to describe other people and other countries. You could talk about the mating habits of Galapagos tortoises and Johnson would bring it back to Brexit.

A woman in the audience wants to know what punishment is appropriate for politicians who lie in election campaigns. Johnson says they should be forced to go down on their knees and whip themselves with a copy of their manifesto. We’re waiting Boris. We’re waiting.

Nick Robinson asks Johnson about the diplomat who has resigned saying that she no longer wants to peddle half truths. Johnson says he doesn’t know who Robinson is referring to. Credit where credit is due, that’s not a half truth. It’s a complete lie.

Are we done yet? 30 seconds for a closing statement. Thank god.

Corbyn says that politics can change things. The future is ours to make together. He mentions the climate emergency, the first time it’s figured this evening. Johnson says we can have tew chaotic referendums and then reels off a load of lies. Oh, and he says get Brexit done, the biggest lie of all. Boris Johnson sounds like a broken recor… no, a lying shit. He sounds like a lying shit.

Who won? No one. Everyone in the UK is a loser in this election.


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. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Wee Ginger Dugcast – 6 November 2019

In this week’s edition of the dugcast, The National’s Stewart Ward and I discuss this week’s visit to the UK by Donald Trump, Andrew Neil’s pointed commentary on Boris Johnson’s refusal to be interviewed, the hugely successful launch of Scottish Gaelic on Duolingo, and some of the embarrassing pitfalls involved in learning another language. (Which does contain a swearry word.) We also chat about the SNP’s poor handling of the anti-semitism allegations in Kirkcaldy and how the time for recriminations is after the election – not before it. We chat too about the campaign in Dumfries and Galloway which is Stewart’s home turf and where I will be speaking at an event tomorrow. I also explain why it’s so important that all independence supporters do their utmost to ensure that we have as many pro-indy MPs as possible by this time next week.

Tomorrow, Saturday 7 December, I will be speaking at an event in Stranraer in support in support of the SNP candidate, Richard Arkless. It’s at the Coronation Day Centre in Whitson Avenue, Stranraer DG9 7AW from 7pm. Everyone is welcome, come along and meet the dug! I will also be launching my new Gaelic map of Galloway – copies will be on sale on the evening.


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. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Blatant plug time

Christmas is approaching, the season of goodwill and rampant commercialism. Don’t say that this blog doesn’t participate to the full. So here’s a blatant plug for stuff that you can buy for your nearest and dearest, stuff that they’ll take one look at and go “Oh … that’s, eh … nice. So you didn’t buy me that designer handbag / drone / iPhone 11 / Lego set of the Death Star that I’d been dropping heavy hints about for months then did you?”  Unfortunately I wasn’t responsible for The National’s production of plushy toy dugs, so sadly you can’t buy one.  They were a one-off for a promotion in the paper.  Rare, highly collectible, and probably appearing on an eBay site near you very soon.

newbookHowever in the spirit of the Santa of capitalism, you could purchase a copy of my latest book. Out just a few short months ago, it’s packed full of Wee Gingery Duggish goodness, wit and repartee, and jokes stolen from 1980s drag acts which were expunged by the sub-editors at The National. OK, I lied about that last bit. But here’s a joke stolen from a 1980s drag act that doesn’t appear in the book – Sex is like a game of bridge. You either need a good partner, or a good hand.

Copies of the book are available for just £11.95, plus £3.50 P&P , a total of just £15.45 for over 350 pages. That’s a mere 4.4p per page, don’t say it’s not value for money. I’ll even sign it for you, and stamp it with a rubber stamp crafted from the actual paw print of the actual dug. I did try to get Ginger to stamp books with his paw using food dye and a lot of doggy treats as bribes, but he got bored after the first two and then traipsed food dye all over my cream rug.

t-shirtOr how about a T-shirt? T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £3.50 for up to three t-shirts.

Each t-shirt bears a cartoon of the dug guarding an independence bone which was designed by Chris Cairns, the creator of Hamish the Lion.  The logo was specially commissioned from Chris for this blog. That’s yer actual art that is.

albarevisedGaelic maps are also available. The Gaelic map of Scotland is A0 in size – measuring 841 by 1,189 millimetres (33.1 in × 46.8 in). The map is at a scale of 1:600,000 and also contains insert detailed maps of the main urban areas in Scotland. Shetland and Orkney are shown in their correct geographical position. The map is entirely in Gaelic, except for the Northern Isles where names are given in Old Norse. The map costs £15 plus £7 P&P.

Some regional maps are also available. These are A1 in size, measuring 594 x 841 mm or 23.4 x 33.1 inches. These maps are to a scale of 1:100,000 or 1 cm to 1 km. The available maps are
Glasgow & Inverclyde
Kintyre Arran & Bute
Fife
Galloway & Carrick
eastendThese maps cost £10 each.  The illustration shows a small detail from the Gaelic map of Glasgow.

Unfortunately the P&P on these is also £7 each as it is determined by the size of the cardboard tube that they are sent in. However if you purchase two maps (either two regional maps, or a regional map plus a map of Scotland) P&P can be combined. (£27 for two regional maps, or £32 for a regional map plus the map of Scotland.)

You can buy any, or all, of these goodies making payment via Paypal. Please make sure that you include a postal address where the items are to be sent to.  If you want a T-shirt, please specify the size.  And if you want a signed copy of a book, please let me know who the book is to be dedicated to.

Paypal payments can be made to the following address weegingerbook@yahoo.com

If you either can’t or don’t want to use Paypal, please email me at the above address for alternative payment methods.  Please note that the postage quoted is for posting within the UK.  Postage to other destinations is more expensive, please ask for details.

I support Nicola Sturgeon

isupport
I support Nicola Sturgeon. I support her because even if I lie in bed at night worried about that lump in my breast, that twinge of pain in my leg, or that constant urge to pee, I don’t have to worry that if there is something wrong and my most serious health issue is not hypochondria and I do need medical treatment, then I will not have to face financial ruin as well as the trauma of illness. I support Nicola Sturgeon because I know that I can rely on her to fight until the last breath in her body for the right of the NHS in Scotland to remain free from privatisation and safe from the rapacious depredations of American health corporations. I support Nicola Sturgeon.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because I know that she will never cease in her efforts to ensure that prescriptions remain free. I support a party that works to make sure that no one in Scotland will ever know the stress of my American relatives, who constantly have to worry whether they can afford their medications. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she will strive ceaselessly to prevent medicine poverty, where people have to choose whether they eat or warm their homes, or whether they buy the medications that they depend upon to remain well or to get better. I support Nicola Sturgeon.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she campaigns to prevent us all losing our European citizenship. That burgundy passport gave me the right to settle and work in Spain, to love and live in another language and another culture, to learn that we are all the same under the skin, to reach out and make connections. It’s thanks to that European citizenship that I have an honorary nephew and niece who won’t speak to me in English because they know that I speak Spanish too. It’s thanks to that European citizenship that I met a couple who became and remain amongst my closest friends, who count as family. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she too sees the value in that.  Porque reconoce el valor de un pasaporte europeo, apoyo a Nicola Sturgeon.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she wants a Scotland that is open to the world. She seeks a Scotland of tolerance, of kindness, a Scotland that welcomes people from Europe and the rest of the world and tells them that they’ve come home. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she campaigns to support our EU citizen friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues.  I support Nicola Sturgeon because she fights against an oppressive Home Office that demonises and criminalises our neighbours, our workmates, our friends, our family, and rips them away from their Scottish home to cart them off to detention centres before deporting them to far off lands. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she stands in solidarity with migrants, with asylum seekers, with the vulnerable. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that the best thing, the only thing, that we should tell someone fleeing war or oppression is “Welcome to Scotland. Welcome home.” I support Nicola Sturgeon because she supports those values which mark the best of us.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she fights for our human and civil rights against an uncaring Conservative government that demonises the poor and blames the sick and disabled for their own poverty. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she shares our disgust and horror at a Westminster that casually tosses our young onto the streets. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that a society can only function as a cohesive whole when it looks after those who are least able to look after themselves, that it treats them with compassion and love. Walk past that young woman begging on the street and remember, there but for the grace of a pay cheque go I. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she knows that if we do not support those who are unable to support themselves, there will be no one to look after us when we suffer the same problems. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she opposes and condemns austerity.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she will fight tooth and nail to defend my human and employment rights. The Tories seek to remove us from the EU in order to trash those rights, to make the UK a paradise for corporations offering zero hours contracts, with no workers’ rights, no holiday or sick pay. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she stands against that and resists it with every fibre of her being.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she opposes the obscenity of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde. She seeks the removal of this horror show which sits a few miles away from the largest city in Scotland. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she has no truck with the nuclear viagra of a faded empire, because she supports a Scotland that walks in peace.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she defends the right of the people of Scotland to have a strong parliament which cannot be diminished or reduced at the whim of Westminster. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she calls out the hypocrisy of anti-independence parties which claim that Scotland is a partner in a union but which treat Scotland as a possession and refuse to allow the people of this land the right to determine their own future. I support Nicola Sturgeon.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she is determined to navigate a path towards independence, a path that builds consensus, a path that builds a majority. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that Scotland will never break free from Westminster unless a majority of the people of this country are in agreement, and that means that they agree to alternative strategies in the event that a Section 30 order is refused. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she knows that Scottish independence will not be won on social media, it will be won in hearts and minds, in conversations between friends, relatives, and colleagues. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she believes in the power of persuasive argument, of passionate debate, and because she is the most articulate and compelling public speaker out of any politician in these islands.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because all paths to an independence referendum must cross the bridge of next week’s General Election, and it is vital to our movement, to the hope of this nation, that the SNP do well in that vote. Because if they don’t, we won’t be hearing from the British press that people in Scotland haven’t voted SNP because of disagreements about self-ID, because of disputes about internal party handling of accusations of anti-semitism, because of arguments on Twitter about the best way to get another referendum. All we will hear is that Scotland doesn’t want another referendum, and the independence cause will be lost. I support Nicola Sturgeon because I want to keep the flame of hope alive. I support Nicola Sturgeon because it’s the only way that we can bring about that better Scotland of our dreams.

I’ll be voting SNP next week. If you want a better Scotland, a Scotland that determines its own path, a Scotland that walks towards compassion and kindness, you will vote SNP too. I support Nicola Sturgeon.


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. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com