Tory fantasy politics in an empty room

David Mundell gave a speech to the Tory party conference, but no one was really paying any attention. Well, I say “gave a speech to the Tory party conference”, but the vast majority of the conference was elsewhere when Fluffy was fluffing. They were off doing more important things like seeing how far they could get their tongues up Jacob Rees Mogg’s backside, or plotting with Boris Johnson about how to overthrow Theresa May, or shopping for red white and blue nail varnish in the nearest branch of Boots. The few who bothered to turn up to listen to Mundell’s inconsequences clustered together in front of the telly cameras in the hope of making it seem that he has as many fans as last year’s boy band. If that is, the fans of last year’s boy band were a bunch of geriatrics with zimmer frames, trying to persuade us that David was the lead singer of Hip Operation. Although not one on the NHS, because thanks to the Tories you’ll have to wait for longer than an average working class life expectancy before you’ll get one.

The truth is that more people have turned out at pro-independence public meetings to meet my dog than could be bothered to listen to Fluffy. Which means that a rescued mongrel dog from Spain has a bigger influence on the Scottish constitutional debate than the Scottish secretary of state. This shouldn’t come as any great surprise to anyone, the person who delivers a double latte machiato to cabinet meetings has a bigger influence on the Scottish constitutional debate. David Mundell isn’t trusted with anything more complex than a used teabag and a pot of lukewarm water. His sole role in Scottish politics is to deliver to Scotland whatever message his superiors tell him to deliver, but since his superiors are incapable of agreeing on whether the sunshine starts the day in the east, the west, or out of Boris Johnson’s backside, all he’s got left is freeform waffle. So he decided to fall back on a trusty favourite, lecturing Nicola Sturgeon on how she’s got to give up her obsession with independence.

Just a couple of days ago, Theresa May told the press that thanks to Ruth Davidson, the issue of Scottish independence had now gone away. This was somewhat contradictory when we consider the contents of Fluffy’s perorations, because if he felt the need to insist that Nicola Sturgeon stop thinking about the constitution, independence, and Scotland’s place in the world then clearly the issue of Scottish independence hasn’t gone away after all. Maybe Theresa just didn’t feel the need to tell the cabinet’s tartan teddy bear that he was now surplus to requirements, which only goes to prove her lack of empathy as she’s clearly surplus to requirements herself.

In any event, it’s not that the Conservatives are dealing with a deck of reality cards. The issue of Scottish independence hasn’t gone away. It’s not going to go away, and all the Tory foot stamping and insistence in the world won’t make it go away. There is no independence movement in the world which achieves the support of about half the population, then says to itself, “Oh well, that’s it all over. Let’s give up and go home,” and resigns itself to the current constitutional settlement forever just because the main party of independence won an election but failed to win it by a sufficiently crushing margin. That would be an election during which the independence party went through the entire campaign insisting that the election wasn’t about independence anyway. As definitions of “gone away” go, this is like closing your eyes when a person you dislike stands in front of you waving a YES placard, and insisting that they’re really halfway around the planet hiking up a mountain in Borneo.

In truth it’s public trust in the Conservative project which has gone away. The party is, in Ruth Davidson’s words, having a bit of a “nervous breakdown” as any semblance of a political consensus in the UK collapses and the Tories cannot agree on how to respond. Just a few months ago the Tories were riding high and were convinced that there was a huge majority in the UK for their version of a hard line Brexit and a return to a red white and blue political nostalgia, taking Britain back into some sort of Downton Abbey. Then they got a rude awakening when Theresa May lost her majority.

These are not political circumstances in which there’s no appetite for Scottish independence. These are political circumstances in which most people who don’t consume politics are either hoping desperately that everything will work out in the end, or are refusing to think about the impending train wreck. Time is however, running out, and when it does run out the independence movement will be there to provide a vision of a way out of the disaster wrought by an arrogant and selfish British establishment.

The Tory party is so adrift from any moorings in reality that a significant section of the party honestly believes that the way to attract back voters who are interested in the socially progressive and anti-austerity messages of Scottish independence or Corbynism is through the hardline Thatcherism and social conservatism that are in store with the ludicrously affected 18th century schtick of Jacob Rees Mogg. Another equally deluded part of the party thinks that the me me me-ism of Boris Johnson is the road to salvation, because in Boris Johnson the party has found the perfect distillation of the selfishness and self-interest that Conservatism stands for.

Today, Tuesday, Boris Johnson gave a speech to the Tory conference in which he waxed lyrical about all the wonderful things that a post-Brexit Britain can achieve for the rich, for global corporations. Meanwhile back in the real world the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution saying that insufficient progress has been made in Brexit talks for the EU to enter into negotiations with the UK about a trade deal. The Parliament supported a motion stating that the UK has seriously impeded talks because of a lack of clear proposals on the part of a British government. MEPs spoke about their frustration and anger that one of the biggest obstacles in the negotiations was due to the fact that the EU didn’t really know who it was negotiating with and their belief that the British government was putting the needs of the Conservative party before the interests of the UK. The Tory party is lost in a fantasy world of its own creation, and its dragging the whole country with it.

Maybe if David Mundell called on his own party leaders to concentrate on the day job instead of their obsession with jockeying for personal position, he might have delivered a speech that would have made slightly more people pay attention. Instead the Conservatives prefer to indulge in their own selfish and petty games, and throw the blame at everyone else for seeking a way out of a disaster that the Tories have created. All the Conservatives have to offer Scotland is some non-entity with no power or influence sounding off about his fantasy life in an empty room. Independence is the politics of the real world.

 


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The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


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The Internationale – Scottish Labour version

A reworking of the Labour anthem the Internationale for all those Scottish Labour people who were acting on social media yesterday as apologists for the brutality of the Spanish state.  Internationalists my arse.

 

The worker’s flag is deepest red,
but this song’s just a figurehead,
Cos when the people fight the state
SLab cheers for what the state dictates.

CHORUS:
Let’s raise the bloodied batons high!
Cheer as the rubber bullets fly.
Catalans may flinch and Scot nats sneer,
Labour backs the police in riot gear.

Barcelona’s bloodied under Spanish might
while the people’s party denies the right
of the people to decide their fate
and Labour hacks cheer Rajoy’s hate.

Conference songs about solidarity
only mask the cruel reality
Scottish Labour will be the friend
of the establishment right to the end

We’re Scottish Labour and what we do
is to keep Scotland’s flag red white and blue.
We may fight like ferrets in a sack
but we’ll keep the Tories on your back.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
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Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special 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.

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The day that Spain died

Can you imagine the outrage and shock if Westminster imported 6000 armed police officers from the rest of the UK in order to prevent the people of Scotland peacefully and democratically exercising their right to determine their own future? Can you imagine those police officers causing hundreds of injuries? That’s exactly what’s going on in Catalonia today. When the response of a state to a demand on the part of some of its citizens for a referendum on self-determination is violence, you’re no longer a democracy.

Today’s the day that Spain died. The concept of Spain as a liberal democracy is dead. This is supposed to be a modern liberal democratic state where the right to freedom of expression and freedom on opinion is sacrosanct. You can’t claim to be a democratic country when police fire rubber bullets at people who are peacefully queueing up to vote. You can’t claim to be a democratic country when your answer to the voicing of an opinion is a cosh over the head. You can’t claim to be a democratic country when the ballot box, the symbolic altar of democracy, is charged at and forcefully removed by armed paramilitaries. You can’t claim to be a democracy when you make voting illegal and voters are dragged kicking and screaming from the polling station, coshed on the head and abandoned bloodied and bleeding in the street.

In Catalonia masked and armed paramilitaries have been marching into ballot stations and forcibly ripping the voting papers from the hands of the people waiting to express a legitimate and peaceful democratic choice. Those are the actions of fascists. Those are the actions of a state that is afraid of its own citizens. Those are the actions of a state which believes that citizens have a duty to listen to the state but the state is under no obligation to listen to the citizens. It is fundamentally anti-democratic to refuse to allow citizens in a modern European country to express their peaceful opinions in the first place.

The Spanish government claims that the Spanish constitution makes an independence referendum in Catalonia illegal, but constitutions are supposed to serve the people, the people aren’t supposed to serve the constitution. The correct response, the democratic response, of a state which claims that its constitution forbids a peaceful independence referendum on a part of its territory is to allow that peaceful vote to go ahead and then to negotiate afterwards, to deal with the political consequences in a mature and calm manner. By refusing to concede that anyone in Catalonia could express their view on the future of Catalonia, Madrid took a problem and converted it into a crisis. Now they’re converting it into a tragedy. The blood of the Catalans is on Rajoy’s hands.

A government which refuses to recognise the right of a national minority to self-determination has no right to call itself democratic. Spain is telling the Catalans that they are a minority and that they will forever remain a minority, that Catalans don’t have the right to determine the future of their own nation. And if the Catalans don’t have the right to express themselves democratically, then neither does anyone else in Spain.

Any state in which a large part of its population wants independence from that state is a disorded state, and dysfunctional state. It’s a state which has problems. Scotland has its independence movement largely because of the failures and shortcomings of the British state. If we were all just thrilled with Westminster rule we wouldn’t be campaigning for a Scottish state, a state in which we can do things better, in which we can remedy the shortcomings of British rule. It’s exactly the same in Catalonia. Catalans want independence because of the shortcomings and problems of the Spanish state. Ignoring those problems won’t make them go away. Violently repressing those who seek to exercise a right to self determination won’t cure what ails Spain. It only makes the situation worse in the longer term. It’s the politics of anger, the politics of desperation, the politics of a state which has nothing to say and nothing to offer. It’s the politics of a state that has only achieved the appearance of democracy, but not its essence.

Mariano Rajoy has signed the suicide note of the Spanish state that existed until today. The Madrid government with its repressive and violent actions has shown that there is no space in Spain for peaceful and democratic dialogue between the state and supporters of Catalan, Basque, or Galician independence. There will be no compromise. There will be no dialogue. There will only be rubber bullets, batons, and a bonfire of ballots. Hundreds of thousands in Spain who were previously undecided on the question of independence will be looking on today’s appalling and unnecessary events and saying that there is no space for them in Spain either. All that happened today was a retrenchment and reinforcement of the independence cause, not just in Catalonia but also in the other Catalan countries, in the Basque lands, in Galicia, in the Canaries. Before they were determined. Now they’re determined and angry. Madrid’s iron fist is choking the democracy out of the Spanish state.

The Spanish state can continue to oppress the Catalans with force and violence, but the desire for Catalan independence is not going to go away. The Catalan independence movement isn’t going to go away. It’s going to continue to challenge Madrid. The great danger now that Madrid has closed down peaceful and democratic avenues of protest is that some will resort to other means. That would be a tragedy for Catalonia, a tragedy for Spain, and a tragedy for all of us.

The world is watching. If we are silent in the face of this injustice we are part of the problem, we are on the side of the oppressors, on the side of the violent ones. There will be more tears, and more pain, but one thing remains – the unstoppable will of the people of Catalonia to express their right to self-determination. They will have their say. Their voices will not be silenced. Independence for Catalonia will come. Because of the violent and oppressive response of the Madrid government Catalan independence is now more certain than ever.

Visca Catalunya lliure.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
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Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special 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.

Many thanks.

Castro on Catalonia

The latest in Phantom Power’s Perspective series. Castro on Catalonia, an exclusive interview with writer Liz Castro on Catalonia’s historic independence referendum. Liz gives her insight into the history and politics behind the vote including Catalonia’s complex relationship with Spain, the rise of the independence movement, campaign strategy, parallels with Scottish self-determination and what happens next. Liz is a writer and publisher living in Barcelona. ‘Many Grains of Sand’ documents the creative and highly effective campaign methods of Catalonia’s independence movement and is available @ http://lizcastro.com/granets_home/ Follow Liz for news and updates @ https://twitter.com/lizcastro

Taking the Jackie Baillie out of Labour

At the very moment that Jeremy Corbyn gave a rousing speech to the Labour party conference in Brighton and said that the party had never been more united, supporters of Richard Leonard, one of the candidates for leadership of the party’s Scottish accounting unit, released a statement to the press entitled “Comment on Jackie Baillie pish”. Only they spelled it “coment”, because the SNP has been in charge of Scottish education for years now and naebdie can spell any more. It’s all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault really.

In consequence, the past couple of days Scotland has witnessed the glorious sight of politicians in the parlie and commentators on the telly trying to mention Jackie Baillie’s role in Labour’s latest bout of self-destructive warfare without mentioning the word pish after a Labour press officer dribbled it all over a press statement to the Telegraph.  Although to be fair this is an organ which has been known to be a conduit of gallons of Jackie Baillie in the past. So it was only reasonable.

The press officer responsible for the email, Stephen Low, a former BBC journalist, was apparently a volunteer in Richard Leonard’s campaign. Perhaps he learned about journalistic pish from Reporting Scotland. According to a report in The National today, Stephen is no longer working on the campaign. He wasn’t available for comment, or even coment. Maybe he was away for a quick Jackie Baillie. And there’s Holyrood this week having a wee conflab about the need for respectful language in politics. Oops. That’s turned out to be a whole bucketful of Jackie Baillie hasn’t it.

The pish which the “coment” had been in response to was a statement made by the lovely Jackie in support of Anas Sarwar, after deputy leader Alex Rowley had been caught on tape expressing support for Richard Leonard, even though as interim leader he’s officially supposed to be neutral in the leadership campaign. But it was worse than that, it was clear that there had been some sort of attempt to get rid of Kezia Dugdale, who had clearly jumped before she was pushed. That’s Labour in Scotland for you. They don’t much like the Tories, even though they’ll do deals with them on the sly. They really really hate the SNP. But they reserve their unadulterated venom for one another.

There was Jezza down in Brighton talking about how Labour was all singing from the same song sheet like one of Gareth Malone’s choirs off the telly, the Red Army one, and at the exact same time the Labour party in Scotland manage to make a sack of angry ferrets seem like a tree full of sloths suffering from an overdose of valium. We already knew that Jeremy has as much a clue about what’s going on in Scotland as Jackie Baillie does about numeracy, but this just lit it all up in big sparkly fairy lights for all the world to see.

The woman herself was pure Jackie Baillied off. Although probably not so much by any embarrassment caused to Jeremy Corbyn. She was one of Kezia’s supporters, and now her favoured candidate Anas hasn’t been having a great campaign, despite – or more likely because of – his entering the contest with the assumption that the leadership ought to be handed to him on a wholesale platter. Ever since, he’s had to firefight one problem after another, from his decision to send his kids to a private school, to his family company not paying the living wage or recognising trade unions, to his having dinner with a businessman accused of VAT fraud whom he praised as Scotland’s Donald Trump like that was a good thing.

Jackie only thought she was helping. “Richard [Leonard] must urgently answer questions about his role in this plot,” she demanded, and went on to accuse Alex Rowley of hypocrisy and betraying Labour members, saying that he needed to clarify if he had played any role in the plot to unseat Kezia Dugdale.

Alex for his part was equally raging and denied that there was any plot. That was just his opponents taking the Jackie Baillie. The only plot I’m involved in is a plot to get rid of the SNP, he insisted. So not to get rid of the Tories then. Nice to know where Labour’s priorities lie.

Don’t you feel terribly sorry for Jackie? I do, in the exact same way that I feel sorry for Paul Nuttall. He got caught talking a load of pish and was called out for it, and now he’s a byword for a Walter Mitty figure who doesn’t know the difference between something he once saw in a comic and real life. Mind you, we all saw Jacob Rees-Mogg as posh boy Cuthbert in the Bash Street Kids comic, so fair’s fair.

Jackie Baillie was previously best known for her liberal interpretation of arithmetic and her firm belief that numeracy is the interpretive dance of politics, and also for her attempts to persuade the people of Scotland that the entire point of hosting weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde was to keep open a medium sized Tesco Express in the Helensburgh area. But now she’s become a byword for micturition and taking the Jackie Baillie out of the Labour party has become one of Scotland’s favourite sports. Now whenever some apologist for British nationalism that thinks they’re not a nationalist at all is spouting off on social media all you need to do is to tell them to stop talking such Jackie Baillie.

All over the country people are telling their significant other, “Gaunnie pause the movie while I take the dug oot fur a quick Jackie Baillie.” Politicians are due to debate the mess and upset experienced by people who live near pubs and nightclubs who are subjected to Jackie Baillied patrons leaving the licenced premises and having a quick Jackie Baillie up their close. “I’m sick fed up of having to clean up that Jackie Baillie ootside ma front door,” said one distressed Dumbarton resident. I had to stop writing this blog article after Jackie Baillieing masel laughing at the self-inflicted disaster of the Labour party in Scotland.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
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Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special 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.

Many thanks.

The avocado toilet suite of politics

Don’t you kind of yearn for the days when it was the SNP that the media told us was a sinister cult? Now we’ve actually got real cult at the heart of British politics, and the sound of silence is deafening. Because when you’ve got people chanting Oooooh Jeremy Corbyn at an anti-Brexit rally, such as we’ve seen at the Labour party conference, what you’ve got is the replacement of reality with a blind and counterfactual faith. When you’re hoping that a man who is opposed to the Single Market, the Customs Union, and freedom of movement is the hero who will keep the country in the Single Market, the Customs Union, and preserve freedom of movement, that’s every bit as cultish as the belief that you can cure a skin condition by lighting a candle and setting fire to a tub of exfoliant before a wee statue of the god of plooks. Which looks suspiciously like Nigel Farage spouting custard, but that’s a different blog post.

Jeremy Corbyn isn’t going to save us from Brexit. That’s like expecting Bargain Hunt to save you from cheaply made afternoon television. In much the same way, with Jeremy people are buying some knocked off beige relic from the 1970s in the hope that it’s going to restore their fortunes. Corbynism is the avocado toilet suite of politics. It seemed so terribly modern and on-trend at the time, but it’s only after you install it that you realise how tacky it is, and how expensive it’s going to be to get rid of.

Corbyn’s Labour is every bit as guilty as the Tories of peddling a backwards looking nostalgia as the balm to Britain’s wounds, they only differ in the decade they offer. The Tories are trying to sell us their vision of the 1910s, or the 1710s in the case of Jacob Rees-Mogg, when the upper classes still ruled unchallenged and the working classes knew their place. Labour are trying to take us back to the statism and centralism of the 1970s, because that worked out so well the first time round. 1970s nostalgia appeals to millennials, because they weren’t around then and don’t appreciate how crap it all was. That’s your choice in British politics these days, a plastic version of Downton Abbey where most of us are stuck downstairs, or a 1970s disco with a glitterball that doesn’t spin and no admittance to anything foreign.

Jeremy Corbyn is promising a slew of policies that seem very attractive. He wants to renationalise the railways. He wants strict controls on rents in order to tackle a bloated housing market that makes it too expensive for young people to own a home of their own. He signalled the death of Blairism and promised an end to austerity. But over it all hovered the unpleasantly coloured toilet suite of Brexit, threatening to flush away all the policies that benefit the poor and the low paid in a sewer of economic catastrophe. For all the fine words, Labour remains as chaotic and confused about Brexit as the Tories. Jeremy wants rid of the Tories – but not just yet, then they can take the blame for the disaster that’s unfolding.

Jeremy desperately wants the Brexit that most of his supporters are desperate to avoid, because then he won’t be constrained by EU rules putting the hems on his socialism. Jeremy is clearly not content with the kind of social democracy to be found in Scandinavia, which begs the question of what exactly is it that he he wants to do that requires the UK to cut itself off from the single market, the customs union, and to put and end to freedom of movement.

There’s little on offer for Scotland from Corbyn’s Labour party, other than carping about how the Scottish Parliament needs to use the powers it’s already got to reduce poverty and inequality and improve the economy. Those would be the powers over macroeconomic levers that Labour refused to allow to be devolved. Labour refused to allow corporation tax, inheritance tax or fuel duty to be devolved. Labour won’t allow the level of personal allowances for income tax or national insurance to be within the remit of Holyrood. Labour refused to consider the devolution of broadcasting. Labour stuck in its heels and insisted that immigration must remain reserved. Labour tied the hands of the Scottish Parliament behind its back, and now they’re complaining that it’s not punching the Tories. And what extra powers does Jeremy Corbyn want to see being delivered to the Scottish Parliament? Absolutely none at all. He’s as centralist as Thatcher.

Meanwhile Kezia Dugdale, who like Robbie Williams is far more interesting and unpredictable as a solo artiste than she was when she was in the band, has come over all Lib Dem and is calling for a second referendum on the EU. It was only six months ago that Kezia was insisting that the public were fed up with voting in divisive referendums, but now she no longer has to give a toss what Anas Sarwar or Neil Findlay say she’s suddenly realised that people aren’t as fed up as she thought. It’s just that they were fed up with Anas and Neil, but then that’s nothing new.

The branch office in Scotland remains as divided and dysfunctional as ever. It now appears that Kezia jumped before she was pushed. There are reports that there was a plot to oust her. Alex Rowley, the deputy leader, was also caught on tape stating his preference for Richard Leonard over Anas Sarwar, when as interim leader of the accountancy unit he’s supposed to be neutral. Labour in Scotland spend far more time and energy fighting with one another. They hate each other even more than the hate the SNP. Protecting Scotland from the consequences of Tory policies scarcely gets a look in. The future that British politics has in store for Scotland is becoming clear. We’ll be out of Europe, out of power, out of money, out of work, out of favour, and out of our minds.

 


 

weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
Donate Button

Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special 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.

Many thanks.

Having their Corbyn cake and eating it

It’s getting insane now. Even those of us who specialise in hyperbole are running out of hyperbolic adjectives and similes to describe just how divorced from the real world British politics and the British state have become.

I’ve given up watching the Labour party conference. It seemed to be being beamed to us directly from an alternate universe in which Labour won the general election and Jeremy Corbyn single-handed cured cancer. It’s a world in which delegates are gushing over the transformative powers of a socialism that Labour has rediscovered after years of treating it like an embarrassing old relative who had been packed off to a retirement home and never visited, but they’re studiously avoiding the fact that the retirement home is about to be bulldozed. It’s a world in which Jeremy Corbyn is treated with the reverence usually reserved for the other JC, but everyone denies it’s a personality cult.

In the collective deranged mind of the Labour party, the fact that people wear T-shirts with his image, chant his name, and praise him constantly, but it’s not a personality cult must be one of the miracles that Jeremy is responsible for with his superhuman powers. But then they’re also not nationalists, despite being in favour of the maintenance of the British state, vehemently opposed to another Scottish referendum, and Jezza supporting the hardest of Brexits, all of which are quintissentially British nationalist projects. That must be another of those miracles.

All the Labour new-found socialism in the world is going to do bugger all to help the poor, the marginalised, the weak, the oppressed, and the struggling worker after the Tories achieve their dream of a hard Brexit and a bonfire of social protection. Sure, it’s great to talk about all the fantastic new swings, chutes, and roundabouts that we can have in our public playground, but it’s bugger all use planning them when the priority is to resist the Tories who’re hell bent on selling off the playground to a global corporation and then charging us for walking by it. The priority needs to be to resist the Tory Brexit, but Labour doesn’t want to talk about that, because Saint Jeremy believes in a hard Brexit as much as Liam Fox and David Davis do. But the membership believes that at the last minute Saint Jeremy will perform a miracle, and save us all.

The party marches on to the precipice, waving the red banners that they’ve rescued from the attic and chanting Jeremy’s name. It’s every bit as much the politics of nostalgia as the Tory determination to take us back to the Empire loyalism of the 1950s.

What’s so upsetting about the Labour party conference is that it’s a microcosm of the country as a whole. The UK is in a collective state of denial, one which is fully shared by Scotland’s No voters. We don’t want another referendum, they say, because that means that they’ll have to face up to reality. The reality is that Scotland was lied to by the British state, it was taken advantage of, and its people were taken for granted and taken for fools. No one likes to admit that they were conned. We were conned by Better Together and all its fine promises of a Scotland that was an equal partner in a family of nations. We were conned by Brexiteers who promised a bright future outside the EU. And now the reality is dawning, a reality of a Scotland in which the devolution settlement is trashed, and an isolationist and xenophobic Britain in which big business runs riot and tramples democratic and human rights.

It’s only natural that people don’t want to think about it. It’s not happened yet for all that it’s coming down the line. We’re like tenants who are facing eviction from our home and who ignore the brown window envelopes that pile up behind the door warning of financial ruin. It hasn’t happened yet, and if it hasn’t happened yet then it might not happen at all. Don’t mention it. Don’t talk about it. Go away and leave us to our dreams of Corbynism or a glorious Tory Brexit in which everything comes right in the end. It’s more comforting to blame those who try and stop destructive behaviour than it is to blame the destructive behaviour itself.

Back in the real world, we’re facing the biggest threat to our civil liberties and employment rights in decades. It’s not just that the Tories are using Brexit as an excuse to trash the devolution settlement, that would be bad enough, but they’re also using it to neuter the power of the House of Commons to hold the government of the day to account. The priority for any party which seeks to further the interests of the have-nots, or the 99%, or ordinary working people, instead of the rich, the bosses, and the banks, must be to resist the Tory march toward Brexit, to find common cause with the Lib Dems, the SNP, and Plaid and Tory remainers and prevent the country being held hostage by the wild-eyed fantasies of ideological Brexiteers. But Labour won’t do that, because its leaders are also wild-eyed fantasists and ideological Brexiteers.

It’s frankly ludicrous that a party which claims to be building a mass movement, which says that its goal is to empower ordinary people, refuses those ordinary members a say on shaping the party’s policy on the biggest question facing the country. It’s the politics of denial. The hundreds of thousands of young people and remain supports who voted Labour in the General Election because they thought that the party might save us from the Brexit cliff are in for a big disappointment. Fudging the issue got the party through the General Election. It’s not going to get Labour through this parliamentary session. The tragedy is that the Conservatives have never been weaker or more divided, but Labour can’t or won’t press its advantage because it too wants to have its cake and eat it. It’s the inability of both the major British parties to face up to the realities of Brexit which will lead to the undoing and unravelling of the entire British state.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


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