Theresa’s secret plan to save the Union

The dug has managed to find a top secret copy of Theresa May’s contingency plans for a second independence referendum, which were being used to line the kitty litter tray of the Downing Street cat. The plan details the strategy that Better Together Mark II is going to use to ensure the continuation of this glorious family of equal partner nations in which Scotland gets to do as it’s told.

Scotland is far too small. It’s terribly tiny. You only need to look at the BBC weather map to see that. Scotland is in fact so small that it is dwarfed by Iain Duncan Smith’s heart, and the size of Iain’s heart is a standard unit of measurement for sub-atomic particles. That’s how small Scotland is. It’s too small to negotiate membership of the European Union because it would get lost down the back of a Brussels sofa along with a chip that’s plastered in mayonnaise. Scotland is so small that you Jockish types should consider yourselves lucky that us busy and important people in Westminster can notice you long enough to tell you how small you are.

Now of course, you might tell yourselves that there are other countries smaller than Scotland which seem to manage perfectly happily as independent countries. Just in the EU alone there’s Malta, which is only the size of Arran but which has got far more influence in Brexit negotiations than Scotland does. There’s Estonia, with its population smaller than that of greater Glasgow, but with voddie instead of Buckfast. There’s Denmark, with its terribly fashionable hygge and being all smug and Scandinavian noirish. But what all these countries have in common is that they’re not Scottish. It’s being Scottish that’s your problem you see. Being Scottish automatically disqualifies you from being a normal country, because we’ve done our utmost over the centuries to ensure that you’re disqualified from being a normal country. You should thank us really.

Anyway, you won’t be in the European Union. We won’t let you. The fact that it’s got nothing to do with us isn’t relevant. We’re British and you’re just Scots. Everyone does what we tell them because we’ve got David Beckham and JK Rowling. You’ve only got that woman off Rab C because there are no famous Scottish people. When they become famous they’re British. Except when they lose a tennis match.

Besides, that Rab C show needs subtitles in Gillingham, never mind Genoa. There’s your problem right there, even if you could get into negotiations with the EU, they won’t understand a word you’re saying. Because you’re Scottish. You’ll be there shouting “Eleven!” at the top of your voices and nothing will happen. That’s one of the many reasons you need us. You lot don’t even speak English but Boris Johnson speaks French as well you know, because he’s watched loads of episodes of ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Then there’s Spain. The Spanish hate you. All of them. They really do. They hate you because you give the Catalans and the Basques ideas even though you’re terribly small and insignificant and no one notices that you exist, except when they’re hating you. The Spanish hate you even more than they hate people who protest about bull fighting. They hate you loads more than all those drunken expats who vomit all over the promenade in Benidorm but who aren’t migrants because they’ve got a St George’s flag tattoo. They don’t hate them because they’re British. They care far more about Scotland than anything else, even Gibraltar. But then that’s reasonable as it’s difficult to care much about Gibraltar because it’s sort of a cross between Magaluf and Morecambe. What it boils down to is that if Scotland gets independence then Spain will be in the embarrassing situation of having to explain how a Scotland that’s achieved independence legally and constitutionally has got nothing to do with a Spanish constitution that forbids independence referendums. Imagine how mortifying it will be for the Spanish government to explain to its people that Scotland is not in fact a part of Spain and Spanish laws don’t apply there. You can appreciate their difficulty.

They also hate you because they love eating fish and you’ve got it all the marine resources. So they’re jealous. You need us to make deals for you to sell your fish. Of course you’ll get filleted in the process, but that’s fish for you. You can’t do it yourselves because you’re too small. See above.

But despite Scotland being so teeny tiny, it’s got a national deficit larger than Donald Trump’s empathy deficit. Sad! Your deficit is bigly! Your deficit is larger than Donald thinks his hands are. That’s really big. Bigger even than Theresa May’s estimation of how much the European Union is going to pay heed to her demands in Brexit negotiations. You might think that Scotland being an economic basket case after 300 years of Union isn’t a good argument for continuing Westminster management, but you’d be wrong. You can’t manage for yourselves because you’re Scottish. You need to send us all your skilled people, your resources and your capital so that we can invest it sensibly in things that really benefit the people of Scotland. Like a high speed railway from London to Birmingham, London infrastructure, and those Trident missiles that are a vital ego massage for auld imperialists who can’t accept that the Empire is over. And then we reward you with a mountain of interest repayments on our debt so we can tell you how big your deficit is. But you do get a half hour of Jackie Bird and some murrdurrs, fitba and cute kittens that prove how bad the SNP are, after the proper news where we are but you aren’t, so it’s not like your needs are not being attended to. You should be grateful.

All your pensioners are going to die cold and lonely without a pension. The morning after a Yes vote the pounds in your pocket will instantly turn into dust. They’ll be worth even less than the pound will be worth after Brexit, and you won’t be able to have a currency of your own because you’re Scottish. Where are you going to get the capital you need to back up a currency eh? Well OK, you’re due a share in the UK’s assets, but we don’t plan on mentioning that bit when we phone up people over 65 and tell them that they’re going to be left outside the hospital and suffer because the Tories have blagged all the incontinence pads for use for when the Brexshit hits the fan.

You can’t trade with anyone. All your trade is with us, except for sending a couple of packets of Tunnocks teacakes to your auntie in New Zealand. And teacakes are British anyway. After Brexit happens the rest of the UK won’t want to trade with an independent Scotland even though we’re so desperate for trade deals that we’ve got our tongues firmly lodged up the backside of Donald Trump and will agree to flood the country with chicken meat that’s had a chlorine bath and will open up the NHS to US health corporations. So you’ll be screwed. Admittedly not as much as the rest of the UK is going to be screwed in trade negotiations with the EU, the USA, China and the rest of the world, but we’re only interested in telling you about your difficulties here. We’re British so we won’t have any.  We’ll always have Strictly, and you’ll have nothing but reruns of River City.

We won’t be making any vows this time because we all know what happened the last time and the evil nationalist Scots will just laugh at us. You need to remember that nationalism is vile. Nationalism is what you get when you’re foreign, and we all know that being foreign is bad. Bigly bad. Nationalism is the same thing as nazis, and painting the Gaelic for Police Scotland on the side of a helicopter is exactly the same as a Hutu radio broadcaster inciting people to take machetes to their neighbours during the Rwandan genocide. That’s true, because nationalism is bad, and borders are bad. Except British borders of course. They’re taking back control, which is a good thing when it’s done by anyone who isn’t Scottish. And besides, British nationalism isn’t nationalism at all, because it’s not just about the government of England, it’s also about the government of England telling Scotland what to do.

So that’s our plan. It’s going to be plastered all over the BBC and the pages of Unionist newspapers from now until the referendum. It’s much the same as our plan the last time, only this time we’re going to cut out the Labour party middlepersons and do it ourselves, because we’re Conservatives and our plans are always well thought through. Just look at Brexit.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-8th-feb-2017

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Or click HERE

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

The Union is a lie

Are you feeling the lurve Scottish people? Are you feeling wanted and respected as an equal partner in this most perfect family of nations? Are you feeling that your voice is being heard and the views of Scotland are being taken into account by the mother of parliaments? No. Me neither.

I watched parts of what was supposedly a debate in the House of Commons, only to switch off in disgust at the arrogance and contempt which met the views of all the representatives of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some Unionists like to claim that it’s not Scotland which is held in contempt, it’s just the SNP, and that’s perfectly fine with them. But last night in the Commons it wasn’t just SNP MPs whose views were dismissed out of hand. What we saw last night were the representatives of Tory England laying down the law to the representatives of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Michael Gove got up to speak, and put on a stronger Scottish accent in an attempt to sound hard. This failed miserably, because he’s Michael Gove. There are innovative jam trifles which are harder than Michael, and they’re certainly a whole lot more palatable too. It was the most Scottish thing about the entire sorry exercise that has become for Scotland a humiliating travesty of democratic representation. Just two MPs representing Scottish seats were called to speak, just one from Wales and one from Northern Ireland. All were cut short and in total the non-English parts of this supposed union of nations got just five minutes of speaking time in a debate which went on for most of the evening. English Tories got to speak. Brexit supporting Labour MPs from English seats got to speak. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland got the equivalent of a footnote in a Russian novel, one of those tragedies where the leading character inadvertently kills off the love of his life because he didn’t realise and didn’t care that his arrogance and selfishness were driving her to despair. Until it was too late.

It’s too late now. Watching the farce of Westminster makes you wonder what the point is of Scotland sending MPs to Westminster. They can easily be outvoted, even on topics which directly affect Scotland, by non-Scottish MPs. Those would be the same non-Scottish MPs who won’t allow Scotland’s MPs to have a vote when it comes to issues that they deem to be non-Scottish. All that Scotland’s MPs do is to lend legitimacy to a system which ignores and traduces our country, they are a fig leaf of representation covering the dickish behaviour of pricks with no respect.

You can have a Union, or you can have a unitary incorporating state. Westminster’s denizens, both Tories and Labour, have made it very clear that they expect the latter. A Union demands that the parts of that Union have a clearly defined constitutional role, that they really are equal partners in fact and in law and not just in rhetoric. That’s not what we’ve got. What we’ve got is a state in which it makes no difference what Scotland, or Wales or Northern Ireland, wants, we get what the largest part of the supposed Union decides that it wants. There is no negotiation, there is certainly no compromise.

The British state as it is currently constituted is a creature of English nationalism, pure and simple. And that means that there is no Union. There is only the agency of English nationalism which uses Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as colourful window dressing to disguise its true nature from itself and from its supporters in the non-English parts of the UK. That means that those amongst us who declare that they are proud Unionists believe in a comforting delusion that exists to deceive us all.

If you believe in the Union, you believe in a lie. You believe in something that the British state will never allow to exist. If there was a real Union, then Scotland would have a constitutional right to be consulted. If there was a real Union, it is incompatible with the English nationalist fetish of the absolute sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament. If there was a real Union then Tory MPs who know nothing about Scotland and who care even less would not be able to impose the most reckless, xenophobic, hard right Brexit on a Scotland which has voted for something else. A Union implies equality and respect, what we’ve got right now is the subordination of Scotland to a nasty and inward looking right wing English nationalism.

This isn’t about Scotland versus England. England has a long and proud tradition of radicalism and progressive politics. But the point is that at this juncture in history England has fallen in thrall to the other side of its political coin, the insular side, the island side, the side that sees itself as exceptional and special and with a god-given right to rule. Within this so-called union there’s nothing that Scotland can do to protect itself from it, and there is no point or gain in Scotland sacrificing itself on the altar of Tory xenophobia in solidarity with the English left. Real solidarity gives hope, and the best way we can give hope to the English left is by building an alternative in a sovereign Scotland.

So the question is where do we go from here? If we send representatives to a parliament in which they are arrogantly dismissed, in which they are second class, and in which they are a permanent minority who will always be out-voted and bayed down when the interests of English nationalism are at stake, we need to ask ourselves what is the point of them being there. Do they serve any purpose other than legitimising the rule of a parliament which has not the slightest interest in taking Scotland’s views into account, and in maintaining the fiction of a Union that’s not a union.

Today in Bella Caledonia Mike Small argues that the time has come for Scotland’s MPs to withdraw from Westminster and set themselves up as a Constituent Assembly. I’m not sure the time for that is just yet, but he’s right that it’s drawing close. The time to withdraw from Westminster is when the second independence referendum has been called. We need them there right now to highlight the hypocrisy of a British establishment that’s hell-bent on depriving Scotland of a voice.  Once the referendum is under way then Scotland’s MPs could withdraw from Westminster to form an alternative body which can hear from all interests and groups in the country and begin the process of creating a Scottish constitution, a constitution that’s fit for the 21st century, that’s fit for the democracy that right now we don’t currently have.

A second referendum is coming soon, and yesterday’s antics from the English nationalists who call themselves unionists have only made it sooner. The Union is founded on deceit. That political reality is what will bring about the restoration of Scottish sovereignty. Scottish independence will come about because of the actions of so-called Unionists, not Scottish nationalists. It will come about because the Union is a lie.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-7th-feb-2017

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Or click HERE

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

The real victims

Quite a few things have happened in the couple of days I was away in the belly of the beast. Stephen Daisley has come back to troll again, this time from the pages of his natural home in the Daily Mail after having been cruelly silenced by the evil SNP and the supine STV for acting like an arse on Twitter when he’s supposed to be representing a Scottish broadcaster. The poor thing is so censored and oppressed that he has to address the nation from a column in a right wing fakesnewspaper and can only rely on the support of the British establishment. He fancies himself as a sort of Nelson Mandela of Unionism, but really he’s more of a 140 character Katie Hopkins.

He wasn’t sacked by STV, just told to behave himself. When you use the Twitter account of a broadcaster to urge people to follow notorious trolls you grant those trolls legitimacy and create the impression that the broadcaster shares your views. Having been slapped down for behaviour that any employer would have slapped down any employee for, Daisley has turned into the Joan of Arc of Unionism, sacrificed on the fires of intolerant cybernattery.

Stephen Daisley is what you get when the powerful attempt to steal the mantle of victimhood. You get a man whose political views are so far to the right that Attila the Hun would consider him a bit extreme, and who has used his platform to foster the myth that a country which doesn’t have control over its own broadcast media, and which has but one single daily newspaper and one Sunday which support independence, is a one party state in thrall to an intolerant xenophobic nationalism where all contrary views are crushed. Scotland is indeed in thrall to an intolerant xenophobic nationalism that refuses to listen. It’s just not the one that Daisley thinks it is.

Naturally the Thatcherite tweetist has also got the full support of all those progressive and social democratic types who put their Unionism before their progressive social democracy. Scottish Unionism, just like the alt-right, specialises in casting supporters of the status quo, supporters of the powerful and well-connected, supporters of the state, as victims. You can be an apologist for rapacious landlords, tax-evading companies, and a political system that virtually consigns democracy into the bin for the entire nation of Scotland, and you can still feel like you’re a put upon wee sowel who’s being bullied by those nasty people who are speaking up for the disenfranchised.

It’s possibly the first time in history that people have spoken up for the right not to be heard, and Daisley is their poster boy. I’m all for freedom of speech, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over a man who spends his online time as a fully paid up member of the bag of spanners and propagating the blatant lie that the independence movement is motivated by anti-English racism.

I know Stephen Daisley’s type. We went to the same school in Coatbridge, albeit I was there 20 years before him so our paths didn’t cross, but we are both gay men from a working class background brought up in a deeply homophobic and intolerant environment. I experienced what he experienced, only a generation earlier when it was even worse. We were told that we couldn’t really be Scottish, being from a Catholic background and gay as well. I met a lot of scarred gay Scots like that when I lived in London, men who had been so battered and bruised by an upbringing of rejection that all empathy had been crushed out of their souls. Daisley’s made over-compensation into a career. He’s still fighting his demons, and wants the rest of us to pay the price, but since he can’t punish those who really slighted and rejected him, he’ll find imaginary slights to castigate instead. The Scottishness that rejected him must be evil and must be discredited, because he felt rejected by it. Some people wear their psychology on their sleeves, Stephen Daisley plasters his all over the pages of the Daily Mail. I’ll be honest, I feel sorry for him. I don’t think he’s happy in his own skin.

Meanwhile, in other news, the real intolerant nationalism, the British one that Daisley is blind to, continues to exert its malign influence on Scotland. Theresa May has clearly ruled out any chance of Scotland having a measure of control over immigration, at least in so far as Theresa May is ever clear about anything other than a tautology. She’s ruled out any special deal for Scotland within a post-Brexit Britain, letting us know that in the British hierarchy of vested interests Scotland comes far behind Japanese car manufacturers and a very long way indeed behind the City of London. Shut up Scotland means shut up Scotland. The views of a small minority of Scottish voters are being imposed on the majority, yet those who are doing the imposing and those who speak for them are being oppressed when the rest of us point out the injustice.

Having completed the Conservative party’s transformation into Ukip, control of immigration is going to remain very firmly with Westminster, despite the noises that the Leave campaign was making during the EU referendum that Scotland could be granted a measure of control over how many come to live here. With our ageing population, and a young population which is continually drawn off to London because that’s the part of the UK where successive British governments have concentrated investment and growth, Scotland needs immigration. But instead our migration policy will be determined by the political needs of a Tory party that has to placate racists and people who defend the powerful but who want us to believe that they are victims.

If this is what they mean by Scotland being an equal partner in this family of nations then the gods alone know what not being an equal partner would mean. Probably it means having Stephen Daisley and a legion of Conservative apologists lecture us about how oppressed Scottish Unionists are and how they’re the real victims here. Oh wait.

The real victims are not the Tories crying victimhood, they are the hundreds of thousands of people across Scotland whose livelihoods and futures are being held hostage to the arrogance and contempt of British nationalists whose nationalism is so extreme that they don’t even recognise that they’re nationalists at all. In a country with more Conservative columnists than Conservative MPs, a country with many more Unionist publications than independence supporting ones, it’s the Conservatives who are the ones complaining that they’re not being heard. Despite their protests, it’s not that they are deprived of platforms, they’re just upset that Scotland is no longer inclined to listen to them.

Audio version of this article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-6th-feb-2017

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Or click HERE

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

Killing the things that you love the most

Over the past few weeks and months Scotland has received a message from our Conservative masters, most often delivered to us by Fluffy Mundell, that malignant tartanesque gonk who glories in the title of Uncle Tam the governor general for telling the jocks to put up and shut up. This week it was delivered by Michael Fallon, the Minister of State for selling missiles to Saudi Arabia to use to bomb buggery out of Yemeni weans, who told us that we could “forget it” if we wanted another independence referendum. That would be the Michael who is so clued in about Scottish politics that he thinks that the Scottish Tory tank commander is called Ruth Harrison. He thinks that the Tory leader in Scotland is the bastard offspring of a Beatle and a buffalo. My sweet lord, what a muppet.

Still we should be grateful. The single most reliable way to ensure that a Scottish person does something is for an entitled Tory gobshite to tell us that they’re not going to allow it. That only gets one response from your average Scot, and that response is, “That will be right.” If the Tories attempt to block an independence referendum after Holyrood has voted to hold one, a yes vote is pretty much a nailed on certainty.

Michael’s intervention is just the latest in a long list of slap downs from a bunch of arrogant eejits who are convinced that the world is waiting to roll over and give Brexit Britain everything it demands. It doesn’t usually matter which interchangeable Tory nawbag says it, the message is always the same. And that message is, we’ll tell you what you can have. We’ll tell you when you can get out and for how long. We’ll tell you how far you can go. We’ll tell you where you can go to. We’ll tell you who you can speak to. This is a Union of equals where you’re a respected partner, and that means you’ll do as you’re told equally alongside the poor and the disabled and everyone else that we reign over. That’s what you voted for. It’s only Scottish separatists who need to respect the result of the 2014 referendum, we Tories don’t need to respect anything because we won it and we certainly don’t need to respect Scotland. It doesn’t matter that we lied. We won. Only the losers need to be held to account. You voted to give us the liberty to lie to you and to treat you like children. You voted to deliver your self-respect to us to do with as we please. That’s the Conservative respect agenda. Scotland, get back in your box and shut it behind you.

I don’t know about you, but I am heartily sick to the back teeth of being told to respect the result of the 2014 referendum by a bunch of deceitful and self-serving fools who are as likely to respect the promises and commitments that they made in order to win that referendum as Murdo Fraser is likely to get through an evening on Twitter without making a bit of an arse of himself. And there was me thinking that independence supporters were already respecting the result of the 2014 referendum by virtue of the fact that we’ve refrained from attempting UDI. That’s all the respect that the Tories and their Labour and Lib Dem enablers are entitled to.

They keep telling us that we’ve passed peak-SNP and Sturgeon’s honeymoon is coming to an end. She doesn’t really want a referendum. She knows that she’d lose it. She knows that no one wants a referendum. She knows that Westminster would never allow it. She knows that the EU doesn’t want Scotland, that Spain would veto it. It’s quite amazing how all these Unionists are privy to the thoughts of Nicola Sturgeon.

But if they are so confident, then why are they so afraid? If they are so certain that a second referendum is a lost cause for supporters of independence, that a Scotland that rejects Westminster would be roundly rejected by the rest of the world, that Spain will veto our membership of the EU, that there’s no chance of the people of Scotland supporting the idea, then why do they reek of fear and hysteria? Why the panic? Because if they really were as confident as they claim then they’d be the ones insisting that a referendum was held as quickly as possible, then they could win it and they really would finish off the independence movement for a generation or two.

The reason for the panicked behaviour, the ramping up of the scare stories and the threats, is because they know their game is a bogey. The Union is finished, and it hasn’t been finished off by Scottish nationalism, it’s been finished off by a recalcitrant and triumphalist Unionism that forgot it was supposed to be supporting a union and instead demanded submission and obedience.

The broad shoulders of the UK don’t support a head with a functioning brain. Seven months after Brexit and it gives us a white paper that’s a tissue thin wish list that is based on the assumption that everyone will give the UK everything it wants, and if they don’t it will stamp its foot and sulk and sulk and sulk. The Unionists are panicking because this is the prospectus that’s supposed to keep Scotland happy in the UK and it contains nothing of any substance. There’s more intellectual rigour in Murdo’s tweets than in Theresa May’s white paper. It is to an economic plan as an exercise in BBC royalist sycophancy is to a hard hitting documentary, and equally blinded by Great British red white and blueness.

The diddy-United Kingdom is a ship of fools that’s destroying itself in greed and xenophobia, sacrificing its future so that its citizens can look forward to low wages, no employment rights, and a cut-rate sub-American health care system. But at least they’ll have high streets without so many shops selling pierogi. Apparently that’s taking back control.

They can have their Brexit, as hard as they please. But they will destroy their Union in order to get it. The United Kingdom will be killed by those who say that they love it the most. Their hubris, arrogance, and lack of humility is Scotland’s opportunity. We won’t let that chance slip from our grasp. There’s going to be another independence referendum whatever Michael Fallon says. And Scotland will rejoin the family of independent nations.

There won’t be any blog posts for a few days as I am off to visit family in London.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-2nd-feb-2017

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Or click HERE

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

What Ruth Davidson really fears

You may have noticed that Scotland had an independence referendum a couple of years ago, one which the Unionist parties won on the basis of making certain promises to the Scottish people, promises which they had no intention of keeping. Despite the fact it ended in disappointment and Westminster deceit, the independence campaign was the greatest flourishing of participative democracy that Scotland has ever seen. 2014 was the summer when Scotland woke up and began to speak to itself and to the world. If democracy is a flower, 2014 in Scotland was a meadow carpeted in many colours.

People, ordinary punters, people like me, who had no previous involvement in politics got up off our arses and too part in a popular debate about what sort of country we want Scotland to be, a debate about who has the right to decide what sort of country Scotland should be. Should it be the people of Scotland and a government that they elect and which is responsible to them and to them alone, or should it be a government in Westminster which doesn’t enjoy the support of anything close to a majority of the people of Scotland? A government which is taking Scotland down a path to a right wing dystopia which only a tiny minority in Scotland want.

Local groups sprang up like flowers in the desert when the rains come after a long drought. Scotland is littered with communities which have been battered into submission by the inequalities and demoralisation of the Thatcher years and the betrayal of Blair, communities where kids learn young that dreams can only be found in drugs. But for the first time in my life, I saw people in communities like my own learn how to hope, learn how to dream real life dreams, learn how aspiration is something that they have a right to as well. They learned that their voices counted, that their views mattered, that their vote would make a difference. We learned that passivity is the route to impoverishment, and silence leads to submission. So we spoke out, and all across Scotland there was a chorus of conversation about the future of this country. Many small voices together make a loud sound. And it was a beautiful thing.

Scotland had a national conversation about its future, a national discussion about independence, a discussion which in many other countries is conducted with bullets and bombs and grieving mothers and bodies lying in the street, and the only casaulty of this debate, the only injury imposed by the independence movement, was Jim Murphy’s shirt. That is an enormous testament to the maturity of Scottish democracy and the people of this country. It is something about which we should rightly be proud. Scotland sets an example to the world about how to conduct a national debate on independence. In Catalonia, across Europe, all over the world, they point to Scotland as an example of how this kind of debate should be handled.

The violence that did occur came from the reactionary forces at the fag end of Unionism. The physical wounds that were inflicted were inflicted by fascists with Union flags. It would be wrong to characterise all of those who support the continuance of the Union with the hate filled spittle flecked baboons who ran rampage in George Square, beating up anyone suspected of separatism. And the mainstream Unionist parties would be the very first to take umbrage if an independence supporter attempted to link them to that violence and hatred, a violence and hatred that was very real and very bloody and which waved a Union jack and screamed God Save the Queen. Yet those same Unionist parties want to characterise the entire independence movement by the broken egg splattered on Jim Murphy’s shirt. They want to pretend that online discussion of Scottish politics is uniquely ugly and vile, when bad online behaviour is a characteristic of all social media, not just Scottish politics.

Ruth Davidson’s speech this week in which she characterised the independence debate as fratricidal was a shameful attempt to demonise the peaceful side in the independence debate. It was an attempt to diminish and denigrate the ability of the people of Scotland, irrespective of what stance we take on the constitution, to debate openly, peacefully, and in a mature and civilised manner. And she did it as a deliberate ploy in an attempt make people disengage with the arguments, because people like Ruth rely on passivity and silence, obedience and obeisance, in order to maintain their influence over us. She won’t apologise, because she has no shame or self-respect, and no respect for the people of this country. They do this as a deliberate tactic in order to close the debate down before it gets going, because it’s only through apathy and hopeless detachment that they can maintain the North Britain that gives them status. When Ruth tells Scotland that its exercise in democracy is fratricidal, she’s telling us she doesn’t think we’re fit to voice opinions. She’s displaying her cringe and her dependence on her Westminster masters. She’s projecting her own weakness and inability onto everyone else.

Scotland started a national conversation about this back when the first independence referendum was called. That referendum didn’t settle the matter, because it is now clear that it was won on a false prospectus. The United Kingdom that Scotland was told it could be a part of back in 2014 doesn’t exist. It never existed. All it was was a glossy sheen on a rotten corpse. That’s why the debate continues. But Ruth wants us to continue our dance with the dead, and to keep Scotland in its political grave.

The harsh reality for Scotland now, at this juncture in its history, is that the governments of Estonia or Malta have more of a say about the future Scotland faces than the people of Scotland do themselves. And Ruth Davidson wants to do all she can to ensure it stays that way, because in her universe everyone has the right to determine the path that Scotland treads except the people of Scotland who must tread that path. When Ruth speaks of fratricide, she’s speaking about her fears that if the people of Scotland can choose their own path, they will choose to trample her career into the dust. And all the photo opportunities with her pals in the press pack won’t save her.

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-1st-feb-2017

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Or click HERE

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

EU queue is Unionist woo, guff, barf, drivel and crud

I thought I’d expand a bit on the idiocies that Unionists are excitedly telling themselves in an effort to persuade one another that Scottish independence is a non-starter. It’s bad enough when they tell one another nonsense of course, but Unionist nonsense has a habit of appearing in the pages of a newspaper and on the screen of a national broadcaster as unvarnished truth. Because when it comes to exercising the critical faculties certain media outlets are more like couch potatoes than marathon runners where claims made by the Unionist establishment are concerned. On the other hand, claims made by independence supporters, when the same same Unionists deign to notice them at all, are subject to a dissection that is all but indistinguishable from reductio ad absurdum.

The claim du jour, there’s me coming over all European, which is terribly appropriate for the topic at hand, is that an independent Scotland would have to go to the back of the queue for EU membership. This is true because a right wing Spanish MEP said so. He might once have been besties with Ruth Davidson, but the fact is that Esteban González Pons no more speaks for the EU or the European Parliament than the SNP’s Alyn Smith does.  Although that doesn’t prevent any pronouncement from a minor Spanish political figure being plastered all over the pages of Scotland’s Unionist press. Funnily enough these same publications don’t treat Alyn Smith’s pronouncements on Scotland’s chances within the EU with the same degree of gravity. They don’t even treat pro-Scottish statements from very senior EU figures with the same degree of gravity as statements from right wing Spanish MEPs whose influence is limited even in their own offices. Instead they drop them to the bottom of a very deep and dark well and hope no one notices.

It’s worthwhile looking at this latest claim in detail. The claim is that an independent Scotland would have to go to the back of the queue for membership, behind Albania, Serbia, and Turkey. There are a number of assumptions in this assertion, none of which are well founded. Which is a kind way of saying that Unionists who make the claim are really ought to be paying more attention to the Trumpton firemen’s theme song, which is pitched at approximately the same intellectual level as people who swallow the claim. The reality is that the EU queue is Unionist woo, guff, barf, drivel and crud.

Firstly the claim assumes that Scotland will not hold an independence referendum until after the UK has formally left the EU. This is by no means certain. In the increasingly likely circumstance of a second independence referendum being called, it will be held before the UK formally leaves the EU. That means at any time within two years of Theresa May invoking Article 50 and giving the EU formal notice of the UK’s intention to leave. If Scotland votes in favour of independence in a referendum held within that time frame, the UK will still be a member of the EU, and so will Scotland.

Given that Scotland will have voted for independence while the UK isn’t yet out of the EU door and therefore the UK is shortly to become two states, there is absolutely no reason at all why the EU can’t decide that for the purposes of EU membership, iScotland inherits the UK’s existing membership. After all, it would be pretty nonsensical for the EU to insist that Scotland needs to leave along with the rest of the UK only to make an application to join later. Scotland is already in full compliance with EU membership requirements, and it serves no one’s interests to insist that iScotland leaves then rejoins. The EU has already proven that it can be flexible where circumstances demand it, such as when the former East Germany was admitted as a part of an existing member state.

This scenario has the added advantage of by-passing any possible Spanish objection. The EU could simply say that if a member state is leaving the EU, but a part of that member state is becoming independent and wishes to remain a member, it can do so. Since there is zero prospect of Spain, one of the most pro-EU countries, voting to leave the EU, Spain could agree to this then say that it’s an entirely separate set of circumstances which has no effect on its stance versus Catalonia.

But even supposing that an independent Scotland ended up outside the EU, that still doesn’t mean that we go to the back of the queue and would have to wait for the applications of Turkey, Macedonia, or Albania to be processed before ours could be considered. The queue for EU membership is not like a queue in the chip shop, where the person who has been waiting longest gets annoyed when a newcomer barges in and demands to be served with a special fish supper and acquis sauce right away.

In fact it’s safe to say that the queue for EU membership is not a queue at all. New member states are admitted when they meet the membership requirements, they are not admitted in order of application. Turkey applied to join the EU in 1987. Since then Poland and Hungary have been admitted even though they hadn’t applied to join in 1987. In fact the EU has since admitted a slew of countries which weren’t even independent sovereign states when Turkey first made its application, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia spring to mind.

The fact is that Scotland is a highly developed Western European democracy which is already in compliance with the EU’s membership requirements, and would continue to be in compliance with them even if we became independent a couple of months after the UK as a whole had formally exited the EU. Harmonising a country’s domestic legislation with EU laws and regulations takes many years, but Scotland is already there. That means that our application for membership of the EU would be relatively simple and straightforward. We’d be at the head of any queue, such as the queue is, not at the end of it.

The bottom line is, if you genuinely believe that the EU won’t admit an independent Scotland into membership until Turkey is already a member, then you have the IQ of a doner kebab and you really ought to stop embarrassing yourself.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-31st-jan-2017-2

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Or click HERE

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

Más cambia, más se vuelve la misma cosa

We had one of those blows for Nicola Sturgeon again, in case you hadn’t noticed. Nicola receives more blows than a tin hut in a hurricane, but unlike the tin hut, she’s still standing. Esteban González Pons has figured in the pages of this blog before. He’s the spokesperson of the right wing Spanish party Partido Popular in the European Parliament, and in 2012 at the British Conservative party conference in Birmingham he met with Ruth Davidson and other Scots Tories to discuss creating a European wide alliance of right wing parties opposed to independence movements.

Following that meeting, he claimed that he was due to have a second meeting to further the proposal, due in Edinburgh in December that year, and he told the Spanish press that he’d be meeting again with Ruthie and other Scots Tories, as well as with representatives of the Labour party in Scotland. It’s safe to say that it’s news that Esteban González Pons is not a fan of Scottish independence in much the same way that it’s news that Ruth Davidson doesn’t want another independence referendum.

The pan-EU alliance is a bit of a bust these days, what with the Tories supporting Brexit and sailing the UK off into a red white and blue obscurity and the fond hope that Donald Trump won’t bully Britain but will pick on someone else. The Partido Popular is no longer disposed to do the Tories any favours, but they’re still keen on discouraging Scottish independence. The difference between Scottish independence and Catalan independence however, is that the Partido Popular know they can’t do much about the former apart from bluffing and threatening before the event. After Scottish independence actually happens through legal and constitutional processes, Spain will have no option but to accept it as a done deal. The EU knows that, and so does Esteban.

There’s been some more bluffing and threatening this week, as dutifully reported by a British Unionist press. Esteban has been mouthing off about Scotland again, and about Gibraltar. On Monday representatives of the government of Gibraltar and Fiona Hyslop, representing the Scottish government, were invited to address the EU parliament about Brexit so that MEPs could get to hear the opinions of two parts of the rapidly diminishing British Empire which are opposed to Theresa May’s idiotic Brexit plans. Well I say “plans”, it’s more of a fond wish and an exercise in foot stomping. It was an opportunity for MEPs to hear the views of the Scottish and Gibraltarian parliaments, and for Scotland and Gibraltar to maintain some of those bridges to the rest of the continent that the Tories are trying to set fire to.

Surprisingly enough, Esteban wasn’t hugely pleased, and got into a bit of a strop because if the EU Parliament starts inviting representatives of Scotland and Gibraltar to voice their opinions, and indeed to acknowledge that they have a right to have opinions which are different from those of the British government, who knows where it might all end. It might end with the EU inviting representatives of the Catalan government to voice their opinions about how the Partido Popular in Madrid are behaving like reactionary anti-democratic authoritarians, and that would never do.

In fact that’s exactly what the EU had done the previous week, sending the carnaptious Esteban into canniptions. The Catalan President Carles Puigdemont had been asked to speak about a Catalan independence referendum. Esteban sent a ferocious letter to other MEPs demanding that they refuse to attend, and insisting that the meeting would have no more effect than having a bit of a conflab over a couple of copas de vino in a bar. His letter was ignored of course, and Esteban is still nursing the bruises from his rejection. So he decided to have a bit of a rant about Scotland and Gibraltar.

Still hurting from the previous week when his letter got a the same reception from the EU that a Syrian refugee gets from Donald Trump, Esteban got into a bit of a strop when Fiona Hyslop addressed the Constitutional Committee of the EU Parliament. “Brexit means Brexit, and therefore, if Scotland becomes independent it will have to put itself at the end of the queue,” he insisted, “behind Albania, Serbia, Montenegro or Turkey.” And again he repeated the line of the Spanish government that the EU can’t enter into discussions with sub-state entities like Scotland, but only with the British government.

This is one of those occasions when a politician prefers to talk about a fictitious scenario which isn’t likely to happen in the real world because the real world scenario is far less comfortable for them. He was of course speaking about a situation where Scotland becomes independent after the UK has left the EU, by which time Scotland, like the rest of the UK, will be outside the EU exactly like Albania or Serbia currently are. He said nothing at all about a Scotland that votes for independence before the UK has formally left the EU, when Scotland will still be an EU member, because he doesn’t want to acknowledge that this is a far more likely scenario and one in which very different rules will apply. The British Unionist media which reported his comments don’t want to acknowledge it’s a more likely scenario either. But the EU Parliament knows that it is.  And so do supporters of Scottish independence.

Interestingly however, and this is a point that a British Unionist media ever eager to find something to blow Nicola Sturgeon with didn’t pick up on, Esteban didn’t say that the Spanish government would veto EU membership for an independent Scotland. So much for that Spanish veto threat then. Not even the spittle flecked Esteban could work up any enthusiasm for it. This is not unrelated to the fact that this particular so-called threat exists solely in the fevered imaginations of increasingly desperate British Unionist politicians and their supporters. Because, let’s face it, if you’re relying on Mariano Rajoy to be the saviour of the UK then the British gemme is already a bogey. No member of the Spanish government has ever said that they’d veto Scottish membership of the EU if Scotland attains its independence legally and constitutionally. It’s a testament to the persistent misinformation in the Unionist media that this still requires stating. And then they complain about fake news.

However for the British Unionist media this week, the news is that a Spanish MEP with known anti-independence views has made a statement in the EU parliament that can be construed as being unhelpful to Scottish independence, and not that that same Spanish MEP was slapped down by an exasperated Danuta Hübner, the president of the Constitutional Committee of the EU Parliament who made it clear to him that the rest of the parliament clearly did not share his views and that they found his tone unhelpful and disrepectful. In one report in the Spanish press, Hübner was reported as not hesitating to picar el crostó with him, which literally means “pick the crust”, or in more idiomatic English, “have a bone to pick”. It’s clear that the Spanish MEP was being slapped down and that he was the one who came off badly in the encounter, not Fiona Hyslop.

As the headline in the Spanish paper put it, El Parlamento Europeo da un toque a González Pons por ir contra Escocia y Gibraltar. Da un toque is a Spanish idiom meaning to allow a phone to ring out without answering it. In this context it implies that the EU was telling González Pons to pay attention but he wasn’t listening. The slap down for Scotland is reported in the Unionist press, but not the slap down for the man who made the comments. Here’s the link to the report in the Spanish press. http://www.elnacional.cat/es/politica/parlamento-europeo-gonzalez-pons-gibraltar-escocia_134718_102.html

That’s the British Unionist media and Spain for you, más cambia, más se vuelve la misma cosa. Which is Spanish for plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. They’re not about to pick up the phone to anything which they can’t spin as a blow for Nicola Sturgeon.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-31st-jan-2017

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Or click HERE

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709