A week in Britnattery

It’s been a strange week in the crazy world of British nationalism. It was GERSmas, but for the most part Scotland just went “meh”. The days when we all collectively clutched our pearls because Westminster informed us that Scotland was a fiscal basket case are long gone. When you have a government in Westminster which has lied and deceived its way into office, no one is going to put a great deal of credence in anything that it tells us.

Even BBC Scotland was half hearted about it, and in previous years they’ve descended on the annual release of the GERS figures like a vulture finding the corpse of a deficit in the desert. The point that GERS tells us nothing useful about the finances of an independent Scotland seems to have percolated through to a majority, so all that the figures do these days is to highlight the mismanagement of Scotland by the British state.  GERS tells us is that Scotland can’t afford independence if its economy continues to be mismanaged like Westminster is mismanaging it just now. 40% of Scotland’s expenditure and 70% of Scotland’s revenue is controlled by Westminster, and then the British nationalist parties blame Scotland for not having a well run economy.

Of course that didn’t stop the branch office manager of the Labour party in Scotland, Ramsay Lurchhumpher, from trying to channel the good old days when in the imaginations of British nationalists the GERS figures could be guaranteed to strike fear in the black vile hearts of the evil separatists. Unfortunately Rameses Looksunlikelier started off by demanding that the First Minister commit to a couple of policies that she’s already committed to. Romualdo Lambslaughter insisted that the First Minister commit to a “quality jobs guarantee scheme” and then urged her to press Westminster to extend the furlough scheme. She’s already done both those things.

Undaunted, he pressed on, and demanded that the First Minister ask the British Government to give Scotland the money to do those things that she’d already said she wanted to do. Nicola Sturgeon replied by pointing out that if Scotland was an independent country, it wouldn’t need to ask the Johnson administration for funding to keep workers in Scotland in their jobs. Scotland could just do it itself without having to ask anyone for permission. However Raffaelo Lickspittler and his party were insisting that Scotland remain in a position of powerlessness and weakness despite the fact that over 40% of what’s left of their voters now back independence. All that the hapless Rugrat Losevoter had managed to achieve was to point out how the dependency on Westminster which his own party insists Scotland remain in only holds Scotland back and damages the lives and opportunities of its citizens.

No wonder there are rumblings within the branch office that it’s time for a new manager. Speaking to the Herald, an anonymous ‘source’ within the Labour party harrumphed that Rocket Launchdamper was dragging the party down and “putting the union at risk with his ineptitude”. My money for the person who blabbed to the press is on Jackie Baillie, Ian Murray, or one of the others in the fleg waving tendency of the Labour branch office in Scotland. It must be pretty galling for Rickets Landlubber to be attacked by a faction in his party who believe in the suicidal doubling down on a policy that has already caused the party to lose much of its support and which now risks alienating over 40% of the voters it’s got left. And there we were thinking that Labour’s descent into irrelevance couldn’t sink any lower. You live and learn eh.

Speaking of electoral irrelevance. Ed Davey has been announced as the new leader of the Lib Dems following an election amongst party members Although in Scotland that pretty much consists of Wullie Rennie and the vacant space which takes on the shape of Alex Cole-Hamilton. Most of us thought that Ed Davey already was the party leader, which just goes to show how much they’ve dropped off the political radar. The election was called when Jo Swinson lost her seat at the December General Election following a disastrous election campaign which saw the party accused of rank hypocrisy because it wanted to overturn the result of the EU referendum but refused to allow another Scottish independence referendum. So pretty much a normal day for the Lib Dems then. Jo Swinson has announced that when she becomes Prime Minister she’ll revoke Ed’s election.

This week, for once, the weirdest weirdiness of all in the annals of British nationalism didn’t come from the Conservatives. They’ve spent the past week bumbling along at their usual level of base arrogance, incompetence, and chaos. However they’ve been topped in the jaw dropping whattheactual stakes by the sheer outstanding surrealist bigotry of George Galloway’s latest vanity vehicle, the Alliance4Unity.  The party’s official Twitter account tweeted, and this is a direct quote: “I have five young children. The SNP will NOT teach them, with bananas and Nutella, about anal-sex and rimming. It’s time ALL decent people of all political persuasions including Nationalists, rose up against this hideous monstrosity of a policy.”

This is the party whose leader was invited to a meeting to discuss saving the precioussss union by Michael Gove. But then Alliance for Unity is an anagram of “I carnify Nutella”. Perhaps they’ve been trying to subliminally tell us something all along.

I never knew that Nicola Sturgeon was pitching up in schools and waving nutella covered bananas all over the place in a bid to destroy the traditional family. Has no one thought about nut allergies? You learn about anal sex with cucumbers and humous. Which also has the advantage of teaching children to eat healthily. Maybe the Alliance4Unity just want children to learn about anal sex the old fashioned way, from religious authority figures, sports instructors, or children’s TV presenters.

Obviously it’s a nonsense.  On a serious note, this is a perfect example of how hysteria, misinformation, and sheer outright lies play on underlying and unacknowledged bigotry.  It should not need to be said that the SNP is not proposing to teach children how to perform anal sex. In a modern society it is important that children learn that gay people exist and have a right to live in equality and dignity. That’s a very long way from teaching children about anal sex with bananas and nutella.

The message of equality and dignity is perverted by people who like to scream emotive misinformation in a bid to attract attention and garner support. They seek to appeal to ignorance and prejudice in order to push their agenda. When that is you are reduced to, you have already lost the argument.  Let’s ditch the bigotry and ditch the UK.


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


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

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

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


GERS groundhog day

undermining

It’s GERSmas day, when all across the land British nationalists wake up with glee to see just how poor Scotland is this year, and celebrate by exchanging pretty multicoloured graphs while they gloat about the deficit that they believe an independent Scotland would be lumbered with. The insist that their pretty graph based upon denying Scotland the financial freedom of action of an independent state proves that Scotland cannot be an independent state and then use it to continue to justify denying Scotland the ability to act as an independent state.

The annual GERS miseryfest is a textbook example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The pessimism and negativity of British nationalists reproduces itself by denying Scotland the ability to act, creating a passivity and dependency that they then use to justify their pessimism and negativity. It’s the perfect circle of negative perception. British nationalism in Scotland is not so much a political philosophy as an exercise in masochistic self-flagellation. There are night clubs for that sort of thing you know, we don’t need it in government. British nationalists in Scotland tell us that Scotland can’t be allowed to drive its own economy, because the British Government hasn’t yet finished driving it off a cliff.

The response to them is of course the same as it was last year, and the year before that, and the year before that … How come, if this so-called union is so wonderfully beneficial to Scotland, does every one of our independent neighbours manage to have a higher GDP, better public services, and a more equitable distribution of wealth? How come, if this so-called union has been so great for Scotland, has it reduced this country with its abundant resources, wealth of talent, and skilled and educated populace to penury? How come, if GERS is indeed an accurate reflection of Scotland’s financial position, can British nationalists continue to defend a UK which took a Scotland possessing all the ingredients necessary for a prosperous, stable, well-resourced nation, and turned it into a basket caset? Because if we accept the GERS figures at face value, all that they prove is an economic incompetence on the part of the British state which some might call criminal.

Trying to relate the GERS figures to the economy of an independent Scotland isn’t even like trying to compare apples with oranges, it’s like comparing apples with a photograph of Michael Gove not looking smug. One is a foodstuff, the other is an inedible piece of uselessness that makes you nauseous. Although admittedly a photo of Michael Gove not looking smug would have incredible rarity value. That’s because such a thing doesn’t actually exist in this universe, exactly like the bearing that the GERS figures have on the economic case for Scottish independence.

There is a common misconception that GERS stands for Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland. It doesn’t. It stands for Government Expenditure and Revenue: Scotland, without a preposition. That seemingly insignificant point is in fact very important, because the GERS figures are made up of two components. There’s government spending which is spent inside Scotland, and then there is government spending which takes place outwith Scotland but which is assigned to Scotland by the British state.

The published GERS figures don’t make it immediately obvious just how much public spending is carried out by the British government outside Scotland but which is then assigned to Scotland. That is deliberate. However a considerable chunk of the expenditure assigned to Scotland isn’t actually spent in Scotland.

So to use the example that I trotted out last year, and the year before, and the year before, the GERS figures allocate approximately £3.3 billion of UK defence expenditure to Scotland. This is based upon Scotland’s population share of the UK, so the total UK defence expenditure is divided by Scotland’s share of the UK population and the resultant figure is assigned to Scotland as Scottish expenditure. The rationale for this is that defence expenditure benefits the UK as a whole, irrespective of where in the UK it is actually spent. A Royal Navy vessel based in Portsmouth is theoretically defending Scotland too, even if it takes it two days to get the Moray Firth when a Russian navy ship is sighted there.

However it is universally agreed that the amount spent within Scotland on defence does not come close to approaching the figure assigned to Scotland in the GERS figures. Most estimates put defence expenditure within Scotland at around £1.7 billion – which includes the spending on the nukes in Faslane which an independent Scotland would have no interest in continuing. Much of the remainder is spent in the south of England where the UK has concentrated the MoD offices and its military bases. No independent country in the world spends almost half of its defence expenditure in someone else’s country, especially not a small country like Scotland which has no punching above its weight and pretending that it’s still a global player even though its glory days are long gone. The UK is the Norma Desmond of global military power.

The defence expenditure which is allocated to Scotland but spent outside Scotland isn’t dead money. It goes to pay people’s wages. Those employees need housing, they go shopping, they buy things. It is spent on goods and services which support the defence installations. This in turn creates other economic activity in the form of the ancilliary jobs which are supported and the goods and services that these require. All of this economic activity then generates revenues for the government in the form of taxation. But despite this revenue being supported by expenditure which is assigned to Scotland, none of the revenue is credited to Scotland. It is credited to the part of the UK where the notionally Scottish expenditure takes place.

Even that part of the expenditure which does take place within Scotland does not necessarily work in Scotland’s economic interests. The vast defence expenditure lavished on Faslane generates very few jobs compared to the amount of money which is actually spent. Much of that spending in fact ends up going south of the border to specialist companies and suppliers in England, so even though it notionally takes place in Scotland, it doesn’t stay in Scotland for long.

By way of comparison, Ireland spends approximately £900 million annually on its defence expenditure. The UK state spends money on things that Scotland doesn’t want, spends it in ways that don’t benefit Scotland, and spends it outside Scotland. Then it sends Scotland the bill and tells us we’re too poor. That’s how the GERS figures work. It’s how they were meant to work.

This is your annual reminder that the GERS figures were first established in 1992 in the context of the debate on devolution by the Conservative Scottish Secretary of State Ian Lang.  Lang wanted them as a political tool to be used against those who were arguing for greater self-government for Scotland. Almost thirty years later they’re still being used for the same purpose.


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

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


newbook

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

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

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

The long death of Labour in Scotland

wiltedrose

Political funerals most often pass unremarked, and that’s exactly the case with the Labour party in Scotland. There will be no mourning, no eulogy, and few will miss them. But excepting the occasional British nationalist zombie stomping around in Edinburgh South, whose corpse is animated by the tactical votes of Tories, the Labour party in Scotland is finished.

Last week the branch office manager of Labour in Scotland who can scarcely rise to fame in his own living room, Ronald Limpspeaker, made an announcement about his party’s policy for the next Scottish election. Not that anyone really noticed much, because it was also the day that an opinion poll had been published which showed that support for independence was now at 55%. Undaunted, Ragnal Looselubber told anyone who was listening – which was basically a reporter from the Scotsman and no one else – that he had resolved that in the next Scottish elections in May next year the Labour party will stand on a manifesto of opposing another independence referendum.

Unfortunately for Reginald Lickstamper, he made his statement just as that very same poll revealed that 42% of his own party’s supporters also believe in Scottish independence. The party’s overall vote share has plummeted to just 16% according to polling, and now the party wants to alienate over 40% of those voters it’s got left. This is only a winning strategy in Ian Murray and Jackie Baillie’s book. Not even Remington Lucklacker really believes in it, but he has to go through the motions now that what is left of his party branch office has been taken over by the British nationalist do or die faction. And it’s mostly die, if we’re going to be honest about it.

If you’re a Labour voter who believes in Scottish independence, Rafael Lumpsquasher has just given you a very good reason to pause for thought, while at the same time destroying any possiblity that non-Labour voters who support independence would ever consider shifting their vote to the party. The Tories have already got the diehard staunch opposition to independence vote already sewn up, so Labour is fishing in a very small, and shrinking, pool which is already occupied by a large voracious and unprincipled fish.

That was all bad enough, then the party’s woes got even worse yesterday when an internal party memo was leaked to the press. It told us that Labour has already abandoned Scotland, making the decision in the last Westminster General Election not to spend much money targetting seats in Scotland.

But what was really shocking was the revelation that one of the factors which Labour was looking at in order to decide whether it was going to put money into fighting a seat was the proportion of Catholic voters in that constituency. Sectarian politics are alive and well in the Labour party in Scotland.

It has been obvious from previous examinations of voting patterns that people in Scotland from an Irish Catholic background are more likely to support independence. In some ways that’s not surprising. A community which has historically been discriminated against by people who wave union flags and sing God Save the Queen was always going to have a far weaker identification with symbols of Britishness and a British identity. Of late there has been a concerted effort to draw an equivalence between a Catholic family background and support for independence among some of the more orangey and blue sections of British nationalism in order to make support for independence a sectarian issue despite the fact that there are far more supporters of independence who are not from a Catholic family background than those who are. It looks as though this tendency is also very much in evidence in the Labour party in Scotland.

Has Labour decided that people in Scotland from a Catholic family background are more likely to vote for independence and so has written them off? Does this mean that Labour isn’t very interested in doing very much to tackle lingering issues with sectarian discrimination because it’s no longer interested in pursuing voters in Scotland from a Catholic background? Does it mean that the party in Scotland has gone all staunch? Enquiring minds want to know. None of this is a good look for the Labour party in Scotland. The lingering rump of the party has just blown the few shreds that are left of its credibility. It is no longer deserving of any respect.

Labour has given up on Scotland, just as they long ago gave up on any principles that they once possessed. Scotland for its part has given up on the Labour party. There is still a bright future for left wing, socialist, and social democratic politics in Scotland, it’s just that the Labour party will not be the vehicle for it. The party in Scotland is lost, incoherent, and lacking in any direction except a knee-jerk hatred of the SNP. On the one hand Labour demands that there’s greater redistribution of wealth, more steps need to be taken to ensure social equality and the reduction of social divisions, while on the other they stand with the Conservatives in refusing to allow Scotland the powers to do those things.

Labour attacks the Scottish Government for making cuts despite the fact that the Scottish budget must operate within financial constraints set by the Tories in Westminster while it cooperates with the Tories to ensure that the Scottish Government remains constrained. Then it hopes that Scottish voters don’t notice.

Even at a UK level Labour is a failure. Despite the fact that it’s opposing the most inept, most chaotic, most incompetent Conservative government in living memory, it still can’t make a breakthrough in the opinion polls and went down to a historic defeat in last December’s General Election. It has become an irrelevance.

The battle for Scotland’s political soul is now very squarely a contest between a social democratic, liberal, tolerant independent Scotland, and the xenophobic small state British nationalism of the Conservatives. The Labour party in Scotland is over, and with it any chance that the UK can cling on to Scotland.


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

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

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


newbook

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

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

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

UK UMeh

ukumeh

It’s quite remarkable. There has been a series of polls all of which show that there is consistent majority support in Scotland for independence. The most recent poll showed support to be at 55%. This is, to use the words of the BBC as the result of the 2014 referendum was announced, a decisive majority. Among younger age groups, support for independence is even higher, rising to a whopping 72% in the youngest age cohort in the most recent poll. Only the oldest group in the population still has a majority against independence. By any reckoning this means that the end of the UK is now just a matter of time.

Yet from England the response to the news that the end of the UK is in sight has been greeted with a resounding silence. It may be the most important news story in Scotland, up there with combatting the epidemic, but in England it appears that it has scarcely registered. To take but one example, in the Guardian newspaper there has been just one opinion column about the Scottish writing on the wall for the UK, penned by John Harris, and even that is largely about the fact that the English response to the end of the UK is UK UMeh. In his piece he remarks, “what seems remarkable is that the increasing possibility of an end of the union has yet to enter England’s political conversation, on left or right,” and speaks of a sense of ignorance and complacency that goes right to the very top. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/23/covid-19-crisis-breakup-uk-brexit-pandemic-scottish-independence

John at least recognises that Scotland is on the road to independence in large measure because what public opinion in Scotland believed to be a union, a partnership of nations, was traduced and wrecked by the Conservatives. He also recognises that those same Conservatives appear to have little or no recognition of their own role in the destruction of the UK. To the Tories, it’s all the fault of Thatessempee. Yet even John, who is normally an astute political observer, betrays his own ignorance of what is really going on in Scotland when he writes of the “emollient, open, progressive kind of Conservatism” he claims was practised by Ruth Davidson. That’ll be the Ruth Davidson who turned a blind eye to the sectarian bigotry that infests the Conservative party in Scotland and whose sole policy was saying no to another referendum. Scotland is already another country for the English political class, and it’s a country that they neither understand nor, for the most part, have any sympathy for.

The silence from England is highly significant for two reasons. Firstly it tells us that there is no willingness in England for any compromises which might keep Scotland a part of the UK. If public opinion, or rather the formers of public opinion, in England really cared about keeping Scotland a part of the UK then there would currently be anguished discussion about Scottish unhappiness and what steps could be taken in order to address it. Instead what little we’ve seen has been the Conservatives throwing blame on the SNP for supposedly stirring up division, yet even if that were true there has been not the slightest attempt to examine why it is that the claims of those vile separatists are so clearly falling on fertile soil. There has been none of that.

Labour’s offering of full fat federalism has even less public recognition in England than the name of the Scottish branch office’s leader, Ragnal Lastcomer. If England doesn’t want it, it’s not going to happen. England’s political and media establishment want Scotland to remain a part of the UK, but they want Scotland to remain on their own terms and not terms that may be agreeable to Scottish public opinion. There is nothing coming out of this Conservative government which is aimed at courting Scotland. Only attempts to steamroll Scotland into submission and to undermine the devolution settlement. Labour in Scotland talks a lot about federalism, but the party in England scarcely seems to notice.

Scotland isn’t going to get any substantial compromise from the British establishment which will change Scotland’s mind about the shape of the UK or the direction that the UK is taking. The Brexit ship has already sailed, and in December it will sail off the edge of the European world taking the last hopes of Scotland’s no voting remainers with it.  This is the calm before the storm, and already there’s majority support for independence.  The combination of the end of the EU transition period and the ending of economic support to ameliorate the effects of the referendum will convert that majority into the settled will of the people of Scotland.

Secondly the silence from England tells us that there is no great appetite in England to save the UK. We already know that a large and significant body of public opinion in England would prefer to get rid of Scotland, seeing us recalcitrant Caledonians as an ungrateful obstacle in the path of the One True Brexit and the Sunny Uplands. They have heard the constant refrain from British nationalists in Scotland, a siren song intended for Scottish consumption, that Scotland is a financial drain on the UK which is reliant on England’s taxpayers, and they believe it. The prevalent attitude appears to be that if Scotland wants to remain a part of the UK, that’s fine, but don’t expect England to do anything much to keep Scotland happy. It’s a take it or leave it deal, and if Scotland wants to leave it, there’s a large segment of English opinion which would not be overly bothered and would merely shrug its shoulders. There’s also a large segment of English public opinion, particularly within the Brexit supporting core base that Johnson’s Conservatives appeal to, that would be delighted to see the back of us.

The illusory sunlight uplands of Brexit and the idea that it will liberate the UK to bestride the global stage like the colossus that the British Empire once was has been described by the Irish commentator Fintal O’Toole as England’s dreaming. But the only reason that England can be dreaming is because it’s asleep. Not even the impending end of the UK seems to be enough to wake it up. The alarm clock sounded in the referendum of 2014, and it wasn’t enough to wake up England’s political classes. Now it’s too late. The Tories can have their precioussss union, or they can have their hard Brexit, but they can’t have both. They’ve chosen Brexit. That’s their loss, and Scotland’s opportunity.


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

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

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

GINGER2cropped

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


newbook

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

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

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

The four horsemen of the Crappy Brits

cliffedge

Part time Prime Minister and full time skiver Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has cut short his break in Scotland after his location was discovered. It was touted in advance that he was going to be spending his holiday amongst us restless Caledonian natives so that we’d feel a little bit better about this whole “The UK, it’s a bit rubbish isn’t it” thing that that Tories have delivered bedecked with more union flags than an orange parade. However love for all things Britnattery has sunk so low in Scotland these days, thanks largely to the Conservatives, that the best thing that Johnson could think of in order to endear himself to us was to hide away in a remote location where no one could see him. So just like all his previous visits to Scotland then.

The press, even the normally craven Conservative press, had been full of complaints that the Prime Minister was missing in action, again. Johnson decided that the perfect time for him to bugger off was when the UK is in crisis, the coronavirus hasn’t gone away, the economy is tanking, Scotland is increasingly turning to support for independence, and the clock is ticking on Brexit negotiations that aren’t going anywhere fast. For their part Downing Street sources have retorted that it’s unfair to say that the Prime Minister has been avoiding doing his job. While he was away on holiday amidst the dramatic scenery on the wild and craggy shores of the Applecross peninsula he was doing exactly what he would have been doing in Downing Street, drinking wine and sitting twiddling his thumbs as he stared at a cliff edge.

The Tories are blaming the SNP for revealing the location of Johnson’s hideaway to the press. Revealing his location meant that his holiday cottage was at risk of being mobbed by Scottish nationalists, they say. Some Conservatives are blaming the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford – “because he’s local”. Applecross, Skye, it’s all the same thing really isn’t it. But who knew that the SNP had such a close and friendly relation with that bastion of press support for Scottish independence [checks notes] the Daily Mail. If the SNP really was going to leak the location of Johnson’s holiday cottage, they’d have leaked it to The National.

Johnson is reportedly livid that his holiday has been interrupted. Revealing its location meant that he was vulnerable to a sniper, sniffed the Sun. Ah yes, that infamous Applecross Snipers’ Association, bagging Tories instead of Munroes as they stalk the Gove moors. Maybe Johnson would do a bit better if he realised that people really don’t care where he’s been. They care that he’s got as much interest in doing his job as he does in admitting how many children he’s got.

According to the Tories the real story here isn’t that we have a Prime Minister who isn’t doing his job, it’s that some people had the nerve to complain about it. Of course it had nothing to do with the SNP that Johnson’s location was discovered, it was entirely his own decision to go and spend his holidays in an area where there’s majority support for independence and expect that the locals would simply tug their forelocks and defer to him. Instead one of those locals was irked enough to tip off the press. That’s how we really bag Tories these days.

The Tories are very clearly at a loss about what to do in order to counter the rising support for independence. This week’s opinion poll which put support for independence at 55% has only deepened their sense of panic. There was a report in the press that Michael Gove had embarked upon some meetings with, ahem ‘senior politicians’ from other parties to cobble together a joint plan to prevent independence. He met with Jack McConnell, George Galloway, and Danny Alexander – who remarkably is still a thing. Gove, McConnell, Galloway, and Alexander, the four horsemen of the Crappy Brits. There have been reports of late that Gove is considered the most likely candidate to head up any Better Together The Sequel. It will be just like the first one only with a less credible plot. Although at least next time it will be even more of a joke.

The independence movement in Scotland and our determination that Scotland has an absolute right to another independence referendum is driven by a simple belief. “Scotland’s inalienable right to self-determination includes the right to decide how to exercise that right… To deny it would be to say that of all the nations of the world today we had no national right to self-determination.” That was George Galloway writing in Radical Scotland magazine in 1983. Now he’s cosying up with the Tories, with the founder of UKIP Alan Sked, and with the British establishment.

However it’s clear that the Conservatives realise that they cannot prevent Scottish independence simply by saying no to another referendum. That may work as a short term tactic, but ultimately it will prove self-defeating. If Michael Gove was so confident that all his government had to do in order to prevent independence was to keep saying no, then he wouldn’t be meeting with George Galloway. Gove has already implicitly accepted that there will have to be another referendum when he tweeted that gerrymandering the franchise for that referendum was an “interesting idea”. If he really believed that there would never be another referendum, that Downing Street could say no forever, then gerrymandering the franchise for a referendum that was never going to happen wouldn’t be very interesting at all.

Meanwhile Scottish Tory MSP Rachel Hamilton has made a bit of an arse of herself on social media by tweeting that Scotland has been “overrun by SNP bigots and separatists”. Way to go to persuade all those Scottish people who support independence to fall back in love with the YooKay Rachel. All they’ve got left are insults and the frustrated wails of those who are starting to realise that their Great British castle is built on sand, and the Scottish tide is rising.

Whatever was causing the problem yesterday on Facebook seems to have resolved itself.  This post has been shared successfully on Facebook as normal.

It’s long past time for this blog to have a makeover.  The design and layout are still exactly the same as when I started WGD seven years ago.  I’m looking for a professional web designer who has experience with the WordPress platform to give this site a professional redesign.  Naturally you’d be paid for this.  If you’re a pro-indy professional web designer who’d be interested in the job, please get in touch via email.


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

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

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

GINGER2cropped

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


newbook

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

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

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

Is Facebook blocking pro-indy sites?

Anyone who is a regular follower of this blog knows that I have little time for conspiracy theories. They also know that I have continually strived to ensure that this blog is free from hate speech, misinformation, and abuse. However Facebook in their wisdom have decided that this blog breaches their community standards and have ceased to allow links to this blog to be shared on their platform. They have given me no reason for this. There has been no communication from Facebook to inform me which of their community standards they believe this site has breached. And of course complaining about their decision is labyrinthine and confusing.

I was eventually able to share links to this blog on my own Facebook page and those pages which have kindly allowed me posting rights, however the preview feature no longer works and I am told that other Facebook users cannot share the links. This has a serious impact on the reach that this blog can have on the Facebook platform.

It would be bad enough if this blog was the only pro-independence site which was affected, however today or within the past few days a number of Scottish pro-indy blogs have started to be blocked by Facebook. As well as WeeGingerDug, Peter Bell’s site has also been blocked, as have Prof John Robertson’s Talking Up Scotland, Iain Lawson’s Yours For Scotland, and Jason McCann’s Random Public Journal have all likewise been blocked by Facebook. What all of these sites have in common is that they use the WordPress platform.

My first thought was perhaps someone in Facebook has decided for reasons of their own that Facebook will no longer allow links to WordPress sites or that there was some software glitch or other. However I contacted WordPress support for advice and WordPress have told me that as far as they know all other WordPress sites are working normally and still being shared on Facebook.

As I said, I have little time for conspiracy theories. However I have heard today that several other pro-independence bloggers and online activists have recently started to experience issues sharing their content on Facebook. Not all of these use the WordPress platform. Just as Scotland starts to have a consistent majority for independence, one of the largest social media platforms has started to block pro-independence content. It smells pretty bad.

I have of course contacted Facebook to request an explanation. They have so far not got back to me. I cannot think of anything in this blog which contravenes Facebook’s community standards. I do not know whether this issue is because some other party has complained to them, or because Facebook has decided to take action of its own accord, or whether there is some innocent explanation. It may be that this is a temporary problem which will shortly resolve itself. It may be something more sinister. I genuinely don’t know. However I have little confidence that Facebook will give a satisfactory explanation.

If I get any information or an explanation from Facebook, I’ll let you know.

I am about to try and share this post on Facebook.  If it is accepted and can be shared, then there’s no problem.  If not …

UPDATE 8.48pm : I have just posted a test page to Facebook and it uploaded and displayed normally.  Hopefully the problem earlier was just a software glitch and it has now resolved itself.


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

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

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

GINGER2cropped

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


newbook

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

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

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

Dugcast fae the dughoose – with Yes Cymru

In this week’s dugcast fae the dughoose I am joined by Siôn Jobbins the Chair of Yes Cymru. We chat about the origins of Yes Cymru, the independence movement in Wales and the similarities and differences between the Scottish and Welsh campaigns.

Dugcast fae the Dughoose with Sion Jobbins of Yes Cymru

If the embedded link does not work for you, you can access the podcast directly by clicking on this link https://soundcloud.com/user-291670852/dugcast-20-08-2020-with-sion-jobbins-of-yes-cymru


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

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

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

GINGER2cropped

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


newbook

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

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

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

Shifting the goalposts

There is now some certainty in the Scottish political landscape. It’s a certainty that Scotland is now a country where a clear majority of people support independence. It’s a certainty that among people under retirement age that majority becomes substantial. It’s a certainty that among young people that majority is overwhelming.  And it’s a certainty that given this knowledge the British nationalists will attempt to pauchle the franchise just as they did in 1979 in order to boost the chances of the result of the next referendum being to their pleasing.

Of course it was entirely predictable that now that support for independence enjoys consistent majority support in Scotland, British nationalists would be demanding that the goalposts be shifted. There’s an unholy alliance on social media with George Galloway and the BBC’s Andrew Neil amongst others tweeting that anyone born in Scotland resident elsewhere in the UK must be allowed a vote in an independence referendum. Michael Gove piped in to remark “interesting question”.

There’s your literal blood and soil ethnic nationalism right there. British nationalists want people defined as Scots on an ethnic basis to be allowed to vote, and then they accuse independence supporters of ethnic nationalism, of identity politics. Yet it’s the independence movement which is proud to recognise that those eligible to vote should be everyone, no matter what their background or ethnicity, who has done Scotland the honour of choosing to live here, build their lives here, and contribute to Scottish society.

It’s terribly unfair, according to British nationalists, that foreign citizens resident in Scotland can get a vote, but not someone who left Scotland at the age of 18 to go and live in London and has never returned to live in Scotland. Because apparently people who left the land of their birth for better opportunities elsewhere and who very well may have no intention of ever returning to live in Scotland are going to be dreadfully affected by Scottish independence. Although how they’re going to be affected exactly, they never seem to explain.  They will still be able to come back to live in Scotland if they so choose.  Unless the British state decides to change its citizenship laws following Scottish independence, they will remain UK citizens with all the same rights and obligations that they currently enjoy. They will not become “foreigners” in the UK unless the British Government makes the decision that they should be.  Perhaps they ought to ask that British Government for reassurances instead of demanding that they be allowed to influence the futures of those of us who chose to remain in Scotland or chose to come and live here while they themselves remain in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

Note that the British nationalists only want Scottish born people resident elsewhere in the UK to get a vote, and seem to have forgotten about Scottish born people resident anywhere in the EU. Since it’s the UK’s decision to leave the EU despite the objections of a majority in Scotland which is one of the main causes of the rise in support for independence, the omission is telling. Far less have British nationalists suggested that Scots born people resident elsewhere in the world should also get a vote.

It is equally telling that the likes of Michael Gove and his Brexity Tory pals think that it’s an “interesting question” whether Scottish born people resident elsewhere in the UK should get a vote in a future independence referendum irrespective of how long they’ve lived outwith Scotland. Michael Gove was a senior member of a Conservative government which in the EU referendum denied the vote to UK citizens who had been resident in EU countries for more than 15 years. The double standard couldn’t be more obvious, and we all know why British nationalists are currently bleating about how unfair it would be not to allow Scottish born people living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland to vote in a Scottish indepedence referendum. It’s because they believe that Scottish born people who live elsewhere in the UK would be more likely to vote against independence, while they believed that UK citizens resident in EU states would have been more likely to vote against Brexit. This isn’t about democracy at all.  It’s not about fairness.  It’s simply a blatant attempt to fix the vote in order to make a No vote more likely in a second referendum.

There are several reasons why this latest act of desperation is a non-starter. Firstly, it is not for the British state to prejudge the citizenship qualifications of a future independent Scotland. That’s for an independent Scotland to decide. While it is highly likely that an independent Scotland would offer the right to Scottish citizenship to anyone born in Scotland, no matter where they now live, those people may choose not take up the offer and be content with their current citizenship status. It is unfair on those of us who do live here that people who have no interest in becoming Scottish citizens and who don’t live in Scotland be given the opportunity to vote on the futures of those of us who do reside in Scotland. The constitution of an independent Scotland will decide who counts as Scottish, not a Conservative Government in Westminster that Scotland didn’t vote for.

Secondly, there is precedent. A Scottish independence referendum is not an unknown quantity in British politics. There was already a referendum and the British nationalists were perfectly happy with the franchise decided at the time. The only reason that the suggestion is being aired now that they change it is because they are afraid that they’re going to lose.  They were happy with the terms of the franchise in 2014.  The only thing that has changed is that opinion polls now show a majority for Yes.

Finally, and most importantly, a referendum on the future of Scotland must be made in Scotland if it is to have any legitimacy. A referendum whose terms are decided by the British state lacks that legitimacy, it would not be a Scottish referendum but a British one. It is for the Scottish Parliament to decide upon the form of the question, the franchise, and the length of the campaign, not a British Government which has proven that it cannot be trusted where Scotland is concerned. The terms and conditions of the referendum must be decided by the Scottish Parliament to which the voters of Scotland have given a mandate for another referendum. The Scottish Parliament, and only the Scottish Parliament, is the body which has the democratic authority and legitimacy to hold the referendum. It cannot be contradicted, gainsayed, or have conditions forced upon it by a British Government which seeks to gerrymander the franchise in its own favour.

After all, we are only now where we are, with majority support for independence, because the British Government has acted in a mendacious and deceitful manner, traducing the promises and commitments that it made to Scotland in 2014. The Westminster parties can assert all they like that they’ve fulfilled those promises, but the electorate clearly doesn’t believe them. If voters did believe them then they would not be turning to support independence in such numbers. The crucial defining feature of a democracy is that the voters get the last word, not the politicians.

The Tories can bugger off. This is Scotland’s referendum, not theirs.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

A decisive poll

In 2014 when the result of the independence referendum was announced, the BBC called the 55% achieved by the No campaign ‘decisive’. Today a new poll has been published, carried out by Panelbase on behalf of Business for Scotland, and it shows that support for independence has now reached 55% when don’t knows are excluded. Douglas Ross has got off to a great start. If you still have one of those 45 badges from just after the last referendum, you can now give them to any remaining no voters you know.

Additionally, there’s also been a new poll from Comres out today, which puts support for independence on 54%. There can be absolutely no doubt now that Scotland is a country where a clear majority support independence. The last three polls from Panelbase have shown Yes on 54% or 55%. The last poll from YouGov put yes on 53%. This is, moreover, before the reality of Brexit has struck, without an official campaign, without the yes grassroots movement being able to campaign normally due to the epidemic, and with cries and wails amongst sections of the Yes movement that the SNP isn’t doing anything to bring independence about. Despite all that, support for independence is still growing. Just imagine what we can do once we are able to campaign normally again. No wonder the Tories are crapping themselves. 55% is the highest that support for independence has ever been in a credible opinion poll since the 2014 referendum. Indeed I believe that it’s the highest that support for independence has ever been in a credible poll.

There’s one exception to that however, which needs to be briefly discussed. In the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum the Sunday Post published a poll conducted by a company called ScotPulse which gave a result of 59% in favour of independence. There were serious issues with that poll unfortunately. ScotPulse was not a member of the British Polling Council, the industry body which demands that member polling companies adhere to certain standards to ensure accuracy in polling. More seriously, it appears that the 2016 was not correctly weighted, which means that it wasn’t conducted amongst a properly representative sample of the population. In any event, that poll proved to be a one-off. Its result was never replicated in any other poll. It was what’s called a rogue poll, an outlier whose result was not an accurate reflection of what was really going on on the ground.

What we’ve got now is very different. We have had a series of opinion polls from companies which are members of the British Polling Council, all of which have shown that a majority are in favour of independence. And what seems to be a gradually increasing majority at that. In this latest poll, even if don’t knows are included, there’s still a majority for Yes. This poll puts Yes at 51%, No at 42%, and Don’t Know at 7%.

We’ve already had credible reports in the Conservative press that senior cabinet members are panicking about the rise in support for Scottish independence. This poll is only going to make them run about like Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army. Well, British nationalists do love an excuse to go on about WW2. We’re really just doing them a favour. Social media is now full of rabid British nationalist Brextremist Tories warning of the dangers of nationalism and trying to persuade us of the benefits of pooled sovereignty. If you were waiting for the penny to drop with the Tories that they themselves are the reason the UK is finished, you’ll be in for a long wait. Self-awareness is not their strong suit.

How could the Tories possibly have foreseen that their dystopian English nationalism, their hardest possible Brexit, the lazy lassitude of posh boy Johnson and his interminable holidays, the sheer and utter incompetence of an administration which has given the UK the highest covid-19 death toll in Europe combined with the greatest economic damage would have driven ever increasing numbers of people in Scotland to the realisation that we can do things differently. Not just to the realisation that we can do things differently, the realisation that if we want to preserve any modicum of governmental accountability, our public services, and even a basic sense of common decency and humanity in public office, we have to do things differently. No amount of union flag waving can hide that stark truth.

What’s equally evident is that the Conservatives’ attempts to undermine the devolution settlement are proving counterproductive. Far from ensuring that Scots see the supposed benefits of the UK, all that they are doing is to increase the perception amongst the Scottish electorate that Scotland’s choices will not be respected by a British Government. For a party which is always going on about the need to respect a referendum, the Conservatives consistently fail to grasp that the devolution settlement is also the product of a referendum. They meddle with it at their peril.

The debate about independence is no longer about proving that the average Scottish family would be better off or worse off by the price of a Chinese takeaway once a week. It’s about democracy. It’s about accountability. It’s about ensuring that there’s humanity and decency. It’s a rejection of the cruelty of a UK where the state broadcaster thinks its appropriate to send a boat full of reporters and camera operators to chase leaky dinghies full of refugees limping their way across the English Channel and shouting questions at them instead of offering help. It’s a rejection of a UK where disabled people have to undergo humiliating and degrading assessments carried out by box tickers who have no real understanding of what disability means. It’s a rejection of a succession of British governments who pontificate about how precioussss the union is but who don’t understand the difference between a partnership of nations and the incorporation of Scotland into a unitary state where Scotland is routinely ignored, sidelined, and marginalised.

However the surge in support for independence in Scotland is not just a rejection of the negativities of a sclerotic British state that is incapable of understanding or responding to the wishes of the people of Scotland. Far more importantly, it’s about hope. It’s about the hope of a better life, a better way of doing things. It’s about the hope of engaging with the world as an equal of other nations. It’s about the hope of addressing the issues that affect the lives of ordinary Scottish people. The Conservatives and the British state can’t offer us that hope, only independence can. It’s the hope that is born out of the realisation amongst Scotland’s people that if we want change, if we want to make this a better country, we have to do it ourselves. And as we gaze upon the inept, chaotic, corrupt, and cruel Conservative government in Westminster, the people of Scotland have realised that we have it within our means to do so much better.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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