Archive | April, 2017

The Prime Ministerial Parrot

29 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

The Prime Ministerial Parrot visited Aberdeenshire on Saturday to squawk a few sound bites at some business where the employees were instructed to stand in silence, then repeated them before an invited audience of Tories who clapped like trained seals. Strong and stable! Coalition of Chaos! Precious Union! Now is not the time! Theresa wants a cracker! Then the entire charade will be reported in the press as though the Prime Ministerial Parrot had made an intervention in Scotland and had bravely dared to take her squawks, sorry, message, into the SNP’s heartland. At no point in the process will she be confronted by any Scottish person who might dare to say to her, “No Theresa, ye cannae get a cracker.”

Theresa May represents the final apotheosis of the trend that was begun by Margaret Thatcher in the 80s, when the Tories’ other female leader started the transformation of the…

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The nasty divisiveness of Scottish Unionism

27 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

The Tories were right. Scottish politics is divisive and nasty. But the problem for the Tories is that it’s them who are the primary source of the divisiveness and nastiness. The thing is that when you spend your entire time screaming at the top of your voice that the normal processes of a healthy democracy are nasty, vile, and divisive, the people who believe you are your own supporters, and that in turn provokes them into nasty, vile, and divisive behaviour. You’ve just brought into being your very own self-fulfilling prophecy, and then you can pat yourself on your smug back about how right you were to complain that Scottish politics are divisive and nasty, because the nastiness of your own supporters is proof in your own eyes of the nastiness of the parties you oppose.

Of course the Tories neither support, condone, or are responsible for the events on…

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If It Happened To You…

26 Apr


(- picture above from unknown author)

One of the saddest misconceptions about the chronically ill are that we are sad, morbid, whinging, boring people.

We are labeled that way due to other people’s if norance, misinformation and because many people couldn’t cope with the reality that we must deal with, so they deny it.

These are just some reasons, But I am sure there are more…

However, what if we could somehow turn the tables where the dialogue was aimed at the healthier people, ifsomething like thiswas said…

1. Why are you upset about losing your job? It’s just a job! It’s not like you are dying!

2. You are only divorced / unemployed / lonely / broke / busy … if you let yourself be.

3. C’mon. You can’t really be divorced or unemployed for this long. You are obviously doing something wrong!!

4. You need to tell…

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The monomaniacal single obsession party

25 Apr

What’s in the Scottish Tories election leaflet?

Wee Ginger Dug

The world’s most obsessional election leaflet is falling through Scottish letterboxes. A leaflet from a party with only a single policy, a single monomaniacal fetish, a sole idée fixe. That’s the single track mind of the Scottish Conservatives whose obsession is accusing another party of being obsessed. In the election leaflet from the Tories which dropped through my door this morning, the party’s entire policy on absolutely everything is saying no to a second Scottish independence referendum. And that’s it. That’s their only policy. This is an election leaflet from a party with a stalkerish infatuation, creeping along behind Nicola Sturgeon like a spurned lover crying nooooo!

There’s not a word about the hardest of unyielding Brexits into which the Tories are taking us all, very much against the express will of the Scottish electorate. There’s not a word about how Scotland would be a better place by adopting the…

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A Political Journey (Saying Sorry)

19 Apr

From a “no” to a “yes”.

Fig and Pen

Here’s a confession: I used to really dislike the SNP.  I’d go so far as to say I actively disliked them. Were my reasons valid? I’m not sure. I voted against Scottish independence in 2014 because I didn’t find the SNP’s case to be credible, and I believed Scotland would be out of the EU if we left the UK. 

From my perspective, the 2014 referendum was exhausting. For those of us on the No side, there were no marches, no gatherings, no messages of togetherness or hope. For us there was nothing but negative news (‘project fear’) and a really uneasy feeling in the gut that we were voting against fear instead of voting for hope.

As I’ve said many times, there was no joy in saying no, and I felt low for months afterwards – which is part of what caused me to dislike the SNP. I held them responsible for my…

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An Easter homily

16 Apr

Christianity with a big C and a little c.

Wee Ginger Dug

I’ve never been a Christian with a big C, but my mother tells me that I’m a christian with a small c. She means it as a compliment and I take it as such. She’s a Christian, a good Catholic, and she doesn’t wear her religion on her sleeve and cite it as proof that she’s a good person. She’s just a good person. She puts into practice what she believes in. She tries to be compassionate. She strives for understanding. She aims for empathy. Those are the things that her faith teaches her, and those are the lessons she tries to live throughout her life. For her, that’s what being a Christian, and a christian, means. I might not believe in God or gods, but that’s something worthy of respect.

It’s Easter weekend, the most holy time in the Christian calendar. I was brought up a Catholic but much…

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In The Chair 

13 Apr

This, this, this!


Sometimes you will see a movie or a television program where someone in a wheelchair is helped, given courtesy or recognized for the courage it takes to live life needing the aid of a wheelchair. However I can honestly say that, based on my own experiences, this is extremely rare and has never actually happened to me. Ever.

My personal experience of being in a wheelchair is that, at best I become mostly invisible and at worst, people have been completely rude.

Unlike mothers with prams, people will not attempt to give way or courtesy as I wheel around in public spaces. I have rarely experienced someone holding a door for us or handing me a hard to reach item.

Oh, and don’t get me started on car parking for wheelchair users. I have rarely gone anywhere where there is an available parking bay. Rarely.

I have been bumped, pushed…

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Sending a message

11 Apr

Good advice.

Wee Ginger Dug

That didn’t last long did it. Just a few days ago the usual suspects were crowing that Ruthie Davidson was the most popular politician in Scotland, all on the basis of a shonky poll from SkyNews which didn’t even pretend to represent a balanced sample. But that didn’t stop them from hailing Ruth as the chief buffalo girl. And then along comes a proper opinion poll, one carried out by no less a person than the Tories’ former paymaster Michael Ashcroft, a poll which puts Ruth a long way behind Nicola Sturgeon in the popularity stakes in Scotland.  So that’s Fraser Nelson’s thesis buggered then.

Ruth’s supposed popularity was always a product of hype. If you tell people often enough that she’s the most effective and most popular politician then she’ll become so. Unfortunately that was only ever going to work if there was more to Ruth than looking good…

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Being political about language

10 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

This is a quiet week for politics. So although I usually rant about Scottish politics, today I’ll rant about something else. When you rant about Scottish politics you invariably get a lot of negativity, and often outright abuse, on social media. You expect that. Politics affects people’s daily lives. It affects their employment and earnings. Politics can make a huge difference to our civil liberties and our human rights. All these things are important and fundamental, so it’s understandable that when you express a political opinion that someone objects to or disagrees with, whether their disagreement is well founded or not, you’re going to get some push-back for it.

But what’s harder to understand is the vehemence and sheer venom of the attacks that you get on social media when you dare to write about Scottish language issues. Language is a topic that for some bizarre reason seems to be…

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Let’s choose to live

5 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

One of the regular huffs of those who support the Union come what may is that the movement for Scottish independence is characterised by exceptionalism, by the belief that Scotland is somehow uniquely special, that it’s better than anywhere else, and particularly that it’s better than England. Because of course it’s a treasured trope of Unionism that wanting independence is all about anti-English sentiment. It’s not really about Scotland at all.

But none of that is true. It’s not independence supporters who believe that Scotland is special. Independence is nothing more than the radical idea that Scotland can be a normal country. It’s Unionists who believe that Scotland is unique. A Unionist Scotland is uniquely incapable of having any currency at all. Despite quite literally striking oil, a Unionist Scotland is poorer than Greece and unable to manage its own economy without subsidies from a Conservative government – which uniquely…

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