Archive | December, 2017

In a year of terrible events, we can still feel that this wee country is getting better as it drifts away from the callous, post-imperial, values of Tory Britain

31 Dec

Valuable brand? Or mere bargaining chip?

29 Dec

Scotto Voce

scotland brand2The need to protect Scotland the brand will be weighed by the UK Government against the exigencies of the Brexit debacle and the imperatives of ‘One Nation’ British Nationalism. There can be little doubt which will take precedence. An administration which, not only refuses to guarantee the permanence of Scotland’s Parliament, but actively seeks to diminish its authority and undermine its legitimacy, can hardly be relied upon to defend Scotland’s interests in any area.

If expedience demands it, Scotland’s valuable food and drink brands will be sacrificed without hesitation or regret as the British political elite scrabbles to extricate itself from a catastrophe of its own making.

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Standing up! Speaking out!

29 Dec

Scotto Voce

mike_russellI suspect I am far from alone in welcoming Mike Russell‘s explicit acknowledgement of the threat posed to Scotland by the pernicious ‘One Nation’ British Nationalist ideology which has gripped the ruling elites of the British state. Like myself, many in Scotland will be delighted by his forthright denunciation of the fervent ‘Little Englanders’ whose brazen dishonesty in the EU referendum campaign rivalled the unprincipled propaganda of Better Together/Project Fear.

We urgently need some straight talking from Scottish Ministers. The threat to Scotland’s food and drink brands is real and imminent. And, as Mike Russell recognises, it is symptomatic of a much larger threat to Scotland’s distinctive political culture and to our very existence as a nation.

What is the democratically elected Scottish Government for if not to defend Scotland against such threats? What is the Scottish Parliament for if not to represent the sovereign will of Scotland’s people?

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Things People Say…

27 Dec


Most chronic sufferers usually begin to share less and less about their illnesses and their lives as time goes by because 1. No one truly understands 2. It takes energy that we don’t have. 3. It can be deeply saddening to have to constantly repeat what your life is now like compared to what you had hoped and 4. Many people treat it like a competition (“oh I am far worse off than you!”). So we don’t talk about it. I don’t anyway.

Over the holidays I summoned up the strength to make a few calls to people that I don’t normally get to speak to, but I wanted to reassure some people that they were still important to me and in my thoughts. So I called. Thankfully many didn’t answer as they were all busy enjoying themselves. Others… well… read on.

Call one: upon calling this person I was…

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A Yellow Ribbon Might Just Save Your Democracy

20 Dec

Lliure Catalunya

Barrhead Boy

This is a very special time of the year for everyone in the Western Christian world as we focus on the big day.

For weeks before it all the usual rituals begin,the Christmas shopping,confirming with family that they are coming to your house for the usual feast and excesses.

Making sure you have mums favourite sherry,dads favourite beer, all the things that make that special day even more special.

We tend to lose focus on the day to day things that preoccupy us for the rest of the year.

In Scotland per head of population,more of us attend live football matches than most countries on the planet,for all its money and hype more Scots than English attend matches on a Saturday.

However in the weeks before Xmas Day,crowds tend to slide as beloved let’s us know we have other priorities this coming Saturday and catching a bus at 7 am…

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The evils of the Net tex

19 Dec

Wee Ginger Dug

Darling, it’s just awful. As I was saying to Clarissa and Farquhar just the other day, we may have to forgo our second skiing holiday this year because of that horrid Sturgeon woman and her Net Tex. Or worse, we could end up having to go to some inferior resort in Austria instead of our usual jaunt down the piste in Gstaad. These separatists just don’t understand that they’re taxing aspiration and hard work.

Well yes, I know that Alasdair and I inherited almost all of our money from his father’s family, but he had to work bloody hard to keep on the old goat’s good side. All that smiling when his father pottered about on the golf course darling so that he’d recommend Alasdair for a job at the benk with one of his school chums from Gordonstoun. And then he insisted on living well past 85 and we…

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How to train your bandwagon

17 Dec

Wee Ginger Dug

This week we learned about the real priorities of the British nationalists in Scotland. We learned what they get really outraged about. Apparently it’s far more worthy of condemnation that a comfortably off person has to pay £30 a year more in tax than it is that a person struggling to get by on disability benefits loses £30 a week. For the past few days the press has been full of manufactured anger about the so called tax bombshell on high earners, even though a far larger number of low paid Scots are going to pay less in tax. Some people who are already pretty well off, who bring home a lot more than the average earner, are going to find that they’re losing out by a few pence a week. You know, the kind of money that you can lose down the back of your sofa without even noticing…

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17 Dec



It’s now over six months since we’ve had Scottish Conservative MPs as a feature of the House of Commons. You’ll remember how they were going to be a distinctive voice for Scotland always putting the Scottish interest first. They were ‘Ruth’s’ Tories prepared to bravely defy their Westminster whips if it was in Scotland’s interest. Maybe it would then be an opportunity to check in and ask how these most curious and enigmatic of Scottish political creatures have got on with this selfless political task?

Well, the truth is they have been nothing other than Scottish lobby fodder for Theresa May and are amongst the most enthusiastic cheer leaders of this chaotic and haphazard Government.

They have trooped through the lobbies supporting a series of measures imposing the hardest of Brexits on Scotland threatening our devolution settlement. They have been enthusiastic backers of the £1.5 billion DUP bung. On Scotland’s…

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A dictionary of British politico-speak

14 Dec

Wee Ginger Dug

Theresa May suffered her first big Commons defeat on Brexit this week. David Davis said that he was disappointed, which is politico-speak for banging your head off a wall until it bleeds while screaming for your mother. This isn’t the usual definition of disappointed, but when British politicians say words those words don’t usually mean what those of us who are encumbered by handicaps like merely being fluent in the language might expect them to mean.

It’s helpful these days to be able to decode what politicians actually mean when they say something, because the words that come out of their mouths bear very little resemblance to what has actually happened. What we really need is a dictionary of British politico-speak. Like when Boris Johnson said that he apologised if other people had misinterpreted what he had said, which really means that he’s a liar liar pants on fire and…

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Botchland Uber allies

10 Dec

Wee Ginger Dug

That didn’t last long did it. The Conservatives’ newly found Brexit unity has gone up in flames faster than a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Despite the claims on the Tory benches on Friday that Theresa May had won a great victory for Britain by conceding everything that the EU had been demanding in the first place, by Saturday the EU was saying that there is as much chance of Britain getting a special bespoke preferential trade deal as there is of Michael Gove getting awarded Best Friend of the Year Award. Mikey is such a backstabber that he can’t even get a Tesco loyalty card. The ink wasn’t even dry on the EU agreement before Mikey was telling everyone that voters could elect a future government that could negotiate different terms. Presumably he was referring to a government in which he plays a leading role. And there’s a reason for…

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