Archive | August, 2019

Put that in a graph

29 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

Ruth Davidson has gone, and the gushing eulogies from clueless people who know the square root of hee haw about Scottish politics are already in full flow. All of them ignore the elephant in the Ruthroom, the fact that the only future her career had left was behind her, and all that lay in front was humiliation and defeat. Her career was always buoyed up by the ignorance of a media establishment which knew nothing about Scotland, and the British establishment in Scotland’s desperate need for a saviour from an independence movement that only grows stronger and more entrenched in Scottish politics with every passing slight from Westminster.

On BBC Newsnight last night, the Tory pundit Iain Dale ruefully predicted that without Ruth at the helm, the Scottish Conservatives were facing the likelihood of electoral wipeout in the snap General Election that is being widely forecast. No Iain. That was…

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The end game

29 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

It’s going well isn’t it? So much for the puffery that claimed that Ruth Davidson was bidding to become the next First Minister. The erstwhile leader of the Ruth Davidson’s Vote Ruth Davidson for More Ruth Davidson party is going the same way as all the other Saviours of the Union, unable even to save her own career. She’s on the verge of proroguing herself indefinitely. I always believed that the UK would come to an end not because of the actions of the SNP or the Scottish independence movement, but because of the failures of the forces of Scottish Unionism and because of English nationalism. I just never expected them to be so enthusiastic about it.

It is claimed that Ruth’s resignation is not directly related to today’s decision from Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to suspend Parliament in order to ram though that no-deal Brexit that he doesn’t…

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Predictable things

28 Aug

I’ve said for years that we now live in a dictatorship and today I’ve been proved right.

Wee Ginger Dug

A Prime Minister who wasn’t elected, ramming through a policy that we voted against. Now every remain voter in the UK knows what it feels like to be Scottish. Remember how we were assured in 2014 that the UK was one of the strongest and oldest democracies in the world? With Alexander Boris de Pfeffel’s outrageous decision to shut down that Parliament whose sovereignty Brexit was supposed to enhance we have yet another Better Together promise that has bitten the dust.

The carefully and deliberately tousled one is going to ask the Queen to prorogue Parliament early in September, in a move calculated to reduce the amount of time available to MPs to plot to prevent a no deal Brexit. It was always predictable that a man who has lied all the way through his career in order to advance himself would have no compunction about trashing democratic safeguards in…

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Actions, intentions and ambitions

28 Aug

Peter A Bell

As I write, it has just been confirmed that Boris Johnson, inexplicably British Prime Minister, has spoken to the Queen to request that Parliament is suspended until October 14. We do not yet know if or how the head of state has responded. But does it matter? Isn’t it enough that the approach was made? Does this action alone not clearly enough signal the totalitarian ambitions and ant-democratic intentions of the British political elite?

Is an attempted coup less offensive to democratic principles than a failed coup? Is a failed coup any less reprehensible than a successful coup? Once politicians declare their ambition to use the power that democracy gives them to thwart the democracy that gives them power, how much more do we need to know? Once those politicians have demonstrated their intention to flout the fundamental precepts of democracy in pursuit of some narrow ideology, should we ponder…

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A dangerous thought

27 Aug

Peter A Bell

Some time ago, and in a different context, I wrote about what I still regard as the most fundamental attribute of the Yes movement.

Yes is a diverse, open, inclusive, unstructured popular movement. It is NOT an organisation. That is as it should be. That is its strength. It is not hierarchical. It is an amorphous, informal, organic network. That is the essence of its power.

There are no leaders of the Yes movement. But there are leaders IN the Yes movement. Leadership arises as leadership is required. When that leadership ceases to be necessary, it merges back into the movement ready to be called upon if needed. The Yes movement has no need of leaders so long as it has this potential for emergent leadership.

I think this fits quite comfortably with Jason Baird’s kitten analogy while taking it into the realm of human intellect rather than animal instinct…

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The smell of panic

27 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

There’s a strong smell of panic in the Brit-Scot establishment just now. Things have got so bad for opponents of independence and their desperate attempts to forestall an independence referendum that the SNP is even giving the Lib Dems a run for their money in the Shetland by-election. That’s like a leafy suburb in the Home Counties returning extremely promising canvassing results for Jeremy Corbyn. Shetland was the safest constituency seat in the whole of Scotland, and Shetland is – as we’re always being told by opponents of independence – so opposed to Scottish independence that it will secede from an independent Scotland in order to remain a part of the UK. Yet here we are with the SNP with at best a real chance of taking the seat, or at worst making a serious dent in the Lib Dem majority. If the forces of Scottish independence are on the…

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A million to one

25 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

Once we get into the mind of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and let’s be honest that’s not too difficult because there is plenty of room, we see that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is the hero in the movie of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel’s life, and he’s chosen to embark upon a crusade against the Germans and their Anschluss of the sunloungers because it gets him the attention that he craves with the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.

In the Discworld series of novels by the late great Terry Pratchett, anything that was described as having “a million to one chance” of succeeding was pretty much nailed on, as long as it was exactly a million to one chance, and not say 999,999 to one, or 1,000,001 to one. This is because whenever a hero in a war movie or a sci fi movie cries out there’s only a…

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Lies, damned lies, and accounting tricks

22 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug


Yesterday was GERS day, and as was entirely predictable it produced the usual cringefest of anti-independence campaigners gloating about how poor Scotland supposedly is. The “news” that Scotland is supposedly responsible for over half of the UK’s annual deficit was gleefully leapt upon by anti-independence politicians who were all over social media like a cringing rash. However it’s utter nonsense, and is nothing more than an artifact of the way that the GERS figures are constructed. They were deliberately constructed that way in order to paint Scotland in as poor a financial light as possible and to reinforce the claim that the wealth of the UK is produced by the financial sector in London. GERS wants us to believe that Scotland is a beggar at the table of a City of London bankers’ banquet.

There are several ways in which the GERS figures underestimate Scottish revenues and artificially increase Scottish…

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Happy GERSmas day

21 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

The annual GERS figures are due out on Wednesday 21 August, but I am off to Dundee to speak at a Roadshow event for The National.  I published a version of this blog post last year, but since we’re going to go through the exact same thing this year as we did the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that, I thought there was no reason not to publish it again – albeit with some minor revisions. It’s not like anything will have changed, the exact same arguments will be trotted out, the same graphs flourished on social media with a Cringing glee.  GERS day is the groundhog day of Scottish politics.

It’s GERS Day, Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland, the Scottish version of Groundhog Day. It’s the day when a certain anti-independence blogger goes around on social media showing off his graphs. It’s…

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Are You Listening Now?

20 Aug

Random Public Journal

By Jason Michael

Back in January when, in clear violation of the Good Friday Agreement, British military personnel were being deployed to search suspected Republican safe-houses in the north of Ireland I commented on social media that, according to the Provisional IRA’s own manual of operations, “British soldiers are now legitimate targets.” This was not mere opinion. This, considering the nature of the armistice, is a simple matter of fact. Brexit threatens to undermine the terms of the Anglo-Irish peace treaty and the Irish peace process. The closure of the British imposed border between the Republic and the occupied counties – as promised by a hard, no-deal Brexit – would constitute Britain breaking the treaty, resulting in a resumption of the war.

Rather than taking these valid observations seriously, the unionist press in Scotland and the SNP’s Maree Todd decided to twist what had been said – and not…

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