Archive | April, 2020

A failure of duty

30 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug


Yesterday the British Government finally began to include deaths from covid-19 recorded outside hospitals in England in the statistics it is giving daily and has added these to the figure for deaths in English hospitals. The official figure for those who have tragically died from this terrible disease in the UK as of Wednesday 29 April stands at 26,097. This is higher than the official figures for Spain (23,822) and France (24,087 – figure from Google ), and close to the figures for Italy (27,359). It is considerably higher than the 6,314 deaths reported in Germany, the only EU country with a larger population than the UK.

(Please note that unless stated otherwise, all figures and statistics quoted in this article come from

It’s been known for some time that there is a significant number of deaths in the community, and especially in care homes, yet for some…

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The dangerous irresponsibility of the British media

29 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

There’s plenty to distract people. Ending lockdown. Not ending lockdown. Facemasks or not facemasks. The interminable glee of the British nationalists about divisions within the SNP. The constant harping on of certain independence supporters about Nicola Sturgeon. Should there be a new yes party. Should there not be a new yes party. But there’s only one debate that we should be having right now, and that is how come the UK is on course to be the worst affected European state when the British government had so much prior warning that the epidemic was on its way, and how we can put maximum pressure on Boris Johnson and the Conservatives in order to ensure that they remedy their failures.

But that’s not the debate we’re having. Yesterday the Scottish Government announced that it was recommending the use of face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as food shops or public…

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29 Apr


(Reading time: 2 minutes)

Diarmuid Breatnach

The Herriko Tabernak (People’s Taverns) are a feature of Basque Society, in particular in the Southern Basque Country, i.e the part under Spanish control. Founded by members of the Abertzale (pro-Independence) Left, run by supporters and frequented by sympathisers, they have been a place to have a drink and some pintxos, have a coffee and chat with friends, hold social events and large group meals, as well as occasional meetings. The Spanish State is now seizing their funds.

One of the Herriko Tabernak in Bilbo, this one in Errondabide, Casco Viejo; view from the back towards the entrance and street. Photo: D.Breatnach 2015)

          In 2016 the Audencia Nacional, the Spanish National Court, handed down a judgement that the funds of these taverns are forfeit, in what the Abertzale Left party Sortu called “the greatest political and economic…

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Independence: What Next?

28 Apr

Random Public Journal

By Jason Michael

IN THE PAST FEW DAYS, I’ve gotten a bit of a whooping on social media over remarks I made on Barrhead Boy’s podcast Through a Scottish Prism. In fairness, it’s his podcast so I’m holding him responsible. Apparently, I was a tad too critical of Nicola Sturgeon and a little too pessimistic on the question of independence. Some listeners were disgruntled that our conversation had dropped shade on the First Minister and our prospects of independence, not – strangely enough – that they thought we were wrong. One commenter, ‘Tom,’ brought to my attention by Barrhead Boy, said: ‘We don’t need to listen to a couple of gloom and doom merchants…,’ and he’s right. No one needs to listen to anyone, but asking for social media page moderators to delete content because ‘it undermines the pro SNP stance’ of a site – not because it…

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Tall oaks

28 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

I’ve blogged every single day of lockdown without a break, so today I’m putting my feet up, lying on the sofa, and am going to binge watch sci-fi.  To keep you all amused and edified in the meantime, here’s a guest post.

18620922_1423573087701326_3144420869053488913_oTall oaks

by Mark Russell

Before any effective treatment can be commenced, it is essential to first establish an accurate diagnosis to save the life of a severely ill patient. To do that, the doctor will apply years of knowledge and experience, then balance their judgement after a careful and objective examination of all the evidence.

In some cases, like septic shock, the only effective treatment may involve the loss of an organ or limb so the life can be saved and then, the onus on doctors to make that accurate diagnosis quickly is paramount, if the patient is to have a chance of survival.

Many of us…

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Jackson’s car lot

27 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

Jackson Carlaw has been at the Dettol again. This time the office manager of the Scottish branch of the We’re Not Nationalists Because We’re British Yay For Boris And Brexit And The Queen Party has, in a single tweet, erased 1000 years of history. There is no border there is only one United Kingdom, he harrumphed in response to Nicola Sturgeon’s suggestion that if the circumstances of the epidemic demanded it she might “ask” for the power to close the border between Scotland and England, a power which she notes she does not currently possess.

Her answer made it clear that in her view we’re dealing here with something that is in the realms of the hypothetical twice removed. Yet even that is a threat to Surname Surname’s preciousssss, a threat which has to be removed. Nicola Sturgeon might have suspended campaigning on the issue of independence, but Jackson sure…

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British exceptionalism is lethal

27 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

Remember Brexit? Remember those halcyon days when the worst thing that we thought was going to happen was leaving the EU without a deal? While we are focussed on the coronavirus epidemic that is having such a tragic effect on the lives of thousands, and which is causing economic worry for millions more, the British Government isn’t being as focussed as we are. Despite everything that’s going on, Boris Johnson and his band of miserabilist ideologues are not being distracted from their pursuit of the hardest Brexit possible. That the economic impact and disruption will come on top of a UK that is already reeling from coping with the coronavirus epidemic and less capable of resilience than it was previously means nothing to this Government. Because sunlight uplands, great British spirit, Vera Lynn, Dunkirk, taking it on the chin.

What has become clear from the Conservatives’ mishandling of the epidemic…

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The Spanish Civil Guard Head: “We Are Working To Minimize Dissatisfaction Toward The Spanish Government”

26 Apr

Josep Goded

Last week the Chief of Staff of Spain’s Civil Guard, José Manuel Santiago, said that the body he oversees is working to “minimize the dissatisfaction with the [Spanish] government and its management of the [health] crisis.” Later, he said that his words were misinterpretedand he added that in his 40-year career he had “learned that people come first.”

On Monday, Cadena Ser revealed that the Civil Guard Chief received an email from the Spanish interior ministry on April 15, urging the paramilitary police body to identify fake news likely to create “hostility to government institutions.”  

The intent of this email was to prepare a monographic report “with the purpose of being addressed in future meetings by the head of the ministerial department.” The email also asks for the inclusion of cyber crimes, repeated investigations of such crimes and complaints regarding online sales of products such as masks.


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Us or them!

25 Apr

Peter A Bell

Angus Brendan MacNeil has called on Nicola Sturgeon to restart the independence campaign. It will come as a surprise to precisely no-one that I am in total agreement with him on this. The independence campaign should never have been stopped. In fact, it hasn’t been stopped. Nicola Sturgeon’s cease and desist order was never going to deter anyone who was truly committed to the cause of restoring Scotland’s independence. Faced with an unprecedented public health crisis, their first wasn’t that all campaigning must stop. Their first thought was about how the campaign could be kept going in spite of the lockdown restrictions. They never imagined that campaigning necessarily involved the kind of interpersonal contact that was rendered impossible by an infectious virus in the population. They had never considered campaigning to be entirely and exclusively about leafleting and canvassing and street stalls and public meetings and social events. They…

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If it’s got Cummings in it, it’s not The Science

25 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

We’re following The Science. It’s been the constant and repeated mantra of the British Government ever since the Coronavirus epidemic started. Any criticism or question about the wisdom of the British Government’s policy has been batted away with The Science. No politics here, oh no, this is The Science, with a capital letter and everything. The Government’s daily press briefing has turned into one of those expensive cosmetics commercials. You know, where a beautiful model who clearly has no need of the nostrum on offer waxes lyrical about the benefits of the product, and then talks about The Science, which is the cue to descend into nonsensical gobbledygook about which serves no purpose other than to throw up a smokescreen of pseudo-scientific respectability and justify the extremely high price.

We already know that the British Government’s snake oil is going to cost us dearly. Matt Hancock is to be fair…

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