A reason to be cheerful

17 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

It’s time to be cheerful, and not just because I’m about to see my American other half for a two week visit during which we plan to go to the Highlands and then to London for a few days. It’s time to be cheerful because despite any local difficulties that the independence campaign might have faced recently, we’re on the right side of history. More and more I’m convinced that we are no longer engaged in a debate about whether Scotland could or should become an independent country again, we’re in a debate about the timing. This is a debate about when Scotland retakes its historic place amongst the independent nations of the world, not a debate about if. We’re debating the tense of the verb, not its conditionality, because Scotland’s condition is that of a country which is on the path to statehood.

I’m cheerful because of the response…

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Tory cat food

17 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

Charlottesville is an event that is based in a tragic American history of racism and discrimination against minorities which has long blighted the Land of the Free. For too long Free meant male, middle class and white, and there are still powerful and violent groups in the USA who are determined to ensure that the only freedom that matters is the freedom to discriminate, the freedom to hate, the freedom to oppress. Those groups were manifesting in all their ugly hatefulness in Charlottesville, and the reaction of the American president was to equate the practitioners of hate with those who opposed them. Democrats and Republicans both have condemned his moral cowardice. Trump’s racist mask has slipped and Americans across the political spectrum have denounced him for it. Trump said after he was elected that he intended to unite the American people, and now he’s done exactly that, just not in…

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The unbearable triteness of Deerin

15 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

I wrote yesterday’s blog article about the importance of not allowing British nationalists to pose as non-nationalists or anti-nationalists before Chris Deerin’s piece was published in Tuesday’s Daily Herald newspaper. And there it was, in all its self-righteous and self-deluding glory, a proponent of British nationalism staking out the moral high ground and linking the Scottish independence movement to the Nazis of Charlottesville while at the same time he was seemingly blithely unaware of his own nationalism. Or at least hoping that we were. The piece was a frankly nauseating attempt to link the desire for Scottish independence with the violent white supremacist fascists of AmeriKKKa who drove a car into an innocent woman, aping the terrorist tactics of ISIL.

This is an individual who writes for the Daily Mail, lecturing others on the evils of identity politics. If you don’t understand the difference between a social democratic independence movement…

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Calling things what they really are

15 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

Language is important. It makes a difference what words we use to describe things. When we accede to the Conservative inspired move to rebrand social security as welfare, we’re acknowledging and giving justification to their ideologically inspired attempts to destroy a universal system which everyone pays into and which everyone benefits from and to replace it with a state funded charity which magnanimously grants alms to those poor the state deems to be deserving. The choice of word welfare implies that it is a form of charity. Social security implies a system of protection that we all pay for and which we all may need at some point. The change in language from social security to welfare makes it easier for the Tories to demonise the poor and punish them for the poverty that Conservative policies create.

It’s time to rethink the language that we use to talk about Scottish…

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The brittle fragility of Scottish Unionism

14 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

Over the past couple of weeks the issue of trolling within the independence campaign has been done to death. Articles have been written, including on this blog, letters have been published, fingers have been pointed, and allegations and counter-allegations have been lobbed about like diarrhoea filled balloons. Which is a trollish way to describe some of the Unionist commentary on this issue, but there you go. The Unionists have been looking upon the entire episode with a gleeful and deeply hypocritical joy.

It took the Sunday Herald yesterday to highlight the fact that bad online behaviour, name-calling, and abuse is by no means limited to the independence campaign. Trolling and abuse is so common within the online Unionist campaign that it has been become normalised. Insults and abuse hurled by Unionists at independence supporters is so everyday, so expected, and so predictable that Unionism no longer regards it as abusive…

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If the dictator’s cap fits

12 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

Wonder of wonders, let the band play. There was actually a news story about Scottish politics in the Unionist media that managed to get from beginning to end without asserting how terrible the SNP are, how screwed the independence movement is, or how Alex Salmond has never read anything apart from the Ladybird Book of Independence Declarations.  No, really. I almost fainted too.  Has the Unionist media passed peak-Ruth? Probably not, but sometimes her actions are so egregious that even her fanboys can’t ignore them.

Tory activist Belinda Don is very different from the Scottish Unionist press in that she’s not a big fan of Ruth Davidson. She most likely doesn’t have a photie of Ruth on her mantlepiece posing in a jolly manner with a gutted fish. She’s immune to the dubious charms of Tank Girl. Belinda is so annoyed with Ruth that she’s breaking the Tory omertà against…

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A guide to the Catalan independence referendum.

12 Aug

Catalans for Yes

When? On October 1st.

Where? The referendum will take place in the national territory of Catalonia.

The question: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent country in the form of a Republic?; it will be written in the 3 official languages of Catalonia: Catalan, Spanish and Occitan Aranese.

Why? The referendum will be held because there is a social and parliamentary majority in favor of exercising the right to self-determination of Catalonia. The Catalan government has tried to agree to a referendum with Madrid on 18 occasions, but Prime Minister Rajoy has refused to give voice to the Catalan people.

Who will be eligible to vote? All citizens older than 18 years who are of Spanish nationality and who reside in Catalonia will be eligible to vote, including those living abroad registered in both a Spanish and Catalan list and whose last residence in Spain was in Catalonia.

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Scottish democracy would be a good idea

11 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

There are many reasons for Scottish independence. We each have our own individual reasons for wanting to see Scotland regain its place amongst the independent states of this world. One of my reasons is to remove the obscenity of weapons of mass destruction from the Clyde. I’ve wanted to see the back of them ever since I was a child and decades later they’re still there. Trident missiles only exist in order to boost the flaccid penis of a post-imperial state, and only independence will see Scotland free from the radioactive stain that the leave on our landscape. At least suspicious stains on bed sheets don’t have the ability to wipe out half the planet.

I want independence because it’s only with independence that Scotland can have a referendum on whether we should become a republic or remain a monarchy. The chances that the Westminster parliament will ever permit a…

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Scottish A&E Departments continue to significantly outperform those in England

10 Aug

Talking-up Scotland

index

In June 2017, Scottish A&E departments exceeded the 95% target, seeing 95.5% of patients within the 4-hour target. In July, it was 95.3%.

https://news.gov.scot/news/aes-hit-target

Direct comparisons with England are not straightforward but regardless, suggest significantly inferior performance during this period of Tory administration. In England A&E results are split into two types:

Type 1:  Emergency departments are a Consultant-led 24-hour service with full resuscitation facilities and designated accommodation for the reception of accident and emergency patients. 

Type 2: Consultant-led mono specialty accident and emergency service (e.g. ophthalmology, dental) with designated accommodation for the reception of patients.

Now the figures for June and July were:

Type 1:            86.1%             85.5%

All                    90.7%              90.3%

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/ae-waiting-times-and-activity/ae-attendances-and-emergency-admissions-2017-18/

Now, I feel sure all Scottish A&E departments recorded for the statistics are pretty much the same as Type 1 in England, with full resuscitation facilities, and that Type 2 is not really A&E in…

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Being exceptional

6 Aug

Wee Ginger Dug

If you want a bomb proof career, if you want to sail through life without being negatively affected by the consequences of your professional choices, then get a job in Conservative politics. For a bunch of people who are always banging on about how the market rewards success and penalises failure, they’re very good at ensuring that precept doesn’t apply to themselves. This is precisely why the Benighted Kingdom is in such a mess, because the British establishment has rewarded itself with immunity.

George Osborne and David Cameron ruin the country by putting their party interests before the nation’s, and they walk off into lucrative positions. Theresa May’s advisor Nick Timothy, who advised her disastrously poorly, spends a fortnight in the political wilderness nursing his wounds with a compensation payout of £35,000 then bounces back with a very paid column in the Telegraph. That stickler for correct titles The Disgraced…

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