Sauce for the Irish goose and sauce for the Scottish gander

Our caring sharing listening and respectful Tory government has announced that it’s going to press ahead with Brexit negotiations without the approval of parliament, and without any meaningful input from Scotland. Scotland’s going to get poured a big bowl of stale Brexit cereal and we’ll be expected to eat it up quietly and do what we’re told. In the Tory fantasy image of the British platoon of nations, Scotland is the morose lance corporal who obeys the orders of the public school educated posh boy.

This week Theresa May held a cabinet meeting to discuss the Brexit negotiations. The British government still doesn’t have a clue about how it’s going to get what it wants, other than demanding it imperiously in a loud voice in the expectation that Johnny Foreigner will jolly well do as he’s told. What they want is for the UK to stop immigration from other European countries, but still to have access to the single market for goods and services, and crucially for British financial companies to have unfettered rights to trade in the EU. The EU has made it very clear that you don’t get one without the other. No free movement of people, no free access of goods and services. As it embarks upon the Brexit negotiations, the UK is going to be in for a harsh lesson in the fact that you don’t always get what you want.

There’s already a hard border between the UK and most of the EU, as asylum seekers in Calais have discovered. Certain Unionist commentators have suggested that there would be a similar border between Scotland and England and this means it’s going to be impossible for Scotland to become independent. After independence, they say, there will be a hard border between Scotland and England complete with immigration controls, passport checks, and burly men of the sort Ruth Davidson warns about.

How else is the poor UK going to prevent hordes of migrants from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia flooding across the Tweed on home made rafts? Scotland will become the go-to destination of migrants seeking access to the UK. Hundreds of thousands of them are going to sail across the Channel, then hike across England to reach Scotland so that they can find a rubber dinghy salesperson in Coldstream and cross back into England again.

Perched as we are in the far north-western corner of Europe and without any land frontiers with any other countries but England and separated from continental Europe by hundreds of miles of stormy North Atlantic, Scotland is geographically ideally placed as a lauch pad into England for migrants from the rest of the world. But only if they can teleport. And if they can teleport then they wouldn’t need to come into Scotland in the first place. The argument that an independent Scotland would be a destination for migrants seeking to reach England is an argument that’s geographically illiterate, but it doesn’t stop the more desperate Daily Mail types from making it.

While Scotland is threatened with barbed wire fences, and body searches by burly men, the Tory government is reassuring the Irish that after Brexit there’s going to be no hard border between the Irish Republic and the UK. Speaking in Belfast on Thursday, the Tories Brexiteer-in-Chief David Davis said that there would be no return to armed checkpoints and border checks along the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. He pointed out that there was a Common Travel Area in place between the UK and the Irish Republic for many years before either became members of the EU and that he expected that to continue.

What’s sauce for the Irish goose is sauce for the Scottish gander. The Unionist parties can’t argue that there will be no hard border between the Irish Republic and the UK while insisting that there’s going to be one between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK. Mind you, that won’t stop them from trying it on. And it won’t stop the Unionist media from not pointing out the contradiction in their argument.

We had all this during the last independence referendum campaign, and we’ll have it again during the next one. The usual suspects will scrutinise and criticise every detail of the case for independence, while even the most outrageous claims of the Unionist parties will go unchallenged. Remember Magrit Curran’s claims that she didn’t want independence because she didn’t want her weans to become foreigners? That claim went unchallenged even though everyone who was born a UK citizen would remain a UK citizen even after Scottish independence, and the children of UK citizens also have the right to UK citizenship.

So Magrit’s weans wouldn’t be foreigners to her after all, she’d still have her precious UK citizenship, so would her weans. She’d also have the right to Scottish citizenship, and so would her weans. Mind you, the argument that you don’t want independence because you don’t want your children to become foreigners to you isn’t an argument against independence anyway. It’s an argument that you are desperately in need of family centred therapy and counselling. If your relationship with your kids or other family members is going to be prejudiced because you hold a different passport from them, there’s something seriously astray in the internal dynamics of your own family. No amount of constitutional legislation can help you with that.

But there’s also the wee point that the last bit of these islands to declare independence from Westminster isn’t foreign either. The Ireland Act of 1949 declares that Irish citizens do not count as foreigners under British law. None of this was highlighted when the Unionist parties threatened us with foreign status and with barbed wire fences along the border. The press was quite happy to report the comments of the likes of Magrit without challenge. No matter how ridiculous the claims that were made, they were never examined critically.

That doesn’t just apply to discussions about the border and to the Irish Republic, it applies across the board. If we want to counteract the scaremongering of Unionist parties which are terrified of losing their power and their privilege, we’re going to have to do it for ourselves. Thankfully we’ve learned how to do that, we know how to organise, we know how to dominate social media, we know how to embark on a grassroots movement that reaches into every home in the land. We’ve already started the second independence referendum campaign, and this time we’re ready for them.

Audio version of this blog, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984

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0 thoughts on “Sauce for the Irish goose and sauce for the Scottish gander

  1. “Scotland’s going to get poured a big bowl of stale Brexit cereal and we’ll be expected to eat it up quietly and do what we’re told. In the Tory fantasy image of the British platoon of nations, Scotland is the morose lance corporal who obeys the orders of the public school educated posh boy.”
    But is this a fantasy, Paul. Or is it not true to say that many in Scotland don’t have enough backbone to stand on their own two feet, and assert their right to self-determination. I’m seriously beginning to wonder.

    • I am not sure what it will take to waken fools up how many times do they need to be pissed on and told they are beggars and scroungers by clowns of another country who have been shown never plan ahead never admit they could be wrong and there might be a better way of doing things , we will get the same respect our MPs get and thats f/all and these idiots will accept it and if the ones who have questioned whats going on complain it will be the usual oh just get on with it as if they were talking to children makes you want to shake them awake .

  2. Yes it wasn’t mentioned by the Unionist press but it was mentioned quite a lot during the referendum by the Indy side. I think it might have even been in the Wee Blue Book too

  3. Pingback: Sauce for the Irish goose and sauce for the Scottish gander | speymouth

  4. I heard an interesting view on Irish radio that the hard border might actually be at Cairnryan and other ferry ports in Scotland. The British wouldn’t be able to afford countless checkpoints on all the roads between the Republic and Northern Ireland, because the Irish government wouldn’t spend anything on a border they don’t want. The cheapest and easiest solution would be to have passport and border checks at the ferry terminals. Some Northern Irish might not like having to show a passport to get into Britain, but they would have to like it or lump it. It’s an interesting idea.

    • The modern day boat people (remember the Vietnamese after the Vietnam War finished) would find it much more simple to sail to Waterford or Cork or even get on a ferry to the same destinations. Then they can walk over the unprotected border into the six counties and be in Britain.

    • I recall being told a few years ago, that there is a route from the Irish Republic for migrants via the Belfast ferry. I was told that people do get stopped at Stranraer. However the routine is to tell the migrants they are to report to a cop shop in a few days and to wave them on their merry way.

      It is also the case that Ireland specifically did not join Schengen because the UK did not join. I would respectfully suggest that our negotiating position is clear. If they wish to impose a hard border on us, we join Schengen. This, and the common travel visa for tourists from fast growing economies like China which applies everywhere else in Europe, would boost our economy. After all, the only country in Europe with a hard border ( and a separate visa requirement ) would be England.

      I would expect the EU to help us improve transport links from Scottish ports to the mainland too. Obstructions to trade in fresh produce transiting a pair of hard borders between EU states would be resolved by say a RET route to Rotterdam from Rosyth.

      • Wales would of course also end up ¨behind the wire¨ cooped up and isolate with England, under that scenario. Maybe you don´t think Wales is a nation, but then given their Brexit vote, maybe the Welsh don´t either? I can´t help thinking that it´s sad though, that they didn´t opt to join the encirclement plan.

  5. Having just spent the past few hours working on what I thought had the makings of a marvellously witty anecdote about a fridge with a red rosette, along comes another blog. It’s almost like we are back to the week after Brexit when WGD was on fire keeping our Caterin Way walking companions diverted between the abundances from above.

    But, anyway, I suspect rather than the stormy North Atlantic it would be the stormy North Sea previously known as the German Sea or even the Septentrionalis Oceanus that would be the route of choice. I can see it now, wave after wave of brave hopefuls swimming ashore at Eyemouth or St Abbs then hiding in the loo of the next dawn sarthward Virgin Eastcoastexpress. Kirk Yetholm will become a people smuggling centre, dressing the hopefuls with bobble hats and ill-fitting shorts before, at the dead of night, being despatched across the border with, as a guide, a badly photocopied map of the Pennine Way. Or decoy wedding parties at Gretna.

    The news, such as it is, which came from the game of chequers would seem to be purely for internal consumption and of little relevance to anyone else which, in hindsight, we should have expected. With no effective opposition, why should May-hem care about anyone else’s opinion? Which leaves Scotland still in the uncertain place. Well, not actually. The certainty is that Scotland will get stuffed, ripped off, treated as an inconsequence, or just plain ignored, it just won’t be noted as such by the partisan meeja. So there is an imperative about getting the band on the road again.

    • North Sea was also known as the Frisian Sea. Don’t think there’s a joke in that. The arrogance and ignorance of May and Westminster is certainly no joke. Time is running out for her and the so-called united kingdom. The seas are about to become choppy.

    • @ Bedelsten
      The scenario you describe in the first part of your post had me LMAO. There´s a novel there to be written, or no, better still, an exciting TV serial … I can´t wait 😉

  6. On Scotland becoming independent the UK will cease to exist. The UK consists of the Kingdom of Scots, the Kingdom of England and the remnants of the Kingdom of Ireland. What about Wales I here you ask. Wales was incorporated into England by Acts of the Westminster Parliament 1536 – 1543 and is therefore not a separate country in the sense that Scotland is.

    Logically, the six counties of Northern Ireland should join with the Kingdom of Scots in a federal state leaving the Kingdom of England, with its Welsh Provence, to go its own merry way.

    In any case there will not be a UK south of the border.

    Though from a Scots family, and being born in Edinburgh, I have spent fifty years of my life in Wales and have retired to living over the Bristol Channel in Somerset, I personally will only claim citizenship of Scotland though

    • We have enough hardline onionists in our own country without bringing in the Ulstermen. Let them join with the other 3/4 of their own island if they want, but spare us.

    • Are we not seeking, at this time, to separate from a POLITICAL union with England?

      May we not be seeking, on a separate occasion, a dissolution of the United KINGDOM of Great Britain (comprising England Wales and Scotland – the big island) and Northern Ireland?

    • Are we not seeking, at this time, to separate from a POLITICAL union with England?
      May we not be seeking, on a separate occasion, a dissolution of the United KINGDOM of Great Britain (comprising England Wales and Scotland – the big island) and Northern Ireland?

  7. borders are made to sound like something from the great escape when you listen to uk ministers and their cohorts…like eire we can be independent and have an open border without all the baggage that the unionist like to churn out to keep the uninformed, intellectually challenged and elderly misinformed that its a no, no never and cant be done mentality…we are always on the backfoot challenging these ludicrous ideas, we need airtime and a scotia mainstream tv channel to counteract this rubbish..without it getting into the mainstream we are whistling up a dark alley and talking to ourselves…time to stop being submissive and change the narrative…

    • Kat, could you please expand on your use of the phrase “elderly misinformed”. Is there something special about being misinformed when you are, as I am, over 70, as opposed to being a misinformed teenager?

      • Hope you don’t mind me butting in Les, I fear that you have slightly misread the comment; I believe it should read as “…keeping the elderly misinformed.”

        Hope that helps.

  8. I wonder how much Kate Devlin makes for this latest ‘accused of sham’ ‘row has erupted’ nonsense in the HS today?
    Wee Willie, Polyester Man, and Kezia are at it already.
    The only folk fixated on the constitution and the next Referendum as those massive political failures, the Red Blue and Yellow Tories.
    Given Dugdale’s nonsensical 13 point suicide note, what else have they got to prattle on about?
    Devlin, Nicola is Bad? You come across as an Establishment mouthpiece with this sort of garbage. I’m sure that you’ll be fast tracked to the Washngton desk for devoted loyalty to your US masters.
    FYI . Rennie, and Dugdale are political nobodies. Don’t you feel a tad stupid writing this gunge?
    Money for Nothing.

  9. What Unionists seem to forget is this: After the actual Brexit (in two or more years from now), UK economy will take a deep dive, if the current level of cluelessness in Westminster continues.
    Immigrants (non-European and European alike) will likely target other countries with better future prospects. This should resolve the percieved immigration problem.
    (Okay, admittedly that was a bit tounge-in-cheek, and I hope I’m wrong.)

  10. Awfy nice of Mr Davis to clear up that bothersome CTA kerfuffle. 🙂

    As for the outcome of the Cabinet meeting? No really all that shocked.

    May is on the clock and she has a very precarious path to walk. Economic and constitutional mayhem or democratic, electoral and societal mayhem. Choices, choices.

    Its a pickle and no mistake. Tick tock Ms May. Tick tock.

    • Sam, not a word about it from The Grand Panjandrum Mundell today. He was on the News Where we Are advertising the Great MOD Closing Down Sale.
      perhaps it has not occurred to him that he is the Tories;’ SoS for Scotland, as well as ‘of’ Scotland?
      I have seldom seen such a quivering nervous communicator as this man. He feels our derision, I’m sure.
      Stop selling off our assets now, Mundell.
      What a pointless little man and useless sinecure this SoS job is.
      What the feck does he do all day?
      I’d imagine when rUK reinforces Hadrian’s wall, millions of dusky freeloaders will fly directly to Dublin, jump a taxi to the harbour and set sail for Holyhead.
      Davis is a shallow wee man. Say anything just to get out of the room.
      England, yer doomed !

      • Mundell will have been telt to keep his pie hole shut until he’s told what to say by his betters.

        May will do nothing before spring of next year I’m guessing and probably longer if she felt she could get away with it. She needs time to build the basis of that deal and floating a debate and legislative ratification through parliament would throw a spanner in the works. She can’t afford that. She knows only too well what will happen electorally in blue rinse UKIPland if she doesn’t follow through on brexit. The media and government have unleashed an intolerant right wing hell with their narrative and nothing will alter the voting public’s current perception of that narrative in the short term.

        May and the conservative government are some 14% ahead of Labour at this point in time. She won’t endanger that advantage and a long term conservative government by pulling a 180 on brexit or chance allowing parliament to reverse the ballot either. It would result in societal and electoral carnage, hence the hard line on brexit means brexit and sod the opinions of the partner nations. She’d rather chance another constitutional bout with Scotland and suffer the unknowns of economic hardship than lose that vote share or risk mass outrage amongst England’s population at what would be perceived as a complete betrayal of their referendum vote.

        Of course the irony is that should she lose that bout with Scotland yet another raft of very difficult questions will be asked of the PM.

        You might say she’s caught between a Jock and a hard case.

        Ooft! 😮

        • Ooft, indeed, Sam.
          Softly softly, catchee monkey.
          The Fall and Fall of the Labour Party is the next phase.
          Dugdale will not survive a Corbyn landslide.
          Wee Alex, and Big Neil, the ‘billion percenter’, will gather enough support to oust her. There are only 24 of them now, and the 10,000 or so Labour party members are predominantly pro Corbyn.
          When a significant number of the 180 Blairite ‘rebels’ Down There react to 4 more years of Jeremy, Dugdale may even break away and fall in with the WM splinter group, the New New Aspirational Labour Faction, or some such Red Tory realignment.
          I cannot imagine Lamont Kelly Mara Gray and the other sons and daughter of the Branch Blairidian suddenly waving Mao’s Wee Red Book about, donning hessian uniforms and demanding that the workers must own the means of production Up Here.They may join Kezia in the Real New Labour Party, or whatever catchall name Yvette Cooper and Sue Kendall choose.
          I shall sit back and enjoy the disintegration of the Tribe That Lost Its Head.
          May will delay, obfuscate, prevaricate, circumlocute, (is that the verb?) for another six months or so. Never will her haw be so hummed as she ducks and dives, bobs and weaves, zigs and zags. Ok, I’ll stop now. Hammond’s budget should be challenging for Ruth and Jackson Ruddy as well.
          The hope will be that as the distance between the vote in June, and the 2017 Spring negotiations commencing a 2 year process, the impetus for Indyref 2 will diminish.
          Aye, right.
          Between a Jock and a hard case, right enough.

  11. Problem is Paul, and you allude to it i your piece, the media. It may all be shite but as we have seen both in Indy 1 and Brexit, the media has a huge amount of power. They can say what they want without challenge, manipulate and lie and give lie to those on the other side and there is NOTHING that we can do about it. Older people, who kept us in the UK and pulled us out of the EU on the whole get all their information through traditional MSM. They believe the Mail, Express, Telegraph, Courier, P& J, Scotsman or Herald. There MUST be a challenge to this and the National isn’t enough. The Scotgov should be pushing a credible Scot internet channel. Outwith the UK’s reserved broadcast control which can be view on new tvs and computers. Along with some way of challenging facts. Why can scotgov not set up a department for falsehoods in refs before the UK does? We wont win with such a hostile press.

    • While I agree with your comments about the media Ian, I think you have to be careful with your views on the “older generation”. I have been voting since the 1960s, you didn’t get the vote until you were twenty-one in those days, and had my eyes opened to the wholesale pillaging of Scotland,s people, and resources, by not only Westminster, but by companies based south of the border who thought nothing of closing down their Scottish operation, despite the fact that it was making a profit, in favour of their English base. This asset stripping is continuing to this day, and that is one of the reasons I became a supporter of Scottish Independence.
      So while statistics may be on your side Ian, I can tell you from years of campaigning there are quite a few of us oldies who do a lot of valuable work, some of it behind the scenes given our age, and are indispensable on our road to independence.
      Regarding your views on the Scottish Government getting out their news, I agree it’s almost impossible with a hostile media. To give a case in point, earlier this week they announced an increase of over 760 in medical staff covering the whole of the S.H.N.S. I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen that published anywhere. No, all we get is the Junior Doctors are going on strike in England.
      I don’t have an answer to the media problem, and the hostility is only going to increase in the lead-up to Indyref2. But where I disagree with you is that I think next time we are going to win, because by that time the tories will have made such a mess of the Brexit negotiations, the Labour Party will have split, and that enough of our people will recognise that the only way forward is by us being an independent nation again. At least I hope so, not for my sake, but for my great-grandchildren’s future.

      • Alex, glad you reminded us about Scottish operations being closed down and moved to England. This never seemed to bother the unionist parties.

      • I’m exactly where you are on this Alex.
        Some of the older generation have been taken in, but there are plenty who have not.

        • Saor, I’m sixty nine this month. I’d no sooner vote Red Blue or Yellow Tory, than I would tune into BBC News Where You Colonists Are, these days.
          There are plenty of us Silver Haired Warriors out there.

    • Iain, regarding “older people”, I was listening to Radio Free Scotland in the 50’s and 60’s, and I have supported independence since then, and still do. I have found that the problem is not with the oldies, but, rather, with the younger ones who “just don’t know”. We need to engage these younger ones and help them see the light.

      • Exactly right Guga. It is those who do not vote (for whatever reason) that we need to engage, support and reason with. Many do not vote as they do not see the point. We have to help them to see the point.

  12. The kinds of things which Paul is ridiculing undoubtedly fall into the category of ‘pish’ by most of the readers of this blog. However, they serve to stiffen the resolve of the unionist voters and, really, that is all that the unionists are trying to do. If they can hold the line with 50% + 1vote, they will be happy.
    Maybe I am showing my age, but it is worthwhile many people having a read of Robert Tressell’s ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’. We can be as objective and logical as we like, but some people will continue to vote against their own interests.
    I am not being irredeemably pessimistic about a YES vote, but it will depend on convincing some unionists to switch. So, there will have to be an appeal to the emotions and the wallet as well as to their ‘grey matter’. However, as Harold MacMillan said, ‘Events, dear boy, events’, can bring about the change.
    I have for some time felt that the change may come in Ireland. The demographic is changing in the north. NI voted Remain, and although the vote split along traditional lines, a significant number on the unionist side must have voted Remain and even Mr Paisley Jr advised his supporters to take Irish Passports. What, if anything, the border between north and south is going to be will be be difficult to resolve. If Eire remains true to free movement, then how is immigration from the EU to the UK to be ‘stemmed’?
    If public opinion in Eire requires its government to claim the 11 billion euros from Apple and if this reduces the taxes on the populace, the EU will have flexed its muscles. While UKIP sees this as an opportunity for the UK to becamoe the tax haven, I suspect that the EU will make access to its market very difficult for the UK and they can kiss goodbye to the financial ‘passport’ and watch as the big banks etc, decamp to Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Frankfurt or, dare I say, Edinburgh????????

  13. The Daily Record website today ” blow to sturgeon as Scots reject a second referendum ” A poll by the Times Newspaper shows a majority of Scots 50 % reject a second vote , aye ok that would be majority then ! .
    Christ it’s never ending drip drip drip , and the BBC on the Junior Doctors dispute in England trying to involve the Scottish Government with the usual snide comment from the honest Eleanor Bradford , Quote ” the scottish government has decide not to introduce a new contract – FOR NOW , when exactly did they say they were going to introduce a new contract Eleanor ? or or was that just another figment of your imagination , I was under the impression you had left the BBC or are you doing freelance as a special advisor on all things SNP bad ?.

  14. Maybe I am showing my age, but it is worthwhile many people having a read of Robert Tressell’s ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’. We can be as objective and logical as we like, but some people will continue to vote against their own interests.”

    Well said, Alasdair Macdonald. This was a novel an old communist friend of mine used to cite to show how the working-class often voted against their best interest and how logic and reason were often trumped by whopping lies parped out by our right-wing MSM.

    We face a similar problem, called Jockholm Syndrome, sustained by the BBC and the DTP.

    Paul, as far as I’m concerned, I can’t wait to be foreign from England and, sadly, Wales. Wales is a classic example of a country colonised to the max. and the combined effect of young Scots emigrating and English retirees coming to Scotland for social and health benefits mean that we may only have a few years before underlying demographics will start to make our dream more difficult to achieve.

    • Tinto, I believe you are right about Wales and I fear for Scotland. I believe about 11% of Scotland’s population is English, and although many will support self determination, I think most will vote to remain in the UK when Indyref2 comes around. People often talk of how Scots voted in Indyref1 when in actual fact it was the people who live in Scotland who voted.

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