Who’s laughing now

The UK’s Brexit plans are starting to make CoCo the Clown look like a serious minded bean counter who ran away from the circus to join a firm of chartered accountants. There are paradoxes mused upon by ancient Greek philosophers which are clear cut and straightforward in comparison to the UK’s Brexit strategy. Zeno famously argued that an arrow can’t move because at any given instant in the arrow’s flight no time has elapsed in which the arrow can travel. And it seems that the Conservative government’s Brexit strategy can’t take any steps forward because at any given instant Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, and David Davis can’t extract their feet from their mouths.

This week Guy Verhofstadt, the EU parliament’s lead negotiator on Brexit, took to Facebook to mock Theresa May’s three stooges. The UK government claims that it doesn’t want to say anything about Brexit because it doesn’t want to reveal its hand, but when the guy leading the negotiating team you’ll be facing takes to social media to rip the pish out of you, it’s pretty much a safe bet that he’s got every confidence that the only cards in your hand are jokers. Then you look at Boris, Liam, and Davie and you realise he’s right. And then you stare wide eyed sitting bolt upright in your bed at night when you remember that these idiots are deciding your future, your kids’ future, and the futures of generations yet to be born.

Boris has been in Turkey this week, hoping that the Turkish leader won’t remember that poem that Boris wrote about him a few years ago. He promised to do all he could to help Turkey join the EU, which is a bit like a drunk guy who’s just been ejected from a nightclub for peeing on the stage after he’d grabbed the mic in order to regale the crowd with a racist ditty about the Turkish guy outside promising to do all he can to get the Turkish guy past the bouncers. Amazingly, Erdogan smiled and nodded, although he’s got his hands full these days imprisoning journalists for disrespecting the Turkish state. Boris has never been more grateful that he didn’t inherit Turkish citizenship from his Ottoman great-grandparent. The ottoman in question was an empty vessel, an attribute that Boris has inherited in full.

Meanwhile Liam has been touring the world with his pal Adam Werrity, trying to flog trade deals with the UK like a pair of encylopedia salesmen who’ve never heard of Wikipedia. He wants Britain to leave the single market, because he thinks other markets are more important, but he still wants the UK to have full access to the EU. Liam is the guy in a shared flat who helps himself to the contents of his flatmates’ shelves in the fridge but labels his own cornflakes and puts a padlock on his tin of chocolate hobnobs. People like Liam are the reason that when the UK voted to leave the EU, there was no great effort to get us to remain, instead half of Europe sighed with relief.

Britain is opposed to any moves in the EU to create a common defence policy, and continues to block and put up obstacles, even though the UK is leaving. Then the same defence minister who’s blowing up Europe’s plans announces that the UK wants a closer and deeper defence relationship with the EU after Brexit. There are leaders of the Labour party in Scotland who show greater consistency. Not that Labour cares. The party didn’t debate Brexit during its party conference.

Labour doesn’t care about Brexit, and it sure as hell doesn’t care about Scotland either. Jeremy Corbyn’s speech saw fit to mention only that his party has won three council by-elections in Scotland, showing a staggering ignorance of how Scotland’s local authority voting system works. Labour actually lost votes and continues to lose them. You won’t get free Scotland in a speech by Jeremy, but it will be Scotland-free.

Jeremy gave an English speech for an English party. A rebirth of socialism in England’s green and pleasant land. It’s all very fine and noble, but as long as Labour remains divided and its representatives more interested in attacking each other then it will remain unelectable. Which may be just as well, as the right of the party decided to criticise the speech for not being rivers of blood enough. That’s the driving issue in English politics these days, a narrow minded nationalism that’s set on turning its back to the world while demanding that the world accede to its every demand. Because Britain is special. We had an empire you know. Forgetting that the tense in that sentence is past, and Britain’s capacity to bend other states to its will has gone the way of Tony Blair’s reputation.

The UK is the Jerry Springer guest of Europe. Increasingly nasty, increasingly fractuous, Britain is the trash with an attitude who swaggers across the European stage screaming “You don’t know me!” while demanding that everyone else puts up with their bad behaviour. Everyone else has to accommodate Britain’s demands, but no one is allowed to demand anything in return. The problem the UK government has is that the other governments of the EU know it all too well.

Like the guests on the Jerry Springer show the UK is going to discover that it won’t solve its problems by shouting, screaming and stamping its foot. Instead the United Kingdom is in for a painful lesson in national humiliation. There will be no free access to the single market without freedom of movement of people. The Tories only want freedom of movement for their money. Shambling, incoherent and inarticulate, and the agent of its own misfortune, Britain will fall off the European stage to the accompaniment of the jeers and boos and derisory laughter of an unsympathetic audience.

But they’re not laughing at a Scotland that wants to remain a part of the EU. They’re not laughing at a Scotland that’s doing all it can to reassure EU citizens and to remain a part of the European family. They’re going to welcome us with open arms. Guy Verhofstadt is mocking Westminster, but he’s taking Holyrood very seriously indeed. Scotland was told by scoffing howling British nationalists that we were too poor, too wee, too weak and that Europe wouldn’t want us. Who’s laughing now?

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-28th-sept-2016

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0 thoughts on “Who’s laughing now

  1. I don’t know what I’d do without you – many thanks for all you do. I was going to write that in Gaelic but I figured you’d know I’d googled it.

  2. ‘In the released documents, lawyers for the government argue that it is “constitutionally impermissible” for parliament to be given the authority rather than the prime minister and dismiss any notion that the devolved nations – Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – will have any say in the process”’.

    Another great piece Paul, thanks.

    Wonder if you’ve seen the above in the Guardian? It’s from the legal challenge to the Tories planning to trip Article 50 without going through The Westminster parliament. Says it all, really.

  3. Pingback: Who’s laughing now | speymouth

    • I voted yes along with a few other ppl. Many no voters did so on promises (lies) made by the unionists. So it is surely a different ball game now, especially aith brexit looming large.

  4. And the well off leave voters will be jumping the sinking ship soon as.

    The tories are shaking in their boots, because they can’t get their own way on brexit, and keep Scotland shackled at the same time.

    I saw on twitter that Corbyn is calling his london labour party ‘social democratic’. Oh aye is that right JC. A friend I knew who was rabidly labour no matter what, will be a tad displeased. ‘You can’t be socialist unless you are a labour’ supporter, and the SNP, social democratic party are ‘really right wing’.

    So, looks like his labour party are right wing now. Hmm.

  5. One of your best yet. Thank you, Paul.

    This short-sighted notion that Brexit hasn’t hurt the UK so all’s well can only make the eventual crash into reality even more of a shock. I just hope Scotland can devise an escape route before then.

    But it isn’t going to be easy.

  6. Ruth the nasty mooth and her little helpers including SLAB & LIBDEMS have one common cause, the destruction and dismantling of Scotland for their own personal enrichment via Westminster gangsterism. They are the lowest of the low.

    Then we will be subjected to their proposed new national anthem for UK, JERUSALEM. Aye ENGERLANDS GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND. They really are the he scum of the earth, they have the morals of a slug and the backbone of a jelly fish. They just keep getting lower and lower. What does that say of their Scottish supporters.

    • Whoa whoa whoa there….those are some extremely harsh words there, and I take exception to them in the strongest terms.

      Slugs are a bastion of morality and virtue compared to this lot. Please don’t insult millions of innocent slugs like that. I know they wreck gardens, which is admittedly annoying, but they’re not out to deliberately destroy several nations, keep all the money for themselves and demonise large sections of the population. And honestly, slugs are pretty clear and consistent in their motives. Unlike some,


  7. The three stooges, how great mi Ga think alike! I have hard that term too to denote Fix, Johnston and Davis.
    The latest bowler from Johnston. On his visit to Turkey, he lauded his Turkish washing machine. I don’t think that will wash with the Ottomans.

  8. The UK at this stage is going around thinking it can set as pre-conditions to brexit, the very thing it wants to get out of brexit. Europe is not going to accommodate them. They think they can get access to the free market, because they did so much trade there before, and it would be in Europe’s best interest to allow this to continue.

    The simple fact that the UK only had access to this market because it was a member has not entered into their heads. The idea that the EU member states (Which the tories are now referring to as the Eu27 as if they can deal with them seperately) are going to allow a tedious bawbag like the UK, to use something they subsidise with out any conditions is, quite simply, stupid on stilts.

    There are some clueless little diddymen out there who think their act of defiance can bring the EU down. Then they can all have free access to a free market. The problem with this apart from it being the act of a dribbling village idiot, is that it shows a complete lack of understanding of how the free market works. Firstly, the free market is not free. It exists through a series of treaties and understanding between nations. This requires a legislative frame work and an organisation to handle disputes, ensure compliance, deal with new legislative issues as they appear. This organisation would be called a “Union” perhaps even be known as a “European Union” and to have access to what it has built through the myriad treaties would require membership. To have a voice you would representatives to act on your nations behalf. So that would require a parliament of sorts. From the EU, to the BRIC to WTO – this is how they all work. And the UK which has from the get go pissed in the well of goodwill with Europe and now decided to leave. But the UK is so narcissistic in its view of its self that it cannot comprehend how any of it could work if they chose not to get involved.

    Thats were we are folks. Having used the Eu as a straw man to deflect their own failures in power, successive UK governments turned the UK into the L’Enfant Terrible of the EU. So much so that it became impossible for the remain campaign in the rUK to actually win people over.
    The Scots who don’t really have that batshit insane view of Europe voted in large numbers to remain based on a sense of having a common purpose and that we actually get on with Europeans.

    Yet we are being dragged out and being asked to own Brexit on behalf of “British Unity”.

    The elected representatives of Britain in Scotland are demanding the Sturgeon work with the bampots in Westminster to help them destroy the UK economy and Scotland’s into the bargain.

    And of course the Yoons are out in force, claiming that Scotland can only be protected by the UK, because we are so worthless. Even when Brexit turns into the horror show we all know it will be, they will still be there bent down by the weight of their own sense of worthlessness demanding that we are still Better together. They are, to quote Dickens fettered by chains they forged in life. They made them link by link, and yard by yard; they girded it on by their own free will, and of their own free they wore it, and wear it still. We know it as the cringe, and that cringe that allowed Better together win, is going to lead Scotland over the cliff along with the rest of the rUK.

    The UK may not be laughing at us anymore, but the bastard is still in the driving seat, pissed as a fart on sheer hubris and spinning out of control.

  9. You will laugh at this. The Telegraph has had an article today (29 September) by John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN.
    He waxes eloquently that a Trump-led US and a Brexit UK will revitalise Nato and the West. The two special relations will become a new world power and influence.
    Maybe that is why May is holding off with invoking Article 50, waiting to see who takes over in the White House? Or do I give her too much credence for strategic thinking?
    With Fox in same newspaper extolling hard Brexit and the UK becoming an “independent” member of the WTO ( a contradiction,surely), and with the HoC soon to discuss Brexit – topic being to consider refloating Britannia to conquer world trade and retake the waves!, we are certainly in uncharted waters or about to go under.
    I wonder if May will have to slap down Fox again. He is giving away the “cards” .
    Tune in to the msm tomorrow for May’s Brexit update. Or maybe Fox will get his P45?

  10. Perfidious Albion is a well earned description of the English Establishment.

    I consider the potential consequences of Brexit to be much more serious than is being discussed in the blessed UK media. Anyone concerned over just what is happening in the USA today, politically and socially? And post- Brexit will the UK, look to model itself on the USA.

  11. Just shows how foolish voting leave was glad glad the rest of scotland voted remain I only chose that to stop torys getting more power which thanks to England that happens anyway (twats they are) yesterday the eu ref no show may tryed pinning the blame of the tory brexit failure on the snp she forgets scotland voted remain by 62% and they claimed for the last 2 years Scotlands will must be respected hahaha imperials only respect results when it suits them brexit vote here in scotland is more proof of that

  12. That Guy Verhofstadt can take to Facebook to take the piss out of the three Brexiteers does seem to indicate all the cards they hold are, indeed, considered to be jokers. Tears before bedtime I suspect. For those who manage to avoid Facebook, he wrote:

    “So Boris Johnson wants to help Turkey join the EU, after he just campaigned for the UK to leave the EU on the basis that Turkey would be joining the EU in the near future. The UK defence Minister today says the UK Government will block EU efforts to enhance its security capabilities, even though the UK is leaving the EU, yet they say they want an enhanced security relationship with the EU after Brexit. Liam Fox, the UK trade minister, has indicated the UK will leave the EU’s customs union, because he thinks other markets are more important, yet his Prime Minister tells us that the EU27 “will sign” an ambitious trade deal with the UK. Politics never fails to surprise me!”

    Elsewhere, the UK government is being taken to court to force it to hold a vote on implementing Article 50. One of the arguments is, to paraphrase somewhat, because not doing so would completely undermine devolution legislation and Acts of Union. An excellent article here: http://www.parliament.scot/General%20Documents/Article_50_Treaty_lawsuit.pdf

    I suppose we are just going to have to suffer and wait while this ‘phoney war’ totters along, the next exciting instalment possibly surfacing during the Blue Tory conference next week though there is always the possibility the totally consistent leader of the Scottish Branch Accounting Unit of the Labour Party could cause a minor diversion by being totally consistent in her opinion again– or not.

  13. I made a comment on newspaper site or Facebook, which was in response to Brexiters trumpeting that the world would be flocking to Britain to do deals after Brexit.
    I said I could agree because when the wide boys of the world say what hopeless fools we had in the UK Government negotiating they would come running, not walking, to rip ‘us’ off.
    Of course there was some reaction to this. It made me think there are a lot of Colonel Blimps out there, but without the intelligence.

  14. Any chance the snp could start acting like the lefty socialist party they sold themselves as being? Pity I can’t retract my vote for snp, watching all my colleagues being paid off, schools struggling, privatisation rolling out, yet as usual this papers busy detracting our attention by slagging off corbyn and the english

    • At what point did the SNP ever pass themselves off as lefty socialists? They have broad appeal on both the left and the right.You don’t get there except being in the center. They are a social democrat party, who are pro independence and anti austerity. As for retracting your vote – who would you give it to? Whoever sits in Holyrood would face the same problems of an ever shrinking block grant. Labour? they wanted to be just like Cameron but be really sad about it. Scottish labour thinks making you pay higher band of income tax than anyone else in the UK, is a great plan to mitigate Westminster austerity. The Tories? they love cutting budgets and they’d go a lot further. Lib Dems? who gives a shit about them.

      I’m a bit of a political anorak, and that last election in May, is the first time I saw two major parties in Scotland campaign to lose. That is to actively campaign to be the opposition. These are not parties who have a plan. These are parties who are content, as evidenced by their actions, to be nothing more than hostages to fortune to whatever happens in the UK. You honestly expect to convince anyone here that Scottish labour would have been better at the job? You expect me to believe that you would prefer paying a higher band of tax just to stand still? – not to get better or have more money – but just to have what you have now? What happens when the tories cut the grant again? – there is a absolute ceiling on the amount we can increase the basic rate of income tax. Fluffy Mundell went around trumpeting that it was a trap – and it is a trap. The SNP would be insane to touch it. The tories won’t go near it, neither will the others…except Scottish labour. Scottish labour thought they could rebate those hardest hit with a scheme ran by councils. When they realised that they couldn’t do that they had the brass balls to try and rely on the tories to provide tax rebates.

      Trust me. There is nothing remotely left wing about taxing people to mitigate austerity cuts in Scotland, that first originate in Westminster. It’s not left wing, its just plain stupid. Its also insulting to be attacked by Scottish lab on this, as their former MPs helped introduce a lot of the insanity of austerity and supported its expansion either directly or through abstention.

      As for having a go at Corbyn – are you seriously trying to tell me that the UK labour party are capable in any way of tackling the tories? They just spent months tearing into each other instead of standing up to the tories. The rebels spent more time trying to figure out how to cheat members out of a vote, because they knew they couldn’t win. We all watched them either abstain or support tory austerity from 2010 to 2015. They are a absolute disgrace. The very idea of these faux social justice warriors being in government is laughable. The idea that Kezia Dugdale could be first minister gives me the fear.

      Will the SNP have to make unpopular decisions from time to time? Yes. Will they make mistakes? Yes. Will lose popularity over time? Yes. Are they doing a decent job, protecting us from the worst of austerity given the circumstances? Yes, I would say so. You are perfectly free to disagree with that and all you have to do is convince us that Dugdale would have done a better job. Good luck with that, and let me know how it worked out for you.

  15. It is a case of ‘please wake me up from the nightmare’. I saw the Guy Verhofstadt tweet and responded to him asking for his help for Scotland. I did gain some relief from watching some of the Scottish Parliament EU Committee today on telly. I felt the people speaking had the job in hand ( maybe they are Oscar winning actors but I don’t think so ) watched Mike Russell & others questioning and answering in a measured and thoughtful and polite way. I also understood what they said – no obfuscation. Bodes well for an independent Scotland if we have this calibre looking out for us ( and we would have 55 MPs back from WM too )

  16. You ask, ‘who’s laughing now?’, Paul.
    I’ve just caught FMQ on BBC News Where You Are
    The List MSP Unionist hangers on, are laughing, all the way to the bank, to collect their £1200 a week plus expenses.
    Ken MacIntosh’s experiment to increase the FMQ slot from 30 minutes to 45 minutes is proving to be a pointless waste of oxygen.
    Ruth Davidson would have us digging up Scotland now; She’s a Tory. Feck Scotland and local opinion. Get the diggers and bulldozers in.
    I wonder if she realises that we all read and watch telly.
    Ineos have announced that the ‘10,000 jobs’ are now guaranteed for at least 20 years, before she lied to Parliament yesterday. The FM was apparently putting them at risk by not allowing Tory Carpetbaggers loose on our countryside.
    Some would see her as a bumptious lying fool. I couldn’t possibly comment.
    Speaking of bumptious lying fools, Tavish Scott lied about the number of teaching vacancies, and when the FM pointed out that Argyll had supplied him with the up to date figures yesterday, there were 12 vacancies, not the 200 he quoted, The Gentleman Farmer attempted to accused the FM of blaming a junior public servant in Argyll and Bute for his ‘misleading’ stats. another £1200 in the bank plus exes for nothing. Kerching !.

    Then Dugdale reminds the FM that it was ‘the will of this Parliament’ that the SNP scrap the NHS reforms, waving the front page of the local paper in the air, declaring that the BAD SNP had broken their promises. The FM pointed out that the UK Labour’s NEC newest self promoting not democratically elected member, and the Greens were always banging on about devolving power to local level, yet on the NHS Reforms they want the BAD SNP to override NHS Boards?

    Thanks, Patrick Harvie. You are now supping with the She Devils now .

    The Blue Tory one, whose party is cutting NHS spending in England by 20 billion, and the other whose Red Tory party ‘abstained’ when the Blue Tory introduced £32 billion in cuts to Welfare spending, LA spending, sacking 500,000 public service jobs, and rewarding the filthy rich with a 5% cut in their tax.
    What the fuck are you thinking of, Patrick? We shall not forget this.
    £1200 money for nothing, Dugdale. Kerching !

    Iain Gray hauled himself to his feet, ostensibly with some difficulty,and read slowly and deliberately from a script, with no enthusiasm or sense of commitment, criticising the Child Abuse enquiry’s progress. Money for less than nothing. If there is not cross party support for this issue, I would be extremely concerned. Kerching !
    Then The Queen’s Eleven Murdo Fraser smirked and smeared his way through a so called question, musing that Police Scotland’s time was being spent investigating MPs’ . Uproarious laughter from the Red and Blue Tories. (MacIntosh, how did this frippery even get past your FMQ vetting?)
    It was of course not a laughing matter when the Red Blue and Yellow Tories were reminded of the £25 million that Police Scotland has to pay in VAT every year, the only UK force obliged to do so.

    45 minutes, and loads of smirking, guffaws, and waving of paper.

    £1200 of the easiest money ever trousered by this remarkable bunch of Red/Blue/ Yellow Unionists lying smirkingThird Raters.

    Patrick Harvie, extricate yourself from this useless bloated self satisfied Better Together mob now, or face the consequences next May at LA level.

    Speaking of easy money, Brian Taylor gave James Kelly a wee plug, filming him banging on about his Green Brigade, Ooh Ahh Up Ra Ra, sponsored attack on the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.

    He asserted smugly that it is a failure because there have only been 47 arrests, and 11 convictions. I’d call that a success story, if you ask me.
    There’s a law against being an Old Firm bigot, so fans have changed their behaviour accordingly.

    Smirking by unelected back door MSPs seem to have been the order of the day. As Kelly was pouting his nonsense, The Queen’s Eleven Fraser scuttled by in the back ground.
    James Kelly, £1200 a week. Kerching !

    Who’s laughing now, right enough, Paul.
    What a bunch of low level bench fillers we have in Opposition.
    Speaking of fellow travellers. Why is Robbie Dunwoody trundled on twice a day by BBC NWYA?
    Nice little earner. Kerching !

  17. PS I’ve just watched QT from Boston. England really is a ‘foreign’ country now.
    I recognise none of the values, opinions and sinister right wing positions taken by the panel, and most members of the audience.
    We must use our escape pod. Independence.

  18. Pingback: Who’s laughing now | pictishbeastie

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