On the one hand, on the other

At least we can’t complain any more that we don’t know what Brexit means. It means xenophobia and a dangerous dalliance in the foothills of fascism. It means secret lists of foreigners. It means a plummeting pound. But mostly it means telling different people different things in the hope that they don’t actually communicate with one another. The UK government’s attempts to square the circle on Brexit consist largely of pointing at a circle and swearing blind that it’s a square. It is so a square, even though it’s as round and vacant as Boris Johnson, it just has an infinite number of very tiny corners.

Within the past few days on the one hand we’ve had the Fluffmonster Mundell telling Scotland that if we go for independence there’s going to be a border that’s harder than the look on Ruth Davidson’s face when she’s told that the buffalo she’s sitting on for a photo op is going to vote for independence, while on the other hand Northern Irish secretary James Brokenshire has been claiming that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the south because the UK and Ireland will share data to stop migrants entering the UK via the Republic. Obviously this won’t apply to an independent Scotland because, just like our infamous inability to operate TV cameras, we’re too stupid to cope with computers.

What we’ve discovered as a result of this episode is that when the Brexiteers said that they wanted to take back control of Britain’s borders, what they really meant was that they wanted to sub-contract control of the borders to the Irish. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise, because when they said that they wanted to take back control for the sovereign British Parliament, we now know that what they actually meant was for all control to be vested in a sovereign Theresa May and parliament isn’t going to get any say in the matter at all.

For their part the Irish have reacted to the idea that they’ll become the border police for British xenophobes in much the same way that Nigel Farage would react if he discovered that he’d be getting an Irish speaking Eritrean refugee as a lodger. Ireland has already got rid of British nationalistic xenophobes once before, it has no intention of inviting them back in. The attitude in Ireland is that it’s British intransigence and stupidity which has caused this problem, it’s up to Britain to fix it.

The point however, is that the only clear Brexit strategy that the British government has got is telling different things to different people in the hope that it won’t get found out. Scotland gets told that we’ll have to have a hard border complete with barbed wire and Ruth Davidson’s burly men, while Ireland gets told that there’s no need at all for border controls and checks and the existing open border can continue. The British government is like a drunk guy at a party shouting loud abuse and thinking that people on the other side of the room can’t hear him.

You might imagine, having stamped their wee red white and blue shod feet and ensured that Scotland gets to enjoy the same Brit bedecked telly as the rest of the UK without a Scottish national channel of our own, that our Unionist masters might have realised that Scottish viewers get to see the same news as the rest of the UK. So when a British government minister threatens Scotland with something dire that will happen in the event of Scottish independence, but another British government minister says the exact opposite to someone else, there is no except for viewers in Scotland to ensure that Scots aren’t going to learn about it.

This doesn’t stop them. When they’re not telling different things to different people, they’re saying something different to what they were saying a short while ago in the hope that our memories are shorter than a goldfish’s, or the career of a UKIP party leader. When the pound fell slightly just before the Scottish independence referendum, this was a sign of impending financial armageddon and supporters of independence ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for creating economic uncertainty. However when the arse fell out of the pound following the Brexit vote, and now when commission is taken into account it one pound won’t buy you one euro, this is a good thing because it’s a marvellous opportunity for British exporters and not a catastrophic instability at all. It’s just a shame that Britain is a net importer then isn’t it.

We were told during the indyref that we needed the stability of the pound and were threatened that we’d have to sign up to the euro, which at the time was mired in crisis. That threat looks pretty hollow now. The euro has stabilised, but it’s the pound which is crashing through the floor, and there’s no guarantee that it won’t fall further. Scotland doesn’t need the pound, we can have our own currency, but the pound needs Scotland. If Scotland was to leave the UK the pound would go into freefall.

That security of the world’s fifth largest economy isn’t looking so secure after all, especially not after Theresa May’s speech at the Tory party conference when she boasted that the UK was the world’s fifth largest economy, and the financial markets looked at what was going on in the UK and it promptly dropped to the sixth largest. There are more Guardian politics editors with a grasp of what’s going on in Scottish politics than there are Tories who can provide security and stability to Scotland. The only security the Tories can provide us is the security of being handcuffed to a narcissistic xenophobic bigot with an entitlement complex. Our job is to make the xenophobes feel like they’re really internationalists because Scotland’s a part of the family of nations that does as it’s told.

We’re going to be in for a lot more of this over the months ahead. There will be threats, there will be hypocrisy, there will be promises of invisible jam. There will be a lot of telling different stories to different people in the hope that they won’t be found out. But we’ve heard it all before. Next time it’s not going to work. They’ve been found out.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-10th-oct-2016

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0 thoughts on “On the one hand, on the other

  1. Pingback: On the one hand, on the other | speymouth

    • Appologies ….O/T.


      Over the last 5 days I’ve noticed the massed ranks of Scotland’s Football Journalists easing back from the vitriol they dish up towards Gordon Strachan.
      Then this morning Phil Goodlad announces “Chris Sutton claims that Strachan has had enough of being Scotland’s manager”.

      Instead of “he must win this game”, the scribblers have went to some length explaining Gordon’s decisions, in the Herald it was a case of how intelligent he is.

      The mission of our Football Journalists is to turn the fans against the managers, make their tenure untenable, drive them out as fast as they can.

  2. “Scotland gets told that we’ll have to have a hard border complete with barbed wire and Ruth Davidson’s burly men”

    No need for burly men, Paul! I am sure she would be delighted to volunteer to do the patrols herself riding her buffalo in the summer and her tank in the winter. I mean, the photo opportunities with these would be endless and her profile in the MSM would rocket. Nicla doesn’t have a buffalo or a tank so she soon would be left out of any picture and out of the race for the first ministerial seat.

    As for Kezia, och well… she may not be of much interest for the MSM after the local elections next year so she will be out of the picture anyway…

  3. Yer not wrong, on pretty much all counts.

    If there is anything more stupid, illogical or ill conceived as the spin which passes for support of this political union, I’ve yet to see it. Clearly the misinformation and conflicting soundbites are all too easily highlighted and exposed. What beggars belief is that still the ‘believers’ take it all in and run with it. HMG and the parties who support government by Westminster, abuse the trust and good will of their own electoral support and STILL there are those who rush to defence of their own abusers. STILL they take to cyberspace to project what can only be the equivalent of ‘flat earth theory’ as they deny that their union, their parliamentary system of choice has committed any breech of trust or covenant.

    Bad news is… the world is round. HMG and all unionist parties have defaulted on EVERY promise and pledge made to ALL of Scotland’s electorate. Oh, and they absolutely HAVE created a political, constitutional, economic and societal catastrof**k over the EU referendum, the Brexit vote and the media narrative surrounding all of the above.

    This isn’t a question of degrees or shades of grey. All three major establishment parties and the new kid on the block, (that media darling UKIP), have created the UK we live in today. Hatred, fear, anger, confusion, intolerance, exclusion … well done them.

    So we can choose to accept the evidence of our own eyes and experiences, or we can have the media continue to tell us what to believe and who to blame.

  4. It was France that kicked the UK into sixth place. A country with the Euro, a supposed basket-case currency!!
    The Dug is right, you could not make these westminsterite antics up.
    Davis, Mr Hard Brexit is contradicted by antic Tory Tomkins at Holyrood regarding Parliament’s role in the Brexit conditions et al.
    Fallon and Greening contradict Rudd re lists of furriners.
    It begs a question, what do these Tories discuss at Cabinet? Or is it just May-Hem?

    • The only reason why the UK beat France into 5th place was because the UK figures included estimated of revenues from drug dealing and prostitution, which the French figures didn’t. Apparently if Scotland became independent the UK would drop out of the G20 which may be why they are so desperate to hang on to us.

  5. I’d sooner have the world’s fifth most profitable economy than the fifth largest (turnover). Any fool can boost turnover – “stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap”, but at what profit margin?

  6. I admire how you manage to keep your ‘mad’ just below boiling point, Paul.
    I posted earlier on Herald England’s ‘will say’ cut and paste propaganda piece promoting Professor Jim Gallagher’s ‘will warn’ appearance at a wee Glasgow Uni Unionist bash.
    Gallagher, the ‘Leading academic’, the ‘constitutional expert’, (if you are a Right Wing Fascist Blue Tory that is) argues that ‘most people in Scotland would get most of what they wanted’, if we stopped going on about independence and embraced Brexit, and just trust in May Pittel, Fox, Johnson, and Davis, and Rudd(!).
    Is this what we wanted? To be ruled for ever by a Red Blue or Yellow Tory English Government for whom we did not, and never will, vote?
    Did we vote for secret lists of EU workers, hundreds of thousands of our fellow Scots branded suspicious foreigners, and travel and work in Europe closed to us?
    Did we really vote to continue punishing our poorest citizens while lining the pockets of the well off, which, I’d imagine includes the obscenely paid Right Wing Professors of the Union?
    I see Frank McAveety was presenting GCC’s surrender to the inevitability of Brexit today on BBC News Where You Are, urging the Scottish Government and WM to pump more money into Glasgow to mitigate the financial melt down, which you so clearly describe ,Paul, of the Nazi takeover of England and Wales.
    Scottish Labour gladly caved into Maggie Thatcher, and gleefully implemented her policies, in anticipation of Blair, New Labour, PFI, Arms Length cash cows to follow.
    The So Called Scottish Labour has rolled over and invited the Tories to tickle their tummy..
    We need not look to them to fight Brexit and the frightening fascist zealots who have taken over the Blue Tory Party.
    We have no alternative but to campaign for a second Independence Referendum, within the time scale of the Brexit talks; the next 2 years and six months in other words.

    Perhaps it should occur to dyed in the wool Unionists that when we successfully vote for independence, they will have the ‘best of both worlds’.
    They can still retain their rUK citizenship, still remain in Scotland, the land of No tuition fees, still free to travel and work throughout Europe, as a citizen of the EU, and nip Down There when they crave jam and Kendal mint.
    Mundell, Davidson, Tomkins, Dugdale, and the rest are increasingly irrelevant now.
    Hence the attack of the Giant Tomatoes,Professors, Gallagher, Tomkins, pushed to the fore, and sold as being very clever, so they must be right, so there.
    The mood that I’m in right now, I’d build a forty foot wall with barbed wire atop, to keep the insane xenophobes in.
    I can taste Freedom now.
    It is inevitable.

    • but remember to let all the decent people out, before the drawbridge is pulled up, cause if you don’t, you will have nightmares for the rest of your days about the fate that befalls them.

      • And this is the puzzle, scrandoonyeah.
        The Brexit Team will be insisting that the movement of EU members for work or pleasure is severely restricted, with UK border controls, visas, work permits, and so on rigidly enforced on those hoping to enter the UK.
        It has surely occurred to the millions who voted Remain, or who through complacency, laziness, or disinterest did not vote at all, that in two years time, give or take, a ‘holiday abroad’ will be to the Channel Isles, the Isle of Wight, Anglesey, Norn Ireland, or the Channel Islands.
        ‘British jobs for British workers’, will also mean ‘French/German/Dutch/ Spanish/Italian jobs for EU member workers’.
        Brits will apply and pay through the nose for work and holiday visas, and they can forget about buying a wee Dunroamin’ on the Costas, and opening a wee tapas bar (Mags Curran’s ambition, I hear) on Lanzarote’s Miracle Mile.
        I anticipate that Scotland will opt for Independence, and remaining within the EU, which shall be seamless, no matter what Professors Fear, Doom, and Gloom, spout .
        As I observed earlier. If citizens of Scotland who voted No/Leave in the Referendums gave it some thought, they would be tempted to vote YES in a second Independence Referendum.
        Then, they would truly have the ‘best of both worlds’.
        They could if they wished retain their rUK passport, would be entitled to a Scottish passport, and would still be able to holiday work and resettle anywhere in Europe, as is the case now.
        No matter what Professors Fear Doom and Gloom say, there will be a negotiated Common Travel Area between Scotland and the rUK, just like the Ireland UK arrangement now.
        The irony is that even the most resolute Unionist Up Here may wish to ‘vote tactically’, and vote Yes to Independence to retain as much of the UK/EU status quo which they enjoy now.
        The CTA arrangement will ensure that citizens of Scotland and rUK will continue to move freely across the borders, notwithstanding the dozens of cameras situated on the M74/M6 flyover at Gretna.
        Even if Johnson Davis and Fox brick England up into a cupboard, Scotland will always welcome migrants. We have plenty of room.
        The world has been turned on its head.
        Vote Yes to Scottish Independence to preserve the status quo?

  7. I’ve just read Professor Gallagher’s drivel in the Police Gazette/Ranjurs ‘n’ Sellick fanzine, or the Daily Record, as it’s known to some.
    A near Federal most powerful devolved state ever, pitch yet again. He’s produced a paper in Oxford , so he has .

    Jings, it must be the way forward. As long as we accept that May Johnson Fox Davis Rudd and Mundell will buy this piece of shit that Gallagher is trying to sell us. Agriculture, Fish, our own migration policy, blah de blah de Brown.
    They are really really worried now.
    Either this man is a complete idiot, or he thinks that we are.
    He’s got leather elbow pads for brains, if you ask me.

  8. I noticed on the Politics Show yesterday that a chasm opened up between Thomkins and the Brexiteers in Westminster when Adam let it be known that he was supporting retention of the Single Market while Iain Duncan Smith was glibly saying that leaving the EU meant lasting the SM.

  9. Don’t Panic! don’t panic!. Everything is ok – we are now told they didn’t really mean it. They say they are not now going to publish the Names of the Foreigners…. it’s just the Numbers they are interested in and they are only ‘going to report the Numbers in secret’ (so no-one gets offended). That’s alright then?

    Britain certainly deserves better than this … the lowest of the low.

    Are those Numbers ..going to be perhaps branded on the inside of the wrists?

  10. I wouldn’t get all fired up about the virility of one’s currency. The huge swings in Sterling against both the USD and the Euro over the years have been very damaging to the UK economy. Particularly the manufacturing part.The stability of the exchange rate between the various Euro members in the single market has benefited some countries immensely. Long term stable exchange rates would help the new Scotland. We would probably be better off with the Smackeroony shadowing the Euro than Sterling.

    • thanks for posting the link. fascinating report. I think I get the jist of it- (a lot of legal speak!) reading between the lines- a bumpy road ahead! Will Westminster try and use brexit as an opportunity to take powers away from the Scottish Parliament?

      • As mooted in the piece, that’s only part of the problem they face. On that alone, they’d have to justify such an action to both the Scottish parliament and Scotland’s population. No easy out on that issue, but their bigger problem is that Scottish law has always been independent of UK law and is stipulated as such in the treaty of union. Scottish law has taken on a great many aspects of EU legislation in order to comply with current EU status and is not subject to Westminster parliamentary competence.

        This leaves May in a bit of a pickle. She has ‘technically’ some control over one aspect, but zero on the other. An open assault on either, is an open assault on the democratic rights of Scotland’s electorate and would, in all likelihood, result in a hammer blow for any retention of political union.

        She badly needs, as the piece asserts, the willing compliance of the Scottish parliament for things to go smoothly for her. That brings us to the nub of the article ‘constutional crisis’.

          • Near as the author can tell (and she is the expert), the likely outcome is constitutional crisis. The whole scenario is unprecedented and may require extraordinary measures to navigate and/or resolve.

            What the possible legal ramifications and outcomes of the crisis are at this point, even she is uncertain of.

  11. I don’t understand how it would work, if Ireland controlled their borders in a manner consistent with the needs of a non-EU UK. Any EU citizen would have the right to enter Ireland, no questions asked. If there was no border with NI, they would just be able to walk or drive in, or whatever, and then be in the UK. Is the idea then that passports would be checked on flights and ferries between NI and England?

    Am I missing something here?

    • And there lies the problem. There are so many lies, half truths, conjectures, mabye yes, maybe no’s, we don’t knows, we never even thought of that, unforeseen consequences coupled with incompetence, no direction, total panic and a, quite genuine, total lack of understanding of the consequences of the Brexit vote. Are you missing something? Yes. A government in charge of national disaster.

  12. I know people who voted for Independence and SNP who think May is probably OK. It seems the real message is not getting out or more likely no message is getting out to a large part of the population.
    The Indy Ref may have woken people up and they really weren’t paying attention before. Perhaps the Tories were more of a generic evil than specific people to them. What May did as Home Secretary just didn’t impinge on their day to day lives.

    • Nice try, Brian, but no cigar.
      ‘May is probably OK?’
      Expand on this on one side of an A4 please.
      Your message is definitely getting out to this ‘part of the population” OK.

  13. It’s painfully obvious where Scotland’s best future now lie. However, do not underestimate the stubbornness of yoons, folks, especially the older generations that were brought up with stories of how Blighty stands alone against the nasty world, and brings civilisation to the unshaven “foreigners”. Blighty cam through the darkness before and it will again, according to the believers. This is a very strong mindset and no amount of logic and rationale will persuade them to change their minds before they are ready to change their minds. That said, everyone has a tipping point and even a powerful sense of British identity can withstand so much before it is blown away. It takes time and effort, and a lot of patience. Folks, we still have much work to do.

    • I’m of the older generation and I’m certainly 100% for Independence as are lots of the elderly I know. We are not feckin stupid and have been in the game a long time. Quit the casual bashing.

      • Och, please don’t be offended. There are indeed many older supporters of independence. I admire that group more than any other. However, there is no getting away from the fact that those aged 60+ voted NO by a huge margin, and it was this that swung it for the union in 2014.

        There is no blame, no casual bashing and certainly no accusations of any NO voters being “feckin stupid”. There is a stubborn belief system, however – something we can all be guilty of at times but we need to at least acknowledge where the difficulty lies. I’m not blaming anyone, I’m just saying that it’s still there and IndyRef 2 will be a very difficult battle.

        IMO gaining the final 5-10% YES we require will be more difficult than the 20-25% gained during the first Indy campaign. Hard work ahead. That’s my main point. 🙂

  14. Sorry kailyard but stats bear out Luigi’s point of view.the senior citizens by enlarge pretty much voted on masse to stay in team GB….they’ve been indoctrinated over the years, and have blinkered vision to the next generations needs. Put them in the same catagory as many in our capital city, a paltry 30pc showing faith in their own country’s ability….fraud it’s time to face facts that we ain’t gonna win over the proud butts anytime soon …

    • Luigi, Kat, I’m 69.
      The world has moved on since 2014.
      My state pension, and those of the silver Nos is now under severe threat from the Brexit zealots.
      Hammond’s budget should be interesting.
      It is predicted that rUK will go in to severe decline once Article 50 is triggered. They already talk of old folk having had an easy ride during the Austerity years.
      The winter fuel allowance will go first.
      Pensions will be frozen for the rest of this parliament.
      Tales of privation and poverty will filter through from the Costas and Provence, as Silver Swallows’ pensions will be slashed by up to a third : 88cents to the £ at airport Bureau de Change !
      Many former NO voters of any age may opt for the choice that I outline in earlier posts.

      Vote YES in Indyref 2, retain a rUK ‘British’ passport, acquire a second Scottish/EU passport, thus ensuring freedom of movement within the EU, and under CTA move freely between Scotland and rUK.
      An Independent Scotland, still in Europe, and the prospect of State Pensions Top Ups, to supplement our RUK Pension, which the UK will still be legally obliged to pay, may be the only mitigating avenue open to many of us Auld Girners.

      I am chary about labelling any section of our society, especially the over 65s, sorry, it’s 66s now, soon to be 67s, then 68s, then 70s, if Philip Hammond and Baroness Altman get their way.

      The message now is clearly, ‘vote YES to retain the status quo.’

      England has become a closed totalitarian state, run by a handful of extreme right wing fascist on behalf of the Establishment and global finance. There are tens of millions down there who are horrified, but are nonetheless trapped. Up Here, we can do something about it.

      I may be 69, but inside I’m 25. I suspect that many thousands of my fellow Old Wrinklies feel the same. We’re Still Game.

  15. Aye, we are not getting any younger. 🙂 I’ll be picking up my own pension soon enough (hopefully if I last that long)! I’m not bothered how long I last TBH, but we would all like to see Scotland independent before we go. I do feel so grateful for those Indy supporters no longer with us who kept the flame burning through all those difficult years (for the sake of future generations). We stand on the shoulders of giants, and my first glass raised when Scotland becomes independent will be to those wonderful people who went before us.

  16. Luigi As a member of the older generation, who knows only one person foolish enough to vote no last time, I am firmly of the opinion that the “world record turnout” of the postal vote is the reason why it looks like a high % of “oldies” voted NO. We need to make sure that there is no way votes can be compromised next time.

    • I have said it before, and I will keep saying it. We must have double counting of the physical votes, first at the polling station and then at the counting station. We should be very afraid of the power of MI5 and other shadowy Union agencies. This is not a game to them. This is war.

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