Having a weary Brexmess

A huge thanks to Macart for keeping you all entertained in my absence with his great blog articles. That’s me back from a trip to soon-to-be Trumpland, where the prospect of the Donaldmaggedon had got everyone I met even more depressed than a black gay muslim EU immigrant at a Ukip Christmas party. Admittedly I was in liberal New England, but for every Trump sticker or poster I saw, I saw five Hillary ones and almost as many Bernie Sanders ones. On the way there and back I had a stop over in Dublin airport, and in the space of just a few hours no less than four Irish people and a Dutch guy unprompted and unasked told me that they hoped that Scotland would vote for independence and assured me that everyone in Ireland was supporting us. Admittedly it’s hardly a representative sample of European opinion, but it was nice to feel loved and wanted. It’s all a very big contrast to what you feel being Scottish in the UK.

It was a nice wee ego boost because I’m pretty depressed myself, as depressed as an American viewing the impending car crash of a Trump unpresidency where US foreign policy will be determined on the basis of whatever it is that gets planning permission for a new hotel or golf course. I had a wonderful time with my significant other only to have to leave him and then come back to an empty bed in a cold and wet Scotland where Ruth Davidson is spouting pish about Spain maybe vetoing Scottish membership of the EU. Sigh. Some people should stick to the photo opportunities with open mouthed fish. Although she’s less likely to do that now that Michael Gove’s career is going much the same way as post-Brexit Britain.

Mind you, Ruth of all people ought to know what the Partido Popular is planning, since before the last independence referendum she was meeting with them in private in order to discuss ways of putting the hems on Scottish ambitions. There’s a word for people who conspire with foreign forces in order to damage the interests of their own country, and it’s not a pretty word, but then Ruth’s party isn’t a pretty party. However even Ruthie should know that the supposed Spanish veto threat has been done to death and beaten over the head with a battered merluz and then diced up, fried and served up with a side order of humble pie, but mere facts won’t stop a Tory politician with a Union to save. Especially when it’s a Union that the Tories themselves have broken.

But for the benefit of Ruth, I’ll spell it out as simply as possible so that it can even be understood by someone sitting atop a tank. If Spain vetoes Scottish membership of the EU, after Scotland achieves independence having negotiated it with Westminster, Madrid will not discourage the aspirations of the Catalans. Madrid will instead destroy its own argument against Barcelona. Because Madrid’s argument against Catalonia rests upon constitutionality and the claim that a Catalan referendum and independence is contrary to the Spanish constitution. If Madrid were to veto Scotland “just because”, it would not discourage the Catalans. It would merely give the Catalans evidence that Madrid’s claim that it opposes moves towards Catalan independence because they’re unconstitutional are simply a convenient excuse. And that would give the Catalans the justification that they require in order to internationalise their dispute with la Moncloa (the seat of the Spanish government).

What’s going to happen in what seems to be the increasingly inevitable event of Scottish independence is that the morning after a Yes vote in a Scottish indyref2, the Spanish government will announce that it has said all along that Scotland’s circumstances and Catalonia’s circumstances are completely different from one another and Scotland’s vote has no bearing on what happens in Spain.

What is making Scottish independence ever more inevitable is the behaviour of the British government. While I was away we discovered that Theresa May is indeed capable of giving careful consideration to things within an incredibly short measurement of time. That’s a nanosecond, which is somewhat longer than the amount of time that passes between Boris Johnson’s gaffes. You might have imagined that with the long delays in Theresa giving any information on what her plan for Brexit might consist of, that she needs months and months in order to consider the implications of important decisions and takes forever to process all the relevant facts. But no. Theresa has actually got more processing power than a Samsung Galaxy Note7, and is equally prone to self-combusting. Having promised that she’d give careful consideration to the proposals of the Scottish government to find some means of reconciling Scottish membership of the UK with Scotland’s vote to remain a part of the EU, Theresa sat down, carefully considered it, and then within a Boris gaffe’s worth of time announced that she’d given it all the consideration it required, which was none at all.

If the British government had a milligramme of commonsense, it would grasp at the proposals from the Scottish government like a drowning man grabs a lifeline. But it doesn’t have a milligramme of commonsense because milligrammes are an unBritish European unit of measurement and we’ll be having none of that nonsense in a red white and blue Brexit. Knee-jerk opposition to anything that comes from Holyrood is the default position of the British government. Scotland is a part of a Union which it doesn’t get any say in determining, which is increasingly indistinguishable from being a colony.

Accepting the proposals of the Scottish government would mean that Theresa May could stop calls for a second indyref and then blame any failure for the plans to be realised on Brussels, by which time Scotland along with the rest of the UK would be outside the EU. Instead she decided to reject them out of hand, demonstrating that Scotland’s supposed position as an equal partner in this most perfect United Kingdom is as mythical as Ruth Davidson’s reputation as a political giant or Michael Gove’s ability to drink a glass of water without looking like a malfunctioning host from Westworld. All of which has only made a second independence referendum far more likely than it was a week or so ago. The rejection from May, that is. It’s nothing new that Michael Gove acts like a malfunctioning android, although one with considerably less processing power than a Galaxy Note7.

So here we are, going into 2017 with a UK government that’s even less competent than the previous one, something which no one who had ever so much as glanced upon David Cameron could ever have thought possible. But it’s equally recalcitrant, equally arrogant, and equally dismissive of Scottish aspirations. Their weary Brexmess is the best Christmas present the Scottish independence movement could ever have wished for.

We’ve got work to do, to take the existing support for Scottish independence and turn it into a substantial majority. 2016 will go down in history as the year that the union was broken, 2017 will be the year that Scottish independence became the will of the majority of the people of Scotland.

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0 thoughts on “Having a weary Brexmess

    • Paul given my better half’s experience with WGD…. you must arrange a meet…!

      (My better half normally has the same body language when ‘meeting’ dogs but, when we were at a talk by Paul Kavanaugh in Lochgilphead the “Dug” came directly over to her, laid his head on her knees, and said ‘hello’ to her. Long-standing friends of ours were in shock as they watched, as was I. When I ‘met’ the Dug I too looked into his eyes and, crazy as it may seem, I ‘saw’ a very old soul looking back at me. Nicola needs to have the same experience as herself did….)


      • It is indeed Paul. I had the same experience in Lille in France earlier this month. People recognised my accent as Scottish when I spoke in English. It was much less obvious when I spoke French. Their reaction to me was extremely similar to the one you got – warm and friendly, with supportive comments about any coming referendum. Take note uno mas.

  1. Thems fighting words my man!! Glad you had a good break, my sympathy to you leaving a loved one behind. Have a peaceful Christmas and New Year xx

  2. Pingback: Having a weary Brexmess | speymouth

    • Took the words fair out of my mouth! Our host seems to have returned in fine form having it seems forged his own trans-atlantic special relationship. Welcome home Paul, you´re much needed and greatly appreciated 🙂

  3. Oh, how I love to see the pieces falling into place.

    With the Brexit train out of control and steaming full speed towards the buffers, Nicola Sturgeon is not telling everyone to jump into the unknown. Things are uncertain, the train is going awfully fast, many soft NOs would bottle it. Naw, oor Nicola is meticulously preparing the escape route (including air bags for a soft(ish) landing). 🙂 The Brexit train is speeding through the mist. The buffers will become clear at the last minute. IMO many soft NOs are still hedging their bets, waiting to see what unfolds (hence the immobile opinion polls). When they do see the buffers, survival instinct will kick in immediately. At the end, when it comes, unlike 2014, it will not be a difficult choice to make. 🙂

    • So NS set a cunning if rather obvious trap, and TM having no more manoeuvring ability than a train running on rails, even if she saw it up ahead, had no way to avoid running slap bang into it. Wha´s tae puir, tae wee an tae stupit noo, hen?

  4. I also have detected a mood swing regarding Scottish independence from fellow EU citizens in my travels. Before 2014 interest was luke warm, about as interesting as a knitting patern for fingerless mittens, now they want to know how we’re going to knit one and pearl two without dropping stitches on our journey to indyref2.

    All well and good, it’s up to us Scots however and those EU nationals which call Scotland home. Something about turkeys not voting for Christmas in the latter there. Perhaps the next time they will share that common interest rather than not feeling it was none of their business (although entitled), and vote to protect their own status. Nothing like a cornered bargaining chip protecting their status and livelihood.

    In 2014, my impression was the Irish in general were opposed to Scottish independence. I do not get the same impression now.

    It is up to us though, just like last time, and as I’ve said in the past… unionists make the best case for independence.

    • I saw it reported a couple of times that several EU countries, including Ireland, were reluctant to support Scottish Independence and our membership of the EU because they did not want to alienate the UK government. I doubt many in the EU now place that very highly on their list of considerations.

      Incidentally, I have a very nice knitting pattern for fingerless mittens.

      If you are interested. 😉

      • Gail, sorry but there is much more interest in the finger type now. Specifically the type, crafted in a thread, which does not inhibit contact on a tablet or smartphone at the fingertip, but still keeps your hand and fingers warm. MSM and senile elderly Aunt Beeb still prefer mittens… that probably best explains their living in the past.

        😀 😉 Seasons greetings to you and yours.

      • Gail, I’d like a copy of your pattern for the fingerless mittens please. Up around the Banff area they’re called “Hummel Doddies”. Ma Granny used tae gie us a’ a pair for xmas wi a pair o’ socks. She’s sair missed.

  5. To add to my last comment, maybe this next time; like Labour voters claiming they did not leave Labour, it was more like Labour leaving them. Brexit reveals that it’s England and Wales leaving Scotland. The status quo boot is on the other foot.

    Scare stories about Scotland loosing trade with the rest of the UK miss the point that Scotland would be part of a larger trading block. Are they really saying that England and Wales would be unable to make that deal they were telling us was a given before Brexit?

    Oil prices so low indeed. Well what’she the franking point in going ahead in Yorkshire then?

  6. Welcome home, Paul. You were missed. But Macart is indeed a great £40 million sub.
    I was at my niece’s wedding in Dublin the week end after NS’ extremely successful visit to the Fair City.
    RTE, that too wee too poor too stupid Irish broadcaster, covered our FM’s speech and Q&A at Trinity College (standing ovation, pro Independence questions and discussion) and her historic speech and Q&A session in the Senate and speeches from senators across the political spectrum, who all pledged supportfor our Independence Movement and Nicola’s EU singlre market option for Scotland. The message sent and welcomingly received was that the Scottish Government is determined to stay within the EU, and that NS had a Plan, unlike the Darling Duds of May.

    There were several hours devoted to the North South Border Question, CTA, and the influence that the Scottish Government’s proposals to stay within the EU single market would have on the Irish question.
    In the Dail, she had not one, but two standing ovations.

    Meanwhile back at the BBC Stockade on PFI Pacific Quay, technical hitches in their link with Ireland ensured that her entire visit was ‘censored’ by an invisible hand within the State Broadcaster’s second hand equipment room.

    Scots had to take to social media to find out what was happening on the Emerald Isle.

    The Ghost of Christmas Past. Project Fear, out of the EU, you’ll not get to keep the pound, your pensions will be in danger, there will be a hard border between England and Scotland, England would not trade with us as a punishment, we’ll not get Strictly or the Great British (insert fatuous name).

    Darling and Brown have taken their thirty pieces of silver, Murphy and 40 ‘Fucking Useless’ Red Tories have gone, Carmichael has been exposed as a liar, Cameron Miliband and Clegg are now writing their memoirs, and Ruth still straddles any dumb creature that doesn’t see her coming.

    The Ghost of Christmas Present.

    500,000 of our fellow Scots citizens live below the poverty line, and it’s about to get even worse, thanks to Davidson, Prof WATP Tomkins, Murdo The Queen’s Eleven Fraser, Jackson Carboot Salesman, who continue to laugh their heads off inanely, unhindered by any opposition from Dugdale Findlay Murphy, or Rennie and the Gentlemen Farmers.
    Food banks, zero hours contracts, a Tory led exit from the EU, 80,000 job losses, like Marley’s ghost dragging chains and money boxes behind him, the Holyrood Unionists will be haunted by their evil actions in the afterlife methinks.

    Now that the holidays are upon us, Kezia will go back to her ‘Band D house’ bought with her £60k pa wedge from her sinecure at Holyrood, and doubtless raise a glass to May and the Brexiteers for keeping Scotland in her pathetic little Union, as the poor folk open a tin of spaghetti hoops from a food bank, and thank the stars that Scottish Labour will protect them from all harm. But not just yet. The SNP must be destroyed first.

    The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come?
    If we sit on our hands, and meekly look on while Scottish Unionist Politicians not only oppose NS’ options to remain in the Single Market, but also enthusiastically promote the WM Red Blue and Yellow Tory Brexit agenda, and continue to clog up Scotland’s Parliament with their SNP BAD nonsense, we shall become a mere isolated colony of England, who untrammelled by pesky EU legislation will ‘take back control’ and inflict anything they like on us. You can count on self proclaimed sectarian bigots like Tomkins and Fraser to begin the process of abolishing Holyrood.
    Independence and remain within the EU.
    Repent, ye sinners.

    Enjoy your Turkey dinner, Ruth, Kezia and Willie. I’m sure your bosses consider that you’ve earned it.

  7. Welcome home Paul. Seasons greetings to you and yours. Wonderfully woven words as usual. I hope it is not too long before you and your ‘significant other’ can be together again. Say hello to Ginger for me too.

    The world does seem to have descended into a richt dreich place. I live in hope that Scotland can regain her sovereignty soon and become a beacon for a better world. It is a role that Scotland has played before, so there is hope we can accomplish it.

    @Mike – Macart doesn’t have a blog of his own, though many of us have encouraged him to do so.

  8. Welcome Back- Thanks for all your wise words – your blog is always a valuable, inspirational and witty resource for all who are helping to make the dream of an independent Scotland a reality.

  9. Welcome back Paul. Shame you had to leave your S.O. behind but time flies so hope it’s not to long til you’re together again! Hope you and Ginger have a good Christmas and keep up the wonderful writing in 2017. Slainte M’Haith

  10. Welcome back, WGD. I’m thinking of going to the Republic of Ireland myself in the new year. If I do I’ll let you know how I get on.

  11. welcome back paul – sam did a great job of minding the shop on your visit abroad.

    May your last sentence be a true prediction!! ” 2017 will be the year that Scottish independence became the will of the majority of the people of Scotland”.

    best wishes to you, sam and all the posters here for a great christmas and new year.

  12. We can persuade all the soft NOs we like, if the SG fails to ensure the integrity of both ballot and count this time around (like they did last time) we might as well not bother.

      • We can, indeed must, be totally paranoid for a short time and ensure that the procedures are totally robust.
        There is a report on the subject. One recommendation is to count the votes twice, first at the voting station and then again at the counting station .
        We must prevent any chance of rigging,

  13. I got the same response from the Spaniards I’ve been working with (on a local project in Alicante), from the various EU based recruiters I speak with on a daily basis, as well as from the nice English/German couple who’ll be looking after our own WGD while we visit Madrid for los tres Reys.

    Generally folks I meet (here in Spain) are shy to express an opinion until they realize I’m Scottish, at which point their first comment is usually “WTF” followed quickly by “I hope you will soon be independent”.

  14. Article has me rolling in the isles of a Mallorquin cafe. Nice sharp wit.
    People here are also supportive, as they were in Catalunya.
    The phrase “imperialistas ingles” keeps coming up. Point is, at least in some parts of continental Europe people do know about us and we do have support.
    Despite the recent constitutional court ruling the Catalans and their acolytes here in Mallorca
    don´t give a toss and seem to be pushing forward with their independance agenda.

  15. Welcome back to the land of plenty with its abundance of wind and rain.

    Jack Colllatin’s comment, “…and Ruth still straddles any dumb creature that doesn’t see her coming”, reminds me of the tale of the lady who went into the pub and asked the barman for a double entendre, so he gave her one.

    But, anyway, the Mayhem’s seemingly outright dismissal of the Scottish Government’s paper, ‘Scotland’s place in Europe’ without any obvious time spent deliberating its contents is arrogant stupidity on a number of levels including the obvious one insulting an entire nation. That a series of options, some of which would have suited the UK as a whole, were, it would appear, rejected out of hand without discussion or argument, is not waving but drowning. Mayhem has form here. Take, for example, an article from the Political Studies Institution, ‘Brexit, six months on’,
    http://ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Brexit-Six-months-on.pdf :

    “But six months later, the hiatus looks less like calmness and more like transfixion in the Article 50 headlights… the articulation of little more than a series of unrelated and mutually- conflicting aspirations cannot hide the absence of a game-plan.”

    Despite the absence of a game plan and the vacuity of the utterances, we are forgetting that Mayhem’s primary mission is to stop the fragmentation of the Conservative and Unionist Party. Whether Ruth Davidson’s one hundred and eighty degree about turn from anti to pro Brexit and her continual pantomime (or even marionette) performances aids this or not – time will tell.

    Friday’s Herald with the headline, ‘Spain rejects Sturgeon’s idea of bespoke Brexit deal for Scotland’ shows the Herald continuing to produce predictable SNPbad nonsense. It is shame commentators spent, and continue to spend, more time slagging off each other than articulating cogent responses when it would be more productive to expose the schizoid hypocrisy of a publication which also published an article by Iain Macwhirter: Dumb Brexit means 2016 will go down as the year the Union died. Dead-tree-scrolls™ indeed.

    2017 lurks round the corner, its grubby almanac already well-thumbed by people seeking, but failing to obtain, enlightenment – will the Supreme Court rule that the Sewel Convention is a mere passing fancy reducing the whole devolution process to a charade, or will it rule otherwise with the resulting outbursts of SNPbadness in the meeja? Will the supplicants at the Brexit negotiations be given their jotters? Will the council elections be interesting? All this, and less, in future exciting editions of the Brexiteers guide [to the galaxy].

    A happy Brexmess to followers of the Dug.

  16. Good to have you back. Your razor-sharp wit has been missed. Macart has been an excellent stand-in though.
    Please keep trying to persuade Macart to start his own blog. He really is so much more than a stand-in.
    Hope you have a lovely Christmas.

  17. Just to comment, it’s what we randoms do:

    “2017 will be the year that Scottish independence became the will of the majority of the people of Scotland.”

    Could you provide me with a guarantee?

    My heart was broken, etc, etc a couple of years ago.


    Good to see you back. Perhaps you could allow Macart the occasional guest post even when you are around?

    Best wishes.

  18. Merry Kissmas to you Paul, posters and lurkers alike – and of course hugs tae the dug (and a festive chipolata too! 🙂 )

  19. Time fast approaching when differences are dropped. Political, colour, it is simple, wether we are for the Union or not. My Brother told me the same from Malaysia, Brexit viewed as a little englandshire problem and folk positive to Scotland. The World is watching our disunited kingdom and we are supported. Thanks Paul for rousing our spirits. Saor Alba Gu Brath has become my new mantra

  20. Carrie Fisher has passed away. Truly sick of this evil year by this point.

    So many talented people lost in 2016 and what has the world gained? Brexit UK and Trumpland.


  21. A bunch of us booked an apartment for a couple of nights just off The Royal Mile. Great pre Christmas mini-break. A Spaniard and his two young kids got on the lift with me. I have no Spanish & he had no Scots. The conversation went like this:

    Me: ‘Spanish?’

    Spaniard: Si. Catalunya!

    Me: Ah! Catalonia. Independence (Thumbs up sign).

    Catalonian: Si Si. (Big smiles). Independence! Scotland, independence?

    Me: Si Si, Independence!

    Catalonian: (Thumbs up sign).

    Me (on him getting out lift) Good luck!.

    Catalonian: Good luck! (Big smiles all round)

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