The choice we’re facing

It’s been a full weekend. We’ve had threats of war with Spain. We’ve had Theresa May’s government cutting benefits payments to bereaved families. Life expectancy in the UK is falling for the first time since the last world war. We’ve had the UK turn into the laughing stock of the world, as a report in a Dutch newspaper put it, Brexit is founded on lies and racism. There are supposedly serious commentators waxing lyrical about blue passports and reintroducing imperial measurements. It doesn’t matter what colour a British passport is, pretty soon we won’t be able to go anywhere with it without being ridiculed. The UK has sunk so low that even the citizens of Trump America are able to look down on us with feelings of pity. Things are so bad now that we really wish that Theresa May would stop doing her day job.

The UK has turned into a nasty little right wing fiefdom. We’re set to have Tories in power for the foreseeable future. UK Labour is far more interested in its internal disputes to bother being an opposition. We are living in a country which glorifies the military and talks of war and picks fights with the whole world. Britain has only got one friend left in the international arena and he’s certifiably batshit insane. The only people who hold us up as a shining example are your actual racists and neo-fascists like Marine Le Pen and that Dutch guy with the hairdo that makes Trump seem like he’s well coiffeured. Our establishment talks of changing our passports back to British blue, because we don’t need red passports any more now that our faces are red enough. The UK, the big riddy of Europe.

Michael Howard said that he sees no harm in reminding the Spanish what sort of people “we” are. That’s a “we” that doesn’t include Scotland. That’s a “we” that doesn’t include 48% of people in the UK. It’s a “we” that bows down before dictators and seeks to sell them arms. It’s a “we” that threatens and bullies when things don’t go its way, even though it’s a wannabe bully with wet knickers and a snottery nose that couldn’t negotiate its way out of a swing park even if it had a map. It’s a “we” that kowtows to big business and offers tax breaks to the rich while it throws its own citizens on the scrapheap. It’s a “we” that panders to racism. And most people in Scotland look upon it and say that’s a “we” that’s not me.

Yet given this utter catastrophe which has befallen the UK, a catastrophe that’s only set to get worse as Brexit bites the Britnats on the bum, what exercises the razor sharp political minds of some Labour cooncil candidates? Someone stuck pro-independence stickers on the statue of Donald Dewar at the top of Buchanan Street in Glasgow. There’s been a sticker! Never mind any of that other stuff, a statue getting a serious stickering represents a society that’s descending into anarchy. Where’s that joyous civic nationalism now eh, when a big lump of bronze isn’t safe from stickers. It’s this ability to hone in on the issues that really matter that’s ensuring that the Labour party in Scotland is at the cutting edge of politics. It’s just unfortunate for them that that cutting edge is cutting them out of power for good. When Holyrood comes back into session after its Easter break, Kezia Dugdale will appear at FMQs greeting about stickers and arguing that there’s a progressive Labour case for going to war with Spain because the last thing the country needs right now is a divisive opposition to a British invasion fleet of lilos.

The imperative for Scotland is to get out of this utter disaster that passes for a state. Britain lurches from one crisis to another, without a clue about where it’s going, blithely sailing on in the delusional state that it’s special and everyone is going to cave in and give it everything it wants. Everything that’s happened over the past few days was predicted and predictable, the only people who were unprepared for it were the British establishment and their media cheerleaders. They couldn’t look past the bunting and the Great British boosterism and see the reality of a fading little European country that the world doesn’t owe a living to.

Now that Spain has confirmed that which those of us who were paying attention had known all along, that there won’t be a veto on a Scottish EU application, the chances for Scotland to escape the clutches of the tiny minded British nationalist reactionaries have never been better. All the Unionist scare stories are falling by the wayside. Serious economists like Richard Murphy and Prof Simon Wren-Lewis have challenged the myth that Scotland is economically dependent on the UK. The Tories themselves have destroyed the argument that Scotland shouldn’t risk the uncertainties of independence when it can have the security and safety of the UK, because there is no security and safety in Brexit Britain. They’ve destroyed their favourite currency argument too. There is no stability in the UK pound any more, it’s plummeted against other currencies and seems set to plummet more. There are spinning plates on sticks that are more stable than the pound.

The choice we’re facing is the choice between showing the rest of the world that we’re not like the Michael Howards and Theresa Mays, that Scotland is a different country with different values. Values that we should have no hesitation in proclaiming are better than those espoused by a nasty narrow inward looking Britain that bases its entire public policy on a disdain for foreigners. Because if Scotland can’t be better than what the Tories have on offer, we’re as well giving up as a country and rejoicing in our status as a glorified Yorkshire, a tartan bedecked adjunct to a Little England.

The choice we’re facing is a choice to take responsibility for our own destiny, or to have that destiny determined for us by the who we ares of Michael Howard. It’s a choice between dignity or ignominy, a choice between self-respect or the humiliation of being the hangers on of racists. It’s a choice between the 16th century or the 21st. It should be an easy choice to make.

In March this wee blog that channels a stray Valencian dug received 246,950 page views and had 86,974 unique visitors. That’s a new record, and pretty damn good for a blog that has relatively few readers outside Scotland. The blog is now getting more traffic than it did even during the frantic final weeks of the independence referendum in 2014. There’s going to be many more blog posts to come before Scotland finally regains its independence. Thanks to everyone for your support.

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0 thoughts on “The choice we’re facing

  1. It’s not difficult to see why so many read these pages…😀 With every word I can hear your dulcet tones uttering each caustic but humerous truth!

    Bit of a roller coaster watching the *great and the good* trip over their feet, fall into their puddings and wallop each other with the proverbial slapstick dead fish…

    It’s been the most enjoyable few days, fair makes up for all the sneering contempt that is usually directed towards anything Indy.

  2. But dahn sath they still have the Queen! A soft power!
    That is a bonus!! Especially with WillsnzKate!
    And OBEs and MBEs etc.
    And the ennobled HoL with members like Howard reliving the past.
    And so it goes on!!

  3. The offence at a literal “disfigurement” of a statue of Donald Dewar must surely rankle less than the figurative one of his creation and legacy.

    How very dare the Scottish electorate elect sufficient independence minded men and women to Holyrood to bring forward not just one referendum but the promise of another.

    Have they no respect. They’ve turned what was meant to give Labour a permanent control of at least some minor areas of Scottish life into a democracy.

    • ‘but crew your courage to the sticking place. And we’ll not fail.’

      I am sure Donald Dewar (unlike others, it has proved) would have no problem with the permanence of the Scottish Parliament.

      ‘There shall be a Scottish Parliament… I like that.’

  4. Congratulations on your page views! Well deserved. Hasn’t this been a fascinating few days? And isn’t the reaction (on both sides) really amusing? The EU commissioners make a completely sensible recommendation that Spain should have the right to determine any deal with the UK where Gibraltar is concerned. It’s sensible because they share a border. And then for the Tory press to go ballistic with “how dare they?”and Michael Howard to suggest gunboats at dawn! You couldn’t write it. And this is still the first week of Brexit. It really makes you wonder what will happen next. Highly entertaining. Thanks for your post, which made me chuckle a lot! All power to your elbow.

  5. Pingback: The choice we’re facing | speymouth

  6. Another stonker of a post Paul, the dug is gettin’ the growl on.. ‘There are plates spinning on sticks more stable than the pound’
    Bwah-ha ha ha ha!!what an image- will need to get Hammond photo shopped doing that with big quids!!
    Luv it!
    tell ye what
    -my popcorn maker is going great guns.. Jaw -jaw..

  7. I agree Paul. I find it hard to believe how our political class behave. No politician is perfect but at least our Indy parties are less caustic and less stupid.
    I like the way you explain sovereignty and pride about our great land.
    Well done on your increased readership.

  8. What these eijits don’t seem to realise is that ALL 27 EU members have a veto on the Brexit outcome. Spain has only the same veto it always had.

    May has been “goosed” good and proper by the Spaniards.
    Boris, the human blancmange in a giant babies body, must feel he has missed the punchline, as all the world laughs at Old Blighty’s daft response. But this is only week 1. Wait till it gets rough.

  9. Teresa laughed and laughed ..Not funny Big T.. not if your son or daughter are or were n the services..the Falklands , Iraq, Afghanistan …enough is enough.

    Now or soonest is the time Scotland!

  10. Well deserved increase in your readers.
    Once you start reading your blog, you can’t get enough!
    I’m looking forward to hearing more on Friday, at the Aye2Aye event “A better Scotland” in Fort William.

  11. I am beginning to think the tories know exactly what they are doing. They will crash out of the EU and blame the beastly EU for not letting them have their cake and eat it. They will ramp up the divide and rule strategy which has worked for them so far.

    The Dunkirk spirit will be evoked. Everybody who disagrees with them will be labelled as traitors. A blind eye will be turned to right wing thuggery. What remains of workers rights and the welfare system will be trashed. The police forces will be cut, apart from the areas which can afford private policing. Legal aid will be scrapped.

    The fools who believe the right wing media will be told that the sacrifice of their jobs, benefits and living standards is worth it so that we can stand tall among the nations of the world. Most people will not be able to afford holidays abroad so will not be able to compare the shithole that England will become with anything else. This looks like their plan to me.

    It is absolutely imperative for them that Scotland does not become independent, if they do not get their hands on all that oil the economy will really crash. But if we do become independent there will be an example of a modern prosperous nation right on their backdoor which will be intolerable. They will turn us into the new enemy, those ungrateful Jocks stealing our oil and being protected by Brussels.

    Their Achilles heel in all of this will be house prices. They will move heaven and earth to prevent house prices falling because if that happens the unspoken agreement between the property owning classes and the government that house prices keep up will be broken. English house owners have tolerated all kinds of crap from the UK government so long as house prices kept going up. Once that stops and goes into reverse it will be politically traumatic and god only knows what the consequences will be.

    Hopefully it would result in enough people waking up to make a difference but I judging by the nauseating crap that I see in BTL comments in the unionist press I will believe that when I see it. It may, of course provide the shock that England needs to brea

    • Oil, oil, oil, F*****g oil, That is what this is all about nothing more nothing less. We are in a war for our lives as these evil B*****ds that own this country will stop at nothing to keep control of their lifestyle enabling black bloody gold to keep flowing into their bank accounts.The non-voting poor needs to wake up and vote for their lives as the I’m all right jack brigade will not jeopardise their own selfish lifestyle to help others. omeonwake2 f**k up and start fighting back!

  12. (continued)

    It may, of course provide the shock that England needs to break free of its sclerotic antiquated mindset and become a prosperous modern nation. We can but hope.

    • Sure can hope Indyvids, but from speaking to my relatives in England it doesn’t seem likely. I’m afraid they all still believe the D.M, D.E and D.T headlines are the gospel truth. During the first Scottish Independence Referendum campaign, I was subjected to ridicule from them for supporting the Yes campaign, and judging by their recent comments, nothing has changed.
      Whether they are typical I don’t know, but I’m due to go south for a family occasion shortly, and for the first time in my life, I’m genuinely apprehensive about people hearing my accent.

  13. Well done Paul on your well-deserved increasing success!

    Personally, I hope the remaining EU members kick the sh*t out of our not so savvy brexiteers – they deserve it. Of course, if things don’t go our way then sadly we will suffer – but at least we will have had the satisfaction of seeing these eejits get what they deserve.

  14. Well done Paul, was just thinking earlier today about an article you did for Newsnet in 2013 I think it was, Unionist myths debunked or along that lines, now it’s 2017 it would be great to have a newer shinier one, but you better hope no unionist like Kez reads Highland Hunger Call to Arms by W.J.Watt or she will say that Westminster will attack us using a virus that turns Scots into Zombies , it’s on Amazon and not a bad way to kill a few hours, the author is obviously pro independence like

  15. The evil of the eugenics experiment that passes for the “social policies” of the Conservative and Dis-union Party is even now playing out through the screen that are their media agents. I noted one of their local factors, a physician no less, deflecting their responsibility onto the Scottish Government. A government doing it’s best to mitigate the horrors of their callous disregard. Any physician who supports this evil has betrayed their Hippocratic oath. They have even trotted out CBE toting “economist” with the tiresome mantra that we are too poor and feeble minded to be an independent nation. The whole crowd of them are a virulent cancer on the body politic.

    No wonder the whole vipers nest of them is out of the country right now. Off plotting their new Empire 2.0 with their new allies. A coterie of tyrants and despots. Now that their ‘sacred’ Parliament is safely neutered, and the ‘Monarchs of the Glens’ on good will tours of the EU, they are building their new “Global Britain.” The strategy isn’t even subtle – they are hell bent on imperium. They have already restored absolutism here, with their reintroduction of the powers of a 16th century tyrant. How soon will we see debtors prisons, work houses and forced deportations?

    What the fuck is wrong with the English People? Where is their courage? How can they meekly stand by while these crackpots and cranks lead them into perdition?

    • …”with their reintroduction of the powers of a 16th century tyrant”…

      I’m surprised there hasn’t been more focus on this issue. An English tyrant from before the Union, no less. If Westminster gets away with that one, presumably that sets a precedent for applying all sorts of pre-union English legislation?

      Surely there could be some sort of legal challenge?

      Will look into that one.

      • It does seem to extinguish the right of sovereignty of the Scottish People. If I am not mistaken, no Scots, of any generation, is aloud to negate this covenant between us. It is a threat to our original Claim of Right. I may not have been keeping up, but has this Claim now been abolished?

        • The Claim of Right is inherent, WfS, it is an essential characteristic of the sovereignty of the People of Scotland. It cannot be ‘abolished’, no more than hydrogen can be extracted from water, and still be water.
          Even by reference to the verb, ‘abolish’, infers some higher authority sitting on judgement over the citizens of Scotland which holds absolute power to determine our rights, values, and laws.
          Mundell, Dugdale, Murray, Davidson, Rennie, Carmichael, and that self aggrandising so called Constitutional expert and sectarian bigot, Professor WATP Adam Tomkins constantly peddle the notion that an English Parliament and 591 MPs from the other nations in this fractured corrupt outmoded and invalid United Kingdom have total power over us, because there are more of them, and might is right.
          ProudScotsBut lackeys who sold their souls for money many decades ago.
          I reiterate, who is ‘abolishing’ and from where does this unseen Hand get its authority?
          Fast forward 5 years when Scotland is an independent member of the EU.
          The notion that an English PM and Anglican Bishops had ever ruled over us will seem ludicrous even in the relatively short time of half a decade.
          I can feel it in the Spring air. Freedom.

  16. Week one and war is already being threatened by Howard and below the line Brexit keyboard warriors who want to raise a fist at Spain whilst grasping a shiny new dark navy blue passport in the other, and invoking the ghosts of past confrontations. What is it in their characters that promotes bluff and bluster, the behaviour of playground bullies who haven’t a seat to their pants.

    Another two years of this and there will be no world left to fight over.

    We need out. Hopes pinned firmly on Nicola and her team.

    • They’d better hold hard on that shiny new dark navy blue passport, because they won’t be able to use the unicorn on that shiny coat of arms!

  17. Interesting times lie ahead.
    When the next independence referendum happens I hope it gets at least the same turnout as the first, because if yes wins, you can guarantee that a lower turnout will have Unionists frothing.
    Also, as much as I want independence, a niggling doubt is in the back of my mind that the media will go into full on overdrive with scare stories and influence a no vote. If the vote is No again, that’s independence killed off for a lifetime at least.
    You can scoff at newspaper letters and comments, but there is a worrying trend that is against a referendum and independence, I’ve mentioned before that from large workplaces to small towns, there is a sense of “here we go again”
    How is that going to be counteracted?
    How can it be stated that a vote for independence is not a vote for the SNP?
    What is Plan B when permission is officially refused for a second referendum? (As seems very likely)
    The Yes movement has a long, hard journey ahead, lets get started.

  18. The “her we go again” will soon change to a “thank fuck we’re getting a chance to get out of this mess”. We’re only 3 days into negotiatons and the wheels are already coming off of Empire 2. Give it 3 weeks or 3 months:)

  19. I am on the blogs email list and look forward to reading it in the morning over a cup of coffee. I would love to be in the position to contribute but at the moment unfortunately I’m not there.

    You’re style of providing hard facts with tongue in cheek humour goes a long way to describing the independence movement as a whole and I’m sure you’ll get more readers over the coming months.

    This is just to say thanks and to let you know that I for one appreciate the efforts you have put in over the past few years. Nothing personal but I hope you may be able to retire you’re keyboard sooner rather than later but in the meantime keep up the brave and great work till we get that divorce.

    Good luck and take care my friend.



  20. As a summation of the past week, that about ticks every box and then some. 🙂

    As for Michael Howard and his ‘we’? I’m very much in the camp of ‘who is this we you speak of’? If UK gov feel like getting shirty with the neighbours, then they can get on with it on their own. Those gangsters have been gambling with Scottish assets and sovereign territories for generations. So no. I’m not really up for moronic retro stroomphing over a holiday home for retirees in the med.


    As I posted yesterday, the Spanish only need stick to the absolute letter of EU law to bring economic carnage on both the rock and the UK economy. Not a bullet fired, or a sabre rattled. More worryingly for the populations of the UK should be the sheer fuckwitted idiocy of the right wing establishment in resorting to naked threat two seconds after being faced with the first of a great many negotiating difficulties. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, now does it?

    The first week of Brexit negotiation. The very FIRST week… still, better togeth…

    No! No, we’re really not.

  21. Lets be honest Gibraltar wasn’t mentioned in May’s letter because it was going to be a bargaining chip like Scotland. The Government where shocked to their Tory foundations when the EU letter contained Gibraltar and that Spain had a veto and if there was a interim period we would be governed by all the EU rules and regulations. And our Nicola goes abroad to save to planet while May travel abroad to destroy it.

  22. On a happier note.

    A big congratulations to Paul, the dug and all the readers of WGD.

    This author and this site are a precious ‘go to’ resource. Better than that, it’s literally an island of calm and sanity in a sea of metro bubble bumtrumpeters, policy gonk spads on crack and spinning politicos who’ve somehow escaped their nurses and nannies.

    Onwards and upwards. 🙂

  23. Most, if not all, EU decisions are moving towards QMV which basically consists of a majority must be of representatives of the member states and of the population in order for anything to be signed. Spain could have been over ruled by the EU so didn’t have a veto.

    The response from the EU simply notes the lack of any mention of Gibraltar and therefore assumes that the UK intended not to discuss the issue until after the Brexit negotiations were complete. In addition it notes that Spain has a special interest in Gibraltar and states clearly that there’s no intent on the part of the EU to overrule Spain in that matter. The reply might be a concise and leave little room for miss-interpretation but our press seem capable of reading whatever the want in to it.

  24. “The UK has turned into a nasty little right wing fiefdom.”
    So for the people of England and Wales, at the next GE the choice is the Tories who created it or Labour who stood by then helped make it.

  25. This probably will not happen as the Gibraltarians will not agree, but all Spain needs to do is give the UK passport holders the same personal and financial benefit rights that they have now for them and their children. Take sovereignty of the Rock but allow Gibraltar a Hong Kong type of deal.

  26. One of your best ones Paul.

    When are those south of the border,in particular that small majority who voted leave, going to waken up to the reality that we are now ruled by an extreme right wing band of fanatical nut cases.

    Their leader May shows dictatorial symptoms far beyond anything imposed on us by Thatcher.

    Under her the main players are the 3 Brexiteers Johnson, Fox and Davis cheered on by the real head cases Tebbit, Howard, Gove, Mogg, Cash, Redwood et al who scare the hell out of me.

    Cheering them on from the sidelines we have their media fan club of ‘journalists’ in the Mail, Express, Star, Telegraph and the Murdoch rags together with SKY – all churning out hatred for any supporters of the EU and promising us that the day after Brexit The UK will enter The Promised Land with the rest of the World hammering at the door pleading with The UK to sell them their wonderful jam and biscuits.

    For as long as I can remember we have been brainwashed into thinking that The Rest Of The World loves and admires The UK -Oh Boy aren’t those who fell for that one in for a surprise.

    Roll on Indyref2.

  27. I am new to blogging and WordPress and have to say I’m trying to find my niche of followers and those to follow. I have just found the latter. Excellent blog.

  28. HiI was thinking back to the days of Margaret Thatcher and her manipulation of the media to silence the voice of the Irish Republican movement. If I remember correctly she passed a law that made it illegal to broadcast the voices of republicans so as to ‘deny them the oxygen of publicity’. The, at the time independant media and news programmes, used actors voices to say the words of Gerry Adams and Martin McGinness while broadcasting their images. So her actions were fruitless. In retrospect, i think the mistake she made was in publicising her approach and the intended outcome. Looking at the misrepresentation of the independence movement in the press and TV news coupled with the non-reporting of positive news it seems to me that the policy of denying oxygen to movements that challenge the status quo has gone underground. The Tories have learned from their previous mistakes. I’d relish seeing your thoughts on this.  Kind regards Annmarie Palmer

    Sent from my Samsung device

  29. The Increase in Page Views.
    A few days ago, someone posted a comment on a Guardian thread and included a link to your blog. I wasn’t aware of your presence on the web until then and now I’m a fan.
    Well Done.

  30. And yahoo news a short time ago carried the following.

    “The Royal Navy has reportedly chased a Spanish patrol boat out of British waters off the coast of Gibraltar. The Infanta Cristina ship sailed past the British territory at about lunchtime on Tuesday but was ushered away by Royal Navy vessels.”

    All together now : Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves.

    Are they waving or drowning?

  31. Great article. To start the tapping of drums of war, has just rubbed salt into the wound. The tories and their red tory pals have made their ‘precious’ UK a laughing stock. Idiots.

    Of course the poorest, the sick, the disabled, those at the bottom of the UK elites pile, will suffer most under their vanity project which is brexit.

    The yoons attacking the people they are paid (very generously) to represent, are lacking in morals, humanity and just basic human decency. Sickening indeed.

  32. If England doesn’t get a grip, there will be civil war. The current government is taking us all into the twilight zone. We are disappearing down a rabbit hole.

    Angus Robertson should present a motion of no confidence in Parliament at the earliest opportunity. Even a symbolic gesture might be sufficient to bring down this government. Take the decision to the electorate and put us all out of our misery. This is insane. The inhabitants of these islands must be informed of the state of the Union and decide their fate. We can no longer leave this to the mediocrities currently wrecking the furniture.

    Given the collusion of what is laughably called the “Free Press” in this country, the broadcast partisan punditry – Question Time and Daily Politics in particular – should be suppressed. Replace the lot with real time video of citizen forums, in local communities. Journalists should be talking to people, not themselves. This would be a far better use of the license fee than the propaganda that passes for journalism these days. We must break the monopoly of those who hold the media in their hands. All they produce is mendacity, titillation and breathless reports of the royal family.

    The current government and its media agents are hell bent on creating a libertarian’s paradise – otherwise known as chaos. This is the greatest threat to British democracy since Charles I. It will irrevocably change the nature of the British Isles.

    The First Minister is fighting an excellent rear guard against the forces of reactionism, but she is outnumbered. Without more allies in the other nations she cannot endure. I admire her stubborn and steely resolve. A Scottish Patriot to the bone. She would make an excellent Prime Minister of this Union. But all Scots MP are now barred from ministerial office. This is the greatest calumny of EVEL. It has sundered the Union by lobotomizing itself.

  33. Delighted that your blog is informing so many people. Great news which takes us all the closer to independence.

  34. Paul, I don’t know where I’d be without you, I admire and enjoy your style of writing, you always hit the nail on the head and have no issues with speaking your mind, I look forward to your posts as I know it’s going to be an interesting, humorous, informative, straight to the point. I’m really pleased about your stats, you deserve them, you work tirelessly for the cause, I admire this also.
    Please don’t ever stop.
    Thank you.

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