Huge thanks to Macart for keeping you all amused and informed in my absence, but now I’m back and all refreshed. Or at least as refreshed as it’s possible to be when you have to delve into the jaded and miserable world of British nationalism in Scotland. It’s only when you escape it for a couple of weeks that you realise just how bereft of positivity and happiness British nationalism in Scotland is as an ideology. You’ll see more cheerful and optimistic people at the Wee Free funeral of a serial adulterer who was addicted to drinking and gambling on a Sunday.
We had the GERS figures and the annual ritual of Scotland’s British nationalists taking a peculiar pride in the supposed penury of their country. The release of the figures is inevitably followed by the annual ritual of the British nationalist press telling us how the figures demonstrate how screwed an independent Scotland would be financially, and the equally inevitable ritual of never explaining that the entire point of independence is not to run Scotland the way it’s being run as a part of a British state which is – by its own figures – running it into the ground.
That Scotland is supposedly financially screwed is now the entire case for the maintenance of the incorporation of Scotland into the British state. There’s no emotional case, there’s no political case, there’s no democratic case. There’s certainly no economic case either if the GERS figures are indeed as accurate a representation of Scotland’s finances as the British nationalists claim that they are, because those figures show a country with an embarrassment of resources and a resourceful, talented, and educated population which has been impoverished by decades of mismanagement from a Westminster parliament which has sole control over the levers of macro-economic control. No wonder Britnats are miserable.
However there was a spot of cheer and gaiety when Jeremy Corbyn came to Scotland to bring his triumphant campaign into the very heart of SNP voting territory – because challenging the Tories isn’t what Labour in Scotland does. While independence marches and rallies which are attended by tens of thousands of people are lucky to get a 15 second mention in the news, Jezza’s rallies dominated the headlines even though they had fewer people attending them than went to that Wee Free funeral for the serial wick dipper. Still, it did give the British nationalist press the excuse it needed to pen a few more articles about how it’s all over for the Scottish independence campaign.
In an incoherent and rambling interview on Good Morning Scotland, Ruth Davidson advised that you shouldn’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say to a big burly bloke in the pub who’s half-cut and waving a broken glass. Which is a fairly good description of your typical Conservative party council candidate in the West of Scotland. The interview came after the entire country had been playing Where’s Ruthie, which is like Where’s Wally only without any sense of accomplishment, or indeed the same level of maturity. Ruth had gone into hiding after condemning Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn right wing extremists but refusing to condemn the right wing extremists lurking within the ranks of the Scottish Conservatives.
A couple of Tory cooncilors had been suspended from the party after being linked to online abuse, far right sentiments, and sectarianism. Ruth claimed that all was well now, because the cooncilors had undergone diversity training. Most of us don’t need diversity training in order to know that sectarianism and fascism are wrong, but clearly the Scottish Tories are starting from a much lower moral baseline. Rumour has it that the diversity training consisted of making Tory members watch a video of the 1970s sitcom Mind Your Language.
Complaints are becoming more frequent from people trapped within the court of Versailles, otherwise known as Scottish Tory HQ, that Ruth Davidson is an autocratic leader and the only way you’ll get anywhere in the party is by sooking up to her and grovelling before her. The only surprising thing about this development is that anyone should be surprised by it. Ruth has a liking for right wing politics, wearing military uniforms, and riding about in tanks. That’s the very definition of an authoritarian personality.
The big news is that Kezia Dugdale has become the latest leader of the Labour Accounting Unit in Scotland to choose to resign. Although to be honest Jim Murphy’s claws had to be prised off the leadership with a crowbar and a ten litre can of WD40. Kezia’s resignation means that Labour is now seeking its ninth accounting unit leader since devolution. There are supermarket chickens with a longer shelf-life, although they don’t contain as much E. coli as Labour does and they’ve certainly never proposed a camplyobacter bacteria as a council candidate in Falkirk.
Kezia’s had enough of the toxicity, and has decided to let Labour in Scotland stew in its own poisonous juice. The only thing that the party’s elected representatives hate more than the SNP is each other. Having made Kezia feel that her position was untenable, the party plotters in the Jezza camp are now refusing to stand for the vacancy, which means that the only candidate so far is Anas Sarwar.
The Blairite former hereditary MP for Govan has been accused of being an unprincipled careerist. This is unfair. Anas does have a very strong set of principles. It’s just that those principles begin and end with whatever it is that will advance Anas’s career at any given moment. Anas Sarwar is what you’d get if you crossed Jim Murphy with the evil teddy bear from Toy Story 3. He’s a kindergarten Jim Murphy, the same ruthless self-promotion, the same single minded pursuit of his own career, the same breathtaking over-estimation of his own abilities, the same snide self-interest, only it’s all expressed through the medium of play-dough.
We could be in for a long period of time during which Labour in Scotland is leaderless, rudderless, and simply going through the motions without any conviction or goals, although to be honest it’s going to be difficult to distinguish that from the party’s behaviour for the past couple of decades. So it’s all business as usual then.
The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
Wee Ginger Fundraiser
I’m doing a fundraiser this year to keep this blog going for another twelve month and to allow the dug and me to continue visiting local groups all across Scotland. You can donate via my crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo –
Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account I’ve set up for the purposes of this fundraiser, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.