Government by helium filled parrot

There are many reasons for wanting Scottish independence. There’s the potential for doing something about the gross inequalities that blight our country. There’s getting rid of the obscenity of weapons of mass destruction from the Clyde. There’s the prospect of a referendum on the future of the monarchy and the chance of a republic. There’s the fact that we’ll get our own stamps and the possibility that one of them might have a dug on it. There’s giving online British nationalist trolls a fit of apoplexy. There are many reasons, some of which are admittedly less important than others. But there’s one reason which is amongst the most important of all, which is possibly the most important of all. That reason is having a democracy that functions and a parliament which is actually capable of holding power to account.

We don’t have that just now. Not even close. We live in a country where the media solemnly informs us that the party which came a distant second in Scotland in the General Election was the real winner, and that means that Ruth Davidson gets to dictate what the Scottish government can or can’t do, even though it wasn’t even an election for Holyrood. If you listened to the British media, particularly its Scottish branch offices, you’d think that Ruth Davidson was God. There is however a significant difference between Ruth Davidson and God. God doesn’t think that he’s Ruth Davidson. She has infinite power, at least in her own imagination.

It’s worse at a UK level. In the UK all power is centralised in Westminster, and within Westminster it’s centralised in the office of the PM. Now that the Tories have lost their majority in the Commons, they’re no longer even pretending to take the will of Parliament into account. The Conservatives now routinely abstain on Opposition Day motions. They couldn’t even be bothered to defend their, admittedly indefensible, Universal Credit policy,even though it’s the centrepiece of their benefit reforms. The Commons voted it down, the Tories carry on as though nothing has happened. Governments aren’t to be bound by trivial matters like votes in the Commons. Opposition Day motions aren’t binding on the government, and the Conservatives are no longer even going to participate in the pretence that the Commons exists in order to hold the executive to account.

What was all that about Brexit being so that full sovereignty could be restored to the British Parliament? Oh yeah, it was every much as much a pile of steaming Jackie Baillie as the promise that if Scotland voted no then devolution would be enhanced and strengthened and the permanence of the Scottish parliament would be enshrined in law. That turned out not to be worth the paper it was written on.

Then there was the promise that Brexit would lead to all sorts of wonderful new powers for the Scottish Parliament. So far the only power that we’ve seen is the power of waffle. This isn’t a new power. It’s been the speciality of the Conservatives in their dealings with Scotland ever since, well, forever. That’s what happens when we’ve been lumbered with a Scottish Secretary of State who is as inert as helium gas and every bit as lightweight.

During the ritual of Scottish questions in the Commons, and David Mundell had firmly tied himself to the government front benches in order to prevent himself floating away. He bobbed about, trying to pretend that he had something substantial to offer. More powers! More powers! He kept repeating the phrase, but like a particularly dense parrot had no concept that there ought to be any meaning behind it. Fluffy wanna cracker. Squawk! More powers! Or maybe it was just the sound of leaking helium gas.

Our so-called Secretary of State with his £9 million a year departmental budget for UK propaganda was asked five times by opposition MPs to name a single extra power that’s going to be given to the Scottish Parliament as a result of Brexit. “There’s going to be loads of them,” said the Fluffmonster, “hunners. Squawk!”

“Aye but,” interjected just about every opposition MP, “can you be a wee bit more specific.” Fluffy puffed himself up, replacing the leaking helium that was making the pitch of his voice rise higher and higher. If he kept going then perhaps he’d soon be speaking at such a high pitch that his voice would be inaudible to human ears. “There will be a significant increase in the decision making power of each devolved administration,” he gassed.

Despite repeated attempts from MPs who aren’t Tories, because Scotland’s Tory MPs haven’t got the slightest interest in ensuring the government keeps its promises to Scotland, he refused to name a single new power that Brexit was going to deliver to any of the devolved administrations.  On the other hand, he was extremely specific about powers they weren’t going to get. Immigration will not be devolved, despite the fact that prominent Brexiteers like Michael Gove had aired the possibility that it could be. That’s turned out to be as fictitious as a slogan on the side of a bus.

The opposition MPs queued up to point out that he hadn’t answered the question and hadn’t named any powers that would be devolved to Holyrood. “Oh yes I have.” “Oh no you haven’t.” And then huffily Fluffy proclaimed that the opposition was taking a pantomime approach to the proceedings. Which to be fair was true, but only because Fluffy was determined to play the role of the evil stepmother. The only powers that he was demonstrating was the power of the Westminster government not to be held to account by irritating elected representatives of the people, and the power of Tory contempt.

We live in a country where the people can be promised just about anything, and then once those doing the promising have secured the vote they wanted they can ignore all the promises they made in order to win it. The British nationalists are very fond of demanding that Scotland must respect the results of the 2014 referendum, but they have no intention of respecting the commitments they made to the Scottish people in order to secure the result. Independence means that we can live in a country where governments are bound by a written constitution, where politicians face consequences if they don’t abide by the promises that they’ve made in order to attain power. Independence means that we get the governments that we vote for. Independence means democracy. That’s the most important reason of all for wanting independence. It means we can be governed by politicians who have to answer for their politics, and no longer by helium filled parrots.

The Scottish Independence Convention is asking local group representatives to fill in a survey about their local pro-independence group in order to help the SIC collect as much data as it can on local groups. The aim of the survey is to help the SIC see where the geographical and logistical gaps are, what skills are already present in local groups, and to better help the SIC understand what support local groups need and expect from the SIC. If your local group hasn’t already done so, please click on the following link and fill in the (short) survey.

Yours truly will be presenting the local groups session at the SIC conference in the Usher Hall on Saturday November 4, and this survey will help inform that process as well as the local groups’ conference which we’re organising for Saturday 16 December in Dunblane. The Dunblane meeting, unlike the SIC Build conference, is guaranteed to be 100% Brian Spanner free.

If you haven’t already applied for a ticket for your local group for Dunblane, please do so as soon as possible. Details are on the previous post. The venue only holds 150 people, and there are only 20 places left. I’m really sorry, but some tickets have had to be cancelled because we’ve had multiple applications from certain districts and we’re trying to restrict attendance to two representatives from each local group to ensure that as many local groups as possible can participate.

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. You can now access this blog simply by typing 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.

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0 thoughts on “Government by helium filled parrot

  1. I spoke to God and he said he had never heard of Ruth Davidson or Jim Murphy and laughed to the heavens when I asked aboot Wee Wullie Rennie.

  2. Mundell can’t name which powers are going to be devolved to Holyrood because he doesn’t know himself, and he doesn’t know because the Cabinet hasn’t made its collective mind up on this matter, or indeed virtually any issue relating to Brexit. The UK government is winging it, as its members squabble among themselves, and render the UK at best an object of pity and at worst an international laughing stock.
    Johnny Foreigner may be feeling sorry for poor hapless May or laughing at the absolute state of a country which is so appallingly governed, but we should be ashamed that we still allow these useless idiots to rule over us.

  3. Even if the Tory government knew which, if any, powers would be devolved, they wouldn’t tell The Evil Stepmundell.

  4. Ayup to all of that Paul. I also seem to recall that the UK was going to be swimming in oodles of dosh from no longer having to make any more EU contributions. ‘Course yer brexiteers neglected to mention that a. the EU might just be chasing UKgov for sums already committed (see under pay yer fees/tab) b. that untold sums would have to be set aside for the creation of completely new administrative bodies c. that other sums would have to be set aside to replace EU subsides for businesses across the spectrum of society from farming to industry d. that a great many services (revenue streams) reliant on open borders may decide to up sticks and relocate to parts new and that finally e. the loss of trade with the EU single market (also see under revenue stream) would threaten to take on epic proportions. There are other examples of course, but those few serve to set the tone.

    This probably sums it up: ‘Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has described Brexit as the “stupidest thing any country has ever done” – apart from the election of Donald Trump as US president.’

    This was NOT the vision of the UK going forward painted by Better Together and HMG three years ago. It was to be a devolutionists dreamland. A picture of unity and partnership. A shining beacon of familial politics where Scots would help lead the UK…

    … worked out well then.

    Just to remind the Mr Mundell’s of this world however, any power not included in the Scotland bill settlement or reserved by Westminster competence falls under the remit of the devolved legislature as non reserved. There is no other way of describing a repatriation of powers by Westminster as anything other than a naked power grab. Y’know, theft. As direct and flagrant an example of rewriting the constitution of the UK on the hoof as you are likely to see.

    Those powers belong to the people of Scotland. You’d think if Westminster wanted them, they’d first ask the people of Scotland? Perhaps they’re afraid the answer, in this instance, will be a firm NO.

      • The English Constitution is not worth the paper it is not written on.

        I telt this tae the Union Jack Clowns ootside the SNP Conference, spouting “constitutional” drivel oan the megaphone.

        • All three of them and their fleg. 😀

          I recall seeing a pic of some forlorn shouty figures outside the venue on twatter. The wee souls looked lonely.

  5. Pingback: Government by helium filled parrot | speymouth

  6. Saw Mr. Mundell on the tele today. His brow was sweaty and he looked shifty. His mouth hung open as he blinked into the camera. Intellectually, not a lot appeared to be happening.

    He is a deliberate insult to the people of Scotland.

  7. Right on the money as usual, Paul, but accompanied by my usual frustrated gum-gnashing.

    I read a book once called Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes while in hospital with mycoplasma pneumonia. I would have to say both myself and the stuffed parrot in the book had more vital signs than Grima Wormtongue aka Mundell The Beardmuncher.

    When are the Scots going to wake up and stop all this utter madness?

    We get out or we die as a nation and culture.

    Listening, fearties?

  8. “Fluffy was determined to play the role of the evil stepmother” – Sorry, can’t agree. Fluffy has only only role – the back end of the pantomime horse and there he excels. It’s all down to method acting – after all, he already is a total arse.

  9. PMQT today. Treeza banging on about how everyone should be addressed correctly and respectfully. I noticed she referred to ” The Scottish NATIONALIST Party ” !!!!
    I do worry.

    • I want to know why anyone should address a lying eejit respectfully.

      ‘The Honourable lying eejit on my right’ ?

  10. I watched this article and his stuttery performance ,it was torturous to witness this excuse for someone who is apparently supposed to represent us , is this the best this unionist government have to offer , his attempts at lying convincingly fell short of what even a child could manage , he just looked like a shifty liar , i wonder what his colleagues really think of him , now that would be interesting .

  11. Absolutely spot on again Paul!

    When the Prime Minister said “Now is not the time” she declared that the democratic will of the Scottish people was irrelevant.

    This is the reason for independence. It is immaterial if we are taken out of the EU or kept in, Scotland has been told that there is no democracy, only diktat from Number 10. We need to keep repeating this simple message over and over, imo.

  12. It’s no use.
    I’m hooked.
    I’ve been reading WGD and other Seekers of Truth online, but , because the Person Who Lights Up My Day gently chided last week that I have more to say to ethereal opinion formers on line than to Her Who Makes My Every Waking Minute A Joy.
    Adding ‘sometimes’ to assuage the impact of the deeply hurtful criticism that I could possibly prefer the company of you, avid cyber warriors that you are, to My Rock, Mrs C, didn’t lessen the blow.
    Am I really spending too much time scouring online ‘stuff’, and, as some may know, ranting into the night about the sheer madness of the UK today.
    Am I addicted? Can I stop at any time I want?
    It’s a recreational pastime.
    Like any spoilt 70 year old man-child I histrionically switched off, rose from my wee sanctum sanctorum and declared that I could take it or leave it, and that as a man who always responds positively to constructive negative feedback by changing my behaviour, I’d never go online again if Her Joyous Vision felt that it was adversely affecting out Very Special And Intimate Relationship.
    Then Last week happened.
    As Paul so delightfully sets out above, the Madness of Westminster proceeds unabated.
    There is an impact analysis, and Scotland will be regally screwed if we are daft enough to join Engwaland on the White Cliffs, ready to plunge into the Channel Tunnel, or La Manche, if Johnny Foreigner has his way.
    Fluffy Mundell, and presumably Ruth and Jackson and WATP political failure Adam Tomkins know what horrors await us. Mundell seems to think that he has the power to suppress this report because it would trigger Indyref 2. if we actually got to see it.
    He really is a nasty little fascist.
    Macart has included many of the insane goings on of WM politicians and real news from elsewhere so we are to be eternally grateful for his (and many others’) vigilance.

    I’ll see your £15 billion Black Hole, Wullie, Ruth, and the Whatsis Name ( new leader of the Red Tory Branch Office Up Here, whose name genuinely still escapes me, but if he can’t beat ‘More for the Few, Less for the Many’ Badass Sarwar, there is no hope for any of us), and raise you £30 billion, which will be the Black Hole Scotland, who by 62% voted to Remain, will have in April 2019.
    We’ll have a £30 billion Black Hole in our economy but that’s all right then.

    ‘The overwhelming democratic will’ of the citizens of Scotland will be ignored.

    As I observe, a lot of Really Bad Things are being forced upon us, or so they like to think.
    Ignore us, stifle our voices, threaten us, and it will hasten our departure, still on schedule for October 2018, our Date with Destiny.
    I caught Portillo on This Week earlier. He really is a smug self satisfied Thatcher Boy who is not short of a bob or two and it shows in his smirking arrogant manner.
    He’s more worried about Schools, the Police, the NHS, than the outcome of Brexit.

    Well he’s loaded, life will go puff puff puffing along, on his Great British Fucking Trains series 3 for the Beeb. Must be a nice little earner,that one.
    The top 10% will not even notice a drop in living standards.
    The top 1% still have more wealth than the bottom 50%.

    Tom Harris Red Tory New Labour Blairite who got kicked out on his arse in 2015 has now reinvented himself as a media consultant and is never off our screens, haunts our airwaves, and writes for A Right Wing lapis lazuli Tory Dead Tree Scroll. He is a Born Again British Nationalist, An adopted son of the English Establishment.
    He speaks with the same ‘brazen insouciance’ as Andrew Rawnsley observed when Davis, and now Choo Choo Portillo employ. Harris insults us all by his patronising/ vacuous/ evidence denying dismissal of Brexit, which is arguably the biggest disaster-waiting-to- happen that these Islands have ever encountered.

    Start laying in plenty of toilet rolls and bottled water, chaps and chapesses.
    I shall now return to hiding beneath the dining table sucking my knees.
    I can handle it. I can stop any time I want.
    It’s more of a compulsion to speak out; definitely not an addiction.

      • Andy,

        ‘Home is fine, and orgies are vile;
        But a man(sic) needs an orgy once in a while.’

        Ogden Nash from ‘The Golden Trashery of Ogden Nashery’

        Dipping in and out of WGD and others is my one guilty pleasure; well almost, but there let us not linger.

        It could be worse.
        I could be a heavy gambler, a womaniser, or support Partick Thistle.
        I’m a Paper Hankie BTW.
        So the Maryhill Magyars are fair game and not just because one of their hip flask and sheepskin coats beat me at pool last night in our local watering hole by ‘doubling’ a hoachy black into the middle pocket.

        Like many on here I occasionally shout at the TV screen,

        Last night on This Week, we were exhorted to back Brexit and that everything would work out ok.

        ‘After all Britain won two world wars, and the World Cup.’
        ‘Britain’ being ‘England’, and vice versa.
        Scotland been airbrushed out of the UK.

        On QT last night, the ‘disappointing’ low entry to Oxbridge by Us Scruff was discussed by, wait for it, Jacob Rees Mogg, who reminded us all that he attended Eton with David Dumblebar’s son, and Germaine Greer, who apparently taught at Cambridge for a few centuries.
        She declared that she felt sorry for Working Class stiffs whom she had taught, who should never have had to go through the ignominy of mixing with the sons and daughters of the Elite British/English Establishment and enduring the excruciating embarrassment of being exposed as poor, which Greer illustrated by revealing that one of the Great Unwashed did not even know which end of the bath to sit, facing the taps.
        She actually postulated that Scruffs ‘R’ Us, who attended Cambridge dropped out, finding the pressure of being in the rich exalted company of England’s (or should that be Britain’s ?) future Prime Ministers and Chairpersons of QT or QI all too much.
        Shades of John Cleese’s ‘Semi educated tenement dwelling Scots..’ (q.v.)

        Almost as an aside, this patronising Elitist suggested that two of her girls sought out the company of local Cambridge Scruff, ‘bikers’, and dropped out never to be seen in Ms Greer’s Post Feminist world of cocktail parties and Dinners With The Dons ever again.
        Obviously not ‘The Crème De La Crème.’

        The Chairman of QT, the whole Little England shebang paid for with Scottish TV licence payers’ money, is an Old Etonian, a Bullingdon Boy, who attended Oxford.

        Salmond was on the panel, but wisely avoided getting sucked into this Elitist Condescending trash, other than to take a mild(ish) swipe at his Alma Mater St Andrew’s.

        I have seldom watched and listened to such disgusting Brit Nat dross.
        The telly screen got big licks.
        My Everlovin’ urged me to calm down, and write rather than shriek out loud at the telly.
        Hence my nocturnal rant.
        She truly is the Light of my Life.
        But don’t let her read this. Only kidding.

        (Aye, right. Mrs. C.)

        • Please don’t let She Who Must Be Obeyed stop your rants Jack. You rant so much more eloquently than I ever could!

          • Prosecco with pals; beef, green pepper, and black bean sauce, the box set of that faux Jacobean bodice ripper, it has a one word title that escapes me, are some of the ‘hooks’ which reel Mrs C in.
            Politics, not so much. She was born in Belfast during what is laughably described as the ‘Troubles’ and holds an Irish passport.
            I’ll miss her when BritNat Homeland Security escort her to the Deportation Barge moored on the Broomielaw.
            All those EU Nats will be kicked out too.
            What’s a poor boy gonna do?
            It’ll be tough getting a replacement housekeeper, ‘there, there’ Mother Courage to shoo all the bad demons away, and a reliable replacement who can be entrusted to get me into the best Ruth Davidson Final Destination Home for Old Separatists when they deem I’m doolally enough to sign away my property to the almoner at the Home..

            Gonnie no’ dae that. How no’?
            I’m off out before it’s too late.

  13. Let us all hope that peace prevails now that the Catalan Government and Spain have set out their stalls.
    Calm heads needed all ’round.
    There is no turning back now.
    ‘Free at last, free at last, Lord Almighty, free at last.’

  14. Does “accept and understand” constitute recognition? Surprised at the lukewarm response from SG but not so the hypocritical statement from May. What was the majority for Brexit again?

    • Apologies – the BBC had misreported what Fiona Hyslop stated – “understand and respect” I guess carries a little more weight. Does that mean the SG respects and recognises the new country? Wonder what the UN guidance is for UDI after a democratic vote?

      • It was pretty obvious that this was coming, or at least a real possibility, so you’d think the SG would have had a clearly thought out position. Sadly it sounds a bit like they’re hedging their bets where firm leadership and a little boldness could surely only be advantageous both for the profile of Scotland and the success of Indy Catalonia. Or have I missed something important?

        • Diplomacy, Marco.
          It is a delicate balance.
          Let’s see how Spain react before we chuck in our tuppence worth.
          Likewise, on Indyref 2, we keep our powder dry.
          May’s Blue Tories are doing the work for us.
          David Davis tells a Select Committee that we may well be out of the EU on any pld Deal before WM gets the chance to vote on the deal, only to be slapped down by Big T in the HoC sharpish.
          ‘Lord’ Ian Duncan, the failed UK GE candidate who was magically elevated to the House of Lards so that he could sit with Mundell and make sure Fluffy never got anywhere near a boiling pot in the Scottish Kitchen Cabinet, promised a gathered audience of Energy Movers and Shakers that the English Government would replace CAP Payments to Scottish Farmers pound for pound from Day One of the Brexit New World, April 2019.
          Mike Russell, who shared the platform with this unelected Dim But Nice Tory Boy, looked well bemused, to say the least. His face, as we say in these parts, was a picture.
          This new Lord, who has no inside info on Brexit negotiations, blandly announced a major Policy decision,something which has no basis in fact; a lie in other words. I think he lost the room at that point.
          This is the man whose, according to him, 50 meetings with Scottish Government Officials has met with intransigence every time; according to him.
          It is reported that May found an additional £9 million from the Magic Money Tree to beef up the Tory Scottish Office. Money well spent. The more Brit Nat Unionists Up Here who spout arrant nonsense the better.
          Meanwhile Ross the Linesman for the County has given up on his ‘dream’ to officiate at the World Cup, to concentrate on his day job.
          That’s the trouble with these zero hours contracts.
          You never know from one day to the next when your employer might want you to work.
          The Tories are in meltdown.
          The New Improved Scottish Labour, honest this time, Scottish Branch Office Red Tory Party is just about extinct now, and Willie Rennie and his League of Gentlemen have just curled up in a wee ball and cashed their monthly pay cheques.
          Feel a pint coming on.

          • OK, OK, plenty to chew over there, I hope you’re right and I certainly need that pint 😉

            Meanwhile, a little vicarious pleasure is in order, at least until the Spanish storm-troopers move in to break up the party, no doubt with the tacit approval of the EU. Until this all blew up I was well in favour of the EU, even though it needed some changes. Now it seems to be just a club for the big nations, a club to beat the shite out of all us smaller folk. Perhaps the EU has now been shown to be beyond reform and something else, hopefully more egalitarian, may have to be built up from scratch.

            But for now, enjoy, we missed our chance but then we’ve still got it all to look forward to 🙂


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