Back in Scotland, jet-lagged, with a cold, and depressed because my significant other is significantly very far away. But hey, all is just wonderful in the wonderful world of wonderful British politics, so that makes up for it then. Or it would, if we all possessed similar nervous systems and the same ability to comprehend our surroundings and circumstances as an amoeba. So just like a UK cabinet minister then. These people make Donald Trump look like he’s a political giant.
The biggest and most important development is of course that Scotland in Union is no more in union with itself. At least that’s the biggest and most important development for those of us who really do work our wee socks off in a real grassroots movement. According to a statement from the Unionist grassroots organisation, stop laughing at the back there, there has been no break up, it’s just that some people who were formerly associated with Scotland in Union are now going off to do something else British nationalistish. This is of course not nationalist at all, because it’s British and being British gives you a free pass from the evils of nationalism. That’s what makes British nationalism better than the nationalism of lesser nations.
This is all a bit like saying that you’re not divorced from your partner, you’ve just both been sleeping with other people, living in separate houses, and are no longer on speaking terms with one another. Or in other words you are in the same kind of marriage that you typically find amongst senior members of the royal family. That’s how Liz and Phil have managed to stay lovingly wed for 70 years, and clearly Scotland in Union are adopting the same successful tactic. If that’s their model for keeping Scotland in the UK, we’ve probably got more in common with them than they would care to admit.
The break up that’s not a break up at all is because the people who haven’t flounced off didn’t do so because they were upset that Scotland in Union hadn’t been making a positive case for the Union. They are perfectly happy with the positive case that’s been made so far, which essentially boils down to “We hate the SNP. Westminster has half-bankrupted Scotland so it’s only fair that we let them finish the job. Did we mention that we hate the SNP?” They’re upset that Scotland in Union has been ignoring Brexit because it’s a galactofuck that Scotland voted against by a much larger margin than it voted against independence. From an outside perspective it’s the most sensible thing about the frothing tendency, as Brexit does make it rather difficult to argue that Scotland benefits from the strength, stability, and certainty of the UK. You can’t really look at Boris Johnson, David Davis, and Michael Gove and say that with a straight face.
However it is a fair point that Scotland in Union has been ignoring the obvious. After all Scotland’s supposedly leading grassroots Unionist organisation has also been ignoring the fact that the only real grassroots Unionist organisation in Scotland is the one that puts on citrus fruit themed parades around June. They’re also ignoring the uncomfortable truth that for a bunch of people who hate nationalism so much, the real blood and soil out and out fascists are all very much on their side of the political divide.
The group that hasn’t broken off is calling itself Unity, which is a strange choice of name for a bunch of separatists who want to split off from the other Unionists and split off from Europe, but who are we to judge. Their grassroots activity so far has mainly consisted of putting some memes out on social media about how Brexit is going to be great and Scotland has to suck it up. Scotland is loved and valued in the Union, as long as we shut up and do as we’re told. It’s about as convincing as a declaration of undying loyalty from Michael Gove.
Back on planet Earth, or at least what passes for it in the wormhole leading into a dimension in which nothing makes sense which the UK has fallen into, this week has been a week of repeated humiliations for the British government. There have been even more humiliations than normal, even for this lot. There was the commissioning of the Royal Navy’s brand spanking new aircraft carrier. Only the nearest it’s got to an aircraft is a wee remote controlled drone that the captain’s wife is giving him for his Christmas. Phil Hammond admitted that the British government hasn’t actually decided what it wants to get out of Brexit. David Davis admitted that those impact assessments he’d been assuring us all were incredibly detailed have as much existence in this universe as Michael Gove’s reputation for loyal friendship. And Theresa May got slapped down by Arlene Foster when Theresa tried to sign a deal which would have seen Northern Ireland effectively remain in the Customs Union and Single Market but the rest of the UK leave it.
After Arlene sank the agreement that Theresa had reached on Monday, she then refused to take Theresa’s phone calls in a snub that even Michael Gove would have thought cold. There was poor Theresa, left looking foolish in front of the big boys and girls of Europe by a woman whose party makes Jacob Rees Mogg seem terribly daring and modern. This is how politics in the UK is conducted these days.
Hello, you’ve reached the office of Arlene Foster. I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now as I’m in a meeting to discuss how NornIreland can’t be allowed to diverge from the rest of the UK except for gay marriage and abortion rights.
Press 1. To hear Ulster Says No in every European language. Except Irish.
Press 2. To listen to a rousing selection of marching tunes from the Apprentice Boys flute band.
Press 3. If you’ve got another £1.5 billion to give away.
Press 4. If you’d like me to bring down your government.
By Friday, an agreement had been cobbled together. The man from the BBC said that there had been concessions on both sides, by which he meant that the UK had agreed to everything that the EU had demanded, and the EU had promised that in the next round of negotiations it will supply proper Belgian chocolate biscuits instead of those cheap bourbon creams from Aldi. And this first round, remember, was supposed to be the easy part of the negotiations for the UK. Britain has never been more screwed.
For Scotland what all this means is that the UK can no longer threaten an independent Scotland with a hard border, with economic sanctions, and with threats of military intervention. A Scotland which is part of the Customs Union and the Single Market will enjoy the same access as Ireland. Some in the UK voted for Brexit because they fondly imagined that Brexit would allow Britain to bestride the globe like a colossus. Instead it’s revealed the colossal weakness of a friendless and isolated Britain and one colossal humiliation after another while British politicians froth on the sidelines. We don’t have to be a part of this. The case for independence just got stronger. No wonder Scotland in Union is splitting up. It’s really been a metaphor for the UK this whole time.
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.
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