The cost of the Union

Wheesht noo. Stop criticising the Scottish media. It’s not helpful. It’s not entirely clear who it’s not helpful to, but stop it anyway. Just because. It’s bad for democracy when people criticise the media, but it’s not as bad as it is when that media is totally unrepresentative of the country it purports to report on. Democracy is seriously threatened when a country lacks a media that gives all its views and voices a fair hearing, when it’s predominantly owned by interests outwith that country, and when it’s skewed in a particular direction and in favour of a particular constitutional option. It’s even worse when that country, alone amongst the self-governing nations, territories and regions of Europe, lacks a public service broadcaster to call its own. How can a country have a conversation with itself when half of its voices are silenced and when there’s no public service broadcaster to offer a platform?

But we’re not supposed to ask these questions. It means we’re conspiracy theorists even though it’s not a theory that Scotland’s media is overwhelmingly opposed to independence, it’s a fact. It’s not paranoia. They really are out to get us. We’re not supposed to ask these questions, and we’re not supposed to build alternatives. Put up, shut up, remain forever a part of this dysfunctional union-that’s-not-a-union where the powerless and the voiceless are decried as bullies.

The dysfunction was on full display on Monday when the Scottish government published its Brexit impact studies. The Scottish government decided to commission studies into the effects of three different Brexit scenarios on Scotland after it became clear that the British government’s interest in telling the public about the consequences of Brexit were limited to blue passports and whatever lies they could fit on the side of a bus.

Despite numerous promises from Brexit Secretary David Davis that detailed and comprehensive impact studies had been carried out, what was finally revealed to MPs was as illuminating as a torch with a 15W bulb and a flat battery in a black hole. The information contained within the top secret documents which could be so devastating to the UK’s negotiating position with the EU turned out, according to those opposition MPs who had seen them, to contain the sort of information that you could find after typing “How screwed is the UK after Brexit” into Google. So why the secrecy? If UK civil servants can use Google, the chances are that the EU’s civil servants can use it too. Then, for good measure, Davie denied that he’d ever said that there were going to be impact analyses. That’s those analyses which he’d promised would go into excrutiating detail. But it turned out that the only excrutiating thing was Davie’s attempt to pretend he’d never promised anything of the sort.

The real reason why the British government hasn’t carried out detailed assessments of the economic effects of Brexit, or why they haven’t published them if they have, became clear on Monday when the Scottish government published its own studies on the effects on the impact of Brexit on the Scottish economy. It’s because the studies show that there’s no such thing as the good Brexit, the Brexit that works for Britain, that the Tories keep promising us. Every possible configuration of Brexit is a bad Brexit. Well colour us surprised. There is no good Brexit, only a Brexit scenario which is somewhat less catastrophic than the others. A hard Brexit would cost the Scottish economy £12.7 billion a year. No wonder the Tories don’t want to publish any information.

The least disastrous Brexit is for the UK to remain a part of the customs union and the EU single market after Brexit. This is the Brexit that both the Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have refused to consider. Even this Brexit will damage the Scottish economy to the tune of £688 each year for every man, woman, and child in the country. The Brexit with the sooper-dooper special bespoke deal that Theresa wants will end up costing the Scottish economy the equivalent of £1610 annually for every person in the country. This seems to be Jezza’s preferred option too. The worst option is a no deal Brexit, which is likely to cost the Scottish economy the equivalent of £2300 a year per person.

Both a no deal Brexit and the kind of Brexit that the Tories are pressing for will end up costing us considerably more than what the British Treasury was telling us in 2014 that independence was going to cost us. In 2014 the Treasury claimed that independence would cost each person in Scotland £1400 a year. If we’d voted for independence in 2014 and even if the absolute worst case scenarios of the British establishment had come true, we’d still be better off than we will be once Brexit bites.

Naturally the Tories were not impressed by the Scottish government figures, even though they refuse to come out with any figures of their own which might contradict them. “Anyone can come out with end of the world scare stories,” said huffy Fluffy Mundell in a quote which countless independence supporters have filed away for future use in memes during the next independence campaign when the British government comes out with a scare story. Tory MSP Adam Tomkins sniffed that no one can trust financial information published by the Scottish government, except of course the GERS figures, cos they show Scotland is rubbish and are like, totes accurate. So let’s compare the Scottish government’s impact studies with those published by your Tory UK government Adam, and we can see how they stand up. Oh yeah. Right-oh. The Scottish government has published papers dealing with the economic impact of Brexit. The London mayor has published papers dealing with the economic impact of Brexit. The only people who haven’t published papers dealing with the economic impact of Brexit are in the Tory cabinet.

The Scottish media struggled to find a way to report the news that could result in the SNP being blamed for something. Well I say struggled. They don’t struggle that much really. If they can’t blame the SNP for whatever the topic de jour is, they just change the subject. So there was Nicola Sturgeon presenting the impact study papers to the press, study papers which show that there are no Brexit benefits for Scotland and that all the Tory waffle about getting a good deal is just a damage limitation exercise, and instead the press decide that the real story is that Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want to use the occasion to give them a date for another referendum. [Rolls eyes.]

Don’t wheesht. Don’t be quiet. Don’t get mad. Get the message out there. Get campaigning. Get a yes vote.

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 “The cost of the Union

  1. Pingback: The cost of the Union | speymouth

  2. Well said Paul.

    Y’know, people are suffering right this very moment under Westminster austerity legislation and the very threat of impending Brexit. If Scotland’s electorate are burdened with the full force of Brexit because of the actions of unionist parties or the media, I want them to remember this day and their reaction to the impact assessment.

    If the worst comes to the worst and Brexit becomes the gawdawful clusterfuck many predict, then no one in either the establishment party ranks or the media must ever be allowed to say there was no warning, no responsible assessments or actions taken by the Scottish government.

    They must not EVER be allowed to rewrite or airbrush over history. Something they have a habit of doing.

    Just sayin’.

    Apparently UK gov is accusing Scotgov of attempting to undermine the result of a democratic referendum…. Uh huh!

    Setting aside the mahoosive irony bypass and the fact that the old hypocrisy meter has just died laughing. Setting aside ALL that. The EU referendum should never have been held in the first place.

    Going over very tired old ground, but there was a legally binding compact between the people of Scotland and the UK government. The ONLY way to guarantee continued membership of the EU was to return a no vote in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Pretty much a matter of public record and a cornerstone of the Better Together/HMG campaign.

    It took two years for that assurance to be completely ignored in favour of UK/Westminster party political interests and a CONSULTATIVE UK/EU referendum, which instantly promised the possibility of conflict with the result of the Legally Binding 2014 referendum. It’s kinda why we have a constitutional crisis today and not just in Scotland. NI does not have its problems to seek either with the direct threat to yet another legally binding compact, the Good Friday Agreement.

    Basically yer UK gov pishing on every binding agreement they’d ever come to with ‘partners’ in the name of party political expediency, arrogance, ignorance and self. What part of democratic is ANY of that?

    Scotgov did not invite any of this. NOT A SINGLE BIT. They are however, expected to bow down and dae as thir telt, by thir maisters? I don’t think so. Democracy has been hijacked. It has been undermined. It’s been jumped outside a pub and had an epic kicking, but not by the Scottish government.

    As a by the by? NO Scottish government of any stripe is either capable of or allowed to take independence and the dissolution of the political union off any table. It is a right of Scotland’s electorate to determine their own form of government and belongs to no politician. Today our government is two tier – central and devolved. If tomorrow Scotland’s electorate decide UK gov are a shower of arrogant, self interested and ignorant gangsters/tossers, they may well decide to take back their on loan competences and sort this shit storm out for themselves… mainly because they can.

    • as usual, Paul is right on the money, Sam.
      I watched Mundell quiver and quake on the telly earlier, a shambles of a human being who is as much use as a tooth pick to a giant grizzly which has just devoured a fat dim but nice List MSP Tory boy for breakfast..
      We are scaremongering apparently according to their Westminster correspondent, David Porter(?) or rather he reports that the May Government announces that NS is indulging in Project Fear 2. But it is delivered in a way, that the casual viewer is led to believe that it is the good old trusted BBC which is telling Nicola Sturgeon off for scaremongering.
      Don’t laugh; punch a cushion instead.

      BBC Scotland follows the well worn propaganda path of the Yoon Dead Tree Scrolls, quoting ‘critics’, the Scottish Conservatives in this case, but in reality broadcasting Donalda McKinnon’s BBC Scotland Stockade’s warped Yoon ‘line to take’ on this excellent piece of Brexit Impact Analysis commissioned by the Scottish Government.

      According to Jackson Carlaw and Prof Tomkins (the knighthood cannot be far away now) we are deliberately trying to hinder the progress on Brexit, the Blue Tory Right Wing Carillion Capitalist version of it.
      No shit, Sherlock.
      You are our enemy within the walls. chaps.
      You are destroying Scotland.

      I’ve just scanned the Yoon Dead Tree Scrolls online.

      Herald Britland is still flogging the Police Scotland waffle, and Carillion and ‘Nicola Sturgeon’s’ Brexit Impact Report features way down there among 43 stories about Ranjurs new signings.

      The Daily Raggard would cause an infection to a delicate part of your body if you used it as toilet paper.

      Lots of lurid little Police Gazette shit, and 42 stories about the mighty Ranjurs and Sellick, to keep the knuckledragger readership in a coma while our country is in danger of being forced into certain destruction by our near neighbour to the South.

      Again, I express my utter disbelief that there is not one broadcaster, not one journalist who has the balls to oppose this life threatening Brexit farce.

      Nicola, set the wheels in motion, Start the Indyref campaign in the autumn.

      There will be plenty of hard evidence by then that England, and the Filthy Rich Elite and Nobility are about to plunge us all into Third World Poverty.

      Perhaps May can commission Carillion to prepare an Impact Assessment for the English Parliament?

      What a massive Bunglefuck Privatisation has proven to be.

      Nearly forty years on, with Maggie well and truly in her grave, her remains continue to give off a hellish stench seeping up from the bowels of whichever hell her version of faith consigned her to.
      ‘Private good, public bad’. There is no such thing as society, only the individual’.
      IMO she was the anti Christ signalling the End Of Days, if you believe all that baloney.
      I am boiling mad.
      We are ready now.
      20,000 workers are ditched and their pensions squandered, but the Carillion Board, and the shareholders remain untouched.
      In New Scotland, we drive these carpetbaggers from our shores.
      Great reply, Sam.
      We are the ones who change. Nobody but us.

    • I meant I sent a copy of the SG Brexit analysis to soft NO voters. Will find the ONS analysis mentioned below.

    • Use your anger productively. Channel the energy into working with your local yes group. Or writing letters to the papers. Or telling everyone you know how bad for Scotland the UK is.

      • If you write an angry, analytical riposte to a braindead Herald story (without swearing) they ban your account. Found that out yesterday, when, for the first and only time, I commented on a ranting screed of theirs.

  3. I see there will be a plague of yellow triangles over parts of Scotland during the next few days. That should distract the meeja away from important things. It will, of course, be Nickla’s fault. Or Humza’s. Especially if a train gets caught by the wrong sort of snow and Ms Smith gets delayed long enough to fabricate some outrage using the wrong metric. Post Brexit, metrics will be banned and replaced with some much more British way of measuring outrage, furlongs perhaps. ‘There was a furlong queue at A&E’ – though actually it was only four rods held back by a chain.

    Aye, the meeja struggled to find an SNPbaad slant in the Scottish Government’s assessment document, so moved on, or back, to dates for referendum(s) but, being unable to focus on more than one concept at a time got confused as to who does, or doesn’t, want which referendum and when.

    During the coming year the Westminster government will agree to the UK becoming an EU vassal state – obeying all the rules, paying all the bills without having any say on either. The EU27 have a target date of 30th September 2018 for agreeing the terms of Brexit (which is not the same as negotiating the UK’s future relationship with the EU – that doesn’t get going until 2019), a date that is likely to be met even if the Brexiteer’s maintain their current negotiating tactics of wasting lots of time, conceding nothing until the last minute then rolling over. The terms of Brexit will be known before this date and, once the Brexit terms are known, Scotland will be able to argue for its independence.

    However, this suggests a rather undesirable winter campaign, and it suggests a campaign based on yes or no to the terms of Brexit as opposed to a campaign based around the normalcy of an independent Scotland making its own decisions and controlling its own future; a country that can, as Sam said in a previous blog, ‘Aspire to be better than we are and as good as everyone else’.

    2018 will be an interesting year.

  4. Paul the British government HAS published similarly scary figures for hard brexit.

    These came from the ONS and estimated £5300 per household would be the hard brexit cost.

    So SNP is smack on the money and mentioning the ONS figures to fluffmiester might cause a wee apoplexy!

    Just a thought.

    Gordon Ross

  5. Don’t worry Paul, many of us are not waiting any longer and are mobilising as we speak.
    ‘We are making plans and no media can stop that..No siree!!!

  6. Wee Ginger Dog followed by Macart has summed things up brilliantly with spirit, as always.
    BBC must be allowed to lie.
    We must not criticise the media ….we must swallow what we are told….. dangerous times.

    Indy 2 is going to be a bitter, hard fight. The cynicism and arrogance of Westminster Unionists is still there. They are frighteningly good at lying, controlling the media..and propaganda…. But they are cornered rats.UK is bankrupt in every way. Today’s cobra meeting is probably just the beginning of a pre-Brexit crash.
    What a mess. They will get more vicious.

    • Like you said cornered rats and that’s going to show there anti scottishness for all to see 1 the vow won’t work as it was never delivered that’s gone 2 the eu argument is gone thanks to brexit thanks you stupid little englanders for killing that argument for us 3 when they try to use gers again we hit them with the brexit impact assessments our elected government did and if they call that lies say to them where’s your figures then 4 remind the fishermen that since they chose the conservatives they’ve been sold up the river for londons benefit not theres 5 remind the farmers that westminster has cut there funding from the eu with brexit and have no say what so ever because Scotland chose no last time in 2014 6 remind them of the shipyard promises they made and the lie independence would kill the shipyards 7 remind them of westminster shutting our job centre’s down so people on benefits have to travel further 8 the banks closing down and how england wouldnt lift a finger even though they could of stopped it easy as pie have I missed anything else to throw at these arse hats for indyref2

  7. Great article and comments. The Britnats are obviously livid that Nicola Sturgeon and her government have taken the initiative and done some serious homework on the effects of Brexit for Scotland. They are obviously mad as hell that this could not be totally kept from the people.

    The Britnats have really shafted Scotland big time especially in the past couple of years, and no, people will not be silenced anymore by the them.

    Sharing is a great way to get the actual facts out there while the Britnat media do nothing but lie or ignore what is really going on. Got to stay positive, keep on our toes and if poss be actively engaged in discussion.

  8. That condescending, hateful, disgusting, and bone-stick-stone stupid Herald story yesterday that accused all online indy media readers of being ‘cyber-conspiracists’ and ‘threats to democracy’ you mention in passing at the start of your story was written by a Glasgow University student who studies Human Rights, ironically.

    You know when they get silly wee laddies to write deeply insulting troll posts (not a story, a post, really, like something you’d see on Facebook) where they paint themselves as Virtuous Defenders Of The Truth Against The Paranoid Cybernat Unwashed (TM)…that their argument is moot, and they’re on the ropes. Laughable.

  9. Well said Paul, spot on again. There is a special place in Hell reserved for the Herald. They abandoned the indy cause at the 11th hour. They said they would give the union one more chance to prove it was worth saving and they said that if it proved to be an error then they would fight for Scotland. Well they rolled over for the union and instead of attacking them for not delivering on their union promises they have attacked the Indy movement. They are like the embarrassed sell out who knows they were wrong but tries relentlessly to prove they weren’t by attacking the very people who supported them. I would defend a balanced media to the very end. Unfortunately there isn’t a balanced media to defend. I am sure there are many Scottish journalists who think that they haven’t sold us out and they probably do a little every month by printing a not so scathing attack on the Scottish government but that is as far as they go. We have another countries media forced on us. what we see doesn’t get reported. If we challenge it then we are conspiracy theorists and nutters. Oddly when we look at international reports we can see that not all Britnat propaganda is accepted by the international community it is merely for our forced consumption. The beatings will continue until morale improves. (damn I just meant to write well done Paul, spleen vented, unfortunately only to the converted).

  10. The usual high-quality, articulate and inspirational contributions from Paul and Sam but when I am president of the Scottish Republic, I’m putting Jack Collatin in charge of my Diplomatic Corps.


    Robert Harrison: “fluffbot”. That’ll keep me chuckling this morning.

    • That’s a great position for Jack. What fun he’d have!

      Thanks, Paul. Simply listening to the “news” on Radio Scotland is enough to get my blood up.

      Do you suppose it has dawned on Mundell that most of those in WM – Tories included – laugh at him?

      • Jan, this ridiculous little man spouts absolute nonsense and Tom Gordon adds the parentheses and blithely prints his ramblings as the Truth.
        England will no longer trade with Scotland, if his fellow countrywomen and men exercise their democratic right and opt for Self Determination, initially with the European Union, rather than be forced into the wilderness by our quite frankly menacing Southern Neighbour.

        The figure £48 billion is a fiction, compiled by London Doubledealers (OBR/ONS/The Treasury/ IFS) and the meme ‘4 times as much’ trade with rUK than with Europe is just a plain downright unsubstantiated lie.

        Even were these stats true, which they certainly are not (do your job Tom Gordon, Gordon Brewer, Brian Taylor) Self Determining Scotland within Europe, the EU 27 plus Scotland making it the ‘EU 28’ would be in the Catbird Seat.
        At long last we would outnumber our English neighbours.

        We would be part of a powerful European Consortium, a member of the biggest Free Trade bloc in the Developed World, and it is doubtful that our European Partners would negotiate a soft border between Ireland and the North, but concede that Mundell and Davidson could ‘punish’ their fellow Scots by overseeing a trade embargo between Scotland, and their beloved England.

        It is all too silly for words, but not apparently for Hang On A Minute, Just To Be Clear, So What You Are Saying Gordon Brewer and the Yoon Mob Up Here.

        Whisky No More. Tunnock’s No More. Irn Bru No More. Oil No More.

        Aye, richt.

        This odious pointless little man is still bigging it up in Edinburgh. Why? He has no function, or authority.

        Ruth Davidson gets column inches declaring the latest Risk Assessment and EU Impact Analysis produced by the SG as a ‘sham’.
        That’s it. Her work as Opposition Leader is done.

        All that work, thought, analysis, is dismissed by this bloated little attention seeker as a ‘sham’, and the Dead Tree Scrolls and Broadcasters duly oblige by declaring it unchallenged to the nation(well their 10,000 readers and diminishing.).

        I am oh so up for the fight.
        I relish hand to hand combat with the Enemy Within.

        This time the rotund McDougall the sleekit McTernan, the Clunking Fist Broon, will be challenged loudly and publicly. Frigates, CU, the EU, trade embargo, and the long list of Project Fear lies will be very publicly exposed for what they are.
        The MSM coordinated lies and threats of enemies of Scotland.

        No more sitting back and letting these evil people lie to and frighten pensioners, kill disabled citizens and steal Public Money.
        It’s Scotland’s oil.
        Hands off.

        Vive La Revolution.

        Allons, enfants. Le jour de gloire est arrive.

        Bejasus, I’m up for it.

  11. Spent a wasted hour looking at the last company accounts of Carillion.
    The accounts look and smell like Enron, Tesco, Dirivatives and banking.
    What are our media talking about, poor wee seals dying on beaches.
    As is said, Oh! look there’s a squirrel, real journalists would be asking questions like, why does a company thats last accounts forecast 3 years of stability due to PFI contracts with UKGOV with 10 years to run, collapse within ONE year.
    Directors paid £5.7m, only 8 of them, plus cars plus medical plus 37% bonuses.
    Directors working for Wood Group, getting cash from UKexport funds.
    It smells of Enron and likely is.
    Roll on Independence, we need a modern country model.

    • Dave, the amount of ‘meat’ real journalists could have got their teeth into at the moment is phenomenal, yet we have a crop of Gordons, Carrells, Taylors,Campbells, and Brewers whose only scoops are used to pick up their pet dogs’ shit from a public park.
      Carillion is a classic Maggie Rip Off of the public purse.
      Lots of Tory relatives mates and family making billions by theft, and corruption.

      Lots of lovely jubbly from the mug tax payers’ pockets.

      180,000 DLA and PIP claimants lose their allowances and benefits, 20,000 staff lose their pensions, and Jackson Carlaw wants us to ‘get behind’ Blue Tory Brexit?
      What an idiot!
      Nobody goes to jail in Blue Tory Land.
      How far from open rebellion are they down there in England. And I mean French Revoltion style insurrection. They are robbing the country blind while 120,000 ayear die from Willie Rennie inspired austerity cuts.
      The Red Blue and Yellow Tories are destroying their country, and looting the UK coffers at the same time.
      We are well out of it.

  12. the BBC in Scotland predictable response was

    And i quote their own reporter

    ” oh course these are just projections ”

    And pronouncements by any unionist think tank are treated with reverence – a veritable sermon on the mount revelation , cast in tablets of stone no not the “ED stone ” that load of junk was quickly hidden .

    As has been stated western democracy does not exist in this country , eh this Colony , we are held captive and the in mates dont see the bars , well some of us do and are getting bloody annoyed with the rest who refuse to open their eyes , these people are as big a danger as the ones who imprison us , there is no difference , as a recent post on wings refered to them as uncle Jocks a subtle reference to house and field Negroes .

  13. I have never felt so much disgust and utter hatred for a group in my life and I am sure I am far from alone – well done Scottish media you are the ‘parcel o rogues in a nation’.
    I feel the Bard would join me in wishing them ill – may they choke on their Burns suppers.

  14. Today at the check, mild mannered middle -aged lady cashier,spotting my Yes badge, ” Do you think there will be another referendum? I don’t like Nicola Sturgeon”. I was polite in response.

    The Tory statistical analysis rebut to the ScotGov Brexit analysis paper issued yesterday –

    Jackson Carlaw ” Of course with Brexit there will setbacks, …and opportunities”.

    Ruthie..”I say just get bloody well get on with it”.

    3rd Listed MSP Tomkins, splutters.

    A small consolation is that the 13 Scot Tory MPs have by now received the message that they are irrelevant. Life’s clock ticks, 1,3, or 5 years of boring Westminster irrelevance beckons them.

    • Well at least our snp msps don’t fall asleep like what happened in the house of Commons when so few torys was there for the eu withdrawal bill debate when one tory bored another to sleep just by droning on

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