The mattress fire of British politics

The British Government has precisely zero chance of getting a Brexit deal. That much ought to be clear by now even to someone who has spent the past couple of years living in the deepest depths of a cave on a remote island somewhere off the coast of Antarctica. And indeed that would be preferable to having to live with the daily onslaught on our senses of the likes of Mark Francois, Jacob Rees Mogg, and the abandoned mattress fire who enjoys the title of Prime Minister. Sorry, that’s disrespectful to our expensively educated classical scholar PM. His correct title is of course incendium culcitae relictae, that’s Latin for abandoned mattress fire.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, when he’s not fending off allegations about his dealings with an American pole dancer, is going around this week insisting that his proposed deal is very fair and represents a major compromise on the part of the UK. It’s as clear as the fact that he has precisely zero chances of getting a deal that this is part of a strategy to put the blame for no deal on the EU. It’s also very clear that this has been his intention all along. This Government, despite its protestations to the contrary, has put very little serious effort into getting a deal, because they know that the only deal that would be acceptable to the EU is the kind of deal that wouldn’t be acceptable to the Brextremists who put the mattress fire in office.

Now that he’s been frustrated in his desire for a General Election right away, the plan of this incendium culcitae relictae is to ensure that there’s a no deal crash out from the EU, to blame the EU and remainer MPs for it, and then to have a general election before the stercore ventilatorem percutit. Which is Latin for the shit hits the fan. Because casually dropping bits of Latin into your discourse isn’t as clever clever as Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson would like us to think it is. I can do it, and I went to a comprehensive in North Lanarkshire. It’s just that due to centuries of intellectual snobbery and the fact that historically only the rich could afford to teach their kids Latin it makes you appear cleverer than say, casually dropping in catch phrases from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Halleloo Miss Vaaaaanjie. Even though it’s on much the same level.

Anyway, I digress. Today, Monday, the mattress fire is complaining that the EU hasn’t properly explained its objections to his plan. Or rather, his ruse. That’s a bit like a kid complaining that the teacher hasn’t properly explained why they were given a failing mark when in answer to the question “Name six animals which you can find in the Arctic?” the pupil wrote “Five polar bears and an elephant that’s on holiday.”

The Mattress Fire’s ruse is unacceptable to the EU because it creates a customs border within the island of Ireland. It is unacceptable because it gives a veto to the DUP, leaving the whole of Ireland held hostage to the only political party on the island that wants Brexit – a party, moreoever, which opposed the Good Friday Agreement. It’s unacceptable because it doesn’t include any legal guarantees. It’s unacceptable because it only provides for partial regulatory alignment between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland. It’s unacceptable because it’s as far removed from the backstop as reality is from the furthest edges of Johnson’s ego. It’s unacceptable because it breaks the agreement made by the UK Government in December 2017 that Northern Ireland would remain within the customs union and there would be no hard border within the island of Ireland. It’s unacceptable because the technology upon which the British Government’s plan relies doesn’t actually exist in this universe. But apart from that, it’s just fine, and the EU has every confidence that the elephant that’s currently on holiday in the Arctic will be back soon to help facilitate the smooth passage of goods between Newry and Dundalk.

The UK Government’s proposal for getting the EU to agree to its ruse, sorry its detailed and carefully thought out plan, is to draw up a list of all the ways in which Ireland will be damaged by a no-deal Brexit. It’s the threaten your neighbours with your own self-harm school of negotiation. Like telling the people next door that they need to agree to you blocking their garden path because otherwise they’ll find their house and garden covered in soot after you’ve set fire to your house.

The House of Commons is distinctly underwhelmed by the deal so far. MPs in the Commons have been complaining that they have not been allowed to see the Government’s details 44 page legal text. Which means that they are just supposed to take Lyin’ Bastert Johnson’s word for what it contains. This totally fills them with confidence in the same way that you would be happy to put your life in the hands of a bungee jump organiser who has a history of putting photos on Twitter of splattered corpses. Labour’s Keir Starmer pointed out that there was a contradiction between what the Mattress Fire told the Commons last week about there being no need for any new border infrastructure in Northern Ireland and what the Irish Taoiseach says the plan entails. What is the government trying to hide? The minor spokesscapegoat who had been put up by the Government bleated a few words of nothingness in response, and claimed that the Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay was travelling around Europe “whipping up support and enthusiasm” for the ruse. Sorry, the deal.

Meanwhile in Edinburgh, the Mattress Fire won a pyrrhic victory in the court case brought against him by the SNP’s Joanna Cherry, the anti-Brexit businessman Dale Vince, and the legal campaigner Jolyon Maugham. The Court of Session declined to grant the plaintiffs their request for an order of nobile officium, by which the Court would step in an appoint a person to write to the EU to request an extension should the Mattress Fire refuse to obey the law obliging him to do so. However the interesting part was in the court’s reasoning. The judges have clearly interpreted the Mattress Fire’s protestations to the Court that he’s going to obey the law and would not frustrate its purpose as a legally binding commitment. There is no need for an injunctive order, but only because the Court holds that the Government is legally obliged to keep its word to the Court and ask the EU for an extension by the 17th of October at the latest.  If the Government doesn’t comply, and tries to evade the law or acts in a way designed to frustrate the law’s purpose, the Mattress Fire will be in contempt of court.

According to reports in the news today, the talk in Brussels is no longer about the UK Government’s deal that’s not really a deal. It’s all about the extension and how long it’s going to be. It now looks extremely likely that we’ll be going into a General Election next month without the Mattress Fire having achieved his sworn promise of taking the UK out of the EU by 31 October or die in a ditch.  That means that he’ll have Nigel Farage breathing down his neck, taking votes away from the Tories in leave voting areas.

But then all this will probably change tomorrow. The mattress fire has a lot of combustible material left in it.

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into and send a payment to the email address Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at 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.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email

32 thoughts on “The mattress fire of British politics

  1. Another great article, Paul, spelling out the current situation.

    As to ”Mattress Fire’s pyrrhic victory.”

    Taken from Wings site.

    dadsarmy says: “So, a technical loss for the petitioners in the Vince case, but a de facto win, because they forced the govt to give assurances that it will comply with the Benn Act. Sensible for the court not to question those assurances IMO.”

    That’s what I thought too. Great minds!

  2. A shame “incendium culcitae relictae” didn’t feature in the title, but delighted to see “stercore ventilatorem percutit” appear, the real reason the elephant is on holiday in the Arctic avoiding both the ricochets and Stephen Barclay whipping up his supports….
    A joyous and frank demolition the chief charlatan and his acolytes…

  3. The only predictable thing about a mattress fire is that they eventually run out of fuel and burn out. Trouble is they can release a heck of a lot of toxic gasses before the inevitable end, with all the environmental havoc and devistation such a fire entails. Hurry up LBJ burn up so we can start clearing the mess an breathe again. 🙂

  4. We needn’t worry our pretty little heads—our rulers and masters have decided the answers are to be –Jaikie Carlot and and “Union” Jack.

    All we need now, are to figure out what the question would be.
    My guess would be—“name the two most preposterous hucksters in Scotland”

  5. Aye ok all the smart arses regurgitating bits of Latin , Chuck it please.

    The current case wasn’t really a loss , the court just fired a warning across the boughs of the English governments legal team ” Don’t test the patience of this Court ” or there will be repercussions .

    The sight and sound of English MPs swearing blind they will protect the interests of the Scottish Whisky industry against Trump and his carpet bagging pals is heartening , just like the protection they gave the Scottish fishing industry what’s not to like eh ? .

    Something is missing in this whole Brexit debate ” MONEY” and the desperation to protect the TAX HAVEN status of The English elite , why is this not front and centre of every argument against leaving the EU , isn’t it pretty predictable given the vast amounts these people are trying to protect that the MSM are predictably quiet ? .

    • I was quite enjoying the bits of Latin…but yes rather know Gaelic myself.

      Money, at the root of eveything. It is all about money. It’s what will stop the world actually turning one day. Hard to comprehend how some can have billions and billions, but walk past and over the poor, the homeless and sick etc, and not give a freaking moments care for them. These are the people who should be left to rot in dark, damp jail cells, surrounded by rats. Hope that day comes for them soon.

  6. The following article is really interesting, imo, highlighting how BBC lackeys like Marr don’t use the opportunity to enlighten their viewers and more so outlining the reality of EU borders with third countries. Well worth a read.

    ‘Brexit: the myth of seamless borders.’

    … ”What Karins ( Latvian prime minister), might have also told Marr is that, in no instance, are border crossings managed without infrastructure and physical border posts. Even on the 1,600 kilometre Norway/Sweden border, where customs officers on both sides share powers, mobile patrols and surveillance cameras do not remove the need for border posts.” …

    ..”However, Latvia has something a little extra when it comes to the border with Russia. In March – just when the UK was supposed to be leaving the EU – contractors finished construction of 93 kilometres of barbed-wire topped fencing between Russia and Latvia.”..

    Taken from Nana Smith’s excellent site. Check out the latest news.

  7. O/T

    Good one from Günther Dauwen in Flanders .. ”The Boris Biased Corporation.” Coverage of the Edinburgh march from around the World.


    ‘Swinson fails to declare family company was given 3.5m euro by the European Union.’

    …”Swinson’s point blank and quite illogical refusal to join the cross-party coalition to prevent a no-deal Brexit has a 3.5m euro explanation. And the irony of the whole context goes to show that the LibDems are as insincere and deceitful as they ever were.

    This is political dynamite. The European Union gave a 3.5m euro donation to Transparency International, which in peak irony is supposed to be an anti corruption watchdog with a mandate to foster, erm, transparency.

    It is run by Jo Swinson’s husband. Has Jo Swinson declared this conflict of interest to the House of Commons? No.”..

  8. …”It’s as clear as the fact that he has precisely zero chances of getting a deal that this is part of a strategy to put the blame for no deal on the EU. It’s also very clear that this has been his intention all along.”…

    ‘A Leaked Tory Memo Ordered MPs To Call The EU “Crazy” If It Rejects Boris Johnson’s Brexit Proposals.’



    ‘Holding a Queen’s Speech in October risks heaping more embarrassment on the Queen.’

    …”The Queen will not have been amused when the Supreme Court concluded that ‘when the Royal Commissioners walked into the House of Lords [to announce the prorogation] it was as if they walked in with a blank sheet of paper’. Her Majesty will be even less amused if in mid-October she is required to walk into the House of Lords with an equally blank sheet of paper, purporting to be a legislative programme, but in fact being a trailer for the Conservative party’s election manifesto.”

  9. It’s all about time and timing.

    Who wants it and who needs it. Who wants to move it along and who wants to delay it. For some, it’s about who wants both to happen.

    Confused? Probably.

    It may delay our exit from this shit show, but it won’t prevent it. 😉

  10. Another Tory – Heidi Allen- heading to the LibDems. Must be getting close to having more ex-Tory MPs than LibDems in the party.

    • So there you have it.

      The Westminster parties:

      The True Blue Tory Party – e.g. Jacob Really-Smug
      The Blue Tory Party – e.g. Dom Grieveous
      The Red Tory Party – e.g. Steve Kinnoccio
      The Yellow Tory Party – e.g. You’re not my Jo Swansong

      Thank God for the SNP and Plaid Cymru!

  11. The Court of Session declined to grant the plaintiffs their request for an order of nobile officium

    Sorry to quibble, Paul, on an otherwise brilliant article (as usual!) but this has confused two different aspects. The judgement of Mon. 07.Oct was by the Outer Court and only on an attempted interdict to force Johnson to obey the Benn Act. This is now going to appeal in the Inner Court. The “nobile officium” aspect can only be heard by the Inner Court and judgement on that is still forthcoming.

  12. I’ve just read of someone else correct, Mr Campbell, the owner of Wings on that one, grizebard. All very confusing, lol.

  13. Given the spectator “story” (plant?) it seems the strategy of No10 is that the “mattress-fire” spreads to smaller fires everywhere, scorched earth policy….
    The cavalier lack of concern for the general population affected by Westminster “games” had already sickened the electorate leading up to the 2016 referendum, in trying to out-Brexit the Brexit Party now for their own political survival is only going to increase the anger. Johnson then Mirage may be the short term winners in this, but it is not going to end well…

  14. “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    Many of us on this inestimable site, and elsewhere across the Alternative Media, have quoted the last few clauses of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address in an effort to describe the goal of the Scottish Independence Movement as succinctly as possible.

    A Government of the people, by the people, for the people, of Scotland.

    I’d imagine that most of us can conjure up images of the American Civil War, possibly formed from cinema and TV interpretations of that terrible time in US History.
    The Battle of Getttysburg is considered by many historians to have been the turning point in the North/ South war.

    General Robert E Lee’s North Virginia Confederate Army faced General George Meade’s Union Army and over 3 days, July 1-3 1863, fought an unrelenting series of battles, during which over 50,000 soldiers from both sides lost their lives or were severely injured.

    The Union Army prevailed, and the rest, as they say is history, or rather the conqueror’s version of history.

    In this, the second week of October, 2019, there is a sense of foreboding hovering in the air.

    Scotland waits, like those poor souls huddled and shivering in two camps in the woods at Gettysburg, paralysed by the fearful anticipation of the carnage about to be rained down upon us in the form of a ruthless and deliberate End of Days Armageddon engineered by the Elite Puppeteers tugging the Man Child Johnson’s strings, which will unleash the disaster that is now the inevitable No Deal Brexit in just over 3 weeks’ time.

    Many would argue that Scotland is at war with itself now.

    A bloodless war so far, but a ‘civil war’, nonetheless.

    There are two camps, those of us who demand a return to Self Determination, as a right, regardless of Brexit, Deal, No Deal, or even a revocation of Article 50.

    Scotland did not vote to leave the EU; we are de facto being dragged out of Europe by ‘the English’.
    Independence is the Natural Order of things:
    “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    In the oter camp, there are those of us, Scots born, or Scots by choice by moving here, settling here, contributing to our economy and society, who wish to remain in the 312 year old Union, for a variety of reasons and arguments, who consider that the UK is their ‘country’, and that Scotland is merely a part of a greater whole.

    That we are divided is not in question.

    Thankfully these days, we do not take up musket and cannon and blow each other to smithereens to settle the impasse.

    We cross ballot papers rather than swords.

    So far.

    Many are puzzled by the SNP’s efforts to avert Brexit, or at least halt the No Deal option.
    It is suggested by diehard Independence supporters that we should allow ‘England’ to leave, and decscend into Yellowhammer chaos and ultimate financial ruin.

    They argue that an emasculated England, and shortages, even in Scotland, would sway soft Nos and Don’ Knows to opt for Independence.

    I admit to having been a Harbinger of Doom many times on here and elsewhere, if Brexit No Deal, or any Brexit Deal, sees the UK slip off the cliff edge on Hallowe’en.

    My Everlovin’ has in her rich Belfast background a wonderful retort:-
    ‘Hell slap it up them!’

    We should stand back and let our neighbours perish by their own hand.
    ‘Now is the time’ to launch Indyref 2?

    There is a strong but still pro Independence argument that we adopt a more measured approach.

    Surely no reasonable Scots citizen want ‘England’ to suffer the extremes of Brexit?

    Surely we cannot sit idly by while our nearest neighbours are conned into committing Jonestown mass suicide?

    Boris Johnson is not Jim Jones. He is a puppet of an Iron Heel Oligarchy which controls the wealth of the UK.

    It is tempting to consider that the normalisation of foodbanks, Red Nose Day, the Rape Clause, the two child UCS cap, and the proliferation of Double Speak like ‘Austerity’ to describe robbing the Poor to reward the Rich, and ‘Climate Change’ instead of ‘Global Warning’, the Unemployed rebranded as ‘jobseekers’, were measures straight from 1984’s Ministry of Truth handbook.

    A slow and relentless destruction of the UK’s civic society, which spawned UKIP, the lurch to the Far Right by the Red Blue and Beige Tories, culminating in a EU Refrendum where it was the invasion of Johnny Foreigner, not UK Governments cuts to health, education, social welfare, and the Police, wot done it.

    Over the next few weeks and months the UK will divide even more starkly.
    The North of Ireland, Scotland, even poor old Wales, will witness untold friction and despair.

    The significant Remain vote in England is dismissed; countless politicians backed by the obliging MSM peddle the notion that ‘everybody’ is sick fed up with Brexit, and just want the politicians to ‘get on with it’.

    I’d suggest that these zealots are in for a very rude and agitated awakening when Brexit bites.
    It is about to get very testing, very very soon now.

    Now is the time to launch Indyref 2.
    It is not incompatible with the SNP joining Remain allies in attempting to avert the disaster that is Brexit, for the good of us all, in Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland.
    We shall be independent in a matter of a few months if Brexit in any format is realised.

    • I enjoyed your ‘short’ story Jack and I agree with you. Frightening that at this time of economic threat our numptie politicians cannot agree anything and instead squabble for political gain.

      Reading Bob Lamonts link to the Spectator says it all. Criminal.

      • Andy, I’ve been following it all this morning.
        Johnson’s deal is dead: Arlene declares No Surrender!’ plunging the North of Ireland into serious peril.
        ‘No 10’ issues a ‘if the hat fits’ threat to the 27 EU Nations.
        Resist the will of the Mighty English and you will be punished. Cooperate and you will have the status of Ally of England, and goodies, bestowed upon you.
        The USA, the EU, and China, constitute 57% of the World’s Trade.
        England (UK) 2%, yet Blue Tories still boast that it is a MIGHTY world power, the fifth largest economy.
        Andy, they are entering a Cold War with Europe, and engendered mass hysteria among English citizens, who still buy the nonsense that England is the centre of the known Universe.
        The latest news is that talks have ended, and No Deal is the only option left, that the Benn Act will be circumvented, a GE will ensue, a Johnson/Farage Government shall emerge, and the UK will immediately quit the EU>
        ‘Now is the time’ for Indyref 2.
        No section 30 required.
        JFDI. We just effin do it.

    • What sticks in my craw is the harping on about 17.4 million to justify this clusterfuck, and the media and opposition politicians still let it slide 3 years on…
      At the referendum it was 51v48% Leave v Remain according to polling yet the latest polling using the same base shows 44v50%. The original referendum was split roughly a third each way plus don’t know/don’t care, and although the split hasn’t changed that much, Leave now would be 15M, Remain would be 17M… There is a majority, but it’s not the one they want to talk about, because it’s about money and power…
      Yet those very same people want to the exceedingly complicated Yes/No question re-examined, and raise the bar for a Scottish Referendum minimum %age…
      Hell hath no fury but for a nation scorned, Scotland’s day of reckoning is first, Ireland’s, Wales,s and England’s will follow in short order…

      • Let’s not forget the three tranches of 17 year olds who turned 18 since 2016, Bob.
        At least there needs to be a confirmatory vote or Remain now.
        Let’s not forget also that tens of thousands of elderly Leave John Bulldogs have shuffled off this mortal coil.
        The 2016 EU Referendum is no longer fit for purpose.

  15. I see the Johnson ‘pretendy’ deal has met with its predictable end.

    This IS going to follow a process to another inevitable end, both politically and societally. Brexit is essentially a symptom of a greater malady. The worst symptom to date right enough, but you get the drift of travel by this point.

    NOBODY should be happy about accepting the word of Johnson to be fair. The latest narrative of scapegoating is in full flow and it’s everyone’s fault but his, or Conservative government. It’s the EU’s fault, or it’s RoI, or it’s those whining Jock NATS, or it’s remoaner’s in general. Blah, waffle, blah, fnarr… soundbite. Day in and day out.

    He’s a walking stereotype in search of a moment of glory.

    Having said all of that. There are plenty who’d still vote for him at this moment. They’d vote for him and all that entails, because… reasons. They neither understand or want to understand what’s being done to them for the most part. An even worse scenario is that some do and just don’t care. If they’re not careful? They’re going to get exactly what they want.

    I’d say people need to make a choice about now. They need to choose what kind of people they are collectively, and what kind of person individually.

  16. How much longer will Johnston last. Flapping into Downing Street with the shirt tails out. The dope on the ropes with the shirt tails out. Not a pretty sight. The Emperor has no clothes.

    Everyone is sick of the Brexit mess. Complete and utter shambles. There will have to be a GE to get the Tories out.

    Independence will come out of it. That’s a cert. Support rising. Demographics changing. The elderly antis fast disappearing. The young ones come on board. Everything to play. The best time to have an IndyRef is when it can be won, Not before it.The alignment falls into place.

    Scotland has waited nearly 100 years for Independence. Since universal Suffrage, 1928 to 2019. A couple of more years will not make much difference. The voters have to vote for it. The SNP Gov is the best administration Scotland has ever had. Scotland is in so much better shape because of it. The leadership will know when to go for it.

    The post haste 2020 deadline because their will not be a SNP/Indy majority in Holyrood 2021. It is superfluous argument. What’s the point in having it. If a year later voters are agin it. Even under different electoral conditions.

    Independence is not just for Christmas. Independence is for life.

    Better to get a GE or EU Ref out of the way. Support will be seen to rise for an IndyRef. Unstoppable. There is a two year EU transition period When voters will be hassling to get back in. The chaos that will follow any Brexit exit, that has been engineered by the Tories.

    The Tories/Cameron/Clegg should never have had a lying EU Ref. Ever. There is too much at stake to leave the EU, especially for Scotland. The UK Union takes from Scotland £Billions of mismanagement (70%). The EU gives to Scotland in investment. Scotland is a committed European country.

    EU 68%. GE 80%. IndyRef 52%+. The SNP are carrying out the mandate from the voters to the letter.

    D’Hond’t and STV is a joke. Introduced by unionists to benefit them.The 3rd rate loser wins. First preference votes go in the bin.To let 3rd rate losers in. They can’t be got rid, Mucking up the economy.

    EU matters brought down Thatcher. Deja Vu. The Tories have learnt nothing. They can’t count or read a balance sheet. The Hedge Fund managers are backing to Tories to ruin the UK economy. To line their pockets on other people’s misery. There will have to be a GE election to get rid of them, especially in Scotland.

    Looks like they will promise lots of undeliverable freebies. Do not trust them Deja Vu. Promise a penny and take a pound. Tory unionists empty promises in Scotland. The rhetoric. Do not be fooled. They have no chance.

    An IndyRef will follow. Sure as night follows day. The voters will have to vote for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.