The president and the poodle

Has anyone seen Boris Johnson? If you have put the news on on the telly, you may have noticed that the world is teetering on the brink of catastrophe because Donald Trump has decided that his best route to victory in this year’s US presidential election is to start a war in the Middle East. This is, not so funnily enough, exactly what he warned that Obama would do when he was seeking a second term in office. Back then Trump said such a move would be a disaster and a sign that the president was unable to negotiate, and that the president would start a war for purely selfish reasons. So at least we know that he’s not wrong all the time.

Back in the UK, that supposedly leading player on the world stage, the state that prides itself on punching above its weight and being too big and too important for its ambitions to be contained within the structures of the EU, there’s been not a word from Boris Johnson. He’s been sunning himself and getting drunk in a luxury resort island in the Caribbean, the playground of millionaires, minor royals, and social climbers with more money than morals. In his absence, we’ve been left with Dominic Raab to represent us, and if that sentence doesn’t fill you with terror then probably nothing will. Being represented by Dominic Raab at a time of world crisis is like finding yourself lost in the wilderness with a very angry Uber driver with a throbbing vein in his forehead who’s missed his last three sessions of court ordered anger management classes.

Dominic has assured us that the UK is “on the same page” as the USA over the murder of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani. We’re on the same page as a narcissistic arsonist who is setting fire to the planet in order to pursue his own selfish personal electoral interests and avoid facing possible prosecution in a number of looming court cases because as soon as he’s no longer president he loses his legal immunity. So that’s reassuring. How’s that punching above our weight thing working out for everyone in Scotland?

The Americans have claimed that Suleimani posed an “imminent” danger, but they haven’t said what this meant and haven’t provided any evidence. We’re just expected to take Donald Trump’s word for it. I hold no candle for Qassem Suleimani. The military leader of the hardline faction in a country which systematically abuses human rights is most likely not going to be a “nice person” by any rational definition of the term. However assassinating him as he arrived in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government – a government which is supposedly an ally of the USA and the UK – is a crime, pure and simple. If the Iranians had assassinated a leading British or American government figure as they arrived on a visit to a third country, this would be cited as evidence of state sponsored terrorism. It doesn’t magically stop being terrorism just because Donald Trump was the one who ordered it.

We’re now waiting to see how the Iranians will respond, which they most assuredly will. The world has become a far less safe place, and it wasn’t exactly secure to begin with. The American administration took this step without consulting or informing any of its allies. The UK didn’t know about it in advance. We shouldn’t be surprised. After all, you don’t consult with the poodle before you decide to go for a walk in the war park. Trump has threatened that if the Iranians do retaliate, his forces will target Iran’s interests, not just military interests but also sites of cultural importance. That’s a war crime, yet the UK is “on the same page” and is not condemning any of this.

Yet again we are seeing the UK being dragged into foreign adventurism in far away countries where we have no business being, this time in order to boost the electoral prospects of an American president who is mired in serious allegations of criminal behaviour. This is what punching above our weight really means. It means providing a fig leaf of internationalism to the behaviour of an out of control American president who thinks of nothing and no one but his own selfish interests. British citizens will die for this. Countless more people in the Middle East will die for this. And for what? Four more years of Donald Trump and pathetic cheerleading for his adventurism from British politicians who are taking the UK ouf of the EU because they are desperate to enrich themselves by opening up the UK to the predations of American corporations and desperate to avoid the tax supervision regulations of the EU. The UK only punches above its weight when it comes to prioritising the selfish private greed of the wealthy.

And where is Boris Johnson throughout all of this? He’s still in Mustique on holiday. He is apparently flying back to London on Sunday. In 2011 when he was mayor of London he refused to cut short his holiday in Canada when London was burning in the riots of that year. In 2020 he’s refused to cut short his holiday in Mustique when Donald Trump has set the Middle East on fire. He’s got his majority in the Commons, as far as he’s concerned the hard work is done. Although to be honest, nothing much will change whether he’s lying hauf-cut on a sunbed in Mustique or fnaugh-fnaughing in front of a camera in a BBC studio in London.

What will this new war achieve for the UK? More glorification of the armed forces, more poppies and parades, and more ignoring the needs of the wounded or those traumatised by their service who’re left homeless and begging on the streets. It will create more hatred for the UK abroad, and more death and destruction in places where the UK has no business being.

The UK’s constant warmongering and its willingness to go to war whenever an American president blows the war whistle for the poodle is an important and pressing reason for Scottish independence. We are constantly being told by British nationalists that Scotland depends upon the UK armed forces to defend it in a dangerous world, but the truth is that being a part of the UK makes Scotland a more dangerous place because it makes Scotland a part of and complicit in the actions of a state that doesn’t believe in peace. In the 313 years that Scotland has been a part of the UK, there have only been some 70 years when the UK was not engaged in military action somewhere in the world. That is not the record of a state which is devoted to peace. It’s the record of a state that sees military violence as something to be embraced.

An independent Scotland can create a defence force which is appropriate to the needs of Scotland, and appropriate to the needs of a country which believes in peace and which doesn’t enthusiastically involve itself in the dangerous adventurism of Whitehall or the Pentagon. Being a part of the UK doesn’t defend Scotland, doesn’t make Scotland a safer place. All it does is to make Scotland a part of a network of militarism which has no interest in what is best for Scotland or what is best for peace. Independence will not only make Scotland a safer place, it will be a small step towards helping make the world a safer place too. Independence means fewer Scots dying and killing in far away lands.

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

39 thoughts on “The president and the poodle

  1. Pingback: The president and the poodle | speymouth

  2. Within 12 hours of Suleimani’s assassination his deputy had taken over. He always knew he was likely to be the target for assassination so set up his network accordingly.

    Everything he set up is still in place. Any plans ‘imminent’ or otherwise are still active.

    Therefore to argue as the Americans have done that this was some pre-emptive defensive strike is a complete nonsense. The only thing it has changed is to make the attacks more likely and over a broader area.

    As for Mr Johnson they are probably still trying to sober him up.

    • Excellent comment. Apparently Trump and the Pentagon have a very elastic approach to language as well as moral imperative. They are using a doctrine of pre-emptive strike which approves action based on “imminent” threat. This doctrine has not been accepted by legal authoriies worldwide since it is so open to loose interpretation.

      In this case, as you point out, even the US argument is not served by the assassination of this general. There is no logistical reason for killing an enemy general who is head of a military network since everything is still there. It was simply a reckless, symbolic act meant to achieve a propaganda victory against the Iranians, for whom Suleimani is a hero, and they were quite prepared for the consequences if it meant war. At a stroke, though, they have completely united Iraq and Iran and demonstrated, if proof were needed, that the US is a treacherous ally.

      Trump and his apologists had made much of the fact that his presidency would not follow the military adventurism of the Democrats but it appears that Trump can be persuaded to use the same ruthless means if it shores up his position back home. No doubt he assumed that the warmongers among the Democrats would be obliged to condone his actions since they were supportive of illegal pre-emptive assassinations by their own President ” I-have-a-drone” Obama and his repugnant foreign secretary, Hillary Clinton.

      You can tell who were the allies who were to be pleased by this killing by those who exulted over the death of Suleimani. The media hasn’t shown us celebrations in the Isil and al-Nusra camps but I’m sure they were delighted. Some of those who feared Suleimani were supposed to be enemies also of the west. Strange allies lurk in the muddy waters of Middle Eastern politics.

      • Also interesting that few if any reports on this have mentioned Putin and his position on this. Possibly because for him it’s all going to play in his favour?

  3. That this man child of a president is happy to start a war to avoid impeachment is truly disturbing.
    That Johnson. The man no one fears is missing, is all too predictable. That the UK will happily go along with whatever the war criminal Trump plans is also a sure bet.

    So much for that post Brexit unity.

  4. Absolutely WGD.
    This is yet another reason (not that many of us need anything further) why we need out of the UK very quickly indeed.
    There is no way any rational Scot could or should support this action by Trump – yet according to Raab we’re ‘on the same page’.
    Well I’m not – and neither is anyone I know.
    The only reason Johnson is going along with this is because of the fantasy ‘wonderful’ trade deals post-Brexit – always assuming at that stage there is a world left to trade with.
    Scotland must dissociate itself.

  5. “The American administration took this step without consulting or informing any of its allies.” Not so, Paul. He informed Israel (and quite probably, Johnson too) before he even informed his own Government.

    • A few years back I watched a documentary on pay day loan companies!
      Turns out the US Military had them banned from operating within a certain distance of their domestic bases…
      They did this because when their military are sent into a war zone various checks are done to make sure that there are no issues that would worry and distract their troops while deployed , relationship issues, custody issue pending , pet died ect …. And Debt…..
      They found paying off these loans to give peace of mind from the debt to be getting beyond a joke…. Hence the ban…
      Why would this matter to the murder of that General?
      Well…. the US put an extra few thousand Iran bound troops in the Air Yesterday!
      Which means they have been preparing them to go for at least a few weeks!!
      So I don’t believe for a minute the “so called Allies” knew nothing of this attack or that it was a surprise to everyone , that’s just Theatre for us Plebs…

  6. It’s england that is responsible for what you call U.K. military
    Scotland Wales and NI on their own would never ever have attacked another country
    When Scotland is independent it will have armed forces that protect Scotland from attack as best it can , it will be a small armed force but that is all that is all that is needed unless you want to attack
    other countries.
    No other countries around the world would sever attack an independent Scotland because they know that every European country in Western Europe would get the jitters in case they were next and so would ally independent Scotland to fend off any attackers.
    That same rule applies to all European countries.
    England was always Scotland’s biggest danger and foe .

    USA and Westminster have attacked every country in the world between them.
    Still doing it too.
    USA have war ships going up and down the coast of China right now, they say it’s international waters , it’s called the sea of China .
    How would USA react to China having war ships off the coast of California or Delaware , Carolina and how would England like it if China had war ships in the English Channel or Irish Sea .

    I’ve always wondered throughout my lifetime I’m sixty four , why Westminster is at war in so many places around the world when nobody had ever attacked us, I’m old enough now to know that it’s war for money and not defence of this island.

    Come on Scotland let’s dump england and leave them to it.
    We can be independent and a peace loving welcoming country that helps other countries and trades fairly with them .
    Let’s not be part of this theft by war that USA and Westminster engage in as an evil tag team.

  7. Trump said USA killed the Iranian general to make Americans in the Middle East safer.
    Best thing USA could do to make Americans in the Middle East safer is stop interfering and controlling Middle East countries and move American soldiers out .
    Iraq does not need or want American soldiers in Iraq nor do all the other Middle East countries.

    When trump says make Americans in Middle East safer he also means Israeli Americans in Israel who too are getting in the habit of attacking countries in the Middle East.
    He wants to make those Israeli Americans safer by having USA armed forces on standby in case there is any revenge when Israel attacks its neighbours.

    Half the population of Israel spend time in USA they go to school there and university they train there work there often have houses in both Israel and USA and joined up political activity wreaking havoc across the Middle East and elsewhere.

    Oil is the reason
    It’s worth a lot of money
    It’s indispensable no matter what price it is , the world runs on it
    Wars start because of it
    Governments are toppled because of it
    Generals are assassinated because of it

    Anyone that interferes in the provision of cheap oil to USA will be assassinated or replaced or bought off

    UK is of limited capability and limited help to USA in the war arena but they take the heat off USA with distractions such as the Iranian ship commandeered off the coast of Gibraltar by the English navy when all the Iranian ship was doing was giving Syria much needed oil to replace supplies they were being deprived of from their own Syrian oilfields that had been commandeered by USA armed forces.

  8. If Trump gets involved in more illegal wars and criminal actions he will not be re -elected. He got 3million less votes last time. D’Hondt. The loser won. Many Americans voted for Trump on promises to stop war and illegal intervention. They were fed up and sick of it,

    Churchill took Persian Oil in the 1950’s. Put the PM in prison. CIA/M15. Ruined the world economy. They should have paid for it. World economic disaster. Led to war. Iraq/Iran. The West put them up to it for economic gain. Not successful.

    Riling 100,000 Iranians with sanctions and hardship is not a great idea. There will be repercussions. Trump will fail expectations. Another military, political defeat. Not blowing up the Middle East. Leading to Brexit an economic disaster.

  9. 3000 troops is a drop in the ocean. Iran 82million people. Brutish ships reported involved. Or just another mess up. The SNP will have their say at Westminster . Bringing Johnston to account. He has been called an outright liar to his face. The truth will out. The Tories will be called out. The internet. Voted out before they do any more damage, Scotland Independent,

  10. Dangerous times.

    The situation in the Middle East is just one more clear reason for Scotland to become a normal independent country.

    Anyone who is failing to support independence needs to take a long hard look at our current situation:

    Dragged out of EU. Disrespected at Westminster. Lowest pensions. Theft of our resources. Out voted constantly. Boris as PM. There is more of course. They now want to have a war.

    Independence now please.

  11. it’s just another distraction. Bomb Iraq. Bomb Afghanistan. Bomb Syria. Blow up New York and Washington. Blow up the tube. Different game. Different rules. Make up the lies. Stand shoulder to shoulder. Ride out the storm. Then repeat and repeat until we don’t care anymore.

    We’re almost two decades on from the biggest con humanity has ever seen that even the most basic examination would reveal as a complete fraud. We know that the UK, USA and Israel are complicit in this atrocity and many others, but this genocide against those of muslim faith must cease – in Palestine, Iraq and across the Middle East.

    If ever there was a time for solidarity against oppression and injustice….

    • A lot of this has to do with the allies of the US in the Middle East. The Saudis want to destroy Iran and they, like Israel, have connived to draw in the US in their perpetual hostility to Iran.

      It isn’t just a straight contest of the West against Muslims, since much of this aggression is directed against the Shia, represented mainly by Iran, but there are Shia present in other countries such as Iraq and Syria and of course, Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is engaged in a war against the Houtis, who are Shia, also aided by Iran. Whereas the UK, USA and UK profit from arms sales to the Saudis as well as providing personnel assistance.

      The jihadists, who are represented mainly by Al Quaeda, Isil and the Taliban are Sunni. Yet, the West, while supposedly fighting those jihadist terrorists who have carried out acts of terror in Western countries, have been helped by the Shia militias and the Kurds. Despite this, the Western countries have proved to be devious and ambivalent, to say the least, in confronting Isil. The Kurds also have found themselves with an untrustworthy ally in the West.

      This isn’t just about sectarian hostilities between Sunnis and Shia, however. There was a time when Iran, for instance, was becoming a secular state but the US and UK stepped in to meddle again putting a stop to attempts at democracy and installing the corrupt Shah. When the Shah was overthrown eventually it was with a fundamentalist theocracy as hardline as the Saudis.

      With their double-dealing and hypocritical stirring of the religious hostilities in the Middle East it’s hardly surprising that the US and UK are seen as tricksters and hucksters who can’t be trusted. And let’s not get started on the horror that was the Iraq war. Oil is, after all, more valuable than spilled blood.

  12. I believe I read somewhere that Iran has put out a contract on Trump for a very large sum.
    That should make his re-election campaign very interesting…probably conducted via Twitter from a bunker in the Whitehouse.

  13. I have just heard, although not confirmed, that the Iraqi parliament is voting on evicting the US from Iraqi soil.

    Well done President Oompaloompa

  14. Excellent take, and least said of Raab the better…..
    One notable comment read was of a massive new oilfield recently discovered in Iran, probably pure coincidence of course…

    Craig Murray wrote an good piece on the “Bethlehem Doctrine” on which this “imminent” aspect hinges, dated 4th, well worth a read…

  15. Things aren’t going well, we need a war or conflict to distract the public and make them patriotic to whichever flag we wave at them, oh and talk about values a lot, that always works, threatening is always a good word too, tell the people they’re being threatened, lives at risk, another great phrase

    If it doesn’t start a war we can tell them we averted one by our actions, it’s win win all round, play triumphant music and put your hand on your chest a lot the people like that

    I’m almost falling for it myself…. not

  16. Israeli economy tanking. Netanyahu facing corruption charges. Going to Court. After three election there is failure to form a government. (D’Hondt) illegal electoral system without a mandate. Now a further election on the cards. Total corruption. Aided and funded by the US military redundant weaponry deployment. .

    US Defence spending highest in the world. $612Billion. 1/3 of all world Defence spending, which could be better spent. The US cannot afford it. $Trillions in debt. The American people are sick of it. Tax evasion. One of the most unequal country’s in the world. 240Million pop. EU pop 500Million. Twice as much. EU campaign to stop tax evasion. Not supported by the Tories. Brexit.

    Balfour Declaration 1917

    UK/France (US) carved up the Middle East and illegally bombed it to bits. Breaking International Law. The European countries have to clear up the mess. Sort out the migrant crisis costing £Billions. The UK – EU contributions do not even cover the cost or the damage.

    The Healthcare queues are getting longer essential workers are leaving because of Brexit. It is affecting the education and welfare sector.

    The Brexit unionists have caused the shambles. Vote Tory to die younger, elsewhere Affecting their own supporters. The SNP Gov have to mitigate these cuts and austerity.

  17. US military spending $639Billion. An increase. The US debt and inequality. The Americans are sick of it. They voted for Trump to stop it, He will not get re-elected. US Presidential Election 3rd November 2020. The Middle East illegally on fire will not go down well again. Gie’s some peace.

    Scottish Independence.

  18. Still recovering from what was effectively four week ends crammed into two weeks. Christmas and New Year midweek is deadly for this old soul.
    Somehow we couldn’t quite get in the spirit of things fearing that 2020 will not deliver all the best when it came.
    How right we were.
    Never mind every mushroom cloud has a silver lining, Just think of the tens of thousands of workers who were faced with being laid off now that the US Military and Industrial Complex has stockpiled $2 trillion dollars of ‘beautiful’ new weapons for the Madman of the White House to let off.
    That is if Trump’s frightening tweet is to be believed. (probably not, please,God, probably not.)
    US Foreign Policy now includes assassinating people without due process.
    As Paul points out, Qassem Suleimani. may have been a very bad boy, but there is such a thing as due process. In a democracy, that is.
    The US is now a rogue state by any standards.
    Johnson was off on his hols in a Mustique holiday mansion, at £20,000 a week,with his girlfriend when all this kicked off.
    That’s one expensive ‘sorry’ present for spilling a wee dribble of red wine over her sofa.

    He is now hiding behind Macron and Merkel, hoping Trump doesn’t phone asking for 50,000 UK cannon fodder and one or two Faslane subs.
    Can anyone imagine the outcry if a drone took out say, Jacob Rees Mogg?

    There won’t be any delay in seeking a UN resolution this time.
    Trump needs a war badly.
    He is facing impeachment, and doubtless pressure from the munitions lobby to deplete the biggest arsenal ever assembled.

    We need Independence even more urgently now.

    As an aside, I prefer ‘Defence Capability’ rather than the bellicose ‘Defence Force’.

    Hope you all had a good one with those you love.

    I’ve spent the morning on line renewing Gas Electric and car/house insurance.
    Saved a fortune; my dander raised by renewal notices assuring me that I ‘need do nothing’ if I were daft enough to stomach the increase in rates and tariffs.

    I nearly lost the will to live.
    Trump and now Johnson. Am I dreaming?

    • No, this is not a dream, you’re still alive witnessing the great Joseph Grimaldi’s reincarnation putting the grate back into Britain.
      Hope you and yours enjoyed the break, Mordor may have been briefly forgotten, hereon in may require analgesics…
      Are they really still floating that ‘need do nothing’ sales-bonus/bullshit over 40 years later 🙄

      As to the Suleimani incident –
      – Even El Nappy can only sanction an operation constructed by the military, he cannot fold an umbrella let alone spell the guy’s name
      – The US gains nothing from Suleimani’s removal in a logistical or operational sense
      – none of the usual aerial footage within 2 hours as is common with even medium profile US hits, only local cctv
      – politicians lining up to hide behind the Bethlehem Doctrine
      It smells gefilte fishy to me…

      • Bob, as soon as this man is in the ground, all hell will break loose; of that there can be no doubt.
        The US Industrial and Military Complex in cahoots with the Hawk generals planned and executed this ‘assassination’.
        Trump is a madman put in place by Big Oil and Big Industry, and the Counting Houses on Wall Street.
        He is the fool for whom they have been planning since they killed the Kennedys.
        As long as he gets toplay golf and gorge on burgers, then he is a contented idiot.

        Johnson is not far behind.
        The world now waits the next atrocity.

  19. ” In the 313 years that Scotland has been a part of the UK, there have only been some 70 years when the UK was not engaged in military action somewhere in the world. ”
    Paul, it may be worse than this. A while back a letter writer to the National said he had seen a plaque on the wall of a military museum in Chelsea which boasted that there had only been 8 years since 1707 when no UK forces had seen action somewhere in the world. I have not been able to verify this but perhaps you can.
    There are also claims that there has been no year since 1913 when no action was involved and a claim which says every year but 1968. Many of the conflicts in the past century have been in the Middle East, like the long one in the 1960s in Oman which did not come to light in the UK press till 1972.
    Remember too Johnson’s boast when he became Foreign Secretary that what made Britain great was that, of the 190-odd members of the UN, Britain had invaded or conquered over 170.

    • That’s why they introduced dhondt
      Dhondt prevents any party ever having a majority in the Scottish Parliament

  20. Terence at the risk of some twat coming along and saying I am trying to pick a fight with you I believe your comment is wrong in two ways:

    1. Petra’s link refers to a majority of MPs in the H of Commons not MSPs in the Scottish parliament.

    2. The Dhondt system may make it difficult to obtain a majority in the Scottish parliament but it certainly does not prevent it as evidenced by the SNP having a majority in the recent past.

  21. Johnston (Foreign Secretary) tried to get the US Trump to start a war on the Russian border as soon as Trump was elected.

    The impeachment might have made Trump conform to type. Start bombing the Middle East.

    US Presidential elections in November.

    Senate Election?

    D’Hondt. The loser won. Trump lost by 3,000,000 votes.

    D’Hondt 3rd rate losers win. They can’t be got rid. Not democracy.

    One person, one vote. FPTP.

  22. The Iranians nearly took out Netanyahu with a rocket. He was in the vicinity. The US killed the Iranian in reprisal. Illegal surveillance etc. Drones. illegal killing.

    Netanyahu is a criminal. Being inducted going to Court for illegal activities, Israel has had three elections with no positive outcome. They can’t form a government. D’Hond’t. They are away to have another one. Netanyahu clings on to power. Non credibility. He is away to stand trial and the Middle East is going up in smoke again because of the corruption.

    An absolute shamble aided by US illegal intervention. Including impeachment sanction, Corrupt leaders adding to the bloodshed and confusion clinging to power. Including in Iran. Illegally killing people.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.