Dugs, self-employment, and the white van man

Lots of coronavirusy related news today. Like Charles Windsor, Boris Johnson has miraculously morphed into one of those high risk patients who qualify for a coronavirus test and has tested positive. To be fair, we always knew that Boris was one sick puppy, and anyway he was always going to qualify for a test on account of being much richer than plebs like you or me.  Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also been tested positive.

Dominic Raab is supposed to take over in the event that Johnson is incapacitated and unable to perform his usual duties of fnaugh-fnaughing and telling inappropriate jokes. Dominic Raab. Dominic. Raab. The white van man of government. The man who exudes the permanent air of a low level business executive who has his ex-girlfriend buried under the patio and who has just realised that there’s a broken drainage pipe that’s going to need the entire back garden to be dug up. Dominic has been appointed as the designated survivor as no one would ever know if he had the virus or not because he’s permanently sweating. In that respect he’s the exact opposite of Andrew Windsor, thus proving the ancient aphorism that if you go far enough in opposite directions you’ll end up at the same arsehole.

We’re now in a UK where the words “if the Prime Minister becomes incapacitated, Dominic Raab will take over” are supposed to be reassuring. If you weren’t scared by the coronavirus crisis before, you should be terrified now.

In more reassuring news, I got in touch with Glasgow North East MP Anne McLaughlin to ask her for clarification on the rules about walking dogs. This isn’t about exercising dogs, it’s about their toilet needs. We’re told you can only exercise your dog once a day, but it’s simply animal cruelty not to permit a dog to do the toilet for 23 hours. The RSPCA recommends that every few hours a dog should be permitted access to a space where it can do the toilet. Dog owners have a legal duty of care to their pet’s physical and emotional welfare. Those of us who live in flats don’t always have access to private gardens that we can let our dogs into to do the toilet, we have to take them out. I live in a top floor tenement flat, and we don’t have a back green where the dog can do the toilet. All we have out back is a tiny wee space for the bins. https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/environment

Anne spoke on a conference call with UK government minister Penny Mordaunt. Penny told her that that within the guidance / rules there will be times when people just need to use their judgement and that this is one of those times. If your dog needs to pee he needs to pee and she would not expect the police to interfere with that. She also said should your experience be any different, she would expect your MP to step in.

However this is a devolved area, and the Scottish Government state that as per the advice, you can only leave the house for one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle. However this isn’t about exercise. It’s about your dog’s toilet needs. There’s a very good argument to be made that this is covered in the medical exemption provision. It’s unhealthy and distressing for the dog to have to restrain itself from peeing for 22 hours or more. We’ve spent the entire dog’s life teaching it not to do the toilet inside the house, any well trained dog is going to be extremely upset if it pees indoors. No dog wants to be a bad boy or girl. Puppy pads are not an option – have you any idea how much urine a medium sized adult dog is capable of releasing? And besides it’s disgustingly unhygienic for you to have a dog pissing and crapping indoors. So if anyone from the Scottish Government is reading this – and I know that some do – some public advice on this issue would be very welcome.

But in the meantime we have to use our common sense. If your dog needs to go out to do the toilet, take him out. Just be sensible and considerate. Go out alone with the dog. Strictly maintain social distancing protocols. And don’t go too far from your home. As soon as the dog has done his business, return home. This isn’t a sneaky opportunity to get more exercise or for you to get out of the house more often, it’s about your dog’s needs. So don’t take the piss. Pun intended. If you get told by the police to return home, explain that you’re only out so that the dog can do the toilet then you’ll return home immediately, and contact your local MP when you get home.

In other reassuring news, we now know that there’s now finally some help for self-employed people. It’s late, and there won’t be any payout for months, but it’s welcome news nevertheless. Not everyone is going to be covered, especially those who’ve only been self-employed for less than a year. I’ve been self-employed for several years now but wasn’t sure if I’d be covered as I’m still able to do some work – after all you’re reading this blog right now. As well as the blog I can still keep writing for The National. I am grateful for that, as I’m considerably better off in that respect than many self-employed people.

However like many who are self-employed my income has taken a significant hit. A large part of my annual earnings derives from selling books and maps at speaking events, but those have entirely dried up. I also do a significant number of paid speaking events – I had three of those booked for this month alone but all have been cancelled so I have lost all the income from those. And of course there will be no new bookings for the foreseeable future. Additionally I can no longer do the dugcast for The National as the paper’s offices are closed and all except a skeleton staff are working from home. (I’m going to look into doing a dugcast myself from home, but of course I won’t get paid for that.)

I’m not writing this because I want a pity party, but because there are bound to be many other self-employed people like me whose incomes have been severely affected but which haven’t dried up entirely, and who will be wondering whether they’re covered. This morning I received a communication from the accountant who does my taxes, and he informs me that it seems that people in my situation will indeed be covered by the new regulation. So if you are self-employed and most or much of your income has dried up as a result of the crisis, it appears that you will be covered as well as those people who can’t work at all. There won’t be any payments until at least June, and my understanding is that you will have to wait for the government to contact you first. Better late than never.

If I get any other information I’ll let you know. Stay safe, stay indoors.

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. 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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com, 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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com

69 thoughts on “Dugs, self-employment, and the white van man

    • The real fear is that so many Tory incompetents will get sick that we will be left with Alister Union Jack in charge .

      How scary is that ?

    • The people you speak of are not “the elite”, “the political class”, or any of the other pleasantries or titles they wish to give them selves they are simply FAOF (full and over flowing) or should it be FOF.
      I have never understood the rules for the creation of acronyms.

      Perhaps the better one would be FUBAR.

  1. The grass cutter was just around (sorry Paul, got a wee postage stamp sized lawn). Seemingly the polis told him he should be working. He’s done a few lawns today, but 4 of them he won’t get paid for – it’s either him or the weans’ food. He’ll keep on cutting whether he gets paid or not, until he’s told to go home.

    In other news, queuing outside the butcher this morning, polis cars kept driving by. I assume they were checking what shops & pubs were open.

  2. Without much real information it’s so hard to know who exactly is extracting the urine, to coin a phrase. How do the stats compare to deaths and serious illness due to flu etc. in a ‘normal’ year at this season? It’s the uncertainty that I find most unsettling, together with the apparent willingness of the population to seemingly accept everything they’re being told. Scare folk enough and they become compliant? What will be their next step?

  3. Hard times ahead for many despite government promises, but sure the community spirit will kick in to help out as everybody’s in the same boat. Pretty sure SG will issue a correction for the dog pee business, until then there are sneaky alternatives https://youtu.be/hjLNIqLdZO0

  4. This is madness. Think KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.

    Has it never occurred these idiots that the only way through is to make everyone an employee of the State and pay all citizens an equal monthly salary and golden handshake? They are simply trying to preserve a system that is no longer there and their incompetence will lead to complete collapse. Trying to save their own skins comes to mind.

    We are all equal now – that is the first principle.

    Unless the government adheres to that simple rule, the country will fall.

    • Think in the past they just called it Conscription .
      Easy solution Mark.
      Will drop a wee subscription asap

      • I was at college in Edinburgh in the early 1980s when the Council decided to refurbish the entrance to their offices on the Royal Mile opposite St Giles. One of my lecturers a professor of medical pathology – had been involved in the recovery of several skeletons after workmen discovered an entrance to a subterranean street that ran down the hill under the Council offices on the Royal Mile towards Waverly Station – the site of the old Nor’loch. It was the first excavation of what is now known as Mary King’s Close.

        It had been sealed off during the great plague, leaving its residents to die in their homes. Several skeletons were recovered, including one of a young child or infant.

        Aside from the lecturer, I knew one of the students at Edinburgh University who was involved in the research after the police/fiscal investigation was complete. She described her first days there as being in a different place – a sensation of something profound but unclear and confused. She was visibly moved by the experience.

        Hopefully we won’t be replicating some of the measures from the past, but I’m beginning to understand what it might have been like for our predecessors.

        Take good care people.

  5. Paul, being able to work from home with no impact on my earnings, I have punted a donation your way to help out.

    Your words of wisdom are appreciated and I hope others who also appreciate your contributions can help out where they can.

  6. Not to make light of it but are they (High Heid Yins) really testing positive for COVID19 with mild symptoms or is it the coronavirus strain that causes common cold – just for effect?

    Why doesn’t the news be more explicit in regards COVID-19 rather than just blanket coronavirus which is with us all the time?

    By constantly going on about mild symptoms some people are not taking this seriously enough and i can see the police having to enforce their new powers.

  7. Aye, it’s a bummer. Self employed too, but my income is way below even paying taxes, so assuredly there will be nothing. I can speak with my accountant as I am still required to do the necessary. She’ll be truthful with me, that’s for sure. I manage to get by as I’m very lucky not to have a mortgage or pay rent, and as an ancient student I get a small bursary, otherwise, I’d be up the proverbial. Paul, I will happily oblige with a donation for all your hard work keeping us sane.
    Thank you

  8. I was breathing a huge sigh of relief when u heard about help for self employed but as I am one of the ones that is incorporated then I’m screwed. They were talking about how part of our income was through dividends then apparently we were not to get assistance which might be OK for celebrities earning millions but as a tradesman working as a sub contractor mostly through agencies then I’m screwed. Let’s get one thing clear I’m not Google or Facebook I pay a fair whack of tax because I’m honest and only claim tax relief on certain things that are minimal in determining my year end bill. I’m livid. This use of Ltd companies was pushed on us because the end clients never wanted us as full time employees, we were to hired and fired at will with no responsibility to pay any benefits ie sick pay or pension and now for some reason we are exempt from some assistance. It’s not our fault we can’t travel or work, stuck in a system of Ltd companies that was set up to keep union strength down and costs at a minimum. I’m glad people will eventually see some kind of help but I’m pissed right off

    • You and me both. I went through the same palaver with umbrella cover and company.
      Had to get a lawyer to be able to get their hands out of my company pocket.
      But I got to be home at Christmas and the school holidays.
      Now I’m entitled to health care free at the point of use.
      So I do sympathise with you. Apparently we are in the same boat.

  9. Spot on, my son being one of them, who doesn’t have an accountant and didn’t have a clue whether he would be covered. Given him a glimmer of hope. Thank you!
    “…but because there are bound to be many other self-employed people like me whose incomes have been severely affected but which haven’t dried up entirely, and who will be wondering whether they’re covered.”

  10. It would appear as though our tory government can’t let go of
    Terms and Condition Apply.
    Everything they come out with to salve the worried comes with a negative, headline grabbers but not actually helpers.
    Next you will be told that you owe back taxes as you were an employee and didn’t pay the correct National Insurance.

  11. Even the payment holiday from banks for up to 3 months is a sham. They make out like they are doing you a favour but once you apply if you are accepted for the break all they are doing is adding it on to your term with extra interest. Anyone that has seen Good fellas will know the classic line that seems to fit with this crisis ” businesses burnt down #### you pay me”

  12. We have two cavaliers. Being small dogs, they seem to need out more often than the bigger dogs we had in the past. The retrievers and springer spaniel could get by on 3 a day but our cavaliers have needed out 5 times a day, one long walk at around 7am usually producing poopoos , short ones for peepees at around 12 noon and 4 pm another long walk at about 6:30 pm for probable poopoos and a final peepee walk at about 10:30pm.

    So now all the short walks are in the back garden and the 6:30 long walk which translates to a half hour walking round and round our green. They don’t like and are confused since we spent the first year of their life training them not to poo in the garden and now we are trying to make them poo there, so far they have refused. They are about 2 and a half years old now.

  13. If the powers that be are in any doubt? Try doing one toilet visit per day and holding on for 24hrs.

    That should give them a heads up on the practicalities of life. 😎

  14. ScotGov could have a system where people can walk their dogs as needed, most people are not daft enough to flout rules, in order to keep everyone safe. I think in Spain people walking dogs are not stopped or can text a number to report why they are out more than once a day?

    I did see on twitter Derbyshire police had drones flying over the Peak district photographing people walking their dugs and out for walks. Not big groups, couples, people on their own. Much as we really need to do everything we can to stall and stop this virus getting any worse, people are allowed out once a day for exercise and to walk their dogs or go to the shops. Yes best if people can stay close to home, if you live near open spaces, but not everyone does. I guess people with cars also think going a few miles from home should not be a probelm, a diffcult one when people are so used to driving everywhere. We need more people walking and cycling and less using cars anyway, but that would not help governments raking in tax revenues from vehicle use and fuel companies making a packet from so many people having cars anyway.

    High and mighty me, I either walk, or cycle, never learned to drive. Cars are great and nice and useful, but there are literally billions of them, it’s horrendous for the planet.

    Is police drone footage abit OTT and intrusive, shaming people for being outside in open countryside? Maybe it’s the way it has to be? Looks like open spaces are being closed off ie some beaches in Ireland etc. Quite depressing really. Having had weeks of neglect from UKOKGov in dealing with the whole situation, people are now told to ‘staythefuckhome’! Yes stay home, don’t go out unless it’s for very good reason, keep healthy, stay fit as you can, but how we also have to be careful that those in authority are not abusing the situation now. I might be wrong, and all of the authoritative actions are totally legit.

    Happy to be wrong on that, but would like to see real action re measures that should have been taken weeks ago, and equipment for NHS staff etc. Surely a lockdown must sit side by side with effective, intelligent policy and a money is no object attitude re government actions, I am not sure that is the case in UKOK at all.

    I see Angela Merkel when going into self isolation said basically they will throw huge sums of cash to help people who are struggling and to deal with this pandemic, and they will worry about ‘the economy later’!

    Seems some are cashing in as always, but these ones are wrecking the planet even more to boot!
    While many are distancing and self isolating and are too distracted by trying to stay healthy and keep their families healthy, the usual hugely polluting rogues are taking advantage while environmentalists eyes are averted. Who’d of thought!


    Also I wonder Paul, what the SSPCA have to say about people and their pets’ needs, as you say we pet owners have legal responsibility to ensure the welfare of our furry friends, physical and mental. Common sense approach, is that what we should expect at this time?

    Sorry long comment, by the way shhh, but if you normally do online shop with Sains, they have opened up slots for thsoe of who couldn’t access this past couple of weeks which is very welcome.

  15. Not a dog owner so not really got anything to contribute other than cherish your 4 legged friends. I do remember having a dog as a child and I was very upset when it passed away.

    Got a National today.

    Very annoyed at reading the article by Kathleen Nutt. She repeats what the Britnat Alex Bell has to say in his courier piece. She only describes Bell as the former special adviser to the former First Minister. Perhaps she could have included the fact that he is an ex BBC man who since stopping work for Salmond has done nothing but attack independence and the SNP. Is the best she can do just repeat what Bell had to say. The Nationals coverage and commentary on this matter that I have read has been poor.

    She finishes the article by saying Nicola Sturgeon will address any issues relating to Salmond when the pandemic is over.

    ” When the pandemic is over” – that could be anything up to two years. This is not acceptable and it will not drag on this long as both Salmond and the Britnats will not allow it. Neither should it. This is a matter of what is acceptable behaviour in a public office. It was August 2018 when this matter was kicked off by Evans. Evans was subsequently rewarded with an extended stay in Edinburgh – a disgrace.

    It has gone on long enough. People need to be held to account for their disgraceful conduct. Otherwise it is one set of standards for some and another for others. That may be the British way it is not what I want for an independent Scotland.

    Scotland was sold down the river in 1707. It is happening again.

  16. I am slightly confused as to why the uk govermentb can tells us where and when to exercise ourselves or our dogs. I thought health and policing and law are devolved to the Scottish government so clearly that is only partially true Devolution is a con and now even more people know that

  17. If the dog needs the toilet I take him out and clean up the mess afterwards. Preferable to doing the toilet in the house. Still we are being watched. It does seem an overreaction for the police to issue notices to 4 kids in Pollok Park yet allow shops to have people crowded in some stores.

    I suppose the air support unit of Police Scotland have caught all the drug dealers , paedophiles, and similar criminals. 4 young people together in the largest park in Glasgow should have been told to separate. Sometimes the police action to new legislation is counterproductive.
    If only they prevented 2 elderly “criminals” arriving at Aberdeen airport last week. Complete twats.

  18. This one walk a day for dogs is absolutely crazy and of course totally inhumane and I just wonder if it’ll lead to some people abusing their pets for messing up the house or even just throwing them onto the street.

    It leads to me mentioning my concern about many children right now. Ordinary parents, anxious and depressed, cracking up with their children and alcoholics, junckies and those who neglect their children normally doing god knows what to them, especially taking into account that supportive relatives and teachers are no longer on the scene. Many people not knowing how to access benefits? Panic buying, prices rising and with little on the shelves are many more children going hungry right now? Well it just doesn’t bear thinking about. As Alex Salmond said in relation to this crisis,, “God help us” … especially the sick, disabled and more so vulnerable children.


    Paul I’m going to set up a direct debit tomorrow. It won’t be for too much at all, but if everyone who visits this site, and can afford to do so, would do likewise it could make a massive difference for you. I’m being selfish of course because we (I) can’t afford to lose you and this site, especially taking into account what’s on offer elsewhere.

    • Petra,
      On the previous article we had a series of posts about the supply of PPE to frontline staff and the changes in the guidelines which I suggested may have been on the basis of cost. It seems I may have been right.

      This article in the online Guardian today reports on decisions made in 2017 about stockpiling protective equipment such as face masks in case of a pandemic. The recommendations were to stockpile equipment but they were rejected by the UK Gov on the grounds of cost.


      • Thanks for the link Legerwood highlighting once again that “cost” is always an issue for the Tories even when it leads to the loss of life, as we all know. Do they care? No they don’t because the personality trait of caring is seemingly lacking in many, hence the need for psychological assessments being carried out before anyone is permitted to hold a key position in relation to the public service of their country … along with IQ tests. Both will hopefully be contained in a future Scottish Constitution with a decree that annual reviews must be carried out.

        Anyway back to the present and trying to make sense of a magic money forest suddenly appearing from nowhere following years of ideologically driven austerity cuts. This great big U-turn is no doubt due to experts explaining to the political numpties in London that riots could ensue that would threaten those, them, who can normally hide away from the hoi polloi in their ivory towers. Explained to them too that this could be a real threat to them following their cuts to the Police Force and additionally the Military. If Maggie was still around she’d be pulling her hair out.

        We are all experiencing a terrible time, some more so than others, however when we all get through this hopefully lessons will have been learned, the populace’s eyes will have been opened and they’ll put down their foot and say never again: In England that is in conjunction with Scotland at long last just severing ties with England and saying bye bye get on with it.


        Advice on accessing money from the Coronavirus Retention Scheme. It could apply to you especially if you are on an zero hour contract. Worthwhile checking it out.


  19. Paul, the law does not state a limit of one walk per day nor indeed that it has to be local. The one bit of exercise is guidence, see Rev Stu’s twitter feed for clarification.

      • When I heard Bawjaws had caught the plague ,
        My first thought was Aye ok Pal show us the evidence ,
        it can’t be private now it’s been announced on our favourite news channel the BBC , ” Christ I can’t believe I just typed that ” .

        Very bloody convenient these lying bar stuards are all of a sudden unavailable , so who do we get Gove and as the saying goes “Jesus Wept ” not as much as the rest of us, never mind the bloody fake clapping crap ,
        a collective cry of Aw F**k was heard now that was a genuine response to the realisation that there was more of them , how deeper do have to go into the stupid barrel before folk realise we have seen the best now it’s getting bloody farcical , we now have to suffer the real dregs , oh where’s my bloody gun .

        • It must be said that Boris’s attempts to support the clap has moreof a ring of truth than most of his efforts.

  20. Recent comments on Facebook groups and twitter has started a new phenomenon of bullying bloggers demanding that no one walks their dog anywhere.

    The hysteria being created of an individual walking past another persons door to walk their dog is just as damaging to someone’s wellbeing.
    This has not been helped by the Police.

    If I jump in my car with the dog. Drive for 5 minutes In my self distancing vehicle I can be in an area isolated from all.

    To walk to the same location means I have to walk with dog past hundreds of house, people walking their dogs or just trying to get to a shop for milk or other food.

    All are being respectful of each other but all are now in closer contact.

    I am out of the house for 4 to 5 times longer.

    For the complainers they have never lived in a tenement.

    The Police powers are beginning to be misused as they play with their drones and I must admit a wry smile came across my face last night where the bbc were showing the very serious police faces at meetings where social distancing is not being practised by them or army.

    Officer arrest that man! Women ! Person.

    Enjoy your responsible walk. Wear gloves and clothes- it’s cold out there.

  21. The predicament for dog owners may seem trivial to some people, but to us it’s a big deal. We’re fortunate in that we have a decent sized garden for the dog to do his toilet business and to play, but it’s not enough. Different breeds have different needs. Ours is a Spanish Water Dog which is a breed used for herding and as a gun dog. His energy levels are through the roof and I normally take him for a two hour walk in the woods a five minute drive from our home, and half of that time he’s off the lead running big distances at full pelt. Because of the restrictions I can’t take him there now so he’s getting long walks close to home (where we encounter more people than at the woods!), but I can’t let him run. The poor dog is going out of his mind because he has all this energy to burn but can’t.
    On top of the exercise issue he has a long woolly coat that has to be clipped off twice a year. This is done for the dog’s well-being, not for aesthetic reasons, but all the groomers are shut so we can’t get him clipped.
    I’m being prevented from fulfilling my duty of care to my dog because the UK government failed to take the correct action at the beginning of the epidemic, and because too many people were too stupid or too selfish to practice good hygiene and take sensible precautions.
    Like I said, this will seem trivial to some but I take my responsibilities toward my pets very seriously. Anyone who doesn’t shouldn’t have any.

    • Feel for you. One of our dogs is a Spanish water dog cross. She has boundless energy. Luckily we live in the middle of an olive grove in western Spain so exercise is not a problem. Although she is sound asleep in the living room at the moment

  22. Most of us have heard of the ” corrective arm ” and “convergence programs ” within the EU infrastructure ?

    Probably along with the growth and stability pact it is the first things we learn when learning about the EU project. Nowadays they call the convergence programs – National reform programs.

    Step 1: Type into Google – Assesment of the 2015 convergence program for Croatia.

    Step 2: Read page one

    Then type in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

    That is why complete and utter fools who call themselves experts are very dangerous, very dangerous indeed.

    Sunak has created £ 100′ s billions from thin air. The FED $ 2.2 trillion and counting.

    It has exposed the lies of the Brexit debate in full.

    We created all these blips on a balance sheet without being a member of the EU or EFTA

    How are EU countries getting on finding the blips when Germany and Holland can simply say NO.

    If voters in the EU wake up the project is over and long overdue if you ask me.

    Sunak has also shown what was written on the side of the red bus was true regarding the NHS. It always was true.

    Make sure you explain to all the fools who read the Guardian this simple fact.

    The number on the side of the bus could of been bigger if there are enough skills and resources to absorb it.

    That Scotland with its own currency and central bank free from the EU fiscal rules could have done the same in normal times and LEXIT was possible all along.

  23. If you want to know what is really happening at the end of the yellow brick road and behind the curtain. Now that it has been pulled back…..

    Then these are simply a brilliant piece of work. Sublime in fact the truth from start to finish.

    Part 1 covering the first week


    Part 2 covering the second week


    And they said MMT were liars. We were the only ones telling the truth. I was the only one telling the truth about Europe.


  24. Our independence dream is in tatters

    The second Nicola said heart of Europe and that brexit would be a disaster for political reasons it was over.

    On par with keep The £ on The Richter scale.

    The virus has exposed the myths around monetary systems.

    Exposed the lies and deceit used to try and poach the liberal left, the Blairites and get them to vote for the SNP.

    It is over because the road to independence should have been free from the rest of the UK and the EU.

    The virus has shown we could have afforded it. Simply by changing numbers up in reserve accounts and we did not the EU or EFTA to do it.

    Brexit was always an IQ rest and the SNP was found wanting.

  25. The virus has shown Scotland could have afforded our true independence. Simply by changing numbers up in reserve accounts and we did not need the rest of the UK, EU or EFTA to tell us how to use our skills and real resources. If we had our own currency and central bank.

    Brexit was always an IQ test and the SNP was found wanting. Report card says easily distracted in class and must do better.

    • Indeed, but to be fair, knowledge and enlightenment of fiscal potential is really just emerging as an economic science as we look through a different lens. You and ~I may understand perfectly what’s happening right now, Derek, but for most folks – including many politicians, it’s just a magic mystery tour.

      Best wishes

  26. The acclaimed Italian novelist Francesca Melandri, who has been under lockdown in Rome for almost three weeks due to the Covid-19 outbreak, has written a letter to fellow Europeans “from your future”, laying out the range of emotions people are likely to go through over the coming weeks.

    I am writing to you from Italy, which means I am writing from your future. We are now where you will be in a few days. The epidemic’s charts show us all entwined in a parallel dance.

    We are but a few steps ahead of you in the path of time, just like Wuhan was a few weeks ahead of us. We watch you as you behave just as we did. You hold the same arguments we did until a short time ago, between those who still say “it’s only a flu, why all the fuss?” and those who have already understood.

    As we watch you from here, from your future, we know that many of you, as you were told to lock yourselves up into your homes, quoted Orwell, some even Hobbes. But soon you’ll be too busy for that.

    First of all, you’ll eat. Not just because it will be one of the few last things that you can still do.

    You’ll find dozens of social networking groups with tutorials on how to spend your free time in fruitful ways. You will join them all, then ignore them completely after a few days.

    You’ll pull apocalyptic literature out of your bookshelves, but will soon find you don’t really feel like reading any of it.

    You’ll eat again. You will not sleep well. You will ask yourselves what is happening to democracy.

    You’ll have an unstoppable online social life – on Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom…

    You will miss your adult children like you never have before; the realisation that you have no idea when you will ever see them again will hit you like a punch in the chest.

    Old resentments and falling-outs will seem irrelevant. You will call people you had sworn never to talk to ever again, so as to ask them: “How are you doing?” Many women will be beaten in their homes.

    You will wonder what is happening to all those who can’t stay home because they don’t have one. You will feel vulnerable when going out shopping in the deserted streets, especially if you are a woman. You will ask yourselves if this is how societies collapse. Does it really happen so fast? You’ll block out these thoughts and when you get back home you’ll eat again.

    You will put on weight. You’ll look for online fitness training.

    You’ll laugh. You’ll laugh a lot. You’ll flaunt a gallows humour you never had before. Even people who’ve always taken everything dead seriously will contemplate the absurdity of life, of the universe and of it all.

    You will make appointments in the supermarket queues with your friends and lovers, so as to briefly see them in person, all the while abiding by the social distancing rules.

    You will count all the things you do not need.

    The true nature of the people around you will be revealed with total clarity. You will have confirmations and surprises.

    Literati who had been omnipresent in the news will disappear, their opinions suddenly irrelevant; some will take refuge in rationalisations which will be so totally lacking in empathy that people will stop listening to them. People whom you had overlooked, instead, will turn out to be reassuring, generous, reliable, pragmatic and clairvoyant.

    Those who invite you to see all this mess as an opportunity for planetary renewal will help you to put things in a larger perspective. You will also find them terribly annoying: nice, the planet is breathing better because of the halved CO2 emissions, but how will you pay your bills next month?

    You will not understand if witnessing the birth of a new world is more a grandiose or a miserable affair.

    You will play music from your windows and lawns. When you saw us singing opera from our balconies, you thought “ah, those Italians”. But we know you will sing uplifting songs to each other too. And when you blast I Will Survive from your windows, we’ll watch you and nod just like the people of Wuhan, who sung from their windows in February, nodded while watching us.

    Many of you will fall asleep vowing that the very first thing you’ll do as soon as lockdown is over is file for divorce.

    Many children will be conceived.

    Your children will be schooled online. They’ll be horrible nuisances; they’ll give you joy.

    Elderly people will disobey you like rowdy teenagers: you’ll have to fight with them in order to forbid them from going out, to get infected and die.

    You will try not to think about the lonely deaths inside the ICU.

    You’ll want to cover with rose petals all medical workers’ steps.

    You will be told that society is united in a communal effort, that you are all in the same boat. It will be true. This experience will change for good how you perceive yourself as an individual part of a larger whole.

    Class, however, will make all the difference. Being locked up in a house with a pretty garden or in an overcrowded housing project will not be the same. Nor is being able to keep on working from home or seeing your job disappear. That boat in which you’ll be sailing in order to defeat the epidemic will not look the same to everyone nor is it actually the same for everyone: it never was.

    At some point, you will realise it’s tough. You will be afraid. You will share your fear with your dear ones, or you will keep it to yourselves so as not to burden them with it too.

    You will eat again.

    We’re in Italy, and this is what we know about your future. But it’s just small-scale fortune-telling. We are very low-key seers.

    If we turn our gaze to the more distant future, the future which is unknown both to you and to us too, we can only tell you this: when all of this is over, the world won’t be the same.

    © Francesca Melandri 2020

  27. Do you have a fever? Independence needs folk to vote for it. We do not have sufficient numbers to guarantee this. An IQ test won’t help you.

  28. You do not need a vote to end the 1707 treaty of the union, doh.
    No vote was taken by Scottish people to bring it about in the first place.

  29. We need to be careful, and in our current state of ignorance not take too much for granted.There is already a report of a cat catching CV-19 from its (infected) owner in Liege, Belgium. And maybe also two dogs in Hong Kong. So social distancing had better apply to all domestic animals as well as ourselves (not least customarily-prowling moggies, I suppose).

  30. , Farmer grows crops, no animals, and that is just scare mongering.dog is on lead, we have our mouths and noses covered, and wear gloves.
    Stay real,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *