Degrees of Estrangement

I thought I knew what we were dealing with. The British state in my lifetime has retained a privileged place for the few, lived off a centuries old legend of global reach and kept transformative powers locked in the Whitehall safe. But it could ratchet up the paternalism when things got too bad, it would worry about its fair-play reputation in the world and remained essentially permissive to social change.

What I didn’t expect and could never have imagined was the outpouring of brute xenophobia unleashed by a vote to leave the EU. Whatever private misgivings some politicians had about the numbers of foreign re-locators and workers arriving from Europe, the rhetoric for public consumption has been placatory, welcoming and inclusive. Anyone in the mainstream and especially those with ambition for high office knew the rules. All European arrivals were here by right, were our equals in every way, contributed to the economy and added flavour to white Britain. They were the symbol of a new, internationalist Britain and were happy to seek a new life in our society. Their presence made the reciprocal arrangement possible – of thrusting young UK citizens heading for jobs in Milan and Amsterdam and retirees opting for a life in the sun in Spain and France.

The baser motivation was that freedom of people underpinned Britain’s (and specifically Tory Britain’s) project of the Single Market. Goods, services and people interchanging seamlessly in the world’s biggest trading space.

Of course there were extremes which fostered racism. There was also the crime of omission. The Blair government ignored rising numbers and in his first four years in office net immigration quadrupled. At times Labour had no idea who was coming nor who was going. It was an error which led ultimately to Brexit as first the British National Party tuned in to dissent winning over half a million votes in 2010 and getting two MEPs elected. Migration Watch began appearing in the media and was treated as an impartial source of research and analysis instead of a right-wing anti immigration lobby group whose director is quoted today saying that naming and shaming companies with foreign workers brings ‘daylight’ to the issue and firms doing their best to hire UK workers, ominously, ‘ have nothing to fear’. This was all leapt upon by the vicious tabloids and turned into a long campaign to vilify incomers. With no pre-planned government message to the public to explain why foreigners were coming and how they contributed, the supporters of immigration were left defenceless. UKIP was the political wing of the xenophobes.

And they have won.

Imagine – David Coburn is right. He is on the winning side. He and Farage have beaten the left and the mainstream and they are turning Britain into an overtly anti-foreigner society with plans to restrict overseas staff from working in our hospitals, forcing landlords to check tenants’ papers, examining taxi drivers’ passports, singling out employers who don’t keep up their quotas of British staff and blocking students from studying here. Only it isn’t just Farage who is now saying this, it’s the mainstream Conservatives who are wallowing in bashing our European friends, using them as negotiating hostages over Brexit and employing language that plays into the hands of the ignorant.

Tory financiers are eyeing profits in an unregulated market. Without EU standards and protocols, the bankers and the Tories can change the rules on your pension, ending the need to balance deficits and reducing defined benefits. As one, Lord Flight, said: ‘My vision is for London to be what I call a super Singapore.’ (He also thinks if we cut benefits it will discourage claimants from breeding).

I say it’s the Tories who are doing it but what has been Labour’s response? The Labour Press Office put out a statement objecting that the Tories had failed to cut net migration. Words fail me. Where has Labour been over this British tragedy? Corbyn has been, like Blair, asleep at the wheel and Kezia…? She has been forced to denounce Labour’s press release but she has led nothing, challenged nothing and acquiesced as the Britain she swears to maintain undermines and threatens immigrants and promises to take Scotland out of Europe with them. Rachel Reeves, one of the most fearsomely right wing voices in politics, yet a Labour MP, has been warning of violence if immigration isn’t checked. She talked of an explosion over the issue, in a reference reminiscent of Enoch Powell.

It is difficult not to grow fearful of where this is all leading. The too-easy metaphor is 1930’s Germany and it is clearly absurd to seek comparisons between modern MPs and the Sturmabteilung. But…the world’s calamities all start somewhere and we already have a recorded rise in race crime as thugs read a green light in Brexit. Where did this intolerance in the British come from? What has happened? It’s only two years ago they were telling us we were the divisive ones, our driving force was hatred of England, we wanted to put up borders, we would be thrown out of Europe, be isolated. We were parochial and inward-looking. May was still doing it in her speech while she engineers a racist crackdown on European migrants and glories in small-minded English chauvinism.

Look, I’m a democrat. I know what the referendum decision was. And while I’m not part of an elite (another classic May irony there) I think we are making an egregious error both in coming out of the EU and in the approach taken. I’m not alone. I hear Tory MPs, Labour backbenchers, business people, all kinds of sane voices who are both disgusted at what this woman is doing without any parliamentary mandate – nor any plan to get one – and how Britain is now looking to the rest of the world.

We may be Scots and may be or not be nationalists but in the eyes of the world we are part of this revolting charade. This is beyond independence for Scotland, although that looms ever larger. This is something that must be repelled and reversed before we become not the buccaneering power of Brexiteers’ dreams but a shrunken, unwelcoming, xenophobic shadow of ourselves. I am reduced to wishing for an exit deal so bad and a ride so rough from the international markets and WTO that a re-run referendum is called. Once the detail emerges of the Brexit deal, it’s possible a general election could rid us of the anti-European zealots but Labour will need to up its game immeasurably for that to happen.

I am open to the accusation of anti-democrat but this is too important. We were told lies in the campaign. There was no detailed exposition of the case. The media was a disgrace and the entire process of democracy was abused. The views of the Leavers have changed since the vote. They are concentrating all on curbing immigration to the exclusion of single market access. A poll this week showed most people want to stay in the market even if that means compromising on immigration.

This is madness. I am ashamed. The treatment of democratic impulses in Scotland is bad enough but the racism and relish for severing our links of solidarity with Europe take this country into a different realm of intolerance. This is the age of the little Englander.

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46 thoughts on “Degrees of Estrangement

  1. You are not open to the charge of being an anti-democrat. Democracy involves more than simply holding a vote, counting the result and going with the majority. Manifestos and proposals should be honestly presented, properly debated and appropriately challenged by an independent media. None of this happened in either the Scottish or Brexit referendums. It’s the people who say ‘you must respect the result’ regardless of how it was obtained that need to check their democratic credentials.

  2. From the moment Osborne’s “sermon on the pound” where he lied about Scotland’s place in the UK as being one of eternal supplicant. It’s all gone downhill of the union. Barely winning with the vow, Cameron decided to monster Scottish voters & the SNP, in one of the most vicious pieces of “dog whistle” racist demagoguery I have ever seen. This xenophobic screed was picked up by the English media who started printing disgusting scare stories about the Thames foaming with blood. Images of hapless Ed sitting in Salmonds pocket. Images of Salmond stealing money from English tax payers. Capped off with Miliband declaring that he’d rather let Cameron win than rely on the SNP for assistance. Once you add Cameron’s “EVEL” proposals and the EU referendum and the treacherous gruel of Scotland’s new “powers” that wee Mundell boasting of being nothing more than a clever trap – then you have a “union” that Scotland can never truly be part of.

    The very Idea that Scotland could lead this omnishambles of a union made the English shit bricks.

    Now you see these idiotic tories trying to use foreign workers as a trump card to get unfettered access to the EU market. What will happen is that It will lose access to that market and its needless monstering of EU citizens will see it having Europe’s door slammed in Britain’s face.

    The US has already told us that if we come under WTO rules, we can expect no special deals. They will treat us as they treat all nations who don’t have the protection of a trade bloc.

    The real tragedy in this, is that this ridiculous racist triumphalism that we are seeing today. Both in the tory ranks and that farce that calls itself UK labour. Aided and abetted by that truly nasty parochialism that is the UK media, means that they would rather be defeated and flushed away like a giant turd, than ever admit to having made a mistake of truly Pyrrhic proportions.

    • The USA are behind this.

    • On the plus side, David, Ruth has been pencilled in for ‘Strictly 2017’. That apparently was the big news from Scotland all over the Dead Tree Scrolls and the TV channels.
      We watched it unfold. We did not stand by and done nothing. The question of Self Determination is stronger now than ever.
      In May 2015, New Labour (Ed’s Tablet of Stone) were Red Tory zealots.
      Only Nicola Sturgeon condemned the Cuts, and put forward the argument, backed by the IFS, sorry, ‘the respected’ IFS, for modest borrowing of £180 billion to pump prime infrastructure projects, thus stimulating the economy, and calling for and end to the cuts in welfare, public services, and slashing of public service jobs..
      The Red Tory Unionists walked arm and arm with the Blue and Yellow Tories into the Yea Lobby to vote through Osborne’s £32 billion Austerity Package, and the immigrants were to blame for hospital, schools, and housing shortages. Meanwhile the filthy rich, which include Rowling, Darling, Blair, Brown, Reid, and the heads of our Finance, Banking, Insurance, Supermarkets, BHS, got a 5% Tax Cut.
      Cameron Clegg Osborne Miliband Balls Brown Darling Lamont Murphy, where are they now?

      They’ve fucked off, and earning big bucks working for the Man or as ‘journalists’, ‘PR Consultants’, or hoovering up appearance money on BBC News Where You Are.
      Scotland is far from being lily white when it comes to racism or indeed xenophobia.

      After all we have 100,000 or so Loyalist and Fenians shrieking out their bile every other Saturday these days, and insist on marching through our streets every so often to protect the Proddy Faith, or celebrate Hunger Striking ‘martyrs’. The odious James Kelly , WATP Professor Tomkins, and the Queen’s Eleven Murdo Fraser actively support these ’90 minute bigots’.
      It is tempting to be sidetracked from self determination by the extremely worrying events unfolding in an increasingly insular Brit Nat England, of that there is no doubt.
      We must however not fall into the trap of branding 58 million English citizens with the implied racism of the 17 million who voted Leave. Indeed many of them are now regretting it.
      The Brit Establishment, in particular the MSM, and worryingly an increasing number of academics, and ‘leading intellectuals’, the professors, and dime store newspaper columnists, make a living out of backing the winner; in this case May’s New Con Cabal. the Darling Duds of May, Patel, Johnson, Fox and Davis, are driving the little England, Foreigners can’t be trusted agenda.
      Reality will bite next spring when Article 50 negotiations begin.
      We have the luxury of sitting back and witnessing May’s Climb Downs, or U turns, on many of the redlines the Tories have pissed in the snow.

      Self Determination for Scotland is still the goal, and soon.
      I am certain that there will be a backlash Down There, once the truth becomes known, and folk realise that they are sleep walking into isolation and financial ruin.
      There can be no better time to mount a second independence Referendum.
      May and ‘Strictly’ Davidson are irrelevant Up Here, and more and more Scots citizens realise this.
      Derek, great piece.
      Labour’s fall from grace has been spectacular, but justified.
      I hold all Unionist politicians up here in disdainful contempt.
      Why doesn’t the Born Again Daily Record republish their VOW?

  3. Two points…

    – This has been building for a long time and lest we forget Labour’s role in it. ‘British jobs for British workers’ was coined by none other than Gordon Brown in 2007 I believe. Then we had the constant, derogatory use of the words ‘foreign’ and ‘foreigner’ throughout our own referendum campaign.

    – The UK is an inherently racist and bigoted state. True, it may be becoming more obvious with every passing day but this is an entity that celebrates ethnically cleansing its own population in its national anthem and bans Catholics from becoming head of state.

    I’m not sure about tactics and strategy with regards to winning IndyRef2. Up until this week I was on the more cautious side of the debate. However, after the last few days it now becomes increasingly difficult to morally justify NOT pushing ahead with it sooner rather than later. I now firmly believe that Scottish independence might just be the catalyst that saves England from itself.

  4. I’m afraid that now the racist genie is out of the bottle, it will be very difficult to keep it under control. And for those espousing the Conservative and Unionist cause, please think things through. Scots have been monstered in the English press. We have been depicted by them as subsidy junkies, a drain on Westminster’s coffers, as haters of the English. In due course the racists and xenophobes might turn their attention to Scots – and they won’t care whether you support the union or not.

  5. Tory gerrymandering to come, Labour dissolving in its own bile. What is left for Dugdales vanload of diehards?

    Only the MSM to beat now. A monumental task.

    I cannot add much more other than thankyou.

  6. “I am open to the accusation of anti-democrat but this is too important. We were told lies in the campaign. ”

    With all due respect, Mr Bateman, then the charge of being anti-democratic will have to be leveled against you. If we followed your logic to its conclusion, i.e annul an election because lies were told, then every British election since 1707, and the 1973 EEC referendum, would have to be re-run on that basis.

    I didn’t believe a word that Farage or his cronies were saying. I live in the middle of nowhere, so immigration has never been a problem for me.

    I voted to leave the EU, I don’t regret that for a minute, because I knew that for us in Scotland, it was a ‘free’ vote, because our fate was always going to be decided by the voters of England…

    And my opposition to the EU is born out of preserving democracy. The EU, in my view, is an enemy of democracy. After witnessing Greece being crushed and reduced to a vassal state
    I could never again be supportive of the EU.

    I’m glad to see the back of the EU. I have zero objections to a loose trading alliance with Europeans, i.e what we signed up for in 1973, but when there is talk of an EU army, then the game was up for me. Why does a trading alliance need an army? We already have NATO.

    I agree that this slide into xenophobia is unwelcome and distasteful, but as I have said many a time on your blogs, if your fellow countrymen decide in a referendum (2014) to let another country run its affairs for them, then what can you do?

    Don’t look to Labour for solutions. Expect them to try and out do the Tories on this.

    Party before country, it was always the Labour way…

    • So, if part of our union is descending into xenophobia what do we do ? Accept it and say meekly that ”you had your chance but blew it ”? As Derek said and you confirmed , we were told lies in the EU referendum , but more egregiously in the Independence ref. when the EU was a major factor .
      We have evry right to push for an exit from this increasingly abusive relationship – Indy2 must come soon .

      • After carefully weighing up the options, I’ve decided to opt for the lesser of two evils: an indy Scotland in the EU.

        My opposition to the EU has been mentioned already, but if an indy Scotland voted for EU membership, I wouldn’t be happy with the result, but as a democrat, I’d get on with it and accept the will of the people.

        What I won’t accept is another nation making that decision for us. As you know, every voter in Scotland could have voted to remain, but it would not have mattered one jot.

        That democratic deficit is reason enough for me to get out of this corrupt union.

        My own personal preference for Scotland is the Norway or Switzerland route.

        Never the less, I’ll be voting to leave the UK in the next Scottish independence referendum, just like I did in 2014.

        I hope that explains my viewpoint on this matter.

        • Remember that Norway and Switzerland are signed-up to accepting EU rules, but have no say in what thise rules are. Better to have a say than not, surely?

          • The EU is not this cuddly, benign union that a lot of people think it is. It is as much a corporate stooge and a corrupt institution as Westminster is.

            As with Westminster, the banks and the money men have taken over. Ordinary voters are just an after thought.

            I don’t doubt the good intentions the original founders of the EU had, but those are long gone…

          • The EU is not this cuddly, benign union that a lot of people think it is. It is as much a corporate stooge and a corrupt institution as Westminster is.

            The EU came into existence because of two catastrophic World Wars, which included the worst mass murder in world history.

            As for sovereignty, your point is essentially meaningless because it is shared among all nations via trade and important organisations, such as the IMF, World Bank, the UN, and corporations are much more powerful than they were, and have taken some power from nation states as well. There is no such thing as pure independence or sovereignty, and this has been the case for decades.

    • “… crushed and reduced to a vassal state”.

      Yeah. It was the Greeks who joined the EU. The Greeks who joined the Euro. The Greeks who binged on the subsequent wave of cheap credit. And the Greeks who used that money in a way that didn’t set them up to pay it back.

      The British press, for one, certainly used the Greek saga as a big club to beat the EU with. But why would Germans, or other Europeans blithely foot the bill, in perpetuity, for the Greeks’ self-indulgent lifestyle?

      (This was published in 2010:)

      “As it turned out, what the Greeks wanted to do, once the lights went out and they were alone in the dark with a pile of borrowed money, was turn their government into a piñata stuffed with fantastic sums and give as many citizens as possible a whack at it. In just the past decade the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real terms—and that number doesn’t take into account the bribes collected by public officials. The average government job pays almost three times the average private-sector job. The national railroad has annual revenues of 100 million euros against an annual wage bill of 400 million, plus 300 million euros in other expenses. The average state railroad employee earns 65,000 euros a year. Twenty years ago a successful businessman turned minister of finance named Stefanos Manos pointed out that it would be cheaper to put all Greece’s rail passengers into taxicabs: it’s still true”

      There was naivety on both sides of the relationship between Greece and the EU. The global crash brought the situation to a head. Then in the final meeting between the two sides, the Germans were astonished that, having made a big noise in the media about facing them off, the brave leaders of Greek people-power turned up without any plan at all for a Euro exit. Talk about negotiating skills.

      In the end what we saw was a great deal of screaming and struggling in a furious call for help – from anyone; coupled with a complete failure to face reality and deal with it: a spoiled teenager, writ large. The sad thing, from where I’m sitting, is that it gave the Rothermeres, Mr. Desmond and Mr. Murdoch another wedge to drive into the European project.

      What a fantastic relief to get away from that undemocratic EU to the warm embrace of the House of Lords, and to escape its faceless bureaucrats whose impartiality can be relied on, except in certain circumstances in which it doesn’t apply.

  7. As an EU migrant – I moved to Scotland in 2002 and later married a Scots lass and had weans here, but I still don’t have UK citizenship or even a permanent leave-to-remain certificate – I’m watching the whole shebang with dread and despair. Part of me wants to run away, back to the continent, it’s just too much, but the kids’ schools and our jobs are here. What I really want is Indyref2, in order to build a nice, secure border between us Scots and the racist loonies down south. Some vague promise of a referendum a few years after Brexit just won’t cut it for me – we need the referendum before Brexit happens so that we can remain within the EU. Staying in post-Brexit Britain is just too scary.

  8. Derek, you’ve summed up my feelings exactly – I’m ashamed of what Britain has become.

    To some extent, I can tolerate the Conservatives spouting this bile – I hate what they’re saying, but they’re consistent and are what they’ve always been – I expect them to come out with right wing, anti-foreigner guff.

    What really makes me want to puke is the way that Labour took up this xenophobic crap in a craven attempt to curry votes. What happened to having a view driven by your beliefs and experiences then trying to persuade the electorate to vote for it?

    I hope that for the sake of Labour (and the RUK after Scotland leaves) they listen to Jeremy Corbyn – the section in his conference speech on immigration was superb – at last a UK politician saying that the problem is not the immigration but the governments failure to spend some of the extra taxes from immigration on easing the impact on communities.

    As it is, i think he stands zero chance of getting anywhere due to the way the media presents him, the self serving b@$t@rd$ in his own parliamentary party and the increasingly right leaning UK electorate.

    If it wasn’t for the prospect of Scottish independence, I would be in total despair – at least we have some option to escape this horror – for the people of England & Wales – I see no escape.

  9. To the barricades? Cable Street 2?

    We now find ourselves, without wishing it, in a position where IndyRef 2 now assumed a much greater significance than the first time round. We need it now for everyone’s sake as chance to draw and hold the line and say for all the world to hear “they shall not pass!”

  10. You keep thinking it can’t get anymore bizarre and it does. It was like a wall was pulled down at the Tory conference and a wave of xenophobia came tumbling down and they were all delighted to bask in it.Including Ruth Davidson.
    However the response of the BBC this morning was concerning. They choose to try and mislead and turn the statement about foreign medical staff from the tories and on to the SNP.
    Also as usual it was been the online news that has picked up on what has happened while the MSM for the most part hide their heads and hope it passes over.

  11. It is a “too easy metaphor” for a reason. To dismiss it thus is careless.

  12. Thanks for that Derek, and thanks also to the posters on this site it gives me belief that I am not alone in believing that we will become Independent. Like many in my age group, I hope to live to enjoy it.

  13. Disturbing and depressing to watch the nasty party being given air time and credence by the media….oh Scotland, we could have avoided all this right wing intolerant agenda with a simple cross on a ballot box paper but don’t have the faith and confidence to do so……asked a Nay sayer last night after watching the antics from Birmingham if we were still better together, silence was the reply….at least food for thought is a small crumb of comfort that hope is still alive and kicking…

  14. While I understand the desire for a rerun of EUref once the terms of any Brexit deal are known, I think this is unlikely to be effective.

    Once Article 50 is triggered and the UK gives notice of leaving, the process seems inexorable. The UK will leave the EU, at the end of, or before, the two year period provided for under the article. Any attempt, with or without a second EUref, to say ” Sorry, we didn’t really mean it , we want to stay” is likely to meet with short shrift from the remains EU27, especially after the bile that is coming from the UK Government and the Brexiters. I fear that their attitude to any recantation will be “Hell mend you”.

    In such a case, the (r?)UK could re-apply to join, but may have to take it’s place in the queue. Although the UK is a current member, the question needs to be asked as to whether it would qualify for membership given that it has an unelected second chamber (larger than the elected chamber) of Government, which also has privileged and reserved places for a particular religious grouping, and given the current attitude of the UK Government towards the ECHR and the ECJ. This is before the economic situation of the UK’s massive debt and large budget deficit is taken into consideration.

    Sadly, I think that triggering Article 50 takes the UK down a one-way street to stagger lonely and isolated place.

    • Apologies. A combination of my poor typing skills and Autocorrect turned “a strange,” to “stagger” in the last sentence

  15. A kind of madness is overcoming us, and we have seen it before. We know what it is, what it does, what wreckage and shame it leaves when it’s gone. But every few generations it seems the madness must find a voice. Just our luck!

  16. I believe the battle lines have now been drawn, disregard labour in Scotland as they do not have any purpose or direction where our country comes first.

    At the last Scottish election Ruth Davidson and her tory party played the union card to her own benefit, well so be it, two can play that game, she likes to play the Boadicea of the tory party that’s fine, now its time for Scotland and the SNP to play the “Bruce” card.

    The tories are still boasting they have done so well at the last election they can hold our SNP government to account so be it, lets put it to the Scots, the vileness of tory party policy or their country.

    From now on make it a simple choice :-

    ” either the TORIES or SCOTLAND “.

  17. Alasdair Macdonald.

    It is not just the overt xenophobia which is concerning it is also the overt colonialism regarding Scotland. Scotland, irrespective of the vote of its electorate, will have done to it whatever the Westminster government decides. There is a whiff of suzerainty about Mr Mundell’s imperative to the Scottish Goverment, ‘Concentrate on the day job. Forget about independence’.
    On the ‘Call Kaye’ programme this morning, the discussion was about the proposals at the Conservative conference regarding the NHS in ENGLAND, and Mrs Edwina Currie was on for the entire programme to present the Tory case. She was unchallenged by the nominal presenter, when she asserted, contrary to the objective evidence, that NHS Scotland had poorer outcomes than the NHS elsewhere.

    • I think Edwina Currie should have more airtime on Call Kaye as she a wonderful recruiting sergeant for the YES side come Indyref2.

  18. The Tories have truly been taken over by the madmen of the Daily Mail and the Express and are calculating their appeal to the common man.

    It is a replay of the Thatcher era when white-van-man became the toast of the Tory party as he opted for buying his social housing.

    I am afraid to say in the Highlands I live amongst the exiles from south of the border who still identify with Essex man because their daily reading consists of the Daily Mail, the Express and the Sun. It will take a wholesale shift to independence by the Scots amongst us to secure our future in Europe.

  19. Ruth Bullrider Davidson continues on her roll and seems to have slipped the hook regarding her niaive admission of opening postal votes 2014. This is categorically in contravention of the ECHR (‘elections…free and fair’) which the Tories seek to dismantle. Foxache, Indy2 – noo.

  20. Davy,
    Good slogan which even Labour in Scotland could adopt!

    • ‘seanair’, its how I now see it, if labour & libdems want to back the tories then they have to declare it. If they want to back Scotland its their for them, but no more sitting on the fence for any political party.

      The Tories has shown the type of country they want the UK to be, and I will not allow my country to be dragged into that xenophobic mire if I can help it. The tories have set the battle lines so be it and hell mend them. So shout it loud,

      either the Tories or Scotland – CHOOSE

  21. Davy,
    Couldn’t agree more!

  22. This is the UK created by political short-termist thinking, dogma, a narrative of scapegoating, media complicity and the deliberate sowing of fear, suspicion and hatred for political gain.

    Welcome to better togethness. Welcome to pooling and sharing. Welcome to austerity ridden, isolationist, societally divided Brexit UK.

    Makes you fair swell up with pride. 🙁

  23. Well said, Derek. We must end this toxic union with Engand as soon as possible.

  24. Scotland will suffer because “Labour in Scotland” exploited the trust of decades to convince many that the Union would protect them.
    Ed Milliband made the vow.
    Gordon Brown promised a near federal status.
    The Tories had only to supply the funds and their loyal unionist colleagues used their “name” as the Party of the People. The reality was is that they had become “The Party of Politicians first”

    Few can fail to see the direction of travel of politics at Westminster. The “Blairites” will not oppose it and the Unionists have made it clear that Tory rule will always be the preferred choice when the alternative is Independence.

    The Tories will do the damage to Scotland. However it was Labour who played the main role in enabling them in 2014.
    In the unlikely event that Labour ever win a general election it will be by chasing the move to the right so desired by the majority of their MPs. They may be to the left of the Tories but Thatcher could have managed that.

    …and if they do win we will be back to turns each at Westminster. Extreme right or right!

    Only ONE model will give a fairer society…Indpendence

  25. This is madness. I am ashamed. The treatment of democratic impulses in Scotland is bad enough but the racism and relish for severing our links of solidarity with Europe take this country into a different realm of intolerance. This is the age of the little Englander.

    Sadly Derek I have much greater fears than that. Before this week I never believed a mass level of fascism was possible in the UK. But that revolting Tory Party conference has me very concerned at the state of play. Amber Rudd’s speech was a virtual incitement, a despicable and poisonous display of hatred. May is a very weak leader and she is playing with fire in pandering to UKIP’s agenda. This was the supposed governing party of the UK, and what we saw was a hideous hatred of immigrants and foreigners. There was numerous very worrying implications. May made clear her hatred for human rights, she is going to let the British army off the leash, the MSM and the Tories have been fetishying the armed forces for decades, and there is no doubt that the distinction between the state and corporations is increasingly blurred. There is a lot to worry about. I hope I am overreacting to the events of this week. Otherwise….

  26. Ruth ,Thatcher’s latest cheerleader in scotland embarrassed herself today at FMQs she gave the impression that by just turning up it was job done , after the Tory hate fest of Birmingham i think she really does believe her adulating press coverage , her whole line was to question Nicola Sturgeon on what she was going to do about the mess the Tory government had got itself into , every single question was open to derision and muffled smirking and that was just her own side , she could make cheek and bloody brass necks an olympic sport of gold medal proportions, above all i believe she is a stupid politician all mouth and prone to lying in the same sense Osburn was a Total abject failure as chancellor the mess he has left us with the failed austerity project that was just Tory dogma and vindictiveness because the Tory party could ,and were scared their right wing known as UKIP was becoming restless over Europe .
    The way she stands there every week dictating this and demanding that having gained 22% of the voting public’s approval and almost every single one of her tory MSPs rejected on the last vote and sneaked in the back door at Holyrood via the list system and not by the popular vote , almost every one ended second, third, and even fourth placed in their respective constituencies and we pay for these clowns and loud table thumpers like bloody performing seals the lot of them , the real benefit scroungers .

  27. And so it starts. The lists of those deemed “foreign”. A political elite who blame foreigners for the consequences of brexit, failures of investment in skills and infrastructure, of City short-termism, the creaming-off by that same elite.

    When times harden and the thuggish tendency wants to lash out, it is those minority groups that get a brick through the living room window, who are abused in the street, whose places of worship are firebombed.

    The elite will blame all of this, not on themselves for enacting Mein Kampf, but on the failure of multiculturalism. Are you a multiculturalist, they will ask? Then it is your fault!

    When you rightly complain to the media, you are ignored. When you are at risk of becoming a nuisance, you are investigated and any blemish in your life is laid bare. All this to protect the elite.

    We have entered an era where right is wrong, black is white and night is day. I think Orwell wrote about it.

    It would make a good essay.

  28. Jonnny come lately

    Once we know the detail on Brexit. I liked that one Derek. My my you are naïve One. There will be no detail on Brexit haven’t you been reading the papers. No running commentary, no comment on negotiations, no plan, and the negotiations conducted in secret. Now, eat your cereal.

  29. A bit o/t but given Derricks previous with the BBC possibly relevant ,
    Brian Taylor who i previously had some respect for, Posted a piece on the BBC website with the heading FMQs: getting back to the day job, where he gives his assessment of Ruth Davidsons performance during Thursday’s First Minister’s Questions if i hadn’t watched the item i would have possibly believed what he said in his piece, where he gives as much relevance to Kezia speaking about trains as he does about Ruthie getting her arse handed to her royally and on more than one occasion on Thursday , distortion by omission i believe would be the correct term is Brian following the handed down dictat “dont show the real Tory party at work ” its really sad Journalists at the BBC have been so cowed and corrupted by fear of dismissal that they allow themselves to be used and abused like this and being complicit in what is a deception of people here ,North Korea could learn lessons from this lot they are experts at this game .

  30. Re-run the brexit referendum after negotiations reveal a really bad outcome for the UK?
    Once the “starting gun” is fired the UK is out the door in two years, ready or not! Why would the EU allow the UK to withdraw its resignation? After what has been said this week, I would think they will be glad to see the door hit us on the arse on our way out.

  31. Derek ,you say that with Britexit UKIP beat the left ,but is this really true ?
    Not os long ago the default position of the left was always anti EU and how could it not be so with 10 000 of it’s officials paid more than our PM,it’s lack of democracy ,lack of transparency, it’s inherent cabal capitalism . Yet today it’s suddenly flavour of the month ,our savour without which we are sailing down the Swanee!
    No ,the EU only seeks to be a superstate and anyone who imagines otherwise is fooling themselves .

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