I am a 51 year old working mum of five – not all at home thank goodness. Im a member of the Women for Independence National Executive. This Blog is growing and changing as my hopes and aspirations change. I actually DO expect to change the world but I accept that might not even make sense sometimes. I hope you enjoy the read.

Archive for the month “January, 2019”

Brexit Beyond Belief

Aaaaaaand Brexit – bit of a long one today I’m afraid.

Last night there was a vote. Well a few actually. All the amendments were voted down except two. One non-binding vote to take no deal off the table and one binding one to send Theresa May back to Brussels to negotiate changes to the Irish Backstop.

This meant that Theresa May got her withdrawal agreement through providing she gets these changes to the Irish Backstop.

You might be breathing a sigh of relief that there is going at least to be a deal. But that’s by no means looking likely despite the triumphant newspaper headlines.

You see, within ten minutes of the vote last night the EU responded by saying there would be no renegotiation. This repeated what they said at 12 o clock yesterday lunchtime, and the day before, and at weekend, and last week, the week before that, the month before that AND EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY HAVE BEEN ASKED ABOUT IT.

Negotiations are over, the prime minister designed and proposed the Irish Backstop, it was her suggestion to convince Ireland and the EU that Britain can be trusted, the EU agreed to this and it cannot be changed. This has been the EU position all along and I’d be very surprised if they change it now, especially as TM has shown she actually can’t be trusted.

So we are left with a situation where parliament voted that they didn’t want no deal but voted to make no deal more likely.

Not a single Scottish Tory MP or Labour MP

Voted to protect Scotland by supporting the Plaid Cymru and the SNP amendment which called on parliament to respect Scotland’s vote to remain and recognise that the Scottish Parliament rejected Theresa May’s deal. Not a single one.

The Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn left before Ian Blackford spoke as usual. Neither of them are interested in listening to what the third party in Parliament and the party of Government in Scotland have to say. Contrast that with the response of the EU to the needs of Ireland.

When Ian Blackford highlighted the concerns of the supermarkets and food suppliers that we will face food shortages the DUP shouted “they can go to the chippy”.

Blood Transfusion services will be suspended in the South East for two weeks before and 6 weeks after Brexit because of expected disruption in the ability to transport blood products. The NHS recently signed a contract to import more plasma to build up stocks before Brexit with … the EU!!!!

Manufacturers are already sending products they export by sea off with no idea of the tariffs they will pay when they arrive at their destination.

The pound fell sharply in response to this whole Brexit carry on last night.

Today the papers make it clear that they are going to blame the EU for no deal Brexit. This is not the EUs fault it is the UKs. The Uk are riding rough shod over the Good Friday Agreement and are complaining that the EU is standing up for Ireland, an independent country in Europe against the arrogant self interest of a bunch of sneering Tories.

It will not be these arrogant, self promoting MPs who are harmed if the Good Friday Agreement fails, if there are food and medicine shortages, if tariffs cause food prices to rise, if immigration falls and care and hospital vacancies can’t be filled. They have enough money to be alright Jack.

It will be you. And me, and all the ordinary people living ordinary lives doing ordinary things who don’t have hedge funds or share portfolios and can’t afford to employ independent agency carers or import their favourite French wine. It will be pensioners and teachers and young people and carers and disabled people. And all those people being paid £8 an hour by multi millionaire business owners who spent millions telling us Brexit is a great thing and who needs immigrants anyways.

If you still believe that Brexit is best for Scotland or the UK then you really need to have a word with yourself.

Meanwhile in Scotland … another huge find in the North Sea, the Scottish Government committed to investing £33 million in the Scottish Welfare fund to help struggling families, and the Best Start School Age Grant will start in June.

And the awesome news that the Scottish NHS will indeed pay for Roz’s Car-T cell treatment to be carried out in England.

Independence is the only way out of this unequal union where our voices and the needs of our communities are ignored. Independence is the only way we can put ordinary people at the centre of a drive for a fairer and better society.



Ohhh my goodness what a mess!

So where are we this morning? Well, no one really knows.its a bit like Shrodingers EU we are simultaneously staying in the EU whilst leaving with no deal on March 29th!

It’s a carry on for sure, let’s see if I can find a few highlights!

First the PM lost the vote.that means her ‘deal’ is dead in the water for the reasons that I mentioned the other day. Hated by Leavers and Remainers it was defeated by 230 votes, the biggest defeat since 1918. She should have resigned, I half expected her to do so by this morning but it’s not happened. The Tory party can’t sack her because they held a leadership challenge a month ago (yep it was really only a month ago!) so she is protected from another challenge for a year.

Following the defeat May offered the opportunity to Corbyn to call for a vote of no confidence, she called his bluff and quite cleverly, what she said was the she would make time for the debate today if he wanted one and if he didn’t then she would unusually allow the motion from the other parties which was tabled in December to be debated.

Corbyn couldn’t allow that to happen so he has called a vote of no confidence which we will see debated today and voted on around 7 I think.

Will she win? I think so. The sums add up for her to do so if none of her own MPs vote against the government and they have the support of the DUP. Which they do, the DUP said they will support the Government.

Some optimistic souls on twitter are suggesting Sinn Fein could ride in, take their seats and help Corbyn to win the no confidence vote but I think not. Although nothing surprises me just now.

So that’s where we are. SNP have said of course, they will support a vote of no confidence and have called for a people’s vote.

The EU have said there is no negotiating a new deal

Donald Tusk has said the UK could stay on Europe if it’s too hard to leave.

The UK Government is saying they will negotiate with other parties “who share the same objectives” so that’s the DUP then, not the SNP or Plaid or the Greens and depending on what Labour decide their position is – not them either!

Douglas Ross the MP for Moray (you lucky people you) has said that this is a great message to send the EU and that it will focus their minds and force them to rethink their approach!!!!! Oh and he’s not the only one – see the picture! Honestly it’s an alternate reality!

There are several more posts to write about this whole debacle I’m sure. But basically, the tories will win a no confidence vote and we will be right back where we started.

Meanwhile Scotland who voted to remain are trying our very best to help the UK sort this out are being ignored as usual.


Judgement Day

So…… today’s vote.

Today we have the vote which was delayed by Theresa May before Christmas. The vote is to decide whether the UK accepts Mays negotiated deal with the EU. All the pointers say she’ll lose the vote but why?

Well, simplistically, the deal is hated by hard brexiteers because of the Northern ireland Backstop and because they think it makes too many concessions to the EU.

It’s hated by remain or soft Brexit supporting MPs because it will damage the economy by 6% making us worse off by taking us out of the single movement and out of the customs union.

The SNP MPs will vote against this bill because it is bad for Scotland. It will damage our economy, make Northern Ireland a much more attractive place to do business, end freedom of movement which we need for jobs to be filled and to enable Scots to have choices and fulfil their potential by living and working abroad. And most importantly – Scotland voted to remain.

The Green MP will vote against it, I would expect the Lib Dem’s to vote against it and the DUP because of the backstop. But then all bets are off.

The Labour Party can’t decide between themselves what they want to happen, some for the deal, some against the deal, some want a general election, some a people’s vote, some just want to leave, some to remain.

The Tories are also a mess on this. Vote against the deal and we might see Jeremy Corbyn take centre stage and they don’t want that. Vote for the deal and we don’t have a proper Brexit and they don’t want that.

So it’s anyone’s guess. But Scotland’s voice will be, as usual, ignored . During this whole process – 2 years – any suggestions Scotland has put forward and there have been several- have been ignored and today will be no different.
In or out of Europe Scotland is repeatedly treated like it has nothing to say of any importance.

I’m expecting May to lose the vote, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she wins, because above all else, those in power want to cling onto power, whatever the result is Scotland will have to do as we are told, like it or not.

That’s no way to grow a strong successful fair society.


Brexit Dividends

So,apparently it’s gone from Brexit Dividends and taking back control to “Do Brexit or it will let in the Far Right”. Although this is a shout out by Chris Grayling who is about as useful as a ferry company with no ferries, this is something that I have warned about since before the referendum in 2016.

I have news for Chris Grayling. They are already “in”. The years spent vilifying people from the EU and elsewhere coming to this country, the slagging off of refugees and asylum seekers, the language in our headlines, the news stories and the politicians hardlines – Theresa Mays red lines – have seen to that. The vote for Brexit emboldened the worst of our society. Now, before anyone has a go, not everyone voted for Brexit because they are a racist. I know that but make no mistakes here, Brexit has given a louder voice to the racists, the bigots and the hard right.

They are here now, never mind after a decision is made to Brexit or not to Brexit.

Those people shouting at Anna Soubry last week, at Owen Jones as he walked down the street are far right activists. They screamed in the face of Soubry and impressively she walked on with a smile on her face and didn’t flinch.

They showed their true colours that day, faced by a calm and immovable policeman their “leader?” Threatened war, and shouted at the policeman “you’re not even British”. How did he know? The policeman has a darker skin than his.

That’s all it takes. Well, that and the ridiculous antics of Sajid Jarvis calling in naval warships to fight off a threat of 12 men in two boats which he declared a national crisis. Someone phoned LBC and said that we should just sink them or shoot them. This is a minority view but a growing one and its symptomatic of the way our society blames the least powerful and the most vulnerable for the ills of the world and let’s the powerful off absolutely free. The scapegoating of EU residents as “over here taking our jobs and houses” is the lazy stereotype which I heard in the 70s about immigrants, and the 80s. It wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now.

Thankfully in Scotland we have a government that condemns this sort of action and attitude in the strongest possible way. They have consistently made it clear that EU nationals are wanted and welcome not only because it makes economic sense – Scotland Needs Migrant workers – but also because they are our friends, lovers, families. Our Government has a desire to be an inclusive place where people are welcome and valued wherever they are from.

That doesn’t mean that Scotland is a utopia, there are racists and bigots here, we see that most often in the context of our football idiots. But these people are not enabled by a complicit government. They are not encouraged by politicians who stoke up hate by their inhuman, inconsiderate and frankly cruel policies.

Scotland didn’t vote for this and Scotland doesn’t want this. Looking at the UK now it is clear that as this shitty Brexit process plays out, Britain always going to be the best Scotland can hope for. Fortunately we have another choice.


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