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 “July, 2019”

Passing the Buck

So … Brexit

The new Prime minister and his cabinet ministers have been busy ramping up the rhetoric over the last few days.

Michael Gove said at weekend that the Government’s working assumption is that there will be a no deal Brexit.

Dominic Raab talked himself into a right guddle as he firstly said that he had warned of the danger of No Deal during the referendum campaign and then said it would be easier to do a deal with the EU if we leave with No deal. When challenged he said “this government has only been in place a week” – did he think we had a general election? This Government has been in place for 2 years and the fact that it has failed to progress this issue is a collective responsibility which they shouldn’t be allowed to wriggle out of.

Fact checkers at Channel 4 show Raab to be lying. There is no evidence he, or vote leave for that matter ever warned of or gave any credence to the possibility of a No deal Brexit.

And Boris – ahhh Boris, he is reported to have said that there will be no meetings with the EU until the EU drop “their” Irish Backstop demands. Firstly the Irish Backstop was a British solution which was put to the EU not the other way round. The cabinet have started referring to the Backstop as undemocratic, when it was negotiated and agreed by both parties not imposed on us by an inflexible EU. This is about shifting blame – passing the buck that Boris said stops with him in his acceptance speech. Making out that a no deal Brexit is the fault of the EU, along with a ban on bendy bananas and Kipper ice cushions – none of which are mandated by the EU.

But this is Boris’ get out of jail free card. Never mind that Vauxhall are set to give up on making the Astra here in the UK in the event of no deal, never mind that the pound is tanking again, never mind the damage no deal will do it’s all the fault of those pesky foreigners. Don’t blame us!

Reports suggest this is working – there is a “Boris bounce” which is putting the Tories 10 points ahead of Labour in the polls. Labour have said they’ll go full remain at the prospect of No Deal – definitely, just you wait and see, they are warning us (whilst of course continuing to squabble amongst themselves).

Meanwhile in Scotland Boris scuttled into Bute House to the sounds of jeers ringing in his ears and scuttled out the back door to avoid the same treatment. No Boris bounce here.

The Tories wheeled out a clip of Keith Brown saying “it was a once in a generation” opportunity and danced a jig in excitement only to find out he wasn’t talking about independence but the WIFI at the commonwealth games.

Ruth Davidson has apparently told Boris what’s what whilst Boris has looked at the Scottish Tory MPs and could only find one he could use. So he put the MP for Worcester as under Secretary for state for Scotland. As an afterthought he then appointed Colin Clarke (who? – he’s the MP for Gordon) but isn’t paying him. What? That’s right – the first english MP in the Scotland office since 1886 is being paid but the Scottish MP doing the same job is not.

Also yesterday, whilst the Beatrice off shore wind farm at Wick opened and will produce enough energy to power 450 000 homes, Boris announced £100 million to spend on Advertising for No deal.


The Boris Brexiteers appearing at your Parliament now

So… Brexit

We now have Brexit Boris and his cartoon cabinet. A Right wing cabinet of Brexiteers with a Home Secretary who supports the return of the death penalty and a foreign secretary who, as Brexit Secretary didn’t understand the importance of the channel tunnel.

Priti Patel and Dominic Raab. Gove, Javid. And the others – not least Jacob Rees-Mogg! How barren of talent do we need to be if Jacob Rees-Mogg is the Leader of the house?

This is a cabinet to deliver Brexit by deal or no deal. It’s is reported that all appointees have had to commit to a no deal Brexit in order to secure their posts. They have all put their careers before their country.

Even those of us who suffered through the Thatcher years have never seen anything quite like this cabinet of crap. Regardless of their policies the political heavyweights at the time looked, sounded and behaved like political heavyweights in the main (David Mellor and his Chelsea kit notwithstanding). They had a level of integrity and honesty which this lot can’t even imagine and we thought they were the worst. How wrong we were!

There are reports that this is a cabinet prepared to fight a general election in September. It will be interesting to see what difference the polls show in support for Brexit Boris and his cabinet of creeps, charlatans and connivers. It is being said that this cabinet will pull voters back to the Tories in droves!

We shall see.

Meanwhile, in Scotland NS has written to BJ to demand an independence referendum. We currently have a government we didn’t vote for, a PM we didn’t vote for determined to implement Brexit – which we did not vote for.

The SG has also announced that all universities in Scotland have agreed a way to guarantee care experienced young people a place at university of they meet minimum standards. This is a transformational policy which recognised the impact the care system can have on education. More support for the most vulnerable in our society.

Imagine how transformational we could be with independence. Then consider that we have to ask Boris Johnson and a cabinet that includes Jacob Rees-Mogg for permission to deliver many of the policies we want to implement to improve lives and our economy.


Rejoice …. or not!

So… Brexit

And we have a new PM. Soon a new Cabinet and the rest of the world is standing outside their front doors watching this shit show unfold.

Boris Johnson shouted DUDE in his acceptance speech and we were supposed to be impressed as he shouted that the E was for energise. Instead, as we were listening the passenger in my car put their head in their hands and groaned.

It struck me that placing your head in your hands and loudly exhaling with a groaning sound would be a good That might just be my default position for the next few weeks and months.

The EU have already said no further negotiations will take place.

The US President says Boris Johnson is Britain Trump. God help us all!

Forests in the Arctic Circle are burning and I was woken by Thunder this morning for the first time in years and we have Boris Johnson as our PM. It feels like a dystopian future I might have read in a book.

Meanwhile in Scotland we are exactly where we have been in this whole carry on.

Some of my friends from south have suggested that we SNP members must be “delighted” and that this will be great for the SNP.

None of this is “great”. Not Brexit, not May’s Deal, not No deal, not Boris – none of this is what the SG wanted or indeed the Scottish people. There are no street parties planned, no fireworks going off at the thought of BJ as PM.

After the 2016 Brexit referendum the SNP were absolutely clear they would stand up for what the people of Scotland wanted. That was to remain in the EU.

Since then they have done exactly that and more. Because actually, whilst we don’t want Scotland to be outside the EU we don’t want England to have to struggle with a No deal Brexit either. In WM the SNP have consistently taken every step they can to prevent a no deal Brexit and to push for a 2nd Referendum. They have organised amendments and court actions to try to ensure that Parliament is not ignored. This is because whilst Brexit is not only a disaster for Scotland, No deal would be a disaster for the whole UK.

The SG has offered compromise to the UKG. Again and again they have been slapped down, told they are too small too stupid too weak and too poor to be listened to or considered or compromised with.

The SNP have often been the strongest critics of the UK Government whilst Labour have sat on their hands, abstained and fallen out amongst themselves. As long as we remain part of the union, the SNP will continue to stand up for issues that affect not just Scotland, but the whole UK and it’s people – on UC, immigration, 2 child policies, on the EU, on taxation and on and on. Because that’s the RIGHT thing to do whilst we are part of the UK.

So no, there is no rejoicing at BJ as PM. No champagne at the idea of a No deal Brexit, no dancing in the streets

There is however, a quiet determination, a hardening of resolve, an understanding that this underlines the differences between Scottish Politics and English politics. There is a dawning recognition amongst many who were no voters that we are powerless to change what is happening as part of the UK and that Scotland’s needs, aspirations and hopes for a fairer better society are not going to be met by a Tory Party who ignore us or a Labour Party tearing itself apart with distrust and disagreements who refuse to work with us. They can only be met with Independence.

Whilst many of us are hopeful this will be voted on soon, we are fearful of what happens in the meantime to us all and in the long term to our neighbours and friends in the rest of the UK. The SNP have worked as hard as they can to prevent what is happening now – a hard Brexit, a no deal Brexit, Boris Johnson as PM not just for Scotland but for the whole of the UK.

It hasn’t worked.


By Jove it’s a Kipper!

So…. Brexit!

Boris Johnson yesterday assured us that we would have clean water and Mars Bars in his speech at a Tory Hustings. Im so glad about that. I was awake at 3.30am today and it fair put my mind at rest.

He also waved a kipper around and complained that the EU makes a Manx smoker put an ice pillow in his packaging. He failed to point out that the Isle of Man is not in the EU but chooses to follow their rules so as to trade with them.


He also spoke on Peston last night saying that he would embark on a campaign of public information – that telling people no deal will be fine – just fine actually – will help in any way at all. And who trusts him to tell the truth anyway? He is a liar and he knows it – we know it too. Even those Tory members voting for him know it. Unfortunately it makes not one iota of difference as they or their crosses in the box beside his name. Lying is acceptable to those Members as a means of getting Brexit at any cost.

And where is Jeremy Hunt? Who knows – nowhere it seems! I’ll be very surprised if he produces a result in which he pips Boris to the post. The only reason he hasn’t bowed out already is that he is the patsy to prevent Boris being elected unopposed.

All this and we can see the pound is currently the worst performing major currency in the world, London house prices are falling, the Office for Budget Responsibility are forecasting a recession next year with a no deal Brexit and the economy to shrink by 3%.

Yet Boris waves a kipper around and they cheer – they cheer!

Meanwhile in Scotland it is reported that house prices are rising. Despite concerted efforts to persuade us that the threat of Indyref2 is affecting our economy. The biggest risk to our economy is from Brexit. The possibility that Scotland remains in the EU as an independent nation is actually quite an attractive one to many organisations.

The Tories here are also lining up to support Boris Johnson. No surprises there. However, Every Tory MP represents an area of Scotland that voted to remain in the EU. Every Tory MSP the same. A reminder that every single one of Scotland’s counting areas voted to remain in the EU.

And yet here they are queuing up to shackle Scotland to the hardest Brexit Policy there is with a disregard for Scotland’s future that we usually see them reserve for poor people and benefit claimants.

Ruth Davidson can only watch and add her voice to those supporting Boris Johnson and see her beloved union slipping through her fingers.


Something different!

So…. Re-enactment Weekends!

Today we are all shattered, smelly and sunburnt after a weekend at Aberdour Castle putting on a re-enactment show with The Historic Saltire Society. I’ve been doing this for 13 years, John for 16 and the wee ones all their lives.

This morning I asked Fi how she was feeling when she slipped into our bed with her sleepy morning not quite awake head after a hot sweaty hard worked show. You know what she said? Loved!

So, the aches, the sunburn, the smelly feet pale into insignificance besides that one word. Loved.

That’s what re-enactment with our group is for her. Her whole life has been spent knowing so many of these wonderful, creative, hard working people, they have kept her safe during shows, they have fed her, entertained her, comforted her, protected her, supported her, teased her and loved her every summer since she was born.

This weekend we welcomed new people into our group she made new friends and had more new experiences.

John-Hamish too – New friends to entertain with his stories of Greek mythology, his ability to talk to members of the public and share his knowledge of weapons and armour saw several rounds of applause and we see his kindness and his talent for connecting with people and making friends shine through. He doesn’t much like the tidying up though but, like Fi, he has been around these lovely folk all his life. When he gets told to do something by Jamie or Nick he jumps to it (ish).

Our group is not perfect – we don’t all get on ALL the time, like any close knit group we have some who like to do their own thing, some who are the life and soul of the campfire evenings, some who arrive early and leave last and some who can only come for a day. We have optimists and pessimists, procrastinators and short tempers, we have open immediately friendly people and those who it takes a bit longer to get to know. We fall out… over plans for the group, over authenticity, over history, over who’s doing what but rarely do we see a true and lasting unpleasantness. Sometimes we have people who come along, join in and don’t think it’s for them, maybe we can be cliquey, maybe we can be a bit overwhelming, maybe they just think we are weird but you know something, all this blogging about the difficulties of the political strife we are living through, means that life can sometimes feel a bit bleak. Work is hard, uni is hard, activism is hard, sometimes it feels relentless. Being amongst this group of people from all sorts of backgrounds, different nationalities, different abilities, different hopes and dreams, walking around in bare feet on grass in a wimple and a sun hat soothed my soul this weekend and left my children feeling loved.

I’ll take that!


The only show in town

So….. Brexit

Time marches on, and we are

Seeing some quite startling developments in the battle which is Brexit. I can’t promise this isn’t going to be a lengthy post – I should write more often but to be honest it can quite spoil my day to focus on this utter pile of shit so I don’t.

Let’s see – where to start?

Labour? With its carry on over anti semitism, continuing confusion about its Brexit position and promises from Richard Leonard that Scotland will get further powers with a Corbyn Government, despite refusing point blank at every FMQs to support calls for welfare and other powers to be devolved – that’ll be someday, one day, never. Labour is as effective at opposing the Government as Canute was at stopping the tides.

How about the Libdems? It’s got to be the least interesting leadership contest in the world – and that’s the most interesting thing you can say about it so…. meh.

What about ChangeUK? Who?

Well, the Brexit Party then – well, they are busy appointing Brexit Party candidates for a potential General Election but they aren’t announcing any names just showing us a few faces. Seems like it’s a couple of Rochdale councillors and a few ex members of the old RCP – the Revolutionary Communist Party – I know! I don’t have the knowledge or the time to explore the whys and wherefores of the way that the RCP has joined with the Brexit party but it sounds more interesting than the Libdems leadership contest at least! It’s on the list!

So to the headline act- the Tories! And unfortunately they remain the headline act for all the wrong reasons. And all the wrong reasons are Boris Johnson.

Despite a pretty awful performance in the tv debates, despite police visits to the flat he shares and unsettling reports of a loud and alarming fight with his partner, despite failing to stand up for a well respected and experienced diplomat, despite

Lies, half truths and bluster and bombast, Boris remains the darling of the deluded.

Apparently Boris is the one to deliver Brexit by October 31st

Boris is the one to strike the best trade deal with the US.

Boris is the one to unite the United Kingdom

Boris is the one – the only one – the one and only – the next British Prime Minister.

But in this rush to paint him as our greatest hope they have ignored that he is also the one who has created the situation where a previous Conservative prime minister has promised to take him to court if he tries to prorogue Parliament.

They are also ignoring the lies told to Secure a Brexit victory that no one – including him – knew what to do with once they got it. And ignoring the fact that as the worst Foreign Secretary we have ever had he has left a woman languishing in an Iranian jail, a husband missing his wife, a child missing their mother.

But none of that matters. The illusion of Boris as Britannia Unchained persuades the very few that will vote for the next Prime Minister that he is the answer and the rest of us recognise that we are fucked.

Meanwhile in Scotland, we watch the antics in Westminster with increasing incredulity. Even the normally buoyant Ruth Davidson must be thanking everything she can that Parliament is in recess – imagine facing FMQs with all this going on.

We have been told by Boris (and Jeremy Hunt although no one really cares what he says) that no way, no how, never are we getting a second Independence referendum. That we have to suck it up and do as we are told. Theresa May is sending Lord Andrew Dunlop to “strengthen the Union”. Anyone who thinks that is not code for “stopping Holyrood” is kidding themselves.

Contrast this review by an unelected Peer of the realm – the supposed architect of Thatcher’s Poll Tax – with the Scottish Government’s Citizen Assemblies, an opportunity for ordinary people to have their say about the sort of Scotland we want – in or out of the UK or the EU. No surprise that the Tories don’t want to hear from ordinary people and would rather hear from someone like Dunlop. Privileged and wealthy and has not lived in Scotland for years.

The SG is busy building the foundations for a more inclusive fairer society – giving the vote to everyone who lives here, mitigating Tory policies, fighting for an endless queue of individuals at risk of draconian immigration policies like Lizanne Zietsman, running a business, contributing to our community on the Isle of Arran who is threatened with deportation this week. It is hard to watch these human dramas playing out whilst Boris and the Tories play their elitist gambling games with Britain’s Future.

Remember them when we are faced with our choice for an Independent Scotland.


Isn’t it Ironic

So Brexit

2019 is going to be remembered surely as the summer when irony died. Threw itself on a funeral pyre because it cannot survive in a world where people ignore it and fail to recognise it.

Yesterday Ann Widdecombe,compared the UK leaving the EU to the emancipation of slaves, she clothed Great Britain in the metaphor of “the oppressed” and placed the EU as the great oppressors, she spoke about colonies freeing themselves from the empires which colonised them with a complete absence of self awareness as after all, Britain was the oppressor, the colonial power, the owner of slaves, the feudal power crushing the peasants. Some would argue that the rise in poverty, the policies of Universal Credit and PIP rollout mean they still are continuing the whole “oppress the poor” elitist policies and it’s hard to argue that they are wrong.

The same happened with Question Time last night. If you ever want to see the difference between Scotland and England’s politics, society, attitudes, you just need to watch an episode of Question Time from somewhere in England. Last night we heard complaints about the undemocratic nature of the EU and the way it elects it’s senior positions. The plaintive cry of “we don’t get a vote” rang out, From people living in a country where our next Prime minister is being decided by about 130 000 Tory members. The phrase “unelected” was used again and again. By people living in a country where our complete second chamber is made up of unelected Peers. Its like a parallel universe, like we have completely forgotten our own political processes as they happen under our noses! We seem to have our fingers in our ears whilst singing lalalalalaaaaa.

Meanwhile in Scotland, We saw Theresa May arrive to plea for the future of the union. A union which she has put at risk through her party’s refusal to recognise that Brexit does not work for Scotland. She complained that the SNP did not negotiate in good faith. She who’s Government has ignored Scotland at every level since the Brexit Vote of 2016. Let’s remind ourself of these shall we?

The Scottish Government our forward compromise proposals – ignored

The Scottish Government called for our needs on migration to be recognised – ignored

The SG highlighted ways our economy would suffer with Brexit and called for recognition of that – ignored.

The Scottish Parliament voted for a refusal of legislative consent for the EU withdrawal bill – ignored

And outwith Brexit – calls for powers over fracking, over drug policy, over welfare to be devolved have been ignored too.

The Brexit Deal which is over 500 pages long doesn’t mention Scotland once – ignored.

And as we wait to see what Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have to say in Perth today, I’m stirring the embers of that funeral pyre for more irony kindling to come our way. We are likely to hear the candidates speaking to the few who will choose and showing they are committed to refusing to allow Scotland a second referendum on independence,a policy voted for by the Scottish Parliament, by the people of Scotland who elected an independence supporting majority and which has been underlined by electoral success for the party campaigning for independence. But hey – it’s the EU that are undemocratic.


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