We’ve now had two years of Brexit

Two years ago the UK, well, England mainly, voted to leave the EU and the world went mad.The vote was won with no plan, no idea of how to leave and with experts promising total collapse if we just up and leave with no deal, but hardline Brexiters from the right and the left on the morning after the vote demanded Article 50 (the procedure that kicks into motion the UK leaving the EU)invoked and the UK leaves with nothing more planned than the fact we’re leaving. Two years later this is sort of the situation we’re still in. Both the right and left of Brexit want to leave ASAP to bring about some sort of nirvana based upon their own political ideology so both push the line about ‘respecting the result’ because to veer off course now would mean they don’t get what they want.

Problem is ‘respecting the result’ means buying into the fact the referendum was built on racist lies and possible (probable?) criminality and corruption. This Bloomberg article reveals part of the problem, while the work of journalists like James Patrick and Carol Cadwalladr are exposing what is a massive perversion of democracy, not to mention people’s real concerns about being stuck in eternal austerity which has lasted a decade with no end to come.

Tens of thousands marched the streets of London at the weekend just gone protesting Brexit but with the Tories locked in a death spiral trying to put off the day when the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg gets his cold hands on the PM job, and Labour stuck in a nostalgia trip there is no way a political end to Brexit can be found. Anyhow, it’s far too late. As soon as Article 50 was invoked the UK lost any control on what will happen, apart from the ‘no deal’ option where the UK walks and carnage happens overnight. Business is making that clear with a series of warnings falling on arrogantly deaf ears. Basically the type of country you want to live in is at stake and frankly, the extremists have all the Trump cards.

We’re heading towards reality with a sickening thud. When the smoke clears and things calm down we might not like the look of where we are, what we’ve done and the irreparable damage done to people’s lives. So, I’ll be blunt. Be prepared for next year as if we do drop out with no deal and off that edge, or even just take what we’re given because we gave away any power in March 2017, we could face something people in this country haven’t faced since the early to mid 1970’s. I hope I’m wrong but unless something major happens we’re fucked.


A quick word about the Glasgow School of Art fire

Glasgow’s School of Art suffered a second devastating fire in four years last weekend which has left what’s left of the historic building facing demolition. MacIntosh’s masterpiece will probably never look as it did, even with the best restoration in the worls.

There’s going to be months of investigations as to why the School of Art suffered a second fire, and indeed, the rumour mill is in overdrive but apparently Private Eye have reported on the restoration since the 2014 fire and lack of sprinklers thanks to one or more of the trustees.

This is also the second major fire to hit Sauchiehall Street this year that’s left buildings to be demolished and a large part of the street closed while demolition takes place. Today it also became clear that the fire may not have started at the School of Art, but at the ABC/O2.

Conspiracy theories are ablaze across Glasgow but considering we’ve went from wondering how a fire could start in the School of Art to how on earth it could have started at the ABC, the best word of advice to wait to hear what the investigators say in the weeks and months ahead. It might end up being more fantastic than we can all imagine which is often the way with the truth.

Devolution in Scotland is over

At the start of the year, Scottish Secretary David Mundell promised (in as much as one can take the word of a Tory) as debate on the EU Withdrawal BIll and the return of powers from the EU to not go to Holyrood as they should, but to Westminster.

To make devolution in Scotland simple, the settlement (contained in various Scotland acts) means that what is not reserved, is devolved and Westminster can’t ‘normally’ touch anything devolved. The EU Withdrawal Bill contains a clause where that’s ripped up and they can walk all over the devolved powers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There’s a whole load of powers Westminster wants control of that would, bluntly, make life in Scotland a fuckload harder for people, and in many cases people who have a fucking hard life now as it is.

Yesterday the EU Withdrawal BIll was debated and devolution was allotted a whole 15 minutes, but that was filibusted by the Tories so devolution effectively began being dismantled but a vote took place and the chance to oppose it was laid out. Sadly only all the SNP and Plaid Cymru MP’s voted against it, with a lone Lib Dem, Caroline Lucas of the Greens and one lone Labour MP in the shape of Dennis Skinner. Labour abstained and the Tories won.

This also happened last night.

During the debate SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford asked: “Mr Speaker, what options are available to us in this house to ensure that the Government understands real concern among people in Scotland at this unprecedented power grab, and how can we make sure that our voices are heard?”

In response, an MP can be heard shouting “suicide” back at Robertson.

Today during PMQ’s, Ian Blackford, leader of the SNP in the Commons, was asked to leave by the Speaker, which prompted the entire mass of the SNP ranks to walk as one in protest, solidarity and disgust as to how they, the Scottish Government, Holyrood, the principle of devolution and indeed, the people are being held in contempt.

Yes, the walkout was a stunt but it’s a stunt that got this issue into the headlines and now more people know what’s going on, not to mention the sight of Tory MP’s (and their useful idiots on the Labour ranks) jeering and sneering at Scottish MP’s will have caused blood pressure to rise in a good number of people, and indeed, the SNP are reporting a surge in memberships today off the back of this.

I’m glad this has happened. I was getting tired of the SNP sitting around doing little, and seemingly doing little and I was getting tired of them being polite in the company of arseholes that make up the Tory benches, and although I appreciate Nicola Sturgeon’s cool head, she was in the middle of a pincer movement between Ruth Davidson’s loyalist hard right Unionism and Jeremy Corbyn’s outdated ‘socialist’ Unionism. The last few weeks there’s been positive signs of something happening to fight this power grab, and now finally we’ve got something which took bollocks but only happened after years of Scotland being repeatedly being ignored, bullied and treated like contempt.

Well, the genie is out the back now. The Tories tonight seem to be closing ranks but the question for the Lib Dems and Labour (who voted in Holyrood to fight the power grab) is where do they stand? For now this isn’t about independence (though that’s the nuclear option) but preserving the place of Scotland in the UK so does Jeremy Corbyn especially think his MP’s sitting on their hands while he pushes for a Brexit, Scotland never wanted, a good thing for a democrat and a socialist. Fact is this is the time to stick your neck out. The Scotland Act is effectively over bar the kicking and screaming, unless we all unite against the Tories but I fear this won’t happen so next up will be using the mandate for a second referendum because bluntly, the UK can go fuck itself.

Another example of Ruth Davidson’s Tories racism…

The other day at First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood, the case of Denzel Darku,was raised by Labour’s Neil Bibby. Darku has lived in Scotland since he was 14, and was part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremonies. Immigration is reserved to Westminster, so the First Minister could only express her repulsion at the Tories ongoing deportation program. The question and answer is in the video below and listen carefully.

That’ll be the sound of Ruth Davidson sitting on her hands saying nothing as her MSP’s shout ‘send him home’. Now, for people outwith of Scotland, Davidson is seen as a ‘soft Conservative’ and a centrist. A sort of great white hope against the extreme populism unleashed by Brexit or Corbynism, as well as being a protector of the British state.

Truth is Davidson is a liar. who has consistently shown herself to be perfectly happy surrounded by racists and bigots, while defending things like the rape clause and other extreme Tory policies. She’s also guilty of having her own career ahead of any principles she may have, so we have Arlene Foster coming to Scotland to head up an Orange Walk; an act so inflammatory and dripping with contempt that it’s being condemned by all apart from Ruth Davidson who as a lesbian is exactly the sort of person the Orange Order and their followers would normally despise, but as Davidson is first and foremost a hard right British nationalist she’s tolerated.

But some in the media are pointing out how she believes in nothing, apart from opposing a second independence referendum at the expense of all other ideas or policies. With it becoming very clear that she won’t ever be First Minister (barring a nightmareishly possible alliance with Labour as happens often in Scotland) she’s now got her sights set on something bigger. With Brexit looming Davidson sees herself as best positioned to slide into the aftermath so she can gain power, but at no point has the media (As a whole) held her to account. Davidson is a media construct just like Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees Mogg, and like those two she’s perfectly fine with hard right, extremists sitting next to her.

So remember when you see Davidson baking cakes that she’s not the smooth media personality that’s been created for her, and in fact, we could be getting someone very dangerous being placed in the centre of power.

The torment of Tommy Robinson

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, AKA ”Tommy Robinson” was imprisoned the other day after attempting to manufacture a race war by photographing people he shouldn’t during a trial. If ‘Robinson’ had done his homework and gave a fuck, he’d know this but he’s both an idiot and a martyr which makes him exceptionally dangerous when people’s critical facilities have been turned into jelly. Part of the reason for this is thanks to a concerted campaign by a mix of ethnic nationalists, neo-Nazis (or the ‘alt-right’ if you want to soft sell them) and other like-minded extremist groups (not to mention political parties aligning themselves with some or all of this in order to keep power) to change the course of Western democracies.

What’s concerning is that Robinson isn’t just someone to mock and sneer at, though having done that I can say it is fun, Robinson isn’t a Nick Griffin figure but actually seems to be the figurehead the hard/far right have been looking for.  Now the narrative of Robinson’s supporters is that poor wee Tommy was exercising his freedom of speech and the evil paedo loving state police arrested him to stop him uncovering a massive Muslamopaedophilijew conspiracy.

In reality Robinson was aware of what he was doing and as this post from The Secret Barrister makes clear, he knew that (having been warned previously) that trying to film the jury/accused. The narrative of the far-right also ignores the fact that groups like the EDL are riddled with paedophiles because for them, they want to carve a story that only Muslims, or people with different colour skin. Search Twitter or if you can stomach it, the far right forums and the idea of a race war is one that these people are positively tumescent about.

The problem is that although it’s easy enough to ignore, even mock Yaxley-Lennon and his followers, what is worrying is how his extreme views bleed into society so we have an openly racist UK government led by Theresa May deporting people because of their place of birth and ethnicity. We’ve got Ruth Davidson here in Scotland getting where she has by courting extremism while Donald Trump and his children cheer on racists and bigots from the safety of a computer screen so we’ve go extremism on the rise and that’s what scum like Robinson is looking to cash in on.

So as Yaxley-Lennon looks to prison to hopefully suffer, it is down to us to not just make it clear why he’s been sent down to counter the lies being spread, but make it clear that we’re not going to let the bastards win.

Is it okay to call Tories ‘scum’?

Ross Thompson is a Tory MP who has taken offence at a banner displayed during last weekend’s march in support for Scottish independence.

A swathe of Tories (and sadly, some in Labour leaping to back them up because this is Scotland) ranging from Ruth Davidson to lowly councillors and Tory supporters leaping in claiming the use of the word ‘scum’ in relation to the Tories was anything ranging from discrimination to a sign of how awful and appalling independence supporters are.

Now if we look at what the Tories do we can judge them; so anything from the ‘rape clause‘ , to the ‘racist van’, to welfare cuts that leave people considering suicide, to the demonisation of the disabled, to the failure of dealing with disasters like Grenfell, or the enforced deportations of people that came here to live from the Windrush generation onwards not to mention the eight years of austerity under the Tories which has seen poverty deepen and food banks become a norm. Then there’s the clusterfuck of Brexit.

So as much as I don’t support the ultra-nationalist group who made the banner, the idea of Tories getting offended by being called ‘scum’ when their policies are killing people or are themselves, so ultra-nationalist that they’ve adopted UKIP’s far right policies and ideas of ethnic nationalism. ‘Scum’ isn’t pretty but neither is the eight years of relentless misery the Tories have imposed upon people who in many cases can’t fight back because they’re too busy trying to survive under the conditions imposed by the Westminster government.

If you vote Tory you do so in full knowledge of what they are and what they do. If you’re offended by being called ‘scum’ then perhaps that twinge is the remnants of your conscience pointing out that these folk calling you that  have a point.

A quick word about the Alfie Evans case

I’ve had a busy April doing fun and tiring stuff so I’ve avoided real news as much as possible but watching the Alfie Evans case unfold like some modern horror story is something that has made me worried as to where we’re going in the UK in 2018. The short version of the story is the parents of Alfie wanted to try unproven treatment overseas in an attempt to keep him alive, but his condition was such that his doctors wanted only to give him palliative care to make what was left of his life as easy as possible. A long legal battle took place and that’s hit a climax this week when doctors took Alfie off life support as keeping him alive would have been causing him pain.

All in all a pretty sad case where the desperate wishes of parents meet the reality of science and the human body however the case has been used by groups who don’t especially care about Alfie, his parents or the facts of the case.Things like this for example.

And you’ve got Nigel Farage ambulance chasing for American hard/far right news programmes.

The entire story is bleak and depressing. The hard/far right mixing with Christian fundamentalists (though there’s a crossover of both here) using Alfie Evans in whatever way they want to make their case.against the NHS, the very concept of socialised healthcare and the entire principle of scientific medicine. These same people have whipped up hate against the doctors and nurses of Alder Hey hospital while making a complex debate so emotionally simplistic that instead of weighing up the arguments everything is boiled down to horrible polarity.

And in the middle of this is a small child and his parents being exploited by frankly, some utter scum. If you were to look at a single example of how awful times are today then you probably couldn’t find a better case than this.