Why most Scots won’t support England

Another World Cup is nearly over which means for Scots (as well as the Welsh and Northern Irish) don’t have to put up with being told by people (who all seem to only pay attention to football every major tournament) who elect themselves arbiters who what people should do in relation to supporting football teams. This time though it has been totally unbearable in Scotland as media commentators trip over themselves to display how glorious they are by saying they’ll support England. Take this nonsense from Stephen Daisley as an example of this.

This is of course an example of the cringe; but before the Anyone But England argument comes from England fans hurt that not everyone will support England, especially people from the three countries of the UK used to be downgraded, insulted and ignored (If you’ve you’ve ever called the UK ‘England’ then you’re a dick) but this isn’t about hating the English, but the bullying, sometimes patronisingly smug attitude that places England at the centre of the galaxy.

It boils down to not supporting your biggest, and oldest rivals (Scotland/England is the oldest rivalry in football) so Celtic fans won’t support ‘Rangers’, Spurs won’t support Arsenal, Man City won’t support Man Utd, and on. If you then say ‘ah, but we’d support our nearest neighbours’ then I ask you how many English folk will be supporting France tomorrow in the World Cup Final?

But really it’s the entitlement and the way that England transforms into a place where if you’re not from England, it becomes deeply unwelcoming and in the case of this week, dismissive and insultingly so of opposition. Roy Keane hit the nail on the head.

Yet this year England had a likeable, decent man as manager and players who never seemed as arrogant or entitled as previous teams. Gareth Southgate represents the more civic side of England you rarely see these days, especially since Brexit, and England’s ethnically and culturally diverse team is a step in the right direction. Imagine had Sam Allardyce dragged a team to this World Cup. It’d be like Nigel Farage’s wet dream.

So good luck to England in the third place playoff. You’re learning but you need to remember it isn’t always about you so come on Belgium!

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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.

Solidarity for Scotland

After Wednesday’s extraordinary events where the SNP walked out of PMQ’s, we have a situation where yet again in a matter of days everything that seemed fixed and certain is nothing of the kind. The walk-out is international news as well as the talk of buses, workplaces and every corner of Scotland and the UK, while Yes groups are reporting boosts in membership to go along with the SNP reporting a sharp increase in new members since yesterday afternoon. People now know the Tories plan to grab powers devolved to Scotland and the walk-out did more to raise the issue than anything else has so hopefully this don’t give a fuck attitude carries on.

We even have Murray Foote, the originator of the infamous ‘Vow’ in 2014 coming out now in support of independence. Not just supporting efforts to protect devolution, but actual independence.

Basically if the man who helped win it for the UK government and the establishment in 2014 goes ”fuck this, give me a Saltire, Indy now!’then we’re at the point where anything is possible.

But before we all get ahead of ourselves let’s remember that although the Tories are against the ropes, they still have the entire UK establishment (and other useful idiots) supporting them, and the Union. Then there’s Labour eternal promise of jam tomorrow which, for now, has the supposed ”radical left” (though I don’t see anything radical about Labour supporting a system designed to create poverty and inequality) still making doe eyes at it in the hope that it’ll work out. Support needs to be won but right now it does seem like the tide has turned and maybe, just maybe we may find ourselves getting out of the mess we’re in.

So caution for now, but a wee bit of positivity is allowed.

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.

The World Cup moral dilemma

It’s less than a week til the World Cup starts. Normally I’m dripping with schoolboyish glee in anticipation but the World Cup this year is in Russia; a state deeply corrupt, racist, homophobic and is supporting multiple dodgy regimes around the world.

But it is the World Cup.

Do I want to watch something that’ll help boost Putin’s ego?

It’s the World Cup.

As a lefty type do I sit there with gritted teeth?

It’s the World Cup.

So I’m going to bite my tongue, grit my teeth and watch the events of Russia’s World Cup because there’s few countries who can claim complete innocence, and yes, I’m a weak hypocrite.

But it is the World Cup.

 

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.