Janey Godley’s cancellation for some pretty vile racist Tweets does not come as a massive shock. She made her name through edgy humour, and although over the last few years she’s tried pandering to her new more middle-class audience, not to mention figures high in the Scottish government but you can’t be a mate of government and an edgy comic at the same time. It was clear that Godley was trying to reshape herself by quoting things she clearly didn’t believe but would see her in good stead with government, but you can’t hide from your past online and that came back to hurt her.
Yet this isn’t really her fault. Whoever authorised her to be the face of a government campaign and paid her £12k (which somewhat takes the piss out of anyone’s progressive credentials to cash in on the public purse during a pandemic)should have been soundly bollocked but I doubt they will.
And I also dismay of the feral packs who hounded her to cancellation, even though she’d indulge in the same herself sometimes with people who were not abusive Rangers fans, but political opponents to the SNP for I assume, a few brownie points. Here’s the thing about cancellation; these packs will turn on anyone and find anyone. I remember seeing one Tweet when Lindsay Ellis was cancelled that said ‘they didn’t care’ about the facts but that they’d now got the chance to go after someone and effectively try to destroy their life. Which is the problem with cancellation; it never stops. One day you’re the head of the pack and the next the pack is savaging you.
Godley’s mistake was to ignore this fact and because of that she’s suffered a public shaming which ultimately, is the entire point of this thing. It’s medieval, cruel and needless, and unless we find ways to curtail it we’re all fucked.
Seven years ago today millions of people woke up to a future tied to the British state, but yet that first weekend contained some hope that maybe soon, there’d be another referendum especially with the lurking spectre of Brexit then only a vague possibility. The Yes movement was pretty united, and a new media grew along with new media voices and hope was not lost. Sure, things would be tough but this was a fight we’d win!
And here we are in 2021 probably further away than that weekend seven years ago. Brexit has happened, with Scotland ripped out of the EU against its wishes, yet all the promises from the SNP about ‘protecting Scotland’ and how a referendum would take place just after the UK exits was shown to be bullshit with a vague promise now putting a second referendum in 2023 even though absolutely zero work is being done on building the case for independence. That post-referendum unity is gone, the new media is all over the place, many of the new media voices have taken the mainstream grift of the previous generations and become part of the establishment. Nicola Sturgeon now gives lip servide to independence but it is clear she’s a gradualist, so it isn’t really a prioroty, nor is much which will transform the lives of people trapped in poverty. Everything now points to a status quo where the SNP/Greens speak out strongly in support of independence without having propelled the cause any further.
The thought seven years ago to be here, with the Yes Movement openly mocking other aspects of the movement with some supposed Yessers in the SNP clearly not bothered about independence. The power has ensured for many it’s entirely comfortable to keep things as they are. As said, the independence movement spawned many a grifter of many a scale.
So seven years later we’re in a awful situation. Brexit is hurting badly and there’s still worst to come once we come out of the pandemic. There’s a Tory government in Westminster stretching ahead at least another decade, any lasting social change will be for the worst and the Scottish government is stuck in a rut tweaking the edges at best, deliberately ignoring it at worst for other projects which aren’t going to change Scotland’s long-term issues and the worst of it is we don’t have anywhere to go in order to politically change things.
It’s a horrible thing but we were really in a better place seven years ago and again, I hope I’m wrong.
Comedian and gamer, Limmy claimed that Edinburgh isn’t really Scotland to the wailing cries of media types across Scotland and the UK.
He is of course ripping the piss (and so many took it seriously much to I assume, his delight) but he’s got a point. Edinburgh isn’t Scotland, or at least what most people outwith of Scotland think of as the city. It’s a theme park for tourists, just as large parts of London are, or New York or any major world city, the difference with Edinburgh is it’s such a tale of two cities as one of the shortbread tin version of Scotland sold to the world, and the other is a city and people struggling to keep up with being priced out of their own city by incomers pushing up prices.
And he’s right, you want to experience Scotland, don’t go to Edinburgh, don’t come to the nice parts of Glasgow, but go to the parts off the tourist trails where might see how most people live, and how they struggle. Sometimes that struggle is because of the gentrification thrown up upon them as this is the problem with coming to live in what you see as an authentic area. Once the incomes move in that area changes and rarely for the best.
But come to Scotland. Say hello to Nessie as well.
Here in Scotland some actual major political news as the SNP and Greens kinda, sorta, get into a coalitionish, but not one. where the Greens have to abide with government policy except the two MSP’s who are now part of the government. Regards of the details the fact is we have a new coalition government which is sending Unionists crying into the sky in anger so for Indy supporters, and people who want a better Scotland this should make us happy yet doubts are in my head.
For one there’s no commitment to starting a second referendum campaign now, but sometime in the next five years which frankly is fucking taking the piss when Brexit has kicked in and the results of that are digging in now. People can’t wait five years, probably longer when we’ve had five years for the SNP to make plans when they’ve fought two elections off the back of protecting Scotland from Brexit. There’s plenty of focus on identity politics which ticks nice middle class boxes but it doesn’t help deprivation or poverty but there are positive signs such as bringing in rent controls which will very much aid people in poverty.
So for now I remain cautious with some optomism but this glacial move towards independence when there’s been five whole years to plan (and yes, I understand Covid plays a part in this delay but it doesn’t stop plans being made) does not help inprove the lives of millions trapped in the decisions of a Westminster government completely lacking morals or sanity which is hell bent on making lives worse for most people to improve the lives of a few.
This Friday Scotland play England in the delayed Euro 2020 and if you watch ITV or BBC you’d get the impression that the only team people want to know about is the English team. IN fact even when other teams are playing at some point, England will be brought up and that fucking Gazza goal in Euro 96, but let’s remember the summer of 1977 and when an English goalkeeper was made to look stupid by a Scotland player.
It’s the delayed Euros and Glasgow is shaping up with the fanzone in George Square and the impending sense of doom as Scotland face our first tournament in 23 years (for the men, the women qualified a few years back) with some sense of optomism. Of course most people are prepared for things to fuck up because that would be the most Scottish thing our mens team can do.
But let us revel in this pre-tournament phase of joy and enjoy the fun of this before the usual glorious failure of a Scotland campaign…
The Scottish election was won by pro-independence parties in the shape of the SNP and the Greens. True, the SNP failed to get a majority by itself but the Holyrood sysyem isn’t designed for single parties to win majorities, so this result is what was expected to happen but the narrative a second independence referendum hinged purely on a SNP majority started early.
There was never a tight contest. This was a lie but it is now the mainsteam UK narrative as the sheer, blind unthinking fear of Scotland becoming independent has been unleashed the last few days with even the eldtritch horror of Gordon Brown stomping around giving the same statements we’ve heard for ages.
The fact is an independence referendum is a long, long way away. The earliest we’re looking at is 2023, realistically 2024 as the SNP have said they’re fine with letting the Covid recovery happen, then putting together a bill, then waiting for the electoral commision to agree on the terms of the vote, including the question then give at least 6 months time to campaign and we’re looking some time just before the next Westminster election. This assumes as well of course there’s little legal action as the UK government are likely to dig in hard so we could see a second referendum going beyong autumn 2024.
Yet even so there is a blind panic because the Unionist side know that there’s 20-30% of the electorate who are ‘soft’ no voters last time who are more open potentially to voting yes this time, plus the demographic is changing as older no voters pass away and younger voters come through who are likely to vote yes. A good campaign for independence and a bad one for the Union means Scotland leaves the UK to stew in the forthcoming insanity of the Tories running riot so for now expect to see delaying tactics pushing this vote back til the next Westminster election, and beyond.
Basically we’re in a big, bloody mess and it’ll take a hard push to get where we need to go just as the post Covid world begins to shape around us and the reality of Brexit kicks in for most people.
Being a political geek this year’s Scottish election campaign should fill me with excitement but with days to go I have to say this campaign is one of the worst campaigns I’ve seen in any election which speaks out as to how awful the thing is. Part of the problem lies with the opposition parties who haven’t a dash of vision or opportunity between them, but the SNP, as well as the Greens have also fought a frankly rubbish campaign in what is a vitally important election for Scotland and one which should beckon independence but won’t.
This election should be about not just the right of the people of Scotland to hold an independence referendum when they want, but also about holding to account the government as well as the opposition, but instead, it’s become a tiresome slanging match with Tories slanging SNP, SNP slanging Alba (Alex Salmond’s pro-independence party) with Labour’s dreary ‘hey guys let’s stop fighting but not really‘ approach. There is also a paucity of ideas not helped by the inter-party squabbles of some SNP and Alba supporters. I feel sorry for my fellow countrypeople in this vote trying to make their mind up.
As for myself I don’t think the SNP will use yet another mandate to fight for independence, far too much for them to lose, plus the Greens are happy in their current relationship so another indy supporting party isn’t a bad idea and indeed, many of those piously attacking Alba now were fully supportive of RISE (another attempt at an indy supporting party) last time around. As it stands my main vote will go to the SNP because there’s a very good candidate to vote for, but my list vote is up for grabs as voting SNP on the list is a waste in Glasgow, voting Green means supporting some policies I strongly disagree with, and Alba is a whole can of worms, so either I’ll hold my nose and vote for one of them or leave my list vote blank. This is not how it should be days before the most important Scottish election in my lifetime when we should be pushing hard for independence before Boris Johnson and the Tories strip devolution apart while further destroying people’s lives.
Nicola Sturgeon today sat for eight hours being questioned by a mainly hostile comittee about whether she basically lied in the case of her predecessor Alex Salmond. The case is complex if you’re not an expert in constitutional law. Basically it’s a big old mess and it’s not going to get any clearer after today thanks to especially Jackie Ballie who asked not one sensible question and seemed more interested in pushing a personal issue than actually getting to the truth of the matter which may actually bring Sturgeon down, had Ballie been of course smart enough to realise this.
There’s a lot to digest but all that will happen is today’s questioning will reinforce opinions of those with an already set out position. So pro Sturgeon supporters will dig in, anti Sturgeon types will dig in and although there may be people who seeing the First Minister so relentlessly questioned for so long (imagine for a second Boris Johnson putting himself through that level of scrutiny? Nah, me neither) will even come out in support. But the truth will be lost and there does seem to be questions to still be answered however all that’ll happen after today is positions will be hardened and to most, this will boil over.
It does speak of the dreadful position of our MSP’s that most of them aren’t able to put their own positions aside and stick to their remit, and it does suggest the list system is in dire need of a revamp with time limits being imposed as right now MSP’s can ride to the top of their list and never actually be directly elected. That needs to change so a say, two term time limit is in order. It’ll lose the odd good MSP in the shape of Andy Wrightman who has been a massive asset to Scottish politics, but it’ll clear a lot of rubbish out so hopefully we get better overall MSP’s.
Midnight tonight the city of Glasgow goes back into lockdown, except for me who have now been classed by my employer as an ‘esssential worker’ so I get to larp as Charlton Heston in the Omega Man going through deserted streets for the next fortnight.
Truth is I expect the lockdown to last longer as frankly, too many arseholes are ignoring the rules but they tend to be the first complaining loudly, but here we are again but in the cold, damp darkness that is a Glasgow winter as opposed to spring/summer. This time it could push people over the edge as after all, we were never designed to be this antisocial as a species and as Covid-19 loves people, it means Christmas could be cancelled for a lot of people this year. It could be bleak this winter indeed.
But I’m somehow promoted to a ‘key worker’ so clap for me…