The not so magnificent seven

The not so magnificent seven

Well it finally happened. There have been rumours of impending splits for weeks, the only uncertainty was whether it was Labour or the Conservatives which would break first. Now we know, Labour broke itself. In the UK we don’t have a political system, we have an ego massage for no...

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A journey through “Yr Hen Ogledd”, old loyalties and new horizons

A journey through “Yr Hen Ogledd”, old loyalties and new horizons

A guest post by Aled Gwyn Jôb In just under a month’s time, thousands of Welsh rugby fans will be making the journey up north to Edinburgh to follow the national team. The “Scottish Trip” has always been THE rugby trip for Welsh fans based on the great rapport and...

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The alarm clock is ringing

The alarm clock is ringing

The weekend was marked by the idiocies of Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary who decided to commission a ferry service from a company which had less experience in ferries than a pizza delivery guy who occasionally goes to Rothesay on holiday.

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BBC Question Time’s definition of balance

BBC Question Time’s definition of balance

I wasn’t planning to write a blog piece today, because Friday is the day that the Dugcast is released, but the farce that is BBC Question Time cannot pass unremarked. The programme is, frankly, a disgrace.

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Wee Ginger Dugcast with Anne McLaughlin

Wee Ginger Dugcast with Anne McLaughlin

In this edition of the Dugcast, Callum Baird, the Dug, and I are joined by Anne McLaughlin, the former MP for Glasgow North East. This week we chat about Brexit, Angus Robertson’s new initiative Progress Scotland, and of course that episode of BBC Question Time.

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Mistaking incompetence for sincerity

Mistaking incompetence for sincerity

Well if you were counting on the Labour party to save us all from a Tory Brexit, think again. Jeremy Corbyn has written to Theresa May to lay out his terms for supporting her deal.

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Brexit: Plan, Eh?

Brexit: Plan, Eh?

The Prime Minister is like one of those antibiotic resistant bacteria. The closest thing that she has to a political principle is MSRA. It doesn’t matter what countermeasures you throw at it, it’s still there, giving you stomach cramps and nausea.

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The crazy you get when opinion becomes fact

The crazy you get when opinion becomes fact

Brexit has been pretty much defined by batshit insanity, but this week has seen a development that is way out there in the far reaches of gibberage even by the standards of a campaign which hails Jacob Rees Mogg and Boris Johnson as heroes.

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The two pronged approach

The two pronged approach

Over the weekend the SNP’s former Westminster leader Angus Robertson announced the launch of a new think tank, Progress Scotland, which aims to build the case for independence by examining the arguments most persuasive to those who previously voted No.

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Three good reasons

Three good reasons

So we know now that the Queen is going to be safe after Brexit. Isn’t that nice. It’s just a shame that the rest of us are going to be royally screwed. Contingency plans are in place to evacuate the Royals in the event of civil unrest after Brexit. I...

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The Wee Ginger Dugcast : with James Dornan

The Wee Ginger Dugcast : with James Dornan

This week’s special guest on the dugcast is Glasgow MSP James Dornan. We chat about Brexit, the week in Holyrood and the Scottish budget, and of course the broken union and a future indy ref. You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation.

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Budgeting for stupid

Budgeting for stupid

A deal has been struck between the SNP minority administration and the Scottish Greens to get the budget passed. Some SNP supporters had criticised the Greens for not immediately signing up to the budget but insisting on some compromises that they can accept as the price for their votes. It’s...

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That EU reply in full

That EU reply in full

Can we renegotiate the Irish backstop? The EU’s reply in full. не ne ne nej nee no ei ei non nein όχι nem ní féidir leibh no nē ne le nie não nu nie ne no nej Both Jean Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier have now officially responded to the...

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The red white and blue unicorn tattoo

The red white and blue unicorn tattoo

Writing in his memoirs the French wartime leader Charles De Gaulle said about la perfide Albion and his distrust of the British establishment which led to his refusal to permit the UK to join the EEC in the early 1960s, Pour l’Angleterre … il n’y a pas d’alliance qui tienne,...

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The English nationalist elephant in the room

The English nationalist elephant in the room

We need to talk about English nationalism. Those of us who support Scottish independence are usually wary about anything that could be perceived as “England blaming”. We get hammered so constantly and repeatedly in the media and by opponents of independence as English haters, even though many of us have...

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What happens next

What happens next

On Sunday on the Marr show, Nicola Sturgeon stated the obvious. The case for independence is not affected by legal difficulties faced by any individual. If indeed it were the case that personal legal problems had constitutional implications, then given the number of legal issues which have been faced by...

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The week in Brexit

The week in Brexit

While certain sections of the British nationalist press in Scotland have been very insistent this week that it’s all over for the independence movement, back in the real world the reasons for Scottish independence just keep getting stronger. Brexit hasn’t gone away. Scotland being sidelined and ignored hasn’t gone away....

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The Wee Ginger Dugcast : with Mhairi Black

The Wee Ginger Dugcast : with Mhairi Black

Welcome to the latest edition of the Wee Ginger Dugcast brought to you by The National newspaper. In this week’s episode we have a very special guest, Mhairi Black. Mhairi joins us to chat about independence, the craziness of Westminster, and Brexit. Of course, the only reason she agreed to...

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The flame of hope burns bright in the storm

The flame of hope burns bright in the storm

Back in September 2014, on the day after the defeat of the Yes campaign in the referendum, I wrote about the importance of keeping the flame of hope alive during the storms and gales that were about to strike. The arrest of Alex Salmond on fourteen separate charges including breach...

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The proud Scot butters nae neeps

The proud Scot butters nae neeps

So how’s that respect agenda working out for everyone? Remember that? Respect was supposed to be the keystone in Conservative dealings with Scotland, according to David Cameron before he won the award for worst Prime Minister ever and then flounced off to his garden shed. But it’s not all bad,...

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Lost and silenced in the dreamscape

Lost and silenced in the dreamscape

What is wrong with Britain? Let me list the ways. Mind you, if anyone embarked upon a serious and detailed accounting of the myriad ways in which the British state is a fundamental screw up, they’d still be listing them by the time that the Sun runs out of hydrogen...

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Living in a 1970s concept album

Living in a 1970s concept album

Meet the new plan, the same as the old plan. Even though the Prime Minister has been utterly humiliated, she keeps going on. Theresa is missing the shame gene. It is now clear that Theresa May is giving the UK a lesson in masochism. It’s about the only sense in...

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The temple of doom

The temple of doom

It’s being reported today (Sunday) that the British Government finds it “extremely concerning” that MPs are trying to delay Article 50 in order to avoid a no deal. It’s a bit like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull when our hero and his chums...

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The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast : Jan 18

The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast : Jan 18

The second edition of The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast featuring yours truly and Callum Baird, editor of The National. This week we discuss the events in Westminster and the growing impetus for Scotland to have a say on its future. And we also talk about the dog’s bollocks. As you...

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The Ice Queen’s sandcastle

The Ice Queen’s sandcastle

After the devastating defeat of the government’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, came Wednesday’s vote of confidence called by Jeremy Corbyn. As expected, those Tories who voted down the central policy of their own government yesterday lined up to support it today. They might hate Theresa May’s deal, but they hate...

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The great defeat

The great defeat

After delays, prevarications, and attempts to sideline Parliament, Theresa May finally put her deal to the House of Commons on Tuesday. Theresa May never wanted this vote. She wanted to ram her deal through Parliament without any vote at all. Today we discovered just why she was so reluctant to...

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The Great British Pseudocracy

The Great British Pseudocracy

Theresa May is currently engaged in a competition with Donald Trump to see which of the two of them can get away with the most lies. If she is in a competition with Trump, she’s narrowly in the lead. It’s the only plausible explanation for the Prime Minister’s curious lack...

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Scenting blood

Scenting blood

The Scottish media pack has got itself a bone, and it’s going to chew it. And chew it. Lost amonst the vast tundra-like acreage of the Scottish media’s coverage of Alex Salmond, there was an article this week entitled Alex Salmond Is Looking For Blood. And I thought to myself,...

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The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast

The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast

Every Friday I’ll now be doing a podcast for The National which will be published on the newspaper’s site, and which I’ll also be sharing here. So now instead of reading my rants, you’ll get to hear my not-so-dulcet tones every Friday. You can help to support this blog with...

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An Atlas of Opportunity, putting Scotland at the centre of the map

An Atlas of Opportunity, putting Scotland at the centre of the map

A review copy of a book was delivered when I was away visiting my husband in the USA over Christmas and the New Year. Unfortunately I didn’t get it sooner, as it would have been ideal for readers to purchase as a Christmas present.

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Sock washing and constitutional crises

Sock washing and constitutional crises

So you finally get around to doing the pile of washing that’s been staring at you in the dirty clothes basket since you got back from your holidays, you make a proper dent on the housework, go to the supermarket, all those wee chores that you’ve been putting off, and...

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The problem with Holyrood

The problem with Holyrood

This year the Scottish Parliament becomes 20 years old. For the past 20 years Scotland has had a forum to express its national will, we have seen a parliament restored to our capital city and for the first time in the history of this ancient nation the people have enjoyed...

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The year of the making of Scotland

The year of the making of Scotland

Many thanks to Sam for looking after the blog while I was away. Like the British political establishment, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks avoiding work and responsibilities. I went off to the USA to spend Christmas and the New Year with my husband in Connecticut and had a...

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A two-way street

A two-way street

A guest post by Samuel Miller Respect (Noun) 1. a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. 2. due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others. 3. a particular aspect, point, or detail. Lot of talk of respect doing the...

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Twas the night before

Twas the night before

A guest post by Samuel Miller Righto. I’ve got the same artisanal baps on order that we had last year and Mrs M. will be making what is probably the world’s most potent (lethal) brandy butter to hide the taste of the shops own Crimbo pud. The turkey (small budgie)...

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Breaking up isn’t always hard to do

Breaking up isn’t always hard to do

Opponents of independence have got a new argument against independence. It’s not much of an argument, but then the British establishment is increasingly clutching at ever more desperate straws. The argument goes that Brexit has shown how difficult it is to leave a union, and therefore Scottish independence is likely...

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Stupid is as stupid does

Stupid is as stupid does

The British government unveiled its new immigration policy today, and as we’ve come to expect from this government it’s petty, cruel, restrictive and nasty. EU citizens will in the future have to earn over £30,000 a year in order to apply for residency in the UK. What the government didn’t...

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The definition of tyranny

The definition of tyranny

Despite the fact that it is clear to everyone that there is no support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal in Parliament, the Prime Minister blindly and stubbornly refuses to countenance any alternatives. We have a Prime Minister who heads a government which has, at every turn, attempted to block the...

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The unwitting midwives of independence

The unwitting midwives of independence

Do you know your place yet Scottish people? The media and the Tories would like you to believe that the Scottish government was slapped down by the UK Supreme Court this week. The Court struck down important parts of the Scottish Government’s EU Continuity Bill, passed with the support of...

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That’s a fine forfochten fanklefyke the Tories have got us into

That’s a fine forfochten fanklefyke the Tories have got us into

Yesterday the story could have been Labour’s to tell. Jeremy Corbyn could have stamped the Labour party’s mark on Brexit and alongside the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, and the Greens he could have brought forward a motion of no confidence in the government and shown that there is...

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Knowing our place

Knowing our place

According to the BBC political editor Nick Watt, a senior Conservative spoke to him about his frustration at the way Brexit has been going. What this Tory grandee was specifically upset about was the amount of power and influence that Dublin has had in the Brexit negotiations. Dublin has been...

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A bit of a corbyn

A bit of a corbyn

So does anyone know what’s going on? Nope. Me neither. There are just 63 working days left for Parliament before the Brexit clock runs out, and British politics isn’t just broken, it’s been reduced to its constituent atoms, sucked into a black hole, and squeezed out the other end into...

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Trapped between vampires and a flapping plastic bag

Trapped between vampires and a flapping plastic bag

It was St Andrew’s Day last week. According to East European tradition, vampires are most active around the time of St Andrew’s Day, and there was indeed a confirmed sighting of one in a leather factory near Bridge of Weir just before St Andrew’s Day. Although only very briefly. Not...

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The fart of the deal

The fart of the deal

Today, Thursday, there was a cabinet meeting that the cabinet office assured Sky News wasn’t a cabinet meeting. There was the usual carcrash of Conservatives pitching up at Number 10. Liam Fox was there, looming like bit player actor auditioning for the part of Lurch in the Addams Family. Andrea...

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Three strikes but she’s not out, yet.

Three strikes but she’s not out, yet.

It’s been one of those days when you start writing an article, and by the time you get to the end of the sentence there’s been some other significant development in the catastrocrash that passes for British politics. My hard drive is littered with the ruins of aborted and unworkable...

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The myth of the Union

The myth of the Union

As the UK lurches towards a Common vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, and it becomes ever more obvious that no route out of the Brexmess enjoys the support of a majority of MPs, the entire future of the UK and everyone in it is being held hostage. British politics...

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Telling Theresa the time

Telling Theresa the time

According to an article in The Times today, Theresa May will refuse to agree to any request from the Scottish government to hold another independence referendum. Well that’s a relief, because no one in Scotland has the slightest intention of requesting anything from Theresa May. Scotland will be informing Theresa...

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Thick skin in a leather factory

Thick skin in a leather factory

Theresa May appeared before the House of Commons Liaison Committee this morning to speak about her Brexit plans. Committee members were keen to ask her what her Plan B was in the likely event that her deal would not attract the support of sufficient MPs in order to pass through...

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Theresa’s listening exercise

Theresa’s listening exercise

Theresa May is on tour in what she fondly imagines to be a listening exercise, or at least what she thinks we will be fooled into thinking is a listening exercise. She’s visiting Wales and Northern Ireland in an attempt to sell her Brexit deal. Scotland is supposed to be...

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