Saturday, 23 May 2015

Anti-Scottish feeling in England may be based on shame

In a recent posting I pointed out that a lot of people in England seem to be developing an irrational fear of the Scots. As you can see from the above video that irrationality may be hilarious to watch, and it certainly provided John Harris with a chance to throw a sarcastic, contemptuous comment or two at the fuckwits he was interviewing, but this irrationality really is a one-way-street. It travels northwards over the River Tweed, but does not go south.

The vitriol that we see on the web has more to do with the desire of anonymous losers with their multiple identities to cause a stir than it does to anything else. That said, there does seem to be more of it from England directed at Scotland than the other way around. Furthermore, the Scots tend to be attacking the Tories whereas the English trolls are denigrating Scotland as a collective whole. 

At street level you do not get in Scotland the sheer nastiness that is currently being displayed by more than a few English people towards the Scots, as the video shows. To be honest, those of us who live in Scotland are rather bemused by it all, and we cannot figure out quite what we have all done to deserve this hatred.

The election campaign was not fought in Scotland based on hatred of England. In fact, England hardly featured in the debates that took place in Scotland. The fight was between Labour and the SNP over who would be better placed to take on the Tories in Westminster. The SNP won by saying that Labour's record was such that we could not trust the party not to weasel out of campaign promises made unless there was a stronger, more leftist party holding Labour to account.

The notion that the SNP secretly wanted the Tories to win is yet another myth that many in England believe. Nobody wanted that, and the polls showed that both Labour and the Tories were on neck and neck right up until election day itself. So SNP strategy really was based on having a Labour government that was reliant on the SNP to stay in power. Given that both parties are social democratic, it struck most of us as quite rational to choose the sounder party to provide stiffening for the weaker one.

I doubt if many people in Scotland even looked south to England until the day before the election. That was when the Guardian's video reproduced above went live, and when I spoke to people back home who told me about how a fear of Scotland had become an English electoral issue. Until then we just assumed that if we did our anti-Tory bit and people down south did theirs then together we could wave goodbye to Tory rule.

Making sense of this southern irrationality is next to impossible. Britain as a whole was given a serious pounding in the 1980s, but it is as if the Scots have decided, almost one and all, that they are going to have revenge for those years come what may. Conversely, far too many in England seem to take the view that they will smear lube over their own ring-pieces and then bend over for a taste of the super-sized dildo wielded by Toryism.

Could the reason for the vitriol simply be that far too many people in England are ashamed of their own cowardice, and cover it with anti-Scottish bluster?

To be honest, nothing else makes sense.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The French eagles from Waterloo on display in Edinburgh

I know what you're thinking, and I agree that I'm still a handsome devil. If you can manage to tear your gaze away from me I want you to look to the left. Those two French eagles were captured at Waterloo on the 18th June 1815 and are currently on display at the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh. One was captured by a Scottish unit and the other by English horsemen. After the battle those two magnificent symbols of British triumph were handed over to a British officer along with Wellington's dispatches and sent to London where they arrived on the 21st.

Normally the two trophies are kept in the respective capitals, but until the end of this month they can be seen side by side for the first time since 1956 when the eagle of the 45th Regiment, which was captured by a sergeant in the Scots Greys, was placed in Edinburgh.

Also on display is Napoleon's rather gaudy sugar bowl, as well as various items from the allied forces who crushed the little man's plans to dominate Europe.

A pistol that was carried by an officer in the King's German Legion, Marshal Blucher's teapot and in front of that the Duke of Wellington's ink pot. To the left is a musket ball that a Scottish officer discovered embedded in his hat after the battle and a regimental badge recovered from the field some days later.

However it is the eagles that most people linger in front of to have their photographs taken. They are potent reminders of when we were all British before England went her own way.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Roads into Scotland blocked as thousands seek sanctuary from Toryism

The refugees seeking to flee the Tory lands without braving the raging torrents of the River Tweed, are being greeted with new road signs as they reach the Scottish border. A Scottish government spokesman told the media that Scots need not worry about the cost of the new signs, since the Cameron government has already announced a vast tranche of new funding for Scotland that will all be paid for out of increased taxes raised on the hard working families in Nuneaton, Harlow and East Cheam.

The A1 is still clogged with people seeking sanctuary, with the result that the need to widen it has become pressing. Reports indicate that work will start on upgrading the road to motorway standard very soon, with thanks once again going to those hard working people in Nuneaton, Harlow and East Cheam who really do carry the weight of Britain on their overtaxed shoulders.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

How Scotland and the Sewel Convention can save British human rights

In my last posting I argued that the Tory government's flagship policy to repeal the Human Rights Act and amend the European Convention on Human Rights will probably hit the Scottish rocks. Now I want to look at the Sewel Convention which pretty much ensures that only tears lie ahead for the Tories and their wicked schemes.
The Scotland Act 1998 was steered through the House of Lords by Lord Sewel, and as part of the debate he gave an assurance that "we would expect a convention to be established that Westminster would not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish parliament."

Although never formally part of the devolution package, this Sewel Convention as it came to be known has been accepted by all governments since the act came into being in 1998. The aim was to reassure Scottish nationalists that their newly minted parliament would not be abolished, but the convention has turned out to be useful in other ways as well. For instance if Westminster passes a bill that comes within Hoyrood's remit, the Scottish legislature can then pass a motion giving consent to Westminster passing the legislation on their behalf. It frees up time in Holyrood and has come in handy on more than one occasion when the Scottish politicians want to pass the buck for a policy down the road to Westminster.

Now the Sewel Convention stands slap bang in the middle of the Tory plans to amend human rights legislation for the whole country. If the Tories persist with this legislation they are first of all going to have to overcome the Sewel Convention. Obviously the Scottish government will call in the lawyers and at the same time start screaming that the wicked Tories are out to renege on the whole devolution settlement. I doubt if that is actually the plan to be honest, but that won't stop the SNP saying it - and people believing it to be true.

The constitutional implications for all this are immense, because nobody honestly knows where the powers of Westminster end and those of Holyrood start within the context of the devolution settlement. To make matters worse, as each new tranche of powers are handed over to Edinburgh, the position becomes even murkier.

It is true that Westminster is supreme, but that supremacy operates under the law, and if one law conflicts with another then the courts have to sort out the mess.

By bringing forward legislation that was only put in the manifesto to please the readers of the Daily Mail, the Tories have created a rod for their own rumps. It is hardly Scotland's fault if they all ending up having to sit down very gingerly when this is all over.

Tory plans to abolish human rights legislation provide Scotland with an opportunity to resist

As part of their plan to mobilise the aspirational scrote vote in shitholes like Nuneaton the Tories pledged to repeal the 1998 Human Rights Act and significantly amend the United Kingdom's commitment to the European Court of Human Rights. This is something that the country has been signed up to since 1950, but your average Nuneaton Man thinks that it's all to do with wicked Brussels, but never mind that for now.

The thing is that although the 1998 act is not, as many people think, enshrined in the Scotland Act 1998 which set up Holyrood, compliance with the ECHR is a part of the act. So the only way that the Tories can alter Scotland's involvement with the ECRC is if they first amend the Scotland Act.

Stick around because it now gets even better. The Human Rights Act is what is known as a protected enactment which means that Holyrood cannot amend or repeal it, but Westminster can. However, human rights per se are a devolved matter, so if the Tories repeal the HRA they will run up against a Holyrood majority sporting for a fight and claiming that they will not enforce the new replacement for the HRA and will continue to act as if the old legislation was still in force. 

In a nutshell, it looks as if Scotland is on solid constitutional grounds if she ignores any changes to the ECHR that Westminster makes, and has a good case for arguing that the repeal of the HRA does not apply in Scotland.

Will Hollyrood get away with that? We don't know, but what we can say with total certainty is that there is enough confusion here to keep an army of lawyers busy for a hundred years or more.

The Tories have a choice: engage in an unholy row with Scotland or renege on the promise that they made to their scrote vote.

I have a feeling that the next few years are going to be fun!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Why has England suddenly developed an irrational fear of Scotland?

I try to understand the views of people south of the Union Bridge who are ranting about Scotland, I really do, but I can't get my head that far up my arsehole to make sense of any of them. I mean, I'm not only English myself, but I only moved to Edinburgh two years ago, so understanding England should be second nature to me, but I am completely lost.

The day before the election I was chatting on the 'phone to a very old friend in Manchester who wishes Scotland well and envies us our goodies. She reported that the lecturer at her Italian night school class was fearful about Labour having to rely on SNP votes in the event of a hung parliament. I laughed about that, thinking that she had the local nutter teaching her Italian, but she said very quietly that the view was not uncommon in Manchester.

Speaking to another old pal in London I heard similar stories about an irrational fear of Scottish hordes descending on London to give the city a taste of what the Soviet army had given to Berlin in 1945. He thought all this was as funny as me, and I put it all down to the fact that my mates had obviously bumped into some weird people.

The feeling that it was just a few unrepresentative tosspots giving it one with the wrist was confirmed when I called up some other old Mancunian cronies to jolly them along into voting Labour and found that they had no interest in Scotland. Fear of the Tories and further benefit cuts was all they cared about and quite rightly so.

The election results taught me which group of friends were correct in all this, and now the Herald has sent a reporter to England to write a story about the utter wankery that seems to be infecting people down there.

Some of it is good fun. Take Paul Taylor who complains: "I hate the way she (Nicola Sturgeon) says the word 'Tories'; I know she can't help the way she speaks any more than I can but I don't like her accent and I don't like the way she and her party see English people."

This is ultra bollocks, of course, because hating Tories and the class who vote Tory is as common on council estates in England as it is in Scotland. You also have to love the way he conflates "Tory" with "English people" as well.

No, it is not some Tory that I worry about, rather it's the so-called left down south. The attitude there seems to be that we have been "cynically manipulated" into making a "protest vote" that has let the Tories in. You just have to shake your head at that level of innumerate stupidity, don't you? The simple truth is that if you put together the SNP and Labour in the Commons they still cannot muster enough votes to defeat the scum sucking Tories. The fault for that lies in England, not Scotland.

As an Englishman in the constituency of Edinburgh North and Leith I voted for Deirdre Brock, the Australian born SNP candidate who has lived in the UK for less than twenty years as my next Member of Parliament. I did that because I did not trust the Labour Party to stand up for the working class and I wanted to give Ed Miliband a bit of the political Viagra that he would need with the Tories in front of him and his real enemies, the Blairites, behind.

It is not my fault that other English people bought into the Tory narrative. Neither is it my fault that metropolitan leftists seem to think that only they can set the terms of political debate and that the rest of us have to dance to their tune. Sorry, but those days are over.

Far too many people south of the River Tweed do not seem to have woken up to the new politics, and are reduced to making fatuous statements about the tartan menace instead. 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

English refugees brave River Tweed to seek sanctuary in Scotland

Thousands of panic stricken English refugees from rampant Toryism are reported to be braving the raging torrents of the River Tweed to seek sanctuary in Scotland. A resettlement centre has been set up in Moffat where volunteers are deep-frying Mars Bars to feed the hungry masses.

A Scottish government spokesman has been reported as saying that the bill for all this will be sent to England...

Update: Roads into Scotland are packed with refugees.