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Other Sarsen Stones near Stonehenge and Woodhenge

via Other Sarsen Stones near Stonehenge and Woodhenge

The disease that’s killing the British state

Wee Ginger Dug

Back in 2014, when we were able to do all sorts of unthinkable things like hugging our mothers or going out for the evening, the big selling point of the Better Together campaign was the security, stability of the UK. The United Kingdom, we were told, had an unrivalled international reputation for the high quality of its governance, its democratic institutions, the quiet competence of its parliament. Why risk all that for a leap into the darkness of a Scotland left to its own devices. Scotland, we were told in no uncertain terms, depended upon the UK to ensure it was safe from political extremism, from instability, and to keep a lid on our internal divisions.

The implication was that we wild Caledonians can’t be trusted, and shouldn’t trust ourselves, to conduct ourselves like civilised people in a modern democracy. It was a trope which played into the deeply ingrained…

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I am a free, I am not man, a number

Wee Ginger Dug

Social media was consumed on Saturday by the anti-lockdown protests, or as they are known hereabouts, the Walking Soon to Be Dead. Allegedly organised by far right organisations, the protests attracted people who are convinced that the virus is a hoax, that it’s all being caused by 5G, and assorted climate change deniers and Brextremists. Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers was amongst those arrested in London. Piers doesn’t believe in anthropogenic climate change, supports a no-deal Brexit, and believes just about every conspiracy theory that’s going. Which just goes to prove that Piers Morgan isn’t the most embarrassing end of the Piers show.

Although it wasn’t the protests themselves which caught people’s attention, or even Piers Corbyn. The break out star of the day – if you can call someone a breakout star when they end up in handcuffs that is – was the guy in Hyde Park who got arrested…

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The best of both worlds

Wee Ginger Dug

The Sunday Times is reporting that ‘sources’ in the British Government have told it that Scotland’s workers won’t receive any further financial support from the British state if the lockdown in Scotland continues longer than the lockdown in England. It’s a safe bet that those same ‘sources’ didn’t bother to consult with the Scottish Government in making their decision.

This is how the Scottish Government, and indeed the other devolved governments as well as the English regions and counties, find out about about British Government policy these days – via unattributed leaks to right wing newspapers. When the Tories told us that Scotland was a valued and equal partner in a family of nations what they really meant was that they’d hold Scotland in just as much contempt as they do Wales and Northern Ireland. Feel the love. Finding out what the British Government is up to via unattributed briefings…

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No common ground with Cummings

The World Turned Upside Down

Just a couple of months ago, Dominic Cummings was pushing herd immunity. He’s Boris Johnson’s most powerful advisor. At the same time, the Prime Minister was dithering over lockdown and delaying action, when it was clear that radical measures were needed. That certainly cost lives. Let’s not forget that.

Also, let’s not forget what we discovered a few weeks ago: that Cummings and some of his closest political allies – people who developed strategy alongside him over years – were part of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) meetings – at the very least, taking part in discussions about how advice would be relayed, but no doubt forming that advice too.

Let’s remember, too, who Cummings is and what he does: he’s someone who has been emboldened by quietly racking up the political victories; by skilfully creating opportunities out of chaos; by manipulating public opinion; by tapping into deep seated…

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Blaming Scotland for Westminster’s shortcomings

Wee Ginger Dug

Yesterday BBC Scotland broadcast a report about a study which found that if Scotland had gone into lockdown two weeks earlier than it did we would have suffered only a small fraction of the deaths that we’ve actually seen. It could have been possible that we’d only have had 20% of the currently recorded deaths. The report was widely criticised on social media by independence supporters who saw it as yet another attack upon Thatessempee by the state broadcaster. The science behind the report appears to be impeccable, the disagreements were about the way in which it was presented by the BBC, and its implicit politicisation.

The report was presented by the BBC as a study of Scotland in isolation. The impression was given that the Scottish Government could have entered lockdown two weeks earlier, and its failure to do so meant that hundreds of people had died who might…

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The lethally incompetent arrogance of the Tories

via The lethally incompetent arrogance of the Tories