Scotland: Rage against the dying of the light

(Disclaimer: Swear words and such.)

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”


That word resonates more than ever these days. One word to sufficiently encompass an entire moral outlook. Rage. The burning kind which seeks to overwhelm, to drown in flames of anger and frustration, all sense of civility in maintaining a status quo that is anything but civil. Rage against the injustices across the world and anger at those whose moral superiority only extends to issues outwith their proximity. Frustration as that superiority vanishes like the morning mist when injustice surfaces down the street because morality is easy to preach when you don’t have to combat the backwards views of friends and family. Easier to stay silent. Easier to point towards our American cousins and proudly proclaim your own moral ascension and their misgivings than challenge racism and bigotry next door.


Rage against the greed. Rage against the amoral nature of those whose words form policy and whose integrity could challenge Transformers. Rage against the I’m-all-right-Jacks whose sense of compassion and humanity ends at their own front door or is only applied to those from whom they can gain farcical tokens of privilege to wear as badges showcasing how much better they are. Rage against a rigged system whose very purpose is to grind you down, day by day, week by week, year by year, until the fire dies and you can rage no more. Etch out a life in this financial slave pen and be damned grateful you aren’t on the streets. Accept your lot with gratitude because they don’t want you enraged – they want you docile.

I am angry these days. I look out at the world and see stupid people making stupid decisions for the benefit of the already wealthy while the masses take the bait of the week and stomp down on those who are struggling; as if standing on the backs of those with the least in society will help them ascend the property ladder and become better human beings (our humanity meter being rigged to the housing market for some fucking reason).

I’m still young but there is little hope within me. I look out to the future and recoil at that dying light. There is no warmth there, no security, no comfort to be found amidst the war on our very self worth. With every battle fought our humanity is eroded further, the layers of our compassion scraped away, our dreams punctured by rich economists in suits preaching from their own religious texts. Their zealotry abides no dissent from the path. Their golden god demands strict adherence to the rules of the game, despite that game being rigged in their favour. And these brave heroes of industry take up the chant – ‘There is no other way. All must bow before the will of the markets’. Continue reading

BBC Scotland and the case of the missing bawsack – Part Two


Disclaimer One: This piece of ranty polemic contains swear words. Lots of swear words. If you don’t like swear words – fuck off.

Disclaimer Two: This piece of ranty polemic takes aim at the structure and attitudes of the BBC and BBC Scotland in general. It does not seek to insult ordinary individuals working within either organisation who no doubt work hard and are proud of what they make. If you cannot comprehend this difference then you’re a fucking idiot.

(Click for Part One)

The Scottish programming budget is about 1.8% of the overall budget of the BBC – the latter standing at around £2,368 billion. That’s about 500% less than our population share should be. But I forget, all that ‘pooling and sharing’ across this United Kingdom only actually goes one fucking way.

What other developed country on the planet would settle for this level of shite? Our ‘national’ broadcaster that’s treated with contempt by its parent. What’s that? Scots enjoy Sherlock even though it’s filmed in Wales? Hold the fucking presses and stop all the bastarding buses. Apparently this makes the abysmal state of broadcasting in Scotland okay.

Are you fucking serious? People on hefty six-figure salaries express these views as if there’s nothing wrong with it. As if it should be the normal state of affairs. How dare we Scots ask (because demanding is ‘grievance hunting’, mind) for a national broadcaster to fucking act like one instead of a regional bloody outpost. How dare we desire to view ourselves and the world beyond, through a Scottish lens first and foremost without having to go through the British one (which is, more often than not, restricted to inside the M25 ‘civilised zone’).

We don’t have a broadcaster that reflects who we are, our mongrel nation, or delves into the complexities and nuances of our history and culture. We don’t have programmes which adequately show the complex tapestry of our society, its make-up, its complications and the dreams of its people. Our stories are not told, or if they are they’re cut down to reflect the London view of Scotland: the parochial, the tartan, the whiskey. This is exemplified by the cringe-inducing ‘comedy’ Mountain Goats. How, in the name of fuck, that excuse for ‘Scottish comedy’ got commissioned by BBC Scotland is fucking beyond me. Continue reading

BBC Scotland and the case of the missing bawsack – Part One


Disclaimer One: This piece of ranty polemic contains swear words. Lots of swear words. If you don’t like swear words – fuck off.

Disclaimer Two: This piece of ranty polemic takes aim at the structure and attitudes of the BBC and BBC Scotland in general. It does not seek to insult ordinary individuals working within either organisation who no doubt work hard and are proud of what they make. If you cannot comprehend this difference then you’re a fucking idiot.

Come in, sit down, we need to have another chat. You see, our ‘national’ broadcaster is once again acting like a total arsehole. Many of you will not be surprised in the least by this as BBC Scotland, in its output, coverage and balance, has been at best ‘poor’ due to financial constraints, and at worst deliberately shite due to a structural bias. The end result is a broadcaster which treats itself and the citizens of the country it serves as if it were nothing more an outpost in a colony.

Yes, I know, we’re not allowed to say ‘colony’ or ‘imperialism’ because white, middle-class ‘British’ journalists and opinion weavers throw a hissy fit at being reminded of Britain’s less-than-prestigious past. That’s despite the fact that a significant portion of the British populous are actually quite proud of the old empire. Yes, with brute force, murder, concentration camps, forced starvation (and a whole host of other insidious and horrific tactics) we subdued half the world and stole their shit. But we brought them Shakespeare! We taught them how to speak the Queen’s! Bloody brown folk. Never grateful. Continue reading

The criminality of poverty and unemployment.

Hope is so precious a thing. We carry it, often without knowing, often without even a smidgeon of awareness of how much we need it, how much we crave it. Only when it gets taken away do we fully comprehend the nature of it. Only when you are bereft of its embrace, when every trace of it has fled, do you truly understand what you have lost.

For we all live with it, to one extent or another. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a decent future for our kids, our family, our friends. Hope that our hard work, our determination, those long hours will pay off one day. Hope that when (gods forbid) times get tough, that you will have people to rely on, to give you a hand up, to be there when your own hopes starts heading for the door.

Hope that the world isn’t the cruel, heartless place that our media and entertainment often paint it to be.

Yet despite how precious this commodity is to nearly all of us, we have a government desperate to tear that hope from the clutches of those who need it most. We are witnessing, with passive eyes, people being robbed of something far more valuable than money. For when you are thrown on the unemployed heap because of market forces, budgets cuts or another host of factors out-with your control, you find yourself ostracised from those deemed worthy of compassion. Continue reading

Why everyone in the pro-indy bubble is an utter b*****d – Part Two

TIM Thompson

Pictured – Tim, doing what he does best. 

(Click here for Part One)

Disclaimer One: This piece of ranty polemic contains swear words. Lots of swear words. If you don’t like swear words – fuck off.

Disclaimer Two: This piece of ranty polemic takes aim at all sides in this stupid fucking debate and if, by the end of it, you think this doesn’t apply to you then you’re a fucking idiot.

The tone that permeates the slurry of articles about how giving both votes to the SNP will raise Cthulu from his inter-dimensional prison (or something), is one of smug condescension and holier-than-thou superiority (or, more accurately leftier-than-thou). That’s how it comes across, and not just to hardline SNP voters but to folk like me who don’t have a sodding clue who the fuck they’re going to vote for in May. I’d rather vote for myself because you’re all doing my bloody nut in.

People get pissed at being patronised and then we get another cavalcade of articles about how, after people have criticised the content of the articles and the veracity of trying to game the voting system, that this somehow constitutes intolerance and an ‘unhealthy’ approach to Scottish politics. Haud the fucking bus. Isn’t the fact that people are replying with critiques a clear fucking example that there is debate? Just because people take issue with what you’re saying doesn’t mean they’re trying to fucking silence you (and they couldn’t, even if they wanted to – see Part One.) Continue reading

Why everyone in the pro-indy bubble is an utter b*****d – Part One

Massie Darling

Pictured – North Britain’s most prominent political analyst.

Disclaimer One: This piece of ranty polemic contains swear words. Lots of swear words. If you don’t like swear words – fuck off.

Disclaimer Two: This piece of ranty polemic takes aim at all sides in this stupid fucking debate and if, by the end of it, you think this doesn’t apply to you then you’re a fucking idiot.

Come in, sit down, we need to have a chat. You see, a lot of you have been acting like utter fannies lately and that normally wouldn’t be a problem (hey, it’s the internet, block, mute, ignore) except some folk are desperately intent on making that a big issue.

You better already be sitting down for this next bit because it will blow your fucking mind:

Apparently there are nutters on Twitter who swear and have a conspiracy-nut streak.

No, I’m being serious! Stop with that shocked expression, this is real! No, I’m not talking about those folk who believe 9/11 was caused by feminists trying to destroy video games, or that other mob who think the video game industry has been infiltrated by the US government so they had a reason to invade the Middle-East again.

I’m not even talking about the mob of angry – often misogynist – knuckle-dragging arseholes who form the basis of the Yoon Patrol – think ‘shitty North British version of the Justice League’ – prowling social media for nats to attack ( especially female ones).

No…I’m talking about the nats. And not just nats, SNP-voting nats. The worst of all the Twitter nutjobs.

Now some of you may not be shocked at this news. Some of you may be scratching your fucking heads wondering why the fuck this is back in the (alternative) news agenda. And you’d be right to wonder. Because  as far back as the start of the indyref campaign, the more vocal – and often intolerant – end of the nationalist social media bubble were held up by the mainstream press as representative of all fucking nationalists.

And in doing so a narrative was created – all nationalists are like this so therefore all nationalists online are fair game. Many a decent cybernat was caught up in the witch hunts of the gutter-fucking-press. And all the while the abuse from unionists on social media was ignored. Only sweary nats made the paper, and it was a deliberate attempt to shut down debate and to demonise all Yes voters. To taint the campaign by association.

“You don’t want to vote Yes, do you? You don’t want to be one of them, do you?”

But the referendum is fucking over. Or have you failed to realise that? Did you notice we lost? Because as far as I can see there’s a Holyrood election coming up, and while the prospect of another indyref is a distant speck on the horizon right now, party politics has stepped onto the stage and some people really, really don’t fucking like it. (I fucking detest it, that’s why I never joined the Greens as I was intending to after the No vote.)

Now here we are, on the field, we’re drawing 2-2 with Team Unionist but the bookies have given us fantastic odds to give them a thrashing. The game’s almost over though. Time’s running out but their goalkeeper, part-time Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, is sitting on the side-lines eating a flump and flicking through the pages of his copy of the Hungry Caterpillar.

We have an opening. The game should be ours but instead of seizing the fucking initiative we turn on ourselves and start bickering about folk being in the wrong position or not passing enough. And apparently someone wasn’t wearing the right boots, so that means they’re working for MI5 or some shit. And then someone else said something colourful about someone else’s dad, and that’s it. We’re no longer playing ball but knocking lumps out of each other while Willie Rennie looks chuffed with himself that’s he’s finally managed to finish a book.

A football analogy. You see what you’ve made me do? And I fucking hate football.

There has always been a vocal and annoying bunch of nats on social media shouting about this, that or the next fucking thing. I view them as the online equivalent of Sean Clerkin screaming at people in the streets (or Jim Murphy for that matter). You know what I do? I block, I mute, I unfollow and ignore. Isn’t it magical to have that level of control over your social media experience?

But now a narrative – fucking ‘narrative’ – is emerging of SNP voters being intolerant of dissent, of shutting down debate and of censorship and all that other bollocks. You’ll often find articles espousing these views on websites like CommonSpace and Bella Caledonia which, by rough calculation, boasts a combined monthly readership of about  150-200,000 unique readers. How, in the absolute name of fucking Christ and Buddha, being able to post views on these platforms can, in any conceivable fucking way, be described as ‘shutting down debate’ is fucking beyond me.

Seriously. Am I missing something? Has Sturgeon issued a directive instructing the cybernats to gain control of all alternative media servers? Is everyone walking around with gags on their social media accounts, only being allowed to type positive things about ‘oor Nicola’?

Of course none of that has happened. The SNP get criticised (if you can call it that in some cases, more like ‘gets mud flung at it’) in nearly all corners of the traditional and alternative media. Nobody is silencing fucking debate because nobody has the fucking power to do so.

Why, in the name of Earthworm Jim, do I even have to say this shit?

Politics. That’s why. There are alarming similarities to the ways in which some alternative-media voices and fringe-party activists use online interactions and disagreements to further their own agendas.

Now let’s be abundantly fucking clear here. If you’re going to engage in online abuse, be it racist, bigoted, homophobic, misogynist or general cunty behaviour, then you can fuck the fuck off. Absolute no time for that shite.

However, there’s a chasm of difference between genuine abuse (see Neil Mackay’s twitter timeline highlighting it), and people disagreeing with you. The latter is not abuse and it fucking cheapens the term and those who suffer it when YOU conflate the two for your political ends. Scottish Labour did this, remember? It’s deliberate and fucking insidious. Don’t think so? Think it’s acceptable to do so because you’re on the right side of things? Well that’s the arrogance of the left speaking. An arrogance and audacity that places the individual as belonging on the ‘real’ side, and thus any action can be legitimized because of it.

“No, how dare you draw parallels between what the right-wing media/supporters/parties do and what we’re doing! It’s not the same thing because we’re socialists! We’re the good guys!”

Or some such.

(Click here for Part Two)

Scottish Labour meets the internet: “Clype on this, ya tubes”

Oh, Scottish Labour, what have you done?

You’ve went running full-speed ahead, oblivious, and you’ve accidentally – except entirely on purpose – crossed the Rubicon. I’m not even sure you’ve noticed, so intent are you on finding a stick on the other shore to beat the SNP with. There’s no coming back from this, no return, no ‘rejuvenation’ of the party; you’re over there on the other side of the river and you’re digging your own grave.

I am of course talking about the monumental stupidity that is #clypegate, or, for those not up on the hashtag – Scottish Labour compiling a ‘dossier’ of 46 SNP members who were ‘abusive’ on Twitter.

No, you did read that right, Scottish Labour have taken it upon themselves to be the political party of the Daily Mail, policing the internet and shaming those who dare to disagree with them.

We shall scourge the interwebs of all vile traces of abusive separatism!” they cry, hellbent on silencing everyone who dares to suggest that their party may be full of liars, cheats, swindlers and neo-liberal idiots who couldn’t recognise a socialist if the Daily Mail did a four-page spread on them. Oh, will I be on the next list after that? Fuck ’em. Continue reading

Scottish Politics and the silly season of constant bat-shittery.


Here we are, folks. We’ve entered the twilight zone. We’ve hit the warp drive. We’ve dove head first down the rabbit hole. We’re well and truly unplugged from the Matrix and the world doesn’t seem to be what we thought it was. It’s a little bit grim.

Yes! It can only mean summertime in Scottish politics! The time of year where our media outlets surpass themselves in their ability to cobble together news stories from shoelaces, tin cans, half-a-packet of Wotsits and old bits of plastic that were used to baby-proof the kitchen back in 1997. “The kitchen is baby-proof now? STURGEON MUST RESIGN!”

After the much-hyped storming of Westminster by the 56 newly-elected SNP MPs, seemingly the entirety of the Scottish political social media bubble seems to have had every ounce of humour and fun ripped from its grubby little cybernat hands (claws, probably).

It’s no surprise really. Looking at the forthcoming five years of Tory government would make even the heartiest of the optimistic slink down against the wall and start sobbing uncontrollably. The sheer level of violence this government will inflict on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society via their ideological war on the ‘undeserving poor’ would put the Galactic Empire and Darth Vader to shame. Couple this with the seemingly never-ending screed of hate-filled attacks by the mainstream press against the cybernats/SNP/Scotland/Sturgeon and is it any surprise we’ve all turned a tad bitter? Continue reading

‘Red Ed’ Redemption and the Scottish Labour Death Party.


Ed Miliband: ‘I’m not going to have a Labour government if it means deals or coalitions with the SNP.’

Will these words go on Ed’s political tombstone?

Whoever thought it would come to this? Whoever could have imagined the people of Scotland would ever have to collectively pinch themselves. ‘He didn’t say that, did he?’ He did. He really did. This is not a dream. This is the reality of the union. Pinch yourself once more.

Faced with those pesky northerners screaming out for change by voting for the SNP, Ed – a strong sort, not one to be bullied by pesky Britain breakers – rules out working with them. The democratic will of the Scottish people – so beloved, part of a family of nations – gets thrown onto the scrapheap the moment the jocks deviate from the chosen path of righteousness. Continue reading

SNP voters are just a bunch of simple-minded, deluded clones.


Pictured – SNP clones debase themselves on the streets of Kirkintilloch. Sturgeon should probably resign.

Belief can be a powerful thing, especially in politics.

As a voter and as a citizen, to believe in a cause or an idea – out-with the acceptable norm – is to open yourself up to a certain level of vulnerability. It is to take off the modern armour of cynicism, snipe and indifference and leave yourself standing out there, exposed, with really only that belief, that idea, to cling to.

In the post-modern, internet-saturated, apathetic period of disengagement that we live in, belief in a cause – much the same as religion – is derided and dismissed by many. No matter the time taken to reach a decision, no matter the research, the engagement, the internal pontificating; those whose beliefs lie in anything other than the accumulation of wealth and the capitalist ideology are treated with scorn, derision and outright contempt. There’s a narrow prism of acceptable thought in the British press and don’t you dare have the audacity to step outside of it.

Scotland witnessed such commentary during the referendum campaign. The majority of the British media were so incapable of – or uninterested in – understanding what was happening in Scotland that they resorted to dismissing Yes voters as ‘dreamy-eyed, anti-English fantasists’ who were only voting for independence as they thought it’d be a ‘utopia’ and ‘a land of milk and honey with whisky and oil on tap’. Hardly any attempts (with very few exceptions) were made by the mainstream press and broadcasters to understand or even explore the reasoning behind why people were voting Yes. Continue reading