2007 - 2022

Plan for Britain?

imgid93409494-jpg-galleryWhat fresh hell is this?

Blink and you may have missed the Prime Minister’s visit. Channeling Hakim Bay Theresa May promised ‘temporary powers’ for Scotland like sweeties. In a botched appearance, which had all the openness and transparency of a late-period Ceaușescu, the Prime Ministers visit was riddled with contradictions and flaws.

First as the First Minister pointed out: “I think it makes it very difficult for the prime minister to maintain a rational opposition to a referendum in the timescale that I have set out”. The PM had been mouthing “Now is not the time” – a sort of mystic mantra that has replaced her hypnotic bromide that “Brexit Means Brexit”.

But like much of this farce it makes little sense. Having made an absolute stand on timing as the single decisive principle it now turns out, by her own admission, that this issue simply doesn’t exist. Bizarre doesn’t really cover it.

The key word here is ‘rational’. Very little of this is rational.

Second – was the Plan for Britain slogan an exercise in advanced irony?

As the only discernible fact we know about the process is its entirely shambolic nature, the idea of a ‘plan’ seemed a sick joke.

Ian Birrell has talked of people being “engulfed by pessimism”:

“The path ahead is torturous, involving almost 21,000 laws and regulations impacting on every industrial, service and public sector. These range from major issues over health cover, migration, security and visas through to the mind-boggling minutiae of business rules, consumer protection and environmental regulation. One key Whitehall insider confessed they were “rather overwhelmed” by the complexity.”

Again and again you read of a black-hole at the heart of negotiations, and the Prime Minister comes north and speaks in riddles.

Uniting people by treating them with complete contempt is an interesting concept.

Promising to build “a more united nation”, Theresa May said: “As Britain leaves the European Union, and we forge a new role for ourselves in the world, the strength and stability of our Union will become even more important.”



An interesting part of the new dynamic of the rolling constitutional crisis is how the two campaigns are diverging. As the language and tone of the independence movement becomes more pragmatic, more reasoned and less romantic, the unionist voice seems to be becoming more shrill and more immersed in uncontrollable hyperbole. The union has become ‘sacred’ and the claims for its powers and history more and more far-fetched, it has become now an ‘unstoppable force’. May – who did not take any questions following her speech,  said the UK was “a force for good, helping to build a better future for everyone”.

We’ve gone from the memorably low-bar ‘UK:OK’ to a imagining Britain as a sort of divine force in the world.

‘A Force for good’.

We’ve gone from Blair MacDougall to Obi Wan Kenobi in one fell-swoop.

Third – amongst this fantastical series of statements – the idea that you could make such a speech without any reference to Ireland, a country that many sober commentators say is now hurtling towards reunification on the back of the Conservatives insensitive handling of the Brexit scenario, is quite remarkable.

Talking of a ‘united nation’ on the day when the power-sharing agreement that has held Northern Ireland together looks to be irrevocably lost is mind-blowing.

Sweet Tooth

So what does Brexit mean? It means rampant de-regulation and economic chaos. One nougat that has just emerged is David Davis’s back-story working for sugar-giants Tate & Lyle. One unanticipated consequence of Brexit may mean the decimation of England’s sugar-beet farming. British Sugar, which claims to bring £300m to the rural economy by processing 8m tonnes of sugar beet into 1.2m tonnes of sugar a year at four factories in the east of England will be unable to compete with the global competition if a Hard Brexit comes to pass.

As Dan Roberts reports for the Guardian:

“Not only has sugar beet been an unusually reliable source of income for 3,500 of Britain’s arable farmers, but its broad green leaves are an important rotational crop in between soil-sapping wheat. If they are forced to compete head-on with what the NFU regards as artificially subsidised cane sugar from producers places in places such as Brazil and Thailand, it fears the economics of an industry supporting 9,600 jobs will unravel.”

Great. As the economy tanks we’ll have really cheap sugar.

Is there a Dental Plan for Britain?

As this unravels, and we hear that Johnny Lydon is a big UKIP fan, I can’t help read these words and imagine them spoken to a soundtrack of Pretty Vacant:

“So as we look to the future and we face that great national moment together, I hope you will continue to play your part in the great national effort to building a fairer and more united Britain. This united kingdom and the values at its heart are one of the greatest forces for good in the world today and when we work together and set our sights on a task we really are an unstoppable force.”

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?


Comments (11)

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  1. Stephen mcl says:

    Covered a lot of ground in this piece but worth the graft. Succinct and fast response to the events that propel us forward.

  2. Derek says:

    Teresa May is promising Scotland wallpaper paste to cover over the inevitable legal cracks. No more, no less.

  3. James says:

    Oh, thank you, thank you your greatness Teresa. Temporary powers that just what we have been hoping for, and been hanging out for, for all these years. Your greatness Teresa as a simple Scot I am overwhelmed with your compassionate consideration and generosity you have bestowed apron your most humble citizens of your realm. Once again thank you your greatness,

  4. Mark Rowantree says:

    It’s now obvious to even the most blinkered Unionist, because they don’t think Scotland’s a country anyway and thus is of no import at all: that the U.K. Government has no plan for dealing with Scotland than it has with dealing with the EU.
    The odds I increasingly feel are that the rUK will walk away from both Scotland and the EU to find comfort and reassurance in the fantasy that is Empire 2.0.

    1. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      They’ll try and hang onto resource rich Scotland for grim life.

      They’ll be delighted to see a united Ireland.

  5. Patrick says:

    Well friends, Don’t delay more the Independence of Scotland, if you don’t get the Sovereignty of the Scotland now you will continue in the kingdom as a second class citizen . Always the Tory are in power on WM is the same the Tory are good for opposition but the worst at government.
    Full power to Independence and membership in EU.
    There is not another way to overcome the global economic crisis.
    Good Luck

  6. James Mills says:

    ” …this sacred union …. this united kingdom …this force for good in the world … ”

    Pass the sick bag , Theresa !

  7. Wul says:

    Excellent article.

    I could not believe that yet another UK Prime Minister would have the gall or ignorance to make a day trip to Scotland to promise some un-named “temporary powers” in return for Scots doing their bit for our “sacred” union.

    (Please tell me that no one over the age of 6 believed any of this pish)

    No “near federalism” this time, or a chance to “lead the UK”, just some “temporary powers, probably”. As the stakes get higher, we get offered less & less.

    Their tactics haven’t changed since Captain Cook offered the locals some beads in exchange for the wealth of an entire continent. We are held in utter contempt by PM May and her ilk.

    Have a look at Westminster’s “Plan for Britain”. (It makes the SNP’s skimpy “Scotland’s Future” look like the entire contents of the Bodleain library)


  8. Wul says:

    Seriously folks,

    These educated Tory idiots are clueless and way,way out of their depth. They are about to crash the UK’s economy like Toad of Toad Hall on a three day bender.

    We need to put control of Scotland as far out of reach of their clumsy, fumbling hands as we can.
    (It might even turn out to be for their own good)

  9. john young says:

    Temporary powers?mm! cue fat arse Broonie and his vanished partner Darling,an appearance from them should just about do the trick.

  10. Alf Baird says:

    The British Empire is down to its rump, to the only strategic (internal) resource rich colony left, Scotland. We’re aw thay hiv left an thay cannae affuird tae lat hus gang awa tae – thay wid then be at the mersi o international money lenders (Saudi, etc). Thay’re haudin oan tae Scotlan ticht lyke. We micht juist hae tae bung thaim oot, lyke aw ither colonies haed tae dae.

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