The sightlines of the prams

Source: Wee Ginger Dug The sightlines of the prams

So here we are, a month out from the Tory Leadership Referendum with its potential side effect of taking the UK out of the EU, there’s the possibility of legal action against the Conservatives over driving a coach, literally, through election expenses laws which could result in the government losing its majority, there’s the distant rumbling of the Chilcot Report which should, if there’s any justice, see Tony Blair and Jack Straw named and shamed for taking the country into an illegal war. There is no shortage of news stories which ought to boil the blood of anyone who retains a couple of functioning neurones, and yet if you look at the papers, the most important events today are who Stewart Hosie has been shagging, a fitba match that took place two days ago, and the competition between George Osborne and Boris Johnson about who can tell the scariest story. The only responses from a sane person are respectively, don’t care, don’t care, and get a bloody grip. No wonder our media is going down the toilet.

The tale of Stewart Hosie shagging someone who wasn’t his wife has dominated the Scottish press for the past week. You’d think that we’d been teleported back to the 1950s. Compare and contrast the treatment received by Stewart Hosie with that of Tory John Whittingdale MP, the minister in charge of press regulation and broadcasting. Whittingdale had an affair with a dominatrix whom he took to official functions on expenses, yet he’s still in office. If you look up double standards in the dictionary, you’ll find a wee note telling you to refer to the British press.

Whatever has gone on with Stewart Hosie and his sex life is a matter for him, his wife, and possibly his urologist, yet according to our newspapers it’s the most shocking political story since Watergate. Unless there is evidence, and there most certainly isn’t, that he’d been paying for prostitutes using government funds, or that he’d been engaged in drug fuelled binges with underage hookers, none of the rest of us have any interest. He’s broken no laws, he’s abused no expenses, he has not lied or cheated to his constituents. They didn’t marry the guy, he didn’t promise to be sexually faithful to them. Yet he’s been subjected to a barrage of stories in the papers that have led to his resignation. Funny that Whittingdale didn’t receive similar treatment eh.

You and me and the tabloids or the wannabe tabloids of the supposedly serious Scottish press have not been damaged, hurt, diminished or affected in any way by what Stewart Hosie has been getting up to in his time off. It’s no business of mine or yours what Stewart Hosie does with the hosie in his underpants. All that the story proves is that our media is irredeemably immature, and that if they keep being immature eventually they’ll hit a target successfully and end someone’s career, which just encourages them to continue to be immature. All the Stewart Hosie affair affair tells us is that the Scottish media is going to continue its journey down the toilet and round the U-bend of irrelevance. No wonder their readership statistics are getting flushed away.

The Scottish fitba establishment are spoilt little children with a vast sense of entitlement. In fact their sense of entitlement is inversely proportional to their competence, which makes it pretty vast indeed. The entire known universe isn’t large enough to contain it. The developing field of quantum computing relies on quantum states existing simultaneously in a myriad of different universes, and it’s only being developed in order to to calculate the sizes of the egos of Scottish football clubs. Anyone who has spent more than five minutes in this country knows that, and they also know that the sense of entitlement at the top of fitba translates into bad behaviour from fans who likewise think that 22 millionaires kicking a leather ball about and ruining a perfectly good lawn is more important than finding a cure for cancer. Although many of the rest of us wish that someone could discover a cure for fitba.

There was more immaturity on display on Saturday when Hibs fans invaded the pitch after winning the cup, some Rangers fans invaded back, and there was a wee spot of bother which it appears mostly involved some spitting and a couple of highly payed people getting shoved a bit, all to the accompaniment of sing-a-long-a-sectarianism. It’s now been transformed into the greatest scandal to hit Scotland since Stewart Hosie discovered that he has a functioning penis. If our media devoted a little less time to the egos of boys playing games, then perhaps they wouldn’t behave quite so badly. Just a wee suggestion there. The rest of us would certainly be a whole lot happier.

Today we had the latest episode in the European Union referendum saga, for anyone who hasn’t yet pulled their duvet over their heads and isn’t rocking back and forward in the fetal position banging their heads off the headboard. The Treasury has issued a report claiming that there are only two possible outcomes if the UK leaves the EU, utter ruin and devasation, or utter utter ruin and devastation. Meanwhile in a cunning conflation of anti-immigrant racism with Scottophobia the Leave campaign has claimed that if we remain in the EU then an army of Turks the size of the population of Scotland is going to invade the UK in order to make sure that the only job your kids will be able to get will be a zero hours contract in a call centre on the minimum wage, and destroy your health service. Although that’s pretty much what the Tories are aiming to do whether we remain a part of the EU or we leave it. Naturally all this is being reported in the UK press in calm and measured tones, or at least it probably is in one of those other universes accessible only to quantum bits in a quantum computer. Because it sure as hell isn’t happening in this one.

The vast bulk of the population remain steadfastly unaffected by the media’s hysteria and their immature views. It was claimed during the Scottish referendum by the selfsame Unionist media that Scotland was too immature to become an independent nation. We’re not. It’s our media that’s immature and infantile. There are babies who get a more balanced and grown up view of the world from the sightline of their prams.

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Vagabond Voices are presenting an evening with Jim Sillars at the Yes Bar in Glasgow on Tuesday evening from 7pm. All welcome.


BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993

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