I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


The recent poll which showed support for 'Yes' has risen to 49% was an almighty relief. Well, it certainly was to me. As the dire reality of Brexit Britain slowly emerges from the fog like some cancer ridden zombie, it seems inconceivable anyone in their right mind could possibly want to stay anywhere near a London ruled UK.

Sadly there don't seem to be quite as many of us in our right minds any more. The kind of politics being served up by Trump and Putin seems to be as addictive as crystal meth to many of those who are pissed off with their lives. Nobody who sells their body and soul for their next fix of methamphetamine is ever under any illusions. They know only too well they are racing down the road to ruin at 120 mph, but they do it anyway. Who needs teeth anyway? Tragically, the same kind of self destructive lunacy seems to be getting a hold of millions across the fading countries of the western world.

Tell you what mate, I don't give a shit how bad my life gets so long as it's worse for those Polish bastards three doors down. You start with gleaming new autobahns and before you know what's happened, you're watching your frost bitten fingers drop off one by one in the rubble of Stalingrad.

Thankfully it seems the times they are a changing up here in Scotland. At last. The question of IndyRef 2 is suddenly all about 'when' rather than 'if'. And the 'when' doesn't look like it will so very far away. 2018? Maybe 2019?


And if we kick off the next 'Yes' campaign with 49% already on our side, I for one find it impossible to see anything other than victory.

Here are my eight reasons for serious optimism.


There really is no need to go into the increasingly familiar detail here. Trump was uniquely ghastly all through the election campaign, and yet there was still a very small chance he might not have been quite so bad once he actually entered the White House.

Aye right!

Now Trump is well on course to becoming the most loathed and reviled President in the history of America. In comparison, GW Bush and Ronald Reagan look like veritable Mandelas. The countries of the once mighty West are arranging themselves into two camps. In the red corner we have Trump's America, Putin's Russia, Orban's Hungary and Erdogan's Turkey. In the blue corner we have Germany and most of Europe.

Theresa May's desperately idiotic decision to sign up with the Donald and his ghastly pals will surely haunt her for the rest of her life. The problem is that what is done cannot be undone. 

Already the likes of India and China have laughed in her face when she has paid them a cap in hand visit. Trade deal? What are you smoking lady? Why on earth would we want to give you a get out jail free card? Here. A present. It's called a history book. Have a read and you will come to understand what payback time means.

America is the only show in town for Brexit Britain and if it has a sex offending kleptomaniac with serious mental health problems at the helm, well beggars can't be choosers.

Cosying up to Trump shows just how far Britain has fallen. Seventy years ago we had an almighty bust up with the Yanks during the build up to D Day. In the early months of 1944 American troops were pouring into Britain in readiness for the big day. After a hard day's training, the GI's enjoyed nothing better than a night in the pub and a chance to chat up the British women. These were both white GI's and black GI's. The US Government had no problem with their white guys sinking a few jars and organising a date at the cinema. However they were not at all happy about their black soldiers doing the same. The White House leaned on Churchill as hard as they could. They ordered the British Parliament to pass new laws to keep blacks at the back of the buses and out of the pubs. They said if we didn't do as we were told, they might just walk away from the whole thing. Churchill stood firm with the Americans just like he had stood firm with Hitler four years earlier. He told them where they could shove their racist laws. He backed them off.

Those were the days when Britain actually stood for something. Compare and contrast Churchill's stubborn decency with Theresa May's hand holding subservience. Not great, right? Well Scotland is about to have a choice. Do we want to be a proud, decent independent country with our heads held high in the world? Or do we want to the 51st State of Trump's America? By the time voting day comes around, I can't see all that many Scots itching to be a part of Donald's hateful world.


Have any winners ever been quite so sore as the hideous Brexiteers? I don't think so. The second anyone dares to suggest any part of Brexit might not be absolutely tip top, these guys start frothing at the mouth and howling betrayal. The veins on the foreheads must be quite exhausted from standing up. We hear them on Question Time every week as they rage and bay at the hated 'Remoaners' on the panel. Imagine Theresa May coming home from Brussels to keep us all up to speed with how the great negotiations are coming along. Imagine part of the deal is that each and every one of us will be expected to have our left eye gouged out by a tattooed Albanian gangster with a rusty butter knife. Well the Brexiteers would still tell us to 'suck it up' and stop whinging on like a sorry bunch of pathetic, tree hugging, immigrant loving, liberal metropolitan elite losers. Eye gouged out with a butter knife? Bring it on! We are a great maritime nation! Nelson lost an eye and he it didn't stopping him kicking the garlic munchers up the arse, yeah?

Pour yourself a nice cup of tea and imagine what these guys are going to be like when 'Yes' starts to pull ahead in the polls. There ain't about to be any love bombing this time around. Instead the message from south of the border with be more along the lines of piss off and good riddance. Go on! Go and pal up with your Raghead loving pals in France and Germany. See if we care. Go on, bugger off, eat your deep fried Mars bars and build a few mosques.

Will all of these angry voices from the OAP's of Stoke and Hartlepool make us feel all warm and fuzzy about the UK and our future in the world of the Donald? What do you think?


Better who? When our date with destiny comes around, the whole of the London political establishment with be consumed with trying to handle the dire reality of the Brexit negotiations. Will they have time to drop everything and head north to fight what will look a lot like a losing battle? I don't think so. In reality it will be Ruth Davidson versus the rest. Now Ruth is clearly a feisty lass who loves nothing better than getting all wrapped up in the Union Flag and shouting from the roof tops, but I think this might be something of a bridge too far even for her. Will Gordon Brown once again emerge from the grave to sell us a pack of lies? I don't think so. Last time around there were lots and lots of debates. This time there will be nobody to man the Unionist tables. We will be the rampaging Red Army. They will be Berlin.


Our tabloids are yet to get their teeth into this particular chunk of cash. It's the divorce settlement. The 27 remaining countries of the EU have made it crystal clear there will be no cosy discussions about trade deals until the cold hard divorce cash is hammered out. And only when the cheque is in the post will they start to talk and trade. And they want £53 billion.


So much for the £353 million a week for the NHS.

Our share of the divorce settlement will be over £5 billion. That's £1000 each by the way. So do we cough up? Or do we walk away and rejoin the club? Well none of us like paying nasty bills when we can avoid them...


I think this lad could be a key player if he pulls it off and becomes the next French President. Young, smart, cool, articulate, decent.... he's everything Trump and Putin are not. I think he is about to make a pretty interesting pitch. Marine Le Pen is betting the farm on the fact there will be enough French voters who hate Muslims to see her over the line. Macron has identified a new Bogeyman.


It looks like his pitch will be a promise to make sure the Brits get what's coming to them. So the French voters will have a choice in a few weeks time. Vote Le Pen to have a go at the new enemy: Muslims. Or vote Macron to have a go at a much older enemy: the Brits.


I think Macron might just about to become something of a pin up boy for people who cannot abide the new loud mouth racists. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if he taps into another well trusted favourite from French history and promises to stick by their old pal Scotland.

Will it be Merkel and Macron or Putin and Trump? Not such a very hard choice, me thinks.


So far the London Government are just about managing to keep a few inconvenient Trident truths under wraps. But once the starting gun is fired for IndyRef 2, the cat will be more than ready jump out of the bag.

Here are just a couple of problematic facts the ghost army of Better Together 2 will have to grapple with.

One. Trident is an import. We have to pay for it in dollars. Which means there has just been a 20% price hike. If it was going to cost £50 billion before 23 June, it will now be at least £60 billion.

However the extra £10 billion is as nothing when compared to inconvenient truth number two. The small print of the contract we have with the Americans makes sure they have total control of all maintenance. The missiles need a full service every two years and this has to be carried out by American engineers. If the nukes don't get serviced, then the nukes won't fly: unserviced nukes are nothing more than irradiated scrap metal. We don't have any engineers to do the job even if we wanted to do it ourselves. But that doesn't matter. We are not allowed to put a spanner onto any part of the Trident system. The President of America has the undisputed power to call off scheduled maintenance any time he likes. So if we accidentally get under the Donald's famously thin skin, he can render Trident completely obsolete any time he likes.

So our treasured independent nukes turn out not to be independent after all. Instead we can only have them if we keep on bowing and scraping to the Donald.

It really isn't such a good look.


I don't pretend to know much about the European Economic Area, but it seems to me to represent something along the lines of having our cake and eating it. It would be the Norway option and it looks like the Scottish Government is starting to like the cut of its gib.

Being in the EEA means coughing ups some cash and being happy about the free movement of people. Thankfully we Scots seem a great deal happier about free movement than the good folk or Hartlepool and Stoke. If we are going to have enough carers to look after our old in the years to come, 120% of this current generation of young people will have to become carers. Well that ain't about to happen. This time around the penny is much more likely to drop. Scotland doesn't have an immigration problem. We have an emigration problem and we have had an emigration problem for the last 400 years and more. We need all the young people we can get.

Being in the EEA means being a part of the single market which of course will mean lots of businesses from south of the border are likely to up sticks and head north.

Being in the EEA means having total control of our agriculture and fisheries which will win over all the farmers and trawlermen who voted 'No' last time around.

Being in the EEA means we are not part of the Customs Union which means we are completely free to do a free trade deal with any other country who isn't in the customs union. Like the Rest of the UK. So there will be absolutely no reason for the Rest of the UK to want any kind of hard border. It also means we will be in poll position to do trade deals with the likes of India because unlike London we will be more than happy to welcome their students into our universities and issue work visas to their engineers.


Electricity makes up 15% of Scottish exports. Who do we export electricity to? England. Is this a big deal? You bet it is. Already England has some pretty major headaches when it comes to keeping the lights on. They have maxed out the national credit card to pay for the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, but it isn't about to save their bacon any time soon. If ever. Our share of this latest big money spend in the name of 'National Importance' is £1000 each by the way. The fact we are more than self sufficient in electricity doesn't mean we get a pass when it comes to paying the French and Chinese top dollar for Hinkley Point. After all, where would we be if London didn't have enough power....

The English electricity nightmare means there is no way they can even think of managing without all the voltage we send across Hadrian's Wall. It means they need us a whole lot more than we need them. It guarantees a free trade area across the island we will continue to share. They might puff out their chests and try and threaten us with a hard border, but it will be easy enough to prove what a load of old cobblers these empty threats really are.

So there you go. 

Eight reasons why we are suddenly well and truly on target for victory next time around. Brexit and Trump have changed everything. The choice will become increasingly clear. Do we want to be on the light side or the dark side?

I can't see the Scots voting for the dark side. Not this time. Which I guess makes me an optimist. But a realist as well. I think we are good to go.


  1. Enter your comment... you didn't even mention the oil, brilliant. Oh, nor the whisky.

  2. Some interesting points in there I havn't considered before. You've given me some new hope, Mark! Thanks for that.


  3. The news of the two nuclear reactors is only just creeping out. It has long been said that energy policy is reserved but Environmental Affairs and planning consent are Holyrood's responsibilities.

    With the shambles over Hinckley and Toshiba, England is getting perilously close to rationing. Any fight with Scotland about building these 2 reactors would be another nightmare for Mey and on.

    Thus they will take control of Environment and Planning for "national infrastructure" matters,

    That would a gift for SNP as the cry would go up that the Tories killed Scottish renewables, which we like, to allow them to impose nuclear which we do not like.

    Great rallying totem

  4. Reasons to be cheerful! Some excellent points Mark, your research shines through once again. Well Done.

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