Somebody say something

A guest post by Samuel Miller

In the past few weeks of the silly season we’ve seen some pretty weird articles out there folks. There have been twatter spats, reversals, exposures and even whistle stop tours by the perenially confused. Media darlings of yesterday become today’s pariahs and yesterday’s pariahs become today’s media darling. We’ve had snark fests between the UK and EU negotiating teams on the rolling omnishambles which is Brexit and through it all, running like an annoying background tinny whine you can never shut down, the usual pure Essenpee badness is pumped out on permaloop. I’m sure it’s added a few pennies to the meeja’s coffers. I’m also sure it’s given some notoriety and headline space to the odd (very odd) personality, some deservedly and others not so much.

None of which does a single damn thing to allay the fears of Jock and Jeannie public. None of it gives people something concrete to hope for or hold on to. It feeds both rational and irrational fears, making an already bad situation damn near chaotic.

People don’t really ask for much when the poop hits the fan. They only require to be kept informed and that their representatives constitute a safe pair of hands. That they are trustworthy and transparent. That they pass relevant, accurate information on to their employers (that would be us) as soon as is reasonably and responsibly possible and that they act swiftly and decisively when the need arises. What we currently tend to get however, is policy by soundbite, decisive actions and bothersome details to be worked out later. Confusion, I’ve found, is good for central government (especially when they screw up monumentally) and when sold to the masses with a smidge of ‘hold the front page’ panic or some fleg wavy false patriotism? Well that sells copy, attracts readers and viewers for the media. Yay! Win win (sarc natch). Those with their own agenda and an empathy bypass, use the confusion and the manufactured fear to their own political advantage. Pretty certain readers could draw up a fairly lengthy list of their own usual suspects who fit that particular bill.

Bottom line is lots of speculation, opinion and rumour in the mainstream, but very little solid fact. Plenty of pundits telling you what they think other folk are thinking, but no change there then. Only a very rare handful of the UK’s public representatives doing anything in the way of providing notable stability or leadership in what are patently worrying times for people. The only UK leader to have taken direct public and legislative steps in the past year to allay those fears has been Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. (see under Brexit commission, public statements on citizenship and moves to legislate for an independence referendum)

The cataclysmic actions of Westminster government and those of the establishment parties over the space of the past year haven’t exactly helped to be sure. The more misinformation, lack of information and confusion there is? The more fear, frustration and doubt can take a grip and work on the mind.

So far as Scotland’s population is concerned, natural born, new Scots and more particularly the YES movement, where are we at and what should we be aware of? What do we know for sure?

Well first off, we know that we are in completely unprecedented legal and constitutional territory. The results of both referendums and especially the triggering of Article 50 and its ramifications is quite literally a first. The fallout across the board is an unknown and the effects for citizens who are members of multiple unions and nations with decades of accrued rights are in a state of flux. Put it another way. If the politicians, their negotiating teams and all the expertise they can call upon are essentially making the rules up as this unwinds, then everyone’s opinion is at best a guess.

However, in order of appearance: We know that we are currently still part of the UK and the political union, which falls under the category of ‘no shit Sherlock’. As such and so long as we remain party to the political union, our devolved legislature is currently in the process of exiting the European Union. (NOW DON’T ALL SHOUT AT ONCE!)

It cannot be stressed enough that the Scottish government are NOT the government of an independent Scotland. A slim majority, but a majority nonetheless, voted to entrust our futures and loan our full powers to the parliament of Westminster. They cannot act how we would wish and when we would wish it. They cannot act without a specific manifesto mandate or unless under very exceptional change in circumstances such as… a needlessly manufactured constitutional crisis, which Westminster politics duly supplied in 2016. So they did what was in their power to do whilst attempting to ensure that ALL of the public’s concerns and interests were met. Considering the clusterfudge that’s been dropped in their laps? No mean feat. Most, I’d guess, would say impossible.

Logically, the Scottish government, (ANY Scottish government), are legally bound to act in accordance with the nature of it’s devolved legislature, the current devolution settlement (the Scotland Bill) and the parliamentary democracy they have been elected under. They are bound to act in accordance with the results of referendums 2014 and 16 (don’t get me effing started) and the GE/SE results of elections 2015,16,17. Which means yes, they really did have to investigate a Brexit plan which would constitute remaining in both unions and latterly looking at single market access compromise options. (even when those parameters stick in the craw). Does any supporter of self determination like this arrangement? No. It’s safe to say no indy supporter likes or wants this gawdawful arrangement, but it is the way it is and until we can change it, then it’s how the Scottish government are constrained and compelled to act.

So to recap. A commission of experts was set up to explore a means of retaining both unions, access to the single market and retaining the accrued EU rights of EVERY Scottish citizen. The report of this commission’s findings was made into a proposal which Westminster apparently binned out of hand.

Still attempting to square impossible circles, First Minister Sturgeon set two things in motion. A parliamentary vote on the legislation for a second indyref and the forwarding of a compromise position to Westminster on Brexit participation and retaining single market access. The timing of this indyref to be delayed until after the Brexit position of the EU/UK has been clarified, but before ratification. This with the intention of offering Scotland’s citizens a choice on their preferred future. (Yes, I’m aware that some would prefer after ratification, some before and some yesterday, but that’s individuals strategy and this is about what we know.)

Why is the timing so vague? The two year clock most folk thought to be the backbone of A50 talks appears to be lengthening and shortening with every twist and turn for one. That and the result from June’s snap GE gave the SG pause for thought no doubt. The unionist parties fought a no indyref campaign and voted tactically to gain maximum constitutional advantage whilst the SNP fought… well, a general election. The unionist parties threw cash, media and personnel into a single policy campaign which paid limited dividends for them. A miscalculation by the SNP Scottish Government? That’s up to the reader. Regardless, we are where we are right now and that is STILL with an SNP majority in Westminster’s Scottish benches and a pro indy majority in Holyrood and STILL with a government willing to offer their electorate a choice. Will this remain the case after the next Scottish elections? Unkown, (psychic powers and crystal ball predictions come extra m’kay?), but the numbers are in place right now.

For all the imposed constraints and legality, does any of the above mean that the SNP have lost their appetite for, or changed their opinions on, independence? Well no. I don’t really see why it would.

Maybe something worth considering. Politics, when practised properly, isn’t the art of manipulating or forcing public opinion through the bestest marketing campaign and the biggest fibs. It’s not about dragging people anywhere against their wishes. That is the practice of politics which brought the UK to this sorry pass in the first place. It’s the art of persuading and influencing through debate and consensus, trial and error, action and example. Near as I can see, that is what the Scottish government are attempting to do. Persuade through action and example and yes, given the current predicament, that is fantastically frustrating.

So cutting through all the media/policy wonk speculation an indyref is still on that table which Messrs Cameron and Corbyn seem so fond of (timing to be confirmed) and Scotland’s electorate still have an option. If they want it.

Events though, can change all of the above in a heartbeat and make a nonsense of everything that’s happened to date. When it comes to what the the Scottish government should or shouldn’t do? Maybe worth remembering the position they are in and what put them there.

41 comments on “Somebody say something

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Somebody say something A guest post by Samuel Miller In the past few weeks of the silly season we’ve seen […]

  2. Douglas says:

    I think the fear and uncertainty is very deliberate.

    There is a part of everyone’s brain that responds rapidly to possible danger (our Amygdala) with fear or anger.

    This is primitive, rapid and very good for our ancestors when dealing with a wild beast about to eat them

    The down side is that it cripples rational reflective thought -the type of thought needed to change people’s minds to Yes.

    That is why the ongoing No campaign keeps stoking this up. It protects their base

    They want to fight the next IndyRef in the Amygdala (again).

    It is hard to get past this. Calm, peaceful reason is vital.

    The No side want to get us angry because it confirms to them that we are ‘dangerous’ and that they should listen to their fears by shutting out rational thought.

    Just a thought.

  3. mogabee says:

    Everything you’ve said here I agree with, though even I being such a mild-mannered person, is getting a little antsy.

    Howanever, negotiations between UK and EU have reconvened with no disernable agreement about anything! Which, despite Labours latest decision( Haha) is surely following a path of oot ASAP with nae trade deal of any description. I could be wrong..massively

    If that happens, this period of inactivity may well be short-lived. I wonder if anything will happen at SNP conference? ;D

  4. AnnieM says:

    All summed up beautifully as ever, thank you.

    This is from a Scottish Parliament report in 2012, but still very relevant I think:

    Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP):

    I have to agree with David McLetchie that power devolved is, indeed, power retained. We are talking about obtaining independence. As a divorce lawyer—as I was—he knows that when one party sees the end of the marriage, the marriage is at an end. The detail is then negotiated according to law and practice. The same would happen in the separation of two parts of the United Kingdom.

    It is sometimes important to work back to why certain assertions are made—for example, in the claim of right, the assertion that the Scottish people are sovereign. Much slips into our everyday parlance that has a deep-rooted and substantive cultural constitutional genesis. For example, we hear Scots being reprimanded for saying, “I seen it,” or, “I done it.” That is, in fact, grammatical language. Those phrases have survived through centuries of spoken Scots. They are not lazy or ignorant slang, but an echo from the past.

    That takes me to the claim of right from 1989 and the words:

    “We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs”.

    That Constitutional Convention was proposed in a private member’s bill way back in 1980 by the SNP leader, Gordon Wilson. Where did that sovereign right come from? There is no written UK constitution, but there are fragments of an incomplete constitutional jigsaw, some of which predate the treaty of union. We have to go as far back as the declaration of Arbroath—a declaration of Scottish independence and of conditional monarchy. Talking of Robert the Bruce, it says:

    “Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.”

    That shows that he was a king who was in office by leave of those who, at the time, represented the people. They were a narrow bunch—some 51 magnates and nobles—but, nevertheless, he was on parole.

    The significance of those words, resonating through the centuries, is that the monarch’s power to rule was conditional on the will of the people of Scotland. That is reflected in the fact that Queen Elizabeth is Queen of Scots and not of Scotland. Therefore, sovereignty—now exercised in this democracy by various institutions—is exercised through the expressed will of the Scottish people.

    That takes me to why Queen Elizabeth is designed Queen of England. If my recollection is accurate, Henry VIII of the Tudor dynasty, installing himself as the head of the church, embedded the divine right of kings to rule. Sovereignty—the embodiment of which was the monarch—was absolute. However, as power was removed from the Crown and transferred to the English Parliament through the centuries, so was sovereignty. Therefore, the English Parliament was, indeed, sovereign, but that does not overrule or supersede the conflicting principle of the sovereignty of the Scottish people.

    Article III of the Union with Scotland Act 1706 says:

    “That the United Kingdom … be represented by one and the same Parliament to be stiled The Parliament of Great Britain.”

    The significance of that is that that Parliament was not a continuation of the English Parliament or of the Scottish Parliament. Therefore, for Scotland, sovereignty remains as it always was—with the people.

    I pray in aid the case of MacCormick v the Lord Advocate, from the 1953 session cases. At that time, postboxes with “E II R” on them had been blown up, because Elizabeth was the first Elizabeth of Scotland. In that case, the following remarks were made obiter:

    “Considering that the Union legislation extinguished the Parliaments of Scotland and England and replaced them by a new Parliament, I have difficulty in seeing why it should have been supposed that the new Parliament of Great Britain must inherit all the peculiar characteristics of the English Parliament … as if all that happened in 1707 was that Scottish representatives were admitted to the Parliament of England. That is not what was done … The principle of the unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle which has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law.”

    So, why the potted constitutional history lesson? It is because it is significant to the legitimacy of the referendum, which will of course not be consultative, but will have legal and constitutional authority, as well as political authority.

    In 1979 and 1997, there was no Scottish institution to provide a mechanism for asking the Scottish people a question on the constitution. In 1979, the UK Government took it upon itself to draw up a referendum. Of course, it produced the question and chose the date—1 March 1979, which was right in the middle of the winter of discontent, when snow was falling over Scotland. That was an omen, but the 40 per cent rule, which in effect counted the dead and those who did not exercise their franchise as having voted no, was the real treachery. That was compounded by Sir Alec Douglas-Home broadcasting on the eve of the poll that we should vote no for a better deal. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    Now we have our own mechanism in the Scottish Parliament, but we do not need to have a Parliament. Even if the Parliament did not exist, if the Scottish people streamed out on to the streets of our towns, cities and villages to say with a clear voice on megaphones, on marches and online that they wanted an independent Scotland again, that would be a declaration of independence. No challenge from the Palace of Westminster, the corridors of the United Nations, this place or any courts could gainsay that. The Scottish people would say that they done it, and they done it their way.

    • Deelsdugs says:

      Brilliant!

    • Jamie MacDonald says:

      Magic potted constitutional history lesson Annie M, a short and sweet version of why the people hold the sovereign power in Scotland!
      I’m using that in future argument btw -why is the Queen of England not the Queen of Scotland? …will be my starter fur ten..
      Great post Sam, the situation to date, succinctly summarised with the greatest of clarity, thank you for your services sir.. So glad to have guys like you (and yooz all!!) on board this ship!

  5. Waiting for Scotland says:

    Likely, the EU will probably end up negotiating with itself to resolve Brexit. They are the only adults left in the room.

    The Conservatives, trapped in their 19th century laisse faire fantasy, still actually believe they are relevant in the modern world, while Labour turns itself into a pretzel trying to pretend it can be everything to all people, while satisfying none. The latter’s recent bold stroke is merely to have a longer transition period than the Tories. So instead of jumping off they cliff on March 2019, Labour prefers to jump off in March 2021. Of course, both plans still require Scotland to jump off the cliff with them.

    If their is any rationality in the ranks of those Scot’s who opposed independence in 2014, surely the current comedy we are witnessing must have moved a sufficient number of them to tip the balance in favor of Independence. In the end, it is the only pragmatic choice left open to the Scots.

    Thankfully, I still have faith that First Minister Sturgeon will find a way for Scotland and our people to navigate a safe path out of this cluster#*$k. She’s a canny lass. I am happy to leave it in her capable hands.

    • AnnieM says:

      Agree 100% with your last paragraph. Thank goodness there is still a way out for Scotland, and a competent Government to guide us.

  6. bjsalba says:

    One thing the UK Government and the MSM are not telling the UK populace is the truth about how weak their negotiating position in Brussels is. In fact the tabloid press is doing exactly the opposite.

    The UK is demanding trade talks start now and run in parallel with the Exit settlement. If I understand it correctly, the EU is in no way obligated to enter into any kind of trade agreement at all with the UK. In the event of these talks failing, the UK will revert to using WTO rules.

    I now think that is the most likely outcome.

  7. Best write up I’ve read on the current situation. We get nada information but lots of “experts”opinions which tell is zero.
    Scottish Government doing best they given current fiasco.

  8. The article failed to mention one critical factor though; in the 2017 General Election, the SNP did everything it could to distance itself from the pursuit of independence and the independence question.

    We will never know how it might have gone if they took a different approach, although I can easily imagine a mobilised Yes movement achieving more than they did, but we can say that the SNP approach was a relative failure.

    I think it was a huge error.

    • cluthab says:

      The received wisdom is that the SNP vote failed to get off their arses. Now we have to find out why.

      • JimMc says:

        The SNP were on a hiding to nothing whatever they did. As Paul said they fought a “general election”. The problem was there were no policies to discuss.

        In England the GE was all about Brexit, in Scotland the unionist parties made it primarily about a second IndyRef, which we should have hoped people would have seen through, alas no. The SNP couldn’t use that as a core issue as they’d already said we had a mandate from Hollyrood.

        With tactical voting by Labour in some areas and a large pro Brexit Tory vote in others the SNP were bound to lose seats.

        The reduction in the SNP vote may well be due to the fact that they didn’t put Indy at the centre of their agenda for GE17. If so, on the plus side it proves that the YES movement is bigger than the SNP and people will come out to vote for Indy when needed.

        • Macart says:

          Not Paul. 🙂

        • Just as I conceded that we don’t know what would have happened if the SNP had mobilised the Indy vote, you can’t say they were on a hiding to nothing either way. Discussions along those lines are pure conjecture.

          Your last paragraph is contradictory to begin with and back to front at the end. I’d say the failure to mobilise the Yes movement during the General Election proves that people will not come out to vote for the SNP when needed, unless they are motivated to do so (by Independence). At least, not all will.

          But I think it was an error and we need to learn from it, move on without holding grudges. We all make mistakes and these are particularly difficult times.

          Without the SNP we don’t have any visible path to independence and so we need to unify when things go badly or against us rather than dwell on who is to blame.

      • I think the answer is in the question. The Indy support are motivated by Indy and if the SNP tell us an election isn’t about Indy, then they lose a good chunk of support. On a more positive note, 75% of the 500,000 votes lost didn’t vote at all.

  9. cluthab says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this article and will save it for use in discussions.

  10. liz g says:

    I for one would have been as mad as hell if the SNP had risked our mandate at the General Election.
    Everything was tried to make that shit show a ratification of the no vote.
    They didn’t rise to the bait and took a hit….a hit of Westminster seat’s nice to have but not necessary to hold.
    But the mandate was never allowed to be in dispute.
    That’s no an error….IMHO that’s cleverly applied politics.

    Great article Macart …. hopefully some on the “other channel” will take in the points you made….. I can but hope!

    • Liz, I think that’s a strange argument to make now that Sturgeon has more or less put Indyref2 on hold and the unionist chorus is saying the result of the GE election result proves people don’t want independence.

      Yet you are essentially saying the approach taken by the SNP in the GE was intended to protect indyref2 and put it safely beyond dispute. You think that has been achieved?

      Can’t you at least see now that had the SNP did the very opposite and risen to their bait, by arguing that a vote for the SNP was a vote for independence, a continuing relationship with Europe, and the right to choose our own destiny, then it is likely that those 350,000 Indy supporters who decided to stay at home would have got up and voted for them?

      I think at worst we would have done no worse than we did do but, crucially, the case for indyref2 would have been massively bolstered and general morale would be sky-high; remembering, of course, that we still won an absolute majority of seats.

      Imagine the SNP had taken the approach I have outlined and won say 45 seats. This was realistically possible, I think, and what sort of powerful position would we be in now had we done so?

      • liz g says:

        No … I think that it would have been buying into to the narrative…
        Let’s get even more mandates!
        Constantly moving the goal posts doesn’t help us?
        We HAVE a mandate .
        And that Mandate has nothing to do with a UK general election..why Ruthie and her minions wanted to make it so,was to damage it.
        Can ye no see that?
        Not to allow this to happen,was smart,not strange!
        Indy ref 2 …on hold??
        Well that’s wan interpretation!
        But needless to say it’s no mine.
        Rest assured my friend before the second decade of this century..
        There will be a referendum..and YES Will win!

  11. Robert Graham says:

    I often get the feeling this confusion is manufactured , to make sure people cant get a grasp on whats going on and make sure there is nothing to get a grip on .
    This whole Brexit mess filtered through our neutral media , it’s going well but the EU are not doing what the tory party want, no shit eh .
    All the statements re the negotiations , difficult , complex, time limited and a need for urgency , what do the tories do , they have an election , fart about a bit then they go on their holybags , they dont intend to complete these negotiations , they will up end the table and blame the EU for intransigence

  12. Dan Huil says:

    Very good article. IMO it’s going to be a hard brexit. There will be indyref2. IMO it has to be before the next Holyrood election. Pressure is building on all involved. Britnats will crack first [are already cracking].

  13. Brian Powell says:

    Scots want everything to be fixed but instead of giving the Government that can get it done all the support they can many flap around indulging in dilettante voting.
    I went to Tommy Sheppard’s talk at the Thomas Muir Lecture and he said there were young people who supported him but were getting excited by Corbynism, they wanted to be part of that.
    When I heard that i did think, What fucking country do you think you live in? Who do you think has overall control? Do you think you can try a bit of this and a bit of that, and it will all be OK?

    • Brian, if you were there, I’d have thought you’d have more to worry about than what young people are thinking.

      Sheppard is advocating an approach that puts indyref2 on hold until 2022 at the earliest, with the 2021 elections being fought on making a case for indyref2 (all over again).

      The logical assumption here, on the basis of what Sheppard says, is that we must not have a clear enough mandate now to press forward.

      • Yes we do have a mandate.
        We go for Indyref 2 before the EU doors are closed to us and the 180,000 EU workers living here still have a vote, plus 16-17 year olds who are shown to be more Yes minded, and in a timeframe when we are fully aware of the ridiculously inept and damaging Brexit terms ‘negotiated’ by Davis; i.e., no freedom of movement to work play or settle elsewhere on our own Continent, massive new tariffs on everything from Prosecco to Parma, customs posts, border controls, the Red Blue and Yellow British Nationalists ‘taking back control’ of our Employment Rights, Human Rights, and so on, and 10’s of thousands of redundancies begin as EU companies pack up shop and move back to the mainland.
        The notion that we very conveniently wait until the Brit Nats get their shit in order, and risk another 2 elections, during which, free of EU interference, England can visit any legislation it likes upon Scottish Democracy. WM will certainly ban EU workers and probably teenagers from any vote, if they even sanction Indyref2 at all.
        They could scrap Holyrood in 2019 if they so chose, Mr Sheppard. The riposte; ‘just let them try’ does not reassure me.
        Tommy, we go now, in October 2018, or at latest April 2019, before the EU doors slam shut in England’s dilatory faces.( the emphasis being on ‘tory’.)
        Corbyn has established within the last week that his incredible ignorance of governance of Scotland and the barefaced lies he was allowed to make about the SNP live on every outlet that he is just an old tired Islington Commie with an allotment.
        He would close Holyrood tomorrow, just like his Blue and Yellow fellow British Nationalists.
        He is an enemy of the people of Scotland, not a friend.
        Lets all laugh at the Branch Office’s ‘choice’ of leader next time.
        It will be a Momentum sponsored Maoist for sure.
        Dugdale may even defect.

        • Les Bremner says:

          We must all stop thinking that we are somehow not in control. When you say “WM will certainly ban EU workers and probably teenagers from any vote, if they even sanction Indyref2 at all.”

          I, with respect, would point out a few points.

          The Draft Referendum Bill gives EU people and teenagers the ability to vote.

          This is a divorce from an abusive partner. An abuser will never sanction the abused to do anything that would adversely affect the relationship.

          Scotland has, as has been enshrined in Law, the sovereignty of the people. Therefore, if Holyrood runs a simple opinion poll on Independence, that will be the democratic will of the people.

          In short, we don’t need London to do anything. We are in control.

          • Agreed, Les. However after we are cut adrift with England into the ocean, who has our backs when WM declares that the Scottish People are subject to English juris prudence?
            Admittedly, I want a plebiscite sooner rather than later; and certainly not as far distant as 2021, 2022.

            • Les Bremner says:

              If Westminster unilaterally declares that we are subject to English jurisprudence, that would be seen as subjugation.

              If we then have a declaration from the people declaring Scottish Independence, the first act would be seen as one country attempting to prevent another having its right of self determination.

              To answer your question, we would have the United Nations and most countries in the EU. I think that we could add countries in EFTA, and others on the EU periphery such as the Isle of Man. In fact, the way England is behaving over Brexit, they may well relish the opportunity to poke England in the eye. We will not be alone.

              • Let’s hope not, Les.
                We would of course tell England to ‘eff off’, to quote Cameron.
                There would be significant minority who cause trouble. the Usual nut jobs and knuckle draggers, oh, and all of our land owning Belted Earls.
                Keep the faith, Comrade Bremenerski.
                We shall prevail.

  14. Great article Macart.

    Anyone getting excited about ‘Corbynism’ in Scotland is clearly not paying attention. I think our young folk are far smarter than that. They have more info. at their fingertips (thumbs) than many of us (over a certain age) ever had.

  15. Sam , I’ve been laid low(still am) but that’s a story for another day.
    An excellent summary of where we are and what we are dealing with in the here and now.
    Davis is Over There making a right international laughing stock of himself as the Red Blue And Yellow Tory British Nationalists dithering mouthpiece. His stupid perma smirk can’t help..

    Talks to be delayed yet again until October at least, because the EU27 will not roll over and play Dying Fly in the face of Mighty Britland’s historic tactic of demanding everything they want, rather than as the junior, demonstrably weaker, actor in a set of World changing negotiations up against a much mightier Federation of Nations, showing at least humility and respect, and come prepared to do business.
    Davis and the Darling Duds o’ May really don’t have a clue. Corbyn and Keir Starmer are so far off the pace that they are drifting away behind into oblivion .
    The Lib Dems?

    As I suggested Brexit is beginning to hurt where only Brit Nats really hurt, in their pockets.

    Tales of woe of returning holiday makers about exchange rates, the cost of their precious pint of Brew 11, or Boddington’s in the Costas, the pizza and chips meal, night club electric soup depth charges, and probably ‘DF’ Fags and booze on the inevitable journey back to Brit Natland are appearing in the English Blahs.

    Reality Bites:
    £24 Visa application for the next boozy bachelor /ette binge on the Med.

    Perhaps they hadn’t considered that when they voted to ‘take back control’ and spending ‘our money’ in England when they stopped paying the EU ‘taxes’.?

    Promises were made: Billions saved, £350 million a week boost to the English NHS, while, as Nuttall declared on QT during the campaign which prompted sturdy applause, that he was ‘fed up of the whinging Scots’, and promised to cut the Barnett Money to the subsidy junky Scots post Brexit when UKIP ruled the waves?

    The Brexit spiel was a vast Ultra Right Wing Fascist Tissue of Lies.

    The British Nationalists bought into blood and soil National Socialism.

    For forty years since Enoch’s Smethwick race rant, many had held back, while Bradford, and other traditional English towns were flooded with immigrants, like Houston Texas this week, and native Englishmen and their womenfolk couldn’t get a dentist /doctor appointment, their hospitals were overflowing, only those and such as those got a council house, and they were not even bothering to learn English any more, and did I say they were taking al our jobs…

    but with the advent of UKIP and Ruth Davidson’s gipsy- hating- homophobic- sectarian- bigot- sex perverts- welcome Party, they suddenly let loose.
    Drive out Johnny Foreigner who had stolen all ‘our jobs’ (Echoes of Clunking Brown’s ‘British jobs for British workers’ xenophobic racism there)

    Torrance’s piece of toss in today’s Herald sinks to freshly dredged, previously uncharted mud flats level of banality and pusillanimous sophistry. A ‘Brexit dilemma’, DT? Crisis, what crisis?

    There would have been less of a stooshie if Davis and May had actually acknowledged and accepted Sturgeon’s Alternative proposals for Scotland post Brexit with the EU and UK after March 2019.
    instead Torrance implies that completely on his own, he is suggesting that it would be a great idea for HMG UK to work collaboratively with the Devolved GOVERNMENTS, not ‘Administrations’, to use the vast professional reports by experts on retaining membership of the Single Market, freedom of movement and employment, customs union, and remain within the EJC system and protection.
    Yet since June 2016, Mr. T has had little to say about the Brexiteers ignoring, rejecting, and pooh poohing every submission, report, or action points a Joint Brexit meetings.
    Now was never a good time to discuss anything in any detail because, quite frankly, as of today, there is no clear Brexit position from WM/Whitehall on paper to discuss, never mind take to the negotiating table in Brussels.
    Yet Torrance ignores reality and pitches in with his precious GERS dig, going off on the SNP BAD tangent .
    Down the garden path as England and Wales commit suicide.
    No cigar ,Torrance.

    The majority of us Scots remain in the real world of a plummeting pound, EU workers heading back home, the EU27 on the brink of ‘No Dealing’ the whole farce, and to hell with what May Mundell and Johnson neurotically believe they can foist on to the Foreigner at the Door.
    In an article below Torrance ‘opinion piece’, somebody called Marianne Taylor wants us to Hug a Tory.
    Her Dad was working class but voted Tory, so there.
    I can like Ruth Davidson yet despise her politics?
    What a rose tinted Ubiquitous Chip Byers Road Chardonney sipping fujitas dipping world this lass must inhabit.
    I am asked to like someone who has visited Victorian levels of poverty penury and death on at least 500,000 of my fellow citizens? It’s only politics? We can all be buddies in the bar and discuss the new Scotland fly-half’s record?
    Love a Tory, Marianne? Are you for real, or just another Brit Nationalist talking bum fluff?
    Off to lie down in the proverbial darkened room, Sam
    Excellent work. Keeping it real, as usual.
    No feelin’ 100% Lem Sip for me.

    • I’m so sorry you’re still under par, Jack. Hope you soon feel much better …. no-one would know from this excellent comment that you were on anything but top form!

      • Thanks, Wendy, getting there slowly but surely.
        I’m thinking about applying for the Labour Leader job. It must be about my turn now.
        Expect a 500 curry banquet on the S Side of Glasgow soon.
        Has anyone seen Jenny Mara recently?
        Big Neil F will get the gig and order the team to wear Mao hessian suits and rope sandals, and sport Jeremy Corbyn Donovan corduroy caps even when it’s not raining.
        Gonna try a sleep now. Bonne nuit, mes braves.

    • Macart says:

      The only thing worse than man flu is the real thing.

      Take it easy Jack and well said.

  16. Anne says:

    I hear Kezia is ‘quitting the day job’

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