You can’t buy this

A guest post by Samuel Miller

Been quite the weekend on the news front readers, but we’ll get to that real news in a moment. Also? Briefly on another tangent entirely and very much in the vein of WHO KNEW? Apparently there’s been a government leak which sez a no deal Brexit will be very, very bad. Near Hollywood disaster movie bad in fact. Food shortages, airdrops, carnage and chaos bad. Full-on three bears bad. Daddy bear BAD being the very worst!

“The supermarkets in Cornwall and Scotland will run out of food within a couple of days, and hospitals will run out of medicines within two weeks.”

There’s also a mummy bear Brexit scenario, which is not quite as bad. Oh, and a baby bear Brexit which has probably only done something unfortunate in the woods near your back door. Mmmmm, not to be a party pooper, but isn’t this pretty much old news?

As for leaking/rehashing? Other than leaking being highly unsanitary, a cynic might suggest it’s also a good way for governments to test the water. As in – (Wavy lines) ‘This outcome is going to be soooo awful, but thenks to our unparalleled negotiating brilliance? We believe we can secure one of the slightly less kettastroaphic outcomes. It’ll only mean penury for the vast majority of the UKs public for several decades, but it could hev bin sooooo much worse. No. No. There’s no need to thenk us…etc’ (Wavy lines back to reality).

Just to be crystal? It never pays to assume that all of the public haven’t been paying attention. Many folk are already well aware that there are three scenarios and that none of them are good. They’re ALL pretty catastrophic outcomes and frankly no amount turd polishing or dumbing down a sales pitch, will alter the fact for those affected.

Now onto that real news.

Turns out there was a bit of a get together in Dumfries for the YES movement on Saturday (stop cheering at the back). Upwards of ten thousand attending decided to let the meeja, politics pundits and politicians, know exactly what they think of their recent commentary and musings on all things indy. I mean, we’ve pretty much heard it all by this point. The YES movement is divided because, growth commission, left politics, right politics, green politics, hates England, Islands will annex themselves, werewolves… reasons in general. Oh, and that people definitely aren’t interested in referendums.  No appetite etc, etc. Well? For the second time in recent history, clearly the YES movement begs to differ. Pretty damned impressive I’d say, considering these marches are organised at grassroots level.

That’s not the only thing they beg to differ on though. Some people may wonder at the use or need for these marches. Maybe they consider them twee, a bit fleg wavy, not serious politics or whatever (shrugs). Personally? I disagree with that kind of thinking. I think these marches do more for those who do matter in and to the world of politics. The people themselves. The right to march in protest or support of a thing, without inciting violence, is precious to our vision and practice of democracy.

In this particular instance, outside of the fact that they bring independence minded people together for a much needed morale boost in pretty dark times? They illustrate, unambiguously, that for every negative and hateful misrepresentation that’s been put out there about them and what they stand for, their reality is the polar opposite of the myth created by less savoury media and political elements. These marchers prove beyond doubt that their political engagement can be positive, peaceful and carry impact. A joy and a privilege to be part of. What the people of these towns and cities will see with every peaceful march can’t be unseen and what they hear, can’t be unheard. For a movement that has rarely received fair or equal representation within the UK’s media or body politic?

You can’t buy that kind of positive imagery.

The groups and individuals attending seem to perfectly understand the true meaning of social unity on and beyond these islands and the impact this solidarity can have when on display. Kinda knocks the meeja’s ‘movement divided’ narrative on its sorry wossiname, yes? Also pretty certain that most of the folk attending these marches have no illusions about why they’re marching and what they hope to achieve either.

I think they’re perfectly aware that independence is not an end in itself. It’s the means to an end. It’s the beginning of a Scotland yet to be, with all the possibilities and visions that entails. Clearly, unlike the folk in Meejaworld, it appears many in the YES movement don’t have a problem understanding the meaning of compromise or consensus to achieve a desired outcome. Again. Who knew?

Might be those marchers are fully aware that an independent Scotland has need of all those visions and ideas. That an independent Scotland needs as diverse a society and plurality of progressive political views as we can all summon. An independent Scotland yet to be and it really only needs one thing to make it possible. Your belief in the principle of self determination.

That principle should bind all of us under one banner. Don’t you think? That principle should unify the rich and the poor. The radical and the more conservative (with a small ‘c’). All parties, no parties. All creeds and all points of origin. Seems to me the folk attending these marches have a pretty fair grasp of that concept.

One last thought to be getting on with. The SNP, as the government of the day, may very well be our first government of an independent Scotland. How and ever, in the history we hope to write for ourselves from that day forward? It most certainly won’t be the last.

As I’ve said more than once or twice, the SNP are currently gatekeepers. They can only hold that gate open for so long before a Westminster government, desperate to consolidate its waning power and resource base and seeking to draw yet more constitutional power to itself, actively moves to close the gate and dump the key in the deepest trench in the ocean.

Personally? At this point I’m for kicking that gate off its hinges altogether.

83 comments on “You can’t buy this

  1. Absolutely…trudat Samuel!

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Brilliant, Sam! As always, you get right to the nub of the matter and tell it in such a way that even the biggest numpty can clearly understand. Oh, and if you need any help kicking that gate down, just say the word!

  3. Sorry, I’m still cheering at the back. I wasn’t there on Saturday but will be trying to get to whatever I can reach in the future. This kind of publicity for the Independence grassroots movement ought to have the British Nationalists s*******g where they grovel.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      You are I suspect correct that they will be worried this time more than last. To get such a turnout at the marches shows we of all political persuasion or non are getting on with it. Even some ‘NO’ acquaintances I talk to are started to ask about the cause. The march makes things visible even when the Beeb and others ignore it.

    • Weechid says:

      It was fantastic. Even the Sunday Herald would struggle to obtain a photo to misrepresent this one. The biggest Britnat protest came from around 15 people – led by one Mr McConnachie (so, not local then), two of whom were holding their butcher’s apron upside down – maybe signalling their distress. Mr McConnachie, even armed with megaphone, was inaudible for most of the time due to the cheers and singing of the marchers. Many. many local people lined the route and the majority were showing their support. Among the marchers, it is thought that around 50% were from the D& G region – not bad for a “former” No voting area (to quote the National). Stalwarts were English Scots for Yes, proudly carrying their George Cross flags and helping to put paid to the racism myth and, judging by the age of many of the marchers, the anti independence pensioner myth was also laid to rest. My grateful thanks to all who came to my home town and turned the Whitesands blue. I’,m rested and ready to do it all over again.

      • AnnieM says:

        Living in Spain I was unable to attend the Dumfries rally, but I watched it on Independence Live and was moved to tears watching all these wonderful people marching through a well kent town. I would love to know how many of the Brit Nat protesters were from Dumfries & Galloway.

        As for Fluffy Junior saying that the march was an insult to democracy and to the people of Dumfries …….. well!!!!!!

      • Lanark says:

        Well said Weechid. It really was amazing to this in Dumfries

        I was there with my family and it was friendly.

        The only downside was the holocaust denier and his sad wee group. Apparently he was claiming that there were only 350 on the march!

  4. JKydd-Corr says:

    Magnificent! We live in dark times, let’s keep lighting torches

  5. Andy Anderson says:

    I was at a family wedding in a village outside Leeds last weekend so could not manage Dumfries. My first will be Stirling. Looking forward to it.

    Reading tweets on the Wings over Scotland website it was good to read that the turn out of the public to actually watch the march was apparently very high. People had come into the town to see it. To get 10,000 plus in a 2014 NO area is very good.

    I have been reading the Brexit stuff Sam. The only good thing about a crash Brexit is that I suspect it will support our cause even though it will hurt us all.

    At my wedding I was obviously wearing the full Prince Charlie kilt outfit just to show our English ‘cousins’ how to dress properly. All the people I talked to seemed nice people. The point of interest was that a good few talked about our quest for Independence. They were, with no exceptions clueless. Mind you that applies to many up here also. Had a good chat though and opened a few eyes I hope. A couple stated they do not want us to leave which was nice I suppose.


  6. Arthur thomson says:

    I live in the South East of England so it isn’t all that practical for me but one day I will get myself on one of these demonstrations. Meantime, my sincere respects to those who walked and those who put in the hard work to make it possible.

    I hope there will be many more.

  7. Lisa Smith says:

    So proud of all the Marchers!… another great peaceful,inclusive, democratic turnout! – so important for morale among Yessers, and to show there most certainly IS an appetite for Independence…via referendum or whatever means will get us there!…I’ll be able to go to Stirling on the 23rd – canny wait!!

  8. Walter Hamilton says:

    The speed that Mundell Jr. was on the box trying to play down this upsurge for independence shows just how worried the Unionists are, and they should be. Next stop Bannockburn.

  9. wm says:

    With a twenty four hour seven days a week better together British nationalist MSM, plus the three British National parties continually against the independance movement, I think we are more than holding our own. Indy can’t come quick enough.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      If anything they with all there might seem to be on the defence woof davidson losing it with the vow should never of happened as she was against it which is saying her word words don’t mean crap to her English masters what so ever and the son of fluffy the traitor trying to play this down and the English Scots for yes condemn him straight away oh they gonadotropin lose when it begins and the traitors aren’t even hiding it anymore.

    • Cubby says:

      A modern David v Goliath tale. Goliath is going down

  10. Az says:

    Nice post Sam.

  11. Well, the other half and I were marching at Dumfries and what an honour it was to be there – weather perfect, lovely people (from near and far), very organised volunteer stewards and police officers who policed with such a soft touch you would have thought they were part of the parade. And what a glorious park to march to, it was an awesome venue….thank you everyone, thank you Dumfries

    We were talking to a lovely lady at the start, maybe a pensioner for indy, maybe not quite, but she was saying this was her first march although she had been at the #HOOP rally. She told us she ended up standing to some TORY voters at Holyrood who said they weren’t YES, but they knew how much Scotland needed her own Parliament and so felt they had to be there for the protest. As this lady said, when you have tories demonstrating against Westmonster, you know the tide is turning

    This is it folks……we’re on our way. Bye bye tories, bye bye pissing our taxes up against a wall of depravity, illegal wars and WMD. Bye bye 300 plus years of being told how useless we are.

    Oh I know it’s gonna be, a lovely day……….

    • grumpydubai says:

      Absolutely agree with what you and MacArthur have to say here.

      Look forward to further marches to show our people this is something to cherish.

      Let us all remember this MUST be done peaceably and politely and have no hint of politics in these representations as we should only be representing the great opportunity of Independence (from Westminster). Thereafter other issues can be determined by the People of Scotland.

    • JGedd says:

      You are so right. Everything was perfect, including the weather, and all respect to the organizers who ensured that everything went off smoothly and safely. It was an enjoyable outing but as Sam has said it was more important than that, for what it represented. Independence support became a visible presence in an area where many might have been encouraged to think that it had been subdued and weakened.

      Those who are snooty about this kind of spectacle, have not understood the power of the visual. The Britnats do, however, recognise that power. The MSM use it all the time to transmit a subliminal message.

      ( By the way, Bill Dale was on this site recently talking of reframing the narrative and suggested the slogan which undermines the BritNat subliminal message of ‘ too wee, too poor, too stupid’ as ‘big enough, rich enough, smart enough’. That slogan was on a banner at the march, so it has caught on.)

      • The Soupdragon says:

        I didn’t see Bill’s post, but I’m pretty sure he will have suggested “big enough, SMART enough, rich enough” – the whole point about reframing is that it does not replicate the other side’s phrasing, so not only must we assert our positive attributes, we must do so in a *different order*.

        While I’m glad the slogan as you report it has caught on – because it’s conceding their framing by using the same order, I am rather alarmed that banners, stickers, etc are appearing with that wording.

        The Wings stall sported a banner with the wording the correct (from my point of view) way round, as can be seen in Monday’s National.

        • JGedd says:

          Sorry, I probably got the word order wrong. Didn’t realise it was such a monumental mistake. Is there a formal inquisition I have to answer to? Maybe I should hand myself in for re-education. It’s this kind of irritating nit-picking that makes me want to disengage entirely from the whole debate. So, goodbye, I won’t be back.

          • Don’t you dare go off in the cream puff, JGedd.
            Personally I prefer ‘too big, too wealthy, too clever’ to be ‘let go’ by our English Overlords.
            It’s a vast chunk of colonial wealth that Wangland is losing.
            You can ‘frame’ it any way you like.

            • JGedd says:

              Sorry have posted a reply to your post, Jack, in the wrong place @ 11.12 pm. I really have to get off the laptop. G’night, jack.

              • The Soupdragon says:

                J Gedd, I’m really sorry I’ve upset you so much, and hope you won’t go away. I only post here occasionally, whereas you are a regular contributor and would be a great loss.

                I also hope I’m not going to make things worse by saying the following – the point (as I understand it) about reframing is that it takes things out of the original world view, to encourage people to rethink. Therefore, in this particular instance, word order isn’t nit-picking, in the way that it would probably be a lot of the rest of the time, but fundamental to the act of reframing.

                That is something I feel sure Bill would have said, in his post that I did not see, so I thought it was important to mention, after you had cited him. If you can remember which article his post was on, I will search for it and see if I am mistaken.

    • Catherine says:

      Absolutely agree, Beautiful day, gorgeous park to walk to. I wasn’t able to do the walk……too many aches and pains….but stood in the park watching the march come in. What a beautiful sight. Great day for Dumfries. Well done to the organisers and to Dumfries.

  12. Julia Gibb says:

    I would like to see 100,000+ at Bannockburn. I think that would be a very powerful message.

  13. Cubby says:

    “””””Kick that gate off its hinges””””””

  14. Jan Cowan says:

    Yes, Cubby, I thoroughly enjoyed that one. Thank you, Sam


    Part One of Five

    This may take a while.

    Sam, as usual , you are on the money; it’s been quite the weekend on the news front readers.

    Ruth Davidson was ‘fucking furious’. Sorry, ‘f***ing furious’ about the Vow, according to her Biographer Andrew Liddle who seems perversely to be Political Communications Officer for the Scottish Labour Party.

    St Andrew’s Uni Old Boy, ex dead tree scroller in Aberdeen and Dundee.

    The Herald, Record, and Scotsman (I gave up looking after this) latched on to the ‘f***ing furious’ strap, with big photies of Ruth in ‘fucking furious’ (oops) mood, providing nationwide free publicity for one of their own flogging the life story of Davidson the politician with no politics, apparently.

    They’ve all latched on to the Growth Report to write some frantic panic stricken pish about the invented Split in the YES Movement (the Record and Scotsman do not feature the Dumfries AUOB Rally in Dumfries at all) because ‘Nicola Sturgeon’will continue with the Blue Tory Death Cuts, and keep the pound, and wear a Union Jack Dress…..

    Whereas Davidson has turned into a Corbyn Copy of a Leftie Militant touting a soft Customs Union Brexit, Immigration and a Land Tax on the Duke of Buccleuch.

    That will be shining bright.

    Yet The Independence supporting (titter ye may, missus.)Sunday Herald have their hacks produce some pretty special nonsense to back this farce up.

    This from Mark Smith:-

    “In Ms Sturgeon’s case, there was an apparent move away from the left with the launch of a report on independence that read like a comeback by George Osborne. Ms Davidson on the other hand was busy promoting a most un-Tory-like policy of increasing tax and an end to Theresa May’s immigration targets. Because this is what happens now: the old labels of left and right can be stuck on, and ripped off, depending on the political contingencies of the moment.”

    To think he gets paid for writing toss like this.

    And just in case we’ve missed the message, Iain Macwhirter of all people comes up with this crap, sorry, c**p.

    “Why Davidson and Sturgeon are copying each other’s work. (Note The Herald editor’s pecking order.)
    It’s a funny old world. There was the Scottish Tory leader and, we’re told, the likely next leader of the UK Conservative Party, arguing for tax increases for the NHS, more immigration and even land value tax, in her speech in Glasgow last week. Meanwhile, social-democrat Nicola Sturgeon was defending the SNP Growth Commission report calling for rigid spending limits and deficit reduction. It’s a curious reversal of roles.

    Of course, everyone should beware Conservatives talking up the NHS while in opposition. The leopard doesn’t change its spots, and Tories have always prioritised “balancing the books” over public spending when in government. Similarly, we should be sceptical about a spending party like the SNP promising to be more prudent than Gordon Brown back in the 1990s. Nicola Sturgeon’s instincts are very much on the social side of the equation. Indeed, she keeps insisting that the Growth Commission doesn’t really mean austerity, even when it bases its prospectus for independence on the very definition of it.”

    So there you have it. Robin McAlpine and Loki will be spitting teeth. You can stick your AUOB YES Movement notion up your arse, sorry, a**e.

    Check out Bill Dale’s post over on ‘An Open Letter To Ruth Davidson’ on the influence of ‘framing’ the Indyref debate.

    This is what Smith and MacWhirter attempt here.

    They imply that Sturgeon and Davidson are on an equal footing politically, and the Herald obligingly provides a cropped photo showing both side by side in matching red outfits. Very Derren Brown that one.

    I’ve used up your attention span for the moment, Dear Reader.
    More, much f***ing more, later.


    Part Two of Five

    Nicola Sturgeon is the FM of our Scottish Government.

    The SNP hold 62 seats, most of the FPTP Constituency votes, and the SNP has 35 MPs at Westminster.

    Sturgeon is the Leader of the SNP, and as such, heads the Party’s policies on devolved matters and also UK reserved issues like, Defence, the UK Economy, Immigration, and Foreign Policy.

    The SNP is a grown up UK Party, the democratic choice of the Scottish people (in Ruth Davidson’s FPTP Westminster Terms) in Scotland and UK wide.

    Sturgeon is a serious politician whose government makes decisions, implements policies, and runs the country.

    Ruth Davidson is a Branch Manager of the Northern Colony of the Blue Tory English Government.

    She is the ‘leader’ of 31 MSPs, most of whom failed to win at constituency level and are therefore hand picked Blue Tory placemats, List MSPs.

    She is not the ‘boss’ of the 13 Blue Tory WM MPs although her face was plastered all over their campaign leaflets last year.

    It is not ‘Ruth Davidson’s party’. It is ‘Big T’s Party’.
    It’s not her party, but she can cry if she wants to. (Apologies to Susan Maugham.Oh, look it up.)

    Mundell is SoS for Scotland, and even he can’t get on to the Brexit Team.

    In other words, in political terms within in their precious UK Nirvana, she’s a nobody, a never was.

    To compare and contrast Davidson with Sturgeon is to compare a seaside Donkey with a Palamino.

    I note that the Bookies have quoted Davidson ‘way down the Runners and Riders at 16/1 in the Tory Leadership stakes. Gove is favourite at 7/2.

    Yet Smith and Macwhirter draw comparisons with Scotland’s FM, as though Davidson pouting and criticising May’s Brexit folly had any significance in the Real World..

    We are past peak Davidson.

    She is pregnant. She is standing down and Jackson Carlaw will be acting ‘Leader’, possibly for a year, or maybe more.

    I doubt that any WM politician, or Jo Coburn of the Beeb for that matter, would recognise Carlaw if they bumped into him in the street, which will be highly unlikely in the next 12 months.

    Let’s leap into a Blue Tory Holyrood Future where Ma Davidson sweeps to power and forms a Government in Edinburgh. Fetch that man a Kleenex.

    Time for another tea break.
    More to follow.


    Part Three of Five

    Let’s assume a Night of The Long Knives when Ruth Davidson ascends the Throne.

    Out will go all those social democratic policies.

    Davidson would usher in a Free Market WTO post EU neo conservatibe Beanfeast.

    It may be assumed that she would parallel WM Blue Tory policies and economics.

    I can cut and paste with the best of our Brit Nat Dead Tree Scrollers, so here goes.

    Liz Smith and Oliver Mundell will be handed the education portfolio? Ye gods.

    Education in England
    “Teaching unions say £2.8bn real-terms drop in funding has driven schools to breaking point.
    Analysis of government figures shows half of the staff lost from schools were classroom teachers.
    Secondary schools in England have lost 15,000 teachers and teaching assistants in the last two years, resulting in bigger classes and less individual attention for pupils, according to teachers’ leaders. Many schools are facing deficits and more than half of the biggest multi-academy chains have issued warnings about funding.
    Based on analysis of government figures, the unions say the 15,000 job losses equate to an average reduction of 5.5 members of teaching and support staff in every secondary since 2015.
    Almost half of those are classroom teachers, who are being lost at a time when pupil numbers are growing, according to the School Cuts alliance of education unions. It says the situation is likely to deteriorate, estimating that nine in 10 primary and secondary schools (17,942 in total) will be affected by a real-terms cut in funding during 2015-19.

    On average, the staff cuts equate to 2.4 classroom teachers, 1.6 teaching assistants and 1.5 support staff in every secondary since 2015
    As well as job cuts, schools are having to reduce the number of subjects they offer and their extracurricular activities. In many schools, parents are being asked to make regular voluntary contributions.
    English Universities
    “University Tuition Fees To Increase Year On Year Until 2020
    As Government Passes New Legislation and international students will still be counted in net migration figures.
    Universities in England will now be able to increase tuition fees every year until 2020, regardless of teaching quality.
    Yesterday, Parliament rushed through the Higher Education and Research Bill, which will see fees increase to £9,250 in September. Under the legislation, tuition fees were initially supposed to increase based on improved teaching standards.
    English universities will be able to increase fees based on inflation annually until 2020

    In the meantime, universities will be able to implement annual fee hikes based on inflation until the TEF is introduced in 2020.
    The news comes just weeks after it was announced that millions of graduates will be forced to pay more interest on their student loans thanks to Brexit, with rates soaring up to 6.1%.”
    Tuition Fees in Scotland at last!


    Miles Briggs and Annie Wells will champion Health in Scotland under the New regime. (Panic now.)

    Here are some abstracts from news reports on English Health and Care under Ruth Davidson’s Party at WM:-

    “The Conservatives have been accused of “economic murder” for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.
    The paper (BMJ Study) found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels.
    On this trajectory that could rise to nearly 200,000 excess deaths by the end of 2020, even with the extra funding that has been earmarked for public sector services this year.
    Real terms funding for health and social care fell under the Conservative-led Coalition Government in 2010, and the researchers conclude this “may have produced” the substantial increase in deaths.
    The paper identified that mortality rates in the UK had declined steadily from 2001 to 2010, but this reversed sharply with the death rate growing again after austerity came in.
    And the majority of those were people reliant on social care, the paper says: “This is most likely because social care experienced greater relative spending constraints than healthcare.”
    “It is now very clear that austerity does not promote growth or reduce deficits – it is bad economics, but good class politics,” [Professor King ]said. “This study shows it is also a public health disaster. It is not an exaggeration to call it economic murder.”

    Professor Martin Roland Emeritus Professor of Health Services Research, University of Cambridge said: “This study suggests that a change happened to cause deaths to stop declining around 2014. This is likely to be a correct finding. However, the link to health and social care spending is speculative as observational studies of this type can never prove cause and effect.”

    NHC England cancelled Operations
    The main points from the latest release are:
    • During the quarter ending 31st March 2018, 25,475 operations were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons by NHS providers. In the same period in 2016/17, there were 21,219 cancelled operations.
    • Cancelled operations during the quarter represented 1.3% of all elective activity, which is higher than the corresponding percentage in the same period in 2016/17 (1.1%).
    • Of these cancellations 2,948 (11.6%) of patients were not treated within 28 days of a cancellation. In the same period in 2016/17, 1,663 (7.8%) of patients were not treated within 28 days.
    The NHS is “haemorrhaging” nurses with one in 10 now leaving the NHS in England each year, figures show.

    More than 33,000 walked away last year, piling pressure on understaffed hospitals and community services.

    The figures – obtained by the BBC from NHS Digital – represent a rise of 20% since 2012-13, and mean there are now more leavers than joiners.

    Nurse leaders said it was a “dangerous and downward spiral”, but NHS bosses said the problem was being tackled.
    More than 10% of the nursing workforce have left NHS employment in each of the past three years
    The number of leavers would be enough to staff more than 20 average-sized hospital trusts
    More than half of those who walked away in the last year were under the age of 40
    Leavers outnumbered joiners by 3,000 last year, the biggest gap over the five-year period examined by the BBC
    Brexit may have had an impact. Since the referendum the NHS has gone from EU joiners outnumbering leavers to the reverse – more leavers than joiners
    Nurses are being pulled off research work, special projects and admin roles to plug the gaps

    BUT NOTE:-
    In Northern Ireland and Scotland, the leaver rates are rising. In the most recent years, 7.5% of nurses left NHS employment in Northern Ireland and 7.2% did so in Scotland. But in both nations, the number of joiners outnumbered leavers.

    Two in three hospitals and half of GP practices now have shortages of doctors, a poll of medics suggests.

    Doctors said they were being forced to “juggle” large numbers of patients and leave many suffering delays because of shortages of staff.
    Two thirds of doctors said Accident & Emergency services had deteriorated in the last year, while even more said access to GPs had worsened.

    The poll of 900 doctors found 71 per cent of those working in hospitals had seen shifts left uncovered, because of staff shortages, while 47 per cent of GPs reported vacancies in their practice.”

    This is England now.
    Blue Tory Scotland in 2021?
    Prescription charges, charges on care for the elderly, Richard Branson’s Virgin take over of GP Surgeries and A&E?

    Gawn yersel, Annie, Miles. Fill your boots.

    I don’t know about you, but I need another break.


    Part Four of Five

    Liam Kerr would presumably get control of Police Scotland.

    Police England

    “The Government has been accused of “losing control in the fight against crime” as figures show that recorded offences rose by 14 per cent while the number of police officers plummeted to a record low.

    Surges in knife and gun attacks drove an increase to 5.3 million crimes across England and Wales in the year to September 2017 – the largest rise since the introduction of a national recording regime in 2002.

    There was also more reported burglary, sexual offences, car theft and robbery, all coming alongside the mounting terror threat facing Britain.
    Knife and gun crime rockets across England and Wales

    But in the same period, the number of police officers fell to 121,929, the lowest figure since comparable records began 22 years ago.

    Figures released by the Home Office showed small increases in the number of police staff but further decreases for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) – down 5 per cent – and volunteer Special Constables, down 15 per cent.

    “Police numbers have hit a historic low, recorded crime is rising faster than ever before and more and more criminals are walking free. It just shows you simply cannot trust the Tories to keep our communities safe.”

    But the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said falling police officer numbers were a particular concern as recorded crime levels rise.”

    The Fire service.

    Alexander Stewart MSP Local Government brief? A committed Brexiteer.
    Allez les Pompiers!

    English Fire Service

    “Government cuts are to blame for a rise in fire-related deaths in England last year, according to the union representing firefighters.
    Official figures show that 303 people died in fires during 2015/16, up 15% on the previous year.
    Response times to all types of serious fires also rose, in some cases by as much as one minute and eight seconds.
    The Fire Brigades Union said the figures reflect the real impact that cuts have had on the ability of firefighters to do their job in recent years.

    “Firefighters are praised when they rescue people, they deal with particularly difficult incidents, but all the time their job is being undermined by cuts.
    “There has been a record number of fire station closures, fire engines being cut and 10,000 firefighter jobs go.
    “So that means people are left running the service on a shoestring.”

    The Rail Network.

    Jaimie Greene’s portfolio.

    English Privatised Rail Service

    “Commuters are heading into their third week of train chaos as the new timetable is implemented. Those in the North are perhaps faring the worst as Northern Rail’s emergency timetable appeared to fail to stop cancellations.

    The rail operator axed 165 daily services after two weeks of heavy cancellations and delays, in order to ease pressure on the service and ensure the trains scheduled to run would not be scrapped.
    However, as commuters traveled to work on Monday, they were once again met by departure boards full of cancelled trains.

    The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have tremendous sympathy with everyone who has had their rail journey delayed or disrupted. “What we have seen has been totally unacceptable.” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is expected to make a statement to MPs later, Downing Street indicated. The spokesman said Theresa May had full confidence in her Transport Secretary.( No shit, Sherlock.)

    By 8.30am, over 60 trains had already been cancelled. Because of the disruption to lives these cancellations have caused, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is calling for compensation for passengers – and warned Northern should be stripped of the franchise if matters don’t improve.
    He said the operator is in the “last chance saloon” after axing hundreds of services, delays and cancellations following the new timetable introduced on May 20.
    In a letter to the Chair of Transport for the North (TfN) John Cridland, the mayor says that Northern is likely to benefit financially from the operation of the reduced timetable and if the company is not prepared to fund the compensation package and reduce fares voluntarily, then fines should be imposed to pay for it.

    Mr Burnham also called for Northern passengers on affected routes to be allowed to use their tickets on other modes of transport such as TransPennine Express trains, buses and Metrolink.
    He said: “Northern have already left people seriously out of pocket and turned their lives upside down with their chaotic services.”

    Today, 4th June 2018, 2000 train journeys were cancelled in the NW of England and the SE due to delays in the line electrification programme. Shocking.

    And none of this is Humza’s fault.
    A plus, mes braves.


    Part Five of Five


    Ruth Davidson has absolutely no remit on Brexit, either Up Here or at UK level, yet ,wait for it, Jackson Carlaw,her deputy, and soon to be temp in charge, is listed as ‘Cabinet Secretary for Europe and External Affairs.’

    When the Blue Tories take over Holyrood we can forget all that Power Grab nonsense.
    Like Davidson, Jackson will do as his London Masters tell him.

    “LSE Centre for Economic Performance report on Brexit.

    The June 2016 referendum gave a mandate for the UK to leave the European Union (EU), but
    offered no guidance on what form Brexit should take.

    • CEP research finds that remaining in the Single Market would minimise the economic costs of
    Brexit. Leaving the EU without any new deal in place would be the most costly alternative.

    • There is not yet any clear evidence that Brexit has affected UK GDP, but this does not mean Brexit has had no effect on the economy. The Brexit vote has already made the UK poorer by reducing the value of the pound.

    • Between the referendum and the end of April 2017, sterling depreciated by 13% against the US
    dollar and 9% against the euro. The depreciation is a signal that expectations about the UK’s future
    economic performance have deteriorated.

    • The depreciation of sterling has hurt UK consumers by increasing the price of imports, leading to
    higher inflation and lower real wage growth. CPI inflation has risen from 0.5% in June 2016 to
    2.7% in April 2017. Real wage growth has declined from 1.3% in June 2016 to negative 0.5% in
    March 2017. To date, there is no evidence that the depreciation has boosted UK exports or reduced
    the trade deficit.

    • The Conservatives have pledged to take the UK out of both the Single Market and the customs
    union, while simultaneously negotiating a new partnership with the EU. Leaving the Single Market
    would mean the UK experiencing higher trade barriers, lower trade and reduced living standards.
    The Conservatives would try to mitigate these costs by seeking a new deal with as few barriers to
    trade and investment as possible.

    • The Conservatives have not ruled out a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, leaving the EU without any new
    agreement in place. While it is a tautology that a sufficiently bad deal must be worse than no-deal,
    in practice the no-deal outcome, where the UK and EU trade under WTO terms, is the worst-case
    scenario for the UK economy. The economic costs of Brexit would be twice as large in the no-deal
    case than if the UK remains in the Single Market.

    • Labour’s plan for Brexit is far from clear, but in many ways it resembles the Conservatives’
    position. The only unambiguous difference is that Labour acknowledges that no-deal is the worst
    possible option for the UK. The Liberal Democrats propose that once a new deal has been
    negotiated, the UK should hold a second referendum to choose between the new deal or remaining
    in the EU.

    The Scottish Government’s Brexit options.

    People, Jobs
    and Investment
    “As we demonstrated in Scotland’s Place in Europe,
    published in December 2016, Brexit represents a
    significant threat to the UK’s and, in particular, to
    Scotland’s future economic and social prosperity.
    In the intervening 12 months since the publication
    of that paper, the scale and specific nature of
    this threat has become even more evident. It
    is now even more clear that any kind of future
    relationship short of EU membership will be
    damaging to Scotland’s future economic and
    social prosperity. The extent of this damage, will
    be more significant the further away the future
    relationship is from membership of the European Union.”

    David Davis threw these documents in the bin.
    Ruth will make sure that they stay there.

    We’re going to hell in the same handcart as Ruth and her Lap Dogs.

    Just to recall Macwhirter’s whimsy:-

    “It’s a funny old world. There was the Scottish Tory leader and, we’re told, the likely next leader of the UK Conservative Party, arguing for tax increases for the NHS, more immigration and even land value tax, in her speech in Glasgow last week. Meanwhile, social-democrat Nicola Sturgeon was defending the SNP Growth Commission report calling for rigid spending limits and deficit reduction. It’s a curious reversal of roles.”

    Iain, get real. Ruth is an arch right free marketer. She would destroy Scotland’s civic society in a minute.
    NS wouldn’t.

    Sorry for this extended rant, folks.

    This is England today.

    We must make sure that it is not Scotland post March 2019.

    I have not even touched on Universal Credit, The Rape Clause, The Bedroom Tax, 50,000 disabled citizens losing their mobility vehicles, Murdo Fraser as Finance Minister and Prof WATP Adam Tomkins running Social Security.

    It is risible to put Davidson on a par with Sturgeon, in this or any other parallel Universe.

    Iain Macwhirter and Mark Smith know this.
    Shame on you.

  20. Still Positive says:

    Well said Jack.

  21. diabloandco says:

    Well said Macart! Sorry I couldn’t make it on Saturday for another hug – will try to collect one at Stirling !

    Jack – best rant yet! But surely you knew that McWhirter is a mugwump ?

    • You get a better class of agitator on Paul’s excellent blog, diablo, you wee devil.

      There is a view that Macwhirter and McKenna like to think of themselves as ‘mugwumps’, aloof, sitting above any political class or philosophy.
      Yet both have declared for Self Determination.

      However, it may be argued that they are ‘poputchics’, fellow SNP Travellers.

      ‘Poputchic’ was the term coined by Trotsky to describe those who travelled the same socialist path as he, but were not committed revolutionary communists; ‘fellow travellers’.

      These men work for the Man, and need to put food on the family table somehow.
      Every now and then, they come out with some NS/SNP dodgy piece like Macwhirter’s at the week end.

      Perhaps they are closet Corbyn Militants from the 70’s.
      They are Old Style Labour men, no doubt.
      Both have written some excellent journalism on Scotland’s Future however.

      On balance, as LBJ quipped about J Edgar Hoover, ‘Better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in.’
      I think that Iain was pissing into the tent at the week end.

      • diabloandco says:

        My interpretation of ‘mugwump’ is mug on one side wump on the other!

        • Split personality syndrome? Could be.
          I seem to recall that ‘mug’ is derived from the grotesque faces on 18th Century drinking mugs. Perhaps ‘wump’ is an onomatopoeia, describing the dull thud when something falls to earth?
          I used to think that I was schizophrenic, but now I am in two minds about it. Boom, boom.

  22. Well said Sam & Jack. Marchons, Marchons!

  23. grafter says:

    SPREAD THE WORD !! BANNOCKBURN SATURDAY 23RD JUNE, No excuses, let’s show those who ignore us that we the people of Scotland will cast off our “servile chains” and become a free and truly democratic nation.

  24. Robert Graham says:

    Two things , firstly if it wasnt for Independence Live and the people who give their time and services freely most people wouldn’t have any knowledge of these uplifting marches well done them .

    Secondly the people who are intent in pissn about with we dont like this we dont agree with that fully covered in the Unionist supporting MSM , dont these people realise they are being used , by all means argue after the event “Independence” should be the only goal , distractions are just that an annoyance thats being used as a diving wedge , please oh please bloody waken up folks .

  25. wm says:

    They will use any and every tool possible to devide the yes movement in the hope that we implode. We should have learned from the past this is what they do and have been for some time.

    • Robert Graham says:

      WM agreed let’s hope that this time the ones who fell for this tripe the last time see sense and stop pissing in the tent because it’s bloody annoying,

      I thought the meeting that was convened weeks ago was meant to bring all together hence the all under one banner marches , it looks like a few stragglers haven’t quite got the message yet because of the vocal criticism that the MSM are more than happy to cover at length .

      One more time the MSM are NO friends of the independence movement please don’t help them do their job for them they are perfectly able to do the damage on their own without help from so called supporters .

      • wm says:

        Robert, the MSM whether it is the BBC,ITV,SKY, or any of the British papers, work for the faceless ones, these are the extreme right winged British Nationalist multimillionares, who rule the UK. The lower, middle and even some who think they are the high classes, never get to knowe who they are.

  26. JGedd says:

    ‘You can ‘frame’ it any way you like.’

    Apparently you can’t, Jack, or some pompous, self-appointed guardian of the truth like Soupdragon will pounce. I just snap when one of these medieval witchprickers turns up.

    It was such a preposterous point to make anyway, since the original phrase was created by the Yes side as a way of ridiculing the ‘gist’ of the Better Together narrative. It was then taken up as a slogan epitomising the BT argument although it was never actually used by them, as they have protested on occasions. But apparently, to Soupdragon, it now has all the authority of holy writ and to deviate deserves reprimand. Holy cow indeed.

    Another reason why I was so exasperated by their comment, is that my comment had been about the rally in Dumfries which I had attended and had found to be such a positive experience. only to be taken to task by an over-zealous commenter over a word order imperative which I had no idea I had offended against.

    (Anyway, wasn’t the Soupdragon just such a killjoy, as jealous guardian of the soup wells? I was always on the side of the Clangers myself.) I have wasted enough of your time discussing that absurd comment. Time for bed.

  27. brianmlucey says:

    Looking in from outside all this may well be true but…is there any evidence that there’s a shift in national , Scottish , opinion polls? From here,, it seems not. Perhaps I’m missing some facet?

    • It’s on Wikipedia so it must be true….
      No point in continuing the struggle for Self Determination then.. wiki and Curtice tell us that the Scottish people don’t want it..
      Thanks for putting me right, ‘brianmlucey’….time to go back to being a serf in England’s Northern Colony.
      I fell better already, being looked after by my big bountiful neighbour to the South.

      • brianmlucey says:

        A) All the sources are there. Are there polls missing that show a constant positive support for independence? If so, nothing stopping you, me or the cat from editing to add them.
        b) An injured truculence wont aid your cause. Facts will. So I ask again, are there polls missing? IF there arent, then however unpalatable it may be there would seem to be as yet no groundswell towards a realistic overturning of 2014.

        • I’ve already packed away all that rebellious Independence bunting, master.
          I bow to your grasp of the unshakable facts that Scotland doesn’t want another Referendum and the SNP should just get on with the day job, and I should get down on my knees every night and thank St George that wiser heads than mine, like yours, will ensure that there will always be an England…
          Now away and get ready for school…

          • brianmlucey says:

            ok last comment
            I ask if you have evidence that there is a swing. You respond implying i am some sort of anti-independence stooge.
            FWIW I am Irish. We have a country. I live in it. Its nice here. We are and will remain in the EU.
            We won it at the point of a gun, people my grandparents generation anyhow. Show me evidence, not whining or insults, that there is a move towards a political majority in Scotland that wants this in a peaceable manner. Or, wallow in the unfairness of life. Either way, Im all right, Jack.

            • Oh,dear,
              I’m glad that you got that off your chest, Brian.
              I’m about to put the rubbish out in the bin, collection day.
              I didn’t have to go to my newsagents to buy a voucher to attach to the wheelie bin like you Freedom Fighters in Eire do.
              I don’t pay for a visit to the GP…yah de yah de yah.
              I cannot be bothered even insulting you, lad.

            • Robert Graham says:

              What does FWIW stand for ? Just asking like ,a lot of Abbreviations are easy to understand this one eludes me , short is not always clear so what does it mean ?.

            • wm says:

              I asked myself who the F**K would believe all these polls, you have just answered my question, and to think my ancestors are Irish, I love the place.

        • Robert Graham says:

          Oh Dear who exactly conducts these polls ?, they are commissioned with one purpose and one purpose only to get the result the ones paying for them want , and are only ever highlighted to support the unionist propaganda machine , Just like the News we are fed on a daily basis most people who support independence have long since stopped believing anything that has anything to do with the scabby Union .
          Why are you here anyway just passing by ?.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Aye missing a lot pal and quoting eh Wikipedia oh dear totally delusional , if its truth you want you are looking in the wrong place .

    • astytaylor says:

      Brian, old boy, I think you are missing some facet there.
      For a start, who are the polls conducted for? Trustworthy people like the Daily Mail, the Daily Record, the Sunday Times…
      Jesus, i could select a 1,000 people here and ask them “Is the Pope a Catholic?” and get all sorts of weird results.
      Anyway, the feeling on the ground, yer actual grassroots, is that there is an appetite for self-determination, there is an appetite for independence, and there will be a referendum.
      That’s all the evidence i need.
      But, if you want evidence from the manufactured polls before it happens, we’ll be waiting a long long time. Until hell freezes over.
      In any case, when was the last time the polls were right?
      (Tory majority/Trump/Brexit, all went against the polls, as i recall.)
      At least we’re not blowing each other up, and hopefully we never will be.
      (And i do not mean that as a dig against Ireland.)
      All the best.

    • Cubby says:

      Polls – what about the real Poles who will vote yes this time.

  28. Clydebuilt says:

    Talking up NHS Scotland

    Nurse staffing levels in Scotland are nearly twice England’s

    Consultant numbers are up 46% under SNP

    Cancelled Operations in England are Three Times the level in Scotland.

    • astytaylor says:

      Aye, the newspapers and TV in Scotland are a nonstop stream of drivel, lies and SNP/Scottish Gov bad news.
      “Scotsman”: what a sad joke of a newspaper it has become.

  29. Bill Dale says:

    Busy preparing for a big weekend. Sorry that I did not notice till now that there was some discussion about Reframing up thread. I did indeed Reframe a certain Establishment trope (frame) as Choose Scotland. Big enough. Smart enough. Rich enough. That is what we put on the Wings banner. The reason the words are in that order is to minimise triggering of the original frame, also why we added Choose Scotland. Reframing does require discipline to counter the relentless propaganda that is broadcast every day.

    We now have a Google form ready for those who want to attend our train the trainer sessions for Reframing. More on this next week. Reframing is a skill and requires both knowledge and practice to be successful.

    If you just remember one thing, remember that using, accepting, repeating or denying a frame all strengthen the frame. Never ever do this with an establishment frame unless you want to help them.

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