The voice that must not be heard

gedebate
The SNP is taking ITV to court over the broadcaster’s decision to hold a political debate which can only be described as rigged. The broadcaster is hosting a debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, claiming that these are the only two politicians with a realistic chance of becoming Prime Minister. Yet we do not live in a country with a presidential system, if we did then perhaps there would be some legal means of holding Boris Johnson to account for his repeated and continual lying. The UK is, in theory at least, a parliamentary democracy. Corbyn and Johnson are the party leaders of just two of the parties who are vying for seats, they’re not the only ones.

In Scotland, the debate gives the second party and a party which is either third or fourth in the opinion polls an unfair advantage. Their leaders will get airtime on a national broadcaster, allowing them to put across their message, but the leader of Scotland’s largest party by far will be denied such an opportunity. The reality of Scottish politics is such that in several recent opinion polls the SNP’s vote share is greater than that of the Conservatives and the Labour party combined. Yet it’s those minority parties alone which will be granted a platform giving them a reach into the home of every voter which is to be denied to Scotland’s largest party. There is no reasonable justification for such a move, except if you believe that England’s political priorities are the only important ones.

This is, as everyone acknowledges, a general election in which the question of another Scottish independence referendum is crucial to the debate. It is the first question put to all the party leaders whenever they venture into Scotland, and both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have said that they are prepared to ignore the democratic will of the Scottish people. Johnson has even gone so far as to state that he will not permit another Scottish independence referendum under any circumstances, even if the Scottish electorate returns a landslide for the SNP in this General Election, and even if pro-independence parties secure another majority for independence at the next Scottish elections. Jeremy Corbyn is likewise disposed to ignore the Scottish result of this General Election, and both party leaders are united in their dismissal of the mandate for another independence referendum that the Scottish Government currrently possesses. Corbyn and Johnson disagree about many things, but they’re not going to hold one another to account on a topic on which both agree. In the process, an important part of Scottish public opinion is ignored and marginalised.

Irrespective of whether you agree with independence or another independence referendum or not, it is nakedly manipulative to give airtime solely to two parties who oppose another independence referendum and to deny it to the main party proposing such a referendum. That misrepresents the general election debate in Scotland and gives an unfair advantage to those who argue that it’s perfectly fine for a British Government to ignore the democratic will of the Scottish people.

In a separate court case, the Lib Dems are also taking ITV to court over their decision to exclude the Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson from the debate. The Lib Dems, like the SNP, have good reason to feel aggrieved. They argue that in a UK General Election in which the question of Brexit is vital, it is unreasonable and biased that the debate does not include any party advocating remaining in the EU. They have a point there. Both the Tories and Labour officially seek an exit from the EU. The Lib Dems are the only major party in England which is arguing for an unequivocal remain.

Unfortunately, and as is so often the case, the Lib Dems only go and ruin a good argument with their own hypocrisy. There is a significant distinction between the Lib Dem’s case and that which is being brought by the SNP. The Lib Dems are only arguing that Jo Swinson must be included, they’re perfectly happy to see all the other parties excluded, and they’re perfectly happy to have a leaders’ debate broadcast in Scotland which doesn’t include any party advocating another Scottish independence referendum. They would be content with the SNP being excluded, even though the SNP have many more MPs than the Lib Dems do. On the other hand the SNP is taking a more principled stance, and is arguing that all the smaller parties must be represented.

The Lib Dems want their leader – who represents a Scottish seat in Westminster – to be included in the debate, yet the effect of that is simply to make the lack of balance in Scottish politics even worse. There would be three party leaders arguing against another Scottish independence referendum instead of just two. The Lib Dems cannot legitimately argue that all shade of Brexit opinion must be represented in a debate during a General Election where Brexit is an issue but at the same time deny that all shades of Scottish independence opinion be represented in a debate during a General Election where an independence referendum is an issue.

Whether the court will decide that the debate is unfair is anyone’s guess. There was a leaders’ debate during the 2010 General Election which featured David Cameron, Ed Miliband, and Nick Clegg, but where the SNP and other parties were excluded. On the other hand the leaders’ debates in the 2015 General Election featured all the leaders of the main parties. In the 2017 General Election, Theresa May refused to participate.

There’s an important question of principle at stake here. Opponents of independence are constantly telling us that Scotland is a valued partner in a union. Well if that is the case, then ensure that Scotland’s distinctive politics are represented in UK General Elections. Because if you’re quite happy to see Scotland’s largest political party excluded, a party which is the third largest in the entire UK, then you don’t believe that Scotland is a partner in a union at all. You believe that Scotland is a region in a unitary state which can be overruled, sidelined, and marginalised because its votes can never constitute a majority at UK level. So what’s it to be unionists? Are you really unionists? But judging from the blatant hypocrisy of the Lib Dems, we already know the answer to that question. Scotland is the voice that must not be heard.


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59 comments on “The voice that must not be heard

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The voice that must not be heard The SNP is taking ITV to court over the broadcaster’s decision to hold a political […]

  2. Neilyn says:

    Ditto Wales, of course, where support for independence has risen very sharply in 2019 to around 30% currently.

    They must be s*itting themselves.

  3. Legerwood says:

    To argue as ITV does that Corbyn and Johnson are the only two party leaders who have a chance to become PM is to elevate the office to a status that recent history shows it does not merit. From the 1950s onwards, starting with Churchill/Eden, PMs have frequently not served their full term in office. That is highly likely to be the case whichever one of this pair wins the election.

  4. skintybroko says:

    Hit the nail on the head as usual, these leaders would also be arguing policy that is devolved such as Health and Education – at least those areas should be banned from any televised debate where Scotland is not represented, likewise with the independence question.

    Jackson Driving without Due Care and Attention, Dicky Leotard and Wee Wullie Winkie all got there heads handed back to them today by Nicola – Media must be truly terrified of letting her come up against their masters.

    • Millsy says:

      True !
      The media continually display their ignorance of the Devolved Administrations by constantly asking questions of the party leaders on topics which are NOT relevant in Scotland , Wales and N,Ireland but only in England .
      This is NEVER made clear by the questioners nor corrected by those being questioned – are they also ignorant of this division of responsibilities ?

      If there is to be a debate between the two main parties then the Devolved areas should be blacked out or , as Paul has stated , the Tory/Labour parties receive an unfair advantage .

      • Kenneth Gunn says:

        You’re right about the media from all channels. Why do we have to sit through 25 minutes of “English National news” from six o’clock every week day which has no relevance to us then a shorter programme from Glasgow on BBC. Down here in the Borders we rarely get a mention and are not allowed to watch STV but a ‘local’ summary from Gateshead which seems to equate Scotch Corner with “Scotchland”. Weekends are even worse from Auntie EBC. Why do we in Scotland need our own weather forecast followed by two from England? Maybe they think we are all in Brigadoon and disappear into the mist . . . or maybe they just wish!

  5. gavin says:

    There is the problem: two dough balls reading from a script, +Jockney Jo, in a live studio with an intelligent, articulate Scottish woman who stands her ground.
    Boris is an arrested development adolescent, with a masterbation(check the imagery in his speeches) fixation, who bad mouths women and minorities.
    Jeremy lost the plot a year or so ago. He struggles in a live format to articulate arguments not in scripted for him
    Jockney Jo is full of herself, an ego-centric poser.
    All three represent political parties who, at a certain point, have postulated a second EU referendum—this includes Theresa May when she was PM. Yet all three refuse Scots (not the SNP) the right to chose their own future.
    Claim of Right, anyone?

  6. panda paws says:

    The famly of nations stuff is mince – they don’t believe it and even the nice English people are clueless about the rest of the “family”

    • weegingerdug says:

      Of course it’s mince. But the likes of you and me are not the ones who need to be persuaded that it’s mince. It’s those soft no voters and undecideds.

      • Malky McBlain says:

        I’ll never forget the time a young lady at Heathrow was asking people if they had English passports and directing them to the UK passport line on arrival. It was all I could do to stay calm and open my UK passport and challenged her to show me anywhere on the document that stated English passport. I thought I had politely made my point but alas she continued asking those behind me if they had English passports. This happened circa 1983 so judging by the video not much has changed.

    • Welsh Sion says:

      Previous Admissions Tutor for Somerville College, (part of Oxford University) thought Scotland and Wales were ‘regions’ of the UK.

      If someone allegedly of this intelligence comes out with this – what hope?

    • Welsh Sion says:

      Here you go.

      18. (of 60.)

      Meet the Brittens – A dysfunctional family like no other

      Once upon a time, there lived a rather big family called the Brittens in a small, detached house all to themselves. As the house was small and the family big, it was natural there would be some tensions within the household. This is to be expected of any family. But the Brittens were a special case. There was regular bickering with diverging attitudes and opinions held by the different members of the family.

      George Senior was the father of the family and so, inevitably the Head of the household. It was his job at home, not very successfully, one might add, to try and maintain discipline in the house. His sons, of whom more presently, often had conflicting needs and interests, and George Senior was not always best placed to respond to them. He did however have a favourite amongst them, George Junior, who he hoped, would one day, continue doing the same job as he did – he was a rather self-important paperclip clerk at YooKay Ltd. – and inherit his father’s expertise. George Senior was a firm believer in primogeniture. The idea of partible inheritance where all his sons would inherit equal shares in the property he owned was both alien and anathema to him.

      *****

      Helping him in trying to maintain control in the household was George Senior’s wife. She was a woman of mystery, and people knew very little about her – even her name was unknown. In the family, she was known simply as Mother, and revered for having some sort of mystical presence – at least by George Senior and George Junior. She pretended to herself, like her husband, that she managed the household well, but in reality, she often neglected her other sons, Jock, Dai, Piran and Mick/Mike and gave most of her love and affection to George Junior.

      *****
      George Junior was a strapping lad, a chip off the old block as far as his father was concerned and he tended to dominate his siblings. In fact, he resembled his father so much, in appearance, mannerisms and mentality, that strangers in town often mistook one for the other. George Senior and George Junior could almost have passed for identical twins! He was also his mother’s favourite and as previously mentioned, his father had high hopes of him inheriting the role of chief paperclip clerk at ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington’s subsidiary company, YooKay Ltd. George Junior – like all his brothers – paid rent to his parents for staying in their house, but he was convinced that he paid more rent than they did. They did not pay their way as much as he did. And it was they who would do most of the squabbling and bickering – not him, not cool, calm, phlegmatic George Junior.

      He had even taught this attitude to his own father, George Senior, when the latter had despaired at the latest outbreak of tantrums from Jock and Dai. George’s attitude towards his brothers however was ambivalent. On the one hand, when he heard that Jock wanted to leave, he was immediately distressed – but only in a selfish way. He thought he wouldn’t be able to plunder Jock’s stock of dirty magazines, nor play on his computer again if Jock left. At the same time, he knew that if Jock did leave the family home, he, George Junior, would receive more attention again and more preferential treatment from his parents.

      *****

      Jock, as may have been noted, was the most rebellious of the family. Not for him the staid, cramped little detached house. He wanted out. He wanted to see the world for himself. And he wanted to stand on his own two feet. As a result, he was the main catalyst of rows between himself and George Junior, and with his parents, George Senior and Mother. He believed he paid his way in rent as well as anyone else in the household and was annoyed when all his achievements were credited to George Junior instead.

      As a toddler, Jock had often spoken to himself in a form of gibberish that no one else understood. George Senior and Mother, however, were very pleased to see that with their disciplined approach – usually by delegating their maid, Mhairi Crochaid, to use a stick on the lad – that this gibberish was beaten out of Jock and that he grew out of it. They were less successful with Dai, as will be seen later. Jock also had a girlfriend/boyfriend of long-standing, Francis Farr.

      Francis Farr was born as a girl, under the name of Frances Near. She and Jock met at the local primary school and they instantly fell in love. Whether it was the mutual interest in wearing skirts that attracted them, I don’t know. All I do know is that they instantly showed an affinity for each other. Their love blossomed throughout the school period and they eventually became engaged.
      This position became intolerable to the older members of the Britten family. George Senior railed against their Alliance, Mother tut-tutted and George Junior was mad with envy. George Junior had even had designs on Frances himself and he couldn’t bear that he had been outwitted – and that by a member of his own family. He did his utmost to break Jock and Frances’s engagement, all to no avail.

      And then, something quite singular happened. Frances had a breakdown. As a result of this breakdown, she was never the same girl again. In fact, she was never a girl again. Convincing herself that her coy, soft, femininity was actually a disadvantage, Frances decided on a sex-change. The only way to succeed was to become more bullish, more mannish, more aggressive.

      So Frances Near turned into Francis Farr. (The change in surname too was to underline the distancing between Jock and her/himself). Francis, in order to prove his new masculinity soon decided to flex his muscles and started showing domineering signs of his own – just like the two Georges. He was particularly overbearing to his own family, notably his cousin, Britney.
      Jock was in shock initially from the double whammy – he had lost his girlfriend. And she had now become a he. Could Jock still love her/him as previously? Jock took a long time to think.

      Frances/Francis now lived on Europe Street, flanked on either side by Jerry Berlin and Diego Madrid. Jock knew that the situation in the Britten household was unbearable – George Junior was now mocking him regularly for losing his girlfriend. What was Jock to do? Did he have the courage of his convictions to stride out of the Britten household and set himself up, all by himself, on Europe Street, not too far away from his love? He did after all still maintain strong feelings for Frances/Francis and he didn’t want to lose her/his friendship at least – a source of strength when things got tough in the Britten household. Jock pondered the questions long and deep. He was unsure of what to do. “Should I leave or should I go?” the thought churned in his head incessantly.

      *****

      Now let us return to the other members of the Britten family. Below Jock in the pecking order came Dai. Dai was a strange boy. He was often very placid and quiet – but not in the same way as his father and George Junior. He admired the way that Jock stood up to their parents and answered George Junior back. Dai was also sure that he respected Jock for wanting to leave the detached house where they lived – but was not brave enough (or old enough, perhaps) to take that step himself. George Junior would find this – and many other things of Dai’s a great source of mirth: Dai was a coward or Dai interested himself in “girly, weedy pursuits” like poetry and folk dancing, George Junior would say. Dai then retreated into his shell and would say nothing.
      Dai could also be found as often or not, talking some fantastic gibberish to himself which nobody else in the family understood. George Senior and Mother, empowered by the success they had had in beating such gibberish out of Jock, decided on the same approach with Dai. In this however, they were less successful. Although Dai did eventually learn to speak English, he would continue to prattle these unintelligible words whenever he could.

      The teachers at Dai’s school also tried to beat it out of him – inflicting deep physical and psychological scars as a result – but Dai never fully gave up on his ‘secret language.’ It would be much later, upon entering secondary school, that more enlightened teachers would converse with Dai and that he felt more comfortable with them than he had at home. As a result, Dai’s examination marks also improved substantially and his self-confidence grew.

      *****

      Who else was a member of this dysfunctional family of Brittens?

      Well, there was baby Piran, who was only just learning to speak and crawl by himself. Being the youngest, Piran was subjected to all the teaching resources that George Senior and Mother could bring to bear – that is, their teaching methods and to educate him after their fashion. It was feared by some outsiders that such behaviour amounted to child abuse, and when Piran grew up, he would know nothing of Jock and Dai – he would be just another clone of George Senior and Mother; almost indistinguishable in fact from George Junior.

      *****

      Another sibling of the family was Mick/Mike. Now, if Jock and Dai were ‘problem children’ and George Junior a ‘spoilt brat’, then Mick/Mike was an exceedingly difficult case. First of all, Mick/Mike had special needs – this is a euphemism; Mick/Mike was actually schizophrenic. You see, Mick believed he should live with his half brother, Paddy, on Europe Street. Paddy would look after him, thought Mick, and look after him much better than anyone else in his family.

      Yet at other times, the Mike personality was more dominant. Mike couldn’t bear the idea of being cut loose from his Mother’s apron strings. These inner tensions between Mick and Mike caused deep periods of sickness in the boy, but nobody seemed very concerned. It was only when Mick (never Mike) attacked George Senior or Mother physically, that people took any notice. And even then, after some angry words had been exchanged between George Senior and Mick (never Mike), there would be a lull again. But this lull was quite phoney – the boy often had violent debates with himself in the privacy of his own room. What was worse, Mick/Mike was self-harming.

      *****

      Then we have George Junior’s, Jock’s, Dai’s, Piran’s and Mick/Mike’s half brother, Paddy. Paddy had left the Britten household some years ago. He was now living by himself on Europe Street and was friendly with Francis/Frances Farr, Jerry Berlin, Diego Madrid and many others. In fact, Europe Street was a vibrant, multicultural street, and Paddy definitely felt more at home there than he had ever been in the Britten household. He had been undernourished whilst he was there – now, on Europe Street, he would no longer go hungry. When he had left initially, there had been fireworks, tears and recriminations on all sides – but Paddy was a determined fellow and he wanted to be free of the bickering inside the Britten family home. He didn’t want to be associated with his dysfunctional family ever again, so when he left, he decided to change his name and henceforth called himself Paddy Ayre.

      So, taking his future in his own hands, Paddy had stormed out, and eventually found a home for himself on Europe Street, where he was very happy. His neighbours would sometimes help him out and he would reciprocate – but he never felt that he had compromised his position of maintaining his own individuality. Working together and pooling resources with mutual respect on all sides, working towards a common, mutually beneficial goal was the aim and it was a breath of fresh air to Paddy after the strife of living in the Britten household. Paddy felt really happy on Europe Street.

      *****

      A distant cousin of the family, Douglas Mann, lived independently of the Britten family, some two blocks away. He had nothing to do with Europe Street however, and tended to keep away from such places. However, he was not anti-social, and he often held parties for the well-to-do in his flat, all of whom assured their host that they were having a good time. Every year, Douglas would invite his friends to his country retreat where they could watch or take part in his motorcycling extravaganza. Lez Ayre was one such good friend of Douglas’s although she really liked girls. She was very much into the leather scene surrounding the bikers too, along with her girlfriend, Ella N. Vannin. She was also distantly related to Paddy Ayre (né Britten).

      *****

      Having touched upon some people having connections with the Britten household, often from a distance, such as Francis/Frances Farr, Jerry Berlin and Diego Madrid, we have yet to meet perhaps the most important individual in this town – and George Senior’s boss – ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington.

      ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington was probably the most powerful man in town. He had interests in many pies and watched over the other citizens like a hawk. He was not averse to controlling their lives either and making them think how he thought and to buy (whether they could afford to or not) the things that he bought. If they did not agree with ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington’s ideas, they were liable to be thrown out of the myriad properties that he owned and rented out to them in town and to be replaced by more acquiescent tenants.

      This was why George Senior and Mother made sure that they paid their rent regularly and on time to ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington. They also believed that because they did that, they had a ‘special relationship’ with ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington. For his part, ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington would give out little treats (essentially, sops to keep them quiet) to the Britten family and pay lip service to this ‘special relationship’ – and, as previously noted, he was George Senior’s employer at YooKay Ltd, a wholly-owned ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington subsidiary company.

      However, there was one area in particular where ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington could play on this ‘special relationship’ – if you will excuse the pun. It was a historical proven fact that one of ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington’s forebears had actually left the Britten family house some time ago in the past.

      This action had fired up the imagination of Paddy Ayre (né Britten) in a later generation as we have seen, and also to a lesser extent, Jock and Dai. It was with this idea in mind that he had adopted the name of ‘Uncle’ – a word that conjured up images of fun, easy-goingness, generosity and yes, family. In tipping a wink to his ancestors, ‘Uncle’ Sam Washington maintained the goodwill of the Brittens (well, at least the older generation and probably, George Junior too) in a way probably unique in town. Sadly for Jock and Dai, he barely recognised them – often mistaking them for George Junior, or if corrected, he would ask,

      “And who are you, again?”

      I hope you liked my introduction to the Britten family and to their associates. I can only speak for myself – What a bunch!
      _______

      Parables for the New Politics
      2012-2019

  7. David Agnew says:

    If they silence us – then what is Britishness meant to mean then?

    Being Scottish and “British” (whatever the fuck its meant to mean these days) increasingly feels like a prison sentence. Its like we all woke up, realised that we had somehow came 2nd in the game of life and got a booby prize called the UK, and the next door neighbours took out an injunction to stop us throwing it in the fucking bin.

  8. Millsy says:

    Talking of ”voices that must not be heard ” , I watched the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party ( sic ) broadcast last night – yes , I know !
    They mentioned Nicola Sturgeon several times in the course of the broadcast but not one mention of Boris Johnson nor any Scottish Tory !

    How dire is their position in Scotland that DARE NOT mention any of their ”top” people in their own party political ! Dearie me !

  9. Legerwood says:

    Sorry slightly off topic. Just saw Laura K interview Corbyn on 6 o’clock news.

    When asked about Scotland and indyref – waffle – then something along the lines of ‘poverty in Scotland, poor housing and lack of investment in infrastructure’!!!!!

    Where to start with that load of dung.

  10. Better Together in three part harmony from the Brit Nat Branch Office managers today at FMQ with Toodle OO The Noo summarising with two of his ‘chums’, one of whom was Macwhirter, who looks as jaded and dispirited as his mate Gordon Brewer.

    Dim Carlaw, failed businessman of this parish, blustered on about Indref 2 and its clash with Corbyn’s EURef2.
    He is conceding that the Blue Tories are done for?
    He declared that Indyref 1 decided the Independence question for ever.

    What a feckin’ idiot this wee man is.

    He really is a bumbling fool of a man.

    No sign of Tom Harris’ playmate, Ruth Davidson, or Two Jobs WATP Tomkins, or Murdo 7 times loser Fraser.

    This is a great job being in ‘opposition in Edinburgh. You don’t even need to turn up and you still pocket £1200 a week plus exes.

    Richard Leonard has the oratory skills of s five year old learning to read out loud.

    His Unison survey showed that 90% of Social Workers were on the brink of quitting.

    Fuckin’ lies of course.

    And what about the teachers? They’re stressed out too despite an `11% increase in their wages and index linked pensions which they can pick up when they turn 55 while the rest of us work on until we’re 68?

    Then Wee Willie Winkie of Jo Swansong’s Libs.

    The Polis are under stress..and it’s all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault.

    What is she going to do about it all?

    What a waste of oxygen Rennie is.

    And the Anas Sarwar whistleblower report about the contaminated water at the QE Hospital in 2017 when he asserts a child with cancer died of an infection from contaminated water, which the Health Board hushed up?
    How long has Sarwar been sitting on this whistleblow, just to time it at the beginning of the GE?

    It’s all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault.
    Not Willie Rennie’s, not Jackson Carlaw’s, not Richard Leonard’s: they’re in the clear.

    It’s not their fault that their three English Masters voted through £32 billion of cuts to welfare, public services and slashed 500,000 jobs between 2010 and 2015.

    It’s not their fault that UCS was introduced, 120,000 UK citizens died prematurely as a result of WM Austerity, for which all three Brit Nat Parties voted and supported.

    It’s not their fault that as a result 320,000 Scots children are living in poverty, half a million living below the poverty line and relying of food banks and charity shops,
    This is David Cameron’s Big Fucking Society.

    The Rape Clause, Bedroom Tax, tax breaks to the filthy rich, ATOS, and cuts cuts cuts over the last 12 years (yes even Brown was at it) have led to a society broken, with increase in despair, breakdown of the family unit, poverty driven crime, and drink and drugs abuse, which our social workers nurses doctors teachers and police have had to cope with.

    Yet these 4 idiots get on their feet and pin the blame on the only party in Scotland which is doing its utmost to mitigate this politically engineered cull of our poor, elderly and infirm.

    Check out Swansong’s Ultra Right Wing voting record.

    Carlaw, be warned. We leave your precious UK in the autumn of 2020, no matter whether there is a second EUref or not.
    I’ll drive you and your paintings to the border if you like.

    • We now know that the Health Secretary was informed of the 2017 water contamination issue is September.
      So why did the Speaker allow a question from Sarwar today, implying that it had just broken and that Anas was championing the cause and implied some sort of ‘cover up’ by the Bad SNP?
      Why hasn’t the CEO of Glasgow and Clyde Health Board not been taken to task, or asked to resign?

      Distorting Scotland edited out the wee mannie demanding that Corbyn listen to ‘the will of the Scottish people’, and Toodle Oo The Noo referred to Nicola Sturgeon as being powerless, ‘on the sidelines’ over the debate on the date of any Indyref2.
      He lied when he asserted that there could be no Indyref2 without the Section 30 ‘permission’ of the English Government.
      Get off your knees, man, and speak for Scotland for a change.

      Sally and the Gang really are a wee Brit Nat Ministry of Truth stockade aren’t they?

      Brian Taylor, let me put you right.

      Nicola Sturgeon is the First Minister of Scotland, the leader of the third largest party at WM and you are presenting a programme on BBC SCOTLAND.

      Yet she is ‘on the sidelines’ in your Brit Nat eyes?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Richard Leonard has the oratory skills of a five year old learning to read out loud” 😒 When and how did he advance to that dizzying level, night classes? You cannot polish a Leoturd, which is why 9 out of 10 dogs bury it…

      • Perhaps the GMB runs an adult literacy course, Bob.
        Now, young Leo, repeat after me:-

        ‘Ki-Ah-Ti = CAT’.

        He makes Mundell the Michty sound like Peter Ustinov.

        90% of Social Workers are quitting!
        What a wally.
        The Rank and File of the Trades Unions need to investigate how their Union Leadership has been taken over by a bunch of ‘Everybody Out’ 1960s Commies/Militants/ Marxists.
        They are using your Union dues to fund Corbyn’s Commies and oppose Scottish Independence.
        Leonard is only ‘Leader’ on the back of the Union block vote, or rather, the handful of Union Officials who massage the figures.
        If you are pro Independence, then your dues are being used against your wishes, to prop up the Red Tories.

        Again, young Master Leo:-

        ‘Ess-Enn- Pee’ spells ‘Oot Toot, You’re Oot’.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        🤣
        Isn’t it wonderful how Labour values can be trusted never to change. I read “Leonard is only ‘Leader’ on the back of the Union block vote, or rather, the handful of Union Officials who massage the figures” and interpreted it as “Leonard is only ‘Bleeder’ on the back of the Union block” and briefly raised a smile.
        Manny Shinwell will be spinning so fast in his grave it turns to glass at the thought of the current crop and his old mate my Grandad would be creating a black hole..
        It is indeed perverse that the SNP are as about as far left as the UK gets, yet is an amalgam of every shade of Scottish politics…
        Forget the Celebrities, we need to get out of here..

  11. John says:

    Although some people are stupid, most are not. I can’t help but believe that if the Tories, Labour and LibDems were seen and heard to proclaim that a second independence referendum would not be allowed it would cause a significant number to consider their votes very seriously. And the more that we see and hear Jo Swinson, the more people will see through her vacuous posturing.

  12. Of course, we are a valued member of our beloved union, especially for our valued oil and gas, and eventually our water. Ha ha.

  13. Grant Ecosse says:

    It seems to deliberately escape the attention of the Westminster parties and broadcasters alike that they are electioneering in Scotland and vying to win seats HELD by the SNP but claim it’s perfectly acceptable that the voice of the SNP leader is not to be heard.
    Contesting seats held by another party , whoever it is , whilst silencing that partys’ Leader is many things but it certainly is NOT democratic.
    Can’t say I’m surprised.

  14. I wonder when this court case will be heard ?

    After the tv debate perhaps ?

  15. Contrary says:

    See, it’s when I hear, just as above:

    ” Johnson has even gone so far as to state that he will not permit another Scottish independence referendum under any circumstances”…

    That’ll be die-in-a-ditch Johnson,,, he of neverending outright fibs?

    Just really makes me think we are guaranteed a section 30 and the referendum as soon as. IF he gets his PM job back, which I seriously hope he doesn’t, which leaves me hugely conflicted.

  16. Millsy says:

    What a state Scottish Politics in when , earlier this week , Annie Wells was put up by the Tories as a spokesperson !
    ANNIE F*CKING WELLS !!!
    …and Richmal Lieswell is the leader ( sic ) of Scottish Labour !
    … and Wee Willie Rennie is …something in the Libdumbs !

    We surely are in the End of Times !

    • Robert Graham says:

      Oh god Millsy watching the clowns in Holyrood playing to the Gallery is total torture , it must taken them all day to think up a bleeding question even then it’s baffling what it has to do with the First Minister , Money for Nothing .

  17. Robert Graham says:

    Just catching up on the News 3 difffrent channels so far I have seen Engurland score 21 goals that’s 7 per channel , Remember this is the National News ,

    Now good old BBC Jockland aye on Steroids tonight chaps anything remotely close to the SNP gets the full treatment , this is despite the desperate state of services in England , aye BBC Jockland getting their usual BUT BUT look how bad the SNP are governing the country as usual it’s Armageddon up here .

  18. Petra says:

    “The voice that must not be heard”, right enough. Too bad for the Establishment that we’ve got sites like this where we can highlight the SNP achievements that the Unionist controlled MSM want to suppress and additionally out them for gagging a political leader, Nicola Sturgeon, who puts them all to shame. The reason for the gagging of course. Nicola Sturgeon who’s getting on with the “day job” on top of trying to deal with a Brexit that she didn’t ask for and get us out of this hellish Union. How lucky are we?

    http://www.snp.org/start-the-clock-50-snp-achievements-in-government/

  19. Shagpile says:

    I hope the SNP also seek interdict against Sky and the BBC. I vaguely remember that the last ruling in that previous interdict against the BBC the Court ruled that all broadcasters should have been challenged and that was one of the reasons for denying the interdict. Has something changed?

    • Shagpile says:

      Anyway, If the SNP win and Corbyn and Johnson do not like it, they can of course lump it… or empty chair themselves. If the latter, well, the debates would probably be “pulled”, that in itself would be something to ponder. Anti-democratic way or highway.

  20. Ian says:

    It’s important to get information out about how much being in the union has cost the people in Scotland. A good way is to compare Norway with the UK. This website allows countries to be chosen, then various measures, to see how each country compares year by year on each measure, shown clearly as graphs over time. .

    https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/compare-countries/

    Comparing Norway with the UK shows that for GDP/PPP, which evens out price differences due to different currencies, In 1990 Norway’s was $42,814 while the UK’s was $26,675. In 2018 Norway’s was $65,441 while the UK’swas $40,157.

    Norway’s firgure has been consistently higher than the UK each year for decades and in 2018, was 61% higher than the UK ($25,284). Looking at a measure of inequality (Gini income), the UK also has a much higher level of inequality than Norway, so the average GDP figure is more accurate for Norway and much less affected by extreme wealth and poverty as in the UK.

    An obvious question is, if this is what being in the UK has cost Scotland, what are the benefits to offset such a massive reduction in average wealth?

    If you change the measure to Health spending, Norway again is much higher per person than the UK. Likewise for eduction spending. So more negatives for being in the union and more positives for being independent.

    This huge cost of having being part of the UK needs to be highlighted. I can’t think of a single tangible benefit of being in the UK that could be said to help offset such a loss of wealth to the people in Scotland. If Scotland stays part of the UK, all the knock-on effects of such an on-going lower level of national wealth, not just compared with Norway but will all of our closest European neighbours, will continue to lead to less spending on health,education and many other factors that make up a huge and important part of day to day life for most people.

    Scotland should be as wealthy as Norway and the only reason that it isn’t is because it’s a minor part of the UK. A lot of the reason why Norway became so wealthy (oil) may not be applicable now, but the key factor of relative economic management is clear. If the UK can’t get it’s act together with an oil lottery win in the 70’s, it never will. Apart from Norway, most of our European neighbours didn’t have an oil lottery win but they have also easily economically outperformed the UK for many decades. All that’s left for the UK is selling off whatever public assets still exist, paying off PFI debts and more empty political slogans. Not much of a selling point for the union and it’s no wonder they try to keep Scotland’s voice off the MSM. The truth would hurt the unionists and it damn well should. They’ve had their chance and cost us more than enough already. Even in this present critical situation, their focus is still entirely on slogans and PR. Unless the potential yes voters get their eyes opened to economic reality rather than just spin, Scotland will walk into a dark future as part of the UK.

    • Well said, Ian.
      We’ve had more ‘slogans and spin’ on BBC Breakfast Ministry of Truth this morning.
      Boris Johnson sat on the sofa spluttering and getting away with a lot of twaddle about the ‘amazing’ and ‘fantastic ‘ opportunities leaving the EU will offer and lying about building 20 new English hospitals and refurbishing an additional 40.
      Then we are taken to Aberdeen where Sarah Smith, yes, good old Sarah announced that ‘independent experts’ say that it will take an Independent Scotland 5 years to ‘rejoin’ the EU.
      What a pathetic bunch of Brit Nat Establishment hacks.

      Does anyone know who these ‘independent experts’ are?
      Me neither.

      They are getting really desperate, lying through their teeth with impunity.

      Perhaps Sarah should attend one of her Mammy’s seminars on being nice in politics.

      Less than 4 weeks to go, and Scotland, independent, will be kicked out of the EU for five years at least. Well, I suppose that’s better than Lord Darling’s Project Fear 2014 declaration that Scotland would have to wait 10 years, behind Turkey in the queue, to get back into the EU, but may never get back because Spain would veto its application, and they’d (not we’d) be forced to adopt the Euro….

      I challenge Sarah Smith( because I know that they are avid readers of WGD) to name her ‘independent experts’.
      It will come as news to the Scottish People, our Holyrood Administration, and Brussels.
      Or perhaps she just lied.
      Asked by a lass with an English accent who was described as ‘an Oil Worker’ what the parties had committed to rural communities if they win, Smith strangely mused that rural funding would be the remit of a Scottish Government, therefore not relevant to the UKGE.
      Yet another porkie from Sarah Smith.
      Need we join the dots for her?

      She is getting worse.

      • Oh, yes, I nearly forgot. Smith warned that if Scotland chose self determination, and remained in the EU there would be the same problems as N Ireland, with a border and stuff between England and Scotland…

        Or from my half full perspective, we wouldn’t have ‘borders’ between 27 of ‘our friends and partners’ (Johnson and Gove use this warm fuzzy phrase all the time), whereas if we remained as a militarily occupied colony of England, we’d have access to Kendal Mint, Cumbrian sausages and Yorkshire pudding without a visa. Oh, happy day!.

        The way I’m feeling right now, I’d build a 20 feet tall brick wall from the Solway to Berwick.
        She really is a bitter wee Yoon, isn’t she?

        Expect to see her front and centre chairing debates and interviews from the BBC Stockade on the Clyde over the next 3 weeks or so.

        • Petra says:

          I saw some of that programme too Jack and aren’t they expert at spinning lies and myths? Smith managing to slip in that Scotland / the SNP are in control of our NHS but receive money from Westminster via our “block grant” to support it. We can then spend the money we receive for the NHS on anything we like. Nae money Scotland dependent on England and just frittering their money away.

          Her father, even although he was a bit of a fly man, must be doing somersaults in his grave at the way that she’s turned out.

    • Petra says:

      Good post Ian and of course let’s not forget that Scotland’s oil (and we’re still swimming in it) has been keeping the rUK of over over 50 million people afloat. Subsidy junckies. Norway’s population of 5 million people is on a par with the population of Scotland. Take a look at what sneaky Cameron and Osborne have to say about that and note that Marr shuts Cameron up to prevent him digging a bigger hole for himself.

      http://www.businessforscotland.com/osborne-cameron-confirm-scotland-better-off-outside-uk/

    • Petra says:

      And this is a great site that explains what’s been / is still going on in relation to Scotland’s oil and gas sector. In a nutshell, Scotland is being robbed blind.

      http://www.businessforscotland.com/?s=Oil

    • Legerwood says:

      Ian,
      Important too to have a non-oil economy for comparison because the all too predictable response from those opposing independence will be: the oils running out and/or you have to leave it in the ground because of climate change. Scotland as an economic basket case in other words.

      Therefore quote Ireland, Republic of, as an example: GDP $75.6k vs UK GDP $43.3k (2017). Furthermore Ireland has had an annual trade surplus every year since 1990.

      https://oec.world/en/profile/country/irl/

      This is where the hard work the SG has done in boosting Scottish non-oil exports, for example in establishing trade hubs in Europe, pays off in terms of independence. The growth in our trade with Europe demonstrates Scotland has a viable and potentially very profitable non-oil based economy.

      • Petra says:

        Spot on Legerwood they’ll use our oil to weaken our case for Independence in relation to climate change and of course they’ll quote how the price is volatile and therefore unreliable in sustaining our economy.. Over and above the RoI, that you have mentioned, there are many other countries that we can compare ourselves to, such as Finland which is in the top 25 richest countries worldwide but has to import much of it’s energy. Finland also comes out tops in relation to many other measures, such as its educational system and results.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Finland

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Absolutely on the button, particularly in the final paragraph, ” If the UK can’t get it’s act together with an oil lottery win in the 70’s, it never will. “

  21. Ken says:

    The Brexit skipper bails out. Sells boat for £1million. After 1/4million refit subsidy.

    Scotland could be the same as Norway and other small prosperous countries. If it was not paying for Westminster failure.

    Scotland raises £63Billion in taxes. £3Billion additional from renewables. From £60Billion to £63Billion, The rest of the UK raises £54Billion pro rata. £661Billion UK total revenues raised.

    Scotland loses £3Billion in tax evasion, £1Billion Trident/redundant weaponry. £3Billion? paying off UK debt on monies not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Scotland can’t borrow £5Billion? invested in economy. £12Billion the so called deficit. Scotland is surplus in fuel and energy. Yet pays more for (10%) fuel and energy. £8Billion?of revenues given away on the grid.

    Scotland has to pay for the illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud. Revenues and resources illegally and secretly taken by Westminster. Thatcher took all the revenues and left Scotland in poverty. Kept it secret. Iraq, Dunblane, Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years.

    Scotland has to pay for Hinkley Point and HS2. A total waste of monies with better alternatives. Improving the railways in the North and investing in renewables. Improving rail times would help the Scottish economy. It would mean less internal flights. Cheaper journeys.

    Norway raises £80Billion in revenues. Scotland could be on par without Westminster interference and mismanagement. The Oil, fishing and farming all mismanaged by Westminster. Oil taxed too high when the price had fallen. CAP payments taken from Scotland. Fishing discards for years instead of using bigger nets. Like Norway.

    It is better to produce Oil if it has to be imported. Until there is the change over in technology to renewables, That is happening. Scotland is the best place for renewables in the world. Renewables are bringing in more revenues. Other countries in the EU have started CCS technology. Westminster reneged on promised CCS projects in Scotland. Decommissioning is happening in Scotland but there is no smelter. Thatcher shut it down.

    Unionist politicians reneged on the Vow. Brexit is a disaster. Scotland is better with self governance. Devolution has changed Scotland for the better. So will self determination and self governance.

    The smaller countries in the world are the most prosperous. NZ, Denmark Switzerland, the Sandi countries. Scotland could be the same. The more equal countries are more cohesive and happy. The UK is the most unequal place in the world.

  22. Cubby says:

    Westminster has been robbing Scotland since the Treaty of Union 1707 was enacted. It’s only in the last half century with the advent of the oil and gas revenues that the amount they have been stealing from Scotland has reached astronomical levels. They hide this truth by controlling the media and pumping out propaganda, that the ill informed just lap up, that Scotland is poor. As WGD has clarified in the past Scotland is rich in resources and revenues but these are stolen by Westminster and used to benefit London.

    Only when Scotland is independent and has complete control of our own resources and revenues will Scotland thrive like Norway.

  23. James Cheyne says:

    If you were to think about climate change in an out of the box scenario and then about Scotland’s oil, or any other country that has oil, it may lead you to thinking that somewhere some countries that do not have oil may want a more level playing field, The climate agenda certainly takes down countries that may have resources of their own, to the same level as those that do not, Don’t get me wrong, unlike an awful lot of people people that protest about climate change I go out of my way to plant three trees a year out of my own pocket, I pick up rubbish that others leave behind when they could just as easily put it in a bin or take home, I do not believe in killing animals for sport or profit, etc.but I do not believe that humans have to suffer either, the correct attitude is management without destroying the planet.
    I ask you which extreme plonker came up with the idea that getting rid of cattle would make a difference to the air we breathe.there have been cattle on this planet in their millions long before we humans even progressed to medieval times, duh.
    Climate change is being used as a weapon to tax and control the people, if it was a serious issue the big cooperations would stop covering every thing in plastic or stop big mining to produce concrete, making wind turbines from metal mines, stop making batteries for electric cars, these are just a few, how do the green eco’s think trains or kitchen goods are made, how do they get the food to their tables, I bet the protesters in London did not do without transport to get to the protest from miles away, or refuse to own a mobile phone. Logic must come first.

  24. Sarah Smith is just practicing
    For her next role
    Labour Party MP

  25. […] via The voice that must not be heard […]

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