Leadership, not management

There’s a new Scottish opinion poll out today commissioned by the Sunday Times which must have come as a massive disappointment to the British nationalists who produce that newspaper. The Salmond trial has had precisely zero effect on Scottish voting intentions. Fieldwork for the poll was carried out between 24 and 26 March, after the verdict had been given. All that SNPbaddery has had precisely zero impact. You’d almost think that the British media didn’t understand what’s driving support for independence.

Shock horror as the voters prove themselves to be far more sophisticated in their understanding than the press, and are able to distinguish between the actions of individuals on the one hand and political goals and governance on the other. After all this time, the British media still persists in thinking it’s all about the SNP. It’s not and it never has been. It’s about the British state and the way in which it marginalises Scotland. But for British nationalists grasping that thorn requires a fundamental shift in their own behaviour, views, and outlook. That’s never going to happen.

British nationalism is above all else defined by its exceptionalism and the unshakeable belief that it’s better than all other forms of nationalism by virtue of not being nationalist at all. It is psychically impossible for it to change, because in order to change it must first recognise that it is in fact a form of nationalism. So we’re going to keep on seeing articles like Brian Wilson’s exercise in spittle flecked denunciation of the SNP ship and all those who sail in her which will be hailed by the British metrocommentariat as important and game-changing, but support for independence will continue to rise.

In fact there’s been a slight increase in the number of people who state that they plan to vote SNP in the next Holyrood election, 51% in the constituency vote and 48% in the list. Together with the vote for the Greens who would pick up 3% in the constituency and 6% of the list votes, this would give pro-independence parties a very comfortable majority in the next Scottish Parliament. On the figures in this poll, the SNP alone would take 70 out of the 129 seats in Holyrood and be set for its best ever result in a Scottish election. 54% of voters in Scotland would support pro-independence parties in both the constituency vote and the list vote. The new poll shows that support for independence is up 2% on 49% compared to the last Sunday Times poll on the question. Support for independence is holding up well despite the constant barrage of “we’re all in this together” from the British press.

The reason for the rise in support for the SNP in this poll is because the people of Scotland trust the response of the Scottish Government during this crisis. Despite all the other criticisms which may be levelled against her, Nicola Sturgeon is precisely the kind of leader that a country needs in an emergency of this sort. She exudes calmness and determination, a marked contrast to the bumbling and contradictory statements issuing from Boris Johnson.

A time of crisis is a time for solidarity. The British nationalists may very well think that this means that there’s going to be an increase in opposition to Scottish independence. That’s a facile understanding, but one which they cling on to in comfort. This proves we need the UK, they tell us, more in desperation than anything else. In fact it proves nothing of the sort, what it really proves is that during a national emergency, life and death decisions are made by a British government which isn’t accountable to Scotland and which Scotland has no means to control or punish should it – as it has done so frequently in the past – act in a selfish and incompentent manner.

Even now we see the British government game playing and acting irresponsibly. We also learned from today’s Sunday Times that Boris Johnson was furious when Nicola Sturgeon decided to close Scottish schools and forced his hand. The Sunday Times reports that now the inner members of the British cabinet are making decisions that only go to COBRA at the very last minute, in order to stop the Scottish Government forcing the issue. We also see that they have refused to participate in the EU scheme to provide much needed ventilators, because Brexit. They’re refusing to delay or suspend the trade negotiations with the EU and the UK is still set to crash out with no trade deal in a few short months.

National emergencies are also a time for reflection and thought. That’s doubly true during this crisis as we’re all stuck at home with our fears and our worries. We have plenty of time to think and reflect. This crisis will pass, and the British nationalists are hoping that when it does the people of Scotland will come out of it with a renewed faith in the institutions of the British state.  Their hopes will be dashed.

The closest parallel is perhaps WW2, when the entire UK came together and made enormous sacrifices. Yet when the war was over, the sentiment that reigned was not one that rewarded the Conservative party and Winston Churchill, it was a determination that things needed to change. The voters elected the most radical Labour party in history, which introduced the NHS and nationalisation of key industries.

When this current crisis passes there will also be a determination that things need to change. We need to change to ensure that workers and incomes are protected, and that the government must not prioritise the interests of the wealthy under the guise of protecting the economy. We need to think seriously about a basic income scheme in this time of gig jobs and zero hours contracts. We need to ensure that the rich and big business pays its fair share of taxes.  We need a government which knows that the economy is a tool to service the people, the people are not a tool to service the economy.  But above all we need to ensure that Scotland is governed by a parliament and a political party that the voters of this country can hold to account.

So here’s a prediction. During this crisis support for independence will not shift much – people have other things to worry about right now. But after this crisis is over there will be renewed interest in independence as the realisation dawns that the British state is incapable of reforming itself and if the people of Scotland want the changes that the we all so badly need, there’s only one way that we’re going to get them. We will have that opportunity in the next Scottish elections.

Above all we need an SNP which is brave enough, bold enough, and imaginative enough to seize the opportunity. Many things that we have become used to have been shown to be inadequate in the fires of this crisis. One of those is a party leadership which seeks to manage the independence movement. We don’t need to be managed, we need to be led. Beyond the darkness of this terrible time, there will be the dawning of a better Scotland.

And finally, because we could all do with some cheering up during these difficult times…

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86 comments on “Leadership, not management

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Leadership, not management There’s a new Scottish opinion poll out today commissioned by the Sunday Times which […]

  2. grizebard says:

    Hits the target multiple times. We have a FM who is a model of leadership and a power-greedy bunch of dithering incompetents in London actively working to shut her out from any influence. Brexit on automatic as if nothing else was happening to trouble its stately progression. (Like CV-19, we have probably gone over the Brexitcliff already but just don’t realise it yet.) A legitimate desire for autonomy that is only reinforced, not diminished, by seeing a remote clown circus take decisions for us without any recognition of, or interest in, our particular position and interests. Suppressed for the duration, but this issue of independence is not going away, and as you say, after this is all over, we are going to seriously re-evaluate just as we did back in 1945.

    Above all, we need to be led by a party that is focussed on the day job, which is not various forms of tangential bien pensant displacement activity, but the critical task of inspiring the people of Scotland by word and deed that self-governance is absolutely essential to our future well-being.

  3. Thepnr says:

    This crisis will result in great change, I’m hopeful that it will be for the better. The UK government should have done brought in a Universal basic income as Ian Blackford asked the Prime Minister to do.

    Instead, we have a hotch potch of schemes which will see the self employed getting nothing until June and those that have not got accounts for the last 3 years ill get nothing. Employees may be lucky enough to get 80% of their wages from their employer while they wait on government grants but if their employer was a self employed pub owner who has shut down then they will most likely get nothing. The same goes for most small companies, they just will not be able to pay their employees 80% of their wages without any income while they await their government grants.

    There have no doubt been more than a million new applicants for Universal Credit, last I heard was a queue of 110,000 in a single day on their website. Not just anybody saying this, it was Jeremy Corbyn at PMQ’s. When are these new claimants likely to receive any money at all? Well not for 5 weeks at least as that is the minimum waiting time when everything is running smoothly.

    No this isn’t going to go well for the least well off in the UK and there will be a price to pay in any future elections if we ever have another. A basic income equal to the old age pension should have been paid to everyone with a NI number without exception.

    The incompetence of Johnson and the Tories are about to be found out big time, just give it a few weeks. Their own supporters won’t be best pleased and the rest will be furious, that’s for sure.

    • Tatu3 says:

      All the money from trident renewal, hs2 etc could be given out to everyone for a few months of Universal Basic Income during this crisis, so that when it’s over people would, and could, go out and spend in the shops, bars, restaurants etc that have had to close, to help these businesses recover and get back on their feet. As well as help the economy

    • Chicmac says:

      I can beat your universal credit queue. My wife tried to get me aspirin, which I need for a heart condition and joined a queue on line at Boots.com which was 218,000+ big.

      When my supply runs out I will probably be gone within a couple of days. There are plenty other pain relievers available should they come down with the lurgy, why must they stuff their medicine cabinets with one which is vital to those with a heart condition?

  4. Robert Harrison says:

    Nicola sturgeon has done a bang up excellent job as frist minister all things considered just wish shed press that button and make it offical that we are going to vote on this crap of a uk again screw london and its English conservative government.

  5. Indy Chas says:

    We don’t need to be managed, we need to be led. Absolutely, but we need leadership with the balls to stand up to the media and defend activists rather then disbarring them for the slimmest of reasons.

    • Cubby says:

      Exactly, people getting immediately suspended for nothing eg Gareth Wardell (Grousebeater) then expelled but there is a bunch of alphabet sisters and their helpers picking up large salaries after a conspiracy that was rejected in two court cases. One civil and one criminal. Double standards. Get the saboteurs out of the SNP.

  6. Mark Russell says:

    Good post, Paul. The lessons we learn in the coming months will hopefully focus minds about where we are and what might be possible. Don’t underestimate those presently in charge – this is an excellent article in the FT concerning the intelligence and surveillance services and what they might be up to – commendable or otherwise.


  7. Macart says:

    The desire for independence and a more caring, responsible form of government IS undiminished and needed now more than ever. People who give a wossiname can be awkward like that. 🙂

    Most folk today can separate the personality and party politics from the needs of a population or movement. Politicians of all stripes might want to take note.

  8. Bob Lamont says:

    Excellent post…
    There are going to be many angry Brits when this emergency calms down a bit, the reaction in England will not be pretty, but Scotland will see a massive surge demanding independence..

  9. Well said Paul. Listening To Radio 4 news just now is like hearing old WW2 broadcasts. Scots voters are way beyond that. The dangerous mess the Tories have made will not be forgotten and is the last straw. The Yes Movement has its own momentum now and the SNP will do well to run and catch up. There are leaders in every community so the Unionist propaganda s ystem will find it hard to target them all. That’s a good thing.

  10. Hamish100 says:

    Shows that the ‘reveverdum now’ brigade have got it wrong. Still they keep going.
    Can I ask if under 18’s and EU nationals were excluded?

  11. Petra says:

    Spot on Paul. Support for independence is rising even although the BritNat establishment has done everything in its power to prevent us achieving our objective. Nicola Sturgeon has been dealing with one major issue after another, such as Brexit and now this coronavirus crisis, but when it’s over I can see her focusing on Indyref2. Managing AND leading effectively.

    Meanwhile it’s interesting to see that Nicola Sturgeon was to be called as a defence witness for Alex, but due to the coronavirus crisis asked rather to submit a deposition. If correct it kind of blows one myth, doing its rounds, right out of the water.


  12. Arthur Thomson says:

    The overwhelming brake on our movement is the cringe – the deliberate undermining of confidence in people, causing them to fear their own shadow and their ability to take control of their own lives.

    Support for independence at around half of the population has been rock solid for the past five years and is steadily increasing. The obvious greater competence of the Scottish government compared to Westminster has been key to this, overcoming the cringe. It has zero to do with preferred personalities.

    Fortunately the Brits are so narcissistic that they can’t help themselves but focus on individuals. Those of us who are committed to independence have no such problem. We are open to admire those who bring obvious qualities to the fray but we don’t attribute fantastical qualities to them. Consequently, if any over inflated egos have to be deflated it is just one of those things. We have so many obviously skilled, intelligent and valuable people available that we are spoiled for choice if choices need to be made.

    When this pandemic is over the obvious incompetence and lack of moral compass of the Brits will continue to shine brightly, like the patently fake diamond it is. Then the half of Scotland’s population who are comfortable in their own skin will take the initiative and force the issue.

    Scotland will be free.

  13. Petra says:

    Wonder how long it will take for Westminster to catch up? Seems that the snakes that attend the COBRA meetings can’t keep Nicola Sturgeon down. https://mobile.twitter.com/C4Ciaran/status/1243654526915280898

  14. Welsh Sion says:

    I thought you might like a re-run of this – first composed before Indy Ref 1. Yes, I admit, it is in consequence a little dated around the edges, but otherwise still fairly good to go. Indeed, I suggest that the beetle himself has managed to acquire his own freedom recently, and that can’t be a bad thing.

    If you’ll also allow for the author to select one of his favourite pieces, I’ll happily (with WGD’s blessing, of course) leave it with you.

    (And if you see ‘Alba Laddie’ who contributes here sometimes, tell him the heroine is not his sister!)

    39. (of 60.)

    The racehorse and the beetle

    There was once a racehorse called Alba Lassie who was kept on Union Stables. She was of a fine pedigree and would often take part in races on behalf of her rich owner. Her jockey wore the stables’ colours of red, white and blue and he was not averse to using the whip, maybe sometimes more than was justified. Alba Lassie did not win that many races. Even when she did, she rarely received any recognition from her owner, other than a few pats to her flanks and perhaps some extra sugar lumps.

    Alba Lassie was bemoaning her lot to herself one day inside her small stable when she heard a small voice.

    “What’s that you say?” asked the small voice.
    Alba Lassie looked down into the straw and saw a small gold and black beetle. The beetle returned Alba Lassie’s stare.

    “Who are you?” asked Alba Lassie, a little afraid that her talking to herself had been overheard.

    “My Latin name is Essenipus Victorius”, replied the beetle. “But that’s a bit of a mouthful. You can call me Alex.”

    “O-o-ok” said Alba Lassie tentatively. “Have you been listening to me talking to myself?”

    “I have” smiled Alex. “And I think your complaints are fully justified. Tell me what’s worrying you and I’ll see if I can help you.”

    “Please. You mustn’t tell my owner then,” said Alba Lassie. “I would probably be whipped harder if he ever got to know what I really thought.”

    “You have my word,” said Alex. “If you are willing to confide in me, then I promise not to tell anyone.”

    “Well,” Alba Lassie began rather cautiously. “It’s like this. Firstly, I feel rather under appreciated at these stables. You know the white horse – Saxon Lad – in the adjoining stable?”

    Alex nodded.

    “It seems to me,” went on Alba Lassie, “that every time he wins a race, he gets far more attention from the owner, the grooms and stable boys than when I win.”

    “Yes, I’ve heard you say that before.” replied Alex.

    “You’ve been eavesdropping on me before then?” asked Alba Lassie, a little concerned.

    “Don’t worry,” answered Alex. “Everything you tell me will be held in complete confidence.”

    “All right, then,” said Alba Lassie. “I lack friends who I can talk to.”

    Alex smiled.

    “Go on” he said.

    “I think the really big issue here is that I don’t like being in these Union Stables, anymore” said Alba Lassie. “Being made to jump those high fences on those racecourses and being whipped to do so …” she trailed off, and gave a shudder. “Why, to be honest with you, Alex, I don’t think it’s natural for us horses.”

    “I think you’ve some very good points there, Alba Lassie” said Alex. “If you’ll excuse the pun, you should run with them.”

    “I would,” replied Alba Lassie, “but you see, my owner thinks I have a stable relationship with him here. (He can make bad puns too, you see.) And he wouldn’t countenance the idea of me ever leaving Union Stables – except perhaps as a tin of dog food or some cheap equivalent of beef for the humans.”

    “You know as well as I do,” said Alex, “that your ancestors were always free. Free to roam the plains and be accountable to no human. That was – and is – the natural state for horses. You should aim to reclaim the liberty of your forebears!”

    “A fine sentiment” rejoined Alba Lassie. “But I can’t see how I could possibly do it. You know that I’m under my owner’s eyes practically every time when I’m outside this stable. When I’m racing, my jockey in the red, white and blue livery has complete control over me. That’s how and why he can get away with whipping me so hard!” Alba Lassie gave a loud whinny. “It’s horrible!”

    “Have you tried unseating your jockey?” asked the beetle.

    “Oh, yes! I’ve thought about that many times” Alba Lassie gave a bittersweet smile. “Thought about it many times, but never had the courage to do so.”

    “I think there was a time during the 1979 Devo Stakes when you almost went close to succeeding, though.” Alex smiled.

    “Indeed” replied Alba Lassie. But the bitter-sweet smile was still there. “But don’t you remember, Alex, my jockey pulled hard on my reins that day, and ensured that he didn’t fall off?”

    Alex nodded sadly.

    “And I was whipped even harder when I got home that night, I can assure you!” Alba Lassie continued bitterly. “I was even threatened with being packed off to the dog meat factory that very night by my owner. As it was, I was whipped and deprived of my usual after-race carrots. All of that bloody well hurt, I can tell you!”

    Alex was silent for a bit. Then he said, “You know, I’m an eternal optimist. I’m sure things will get better. Believe in yourself and there is no object that can stand in your way. I’ll personally see you right too.”

    “Are you sure?” replied Alba Lassie, a little fearfully. “But,” she went on, “I think I can trust you, Alex. Especially as I’ve told you all these things. Thank you for being such a good listener.”

    “Good night, Alba Lassie.”

    “Good night, Alex.”


    The following morning, Alba Lassie, Saxon Boy and all the other horses went out for their usual canter. It was a fine morning and all the horses were glad to be out of their stables in the fresh air. Saxon Boy was particularly happy – he was going to represent Union Stables at the Grand International that afternoon, and his jockey would be sporting the red, white and blue livery.

    As it turned out, the Grand International was a great success for Union Stables and its owner. Saxon Boy – against all odds – won the race and he was feted as a hero. His owner kept on slapping his flanks and saying what a magnificent thoroughbred he was. All the staff, the trainers, the grooms, the stable boys and the stable girls were to be complimented on ensuring that Saxon Boy was in such peak condition. The horse himself could be assured of further lavish attention and more treats than he could manage for the rest of his lifetime.

    The news of Saxon Boy’s victory of course permeated into the ears of the other horses. Most of them were pleased, and Alba Lassie forced herself to smile a little, before falling asleep later that evening.

    However, her sleep was soon disturbed by a loud “Psssssssssssst!” in her ear. When she woke up, she saw Alex, the gold and black beetle sitting on the manger.

    “Hello again, Alba Lassie,” said Alex. “Great news about Saxon Boy, don’t you think?” Alex bore no jealousies to the horses in whose stables he would visit.

    “Aye, right” replied Alba Lassie with a thin smile. “You said you’d be sure things would get better. Well, they have – for Saxon Boy. Not for me!”

    “Shush!” said Alex the beetle. “Things are better than you think. Tell me. What’s stopping you from marching out of this stable now?”

    “You know as well as I do, Alex”, replied Alba Lassie. “My owner has put a padlock on the door. I can’t possibly just gallop out of this stable into the fresh air by myself – no matter how much I want to.”

    “Ah.” Alex was smiling. “But what if I told you that your owner and his friends and all the Stables’s staff are having a big party at the house tonight?”

    “So?” Alba Lassie was unsure where this was leading. “So what?”

    “Well,” went on Alex. “What if I further told you that because of his drunken state, the chief groom, Cameron, has forgotten to padlock your stable door?”

    “You mean … ?” Alba Lassie was beginning to smile broadly.

    “Yes. I mean one forceful kick of yours to the door from one of your hooves and the door will open …”

    “And I will be able to take up my freedom from Union Stables, once and for all!” finished Alba Lassie, ecstatically.

    “You’ve got it!” cried Alex.

    “No more jockey telling me what to do! No more whippings! No more suffering the indignity of other horses taking the credit for my work! No more miserly after race sugar lumps – but my own treats of my own choosing!” Alba Lassie was practically dancing with delight. “Freedom from Union Stables!”

    “You’ve got it!” repeated Alex. “But remember, you won’t get a better chance than tonight! You must seize this opportunity given to you. You have the chance to obtain those things you mentioned if you act promptly and without a moment’s hesitation!”

    Alba Lassie nodded.

    “But if you don’t take this golden opportunity,” went on Alex, “you’ll probably regret it all your life. Your stable door will be padlocked again as it has been on all previous nights – your owner will not win the Grand International every year, nor go on a bender every night. He may well have spies here who are already suspicious that you’ve been planning a break out from here for a long time.
    They would think nothing of informing on you to the owner.” Alex paused. “And you know what that will lead to?”

    Alba Lassie sighed a deep sigh.

    “Yes, I do,” she said. “If I’m lucky, it will mean a securer stable. My staying here on Union Stables and getting more whippings and less food because I countenanced the idea of leaving. And …” Alba
    Lassie gave a big shudder.

    “And,” Alex finished for her, “And if you’re unlucky, a one-way ticket to the knacker’s yard!”

    “Oh, Alex!” Alba Lassie was almost crying. “Thank you for telling me all this! Thank you for being my friend!”

    “You’re very welcome,” replied Alex. “But remember. I’m only a facilitator in all this. The final decision on whether you take this opportunity to seize your freedom or not is down to you. I’m confident though that you’ll do right for yourself and regain the liberty that once was the mark of your ancestors.”

    “Yes,” smiled Alba Lassie. “I now know what I must do!”

    Parables for the New Politics

  15. James Mills says:

    Boris Johnson is now writing a warning to everyone as his appearances on TV have induced as much reassurance in the public as a man in a black hood at a hanging !

    His appearances to date during this crisis have shown how completely out of his depth this Old Etonian is when trying to tackle anything more serious than a column full of lies for The Telegraph .

  16. Cubby says:

    Grousebeater – The Salmond Witches.

    If you couldn’t get a copy of the National and don’t get sick easily the alphabet sisters letter is reproduced in this blog.

    Grousebeater was of course in attendance at court every day during the Salmond trial. I do not say I agree with absolutely every sentence in his current post but the overall message is one I share. They are trying to make out they are wronged martyrs for the cause of women’s justice. They have of course been proven in a court of law to be nothing more than political conspirators who lied and did nothing for the cause they try to hijack. They deserve nothing but contempt and immediate removal from the SNP.

    He does say, in passing almost, that two of the sisters are Nicola Sturgeons special advisers.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I have no dog in this fight, but it strikes me all this hand wringing and speculation is precisely what the anti-indy brigade have long hoped to stir up and fester in the movement, not least when you say “proven in a court of law to be nothing more than political conspirators who lied and did nothing for the cause they try to hijack” when it is most definitely NOT what was handed down by the Court. There are NO kangaroo courts in Scotland.

      There are procedures to follow in dealing with this situation, not least to prevent damaging law suits, might I suggest the SNP/SG/? inquiries are allowed to investigate and deliberate on this when other more pressing issues are out of the way ?

      • Cubby says:

        Bob, it was the alphabet sisters who issued their statement. They don’t seem to be following your advice about dealing with more pressing issues first.

        It is the Britnat media who know everything from the trial who are continuing to present their one sided version of events and imply he is guilty. They are not following your advice either of dealing with more pressing issues first.

        ” I have no dog in this fight” – what you don’t care that Salmond has been persecuted and still is.

        The jurors believed the defence case. I never said there was a kangaroo court in Scotland.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        My apologies for the delayed answer, was reading up the background on this including Grousebeater’s comments and the latest State sponsored wheeze.
        To be clear, I am in no doubt the British State has been intimately involved from the start to the present, including pressuring the PF to take the flimsiest of cases to Court. All of this points to political direction by the London establishment in full expectation it would fail, but consider why take that strategy, dragging it all out…. Diversion !
        The women’s public letter hides behind anonymity whilst attempting to sully the judicial process and the verdict of the case, an (ill-judged?) attempt to sway public opinion which will not just fail but could spectacularly backfire, yet keeps the rancour boiling.
        The QC “sex pest” Times piece is a further flimsy construct to influence the public and will fail, but watch it being kept alive by the media in coming days to keep the rancour boiling.
        There will be many more to come, PQ and the Herald have been doing this for years, convinced very few but keeping the rancour boiling.

        Have indy supporters been bickering among themselves over the last 2 years, accusing the FM of collusion, not really wanting Indy, feet under the table, time for separate Indy Party, whilst all the time diverting attention from London’s multiple idiocies, etc., etc.? By design?

        These women will have their day, Salmond will have his say, the FM will have her say, but the mutterings will still rumble on unless we recover the cohesion for when we need it, and the hidden hand will have won. I don’t want to see that, we shouldn’t be letting ourselves get our chain yanked by these devious bastards…

        • Cubby says:

          Bob, I have no idea if the British state security services are behind this or not but it certainly would not surprise me. Nor do I know or make any claims about Nicola Sturgeons involvement. What I do know is that there are saboteurs at the heart of the SNP and Scotgov civil service and they need to be removed. Why has there never been an investigation into who leaked the details of the original complainers to the Daily Redcoat? The criminal court case did not prevent this happening. It turns my stomach that people in the SNP/Scotgov worked with Clegg of the Daily Redcoat to smear Salmond.

          I notice that you do not comment on Grousebeater saying that two of the complainants are Nicola Sturgeons special advisers. If true, and he was at court every day, it means there are people at the heart of the SNP who care more about attacking Salmond than Scottish independence. These people have been working with Clegg of the Daily Redcoat. It is not acceptable for people in the SNP/ Scotgov to be colluding with the Britnat media. It is not acceptable for them to plot against Salmond and attempt to send him to jail for a very long time based on lies and fabrications. Anyone with half a brain could see that the only people to win out of this is the Britnats.

          These people are obviously not going to do the right thing if they were supporters of independence – namely shut up and quietly go away. They lost the court case – something they and the Britnat media they collude with try to rubbish. They are feeding the Britnat media who, I repeat were at the trial every day and know exactly who the alphabet sisters are and what has been going on. Eventually the Britnat media after a long period of persecuting Salmond will then turn on the Alphabet sisters and smear the SNP/Scotgov again. They want this to be as close to the Scot parliament election as possible. Remember one of the alphabet sisters even had the gall to admit in court that she was a “soft” independence supporter.

          The Britnats will continue to milk this matter for as long as it is allowed to fester. No one is yanking my chain. The problem is people not accepting reality. That reality is that there are people in the SNP/Scotgov who are saboteurs who will continue to try and sabotage independence as long as they are allowed to remain in place.

          The saboteurs need removing asap.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Do you know how many special advisers NS has ? Nope, me neither, but you can be sure working with them every day will be tough going, and frankly all of SG know who they are too.
          I don’t doubt all but a formal inquiry have already been done, so the point remains, allow due process to take place, just as NS etc have been throughout this entire saga.
          Salmond played a blinder by sounding a future warning, let’s not screw that up by screaming for heads to roll tomorrow when it requires precision.
          Your 4 paragraphs of anger are exactly what the manipulators want, stop and think about that for a minute….

          • Cubby says:

            Bob, why do you assume that because you do not know Nicola Sturgeons advisers that I don’t. Info on Sturgeons advisers are available on the Scotgov pages/internet.

            Bob, the saboteurs want to stay in place for as long as possible. They want people to think like you – let’s not rock the boat. I think you need to stop and think.

            Why has there been no investigation into the leak to the Daily Redcoat more than a year on?

  17. Cubby says:

    The corrupt and disgusting Britnat media once again having a go at Alex Salmond. The fact that they are on the side of the alphabet sisters tells you everything you need to know.

    • Thepnr says:

      That’s right Cubby, the Britnat media have always been on the side of the Westminster government and that tells you everything you need to know. There is no need to look for conspiracies anywhere else, the source of any conspiracy is right there in front of your eyes.

      The British government and their civil service are our opponents, busy currently trying to kill two birds with one stone and it seems to have a lot falling for it. More’s the pity.

      • Arthur Thomson says:

        But who are falling for it Thepnr?

        Perhaps just a few egotistical people who have convinced themselves that they are in the know. I have to say that their simplistic explanations ring hollow to me and I would be surprised if Alex has any intentions of doing the Brits work for them.

        No, I think Alex’s actions will be precise and designed to draw the Brit parasites’ sting without damaging the patient.

        • Thepnr says:

          I should more accurately have said “some” rather than “a lot” are falling for it since you’re right, and it’s more likely to be just a few egotistical people who’s actions are doing more harm than good with wild speculation.

  18. jfngw says:

    SNHS has it’s own procurement but cannot join the EU ventilator scheme because is has basically been blocked by Westminster. This is how all these returning EU powers are going to be controlled, the gloss of devolution under the iron fist control of Whitehall. This can only be cured by independence.

    • Chicmac says:

      They have also turned down Gtech’s ‘ready to go into production ventilator’ after previously giving them the go ahead. Reason is they are backing Dyson (Tory contributor) to make them even though it is just at the design stage, will need further design tweeking and then a lengthy injection mold creating time, then manufacture in Singapore, then shipping to the UK.

      Money before mortality.

      I wonder if the Scottish Government could sign a procurement contract with Gtech? Even if they are ‘lower tech’ and not as ‘sexy’ as Dyson’s may turn oput to be, who GAF if they work. Gtech are planning to go ahead anyway and sell to other countries.

      This shower are, at best, criminally negligent.

      • Chicmac says:

        By ‘They’ I meant Westminster.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Approvals and certification are a massive time-consuming minefield both for Dyson and Gtech, existing manufacturers are working flat out, but don’t forget direct purchase from Ireland where they have a thriving vent industry mainly for the EU market may be a more viable enquiry.
        If Johnson and Cummings are not referred to the Hague for crimes against humanity there is no justice.

  19. Hamish100 says:

    I see Wee Ginger Dug is being slated by some on the WoS blog this evening. I suppose that must give you some comfort. Lol. Some real nasty folk on it these days.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I stopped reading WoS some time ago.

      • fergusgreen says:

        Me too. Nice to see however that many of the informed former WoS contributors have now migrated to this site 🙂

    • Cubby says:

      Yes there are nasty folk on WOS and Britnats taking advantage over the Salmond trial. I had a quick scan of WOS to see what the nasty folk were saying about WGD. Two BTL commentators – one aptly called onehundredidiot made one comment each. Hardly a mass uprising against WGD.

    • mogabee4 says:

      It seems tittle tattle abounds everywhere. I think you’ll find those minority voices are shouted down. But don’t let yer pathetic sneaking be to no avail…

  20. Thepnr says:


    Call Voluntary Action Angus on 01307 466113 they are based in Forfar, don’t waste time and do it first thing tomorrow when they open or send an email tonight. info@voluntaryactionangus.org.uk

    I’m certain they will get aspirin delivered to you toot sweet. Check their website too.


    • Chicmac says:

      Thanks for that Alex, I might contact them, but Sheena is a bit concerned that those who have volunteered might be as much at risk as herself, if it requires queuing (physically) and probably futilely at chemists etc.
      The only person we know who has volunteered is of similar age to herself, early 60s. I’m in my 70th year so not allowed to go out for myself. I think she wants to try to get some, but I will probably contact them to see what the situation is.

      • Thepnr says:

        Hi Chic

        Please do contact them, I live in the middle of nowhere and yesterday a young lady put a laminated leaflet through my door with not just Voluntary Action details but her own mobile number as well offering help with shopping or prescriptions etc. She lives locally.

        Get in touch as there will be people in Kirrie too ready to help out. I’m really chuffed at what our young folk are doing to help out as best they can.

        • Chicmac says:

          Your concern is much appreciated.

          • Thepnr says:

            By the way, I don’t think the volunteers will be in any danger collecting prescriptions. I had to collect my own Tuesday past and the chemist had chalk lines marked on the pavements two meters apart.

            It was one in and one out and then you had to stand on a cross on the floor and move around, in turn, keeping 2 meters apart, maximum 4 people at a time in the shop.

            It all worked fine but I reckon that the volunteers will be telephoning ahead and bundles of prescriptions being picked up in one fell swoop, At least I hope that will be the case because it makes sense and I’m pretty sure that will happen.

            So don’t you worry, go ahead and contact those willing to help, it’s actually better than going by yourself as it reduces contact all round.

            • Chicmac says:

              I should point out I have about 13 days supply left so hopefully by then some kind of normality re shop stocks should have kicked in, after all once everybody has stocked enough aspirin to deal with their possible toothaches and headaches for the next ten years they should hopefully desist from buying it if only to leave room for more toilet rolls.

              No panic, yet.

              • Thepnr says:

                They do say laughter is the best medicine haha 🙂

              • Bob Lamont says:

                I wouldn’t hang on hopes of normality in 2 weeks, maybe 6 to 8 at a push… You may even find rules tightened as they did here from lockdown, no over 65s or those with complications permitted to leave home.
                Best keeping a 2 week buffer in case of hiccups in the supply chain, but do make contact with the volunteers to get it rolling as @Thepnr suggested, they’re well networked and not about to put anyone at risk let alone themselves.

                • Chicmac says:

                  After another search on line with multiple out of stocks I found one in stock and have ordered a box.

  21. James Cheyne says:

    See Boris Johnson passing new climate change laws for travel/cars public transport etc, quitely while we’re all busy with Coronavirus and worried about the economy,

    • Chicmac says:

      Banning flights from Spain and Italy would be a good start, but then the ‘UK’ covid 19 trend of the ‘UK’ looks like exceeding that of Italy.

  22. yesindyref2 says:

    Ironically I’d put a posting on indyref2 on Saturday wishing for a Scotland poll – and yrtis! As expected support for government in a crisis has gone up, but it could go back down just as easily. The Conservatives held steady which I think is because Jackson Carlaw impressed with his straighforward support for the FM, whereas Leonard asked some stupid request, so daftly unachievable I forget what it was. And the LibDems have disappeared, so both their supports went down. Again.

    “It’s about the British state and the way in which it marginalises Scotland.”

    I don’t think so, only to already existing Indy supporters. BoJo did fail to impress people before last week, and Sturgeon has managed to support BoJo when he’s taken action, and even be a bit ahead of the game. So the rules in Scotland are better, but need futher detail. Not bad for just a week though. But those differences DO need to be pointed out, it shows where devolution not only causes differences, but neccessary and even good ones.

    WGD, your posting which directly resulted in more animal guidance on the SG website, where it’s not restricted to once a day with crossed legs and eyes for the dog, exemplifies exactly what is needed to maintain that SNP vote, and even increase it. There’s still some more detail required like – can people drive their dogs to walk them? Well, why not, the guidelines say dogs can be taken to a vet.

    Can people drive to a park anyway? Look at that Strathclyde park picture, the people are actually self-distancing properly, and the expletive filled video in a certain redtop (?) shows the well over 2 metre gap of the few people even better – the exact opposite of the intention. Some police go over the top a bit, teloing people off for having dogs in a car, but that’s not I think what Livingstone wants. People live in high rise flats still, and densely populated areas in cities, where the 2 metre rule could be virtually impossible.

    So what can happen is the likes of YOU, the National, and everyone who is able, do our best to help the ScotGov produce the bestest possible guidelines – and rules. Rules which do the job but don’t go too far, otherwise people will end up just ignoring them. Same as people would have taken their dogs out for an extra pee anyway, even if it wasn’t allowed!

    It’s back to what people were saying in Indy ref 1 – if the SNP govern wisely, the YES vote will follow. It was close last time, and next time …

  23. Ken2 says:

    People have to vote for it,

    If there had been an IndyRef planned for October. It would have to be postponed.

    The best time to have an IndyRef is when it can be won. Since Devolution 2000 Scotland is a better place. With better governance. .

    Support for the SNP/Independence rising. An all out victory predicted for Holyrood elections. Demographics changing.

    The majority want an IndyRef within a few years. That will happen.

    If some civil servants had retired they would not get their comeuppance. No questions asked about their behaviour. Retired with a massive pension bailout, instead of their conduct being called out.

  24. Hamish100 says:

    When it can be won. Absolutely. Some elsewhere are fighting old battles and are looking for blood

  25. Mark Harper says:

    Can you please do a story on why the national chose to post slander by anonymous sources against a man proven innocent in court? I’ve cancelled my subscription for the umpteenth time after having re-subscribed time and again hoping I could trust them to be honest. But they are part of the Herald Group and like the Sunday Herald before them the dark Yoon pish leaks through.
    I’ve taken the money saved and spread it amongst bloggers such as your good self and Craig Murray.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I don’t know why they published it. I am a freelance contributor to the paper, I have no say over its editorial policy. All I can say is that, like the SNP, The National is an imperfect vehicle, but it’s all we’ve got. It would be a tragedy if we were to lose it.

      • Pogmothon says:

        Perhaps we never had it in the first place.

        Simply an astute owner working both sides of the street.

        Editors direct as best they can, Owners set company policy.

        As with WoS I have watched it go from 100% SNP, SG, (which did make me uncomfortable), to even handed, to I’m not so sure anymore (where did I leave that salt).

        I’m now wondering if it’s the old system of win hearts and minds and even when you do 180 deg about, a great many of them will continue to follow you.

        But like the dug at present I also believe it would be a great loss for the National to no longer be there.

        p.s. I’m fairly sure the low circulation figures are down to menzies distribution system being corrupted. By whom I cannot say.
        What I can tell you is after several months enquires at several shops across the Lothian’s.
        It appears to be the only paper which consistently sells out, but who’s supplied quantities never change.
        Compared to the britnat media who’s supplied numbers fluctuate with demand. Remember no retailer takes a loss on newspapers they are all sale or return.

  26. Dr Jim says:

    Johnson’s problem is no matter how much money he says he’s spending on whatever, Scotland will answer *Then you had it all the time and chose to impose austerity so you’re not forgiven and in fact we dislike you even more for lying about it*
    The Independence question would have to wait even if the polls showed overwhelming support for it at the moment, the Corona virus is an all consuming problem that even had Scotland had borders it wouldn’t have been tackled in isolation anyway, every country is in this and whatever recriminations over the handling of it will surely come later for Johnson

    Johnson has proven like Trump in America you can win an election using populist issues but you can’t govern it after you made half the population hate you for doing it, you get found out

    There seems no doubt that Nicola Sturgeon’s rock steady and calm but serious approach to the crisis at the moment has shown her as a person to lead a nation and when this crisis is over Scotland will reap the rewards for having her

    At the moment those calling for the FMs head are another kind of virus and of no benefit to Scotland in any capacity and their purpose for doing so is exactly the same as the people who called for the former FMs head, to bring down the SNP and prevent Scotland’s progress and I for one am not fooled by the pathetic excuses they try to sell as reasons

    This blog is doing a fine job of ignoring the dross and sticking with the job at hand

  27. Arthur Thomson says:

    I read your piece in the National Paul. A measured piece that will resonate with all responsible people. This is in stark contrast to the disingenuous outpourings of those who want to circumvent and undermine the system of justice.

    Exactly what was required.

    For my part, I am confident that the heightened political awareness of Scots over the past n years will ensure that these worst efforts of the Brits will be seen for what they are – evidence of their lack of a moral compass.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Thanks Arthur. I got a private message this morning from someone very high up in the SNP who appreciated it too.

      • Cubby says:

        I thought you wrote on a Tuesday. Is this article in Today’s National or was it yesterday. As I have posted previously the local newsagents near me very often do not have a copy and obviously travelling further by car each day in the lockdown is a no no.

        • weegingerdug says:

          I usually write on a Tuesday, but I typically submit my piece on a Sunday evening. Since this week’s piece addressed the controversy about “that letter” the editor decided to run my piece a day early.

          • Cubby says:

            Ok thanks Paul, when I go out for my daily excercise I’ll risk the virus and pop into a local newsagent to see if I can get a copy.

      • carolclark1 says:

        Yes well done Paul on your piece in The National this morning. Very well written and on point. Thank god you’re here at the moment, a voice of sanity among the hysteria.

        When we come out the other side of this hellish virus pandemic, we indy supporters will still be there. Maybe, hopefully quite a few more of us. That’s for then, for now, we have a nasty beggar of a virus to defeat. Keep safe everyone.

    • Chicmac says:

      Yes, as usual, an excellent piece.

  28. Tom Gordon, his mate Paul Hutcheon, Gina Davidson and David Dick, to name but a few, are doing their best to undermine the authority of the Scottish Government in this time of unprecedented crisis, by peddling gutter trash and nudge nudge nonsense following Salmond’s acquittal on all charges levelled against him.

    When we need Nicola Sturgeon and her excellent Health Team to be at their best, weasel Hacks are still digging for dirt, in an effort to destabilise the Administration.

    Tom Gordon actually refers to the witnesses as ‘victims’, implying that Salmond had actually been found guilty, not completely innocent of all charges.

    They are not ‘victims’.

    Can he be sued for this?

    They disgust this 72 year old who is relying on a strong Government and incredible medical team to see me and millions of others through this epidemic.

    I shall dance on their graves when their Dead Tree Scrolls founder and fail, and they are all chucked out of their grubby little jobs.

    Is anybody actually venturing forth to buy these rags in the present lockdown?
    Where are they getting their money to trundle on?

    An excellent piece, Paul.

    The ‘silver lining’ in this sorry affair is that the Salmond witch hunt has strengthened our resolve.

    We shall be independent imminently.

    Grubby little muck gatherers have only served as recruitment sergeants for the Independence movement.

    What are the 400 sports hacks who are accustomed to report on Ranjurs and Sellick every day doing for a living at the moment?

    • Chicmac says:

      The bog roll shortage might temporarily hold up their sales.

    • Cubby says:

      Perhaps it was one of the 400 sports hacks who filmed Salmonds QC on the train. Funny how the person who did the filming remained anonymous.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        See John Robertson’s blog

        • Cubby says:

          Will do Bob. You perhaps may want to read J’Accuse on Craig Murrays blog.

        • Cubby says:

          Bob, want to help me out here. I couldn’t see anything about who did the filming in the train. Got a precise reference?

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Nope, the implication I got was the an assistant of the journo trailing after the QC hoping for a morsel (not surprising) but perhaps John’s wry humour…
          The QC story really is of less importance than the timing and framing of it in The Times following this open A,B,C,D etc letter… The open public letter blows the lid off denials of collusion, the attempt to sully the QC attempts to add fuel to the injustice argument, meaning powerful people are bricking it… Salmond really must have them by the short and curlies to make the media almost all call foul…
          I’m under no doubt SG and SNP are about to get an enema, we just need a little patience to let Salmond’s laxative take effect 😉

          • Cubby says:

            Bob, Alex Salmonds defence team got from the police all the details off the What’sapp discussions, who said what etc and also text messages from the accusers’ phone. The identity of the accusers is not just critical it is also the identity of the other people (who are not accusers and have no legal right to anonymity) who took part in the WhatsApp discussions that will be revealing.

    • Arthur Thomson says:

      The only plausible explanation for the continued existence of the rags is Brit state support. Cheap propaganda from cheap people. But it is just grist to the mill. Every day they prove and prove again that they are strangers to the truth.

      Fortunately their conceit prevents them from concealing their contempt.

  29. Propaganda alert: The BBC have taken to describing Johnson as the ‘British Prime Minister’.

    Framing this dolt of a man who is now hunched over a PC suffering from this severely debilitating virus, as the ‘leader’ of the 4 nations within the UK is utter balderdash.
    Would we board a ‘plane knowing that the pilot was suffering from Covid-19?
    Yet the BBC and others still peddle the absolute farce that this bloated fevered buffoon is still in charge.

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s another article in the Herald which quotes “Official government advice”, but knowledge and an actual scan of the phrases used prove they’re using guidance from gov.uk, not gov.scot. On the same page as that “Official government advice” it says “See the latest guidance from Public Health England”

    The Herald seems set on undermining Devolution in Scotland, a Devolution it actually fought for in the days it had integrity of any kind. See article


    • Petra says:

      One wonders if someone in darkest England is actually bankrolling newspapers, such as the Herald?


      Another whitewash by media on behalf of the Tories.


    • robert graham says:

      yesindyref2- Everyone else notice a distinct lack of local Scottish News , anywhere ,I really dont want to know what the people south of the border are having for their lunch and all the frivolous total pish we are presented with it dosnt concern me it’s like news from outer space ,and basically useless to most Scots .
      I wonder if eventually these news outlets and their commentators will get a backbone and tell these tory mouthpieces they are talking shite , today the BMA are still complaining about protective clothing for frontline staff , then a tory arsewipe says the NHS staff have the equipment so who is telling the truth ” no prizes for the correct answer ” .

      If ever there was a more useless incompetent government i have yet to see one , this Tory lot are poison every single thing they get involved in turns out to be a complete utter shambles , their useless actions are being pointed out daily and still some dummy pops up and says they are doing a good job , LISTEN UP TOSSERS NO YOU BLOODY WELL AREN’T we know it and if you dont get out of the f/kn way and let the adults take charge .

  31. Valkyrie says:

    Well said. The Independence campaign SHOULD be far above individuals and party politics.

    Back in 2014, the closest we’ve ever come to winning Independence, it was explicitly stated many times to be a grassroots movement. By the Scottish people, for the Scottish people. Under the banner of “Yes” rather than that of a specific political party.

    Not that Yes was a 100% stable alliance either. Looking at it from the inside, there was a lot of friction between the parties involved, beneath the surface, subtly (and sometimes less than subtly) elbowing each other out of the spotlight. As if the real prize was already presumed to be won, and they were already looking ahead to the election campaign for an independent Scottish government.
    And this is exactly why undecided voters will more readily trust a people’s movement rather than a political one. Politicians always have their own agendas, their own internal power plays. People are in the same boat as other people.

    Back in the pre-2014 campaign, I was actually starting to feel physically ill every time I heard someone say “I’m not voting Yes because I don’t like the SNP!” No matter how many times these people were told that it’s not about one party, it just went in one ear and out the other. And the same people I heard saying it then are STILL saying it now.
    It’s definitely an issue with some people, as irrelevant and meaningless as it appears to those looking at it from inside the movement. And explains the method behind all the SNPbaddery madness.
    A grassroots movement is difficult to target because it has no one person front and centre for opposition to focus on. It forces opponents to attack the message, rather than the messengers. And there is no case for the UK, especially now, so they can’t attack the message, their entire strategy can only be based on discrediting the messengers).
    But once an individual target appears (be it one person or an entire party), they become open to attack.

    I’m not joining in with those who rubbish the SNP, in fact I still suspect they’re playing a long game rather than delaying on purpose. I’m just considering the campaign as a whole rather than cheerleading any specific parties involved in it.

    We’re all going to be sitting around with nothing to do for a while, so plenty of time to plan out the details. I just think that should be factored in somewhere. Loyalty is commendable, but arguments between party faithfuls can only serve to derail the movement.
    Eyes on the prize and all that.

  32. James Cheyne says:

    There are a lot of people out there that are fed up with Scotland, its people and its government being treated so condescendingly and second class from south of the border, that want our own media, and laws to stand as a shining light and example as fairness to other countries as well as to the benefit to a better society for all age groups here in Scotland
    The problem is devolution.
    Any time we have a solution to a problem, or a good idea, or want to make changes, we have to ask permission from a Westminster pm whom is on record as saying the Scots are a verminous race.

    Even if we were allowed to vote on on indyref 2, I doubt it would be when the vote looked like winning, and that MSM would not spew a heap of lies and deceit under scaremongering.
    That manipulation would not be used, think Ruth Davidson opening votes last time, or missing votes that went astray, or the influx of dead people voting, and a sudden increase in voters registered from south of the border in holiday homes.
    or that EU voters that were here, have been asked to leave, with Brexit looming.
    We have to consider the alternative of ending the treaty of the union.
    This we do have a legal right to do, as the only other signature on that treaty.

  33. Dr Jim says:

    Surely folk aren’t expecting a newspaper to be perfect, if they are then why are all the other papers still selling, and most of them are a very long way from even close to trying to report actual news let alone trying to be perfect, we all know which newspapers those are, you know the ones that pay £££££ to folk to make stuff up, some of them even avoid court altogether, until they’re caught that is

  34. fransy9 says:

    It is a perception of myself and a substantial number of British people Scotland bathes in the luxury of free Dentistry – Hospital Car parking – Higher Education – and much more … paid for by the British, who are told we can not afford such luxury as you have. I just wish the Scottish would make up their mind and get on with it.

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