Grabbing Westminster by the balls

balls
The Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat is very worried by the opinion poll this weekend showing that support for Scottish independence has risen to 54%. He tweeted that the “end of union would destablise our whole nation and – because of our size – many others. It would leave families in trouble as our economy faltered and undermine our ability to help others. Our allies would be weaker and our enemies stronger.”

“Our nation”. The reason we are where we are is precisely because the Conservatives have treated Scotland not as a nation but as a possession. Our nation, that would be the Scottish nation Tom, is in trouble because our economy is threatened by the Brexit that we don’t want which your party is imposing upon us. If you believe as you claim to believe that this really is a union, then you need to explain why your party has treated it as a unitary state in which Scotland has been incorporated into Greater Englandshire.

It’s a shame that Tom’s party never thought about any of that when it poured petrol on the independence fire with its pursuit of Brexit at all costs, Tom. For the last six years since the first independence referendum the Conservatives have banged on and on about the importance of their precioussssss Union while their actions always undermine support for it. The Tories act as though they believe that people in Scotland won’t notice. All they have to do is to keep telling us how important the supposed union is to them, and they think that they can consistently act as though it’s only the political interests of England that matter and Scotland has to toe the line and do as it’s told. The party keeps antagonising undecided opinion in Scotland and moderate no voters as if it doesn’t expect there to be any consequences. But there are consequences. Scotland is a land of great patience, but it’s not infinite patience. That patience has now worn thin. The Conservatives have only got themselves to blame for that. This is your fault, Tom. Your fault and the fault of every other member of your party of selfish careerists.

You don’t get to demand that your national rights are respected and sovereign by dragging Scotland into a Brexit that it never wanted. You can hardly complain if Scotland turns around and says – well bugger this for a gemme o sodgies. Only you’re a Tory MP so you do get to complain. Hypocrisy is the only thing your party is any good at.

British nationalists – Scotland is a failed backwater and an economic burden with a £12 billion black hole. Also British nationalists – England’s economy and financial stability depend upon Scotland as does global peace and security. In the space of a series of opinion polls that have gone from showing majority support against independence to majority support in favour of it we’ve also gone from Scotland being an economic basket case that’s utterly dependent upon the good graces of the English taxpayer to Scotland is an economic basket case but the rest of the UK will be screwed financially by Scottish independence. There’s an inconsistency there. Still, I’m sure that someone in Scotland in Union will produce a graph about it for Scottish journalists.

Meanwhile Perth MP Pete Wishart has opened up the Plan B debate again by dint of appearing not to understand what the point of a Plan B actually is. He warns that strategies other than persistently asking Westminster for a Section 30 order only to be refused repeatedly would risk leaving Scotland in some sort of constitutional limbo. But that’s precisely where we are with the current strategy of asking Westminster for a Section 30 order. Westminster says no, and in response the Scottish Government says, “Oh OK then.” Then the SNP asks the independence movement to keep doing what it has been doing only to do more of it because just one more mandate to add to all the others will do the trick.

The entire point of Plan B is to break the current impasse. It’s about creating a set of circumstances which forces Westminster to pay heed, because at the moment there is absolutely no downside for Downing Street in refusing to agree to a Section 30 order. The point of a Plan B is to ensure that there are consequences for Johnson and the Conservative government if they refuse to listen to the democratic will of the people of Scotland. The point of Plan B is to force them to the negotiating table.

A plebiscite election, which is one possibility for an alternative to the current strategy of asking nicely for a Section 30 order, is not a de facto declaration of UDI. The point of a plebiscite election is to create sufficient political capital for independence within Scotland and in the wider world that the British Government is unable to ignore it. This is not Catalonia. There is nothing illegal within what passes for the British constitution in a plebiscite election. Winning that election allows the Scottish Government to use it as leverage to force Westminster to the negotiating table, and to use the legitimacy it grants in order to deal directly with third countries and international bodies to get them to put pressure on the British Government to negotiate.

The same applies to a lawful consultative referendum without a Section 30 order. It creates political capital both domestically and internationally which Westminster cannot ignore and which will force it to the negotiating table. Independence which is negotiated with Westminster is not UDI. It’s really that simple.

What does consign Scotland to a never ending constitutional limbo is to keep doing the same thing that we’ve been doing, without ensuring that there are any political consequences for the British Government, and expecting the British Government to act differently. If nothing else changes they will refuse a Section 30 order after the next Scottish elections and we will still be stuck in that limbo Pete warns about.

That said, I do agree that the next Scottish elections need to be fought on the basis of a mandate for another referendum. Not just the SNP but also the Greens and any other pro-independence party must have the demand for an independence referendum front and foremost in its manifesto. The manifesto commitments must be clear and unarguable.

Winning that election creates an undeniable moral and political legitimacy for the Scottish Government to pursue an alternative route to a referendum when it receives the inevitable refusal from Westminster and ensures that soft yesses and the more moderate no voters will support any alternative strategy. It’s vital that we ensure that an alternative strategy has as broad support as possible in order to give it the greatest chance of success. That can be a referendum without a Section 30 order, having tested its lawfulness in the courts. Or it can be a snap Scottish election called in order to provide a mandate for independence that Westminster cannot ignore.

The more that support for independence grows, the more of an incentive there is for Westminster to refuse a Section 30 order, while at the same time there are no consequences for them in refusing. It’s a perfect set of conditions for denying Scotland’s democratic will. That’s what Plan A does. What it does not address is the reality that at some point the intransigence of Westminster will have to be confronted head on.

The only way that Scotland will regain its independence is to be bold, to be brave, and to be imaginative. You don’t change the world by asking nicely. You change it by grabbing opportunity by the balls and squeezing hard. Plan B is a means of grabbing Westminster by the balls and squeezing hard so that they can’t continue to ignore us.

Update: It appears that Pete Wishart is getting a lot of hate on social media from independence supporters who disagree with his views on Plans A & B.  This is reprehensible and uncalled for.  A difference in opinion about strategy does not make another independence supporter your enemy.  Hatred directed toward other independence supporters only plays into the hands of our real opponents. Our issues are with British nationalism and its supporters.  Please remember that.  They’re the ones preventing Scotland regaining its independence, not other independence supporters with whom you happen to disagree about tactics.

And finally … dogs.  Just because.

 


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80 comments on “Grabbing Westminster by the balls

  1. Dr Jim says:

    Todays FM press briefing with Benny Higgins alongside the FM threw up another scenario that non of the press journalists were keen to ask questions on or explore, perhaps the fear engulfed them, but here it is
    The new report on Scotland economy going forward makes one major enormous gigantic demand of the UK government in that Scotland requires borrowing powers of 4% of GDP in order to put Prof Benny Higgins plan into action, not one of the press media, either because they were to slow to notice or too feart to ask the question *what if*

    The question *what if* the UK government refuse to transfer the fiscal levers to Holyrood allowing Scotland to borrow at least 4% of its own GDP, and that dear friends is the £6 Billion question, because if they refuse, and it’s likely they will, the next step for Scotland is to take that refusal to the ballot box stamping very loudly all the way telling the people of Scotland the only way to put our country on a sustainable footing is Independence

    Now how did I notice that, and I’m no political genius, but so called *journalists* did not, or did they have the fear to ask, you decide

    On a personal note of praise for the FM, her grasp and knowledge of the history of everything is astonishing,,,,,,,,, scuse the Prof Stephen Hawking reference, I’m energised to hear how todays briefing was received in the land of MinsterWest

    • Arthur Thomson says:

      I just caught up with today’s briefing. I haven’t heard Benny Higgins before and I was impressed by his apparent solidity. He didn’t mince his words. He was always succinct and never fazed in answering questions. The SNP has a growing group of women who show those qualities but apparently less men.

      Another small step forward. The FM was her usual articulate, amazingly well informed and astute self.

  2. Brian Watson says:

    Pete Wishart is fast developing into the limbo dancing chancer for Perth , the man with no plan .Getting all his line dancing ducks in a row seems to be his musical act for the political Palladium that is Westminster.

    • Jack says:

      He seems way too confident that he will win a vote no matter what. Bragging about how he beat the Tories. He forgets we gave him our vote, he did very little to get it beyond being in a party that allegedly seeks Scottish independence.

      • Ann Christie says:

        Agreed Jack. He forgets that his majority was down to 35 before the last GE! The local constituency party & volunteers fought hard to make sure he was re-elected in what had become a key marginal. He didn’t beat the Tories. The people did.

    • James Mills says:

      I hope that I am wrong , but he comes across as an MP who has become very comfortable in his Westminster surroundings , to the extent that HE has forgotten WHO sent him there and WHY !

  3. Stuart MacKay says:

    “end of union would destablise our whole nation and – because of our size – many others. It would leave families in trouble as our economy faltered and undermine our ability to help others. Our allies would be weaker and our enemies stronger.”

    But union that England choose to leave would have none of these adverse effects. Funny how that works, then.

    • robert alexander harrison says:

      Theres the double standards and hypocrisy of England remember the crap about how Scotland having a parliament of its own would bring about the apocalypse well wheres the apocalypse 20+ years later worlds still here.

  4. Gregory R Nunn says:

    At some point, seeking international support will be in order, I should think.
    Former British territories/colonies/islands, India to Jamaica, and all points in between could be a starting point.
    No doubt there are impediments, perhaps legal, that prevent Holyrood from sending representatives on such a mission.
    But there is a huge Scottish diaspora around the world…
    Casual by-chance encounters, perhaps, while getting some jerk chicken in Kingston or attending a Snake Charmer concert in Delhi. Casual. As luck would have it. Oh, by the way…
    Does your country regret independence? Do you miss being a vassal state? Do you like whisky? Lovely weather today.
    Casual conversation.

  5. Alex Clark says:

    A Section 30 order has been refused a grand total of once. Nicola Sturgeon asked that Theresa May begin discussions about a Section 30 order and was told “now is not the time”. This is the request from the letter sent to May in March 2017.

    “I am therefore writing to begin early discussions between our governments to agree an Order under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 that would enable a referendum to be legislated for by the Scottish Parliament.”

    https://www.snp.org/nicola-sturgeon-s-section-30-letter-to-theresa-may/

    The next time that the Scottish government sent a letter to the Prime Minister about a section 30 order was to Boris Johnson in December 2019. It was entirely different in tone and not a request to begin discussions.

    “We are therefore today calling for the UK Government to negotiate and agree the transfer of power that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence.”

    It went further and it is clear that it was fully expected that there would be a refusal to transfer the power to Holyrood.

    “Together with the constitutional and democratic case for that transfer of power, we are also publishing the draft legislation that would give effect to it.

    “Of course, I anticipate that in the short term we will simply hear a restatement of the UK Government’s opposition. But they should be under no illusion that this will be an end of the matter.”

    http://scottishpoliticsnews.org/2019/12/22/scot-gov-independence-referendum-transfer-power-demanded-191219/

    I do not believe “Plan A” consists solely of requesting again and a again a Section 30 order from Westminster, a single request has been made and as expected it has been refused. That is as far as we have got. It is also a fact that the legislation for a second referendum is in its final stages, the electoral commission have been told to test the original question so progress was being made until Covid-19 brought things to a halt, for now at least.

    Plan A, in my opinion, undoubtedly included some version of what almost all are calling Plan B. That might have been an advisory referendum, it looked that way to me, hence the legislation which would have enabled such an advisory referendum to take place in 2020. It might have been a plebiscite election in 2021 or it might have involved going to the courts.

    Who can say for sure other than those that definitely know what the intention was after the obvious and expected refusal of a Section 30 order. No matter what others may think you really do have to go through the motions of doing things by the book if you expect the international community to take you seriously and so the request and the refusal had to happen before further progress could be made.

    If you intended to have an advisory referendum, a plebiscite election, or taking Westminster to court would you tell Westminster in advance the specific thing you intended to do? Or would you just do it when the time was right? I think I know the route I would take and it would not involve broadcasting my strategy to my opponents in advance.

    Plan A accounted for refusal of a Section 30 order and the letter to Johnson specifically says that, and in my opinion, plan A is in fact still in play, just delayed.

    • william purves says:

      Google Hansard, MPs debate the Scottish peoples claim of right that the Scottish are sovereign.
      The debate was the final debate of the night of 4th July 2018. You can read the whole debate and get the result of the vote, read carefully and you will see that NO permission is needed from Westminster.

      • Welsh Sion says:

        Just to help you out …

        https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-07-04/debates/18070455000001/ClaimOfRightForScotland

        At the very end:

        “Resolved,

        That this House endorses the principles of the Claim of Right for Scotland, agreed by the Scottish Constitutional Convention in 1989 and by the Scottish Parliament in 2012, and therefore acknowledges the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs.”

      • Alex Clark says:

        Yes you are right, the FM, all her advisors and lawyers are idiots and that is why she wrote this to Boris Johnson.

        “We are therefore today calling for the UK Government to negotiate and agree the transfer of power that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence.”

        No permission is needed to call a referendum as referendums are not reserved powers but to put “beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence.” it may or may not require a Section 30 order so that the Scotland Act can be amended. That test has yet to be put before the courts and has been debated ever since devolution came to Scotland.

  6. […] Wee Ginger Dug Grabbing Westminster by the balls The Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat is very worried by the opinion poll this weekend […]

  7. David Agnew says:

    Scots tories are right to be afraid. They have never enjoyed any real broad popularity in Scotland and the only relevance they have in Scotland is when their English paymasters are in Government down south. If they were all voted out tomorrow, they honestly wouldn’t care, because as long as Scotland is in the union, they get to be in charge of Scotland. An independent Scotland would end them as a political force in Scotland, forever.

    The only way to save themselves and their union, would be to stand up for Scotland in the union. They would rather fight and die on a hill called England and that’s whats got them so worried. England’s Brexit could be what ends their precious union.

  8. bringiton says:

    Unfortunately,it will only be during independence negotiations that we will find out exactly what Westminster really values in Scotland.
    One thing for sure,it is not Scots that they value,nor for the Tory administration can it be the possibility of Scots voting for British Labour again in future,quite the opposite.
    My suspicion is that it is how they will be perceived globally when there is no more UK to be in charge of that they are most afraid of.
    Scotland doesn’t have that problem,all that we seek is equality not domination,which is why Scotland will fit with Europe but England never could.

  9. Juteman says:

    Nearly every blogger is looking for the peaceful route to independence.
    Looking at history, only guns and bombs seem to get the Brits attention.
    I hope we don’t end up on that pathway, but the Brits will never give up the oil fields without a fight.

  10. Stu hutch says:

    Getting bit fed up of wishart.he gets paid from my taxes..I want my money back..Defund wishart untill he does what we paid him to do..

    • Eilidh says:

      So he is to say exactly what you want then. He is entitled to his opinion as is Angus MacNeil who has the opposite opinion re Plan B. Different opinions are what democracy is. I don’t entirely agree with Pete Wishart on Plan B but the National article quotes him as wanting to clarify what exactly is Plan B and make no mistake there are dangers in trying to get Indy without a legally agreed referendum. If we do go down the route of Plan B and have a plebiscite election or something re Indy I wouldn’t be surprised if uk government try to do something similar to Spanish government did with Catalonia. We have the worst type of Uk govt just now but we must not give up on Indy as we must take our opportunity to get out of this pathetic union. However defunding certain Snps MPs is not the way to go.

  11. proudcybernat says:

    I see the British Nationalists no longer wish to be defined by our terms i.e. that we describe and define them as British Nationalists. No – they want to define themselves as Pro-Unionists. (I know, utterly risible). My first question was “What Union”? A Union considers the views of all its constituent parts/members. When one member of that Union tells all the other members that it’s leaving the EU and that all the other members of that Union must leave with it, then it is no longer a Union, it is Colonialism.

    So to these ‘Pro-Unionists’ I say this – you are taking the knee, bending it to your Colonial masters in London. “Union of Equals”, “Precious Union”. There IS NO FUCKING UNION. It’s a sham! A smokescreen. A phantom masquerading as something it most certainly IS NOT. Stop kidding yourselves. And stop trying to think you can pull the wool over our eyes with your ‘Precious Union’ pish. There is NO SUCH THING. A colony ISN’T a Union. Learn the fucking difference.

  12. Ken2 says:

    Just vote out the unionists. There will be no one to object. The 60% can be achieved in a couple of years. Support Increasing 2% a year. The elderly go and the young ones come on board.

    Scotland and the rest of the UK will be better off with Scottish Independence. Westminster unionist power receded. The poor, bad decisions. The Tory mess and shambles. The Brexit mess yet to unfold. They will be voted out.

    The Tory idiocy. Most of them promoted above their capabilities. They do not have a clue. The UK one of the most unequal places in the world. Illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud.

  13. Ken2 says:

    Catalonia has more fiscal powers than Scotland. More autonomy. Catalonia did not vote for Independence. The problem was €4Billion? they were expected to give to Spanish Gov. They did not have to give it, in any case. Catalonia is one of the richest provinces in Spain. The housing crash happened on the Costas, affecting the Spanish economy, There is great corruption in Gov in Spain. A massive bribery scandal.

  14. Millsy says:

    What we need is a cunning , unprincipled ( Demonic , if you like ) sloganeer to push our independence case .

    Along the lines of :

    ” Let’s Get Independence Done ! ” and

    ”Take back Control ! ” and

    if we can get hold of a big red bus , ” £350 million for the Scottish NHS ! ”

    I feel confidant that this approach would work – but we have to avoid unnecessary visits to opticians in the Durham area !

  15. Mark Russell says:

    Dare I suggest you consider a Plan C? I think you may find the perspective is a little different by October – and independence will cease to be an ideological argument, but a matter of survival. We will need a border and limitation of movement with our nearest neighbour – and that will have to be enforced rigorously – as will all international travel.

    Scotland has all the framework in place – its investment bank and a branch network with existing institutions. There won’t be any arguments against issuing its own currency – not from the Scottish people. Westminster and the City will be in no position to honour existing obligations by then – savings, deposits and pensions in Sterling will be worthless.

    Providing Scotland can keep isolating covid cases and in time eradicate the virus – it can maintain its own economy with investment from the Scottish government. It can do so for as long as there are people and resources. There may not be another opportunity. Certainly not for a s30 or even a plebiscite.

    For Scotland to survive as a functioning country we may have to take drastic, but necessary pre-emptive action. The disaster is already unfolding here – there is no social distancing and the shops and parks are very busy. There are any number of illegal raves starting up.

    This disease is not going away and we are no nearer a vaccine or an efficient track and trace system. The long term post viral complications are extremely concerning – and the daily new infections are higher now than before the lockdown in March. We have to “fast-forward” six weeks for the initial health impact from the protests and social changes.

    You need to think about a Plan C.

  16. Hamish100 says:

    I see the colonialist Baillie is smacking her lips in calling the FM , Alex Salmond and others to the parliamentary committee. Bet she tries to drag this out.

  17. gavinochiltree says:

    There was no “Union”.
    England purchased Scotland for the £400,000 ‘Equivalent’ plus £20,000 in bribes.

    Call it the “Caledonia Purchase”, a precursor to the Louisiana Purchase of later fame..
    England got their money back fairly quickly with new taxes/tariffs on Scots exports.
    Within a few years, a Bill to annul the Union nearly passed at Westminster.
    If only………

  18. Dr Jim says:

    All could change very quickly, even now it’s reported that a company in Stirling is manufacturing a vaccine for Covid 19 in massive quantities with a view to distribution by the end of this year, so the trials must be engendering a great deal of hope that this is the one to set us free
    NHS medical staff are taking it now as they’re at greatest risk of catching Covid 19 so there must be confidence in this

  19. Golfnut says:

    English nation votes that Scotland, Wales and NI have better goverment than they have.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/671994530198087/

  20. Arthur Thomson says:

    English people are not daft. It is obvious that the best efforts of the Brits always end up destroying innocent lives. It’s what they do.

  21. Pogmothon says:

    Slightly OT but…..
    Government propaganda provider to spend 100 million to tackle racisum
    Yet 32 million is enough for the entire jockanees channel.
    And 138 million for a london centred soap opera set.
    Kinda puts British Broadcastering in perspective for you.

  22. I favour Plan Z… starting now.
    Operation Big Red Bus.

    Scare the hell out of pensioners like me by sending a leaflet to every pensioner household declaring that Nicola Sturgeon has got the virus licked in Scotland, thanks to the steady cautious approach to lock down, controlling the spread and maintaining a 2 metre social distance rule.

    The leaflet should urge pensioners to write to their MPs demanding that Scotland’s border be closed immediately as the virus has begun to rage out of control in England, and despite this madness Boris Johnson has in effect opened up England’s tourism and pub binge drinking sector.

    Let’s put a Cummings’ figure on it: HALF A MILLION English tourists and second home owners dripping with Covid 19 are about to flood into Scotland, and surely will infect and kill terns of thousands of Scottish pensioners.

    On top of that old age pensioners will suffer most financially. The ‘triple lock’ safeguarding State Pension annual increases at whichever is the greatest, the annual % rise in wages, inflation rate, or 2 1/2% is to be scrapped.

    Because of No Deal Brexit and Covid wage rises and inflation is expected to go into double percentage figures.
    It will be the Pensioners who survive Boris Johnson’s plague who will lose out badly, with pensions in real terms being cut for the next four years at least to pay for the cost of burying 540,000 old folk.

    If Jackson Carlaw cant ‘slim the herd’ by letting English invaders spread the disease, then our pensioners will have to choose between eat and heat for at least the next four Jackson Carlaw years.
    Kill us with the plague, or freeze and starve us to death.

    You get the picture, Duggers. The medium is the message.

    AUOB should form strident local ‘communication’ cells, and launch Plan Z, The Big Red Bus Push. Drive the camper vans back across the border.

    It’ll do no harm to ensure that said pensioners are reminded that the UK State Pension is the third worst in the developed world, and that come Independence, pensions will be increased by 60%, to match the EU average.

    Plan Z; play the liars at their own game.

    The next time Willie Rennie lies about Scotland’s £13 billion debt, we go for his throat. Send a ‘correction’ to every household in his constituency.

    Start a ‘where’s the Unionist This Week?’ Allocate teams to every Brit Nat ProudScotButter MP/MSP and diary very public scrutiny into what the Red Blue and Yellow Tories are up to every week.

    Bombard them with accusations very publicly.

    Do what they do to Pro Independence politicians.

    Fight fire with napalm.

    We simply cannot sit and wait.

    No British Government is going to ‘allow’ a second Indyref.

    We all know that.

    We cannot slip out of Europe on the 31st December.

    England will crush our democracy at a minute past midnight on New Year’s Day. Remember EVEL?

    We certainly can’t partner England in a Danse Macabre and let a Scottish GE in May 21 be played out in the hope that England will be so embarrassed at a SNP landslide that they ‘allow’ Indyref 2. That is naïve fatalism..

    The May 21 GE will be pointless. Even if Pro Independence parties returned 100% of the vote, England will still say No.

    Well, we act now, even as we eliminate the CoBug.

    We stop pussy footing about.

    Plan Z, destroy the bastards with language and sheer force of numbers.

    There are at least 2 million of us now, even before we start campaigning.

    No more navel gazing.

    Let the Red Bus trundle through the hamlets, villages, towns and cities of Scotland.

    Incredibly the English parliament closes for its summer holidays on 21st July until 8th September, and from 17th September and 13th October for the ‘Conference Season’, and a fortnight at Christmas during which No Deal Brexit explodes on to the population.

    I fully expect my SNP MP’s to forego this obscene lay off and actively join in Project Red Bus, while the English Brits set off to their gites and villas.

    We can wait no longer. We come across as cowards, by declaring nervously that the English will crumble. NO they won’t.

    It is either Plan Z or, ultimately some form of war against the English and Fifth Columnists within.
    We are not a colony of England.

    • Even I balk at the ‘burying of 540,000 old folk’. Colloquially, this is a ‘Willie Rennie-ism’, a palpable lie, but in my unedited stream of consciousness rant, a typo. I meant a mere 54,000 pensioners killed under Johnson’s Take Back Control Junta.
      Likewise, I have no idea how many pensioners keep terns as pets, but I am certain, if they number in the thousands, they are certainly not killing them. (Para 4 lines 3 and 4 above.)

      Rise up; we are on our way indeed.

  23. Dr Jim says:

    Or just tell them Johnson is going to increase the price of Steradent and Werthers originals

  24. I absolutely agree that posting hate and vitriol to anyone on social media is abhorrent and should be called out, whomsoever it is directed to – we get enough of it from frothing BritNats so aiming it at oor ain indy folk isn’t a good thing.

    But Mr Wishart has been a bit brash recently about how he won his seat easily and will do so again, then blocking anyone who points out he might just alienate himself from some of those folk he needs to actually vote for him

    I have tae say I was a huge Runrig fan back in the day, saw them in concerts all over, and I did feel a bit bad when Pete started posting and boasting like this & I had tae agree wi’ others that it wisnae on

    But then I remembered, it wis always Donnie I swooned over, no’ Pete, so now I don’t feel so bad about it 😁

    A wee tip mebbe fur Pete – dinnae craw sae crouse and you won’t upset so many indy folk oan yon twitter thing

    • Eilidh says:

      I was a big Donnie Munro fan too until he left Runrig to stand as a Labour Mp and was horrified that he was standing for that party and of course he didnt win. Don’t know who he supports these days as he doesn’t say, in public anyway.Pete is well liked in his constituency and did win the seat easily in 2019 but barely so in 2017. Personally I think Twitter is a cesspit and Pete would better to stay off it and think before he posts anywhere. As a side note I am still a huge Runrig and attended concerts until they retired. They were less political in recent years and even better in my opinion than when Donnie was there but some of the remaining members did express open support for Indy around 2014 referendum which was great.

  25. On my Plan Z Big Red Bus exhortation: Idly, I logged in to Herald Britland.

    QED

    Tom Gordon, headline:-

    “Sturgeon and husband could be forced to give evidence under oath in Salmond inquiry.”

    183 BTL comments already. A sad wee community of computer generated We hate the SNP trolls.

    Muckrakers dig up Sexy Salmond like pigs snorting for truffles.

    Still, since the Herald must have only a paying circulation of about 12,000 by now, and I feel that I am being a tad generous in this, Gary Robertson, Kaye Adams, John Beattie, and Janice Forsyth will spread the muck tomorrow in the ‘what the papers say’ segment every 15 minutes a day tomorrow.

    There will be a recap on the charges of course.

    I expect that the Record Police Gazette and the Hootsman will have similar Salmond Leaps.

    Well, from now on in, fight fire with napalm.
    Listening figures for BBC Radio Scotland? Are we getting value for money. Salaries?
    Men getting p[aid more than women?

  26. Dr Jim says:

    “There’s been no conspiracy it’s a heap of nonsense” said the FM and when she’s proven correct the internet conspirators will say “Of course thats what conspirators would say” justifying and separating themselves as a different kind of conspiratorial group who don’t conspire in the same way as the bad conspirators, as they turn themselves inside out and vanish inside their own orifices conspiring as they go

    • Tom Gordon yells that Sturgeon ‘could’ be ‘forced’ to give evidence.
      That is, she will not do so voluntarily?
      The tortuous headline implies that she has something to hide and that she will be dragged kicking and screaming to any enquiry.
      That the woman is doing remarkable work tackling Covid is of little interest to the Guttersnipe Press. They’ve got 12, 000 copies to sell to the knuckledragger Loyalists and Green Brigade after all.
      Where’s the Black Money coming to keep these rags afloat?
      We are three months in to the Financial Year, yet the Herald has more ‘Senior Political Editors’ than the Lib Dems have at gravy trainers at Holyrood.

      There are some key actors in this drama who need to be ‘forced’ to give evidence at a Public Enquiry, who miraculously were not summoned to court, and whom the Press have mysteriously shielded from public gaze?

      Who shaves the barber?
      Just think of all the Dirty Little Brit Nat Secrets that the Dead Tree Scrolls and TV Outlets have buried away in the vaults.

      We fight fire with napalm from now on in.

      We start naming names on line, the real Free Press in Scotland in attack mode.

  27. Dr Jim says:

    I would bet the SNPs communications man Murray Foote knows where who and which buttons to push amongst the press hive

  28. yesindyref2 says:

    Meanwhile (sorry to be OT) the UK potentially becomes the 51st state, or at least, even more than it is already. From The National, a little signified story:

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18533386.liam-fox-lined-uk-candidate-lead-world-trade-organisation/

    until you google Liam Fox Atlantic Bridge along with Gove, and check out the Grun. A wolf in with the lambs. It won’t be long before it’s us get chlorinated.

  29. yesindyref2 says:

    “at the moment there is absolutely no downside for Downing Street in refusing to agree to a Section 30 order”

    The list of downsides is huge, enormous, terminal for the UK. The UK will cease to exist. And the rUK will get to keep the eggy face, they’re going to need more wet wipes.

  30. Bob Lamont says:

    Tugendhat letting the facade of GERS and “subsidy junkies” slip will not have gone down well in some quarters. He seems utterly oblivious to the role he and his WM colleagues have played in bringing the destruction of his precious Union ever closer, sympathy is in short supply.

    Excellent article, and agreed we must move onto a more aggressive footing than has prevailed, but it is also vital we neuter the ongoing propaganda war if we are to facilitate honest public debate.
    The Tusker regularly exposes the media’s propaganda, ditto WGD and others, but little is seen or heard of the SNP’s rebuttal unit in what has become an increasingly desperate campaign to denigrate SG.

    These sites need much more widespread promotion if we are to break free from the monopoly of Scottish media and the insidious campaigns they front.
    The SiU secret scribblings and the Beeb’s on-call army of anti-SG commentators influence far beyond their meagre numbers, and whereas the SiU scribblers are slowly being identified and exposed, how do you balance the right to free speech with a persona using multiple user names to flood BBC comments under mask of anonymity ? Flood them with the inverse of their own campaign?
    My own solution was to give up attaching credibility to BBC offerings or comments, but alternative sources for honest news are limited.
    Even though I subscribe to the National, there are times I cringe at stuff they publish. Copying a Herald piece which is patent nonsense is unlikely to retain subscribers even if they are “obliged” to do so, balance by all means but not propaganda masked as news.
    Now where did I leave my knacker slapper….

    • Nice one, Bob.

      I scrolled through BBC Steam radio this morning.

      The big ‘what the papers say’ theme was the ‘tsunami of job losses’, the ‘£6 billion Black Hole to restart the Scottish economy’, the ‘growing anger among parents’ (that would be those middle class sorts who were given air time on BBC Distorting Scotland during the week) about ‘Swinney’s’ blended learning disaster, an English accented ‘behavioural psychologist’ in whose mouth Laura Maxwell placed the phrase ‘a mental health epidemic’, following easedown of Covid restrictions, and a wee snippet from the Hootsman that the Sexy Salmond enquiry begins today.

      It was more BBC Radio Boris than Scotland. The three hours peppered with comparisons with England, where the pubs theatres restaurants and museums are reopening and the social distancing reduced from two to one metre. It’s Party Time.

      Why can’t Scotland return to being a colony of England? is the underlying message permeating this 3 hour BBC Sound dirge.

      Jason Leitch got five or six minutes after eight, and was given uninterrupted space to remind the angry parents what an evil killer this disease remains, possibly the only factual useful information in three hours of padding.

      It is clear that Pacific Quay reads Paul’s Blog; or are they saving Salmondgate until tomorrow when they think that we won’t be listening?

      It’s forecast to be chucking it down today.

      No mass gatherings of young selfish bastards in Kelvingrove bevvying and wising up our police force and parks staff.

      But the underlying message? Why can’t we be like England?

      Why is Nicola Sturgeon such a wet blanket?

      Why can’t we open up our schools like the English, in, oh wait, September, instead of August?

      It will be the recurring theme.

      Why can’t we be English?
      Every step they take, every move they make, we’ll be watching them from now on in.

      Understatement of the day came from from Toodle Oo The Noo:- ‘John Swinney is in a tricky situation’.
      Relegated to Steam radio, Taylor battles on…same old same old.

      Oh, and shock! Scottish Women actors and writers are forced to go to London in search of work, because BBC Scotland is a male chauvinist cess pit.
      Who’d have thot.

      How many people listen to this three hours of Why Can’t We Be English every day?
      Followed of course by three hours of Kaye Adams phone in.

      Jeez.
      BBC Scotland is the tree that will eventually fall in the forest.

      The science dictates that it will indeed make a sound.

      It’s just that none of us will be around to hear it.

  31. Dave tewart says:

    Great Jack,
    I read that piece with the music from ‘My Fair Lady’, sounding out, the Professor Higgins song.
    Why can’t the world be more like an englander?
    I had a chat with my brother’s family from Melbourne, they’ve got a local hotspot and lockdown.
    Germany has a problem at a meat processing factory,over 600 positives.
    The englanders have something similar with plants there and Wales.
    The South Koreans and Israeli are closing schools due to increases.
    What are we getting?, the doris will this afternoon declare freedom day BUTT no for you Scots.
    Thank you for listening to the dead sea scrolls at PQ as I for one have given them a miss for well over a year now.
    Keep safe

  32. Lest anyone thinks that I ‘cherry pick’ news items on BC Radio, for balance they also featured the spike of Covid Cases in Germany mainly in a slaughterhouse staffed by ‘immigrants’, who were living in cramped conditions, travelling together in cars to work, and who were now hemmed in on tower blocks by the police and army.
    The underlying message being that Germany so often cited as an example of how to beat the disease has fecked up.
    Population of Germany? 83 million. Number of Covid deaths? 8969. Overnight deaths? 3.
    Compare and contrast England’s figures.
    There were so many layers of nastiness in this little dig at the Jerries.
    Brexit? From our EU correspondent. At the end of June there is no turning back; no extension asked for or granted.
    There will be No Deal Brexit and the Ehglish economy will shrink by 6.9% on top of the Covid hit to the economy. Car jobs will go, a futher 6,000 lost their jobs this week.
    The EU warn that fisheries, food standars and consumer protection among hundreds of other measures must remain in place to ensure a ‘level playing field’.
    Boris says No.
    Enough of all this. Three minutes is more than enough.
    Whit aboot Craig Levein taking over at Dundee United? Somebody wake up Toodle Oo The Noo!
    Police are investigating the ‘White Live Matter Burnley’ banner flown over the stadium at last night’s gam aginst Man U.
    And the Murray Boys are back playing tennis. Break out the Barley Water.

    Oh, and Froggie Car Manufacturers are fiddling emission levels again.
    And that’s just about it.
    I captured all this by ‘speed scrolling’ through the 3 hours employing the wonders of I Player.

    • Typos, whit am I like?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Typos are because your keyboard isn’t water-cooled…. 😉
      On the meat processing story, yes, well it would the “Jerries” and immigrants angle would keep the wheels on that big red Brexit bus would it not… It’s not just anti-SG propaganda…
      On associated topic from Indyref Two this morning…
      https://mobile.twitter.com/GMB/status/1274973219267674114

      • Thanks for this, Bob. It’s insidious of course.
        I repeat; the best form of defence is attack. When they churn out this ‘why can’t we be like England?’ tosh, we throw it back in their faces.
        I popped briefly into BBC Breakfast picking the 8 o’clock bulletin. North korea strength propaganda for WM. Pubs reopening, self catering, reduce the two metres to one hallelujah.
        Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow lots more old codgers will die!
        May I make a suggestion? That pubs introduce a restriction to the amount their thirsty customers can get down their necks in a week. A weekly ‘scratch card’. 21 units for men, 14 units for the Fair sex?
        That won’t happen, will it?
        A&E in England will be booming tonight. Thank the Chief that Johnson recruited 50,000 nurses and 20,000 polis, and is building 40 new hospitals Down There. Wait….

        The stupid grins and interviews with a Chelsea hairdresser and a pub chain lass….
        England, The Tribe That Lost Its Head.

        On the White Lives Matter Burnely fly past. Absolute disgrace everybody agrees.
        Nothing on the firm who hired out the airplane. I wonder why? Local Big Wig?
        Tory Donor?

        But fuck it. It will be like Ashton Lane on a Friday night all over England tonight.
        Swing low, sweet chariot, comin’ for to carry me home.

        • J Galt says:

          “It will be like Ashton Lane on a Friday night all over England tonight.”

          Good!

          Hopefully it will be like that here soon – looking forward to going back to work – not looking forward to wearing the idiot muzzles (which harm your health by making you breath in toxins the body is trying to expel and have zero effect on transmission) on the train though.

          Still if it keeps the silly old miserabilists from getting their knickers in a twist….

          • Have you coloured in all the pictures in that book already, Galty?

            • Bob Lamont says:

              🤣 Ate all the crayons from the sound of it, probably ex-ARU… Idiot muzzles, idiot scarves, idiot bandanas, only thing missing is idiot nothings, may they rest in peace….
              I really cannot understand the ignorance being spread by what appears to be an active campaign to rebel against masking, usually citing the “zero effect on transmission” argument without a single shred of evidence from anywhere on the planet, zero, nada, zilch..
              Yep they’re discomforting, my glasses steam up, my breathing is uncomfortable, especially at 32c as it is now, but NOBODY rebels because despite the fact it “keeps the silly old miserabilists from getting their knickers in a twist”, it is infinitely preferable to them being in the morgue.

          • weegingerdug says:

            Great to hear from our resident epidemiologist J Galt there.

            • J Galt says:

              It doesn’t take an epidemiologist to see that all the risible play-acting that we’re being subject to is just that – risible.

              The main cause of deaths and suffering in this event was neglect of the care homes right at the start. And I’m sorry to say that despite the narrative being peddled just now, there wasn’t much difference in that neglect north and south of the border.

              • Perhaps we should organise a karaoke night for Galt and all his mates who think it risible that my fellow Scots actually care about whether I and hundreds of thousands of his fellow elderly citizens survive this terrible time.
                Sad little person, where his only escape from his self centred world is to come on here and scream and stomp.

                The lass from the BBC kicked off the Brit Nat Hackery’s questions to NS today with a rerun of BBC Radio Scotland’s earlier ‘Why Can’t We e England?’ theme.

                There were only 8 versions of ‘why can’t we be English?’ two metre rants from the gathered hackery at today’s Briefing, and Peter McMahon, Border TV, home of Alister Jack David Mundell and his son Oliver, Dumfries and Galloway Council and Care Services administered by a Blue Tory Leader and a Better Together Coalition, where a private care home, perhaps in Castle Douglas, is under investigation, demanded that Nicola Sturgeon give (named individual) ‘answers’ following the death of his wife in a Care Home, and why no testing? Aarghhh!! He lost it live in full tremor.

                Johnson actually forgot one of Ian Blackford’s questions at PMQ, a demand to publish the science report behind opening up air corridors to Europe. Johnson is descending into blustering madness as his dyed flaxen locks grow into a giant albino tumbleweed before our very eyes.

                As if to confirm that England will become the 51st US State on Jan 1st 2021 following No Deal Brexit, Johnson’s opening up of England to the plague again will begin on 4th July, US Independence Day.
                Sturgeon played a blinder as usual.
                Swinney will not leave us wanting either.

                Operation Big Red Bus has begun.

  33. Dr Jim says:

    Every day the UK of England government insults every Scot on the planet by saying the same thing over and over again *Scotland couldn’t have handled the pandemic without being part of the UK*
    Right there in statements like that should be telling Scots everywhere that the UK of England believe that Scots are inferior to every other country in the world who’s dealing with their problems in whatever way they can, but Scots are incapable of doing the same

    They’re saying we are inferior, lesser mortals, no use for anything, yet how can this be true and why are the UK of England repeating this over and over again when everybody *used* to know that Scotland invented the modern world with innovations like penicillin modern mathematics anaesthetics television, the list is endless

    So which people in Scotland don’t know this stuff, and or why don’t they know, and why do some people of a certain age (my age) think because we don’t do coal or build all the ships in the world anymore Scotland’s broke, and why don’t those same people understand that digital is money, wind is money, the sea is money and Scotland is full of it and surrounded by it

    They took our oil and naebdy did anythin aboot it so they’ll just take that stuff as well if it’s worth anything, we cannae stoap them so there’s nae point in tryin, and if we vote fur Independence they’ll just dae sumthin tae us

    Those are not the words of a person who’s inferior, those are the words of a person with an inferiority complex psychologically and aggressively implanted abusively into their brain by evil people whose plan was to drain not only the assets of a country but to drain the will and life force of its people

    This is the essence of enslavement

  34. Dr Jim says:

    The ONS have released excess death figures for England which are still around two weeks old and the total comes to give or take 70.000 with mortality rates still in the hundreds per week

    Prime Minister Manson Ooops Johnson is expected to say today “Ach who cares just go out and get on with it, if you die you die” but at least England shall be free eh

    Dr Navarro of the WHO extremely politely intimates that Johnson is an incompetent nut case who couldn’t finish a Noddy Jigsaw

  35. Dave tewart says:

    The doris must be getting married again,he’s just opened up churches and places of worship.
    The new rule is 1+metres distancing.

  36. Peter Campbell says:

    “A difference in opinion about strategy does not make another independence supporter your enemy” – with respect, I would suggest this also applies to Pete.

  37. Alex Clark says:

    Just seen your update to the article and I completely agree that Independence supporters attacking other Independence supports because of a difference of opinion in strategy is totally counterproductive.

    At times we are our own worst enemies when we attack our own and forget all about our opponents. They just love this stuff and will continue to use “Plan A” vs “Plan B” as a means of dividing opinion in order that we fight each other and ignore them.

    Sad really that there are many who do not see that this kind of behaviour on public forums helps our opponents much more than it furthers the Independence cause.

  38. Dr Jim says:

    Oh to have been a fly on the wall during The FMs telephone conversation with Michael Gove this morning, the FM hinted at it earlier but resisted the urge to spill the beans on what I understand was a rather spicy Vindaloo heated conversation with he who would be the next King if he can get a chance to get his knife between Johnson’s shoulder blades

  39. Alex Clark says:

    What’re the chances of Pete Wishart doing a dugcast? Would be another interesting discussion.

  40. Arthur Thomson says:

    The BBC puts out the false Brit figures for deaths every day of the week. Everyone who wants to understand, understands that they are pumping out lies. Fine, they are blowing their credibility.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      The entire point Arthur is they don’t care so long as the polling holds up, THAT is their guiding star.

  41. JMD says:

    Arthur Thomson,

    They blew all their credibility a long time ago.

  42. Arthur Thomson says:

    Personally, I prefer to ignore any supposed “fight” about tactics in the independence movement. A reasoned discussion of approaches to pursuing our goal is interesting but tantrum masked as principled concern is just boring rubbish. Hot air from hot heads, with Brit neanderthals transparently joining in and imagining that they are being subversive. Laugh at it. It’s as irrelevant as those who promote it.

    As to any succour it might seem to give to our opponents, it is inconsequential. Giving succour to suckers just encourages them to keep being suckers.

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