Creating expectations

The lack of performance artiste who goes by the stage name Boris Johnson has faced three big challenges since he became Prime Minister. To deliver that oven ready Brexit deal that he promised during last year’s General Election, to deal with the coronavirus epidemic, and to placate an angry and restless Scotland. He has utterly failed on all of them.

The pandemic has left the UK with the highest death toll in Europe and the worst affected economy. Johnson is now trying to get the public to accept that they can only hang out with six friends at once when he’s spent the last month telling them they absolutely have to get onto crowded commuter trains and buses and back into open plan offices so that they can buy Pret a Manger sandwiches or the country will die. So remember, if you’re in England don’t meet up in groups of six, unless you’re in Pret a Manger. The police in England will now have the power to break up gatherings of more than six parties, and especially dangerous parties. It would be great if that included the Conservative party.

The oven ready Brexit deal has turned out to be a lie, colour us surprised. The UK is now going where even Margaret Thatcher didn’t dare tread – ripping up an international treaty and showing itself to be an untrustworthy partner at the very point where the UK is desperately in need of allies and goodwill abroad. In 1975 Thatcher said, “In the same way that government and individuals should be bound by law so countries should be bound by treaties. Britain does not renounce treaties. Indeed, to do so would damage our own integrity as well as international relations.” Well, yeah. The UK is now on the brink of a no deal Brexit will will be a disaster for jobs and which will be a body blow to an economy which is already reeling under the effects of the pandemic. Additionally, the EU may seek to impose sanctions on the UK for its breach of international law. When you act like a pariah state, you’ll be treated like a pariah state.

Far from reconciling Scotland to Brexit, Johnson’s government have at every turn thrown fuel on the fire, enraging Scottish public opinion even further. The Conservatives have set out not merely to undermine the devolution settlement, but to destroy its very foundations. This is a party which constantly harps on about the importance of respecting the outcome of referendums, but which has not got the slightest hesitation in overturning the result of the 1997 devolution referendum, which was reinforced by the promises of the Better Together parties in the 2014 referendum.

Devolution became the settled will of the people of Scotland following the long bleak years of the Thatcher and Major era. It was seen as a means by which Scotland could provide itself with a modicum of protection from the worst excesses of Conservative rule. We can now see that devolution cannot protect Scotland from a Conservative government which is prepared to ignore the rules, even to ignore the law. The Tories will destroy everything in their hell bent pursuit of a fantasy Brexit based upon a nostalgia for a British Empire which is – deservedly – long gone.

The devolution referendum of 1997 was a fait accompli. When it took place there was little doubt that Scotland was going to vote yes. We are not yet at that point with an independence referendum. If an independence referendum was held this week it would be closely fought and there would be considerably uncertainty about the result until the votes were actually counted. In 1997 there was massive public anger in Scotland about the way that this country had been treated by Conservative governments, and a determination that a political solution needed to be found.   Scotland was in no mood to take no for an answer.  This public determination and anger in Scotland was enough to overcome the deep seated reluctance of Tony Blair and the Labour party.

We’re going to need an even greater public determination and anger in order to secure Scotland’s independence. Despite those who demand immediate action, that widespread public anger and determination is not quite there yet. I really wish it was, but we have to deal with the realities of this country and not the Scotland of our hopes and dreams. We’re building a new house for Scotland here, and we need to build it from the foundations up. We can’t rush into putting on the roof before we’ve built the supporting structure.

For the past few months, on every single article on this blog, no matter what the topic, someone pops up to state – as though it were an established fact – that Boris Johnson will never consent to a Section 30 order. Firstly, it’s not a fact. Moreover those who make the assertion appear to have a far greater confidence in the ability of the Conservatives to resist Scotland than the Conservatives do themselves. We’ve only had consistent majorities for yes in polls for a few months yet already we can see the cracks appearing in the Conservatives’ resolve.

However tactically, campaigning on the basis that a Section 30 order will be refused weakens us in the longer term.  Getting a Section 30 order is a matter of process. The key to independence however is strategy. The strategy is to gradually ratchet up the pressure on the Johnson administration. What really matters is not so much the response of Johnson to a demand for a Section 30 order, the important thing is the response of public opinion in Scotland to his refusal. The response of Scottish public opinion is also far more important than the response of Nicola Sturgeon, because it’s the first which will dictate the second. The Scottish Government can only respond strongly and decisively if it knows that it has the support of majority public opinion to embark upon alternative steps.

As supporters of independence we believe in the sovereignty of the people of Scotland. It’s for us, the people of Scotland, to decide if and when we want an independence referendum. All of us who believe in independence can agree on that point. Therefore we cannot, we must not, concede that Johnson has any right at all to tell the people of Scotland that we cannot have the referendum of our choosing. Yet when we bewail that he will never agree to a Section 30 order, that’s precisely what we’re doing. And that in turn sets up an expectation among the people of Scotland that Westminster has the right to refuse us. In so doing we undermine the public anger and determination that we require in order to take the next step – to challenge Johnson in some other way – because we have already set up an expectation of failure.

There are several routes to independence besides a referendum following a Section 30 order. However key to the success of all of them is that they must have the clear and explicit support of a majority of the people of Scotland. We may now have consistent majorities for yes in polls, but we cannot yet be certain that there is consistent majority support for routes to independence other than a referendum agreed in advance with Westminster. In order to ensure that we take majority public opinion with us, we cannot leapfrog steps, no matter how desperate we are to escape this Tory Brexit nightmare.

We are not there yet. If we lived in a Scotland where we had a representative media which truly reflected the political opinions of Scotland, we’d be independent already. If the Scottish Government was to press ahead right now, it would be slaughtered in the press. Any increase in deaths from the virus would be blamed on the “reckless and irresponsible” independence movement and the SNP. You can’t sell the vision of a better Scotland to the public when you’re being blamed for killing people.

A successful independence strategy must be based in the realities of the Scotland we actually live in, not the Scotland we hope to live in. There are many of us who now support independence, but this is a cautious nation. We have to construct a strategy that will enjoy broad national support, not one which appeals only to those of us who have been convinced of the need for independence for years.

For my own part, I do not believe that Johnson will easily agree to a Section 30 order. The British state is not going to make this easy for us. However if we cannot take majority public opinion with us at every step of the way, we will lose. We will only win our independence with a mass national campaign. You can’t have a mass campaign without the masses.  We have the additional issue of building that mass campaign in a country where the mass media is overwhelmingly against us.

We cannot, we must not, concede that Johnson has any right at all to refuse a demand for a Section 30 order following the election of a majority of pro-independence MSPs standing on a platform for another referendum. Above all, this is a battle for public opinion. We need to ensure that people in Scotland are angered, infuriated, and made more determined if and when Johnson refuses a demand for a Section 30 order following a victory for pro-independence parties in a Scottish election where the issue of another referendum was key. We’re only making that harder for ourselves when we set up an expectation of failure. We’re going to need all the anger and determination that we can muster if an alternative is to succeed.   The first step to winning is to refuse to concede that you can lose.

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154 comments on “Creating expectations

  1. The Gillies says:

    But Johnston may not be the bogie man.
    His popularity is waining amongst his supporters. Waiting in the shadowy backdrop is the slimy one ,Gove. His eyes are firmly on the pm’s post. If he manages to backstab his way there then Scotland will have a very slippery customer to deal with.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Indeed. They’re not going to make this easy for us.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Everone seems to say that “they’re not going to make it easy for us” or variations.

        Nobody really explains WHY. Is it because they’re desperate to keep us, and even if the Tories have no MPs from Scotland they still always always have an overall majority and never have to make alliances with the DUP or LibDems which really cramps their “style”?

        Is it because they get on so well with the Scottish Government, and Scotland never prevents them or threatens to preven them from getting their full cooked Brexit with baked beans?

        It’s just another way of accepting Westminster’s superiority and supremacy over us.

        WELL DON’T. I look at it the other way – WE don’t have to make things easy for them.

        The ScotParl withholds consent for any Bill they don’t like, the ScotGov take the UK Gov to court for anything we don’t like, and get interim interdicts meanwhile to delay anything the Tories are doing we don’t like, we make a complete and utter nuisance of ourselves. But timing is everything. that all needs to be left till about 3 months before the Brexit the Tories want to achieve, so it would only now be starting to become open.

        “Please please here’s that Section 30, have your Ref NOW and gie’s peace”.

    • Great!! Replacing an untrustworthy liar with the only liar who is even more untrustworthy than him would be a godsend to the Indy movement. Bring it on 🙂

    • Christopher Rosindale says:

      For Johnson, losing Scotland would ruin his place in the history books.

      For Gove, losing Scotland would strip him of his identity.

      Unlike Johnson, for Gove, this battle is personal. That, and the fact that he and Dominic Cummings have a long relationship, means they will be a much bigger threat to us, as Gove is bound to ask Cummings for help in drawing-up a revived No campaign’s strategy.

    • Nally Anders says:

      Great Post Paul and spot on Gillies. I doubt Bawbag will be in post come May. His boss Dom Cummings said after brexit is done he will step away. Bojo cannot function without him, he’ll jump before he’s pushed. Reckon we’ll be dealing with Gove. You know the guy who claimed he’s driven with dodgy eyes too.

  2. Craig Macinnes says:

    “We cannot, we must not, concede that Johnson has any right at all to refuse a demand for a Section 30 order following the election of a majority of pro-independence MSPs standing on a platform for another referendum.“
    Paul nobody is conceding anything. We are merely pointing out that Johnson or whoever Is U.K. PM will undoubtedly continue to refuse an S30. It would be insanity for any British PM to accede to an S30. Our problem with the current SNP leadership Is their insistence that S30 is the only valid route to follow and the lack of any other route map to independence!

    • Mark Robertson says:

      Our main problem is that there is not a large majority of Indy seekers in our complex wee country! If there was there would be many more ways to become independent and none of them would be judged harshly by the international community that we seek to join once independent!
      We are just getting there now but it is hard/slow to change the thinking of a once majority of brainwashed populace .

    • weegingerdug says:

      Sorry, but conceding is exactly what you’re doing. You’re allowing the perception to build that Johnson can and will refuse. Perception is everything in politics.

      As I said in the article, I believe that we may well need an alternative route. However the key point is to ensure that a majority will back it. Ensuring that majority is only made more difficult if we appear to give the impression that Johnson has the right to refuse a Section 30 order. He has no damn right, because we believe that sovereignty lies with the people of Scotland. We have to make sure that a majority in Scotland share our anger and determination.

      We always need to remember that what we think we are doing is not always how other people perceive what we’re doing. You might think that saying “Johnson won’t allow a Section 30 order so we need an alternative” is merely realism, however other people (especially soft yesses, undecideds, and soft noes) are quite likely to interpret it as us admitting that Johnson has the right to refuse us and so when he does refuse they won’t get angry about it because you’ve set them up to expect a refusal.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      ” It would be insanity for any British PM to accede to an S30.”

      Why? Asserting something like that doesn’t make it true.

    • Undeadshuan says:

      And it didn’t make sense what the tory did in Ireland that ultimately caused an ongoing war that only had peace again, under the good friday agreement.

      And Boris Johnson doesn’t make sense to what is in effect the ripping up the good Friday after renaging on the EU withdrawal treaty.

      But that shouldn’t make us help him by saying, the fat man will take awa oor baw and refuse a section 30.

      Did mahatma ghandi say the empire will never grant India independence, likewise did George Washington say the empire would never grant USA independence.

      In the words of Sun Zhu, “the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”

      And that goes for our side as well, by saying he will never accept a section 30.

      See that as an opportunity to galvanise support amongst the majority who are not ardent hardcore independence supporters.

      I see some of that already in people i know watching Nicola Sturgeon in 1st ministers questions they are people who used to say all politicians are the same.
      And who for years were anti independence who are now pro independence.

      Infact one friend asked me what would happen if section 30, refused.

      I listed the alternatives routes that could be taken to independence and they did not argue with me.

      Maybe a lesson for the people who say he will never grant a section 30.

      Scotland will not accept that, but we have to all play our part in galvanising the majority of Scotland to bqe agreeable to the alternatives if he should refuse it!

    • Petra says:

      ”Our problem with the current SNP leadership Is their insistence that S30 is the only valid route to follow.”

      Craig, Nicola Sturgeon has already stated that she may consider taking a different route, as lauded by Joanna Cherry.

  3. Interpolar says:

    We know that things have sunk low when we are reduced to quoting Margaret Thatcher with approval.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I suspect that Johnson can go even lower.

    • With Indy and the SNP at 56% in the polls, define “low”.

      • weegingerdug says:

        I understood that Interpolar was referring to how low the British Government has sunk.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Since it was WGD who included the Thatcher quote in this article I took it Interpolar was referring to that. It believes “we” have sunk so low as to quote Thatcher “for approval”.

        “In the same way that government and individuals should be bound by law so countries should be bound by treaties. Britain does not renounce treaties. Indeed, to do so would damage our own integrity as well as international relations.”

        There is nothing so low as this current government, they are the pits in every way. Yet there are those who will defend them, particularly Unionists. You don’t tend to see Independence supporters express anything other than contempt. No surprise.

        • william purves says:

          I believe Thatcher said in Westminster Parliament if ever Scotland sends a majority of SNP MPs to West minster, Scotland can have its independence. Whatever happened to this statement, it should be in Hansard.

  4. Bryan Ritchie says:

    I think the SG needs to pursue the Section 30 order not only in case it’s granted but if not then use the refusal to bolster public opinion.
    I suspect the actions taken after the refusal will in the long run prove more pivotal and by this I mean the actions of both the SG and the WG.
    The refusal will add weight to the case you can see it already in what the FM said yesterday when asked about a refusal in that she was clear it would be an affront to democracy.
    That as I say is fine as far as it goes the refusal being worth another hundred thousand votes it’s what she does next that to me remains vital.

  5. […] Wee Ginger Dug Creating expectations The lack of performance artiste who goes by the stage name Boris Johnson has faced […]

  6. Alex Clark says:

    I don’t say this lightly, but that is the best article I have ever read on this site. Stirring stuff and clear as day as to how we will claim our country back from Westminsters claws. Bow to nothing, don’t be fooled by their trickery. They cannot destroy democracy in Scotland and building support further ensures we will win.

    Let’s get on with that rather than navel gazing. We don’t want to hold a referendum, we want to win it and we do that by building support now, such that the Yes lead becomes unassailable.

  7. grizebard says:

    You are right on the button, Paul, when you say it’s ultimately down to (ever-cautious) public opinion in Scotland. Without that, having a referendum is a useless dead end. As we all know, the greater the visible support for independence, the lesser the incentive for the UKGov to accede to the ever-desirable S30. It’s the consequences of this paradox about which we tend to differ among ourselves. What the doubting Thomases arguably rather lose sight of is that a continual holdout of an S30 is by no means a risk-free option for the UKGov. Scotland as an eminently-visible English prison colony is a very bad look; it blows apart any pretence to a voluntary Union and mutual self-respect, and is ultimately self-defeating. It is already quietly destroying the Labour Party in Scotland, for example.

    But there is also long term risk to the SNP. Disillusion and fatigue can set in. “Events” in the form of the covid pandemic have mostly worked in our favour, so far at least, but it won’t necessarily always be so. While the SG is absolutely correct not to (overtly) politicise the current crisis, the SNP does need to go on the front foot soon. The coming elections will give the party that crucial opportunity, and hopefully it will rise to the occasion. If it does, it deserves our fulsome support. Like it or not, the SNP’s success is everyone’s success, and a strong win will raise the pressure on the UKGov considerably.

    I would only caution though on too much caution. I believe there will come a point when (whatever letter you care to assign to it) it will be down to the SNP to bring the issue to a head, with or without the fabled S30. Ironically, the more effectively it promotes the imminence of a plausible alternative, the more likely it is to get the desired S30. And I firmly believe that judgement about public support is not simply down to poll numbers or focus group results, but instead to an astute political judgement that a campaign, once in full swing, will accrue further support from a latent reservoir of undecideds rather than lose it due to likely opposition negativity and perfidy.

  8. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! And I’m one of the frustrated bunch… but that makes so much sense (as always, and of course it would from you!).

    Love Carole x

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Jim says:

    Shetland council vote to explore Independence from Scotland.

    Is this just mischief making by the council and where would it leave us if it came to fruition.
    We could hardly deny them the democratic choice as that is one of the biggest bug bears for us.

    • Julia Gibb says:

      would it be Independence or Remain with rUK. Two very different scenarios.
      If the latter the would be like the Channel Islands under International Law. They would only have a 12 mile sea boundary within Scottish waters.

      They key issue is Scotland would have to be Independent first and they would then follow the same path as Scotland leaving the UK. The Maritime Law / Sea boundaries would be a very different debate in comparison though.

      • Jim says:

        Or it could be an autonomous state like The Faeroe Islands Julia, who knows.

        I tried looking on the Shetland Isles Council home page to try to find what elegancies the councilors have to which parties but it doesn’t tell you, although I think a lot of them are independents.

        • Undeadshuan says:

          most independents are tories

          • grizebard says:

            You’re right. Tories too ashamed to call themselves what they are.

            It’s hardly coincidence that this issue only ever resurfaces when independence begins to look likely. (And a very reliable indicator of BritNat concern.) But it always magically goes away when the Union looks safe. Funny that, eh?

            The more interesting question though is: who is actually driving this renewed astroturfing?

            Back in 2014 it was the FibDems, who are still an influence there if nowhere else. But who now? And ultimately who behind them?

        • Petra says:

          Hi Jim maybe this will help to answer your question?

          ‘FACT CHECK: Do Shetland Islands really want to break away from Scotland?’

          …”Nominally, 21 of the 22 Shetland councillors are independents, with one official SNP member. However, most of the so-called independents have a party or political allegiance, with a significant group traditionally leaning towards the LibDems. Last year, the LibDems held on to their Shetland seat at Holyrood in a by-election, despite a strong challenge from the SNP. Their candidate was Beatrice Wishart, previously the “independent” deputy leader of Shetland Council.”..

          • Jim says:

            Hi Petra,
            Thanks for the info. I kind of suspected that somebody was playing funny buggers with the facts and your link to the National and I.Wright and Golfnut’s comments have cemented that view.
            It looks like better together 2 has already started with it’s covert ops.

    • diabloandco says:

      If they explore that are they going to find that they have a 12 mile sea limit which might be a tad awkward –
      am I right or wrong? I’m sure someone out there knows.

    • I Wright says:

      The report states: ‘Councillors voted 18 to two in favour of a motion to formally explore options “for achieving financial and political self-determination”.’

      Someone’s being naïve/naughty with the reference to independence. None of the councillors will have been elected on an independence mandate. Having said that, I’m sure the media will feast on this.

      • Wee Chid says:

        There were councillors in D&G who tried to say that the area should have a separate vote following a successful Yes vote to determine whether the region wished to be annexed by England. IT was stirred up by two daft wee Tories who were ridiculed at the time. Maybe Shetland has the same dafties.

    • Golfnut says:

      We were told last year I think, the queen of Denmark who just happens to be our monarchs cousin, had found papers stating that she could buy back Shetland. We got it because they couldn’t pay the dowry( don’t know which one ), so Shetland was handed over to Scotland. The papers were authenticated by non other than David Starkey, the arch unionist, royalist Scotland hater. Stop laughing now.
      This was a serious report in the media, and just like the current threat of Shetland leaving Scotland, it is meant to make us quake in our boots at the thought of losing all that worthless oil.
      We are going to hear a lot more of this crap.
      Has anyone a list of ‘ better together threats ‘ , it would be interesting to see how far down the list this one would be.
      We got to over 50% before the vow was wheeled out with all of this crap heaped on us, if this is the best they can do, they’re going to lose.

    • Ahhh yes , Dundee is going to consider being independent too .

  10. Republicofscotland says:

    It should be pointed out that Westminster is already breaking International Law over the Chagos Islands, so it should come as no surprise that they’re doing it again. Independence is the only way to safe guard the future of Scotland.

    I heard on the radio earlier on that the Green Bench Lounge Lizard, Jacob Rees-Mogg is now self-isolating

  11. Julia Ginb says:

    Wise words as always Paul.
    We are all desperate to move Independence forward but as you say “timing is everything”
    I just wish the evangelical anti SNP tribe would calm down.

    • Wee Chid says:

      Maybe we would if the SNP stopped dangling carrots and then taking them away. Perhaps a bit of honesty from the start stating that there would be no referendum until some future date instead of headlines every year since the Brexit vote saying it would happen, would have lowered our expectations. That and the broken promise that we would not be dragged out of the EU against our will have made some of us a bit cynical.

  12. Capella says:

    In Scotland the people are sovereign which is why we need the Scottish people to back independence. In England, parliament uses the sovereignty of the monarch to ligitimise its power. But Boris Johnston is trashing that legitimacy. His Internal Market Bill tears up the devolution settlement. We are under no obligation to abide by these illegal plans.

    Carwyn Jones has spelt that out to the Welsh Assembly. He points out that our founding document, The Declaration of Arbroath, enshrines the sovereignty of the people and that the Westminster Government is reneging on the Devolution settlement. The Scottish people have a right to oppose them.

    • william purves says:

      The Queen is not sovereign in England, the ENGLISH government,[EVEL] is sovereign, but not in Scotland where the people are sovereign.

      • Golfnut says:

        The Queen is sovereign inn England, sovereignty can only be loaned not taken. There are no post 1707 laws which make Parliament Sovereign over the United Kingdom of Great Britain. They operate by convention, and that requires consent both from the crown and the people.

  13. Republicofscotland says:

    This is just wishful thinking on the British nationalists behalf, its another clear sign that they see the inevitability of Scottish independence. Of course the British Empire has form on matters like this such as hewing away part of India to create Pakistan, not to mention the Sykes-Picot border lines that have caused decades of fighting in the Middle East.

    • Capella says:

      This “Shetland independence” meme comes up every time a referendum is on the horizon. It’s a paper tiger. Even if Shetland did become independent they would be an enclave within Scottish waters with a 12 mile sea boundary radius. So the implied threat to the oil fields is a delusion.

      AFAIK, without having researched the facts, the council has voted to support greater self-determination. Now that is something we can all support. Lesley Riddoch has written and podcast frequently about the superior Norwegian model where their local authority units are the size of Scottish parishes whereas our Highland region is the size of Belgium. Greater devolution would be very welcome.

      • Millsy says:

        Forget the oil in Shetland waters … we are always told by Unionists that oil is a burden and not really worth much !

  14. Alex Clark says:

    The Referendum bill announced last week by Nicola Sturgeon setting the date and terms for an Independence referendum is THE bill that Westminster insists the Scottish Government cannot put into law without a Section 30 agreement because they say it relates to “The Union” and that is reserved to Westminster. A draft bill will be drawn up before next Mays election.

    This bill will go ahead whether or not Johnson agrees to a Section 30 order. All that’s left for him to prevent a referendum taking place is to block the bill by challenging its legality. Will he dare do that with an election in Scotland coming up?

    If he does then that really ups the ante, a democratically elected government with a hopefully overwhelming mandate being refused “permission” to ask the people of Scotland to express their will in a referendum as to how they want to be governed in future will not sit well with many.

    It is then that other means of showing that the will of the sovereign people of Scotland is to assert their rights to self determination will take prominence. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

  15. jfngw says:

    What percentage is optimum before pushing harder for independence, there is around 30% that will never vote for it, they see Scotland as a British entity better run from another country. Is there another country in the world where such a large section of its inhabitants see themselves as so inferior they cannot run their own country.

    We are then trying to persuade the remaining 70%, not sure how much worse it needs to get for them to make the leap. Within that 70% there is probably around 30% of fence sitters weighing up if it is good for them personally, unfortunately there are still many that will sell their country for foreign gold. Support is currently quoted as around 56%, are we waiting for the other 14% before we are confident of a win, it could be a long wait before they commit themselves.

    If independence can’t be achieved under the current circumstances then I’m not convinced it will ever happen, unless they start actually killing us but they have done that before and we just accepted it.

    • grizebard says:

      The point I’ve been trying to make for a while now is that we don’t have to wait until the undecideds all commit themselves. That’s what a campaign is for. There are many current solid yessers who were undecideds back in 2013. All we need is to have the right background in place to be able to bring enough of them on board for the desired result. And remember, a 55% win is “decisive”. (grin)

  16. Bob Lamont says:

    Well done Paul, nails hammered firmly home…
    “Our problem with the current SNP leadership…” etc is a frequent visitor and one which misses the point entirely or elects to ignore the point of your synopsis, one UNITED voice is what they fear, ONE voice is what we must present, LOUDLY and in unison, the rest we can sort out later, those not in the choir best take sick leave….

    I frankly don’t give a toss who delivers independence, but I DO care it is delivered asap. I have no immediate plans to die but shit happens, to do so as a Scots National and citizen when I do got to Hell would be a real bonus in shoving that tartan passport under every Tory nose (I believe they have a block booking arrangement)…

    Bravo again

  17. Republicofscotland says:

    Am I begin a bit harsh, or not?

    Good Riddance to this British nationalist who spouted the state broadcasters (BBC) propaganda in Scotland with such enthusiastic glee.

    • robert alexander harrison says:

      Naw man get it of your chest is the best thing they politicised the pandemic all for the union trying to claim without the union Scotland wouldnt of been able to handle the virus when really the english conservative government was sabotaging our nations attempts to deal with covid remember the scandel of ppe firms to piroitise England only Westminster tried to deny it but websites like gompels had it written in black and white.

      Then there was the report of tryin to sabotage our procurement off ppe from overseas by the english conservative government threatening us if we stayed in lockdown longer than them theyd cut us so the English conservative government has deliberately put themselves frist even in a global crisis when the entire planets supposed to come together they still put themselves frist and to hell with everyone else.

      Yet now they through their bbc lackeys cut off oaps who have no internet from knowing whats going on by no longer airing the daily breifings so you have every right to be angry.

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    “The devolution referendum of 1997 was a fait accompli. When it took place there was little doubt that Scotland was going to vote yes.”

    Devolution was supported by ALL parties apart from the Tories.

    “We are not yet at that point with an independence referendum.”

    If we wait until Labour and the LibDems support Independence. we’ll be waiting for ever.

    “If an independence referendum was held this week it would be closely fought and there would be considerably uncertainty about the result until the votes were actually counted.”

    Whenever an indy ref is held, even if in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. it will be closely fought and there will be uncertainly until the votes are counted. In 20 years a lot of Indy supporters will be deid, that’s less YES voters.

    With you on most things WGD, but this “we can’t hold it until we will win it”, is nonsense, and self-defeating Wishy-Washy nonsense at that. Pete Wishart would be so relieved.

    Sorry to be blunt – and honest.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Eh I am most certainly not suggesting that we wait until Labour and the Lib Dems support independence. Neither am I arguing that we should only have a referendum when we are 100% certain that we’re going to win it.

      What I am saying is that we need to ensure that we have maximum support for whatever route will win us independence. That starts with not conceding that Johnson has any moral or political right to refuse Scotland a referendum. That alone is the point of this article.

      You are over-interpreting this piece and in the process giving a perfect illustration of the point I was making to Craig Macinnes above – that what we think we are saying or doing is not always how other people will perceive it.

    • Alex Clark says:

      There are those that would have had a second referendum 2 years ago. they were gambling with the future prosperity of Scotland as in any result would have been a toss up.

      Things have changed and changed greatly from 2018 and we are now in a much stronger position of actually winning a second referendum, this is undeniable and support for Independence has increased beyond even what I would have wished for before a second referendum.

      No one is talking of waiting for 5, 10 or even 20 years or other such nonsense, Nicola Sturgeon is clearly talking of having one next year else she wouldn’t be introducing a referendum bill before the end of this parliament. Referendum denied then be assured Nicola Sturgeon won’t just shrug her shoulders and so oh well never mind. That’s the whole point of a referendum bill directly relating to Independence. It is a challenge.

      Now is the time and i believe Nicola Sturgeon thinks so too, if you doubt her sincerity then fine, I think she’s honest and I’m being honest too. There will be a referendum in Scotland in 2021 and worst case 2022 if there is court action involved. During all this time support for Independence can only continue to grow in light of Westminster colonial rule and denial of the people of Scotland to democracy.

      Have faith, we are winning and we’re on the cusp. Let’s not blow it now by fostering doubt.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      WGD / Alex
      It’s that time of year when I’m working round the clock at times and sleeping odd times to go with it so I can’t do this justice at the moment. Plus an extra EU order with the transition over coming up I’m having to put off for a few days. That’ll be round the clock too!

      Briefly Home Rule was arguably the settled will of the Scottish People for over 100 years, with the Glasgow Herald supporting it from its beginning I think, and in 1979 polls showed over 60% support – the result was 51.6%. Yes, settled will would have prevailed but for the Labour rebel betrayal, but it was close even with a “settled will”. And the problem is that support for the status quo was less than 25%, but there were two types of change – staying in the UK with an “assembly” or not staying.

      Now support for the status quo is very unsettled because of the pwoer grab and Brexit, and so support for Indy is potentially around 92% (onl;y about 8% want to abolish Holyrood). Now, or as soon as possible is the time to strike, and Russell and Sturgeon are doing their stuff on this. There hasn’t been a time before, too many elections and pandemics getting in the way, plus the UK might have decided not to even leave the EU.

      So yeah, the long and short of it is I’m extremely wary of this “serttled will” thing.

  19. Alex Clark says:

    In the document “Scotland’s Future” published before the 2014 referendum there was clear acknowledgment that the island communities had special circumstances and these were issues an Independent Scottish Government would have dealt with taking the views of the people and elected officials into account.

    island communities.

    The Scottish Government has
    recently established the Islands Areas Ministerial Working
    Group, to engage in discussions with Orkney, Shetland and
    Comhairle nan Eilean Siar about the opportunities that are
    important for these island communities in the context of
    the referendum and independence. We have committed to
    separate discussions with mainland councils with islands
    on any issues of interest. The Working Group is covering
    issues such as energy, the Crown Estate and transport.
    Under independence we plan to bring forward an Islands
    Act to implement the conclusions of this work

    I would like to think that an Independent Scottish Government would consider the welfare, rights and aspirations of our island communities a much higher priority than the UK government show.

    A proposed “Islands Act” with their co-operation will be far better than anything they have now while the Scottish Governments hands remain tied by the Union.

  20. Welsh Sion says:

    Came across this in a piece which I’m working on.

    The UK Government’s definition of ‘extremism’ is:

    ‘Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”

    Would you not say that HMG itself is now ‘a rogue State’ and that it is in active opposition to … democracy, … and the rule of law?’


    “Extremist views or practices [are] Anti-Western or Anti-British views”

  21. Ex Pat says:

    Hideous British Empire Crimes

    >> The Tories will destroy everything in their hell bent pursuit of a fantasy Brexit based upon a nostalgia for a British Empire which is – deservedly – long gone.

    The British Empire is gone, and deservedly so, but its crimes have still not been publicly acknowledged.

    Let’s look at the crimes instigated by the in-laws of one Dominic Cummings. Yes, Classic Dom, aka the Gimp in Number 10, has a living father-in-law whose own father’s panic caused the deliberate British genocide of 300,000 Kenyans. You might think that explained a few things. That, or the Andean marching powder !


    Sir Evelyn Baring was the governor general in Kenya a couple of white settlers were murdered. He panicked and introduced a state of emergency. That started the deliberately genocidal British policy that resulted in the murder, torture-to-death and genocide of 300,000 Kikuyu in death camps. Their treatment, one British officer said, was worse than he had experienced in Japanese prisoner of war camps. It including male and female rape with broken bottles, the dismembering of prisoners and more.

    The worst part was that British Oxbridge historians knew all about it, but said nothing for over fifty years, steadfast in their code of Omerta on the crimes of the British Empire. ‘Their spinelessness resembling a mollusc in a panzer tank’, as C.G. Jung memorably said of German generals who failed to notice the Nazi attrocities of WW2;_their_ own attrocities !

    Luckily Gary Brecher, the War Nerd, is on the case and does a fantastic job of outing the British Empire’s true face. You’re welcome.

    – ‘WN Day 25: Monty Python Burning Kikuyu Skit’, by Gary Brecher, The War Nerd, 14th April, 2011

    More – ‘Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya’ by Harvard historian Caroline Elkins

    See full review here – ‘Another British Genocide’, by John Dolan, 8th September 2006 – The Exiled –

    Add British attrocities in Kenya to those in Iraq, Bahrain and Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and ongoing in Yemen. No change there then, you might think.

    Mentioned briefly in a comment The Face of US UK Evil to ‘Perfidious Albion rides again’, 7th September – WeeGingerDug blog

    • Ex Pat says:

      More – Iraq, Bahrain and Northern Ireland – See ‘The Face of US UK Evil’ , a comment by Ex Pat to ‘Perfidious Albion Rides Again’ by WeeGingerDug, 7th September 2020 –

      • grizebard says:

        I truly don’t know what you think you’re achieving by these egregiously OT monologues on here. If you feel this strongly about matters totally unrelated, you would be way better starting your own blog on your own terms and seeing who shows up who’s actually interested. As far as independence is concerned, if you truly believe that the crucial yet-unconvinced have to swallow wholesale a package of pre-digested geopolitical beliefs like yours in order to convert to indy, you’re repeating the exact same mistake that too many self-absorbed amateurs made last time. The “preaching to the choir” fallacy. You can’t win converts on your terms, you have to win it on theirs.

        And the stupid thing is, when we do win independence, the desirable geopolitical consequences of being a normal peace-loving small European state flow automatically from that fact, no overt persuasion on that score necessary. Simples!

        Consider the example of our genial host. I’m sure he has his own sincere political beliefs besides independence, but he wisely wears them lightly. And for very good reason. It’s essential self-motivation, but publicly superfluous. The independence movement is not a zero-sum game of political hegemony, nor a recruitment opportunity for fringe movements with entirely different aims.

        Assuming it’s even anywhere near your real intentions, do you seriously imagine that retailing a long list of these “hideous crimes” on the doorsteps come next May is really going to swing all those undecided voters? If so, I suggest you try it. You will receive a very fast, free and direct education from very real Scottish voters. It’s no different online here and now. Even if that’s a much easier means for you to play facile political games with us from your handy office wherever in the world that happens to be.

  22. brianmlucey says:

    Nancy pelosi has laid it out in the starkest possible terms that there is no prospect of a US UK trade agreement while this goes on

    • Capella says:

      he Good Friday Agreement is the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland. If the U.K. violates its international agreements & Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement passing the Congress.

      • Capella says:

        However, the House of Representatives’ election is due on 3rd November. Perhaps the BREXITEERS have arranged for a Republican majority.

        • benmadigan says:

          As you might expect with such a large community, Irish Americans are found among Democrats and Republicans so there is cross party support for the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement
          Furthermore, since American diplomacy was crucial in achieving it both parties are proud of America’s role in it

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, the US, being godfather to the GFA, is most definitely concerned. This development might even make their Establishment, heretofore rather cool towards Scottish independence, rather less interested in continuing to support a “rogue” unitary UK.

      Karma takes many forms.

  23. Julia Gibb says:

    On a brighter note “toodleoothenoo” is retiring. He may turn up as the media consultant for BetterTogether2.

    Just maybe…..I would like to think all those years of his soul being devoured by Unionism may cause him to reflect on his final years and the future of Scotland. Could we look forward to his NO to YES podcast. Perhaps Paul will get an exclusive!

    • weegingerdug says:

      I recall hearing a rumour that he voted yes at the referendum in 2014

      • Julia Gibb says:

        I look forward to his revelations on that.
        The shackles will soon be off!
        I just remember seeing a copy of his inhouse training video for the BBC during the Indy run up which was pure, hardcore Unionism.

      • Holly Teine says:

        Years and years ago (like 20+) I was positive I read some pieces by him that supported independence. In very recent years when he back on my radar I’ve always been confused by this! Did I read his musings so wrong back then.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Is he not pals of Alex Salmond?

        • Petra says:

          They attended St Andrews University at the same time and being political animals moved in the same circles.

      • Eilidh says:

        I met him when I was working at polling station he voted at in 2012. He was a pleasant enough guy. Much nicer than some voters in that area. It would great to think he and other BBC Scotland journalists are closet Indy supporters but not holding my breath, there must be some in BBC Shortbread though

      • Shagpile says:

        Would not be surprised by that WGD.

        I remember when Wendy challenged Alex to “bring it on”, and the FM rejected her offer, as thanks but no thanks. Many in the Yes camp were flummoxed or felt betrayed by the refusal. Sounds familiar? Well, Brian wrote a piece explaining the step by step trap she was offering in plain and simple terms just how Trogan this “gift” was. I changed my mind about him after that. No other MSM journalist came anywhere close to being balanced on that issue.

    • grizebard says:

      Well, it would be fascinating if any former BBC Scotlandshire insider were ever to “spill the beans” about what’s actually been going on in there, no?

      (And in rather more detail than Paul Mason’s little shaft of illumination back in 2014.)

  24. Arthur Thomson says:

    I wholly agree with your analysis Paul.

    At the same time I have no doubt that the campaign for independence has begun. The FM has, on numerous occasions stated that the Brits have borrowed to finance the covid response and that the Scottish Government could just as easily have borrowed for that purpose – if it could act independently, as every other country has. This is a hugely important message to get across and she gets regular opportunities to underline it. When that sinks in with the populace it will be very significant.

    The introduction of the Protect Scotland app, having rejected London’s failed attempt at an app, shows higher levels of competence as the rule rather than exception. It is going to be interesting to see the level of take up and it is a golden opportunity to galvanize the Scots behind a single purpose. It has the potential to be a campaign in its own right.

    The “internal market” shambles offers numerous opportunities to get across the threats of fracking, loss of control of food standards, the deliberate dismantling of devolution etc. These are the very types of issue that should point to the need for independence and they can be put across on social media, in the Scottish Parliamenty and in media interviews – enabled by the international law breaking of the Brits.

    These are but a few examples and the ongoing incompetence of the Brits is going to raise innumerable other issues in the next nine months. Fertile ground and plenty for the Scottish people to chew over and weigh up the pros and cons.

    • Alex Clark says:

      I’ve put the app on my phone and asked my family to do the same. I have no concerns over privacy issues that I would have had with the proposed UK app that still hasn’t appeared. I would never have installed theirs on my phone.

      Let’s be honest, this virus is going nowhere and the reasons for the increase in cases is because restrictions have been relaxed, there is no easy way out. It is necessary that we continue to function as normally as possible so as we can feed ourselves and pay the rent.

      The only way to do that with the minimum of victims to the virus is to keep the number of infections as low as possible, this help will help to do that if people self isolate after finding out they have been in contact with someone who tests positive longer than a certain time, I think 15 minutes as 1m or less.

      If we fail to control it then it is likely that there will be another major lockdown, that doesn’t bear thinking about, we really might have to learn to live this with for a long time, best we take action now and this app could help. It’s worth a try anyway is how I see it, better to do something than nothing at all.

  25. Ex Pat says:

    The Devil You Know (*)

    What WeeGingerDug says about the civil route to independence is true.

    But there are further truths that are not mentioned and are generally never mentioned.

    When you oppose a state that is prepared to use illegal war, murder, torture-to-death and genocide, it is as well to recognise the fact, lest you find yourself playing tennis against an opponent in a tank with the barrrel pointed at your head.

    Yes, they do this to lesser breeds overseas _and_ they are still doing it, in Yemen and in six other countries, today.

    If they are murderous fascists there, then they are murderous fascists here.

    And you might wonder if those ‘lesser breeds’, which included Northern Ireland not overseas from the UK at all, would suddenly include you, if you demand and look like gaining your rights.

    When the US Empire, or their UK catamite, mount colour revolutions in countries whose governments they want to overthrow, they whine when that state defends itself. But what will they do they do when a colour revolution is mounted against it? Well, in Venezuela, they paid coup elements to assassinate the protesters and claimed that it was the government. And they did the same in Iran, where ‘men on roofs firing on the crowd’ were also reported. Gee, it’s almost like they had a plan. @ 32:50

    ‘The Revolution will Not Be Televised’, Chavez, The 2002 Coup – Youtube –

    “If you use violence against someone who is very experienced at violence, it may not be incompetence. It may be stupidity. They are not mutually exclusive.” – Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, or Peter Dale Scott (?)

    Or even if you just oppose the UK government, never mind use violence.

    * ‘There are demons all right, as sure as there is a Buchenwald’ (and British concentration camps in Kenya)

    Substitute US or UK for ‘German’ and it could have been written yesterday.

    – ‘The Postwar Psychic Problems of the Germans’, page 149, C.G. Jung Speaking, published 1978. – Full text via, or Google books (?) –

    “If you don’t know history, they can tell you anything and you won’t know any better.” – Howard Zinn

  26. Republicofscotland says:

    I’m sure Richard whatshisname, Willie, only seen on tv with animals, and Douglas, its okay for my boss to break International Law, will be doing cartwheels right now on reading this.

    • Alex Clark says:

      A bold step, which will backfire. The Scottish people are to be denied access to broadcasts by their elected First Minister. They really are spoiling for a fight and they will get one. The cowards are running scared already and have bowed to Westminster pressure.

      The Scottish Government should take the “STATE” broadcaster to court and demand access to BBC Scotland for the sake of Public Health in Scotland while this pandemic continues. If anyone doubted we were already in a battle for the hearts and minds of the people of Scotland then this must have opened your eyes.

      The Gandhi Quote has never had more relevance than right now.

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

      • Republicofscotland says:

        Its all to do with reducing Sturgeon’s visibility, and ergo her capableness in the eyes of the public, sort of out of sight out mind tactics. They can’t allow Sturgeon’s popularity to rise any higher, and with it the possibility of Scottish independence.

        The briefings also showed up Johnson, his inabilities and his coldness and uncaring towards those who’ve lost loved ones to the virus. We’ll miss Sturgeon’s week day briefings, and so will our cause.

        • Rab1942 says:

          The BBC has an online complaints form, which you can use to make your views on this known (I have). Not saying they’ll take a blind bit of notice, mind you …

        • Jim says:

          Agree. This is more covert UK Gov ops in action.
          Remember, they have the BBC by the balls as they threatened them with disposing of the license fee and as a result choking off their income.
          This has Dominic cummings fingerprints all over it, control the media and you control the narrative.
          Thankfully they can’t control social media and that is where we are winning the battle.

      • Statgeek says:

        One solution would be for the Scottish Government to introduce an interim* Scottish TV license, and funnel the cash into Scottish telly. I don’t presume it would be easy, but it would be interesting to see Scots suddenly fund Scottish telly over British telly, and watch as Scottish broadcast staff get their heads turned.

        * Proviso of being abolished when Indy gained, and the slate to be wiped and the system re-thought. I don’t want a permanent British solution to a British problem.

        How about WGD doing “Here is the News where you are” (Glasgow edition). 😀

    • Julia Gibb says:

      That should finish the BBC in Scotland.

  27. Ex Pat says:

    Classic Dom

    Q. Is there something about being a gimp that makes Marat, sorry, Classic Dom, want to force the rest of us to experience his pain ?

    ANSWER. A or B.

    A. ‘Would male Brexiteer voters please line up behind the British lion in front of the small table on the (far) right.’ Remember, you asked for this so HLSO !

    B. Bozo and the vegetables, plus Dom, on Andean marching powder – what could possibly go wrong ?

    Everything, apparently ! – Downfall – Downing Strasse: the Final Days –

    Or A and B !? (ER, Please Sir, is ‘neither’ an option ? Asking for 66m – 17m = 49m friends. Ed.)

  28. Republicofscotland says:

    Looks like the Assange fit up has been paused till Monday so his legal team can get a Covid-19 test.

  29. Capella says:

    As of Monday, it is understood the corporation will decide whether to provide live television coverage of the press conferences based on their “editorial merit”….
    “We will of course consider showing press conferences live when any major developments or updates are anticipated.”

    Archive version here:

    So the BBC has been told to stop broadcasting the daily briefings. I wonder why. Confirms the BBC is a state broadcaster and not a public service broadcaster. We are in the middle of a pandemic. Infections are rising and winter is coming on. Older people. who are most at risk, rely on the BBC for information.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Fecking disgrace Capella that they think they can get away with this. I don’t believe they will. The new guy at the top of the BBC has only just stepped into his role and immediately kicks a hornet’s nest. Maybe not the wisest thing he has ever done as he will soon find out.

      Our MP’s should walk out of Westminster if the BBC get away with this blatant disregard of the First Minister, our elected officials, the public health of the Scottish people and their right to be kept informed.

      Do these scumbags have any feet left to blow off? I feel Independence getting closer with every idiotic decision these arsewipes make. What’s that saying about giving them enough rope?

      • Undeadshuan says:

        Reminds me of that Napoleon quote “Never Interfere With an Enemy While He’s in the Process of Destroying Himself.”

        The BBC pulling broadcasts sounds like a classic dom idea.

        All people with smart TVs will do is switch to you tube to watch it and cut out the bbc.

        And on your phone, twitter live streams it.

      • Capella says:

        They’re infallible aren’t they – until recently the FM scheduled her briefings for 12.30. After a few weeks the BBC RScotland decided to cut to “The News Where You Are” at 12.30. Then we rejoined the main news at 12.35 having missed the FM’s announcements on the figures.

        So FM changed her briefing time to 12.15. Oh dear, what to do? Cancel them altogether?

        Let’s see how long that lasts.

    • Millsy says:

      New ( Tory ) BBC chief makes his mark immediately !

    • grizebard says:

      If the BBC is rash enough to proceed with this overt political manoevre, I believe we need to crowdfund a legal challenge on the grounds as being a manifest abdication of its statutary public service obligation (backed as it is by an obligatory licence fee). I think we should also consider mounting a popular “no news, no fee” campaign along the lines of the former poll tax rebellion.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Agreed, there are around 2 million license payers in Scotland, we are entitled to hear our elected First Minister talk on health matters which are devolved if we care to watch. They do not have the right to shut her up because it makes Johnson look bad. This is a row that the Scottish Government need to get their teeth right into.

        We can’t ignore this insult to our right to know how the pandemic is affecting lives, it won’t wash.

  30. Alex Clark says:

    Sir Jonathan Jones who resigned from the government yesterday as their top legal man in the civil service saying “he had been put in an intolerable position, with a cabinet minister admitting the government intended to break the law.” has made a statement today to all civil servants.

    This is quite amazing, dark clouds are gathering, prepare for the coming storm.

  31. Petra says:

    I’ve never been keen on our MP’s walking out of Westminster on a whim, as others have advocated, however this is a real game changer. Walk out and let everyone right across the country know what’s going on, that we have no control over broadcasting and that we get little in return for our £340 million donation to the Treasury. They could also use this to highlight their complaints about the power grab and the now lawlessness of the Brexit deal.

    And isn’t it strange that the BBC have decided to do this now with the CV19 rate rising again and as winter approaches our SNHS is going to be really ”challenged” between one thing and another. Many in our most at risk group, our elderly, can’t or don’t access the Internet so if this ”plan” goes ahead the ”impartial” BBC will be denying them crucial information, maybe even life saving, from the FM of Scotland and her team of medical and scientific experts. They will instead be briefed by the shambolic Tory cabal in England via the BBC broadcasting data that conflicts with ours in Scotland.

    The full briefing could be seen on Channel 9, the channel that broadcasts nought else until 7pm, so what’s the problem with continuing with that? Well it goes without saying that we know exactly what the problem is. The Establishment can see that Nicola Sturgeon’s performance has given Coco the Clown a real showing up and more than likely has played no small part in support for Independence rising. And they cannae have that, can they?

    • Alex Clark says:

      “They cannae have that” right enough Petra, like you I see walking out of Westminster as a really big step for the SNP MP’s to take but as you point out, this action by the BBC comes on top of the power grab and the unlawful actions by Westminster threatening the Withdrawl Agreement and putting the Good Friday Agreement at risk as well as the EU now threatening financial penalties and even trade sanctions.

      This is a rogue government that deserves no support from Scotland, it shows contempt for everyone else so they should not be surprised if we were to reciprocate and show contempt for their threats to stop our First Minister from informing the people of Scotland of the risks they face while this pandemic continues and indeed the numbers of cases continue to rise as we try to open up the economy again.

      This has to be handled very carefully and communication is vital to whether we succeed or fail in keeping the virus at bay. They cannot be allowed to get away with this because Johnson is being given a showing up by Nicola Sturgeon as the better leader.

    • grizebard says:

      One upside of such extraordinary demarches like this latest outrage is that, just like their ultra-negative behaviour in briefing questions (which they now clearly feel has failed), they are being forced by the crisis to reveal more and more of their previously-invisible hand. But the more it is revealed to ever more people, the more it is backfiring on them. In their increasing desperation, they are increasingly doubling-down on the same stupid mistakes.

  32. Petra says:

    Getting hammered from both sides.

    ‘STUC: Prime Minister on a crash course to undermine devolution and with it the union.’

    ”Roz Foyer STUC General Secretary said, ”if we needed further evidence that Boris Johnson leads a rogue, right wing government oblivious to the threat of provoking constitutional and legal crises, here and abroad, it is on show for all to see today. Despite their other political differences, Johnson is uniting political parties, trade unions and wider civil society in Scotland against a power grab which would see UK Government interference in previously devolved matters and a rolling back of the constitutional settlement we voted for in 1997 and strengthened in 2016.”..


    Sir Roger Gale MP:- ”From a swift reading of the #InternalMarketBill it appears Ministers will be taking powers to make up the rules & the law almost at whim the much-lauded oven-ready deal now appears to have been at best half-baked when it was signed with a flourish as an achievement by the PM 1/6.”

  33. Petra says:

    ‘UK Internal Market Bill introduced today.’


    ‘The Internal Market Bill breaks international law and lays the ground to break more law.’

  34. Petra says:

    Launched today with over 400,000 Scots having signed up already.

    ‘Protect Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon urges Scots to download Covid app.”


    Check out Ann’s links on the Indyref2 site.

  35. Republicofscotland says:

    Evening news reporting that the EU has given Johnson three weeks to back down on breaking Brexit agreement.

  36. Ex Pat says:

    Mon Dieu !

    The Twitter storm on Bozo and the vegetables’s shenanigans grows apace.

    ‘A French point of view + ‘ from MarionVan Renterghem, L’Express foreign affairs columnist, via Google Translate.

    “Ursula von der Leyen is too polite.

    “Boris Johnson proved to us
    1) that he is a liar (campaign for Brexit)
    2) that he is an incompetent (handling the COVID crisis)

    3) and now that he is a traitor and a thug (violation of the treaty with the 27 of the EU)”

    The comments are ‘Wow’, ‘Well, she has a point’, ‘A statement of the obvious, I’d say, ‘Wow’ and ‘Jinkies, Marion pulls her punches kinda the way Mike Tyson might if he didn’t like you’, etc.

    Love for the Tory shysters. Oh, wait, that’s slurry from a muck spreader. And they do it to themselves. : ) –

    – Helene von Bismarck ‘Historian&writer,anglophile’. Perhaps not so much today ! @HeleneBismarck Twitter –

    Meanwhile, The Covid Patient – It must be Bozo and the retun of an ‘ex’. ‘Mon Dieu’ @3:23

  37. Golfnut says:

    Janey Godley has something to say.

  38. Eilidh says:

    Well I finally have had enough of the BBC. Between the Alex Salmond trial documentary and now stopping broadcasting the Scot Gov daily covid briefings they have proved how biased and inept they are. I really don’t care if they were leant on by the Tories. Cancelled my direct debit for tv licence payments tonight. For an organisation that has bern losing viewers for years they make some really stupid decisions . My tv licence doesn’t actually expire for loads of months yet so plenty of time to shout at the Telly when next load of BBC crap occurs

  39. Hamish100 says:

    Those persons who listen into the FM for information but are not political minded will be questioning why a so called public service broadcaster has decided to censor their right to public health information. They are likely to be very annoyed.

    The same PSB who believes that at the end of any news broadcast we are obliged to watch 5 minutes of cricket between 2 foreign teams or be eternally grateful to hear a wee story about the royal family.

    Increasingly we are communicating without the bbc. It will now be up to us to send links of our news without the help of bbc and the joke channel STV.

  40. melvin penman says:

    The title in the Telegraph, has let the Cat out of the bag on the final death throws of the Uk. “BBC Scotland to scale back coverage of Nicola Sturgeon’s daily briefings after opposition complaints”

    It is remarkable and yet to be expected that the British state has decided, that the people of Scotland dont deserve to know how to save themselves and their families from the Covid disaser.

    They are so bitter and twisted in the YOONLAND that they hate the people.The disgusting complaints about the First Ministers daily updated and helpful information and for many people especially the elderly, will be out of reach. The EBC will make the breifings available on line, so bugger all the old people and poor who don’t have computers and ipads, they can just be left in the dark…

    The only thing I can say about the UK,that is remotely positive is that It will soon be put out of its misery, what a disgusting, crooked and criminal bunch of Blowhards the UK government and their sicophantic minions the “Proud scots but”are.

    • Alex Clark says:

      melvin you have summed it up so well, a very good post that says everything that needs to be said about this disastrous establishment twisted logic. They will pay the price at the ballot box, as for now they are to ignorant to even see the damage they are causing.

      Their arrogance will be their downfall, and then we have the last laugh. Fools led by a clown is what we see, the UK government is nothing more than a circus controlled by the likes of Cummings who doesn’t even know what a ballot box looks like.

      I think they have blown any chance they might have had of saving the Union, with that lot currently in charge nothing can save the Union. The time is now.

  41. Davie Park says:

    ‘we must not.. concede that Johnson has any right at all to tell the people of Scotland that we cannot have the referendum of our choosing. Yet when we bewail that he will never agree to a Section 30 order, that’s precisely what we’re doing.’

    Nope. We’re recognising that the UK government, DESPITE not having the right to deny us a Sec30, will do exactly that anyway.
    It is the Scottish Government that is conceding that the UK gov has the right to stymie our journey to independence.

    • weegingerdug says:

      You might think that’s what you’re doing, but the entire point of this article is that you can’t control other people’s perceptions of what you say and do. You’re setting up an expectation that Johnson will refuse, and that in turn will reduce the public anger when and if he does. That only benefits the Tories.

      I don’t believe the Scottish government is conceding any such thing, but if you have formed that opinion, it merely proves what I just said in the preceding paragraph now doesn’t it.

  42. Alex Clark says:

    In a nutshell.

  43. Willie says:

    The British state is at war. Let us be in no doubt about that. A war against democracy.

    There is no rule of law. Only physical force. Suppression of the media. The system implementation of hostile environment policies against groups of people. The use of the Police and the Prosecution Services to arrest, harry and jail political opponents. The arrests of Salmond, Murray, Hirst was no accident. Neither was the arrest and charging of a protester Sean Clerkin for a political banner an accident. Or the charging, conviction and jailing of 100k plus Indy march organisers Manny Singh an accident.

    The destruction p of the Scottish Parliament through power removal, the extrication of Scots from the EU against their will, the repudiation of the Good Friday Agreement, the repudiation of provisions guaranteed in the 1707 Treaty of Union, the breaking of legal agreement made with Europe only months ago, the proposal for reduced standards of environmental, social and employment protections set to be implemented post the EU exit transition period, the proposals for mass population movement controls, are all measures now in play.

    I for one now fear that like a 1930s Jew in Nazi Germany or a black in apartheid South Africa my, and many more like me, are now living in a similar situation. This is no longer a democracy.

    How we resist this, how we extricate ourselves, if we can, is the big question. This is a rogue state on the doorstep of Europe, and we are part of it.

  44. Ken2 says:

    The Tory mess and shambles. Johnston will not be there very long. They will be gone. They had to get rid of Thatcher for more ties with Europe.

    The Tories are an absolute disgrace. Beyond belief.

    Scotland will be Independent. Just vote for it. The elderly did not vote for it.

    Vote Tory to die younger. The Tories are killing people prematurely.

    Johnston and the associates are only in it to defraud public monies. Unscrutinised, illegal public contracts going to unelected crooks. Most of them should be in jail. Breaking the Law. They are lying psychopaths. Their own description. Vote them out.

  45. bringiton says:

    Will the BBC decide whether or not to broadcast the Queen’s Chistmas message based on “editorial content”?
    This is clearly political but a very big risk for the London junta in that it will alienate many who still support the union.

  46. Petra says:

    The National:- ”Tomorrow’s front page: BBC Scotland now refusing to show all of First Minister’s virus briefings after caving in to Scottish Tories.”

    We’ve got 8 months to go until the election and have no idea if we’ll be able to get onto the streets to campaign or not. Hopefully we will, however what are we going to do about this BBC situation in the here and now? Are we going to sit back and let the Tories (Establishment overall) get away with this? The Tories that the vast majority of Scots never vote for not only ruling the roost over us but a handful now having the power to get the coronavirus briefings scrapped. The briefings that include up to date information and advice not only from our FM but from Police Scotland and scientific and medical experts.

    Everyone in Scotland should be up in arms about this from SNHS workers, teachers, the Police, the Unions, etc, and more so you and I. The bottom line is what can we do about it? March to Pacific Quay during this pandemic? Would that be feasible, ridiculous and defeat the purpose? What about all pro-Independence activists / bloggers pulling together to highlight the situation and, say, set up a joint petition? Start a campaign to have the television licence abolished in Scotland as we’re clearly no longer receiving an appropriate service? Cancel your television license? Complain to the BBC en masse? I don’t know (any other suggestions?), but I reckon that we should ALL be doing something about this and not just letting them get away with it.

    As a starter we could complain to the BBC.

    And they’ve got some brass neck don’t you think!

    ”Coronavirus pandemic

    We know that at this time you may have many questions to help keep yourself and those around you safe. BBC News is providing extensive coverage and information about the pandemic and answering common questions (you can get in touch by emailing or using the hashtag #BBCYourQuestions on Twitter). We can’t provide personal advice to you through this particular site, but would point to NHS.UK for health information and GOV.UK for the government response. We have fewer staff able to work at present and would be grateful if you only contact us if essential. We hope you’ll find the answers you need by using our extensive online information.”

  47. Petra says:

    Ooops in moderation. Too many links.

    The National:- ”Tomorrow’s front page: BBC Scotland now refusing to show all of First Minister’s virus briefings after caving in to Scottish Tories.”

    We’ve got 8 months to go until the election and have no idea if we’ll be able to get onto the streets to campaign or not. Hopefully we will, however what are we going to do about this BBC situation in the here and now? Are we going to sit back and let the Tories (Establishment overall) get away with this? The Tories that the vast majority of Scots never vote for not only ruling the roost over us but a handful now having the power to get the coronavirus briefings scrapped. The briefings that include up to date information and advice not only from our FM but from Police Scotland and scientific and medical experts.

    Everyone in Scotland should be up in arms about this from SNHS workers, teachers, the Police, the Unions, etc, and more so you and I. The bottom line is what can we do about it? March to Pacific Quay during this pandemic? Would that be feasible, ridiculous and defeat the purpose? What about all pro-Independence activists / bloggers pulling together to highlight the situation and, say, set up a joint petition? Start a campaign to have the television licence abolished in Scotland as we’re clearly no longer receiving an appropriate service? Cancel your television license? Complain to the BBC en masse? I don’t know (any other suggestions?), but I reckon that we should ALL be doing something about this and not just letting them get away with it.

    As a starter we could complain to the BBC.

  48. Petra says:

    And they’ve got some brass neck don’t you think!

    ”Coronavirus pandemic

    We know that at this time you may have many questions to help keep yourself and those around you safe. BBC News is providing extensive coverage and information about the pandemic and answering common questions (you can get in touch by emailing or using the hashtag #BBCYourQuestions on Twitter). We can’t provide personal advice to you through this particular site, but would point to NHS.UK for health information and GOV.UK for the government response. We have fewer staff able to work at present and would be grateful if you only contact us if essential. We hope you’ll find the answers you need by using our extensive online information.”

    • ArtyHetty says:

      There is no NHS.UK. This is all getting very sinister.

      • deelsdugs says:

        Now that is thought provoking, ArtyHetty, NHS.UK…
        At my place of work, the Scottish owner of said place with a butcher’s apron flappin fae the nethers, came out with, ‘the English government has now announced…’

  49. Petra says:

    Ex deputy chairman of H&F Conservative party Timothy Douglas Davie CBE is the current and seventeenth Director-General of the BBC. He succeeded Tony Hall in the role on 1 September 2020. What a coincidence.

    ‘BBC to stop broadcasting all of Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus briefings.’


    ‘The SNP

    🚨 The Tories’ economic plans for Brexit UK have been exposed as a full-frontal assault on devolution.

    📺 Watch this video to find out why and share it with your followers, friends and family.

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Let’s make it loud and clear: hands off Scotland’s powers.’

    • Dr Jim says:

      They mentioned the word *merit* when talking about this, one wonders if they apply the same word to the BBC news programme *The Nine* if the BBC want to compare viewing figures because I do not know a soul who watches *the nine* but I don’t know any body who doesn’t watch the FMs briefings

  50. Petra says:

    Congressman Richard Neal couldn’t be clearer:-

    “There will be no trade agreement with the UK if they re-establish a hard border. Speaker Pelosi & I are determined that will not happen.”


    ‘SNP’s Ian Blackford says Scottish parliament is ‘under threat’ and can only be protected by stopping UK PM.’

  51. Petra says:

    “We’re standing up for Great Britain over Brussels and I make no apology for that” @ScotSecofState Alister Jack explains why UK government is prepared to break international law #Brexit”


    Ann has taken the time to post over 40 really informative links on the Indyref2 site today. Please check them out.

  52. Hamish100 says:

    GMS BBC struggling to understand text messages from the public asking questions over changes to covid.

    Just a suggestion.

    Invite the FM, Health Secretary and professors to answer questions. Put it on TV and radio so it is open to the young and old.

    It’s called public service broadcasting.

  53. jfngw says:

    BBC Scotland which has spent the last six months confusing Scotland’s population by transmitting the rules for England in most of its output so they can then run a story about how confusing the rules in Scotland are has now decided to remove the confusion by only transmitting the rules for England.

    All hail the BBC in Scotland what they do for our benefit.

    All this and there old colleague has only been back at the Tory Holyrood helm for a couple of weeks. Of course her continual arse smacking at FMQ’s is probably an embarrassment to them, after all they like to give the impression of how elite their journalists are but anyone watching the Covid briefing questions from them now realise most of them are unbelievably poor.

    Probably in future they will only transmit the Tory question and have the reporter summarise the answer (Oh they already do that, bugger).

  54. Ken2 says:

    Another own goal. The unionist BBC. Some people never learn.

  55. Arthur Thomson says:

    Lolz. If the Brits go ahead with their plan to stop the covid briefings they have made their most serious error of judgement – EVER!

    If Labour in Scotland go along with it they are toast. If the Lib dems in Scotland go along with it they are toast.

    This is perceived to be a matter of life and death by older people. The ramifications of such a step are so many that the mind boggles thinking about them.

    If the Brits do this they are publicly politicising the pandemic.

    I expect the FM to refuse to engage with this politicisation, I except her to call it out for what it is and to warn of the obvious dangers. I expect her to reassure the public that she will do everything she possibly can to continue to lead the way in combating the virus.

    The rest of the world will then take a view on it.

    We need to be angry but calm.

    This decision is incredible in the most literal sense and we need to express our incredulity and our worry for public health far and wide.

    The Brits are going to regret this move of they make it.

  56. proudcybernat says:


    Latest Indy Poll by Survation:

    Should Scotland be an independent country:

    YES: 53%
    NO: 47%

  57. Hamish100 says:

    Why not survey under 18’s who can vote —— in the main for independence.

  58. Hamish100 says:

    Sorry referring to top picture

  59. Petra says:

    Coronavirus briefing Channel 9:- Someone from the National asking Nicola Sturgeon about the BBC scrapping the Coronavirus briefings. She covers all of the points mentioned on here. I’d imagine that most people watching will be gobsmacked by the announcement. Let’s see what the BBC does next.

  60. proudcybernat says:


    Bojo to make announcement to Parliamentary Tory Party tonight at 5:30pm.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Naw, he couldn’t could he?

      • proudcybernat says:

        We’ll see soon enough. Part of me hopes he won’t tho cuz he’s the best indy recruiting sergeant we have.

        • weegingerdug says:

          I don’t think it will be about a resignation. He’s trying to shore up backbench support for his internal market bill which breaches international law. Some Tory backbenchers have threatened to rebel over it.

  61. Alex Clark says:

    I have a hunch Rickety Ladder might be on the way out 🙂

    Gary Smith, the secretary of GMB Scotland, said the crisis over the party’s leadership and its plummeting popularity in Scotland raised profound questions about Labour’s future at UK level, with polls putting its support as low as 14%.

    The GMB helped finance Leonard’s leadership campaign in 2017, giving him £12,000 and a free “phone bank” to canvass members. Leonard was a senior GMB officer for 20 years before becoming a Labour MSP in 2016. He remains a GMB member.

    Smith said the union would not intervene on Leonard’s behalf. The GMB has refused to support his tenure as leader or back the rebellion led by a group of party centrists. Smith indicated most GMB members voted for the Scottish National party.

    “At a time like this, our members would not thank us for getting bogged down in an internal Scottish Labour party issue, a party for which many of them no longer vote for,” he said.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Daft thing is however wooden Leonard is, the problem is fundamentally Labour when even the GMB announce, “a party for which many of them no longer vote for”, their frustration with London not listening to their advice shows.
      Sooner or later there will be a watershed when all the pretence ends and specific Scottish parties supplant them with an exclusive Scots and Indy preference. Never-Hurry-Murray, DRoss, Jack, Fluffy 1 &2, etc need not apply as they already burned their bridges….

  62. Peter Lawrie says:

    An article in the Guardian today (11th september) demonstrates why Scotland needs to break away from the fundamentally rotten and corrupt British state.
    Monbiot heads his article “If you think the UK isn’t corrupt, you haven’t looked hard enough”
    He goes on “Fortunes are being made by political favourites, while London’s money laundering fuels corruption across the planet”

  63. Capella says:

    Archived version of Guardian article – good find:

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