The disunion unit

All is not well with the British government’s campaign to fend off Scottish independence. After just two weeks, Oliver Lewis, formerly of the Vote Leave Campaign, has resigned from his post as the chief of Boris Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson’s much heralded “Union Unit”. They called it that because the more accurate title, “The Suppressing Scottish democracy Unit ” would have proven too hard a sell for the May elections, even for the BBC, no matter how many photies of Ruth Davidson grinning with a gutted fish they tried to tart their election leaflets up with. This is Not least because after banging on about fisheries for months, the Scottish Tories are now very keen not to remind anyone at all about fishing.

The Union Unit is the government office which was supposed to stick it to those pesky nats and formulate a convincing and plausible case for this so-called union and make the people of Scotland realise that after all, we’d be much better off if we consented to Brexit and to being governed by the afore-mentioned de Pfeffel Johnson and his miserable band of corporate cronyists.

This was always going to be a tough gig. All the way through the 2014 we waited in vain for the constantly promised positive case for the union, and that was at a time when the UK wasn’t actually the pariah of Europe and led by a man who rivals Donald Trump in his propensity for lying , and who is, moeover, so out of touch with Scottish public opinion and culture that he makes Andrew Bowie MP seem like an expert on fish suppers. Unfortunately however the union unit has been anything but united. It has been spending more time and energy fighting with itself than the habitues of Scottish Twitter.

Lewis took over the position from the former Scottish Conservative MP Luke Graham, who was reportedly sacked following a “brutal row” within Downing Street about his role, amidst rumours that his working relationships with other advisors and officials had broken down. One One Scottish Tory, speaking anonymously to the press was reported as saying: “Luke was the only one who gets Scotland in there, it’s a big shame he’s gone and speaks to their total lack of a strategy on how to deal with the SNP.”

Whatever his shortcomings, Luke Graham was at least a Scottish MP and had some first hand experience of Scottish politics. The same could not be said of his replacement Oliver Lewis, whose sole expertise in matters Caledonian appeared to be that he’d once seen Scotland on the BBC weather map. But then, as the former chief of the Vote Leave campaign, Lewis does have abundant experience of selling the public a self-harming proposition based upon nothing more than British nationalistic bull-shittery and flag waving, so in that crucial sense he’s a perfect fit for a lead role in persuading the people of Scotland that it’s in their interests to remain a subordinate part of Johnson’s Brexit dystopia.

Of course, not everyone shares the view that Johnson is hopelessly ignorant of Scottish concerns. According to the UK Government’s Governor General, Alister Jack, Johnson is an “absolute asset ” to the cause of the Union and to the Conservative party in Scotland. There are however many people in Scotland, even outwith the Conservative party, who could have agreed with Jack’s assessment that Johnson was an “absolute asset” provided he had left off the last two letters.

As it turned out, Oliver Lewis lasted just two weeks in his new post before he too walked out amidst reports of arguments and recriminations within Downing Street’s disunion unit. According to the Times, Lewis was accused of briefing against Michael Gove and reportedly received a “bollocking” from an angry Prime Minister. For a department which is supposed to be devoted to persuading Scotland that we’re better together they can’t even manage to persuade one another that they’re better together with each other. Still, at least Oliver now has a better insight into how the great majority in Scotland is feeling. We all think that Michael Gove is insufferable too.

Speaking on Channel 4 News over the weekend, Johnson’s biographer Andrew Gimson said that the departure of Oliver Lewis showed that Johnson hasn’t made up his mind about how to deal with the growing support in Scotland for independence and for another independence referendum. It proves that there is no strategy and there is no plan. Opponents of independence are flailing around blindly. It shows that far from having resolved to keep saying no to another independence referendum in perpetuity, Johnson simply has no idea how he’s going to respond to a victory for the pro-independence parties in the Holyrood election in May. He’s hoping that the independence movement and demand for independence will just go away, and to be fair he’s getting some support for that hope from the self-destructive in-fighting which is consuming certain sections of the independence movement and the SNP on social media. Right now the biggest threat to independence doesn’t come from the Tories, it comes from some loud voices within the independence movement.

But here’s the thing. Irrespective of your views on the various issues which are currently dividing the movement and the SNP, there is no looming deadline for resolving them. There is however a looming deadline for winning this crucial Holyrood election. It’s only a matter of weeks away now. If the SNP does not do well in this election, no one is going to say that it’s because the indy movement wasn’t happy with the lack of a plan B, no one is going to say that it’s because Nicola Sturgeon isn’t assertive enough in pursuing independence. No one is going to point to the Salmond-Sturgeon affair.

The only narrative in the media will be that Scotland doesn’t want another independence referendum, and that will become the new political reality in Scotland. It’s fine if, like some on social media, you say that you’re not going to vote SNP in May but you will vote for independence when there is a referendum, but the simple fact of the matter is that if you don’t vote SNP in May then you’re making it less likely that there is going to be another referendum. That’s the political reality. No one is telling you to wheesht for indy, you can still pursue your issues with the SNP after May’s election. Then we can argue about a Plan B from a position of strength. This is not a question of wheesht for indy. It’s a question of getting real. Let’s win this election first. That’s the overriding priority.

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105 comments on “The disunion unit

  1. P Harvey says:

    An independent Scotland can not possibly do worse than the idiots at Westminster in terms of running a country
    So the future is independence and the only route is through the SNP
    What happens after independence will then be decided by the Scottish People
    Welcome back Paul

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug The disunion unit All is not well with the British government’s campaign to fend off Scottish […]

  3. Welcome back Paul, once again the voice of reason, let’s get the SNP elected in May and get another IndyRef timetabled and then we can sort out the wrangling he said/she said, once we have secured independence…. eyes on the prize folks

  4. Robert innes says:

    Great to see you back and in such good form. Hope the house move went well, and you are both going to be happy in your new home.

  5. Old Pete says:

    Completely agree with you Paul. Nice day in Ayrshire today, shore in Ayr is busy 😊

  6. Robin McHugh says:

    So pleased to see you back and hope you’re beginning to appreciate life at ground level. Don’t get too carried away with the gardening though, we need you here.

    However, Luke Graham? Scottish? He’s from Swindon, Wiltshire. He was our MP, but only briefly thankfully. Chocolate teapots come to mind.

  7. Maggie Noakes says:

    “he’d once seen Scotland on a bbc weather map”
    Oh Paul,you’ve not lost your cutting wit,thankyou for making me laugh again.x

  8. Ronnie Anderson says:

    Nice to see your getting the keyboard kliking again hope you get things sorted out quickly in da hoose Awra Bestest tae U & Peter .

  9. Dr Jim says:

    In the face of the anti SNP rhetoric from all sides I took pleasure in reading a whole thread of people joining the SNP in solidarity because of it

  10. Capella says:

    Remember the Westminster 5 point plan published in The Times included – keep refusing a S30 order and hope the independence movement starts fighting among themselves on tactics (or words to that effect).
    I guess that their secret agents are aiding and abetting that internal feuding too.

    Is it too much to hope that the keyboard warriors will come to their senses in time, stop tearing up their membership cards, stop declaring they will never vote SNP again, and vote for our future?

    Imagine being ruled by the Tories in perpetuity.

  11. robert harrison says:

    The only thing you can trust an English government to do is screw something up its the only thing they are consistent at. If the englanders didnt bum johnson up after the 2019 General election id feel sorry for them but the conservatives run things thanks again to England so our neighbours can try and dodge blame for Johnsons screw ups but they gave him the means to all hes done because they listerned more to the pro conservative media instead of drawing there own conclusions before voting.

  12. Bob Lamont says:

    Glad to see Your Eloquence back as sharp as ever from Casa WGD, a choice piece for the hungry weans and right on the button.
    Clearly the Ayrshire air agrees with you, nicely done….

  13. gullaneno4 says:

    Agree that the only threat to Scottish Independence at the moment is from the supporters of Scottish Independence.
    Egos and infighting are taking over with the end goal in sight.
    I have always thought that the closer we got we would play right into the hands of our opponents and blow it.
    All very sad.

  14. Stewartbfromperth says:

    Welcome back Paul your wit and conciliatory tone have been missed .Time to set aside our differences about the SNP and concentrate all our energies on the May election .I like the fact you mention a majority of pro independence parties winning a majority in May as opposed to an overall majority for the SNP which is difficult to achieve under the present voting system .I fear that if we adhere to the narrative of an overall majority for the SNP and it doesn’t materialise our opponents will throw it back in our face and use it as one of their many nebulous reasons for refusing a section 30 order .

    • Guybrush Threepwood says:

      Unfortunately, Westminster will only accept a Scottish Government (SNP) majority as a mandate. We already have a pro-independence majority at Holyrood (SNP and Greens) and it has not prevented them from saying ‘No’.

      • Bryon says:

        I agree – the MSM and Westminster have ignored the awkward fact that it’s not entirely about the SNP and will claim any lack of SNP support equal to no support for Indy.

        That said, there are many voices calling for a total SNP 1+2 vote in May, and to my mind, they’re singing that same song. Especially true in regions where another pro-Indy party would take a List seat instead of SNP2 votes gifting them to the Unionists.

        It matters not, though; Westminster cannot say yes. So IndyRef2 will have to go ahead regardless and it will have to be tested in the International courts.

    • Dr Jim says:

      They’ll refuse a section 30 order anyway but that refusal is factored in to the next step

      • Guybrush Threepwood says:

        Touché.

        My fear is that they do grant a section 30 order, thus allowing them to have complete control over proceedings.

        The question, date, super majority etc.

        • grizebard says:

          This is mistaken also. The SG is very clear in the parameters, the relevant electoral law is already cast, and the precedent exists. That’s not to say that BoZo won’t try to insert some insidious poison pill like the old Labour-style “dead-voter” quota, and that must be resolutely rebuffed, but “complete control” just isn’t realistically on the cards.

          The door swings both ways. This time round we can’t tolerate Civil Service mobilisation and outrageous breaches of the purdah period as happened last time (to name but two dirty tricks).

          • millssandra says:

            We left the EU on a simple majority of the votes cast – precedent set for the Scottish Independent vote !

            • Bob says:

              What Independence vote?

              No one is offering an independence vote. We have the Holyrood elections vote taking place and I know that because a date has been set for May.

              The best time to announce an Independence referendum is ahead of May elections being that it is now the majority view in Scotland i.e. over 50% in favour which is exactly the number of pro-independence votes at Holyrood needed in May to signal our intent.

              Any party that stands in May on a ticket of Independence will attract the 50% of voters who support Independence, Any party just needs to make it clear by putting it in their Manifesto and they will get the majority of votes. I don’t care who that party is. It is the commitment to independence that is of prime importance.

              So why is such a commitment not being made by the party that hopes to gather the most votes? Surely that is a mistake.

              • Bob, I look forward to Baroness Davidson’s manifesto.
                They of a ‘Unionist’ persuasion will certainly wish to align their flagship policies with those of the Main party in London?
                Tuition fees will be introduced.
                Toll booths on our bridges tunnels and motorways?
                Prescription charges.
                Free public transport for the elderly scrapped.
                The Right To Buy Council Hoses reintroduced.
                PFI contracts for public infrastructure projects reintroduced, making billions for Tory ‘friends’ and donors?
                A ‘mixed economy’ Health service?
                Virgin GP surgeries, £30 fee to see doctor?
                Tax cuts for the rich?
                Embrace the 24 devolved areas Internal Market Power Grab?

                Next generation Nuclear Power stations to be built in Scotland.
                Reintroduce the Bedroom Tax/
                Stop mitigation payments to 3 child families on Universal Credit. Third and subsequent children will be ordered to beg for food in Blue Tory Heaven.
                In short, and there are more areas where the Scottish Government had to step in to mitigate Willie Rennie’s, self proclaimed champion of Kids Mental Health but not Poverty, 11 years of Cut Backs (see what I did there?).
                What will Monica Lennon’s (I can but hope) manifesto include?
                A New Labour programme? See above.
                Keir Starmer is Tony Blair without the teeth.

                And willie Rennie’s manifesto?
                Written by Mike Rumbles in Tuscany?

                All three brits will linkj arms and scream ‘Now is not the time’, and cut and paste Project Fear One into their pledge papers..if they even get that far.

    • Sandy Monteath says:

      This is Not the time to vote Green or anything else.The World and 27 EU countries are watching Scotland. A result 76 SNP and 5 GREEN could do that. Everyone and his dog will look at only the SNP numbers.This is what will force London as pressure from the World is applied to their neck. We control their future water supply and green energy. We hold all the cards this time let us not blow it!

  15. Lesley Tomlin says:

    It’s great to read your blog again Paul, & I hope you’re on the road to a full recovery.
    You are one of the few sensible voices amongst the current social media meltdown. There’s definitely an increase in volume of particularly nasty comments online, & many people are unfortunately drawn into feeding the trolls.
    It occurred to me that Ruth Davidson, through her elevation to the unelected chamber was being lined up for a place in the Westminster cabinet or the ‘Union Unit’.
    All of this activity is a sure sign of panic in U.K. government. We just need to keep our focus on what really matters. Independence

  16. mohragf says:

    The stoked up ” internal divisions” in the SNP, the allegations of “Nicola not wanting Independence”, the popping up of obscure “list parties”, the social media posts of so called “I won’t be voting SNP” independence supporters…
    All of this is a carbon copy of the Cambridge Analytica vs. Clinton campaign, and we know how that one ended.

  17. Margaret Barrie says:

    Well said, Paul. You have articulated again, what absolutely needed saying. Thank you.

  18. Guybrush Threepwood says:

    Keir Starmer LBC logic 101:

    Waving a Union flag makes you patriotic.

    Waving a saltire make you a ‘nationalist’.

  19. Martin Pike says:

    Great article Paul. I will be voting SNP both votes.

    PS – I hope you are settling in to your new place and all is going well.

    • Dr Jim says:

      That’s it Martin, no matter how many votes go to any other party Westminster only counts the SNP votes because it’s the only party they’re interested in, as far as Westminster is concerned Independence is only represented by the SNP, that’s their narrative and they’ll stick to it, how many times have we heard in the past about the vote share being up or down, the May election like all Scottish elections is a referendum on Independence and if the vote share is down for the SNP Westminster will claim victory even if they lose

      SNP X 2

      • millssandra says:

        As far as Westminster is concerned ( Tory and Labour ) it is the SNP who want independence NOT the Scottish people . Hence the constant attacks/derogatory comments etc..

        They continue to seek to discredit Independence by ascribing it solely to the ”Nationalists/separatists” and ignore the numerous polls showing it the will of the majority of the people , most of whom are NOT of the SNP .

        And ignoring the fact that the vast majority of Scottish MPs are from the SNP .How did that happen when only a handful of separatists want to break away from the Motherland ?

        They think discrediting the SNP will halt independence – like jailing Ghandi would stop Indian independence . They NEVER learn !

  20. fergusgreen says:

    Thinking of applying to participate in the BBC election debates? If so, remember to say you are a Tory ‘No’ voter:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56097725

    • Hamish100 says:

      Is it not the case the. Tory bbc check blogs, Twitter before they select. If you were an orange top though is deemed a good pass. The tories also give a wee selection of names too for asking questions. Having an orange top……..

      • God, great to have you back, Paul.
        Ca’ canny, mind.
        What a stonker of a Comeback piece.

        Fergusgreen, Hamish100, the BBC Stockade at Plantation Quay will ensure ‘balance’ on any Election Specials.
        It is after all, only a General Election campaign, not an Independence Referendum.

        Aye,right.

        BBC Jockland will make sure that One Blue Tory, One Red Tory One Yellow Tory, with hand picked ‘educated. middle class Brits groups in the audience, and one SNP, one Green, and yet more hand picked raw ‘nationalist’ brickies, labourers and unemployed to speak out for independence in public.
        The debate chairs and programme anchor sto front this relentless barrage of Brit Nat SNP BAD will be plucked from that great pool of Compliant Jocks’ Glenn Campbell, Martin Guissler, Sarah, sorry, the Hon Sarah Smith, or perhaps Laura Kuenssberg or Kirsty Wark, slumming it back in the land of their birth.
        We are about to get wall to wall Professor Sir John Curtice, whose poling company relies on 2/3rds of its funding from Boris Johnson, will put his unique Brit spin on polls, and in the absence of manifestoes from the Brit Nats, the usual too wee too poor, EU won’t let us in, hard border with England who will cease doing us a favour by stopping trading with us to punish the rebellious Joks…etc., etc.,..will trip from the tongues of broadcasters and be plastered across the pages of the Dead Tree Scrolls.
        There will be no debate on foreign policy, Brazilian steroid infested beef flooding Scotland’s Brit supermarket shelves, nothing on Brexit, or Trident, or the Brit Nat’s Branch Offices’ stances on grown up issues, like WM induced poverty, and evil arms deals with evil states.

        The public debate will be reduced to potholes and public toilets…

        They will still be grinding out the Salmond Sex Case junk of course.

        Let the battle commence.
        The first battle on the rocky road to independence proper.
        Great to have you back, Paul.
        Take care.

        • I post, then read back with regret.
          There is no slight meant in ”brickies, labourers, and the unemployed’.
          What I meant to say, but fail badly, is that the BBC Production teams will ensure that the Brit members of any audience are plucked from the professional classes, accustomed to speak in public, while, those supporting independence will be predominantly honest souls, unaccustomed to and untrained in, speaking in public.
          There are myriad examples of this from 2014 onwards.
          Looking forward to the Brits’ manifestoes.

  21. Isobel M Macrae- Wilson says:

    After all the backbiting, name-calling squinty-eyed conspiracy theorists you are back, the world is now back on its axis, with humour and incisive comment.
    Hooray. Welcome back you have indeed been missed

  22. yesindyref2 says:

    See this you wrote a blog or two back:

    However please don’t indulge in petty name calling,don’t subject others you disagree with to personal insults, and always remember the golden rule of commenting on this blog – if your comment is not going to help persuade a soft no voter or an undecided of the need for Scottish independence, then please think again about whether you really need to make it.

    Any chance you could write up a version for the National and email it to all the WRITERS? They’re getting as bad as the below the line comments. A lot of the articles do nothing for Independence, and some quite the contrary. I wouldn’t give my 3 month free access codes to anyone, they’d become permanently NO.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Too true. I think the free codes have been taken up by some who are less than interested in Scotland gaining independence.

  23. Thank goodness yer back, Paul. Sanity prevails at last.

  24. astytaylor says:

    Great to see you back, Paul.
    As others have said, you are a voice of reason. We need you.

  25. Terence Callachan says:

    the three reasons i see people giving for not voting SNP in may are

    the SNP intend to make a crazy decision on gender self identity that will allow men into womens changing rooms and toilets

    Nicola Sturgeon is to blame for the ten women bringing charges against Alex Salmond

    Nicola Sturgeon has no intention of holding another Scottish independence referendum

    To be honest i think all three reasons are absolutely stupid it does make you wonder if the people giving these views online are actually real people or just online bots programmed to make these daft statements

    When it comes down to it
    Both votes SNP is the best way to show support for Scottish Independence

    I dont know the names of every SNP MP i certainly dont know all their views on important matters that concern the public at large so there may be SNP MP,s out there who i disagree with who have views i really dont like but that is just the way life is and the way politics is, you choose to vote for the people who will push through what you consider to be the most important policies .

    The most important policy to me is Scottish Independence
    Its more important than all other policies because it will enable us in future to make our own decisions for Scotland and end this ridiculous situation we have where everything we want to do has to okay,d by england.

  26. diabloandco says:

    Delighted to read you again, hope the move is an absolute delight.

  27. Kathleentheredlichtie says:

    Thank goodness you are back. 😀 You’ve so eloquently put into words what I’ve been thinking. Hope the move has gone ok and you’re settling in fine. Let’s also hope that, as my primary 7 teacher used to say, folk ‘read, mark and inwardly digest’ what you’re saying!

  28. So glad you are back Paul. You have been sorely missed.

  29. Statgeek says:

    The Union Unit that fails to unite itself, never mind others.

    Sublime.

  30. Statgeek says:

    “Then we can argue about a Plan B from a position of strength.”

    How about we demand Westminster’s plan ‘A’, and not the status quo.

  31. jfngw says:

    As Boris Johnson outlined his ‘a continuous acceptable number of deaths’ route out of Covid (from what was said an upper limit of 20,000 annually seems to be the acceptable number), independence cannot wait for too long. It’s just a new version of ‘lets take it on the chin’ but with inoculations.

  32. Tam the Bam says:

    Just read Alex’s written submission to the Harassment Committee…….

    Oh boy…………..think I’ll go and stick my head under a duvet for a week…month?…..year?

  33. Hamish100 says:

    Alex who?

  34. velofello says:

    My Hert is Sair.

    i’ve read through the Alex Salmond article on Wngs. Until /unless this issue is resolved I will not vote SNP – usual add’n – I’m a lifetime supporter and campaigner. Started a Yes movement in our town. Due to entryism I abstained at the council elections, first time ever not to vote SNP

    Delay the May election to get this resolved.Clear out the stables, and I can be an SNP campaigner again.

    • Eilidh says:

      Yawn. Oh I am awake now. Oh look there goes another squirrel

      • Dr Jim says:

        These folk are priceless

        • Put it in perspective, guys. We are talking about mere hundreds of nuts and Brit infiltraitors (no typo) over on the Get Nikla blogs.
          They are pissing in the Atlantic hoping to raise the sea level.
          They are ego driven sad little people.
          We are about to flood Scotland with Brazilian steroid beef, the Brexit dividend, a scandal which should be a main plank of the Get Nikla blogs..
          This from Wiki, on meat deals from S America.

          “In 1964, there was an outbreak of typhoid in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. The first two cases were identified on 20 May 1964; eventually over 400 cases were diagnosed and the patients were quarantined at the City Hospital in Urquhart Road, Woodend Hospital in Eday Road, and Tor-na-Dee Hospital in Milltimber which was used as an overflow hospital for typhoid cases. There were three deaths connected with the outbreak.

          Dr Ian MacQueen, the Medical Officer of Health for Aberdeen, became well known in the media for his twice-daily briefings.

          The outbreak was eventually traced to contaminated tinned corned beef from Rosario, Argentina and sold in the city’s branch of the Scottish grocery chain William Low. Pollution from the waters of the Uruguay River (which flows into the Río de la Plata) appeared to be the source of the contamination, probably through water entering a defective tin through a small puncture. The infected meat then contaminated a meat slicing machine within the William Low shop, leading to the spread of the disease. The bacteria multiplied further in the meats as they were placed near a window and exposed to sunlight.”

          Brexit back better?

          57 years on and we are importing beef from Brazil to Scotland? How’s that for a carbon hoof print?
          These are the debates to be had with Brit Nats.
          But no, Salmond must be championed.
          Well, as I have observed before, there are over two million of us now who don’t really care.
          No please, don’t reply, the Usual Suspects.
          My children and my children’s future is more important right now.

          I am 73; I have never eaten Corned Beef since 1964.
          I’m sure B-Lister ‘Union’ Jack will be resigning from Government over this cheap steroid Beef From Brazil outrage.

    • Alex Clark says:

      The only people that would delay the May elections are Unionists and their friends for obvious reasons since they are going to lose badly. I’m sure that the SNP will manage just fine in May with or without your vote.

      What we really need clearing out are those stirring the porridge on behalf of the Union and acting as their little helpers. If you find yourself on the same side as Bailey, Davidson, Rennie, and feel better together with Johnson, Gove and Rees-Mogg then you are on the wrong side in the fight for our Independence.

      • grizebard says:

        You have to wonder how many of these pop-ups have ever done any actual in-person canvassing, if they think that this kind of ridiculous posturing has any traction with ordinary voters. “I would just like to take your attention away from your own very pressing concerns for a minute here, Mr & Mrs Smith, and tell you about how the FM has been awfully beastly to her predecessor – remember him? – when he had a wee touchy-feely problem back a while ago…” {door slam}

        There’s a fine line between being a head-in-clouds keyboard-bound ultra-perfectionist and a dastardly 5th columnist, and there’s a bunch of folks who – whatever the motive – have clearly crossed over.

        Voter suppression is the last desperate tactic of failing BritNattery, and with a crucial election imminent, any assistance offered is an unforgiveable cardinal sin against independence.

        • Alex Clark says:

          Only with a large majority vote for the SNP in May will it be made clear to Westminster that Scotland’s people demand a referendum. It’s not that surprising then that there are those who will tell you not to vote for the SNP. Desperate people showing their desperation for all to see.

    • grizebard says:

      Another weel-kent denizen of WaS with form, over here to proselytise. When will you people learn? So Alexei Salmonov has come out in public there. Wow. Big Deal. If the man is determined to damage his former good standing even further, I don’t care, and nor does most everyone else. (Politics can be cruel like that.)

      “Postpone the May election”?! What planet are you on?

    • Sorry velofello , Scottish independence waits for nobody
      I dont see the point of your self imposed exile
      If you support Scottish independence Alex Salmond Nicola Sturgeon and all the others are mere passers bye its not they that are most important

      Vote SNP to get Scottish independence and you will see Scottish independence still here ling after AS and NS are dust

    • millssandra says:

      Aye , OK , whatever you think best !
      I’m with you – I want in dependence too but will not vote for the only party that is in a position to achieve this .
      In fact I think I’ll vote Tory – that will teach that Nicola Sturgeon ! What about we ask Boris to take away our Scottish Parliament to – that will really put that essenpee in their place !

  35. Hamish100 says:

    Velofello – I think you are on the wrong blog.
    I read the submission too and I will hear the other evidence provided. The fact you announce you ain’t voting snp is really of no consequence. It’s up to you if you want the tories to win considering their high level of leadership and public duty.
    Delay the election in May is supported by the tories. Since you didn’t vote last election forgive me but I wish too and have asked for postal votes.
    I do think that before the committee hears ALL the evidence by ALL those involved in this mess you should not jump to a guilty verdict.
    I think it is unacceptable for some to state that “ Having previously deployed her paid mouthpiece Rape Crisis Scotland last week, the First Minister…” It would be just as wrong to say that the former FM is using proxies to put his view forward.
    Can we wait and see what the final conclusion is?
    For me independence is too important for childish “I’m no playin”

  36. Capella says:

    I’ve read the Alex Salmond submission posted on the Scot Gov website. He is one very aggrieved person, perhaps justifiably, perhaps not. Let’s see what evidence emerges at the hearing and also what Nicola Sturgeon has to say. Only another week to go

    As for tearing up your membership card and not voting SNP. Aye right.

  37. Old Pete says:

    Due to entryism I certainly wouldn’t believe all you read from the “Bath man’s ” writings or his new acolytes or anti- Nicola cronies.
    If the SNP don’t win big in May’s election you can forget Scottish Independence for at least 20 years or more and I’ll probably be dead by then.

    For Alex (once in a generation)Salmond it took less the 7 years for his “the dream will never die” to now be attempting to make sure it takes at least another generation before we have any chance of gaining our Independence.

    So ‘velofello’ vote for any other party and you will get what you want ? But it won’t get us any nearer Independence, but I guess you are already OK with that outcome.

    Saor Alba

  38. Alex Clark says:

    Luke Graham had an article in The Times today, it is the cringe writ large, it is the UK’s money that keeps Scotland afloat and we should be grateful. If this drivel is the best the former leader of the Union unit can come up with in order to save the Union then it is surely doomed.

    Much ink has been spilt on the problems faced by the Union, and solutions are hard to find without falling into the well-rehearsed arguments for federalism or simply handing more powers to the devolved administrations — both options I oppose. For my part I believe the strategy of giving nationalists more powers is as effective as giving a bully your lunch money — it will never satisfy their desires and will entrap you in a prism of fear and powerlessness…

    The Scottish government has over the past decade scooped power from local authorities and pulled functions from Westminster until people in Scotland no longer understand what the UK government is for and how it supports their lives. During the pandemic the devolved status of health has obscured the fact that it is the UK government that has provided testing facilities and the support of the British armed forces, additional PPE stocks and vaccines…

    All followed pretty much by an increasing level of tripe, I think they’ve given up trying. All the wise heads have left and only the numpties remain. Independence is ours for the taking starting in May.

  39. Velofello says:

    Hamish:I’m on the wrong blog? Like going to the wrong football stadium, wearing the wrong scarf?

    Conform to the collective view of the blog?

    And where in my text have I jumped to a “guilty verdict”?

    • P Harvey says:

      Velofello

      Perhaps you’ve missed the point
      Independence is the goal & SNP in May, is the way
      Or would you prefer another 20 years if the tory’s???

    • P Harvey says:

      Velofello

      Perhaps you’ve missed the point
      Independence is the goal & SNP in May, is the way
      Or would you prefer another 20 years of Westminster rule?

    • grizebard says:

      It’s very simple really. Your nostrums conform wonderfully closely with the obvious talking points and tactical aims of the opponents of independence. Maybe you think – despite the evidence available from even a cursory examination of attitudes on here – that we’re simple-headed enough not to see that, even if you yourself can’t (or choose to pretend so).

      So like your predecessors, do we now have to endure a diversionary series of faux-naive protestations of innocence? Please spare us, do.

    • I am minded of the old adage:-
      “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

      Salmond is committing political suicide, and is determined to take Scotland down with him.

      The topic under discussion on WGD today is :- “The Disunion Unit’, ‘Velofello’.

      This post from Jack Collatin, who does not hide behind a range of troll pseudonyms, and who will not open a discussion with a Nobody.

      ‘I am Noman, and Noman has done this to you !’

      declared Ulysses to Polyphemus.
      Velofello, you are as mythical as Noman,

      I am Scotland. I am millions.

    • Me Bungo Pony says:

      “Conform to the collective view of the blog?”

      That is exactly what you have to do on Malcontent blogs. I’m banned on Wings for “not conforming” and Iain Lawson (Yours for Scotland – though you’d never know it from the content) would frequently delete my posts before giving me a “quota” of just one per day (ironically on a thread where the Malcontents were bemoaning pro-Indy sites “moderating” them – hypocrisy).

      Just like football forums often ban “Old Firm tit-for-tat” that can blight blogs the length and breadth of the internet, giving Malcontents (and their Unionist, false-flag enablers) free rein would soon see every pro-Indy blog reduced to a Salmond-Sturgeon quagmire with Indy very much a side issue.

      As to your not having “jumped to a guilty verdict”, you say;

      “i’ve read through the Alex Salmond article on Wngs. Until /unless this issue is resolved I will not vote SNP”

      If you hadn’t come to a “guilty verdict”, why would you withhold your vote from the SNP?

  40. yesindyref2 says:

    Don;t know about anyone else but I need a luagh. And a laugh come to that. so yrtis, via Aileen McHarg’s twitter. See BoJo’s Burrow with tunnels to the Isle of Man and his mad roundabout underneath it? Turns out the UK sold off the IoM territorial waters to the Manx Government back in 1987.

    https://www.gov.im/about-the-government/departments/infrastructure/harbours-information/territorial-seas/

    Matters which have been dealt with by the Committee are varied and include the laying of pipelines and cables, hydrocarbons, exploration and enquiries regarding an offshore windfarm. Any proposal to site a structure, cable or pipeline in Isle of Man waters is subject to Manx legislative requirements that include environmental assessments and a lease of easement from the Department of Infrastructure (see information and legislation page).

    Oh dear. Never mind, maybe they’ll accept a garden bridge?

  41. yesindyref2 says:

    So, for anyone who wonders how it works with political party Parliamentary Assistants, clearly MPs and MSPs don’t want to have to spend all day looking after salaries, benefits, pensions, conditions, HR even, so at Westminster it’s handled via IPSA. For Holyrood it’s often if not always handled via Work4MSPs.

    MSPs are responsible for the recruitment of their own staff. If you are interested in working for an MSP please contact her or him direct, or visit work4msps for details of advertised MSP staff vacancies.

    https://www.parliament.scot/abouttheparliament/16619.aspx

    and we then find that:

    Work4MSPs is a resource for anyone working for a Member of the Scottish Parliament, who wants to work for a Member, or with an interest in how the Parliament works. You’ll find lots of information to help you, including helpful information to get you started, role related support and guidance, information about your employment as well as job vacancies.

    https://www. work4msps. scot/about-us/ (remove blanks)

    with the interesting stuff on that site, for instance, under help and support – your employment – how to guide – getting started:

    Well done on getting a job with an MSP! These are really important jobs and you’ll be a key part of making the Scottish Parliament work well.

    We understand how daunting it can be starting a new job, so we’ve produced a site (www.Work4MSPs.scot) here with lots of helpful information, including a How-to guide, which will help you understand how your terms and conditions operate.

    Just thought it was interesting to DO A BIT OF RESEARCH lest I make a bit of an ass of myself by splitting a hair with a chainsaw. Oooh, nasty, clean up on aisle 3.

  42. John Craig says:

    Great to have you back Paul, and bang-on as always!

  43. Dr Jim says:

    Those who are using the not guilty verdict of a crime to disguise and obliterate a judge’s summing up of “inappropriate behaviour” are doing so not because they believe in guilt or innocence, they’re doing it for the sole political purpose of preventing Independence for Scotland either because they’ve been paid to do it or they’re just nasty subversive people who seem to demand the public forget about far worse inappropriate behaviour on behalf of Mr Salmond than say Derek McKay or any other, there’s been no trial other than the invented internet media trial that’s come to the ruling that a whole bunch of women are lying or even exaggerating, their case was not proven to the desired evidentiary standard, but the Internet troublemakers have turned that into their own verdict of those women being guilty of lying, which is using the same logic as the print media did when Mr Salmond was charged with a crime in the first place, everybody knows within the SNP if you behave inappropriately your time’s up and you’re out, because it brings the party into disrepute, is there something about that policy that the holier than thou internet pretenders want bleached from people’s minds, or it somehow only applies to lesser mortals but not previous First Ministers whose policy that was when he was FM

    If the FM has wanted her predecessor politically frozen out she wouldn’t have had to cook up this convoluted pile of stupidity to do it

    Send me money and I’ll write something else can never be a dependable source of reliability
    The guy who tells you to believe what the Daily Mail the Daily Express the Scotsman the Times the Spectator or any other newspaper writes was the same guy who used to tell everybody who’d listen that these newspapers were Unionist newspapers and you couldn’t and shouldn’t believe a single word that was in them, now has undergone a damascene conversion to the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth that only exists within the pages of these papers written by the likes of Aland Cochrane of the Telegraph

    Really? I mean really? no wonder this clown’s spitting his Turkish delight out all over the place laughing his head off at the stupidity of anybody believing a word he says, and they send him money for saying it

    • Dr Jim, you may be lying yourself there , when there is insufficient evidence for a guilty verdict or a not proven verdict it means there is really no reliable evidence ,you dont need stacks of evidence for a guilty or not proven decision.
      For you to now try and say AS is still guilty , guilty enough for YOUR personal level ,but not guilty enough for the court is absolutely ridiculous.
      We dont just have guilty or not guilty in Scotland
      We take it a degree further
      We have not proven as well

      Now we are to have “Dr Jims “ guilty

      You need to accept the court verdict , it is you that is joining the unionist media liars who continue to treat AS as guilty even though the court did not find him guilty.

      You Dr Jim are the one showing inappropriate behaviour

      As for linking this issue to Scottish independence may i add that in addition to AS not being found guilty by the court
      NS has not been found guilty of anything either

      • Dr Jim says:

        You don’t read well do you if that’s the interpretation you come up with, at no time did I make the claims you stipulate, I repeated the Judge’s summing up which is accurate and the party’s position on inappropriate behaviour which again is accurate

        Whether or not the former FM was found legally guilty or not, according to his own rules of his own party he was finished, if it applies to others it applies to him

    • Capella says:

      I didn’t know he liked Turkish Delight. Do you have a reliable source for that? Truth telling requires forensic and meticulous checking from cast iron sources such as the Daily Mail, The Herald, The Scotsman and the BBC the…. etc etc. 😂

  44. Capella says:

    The National has a profile of the proposed successor to the previous successor to the head of the union directorate. Meet Henry Newman:

    https://archive.fo/j6Y5G

    Wonder how long he will last – long enough to survive the appointment process?

  45. Old Pete says:

    Well said ‘Dr Jim’ the “Bath man’s” blog has gradually been ramping up his attacks on the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon since the Kezia Dugdale case went against him. Sad thing is his acolytes are lapping it up and have now been augmented by many openly UK anti-Scotland supporters.
    When unionist supporters are quoted as the good guys as he and his acolytes do, then they are openly working against the cause of Scottish Independence.

    Always checked out what the other side are saying as it’s better to know what your enemies are up to. The “Bath man’s” blog is now a hate fest and has lined up in the enemy camp against Scotland and its fight to regain its Independence. Why his acolytes keep supporting and paying him ? says more about them than it does about him.

    • Dr Jim says:

      As I’ve trying to explain you can’t apply party regulations to some and not others, if we say Derek McKay behaved badly so he’s out or Mark McDonald behaved badly so he’s out, anyone who says the former FM shouldn’t be subject to his own regulations is being disingenuous, the law wasn’t required in the conclusions of the party on those previous men, the SNP applied their own discipline, not Nicola Sturgeon’s rules, but the party, and if she hadn’t the press and TV media would’ve been reporting her selective behaviour until doomsday

      Even Michelle Thompson who we all felt sorry for had to step back, it doesn’t need a legal procedure to deduce or decide that a person has brought the party into disrepute no matter their rank or position, it’s tough but them’s the rules and the former FM was part of the party who made them

      The website with the *vengeance is mine* attitude is a complete fraud and using this case as a tool for his own finances or personal grudge, call it whatever you like but it certainly isn’t about the justice he claims it is
      *The plot” is on the verge of crumbling as we speak so the plotters will have no choice now but to double down on their original premise that the current FM controls the Judiciary, the Police, the Press, the Civil service Boris Johnson and uncle Tom Cobley and all with her satanic powers of mind manipulation

      The very idea that the UK government is in fear of the former FM making a comeback is also laughable because there can’t be a soul on the planet who wouldn’t understand that if he did attempt such a thing the press would mercilessly crucify him from now till hell freezes over and the UK government would consider themselves fortunate to have been handed the greatest publicity ally in their endeavours to destroy all hopes of Scottish Independence

      Nicola Sturgeon is the one they fear or they wouldn’t be going to the lengths they are to stop her

      • Me Bungo Pony says:

        It could be argued that certain allegedly pro-Indy bloggers actually fear independence as blogging is a nice little earner for them. Who needs a pro-Indy blogger when the country is independent? So you do all you can to prevent Indy while camouflaging your intent with a faux moral crusade. Thus, when you’ve destroyed any chance of Indy “for a generation”, you can realign yourself and continue asking your “believers” for more money.

  46. Capella says:

    Oops – more trouble ‘t mill

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yep, accusations and assertions are not evidence, they’re hearsay or invention and the law correctly applied can’t allow that or we’d be in the Donald Trump pointy finger fake news land of incitement and insurrection and look what happened when America took no action on that

    • Golfnut says:

      So the sole issue the Crown office has with the AS submission is that it may be in contempt of court. Not quite how I first read Nick Eardleys tweet. It’s not about the conduct of the Parliament, the Scottish gov.

  47. andyfromdunning says:

    Apologies for being a tad critical here but I am fed up reading stuff all over the media about Eck and Nicla. I feel we are helping the MSM by going on about it all the time. I do not care what happens in the case. I only want it to be ignored so that we do not damage the cause.

  48. Hamish100 says:

    The women are all liars, brigade are mysoginist at best and are either misled ( and some may be) but others are malicious and deliberate in their behaviours.
    The previous FM was found not guilty and not proven in the criminal court case.
    This is separate from behaviours that are not deemed to be appropriate in an employment sense or as part of a voluntary organisation as we would understand it.

    I have the unfortunate experience having to investigate complaints over alleged inappropriate behaviours during my working life. I had no wish to be involved as I knew both individuals but the bosses decided, too bad. They paid my wages.

    On a 1 to 1 situation who do you believe? One persons word against another. Was it a misunderstanding on the part of the female or the man who was in the promoted post?
    How easy to misinterpret is it not, said one TU representative v the other TU representative. Other information which was brought forward was time barred.

    The resultant internal mess was horrendous to all working there.

    This does not relate to current circumstances but it does illustrate how quickly things can deteriorate into a hellish mess. Best intentions but failed actions at the end of the day.

    For those who believe the former FM is innocent of anything that is their belief and right.
    What they cannot do or should be allowed to do is to decree that everybody else is guilty.
    Lynch mob mentality is not acceptable.

    Things are too far gone now but either way Winning the election in May and gaining Independence is my goal like most others on this blog.

  49. Dr Jim says:

    It’s the law of the amber traffic light, ask 100 motorists if the offender speeded up to avoid stopping and around 75% will say no, ask 100 non drivers the same question and around 80% will be definitive in answering yes
    We ask people to be in charge of defining and applying the law then we disagree when they do it, which confirms the amber light law

    We’re some bunch us humans

    • Golfnut says:

      Might be as well to remember that AS actually agreed in court that his behaviour could be considered inappropriate. So that particular issue is between him and his former employer. Also might be as well to remember that it could have been dealt with internally, which would have been the first step before considering it should be put in the hands of the court. However court proceedings make better headlines and a much juicier scandal not only against AS but also the SNP, the SG and the FM. Logic determines the driver for this case and it has bugger all to do with justice. This has westminster dirty fingerprints all over it.

  50. Petra says:

    Great to see you back Paul and settling into your new hoose X

    …………………………………..

    I also want to apologise, belatedly, for not thanking those who sent their commiserations to me recently. Thanks very much for doing so.

  51. Tatu3 says:

    Good to have you back Paul.
    Also good to see you back Petra.

  52. Ken says:

    Lesley Evans is the culprit. Letting other women down. SNP woman did not give accurate accounts. SNP women clarified it and came to Alex Salmond’s Defence. There was no sexual intent.

    Everywhere Alex Salmond goes people fling themselves at him. Kissing and hugging him wanting selfies. It takes him hours to go anywhere. Especially campaigning. Is that sexual assault on him? No. It is a show of affection of what he has done for Scotland. He could be a difficult task master but the staff had some of the best jobs in Scotland. Rights and privileges.

    Alex still has a great career before him. He can form a political party. Join the YES campaign. Rejoin the SNP. It might be difficult. Write books. Best sellers. Broadcast. Have a part retirement. A bit of peace.

    Nicola did nothing wrong. She followed the Ministerial Code to the letter. She is one of the best leader SNP/Scotland has ever had. Saving lives. She could not intervene, she tried her best to get a review. Westminster system screwed the Scottish Parliament. They have from the set up. From the start unionist malicious interference has cost Scotland.

    Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. For a better place.

  53. Dr David M Greenwell says:

    Both votes SNP is our only way to winning an SNP majority in May. The SNP have to win if we are to get out indpendence from the Westminster crooks. The Dug is right.

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