Steadying the ship

I’m feeling a whole lot happier today than I was last week. Friday was an especially bad day, and not just because Alex Salmond had just sat down to give his evidence to the Holyrood committee investigating the botched investigation into the allegations made against him. The media was full of confident predictions that his evidence was going to destroy Nicola Sturgeon and that she’d be forced out of office in disgrace just weeks away from what is possibly the most important Scottish election since the establishment of devolution.

You could almost taste the evident glee of the likes of The BBC’s Sarah Smith as she anticipated the wheels coming off the SNP, destroying any prospect of Scottish independence for the foreseeable future. All the painful progress we have made as a movement since 2014 appeared to be on the verge of vanishing in a red mist of angry recriminations and accusations, and just as we stood on the threshold of a better and more hopeful Scotland. The gloom was compounded by the publication of an opinion poll which had support for independence and opposition to it neck and neck on 50%. We seemed to have lost the consistent majority support for independence that we had enjoyed over the previous year.

But I was also feeling a similar sense of fear and deflation on a personal level too on that Friday. I’ve been making a much better recovery from the stroke than I had dared to imagine when I was still in hospital. My walking is coming along great although progress in regaining functional use of my hand and arm is much more slow. We have just moved into our new house and are looking forward to getting it set up and kitted out in the way we want it. We’re on the threshold of a new better and more hopeful life here in beautiful South Ayrshire.

However last week Peter came down with a nasty bout of what turned out to be viral gastroenteritis. Because he was ill we had to cancel a hospital physiotherapy appointment I had last week at the Southern General in Glasgow – that has now been rescheduled for Tuesday of next week. On the Thursday he was advised to go for a Covid test because he had a fever and we ere told to self-isolate until he got the all-clear. Thankfully he got a negative test result first thing on Friday morning. However on Friday as I sat down to write an article I started to feel unwell too. All of a sudden I was wiped out, I became very weak and had no energy at all. then I started to feel nauseous and began shivering and felt extremely cold. That’s when I started to panic. I  experienced very similar symptoms when I suffered the stroke back in October. I was terrified that it was happening again and had visions of being taken back into hospital, back to square one with all the recovery and progress of the past four months wiped out. I managed to crawl back to bed, and once Peter confirmed that I hadn’t lost all the muscle tone down one side of my face I pretty much passed out and slept for eight hours solid. Thankfully it wasn’t another stroke , I had just come down with the same bug that had afflicted Peter.

This week things are looking a whole lot more more positive. We are not entirely out of the woods with either the stomach bug or the Salmond -Sturgeon affair, but it does seem that the worst of the crisis has passed. Even her critics have grudgingly had to admit that the First Minister gave a good account of herself when it was her turn to give evidence to the Holyrood committee yesterday. The Greens have announced that they will not be giving their support to the Conservatives’ calls for votes of no-confidence against Nicola Sturgeon and her deputy John Swinney, meaning that The Conservatives cannot find sufficient votes to succeed in their cynical an opportunistic attempt to use the Salmond-Sturgeon affair as a means of derailing the independence movement just weeks away from a crucial election. The immediate threat to Nicola Sturgeon’s position has receded.

Meanwhile there are encouraging signs that despite all the noise and shouting on social media, the SNP and the wider independence movement are getting back on track. There are numerous reports on social media that Nicola Sturgeon’s marathon performance in front of the Holyrood inquiry has been followed by a surge in applications for membership of the SNP. Because as Ruth Davidson crawls off to the House of Lords it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Conservatives want no future for the Scottish Parliament. The only hope for Scotland is to return a strong SNP majority government and to hold and win an independence referendum.

And in another encouraging and hopeful sign that all is far from lost, a new opinion poll carried out by Savanta ComRes for ITV places support for independence in Scotland at 53%, a seven point lead once rounding is taken into account. The same poll also shows record support for Welsh independence with 39% of voters in Wales lending their support to Welsh self-determination.

There are still clouds on the horizon but it does seem that we have successfully weathered the worst of the storm. Now it is time to concentrate on what is important, working to ensure that a Scotland returns a strong and unarguable majority for independence in the Scottish Parliamentary elections which are now just nine weeks away. Nothing else matters.

James Kelly of Scot Goes Pop has launched a new crowdfunder to raise funds in order to commission another opinion poll before that vital election in May. As always it’s well worth contributing to this important cause. Scottish opinion polling is not well served by our traditional media. You can contribute to James’s crowdfunder here:

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership ,or about some other issue not directly related to Scottish independence – there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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180 comments on “Steadying the ship

  1. topcop says:

    Odd that the twitter messages from the new members suggest that they have all known Nicola personally since she was 16. One saying that but many. mmm strange

    • weegingerdug says:

      Aye. Right. uh.huh

      I suspect a career in CSI does not await you

    • Bob says:

      Certainly it has been reported with evidence all these messages having exactly the same message from supposedly different people. Twitter I never pay attention to as it seems a cesspit of extremes.

      What the last few days has reminded me of is a report in 2018 on Sky news “SNP membership applications rise by 10,000% after MPs’ mass walkout in Westminster
      A party source says the surge in numbers joining the party is due to people wanting to unite against a Tory Brexit “power grab”.”

      The number quoted was extreme but not inaccurate as they were comparing a day with few new members with a day when it seems around a 100 people joined. The old saying about damn statistics and lies comes to mind in this case making a comparison that may be technically true but used to give a totally different impression of what is actually going on.

      Personally I would cite the last sentence in that above quote as the fundamental reason independence supporters are now questioning direction of the SNP in that, yes we did unite against the Tory Brexit grab in 2018, but 3 years later we have still done nothing about it. To the extent we now face May elections with yet no commitment to do anything about it, and I use the word ‘commitment’ very specifically in all its meaning.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Meanwhile in the real world outside Bath, a fine town with its baths built by the Romans by the way:

      More than 5,000 people have joined the SNP in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance at the Alex Salmond inquiry, the party has said.

      And that was 2 hours ago! It makes the membership over 130,000.

      • Douglas says:

        Point of information:
        SNP no longer releases membership numbers, some educated guesses can be made based on financial reports but unless everyone is on the concessionary rate 130,000 is highly unlikely

        • Tam the Bam says:

          I concur Douglas…’wildly’ optimistic.
          Probably only around 129,999.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          That’s wrong Douglas,the EC accounts for y/e Dec 31st 2018 and same for 2019, DO publish the membership numbers – under “Membership” near the start. For some odd reason your source, errr, missed them. Should have gone to Specsavers.

          Accounts 31st Dec 2018: “By 31 December, SNP membership stood at 125,534”
          Accounts 31st Dec 2019: “SNP membership-totaling 125,691 at 31 December 2019 ”

          Source: Electoral Commission.

          Accounts for y/e Dec 2020 probably not our till July or later.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        7,600 new members as of 3 hours ago – and that’s before the manifesto and draft bill.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      I wonder which side of the debate posted these messages.

  2. The Gillies says:

    Good news all round. Keep plugging away Pau, you’ll get there!!
    Now ,let us pull together .let’s start on the road to getting rid of this infestation of underminers, troublemakers aye and tories .Let us really start believing in ourselves . Never mind the doom creators. Fight for our wonderful country. This is our opportunity. Take it!!!!

  3. Irene Danks says:

    Well said Paul. You’re a voice of reason against the egos fighting over how only THEY can lead us to independence. Life of Brian was a film, not a blueprint!I hope you have a quick recovery from your bout of lurgy. So glad it wasn’t anything more serious (serious enough though!) Onward and upward.

  4. Petra says:

    ”Odd that the twitter messages from the new members.” All ten thousand of them 🤣🤣🤣.


    Another great article from you Paul. Firstly take care of yourself for your own sake and Peter’s too of course, but also for selfish reasons. We need you, really need you, to get us through to Independence Day and then see you host your own programme on our future SBS. You’re one of the few, very few, voices making any real sense now. Offering some sanity for us in the midst of the absolute bedlam that’s being created, in the main, by other so-call pro-Independence sites. So yes let’s all unite to steady the ship (a fleet of them 😀) that’s heading directly towards winning an outright victory in May and then of course onto our country getting its independence. And when that day comes we won’t forget who it was that played a major part in getting us there.

  5. Bernie says:

    Glad you are on the mend Paul you are spot on again, things do look much more positive regarding the FM and the Brit Nats trying to bring her down. I know there will be a few more twists on the road. Hopefully we can overcome them as always stay safe.

  6. Geejay says:

    Paul is right, the bigger issue facing us is the Tories determination to emasculate Devolution in the UK and Scotland in particular. They have never liked devolution (why then do they sit in Holyrood?) and will be making plans to bypass our Scottish Government and hand out Union Jack labelled largesse to Tory held Councils .

    They have no compunction about breaking the law and if they don’t like something they will change the law. They could legislate to abolish the Scottish Parliament if they felt that was in their best interests.

    We must fix our sights on a resounding victory in May and then push for Independence.

  7. P Harvey says:

    Keep well Paul and keep on writing and refocusing us on the prize. After Independence e will look back and wonder why a small number did not want it

  8. Eilidh says:

    Well said Paul. Ruth Davidson’s political posturing at FMQs today was pathetic. Anas Sarwar and wee Willie winkie weren’t much better.Just saw Alex Cole Hamilton on BBC News Channel pontificating and playing politics re NS testimony yesterday. He is showing blatant bias.I don’t think it is right that committee members should be allowed to give media interviews whilst the enquiry is ongoing and have not published their final report yet

  9. robert alexander harrison says:

    Something should be done about these lot on the English rule side because bbc for starters on gms this morning was blatantly hostile to mike russell it was an utter disgrace i honestly dont know how he didnt lose his temper because the presenter showed she was on a clear political agaenda.

  10. A C Bruce says:

    I’m glad you’re both on the mend. It sounds like an extremely unpleasant bug.

    I must say I now feel less stressed about this long, drawn out affair than I have felt in a long time and hope we can now concentrate on the election and a referendum in the not too distant future.

    Polling from Wales is also very encouraging.

    All in all, with the Covid vaccine being rolled out at pace, it’s looking as though there are now better days ahead.

    A warm, sunny summer would also be very welcome.

  11. Great news, Paul.
    It may appear to sound like paranoia, but I’d stop buying carry out food for a while, and employ a food tester.
    You are that important to the Independence Movement.
    It is not beyond MI 6 spooks to target you.

    They are fighting to retain Colony One The Golden Goose.

    Is it me or has anyone else noticed that Brit Jock Yoons are showing the strain when interviewed on the telly?
    Many have developed a Richard Nixon oily skinned forehead, and sweat gathering above their upper lip.

    There is no way back, and they know it.


    • James Mills says:

      Michael Gove has ALWAYS had that oily look – it helps him slide along as he moves from person to person , pouring poison in their ears .
      His slimy trail is so distinct even a thicko like Margaret Mitchel , Tory MSP could follow it .

      • “Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
        Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:”

        Gove is the Jabberwocky, king of the slythy toves.

        Soon I shall be spraying the back patio with salt, when I spot the tell tale signs of gunge trails left by nocturnal snails determined to destroy my plants and flowers in the night.
        Mrs C will not allow me to kill them with slug pellets.
        If only we could build a salt dune from Gretna to N Berwick.
        I’ve gone all surreal in the past few Days; Finnegan’s Wake, and now Alice, through the Looking Glass.
        The Book of Nonsense next, I fear.
        Cabin Fever.

  12. grizebard says:

    Yes, one might hope that people around Scotland will now begin to fully appreciate that the Tories have never been reconciled to Holyrood, are increasingly determined to emasculate it and instead rely wholly on support from their Big Brother in England, and Scotland’s judgement at the coming polls will accordingly be that this parcel of rogues deserve no place in it for them now.

    • Terence Callachan says:

      The tories do to the Scottish parliament what they did to the European Parliament

  13. mumsyhugs says:

    It could just be that – finally and hopefully – recent events will have scared the sh*t out of the various factions ripping the independence movement apart from within and they’ve realised what we are so close to losing. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! Differences absolutely have to be put aside, otherwise those differences become irrelevant. Simple fact is Nicola is our best chance of bringing soft yessers and waverers firmly on board because of her standing as a representative for Scotland. Some folks seem to have lost sight of the bigger picture and become small in their vision. It’s about time they woke up – before it’s too late!

  14. jfngw says:

    It was obvious when they selected D.Ross as their leader the Tories had no real interest in Holyrood, this is a man that makes Willie Rennie look charismatic in comparison.

    What are the odds the Baroness ends up in the cabinet as Scottish Secretary, she has always wanted to lord it over Scotland, it’s just the Scots didn’t want her. That of course is of no consequence to the Tories, Scotland is a possession as far as they are concerned, 60 years of rejection is water off a ducks back to them. There is only one way to remove them permanently, so get out in May (or get the vote in the post) and return the SNP with a absolute majority.

  15. Bob Lamont says:

    Given your recent problems, in your title “Steadying the ship”, is “ship” perchance a typo for Turdo?

  16. Alex Clark says:

    Bob Lamont posted this link earlier to Michael Russell being interviewed by Laura Maxwell on GMS this morning.

    I’ve just listened to it and am utterly disgusted by the way this interview was conducted, I’ve never heard anything like it even though I’ve been paying attention to these things for years now. This was the most blatant display of bias and animosity against the SNP and the First Minister I’ve ever had the misfortune to have listened too.

    The SNP need to put in a formal complaint about this, she should be suspended and an investigation launched into her behaviour, seriously it was that bad.

    I’m about to send my own complaint to the BBC over this, it’s simply an appalling way to treat anyone.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Agreed, an utterly appalling way to treat any guest for interview, my guess would be the personnel of HMS Sarah Smith have been offered bonuses or P45s depending on results in light of their failing AS v NS strategy.
      Journalism it was not….
      Patrick Harvie was subject to similar aggressive interruptive technique by Gary (FU) Robertson, presumably the BBC in Scotland realise they are going down but fight all the way, errors all subcontracted of course…

    • I believe that this was Laura Maxwell, who, if memory serves, boasted last summer that she was packing off the family for a camping holiday in The Lake district, despite the wildfire outbreak of Covid 19 in Preston, Bolton and Blackpool.
      We know now of course that Scotland second wave began with holiday makers, defiant, and disregarding the medical advice not to, brought he virus back in from outside Scotland.
      I may be wrong, but if true,
      this woman should be sacked.
      Mike Russell has nothing but Scotland’s gratitude, especially over the Brexit scandal.
      BBC Reporting Scotland had Kirsteen Campbell lying by suggesting that there was still a threat of a No Confidence vote by the Linesman Dross, when she knows perfectly well that the Greens have already announced that they would not collude with the Brit Nats in this pointless and destructive bit of fascist colonialism.
      She lied.
      Surely a sacking offence.
      BBC Radio, the home of the fee paying educated, Right Stuff collaborators.
      I hope that I am fit enough to watch BBC Plantation Quay, England’s Jock Colony Propaganda stockade, close for ever.
      I note also that Matt Hamcock sneaked in to Glasgow today, and BBC Jock land was there to film this pointless little sortie.
      They have badly misread the mood of us Scots for the last time.

      • Melvin penman says:

        Great post Jack, the treatment of Scotland has never been more abusive since the rough wooing. The British state is full of liars ,thieves and clowns. Just look at the toadies latest wheeze with blaming every negative outcome on the EU, the dumpsters didn’t even read the exit agreements they signed. They hate Scots , but love our resources.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Interview?……Interrogation would be more accurate!!!

    • astytaylor says:

      Surely a mistake in the naming of this programme.
      “Good morning Scotland, I’m Laura Maxwell, and you are shite.”
      Absolutely disgraceful “interview”.

      Reminded me a bit of Jackie Bird interviewing Nicola Sturgeon on Misreporting Scotland a few years ago. Absolute hostllity. BBC is a disgrace.

      Anyway, onwards and upwards. All the best, asty

  17. Alex Clark says:

    Sorry for the early off topic so soon into the thread Paul but I was bealing after listening to that clip!

    Pleased to hear you are feeling better and much more upbeat, me too. I doubt there are many supporters of Independence who haven’t felt a cloud to be hanging over them with the events of recent weeks and months.

    Still, as you say the worst appears to be over and the dark forces lined up against Independence have failed to strike that deadly blow. Later this month we will get the report of the Hamilton investigation into whether or not the FM broke the ministerial code published.

    I fully expect this report to clear her of any wrongdoing and that must be the end of it. As we know though the opponents of Independence will not accept the findings of either inquiry unless they go their way so expect the media to continue the attacks all the way up to the day of the election.

    Let’s face it, they have nothing else to attack the SNP with so the attacks will continue. I’l be shrugging them off, they have gone too far and the results, when they are in, will show that. I really can’t wait to give them a bloody nose with both votes SNP.

    • grizebard says:

      There even seems to be anecdotal evidence accumulating that these attacks are in fact counterproductive, that they are seen as cravenly, for narrow political purposes, attempting to undermine a government that is striving hard (and honestly, unlike that bumbling shower in London) to keep us all safe and get us back to something more like normal.

      So much has already been wantonly and unnecessarily politicised – as the recent committee proceedings and the media prejudgements of some of its members make very manifest – and people are getting thoroughly sick of it.

      Maybe Baroness Placemat is a real asset to indy now. As Ken rightly said reently, this ain’t 2016.

      • On the principle of Six Degrees Of Separation, the 1.8 million Scots already vaccinated, the elderly, the ill, the care home residents, all have younger daughters, sons, husbands wives, partners, nephews nieces, brothers sisters, who are eternally grateful, that their relatives have been protected against this terrible disease.
        I doubt that anyone of the 4 million or so who live in the Real World Up Here is contacting Baroness Rape Clause, or the Linesman Dross, or First Lieutenant (RN Failed) Andrew Bowie, or Anas the Millionaire, or Wee Willie Winkie, the Federal Mental Health Man, to thank them for their dedicated work in making such a resounding success of the Vaccination Programme, and the financial support to the most vulnerable Scots citizens.
        In the past week, they have crawled out from under their mossy stones, and proved what we already knew; that they don’t give a tinker’s curse for Scotland and its people.
        They serve another master. An English fascist Iron Heel Oligarchy, led by a disgusting morally bereft Old Etonian and his carpetbagger pals who are stealing billions of pounds from the Treasury coffers.

        I reckon that come the day, the people of Scotland will deliver their own ‘vote of confidence’.
        We’ll have won in ’21.

  18. Malcolm Pate says:

    Im very worried about the voting at the forthcoming election. I don’t trust the yoons. Is it possible to get independent observers to be around when the votes get collected and counted. This is the yoons last chance to hold on to their last Colony.

    • grizebard says:

      Oh please, let’s not go down that Trumpian rabbit hole again. Winning this election is about nothing except GOTV: Getting Out The Vote. Which is why we’re getting all this desperate voter-suppression messaging in plain view right now.

    • Petra says:

      For one Malcom we should be holding exit polls. I don’t trust them either especially as they have SO much to lose.

      • grizebard says:

        Exit polls don’t count the postal votes, which are always somewhat Tory-weighted (older folks). And there will likely be a lot more postal voting this time, for obvious reasons, all of which would be missed.

        Widespread poll-fiddling is a myth. Period. Let’s focus our attention on what actually matters: persuading more people to vote for indy than not. That’s always been the bottom line.

        • Legerwood says:

          We received a letter from the SNP yesterday if I remember correctly. It contained an application form for a postal vote plus a pre-paid envelope to return the completed form to the appropriate authority.

          We have already applied for a postal vote just in case but thought the SNP were pretty on the ball with this initiative. Useful to have this in hand just in case.

          • Tam the Bam says:

            My initial instinct on reading Malcolms post..’that sounds a bit Trumpian’ as Grizebard stated.

   took me back to immediate pre-Indyref days when..if you remember..Ruth Davidson announced on live tv that she thought the postal votes ‘seemed to be stacking up nicely in favour of NO.
            Needless to say that provoked a great deal of reaction but it triggered a thought in my mind concerning the means of conveying ‘the vote’ from Polling Station’ to the count.
            Were the vehicles escorted? Were the interiors of said vehicles inspected prior to collecting ballot-boxes?..etc; etc;……maybe they were,I dont know but in any event due consideration should be given to the upgrading of security measures with particular regard to these concerns.
            Do I sound a tad paranoid?

            • grizebard says:


              All ballot boxes are sealed and their contents independently accounted for, so thoughts about boxes being “ambushed” en route to the count is for the birds.

              I’ve been an independent observer a couple of times, including making an extra visit to Glasgow City Chambers expressly to see their pre-polling day handling of the postal vote.

              There was though a significant change made after the Davidson affair, and since then the postal votes are opened as received, validated, and both the accepted and challenged votes put directly in separate sealed ballot boxes for the purpose which are only subsequently opened for the count along with all the others. So postal votes aren’t accumulated in view of attendees as they were before.

              • Tam the Bam says:

                Well credit where credit is due and your best efforts afforded me some relaxation of concern.
                Grize..vehicle inspection prior to collection/delivery to count… my book is an area wide open to abuse.
                I would happily step down if my concerns are unfounded but sad to say….you havent satisfied my concerns that this ‘section of election night’ is watertight…….just sayin.’

            • Eili says:

              Yes you do. I have worked at upteen elections in polling stations as a Presiding Officer. All the ballot boxes and the seals to them are numbered for each polling station as are ballot papers. It would be very difficult to interfere with the Vote in the manner you suggest. Personation where someone could turn up at polling station and pretend to be me is really only way to interfere with the vote

            • Pogmothon says:

              Just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. I wouldn’t trust RCR, Dross or any of the rest as far as I could throw them. And I haven’t trained for at least ten years.

        • Terence Callachan says:

          grizebard its not a myth
          Nobody checks that you are actually still alive its easy for someone to vote in your name even if you are dead
          Nobody checks that it is actually you that applied for a postal vote sure its your name thats been signed on the application but its easy to forge a signature in fact nobody compares signatures as long as its the right name its accepted so this allows people to apply for and get a postal vote for friends and relatives who do not actually still live in Scotland they can also do this for relatives and friends who are in care homes and no longer have their faculties
          People who used to live in scotland but have gone back to england still use their old address with the help of friends there
          People who own property in scotland but dont live there perhaps they rent it out or use as a holiday home apply for postal votes and get their mail redirected to where they do live

          Many other examples

          • Terence Callachan says:

            Let me tell you that government get you to sign declarations for so many things social security passports taxation benefits pensions etc etc etc with warnings of fines and prosecution but nobody checks signatures its impossible to do so with accuracy so they dont do it.
            So many people have signatures that they themselves cant even recognise with 100% accuracy
            So many people have signatures that are illegible

            The reason , the ONLY reason government get these signatures is so they can use them as evidence should you be found to have cheated or lied , it will be other evidence that is used to prove you cheated or lied but they will present the document you signed as evidence that you applied for whatever it is.
            If you turn around and say “thats not my signature”
            They will ask you to provide proof of your signature
            They will ask for other existing documents you have with your signature

            Ultimately a signature is an unreliable form of evidence thats why its your photograph or your fingerprints or your DNA that are used to identify you and not your signature

          • grizebard says:

            We have discussed this many tines before, and this area is where any weakness most likely lies. There was a significant tightening-up of voter registration/identification a year or two back (eg. I ended up having to formally re-register even though having lived in the same place for years), but it does still seem to rely on the rigour of local EROs, and that may be a variable quantity. It used to be hard, for example, to catch multiple concurrent registrations of the same individual in different electoral areas, but where that kind of thing is now I don’t know.

            I myself feel that there is something inherently unsatisfactory in people casting a vote in opaque circumstances as opposed to voting “in private in public”, if you see what I mean, at least for able-bodied people. But from current US experience we can also see that restriction of postal voting is also a tried-and-trusted means of voter suppression.

            It will be especially hard to avoid this time round though because of the pandemic.

    • Norma Slimmon says:

      That happens at every election. Representatives are from across the political spectrum

  19. James Mills says:

    Watching Margaret Mitchell question (? ) the FM yesterday , I was reminded that another Margaret Mitchell wrote a wee book called ”Gone with the wind ! ”

    Given her performance the Tory Mitchell would have been better just breaking wind – that would have sounded more intelligent than what escaped from her mouth !

  20. Stephen McKenzie says:

    Nick Eardley at 16:37 outside Holyrood trying to inject some life in the NS – AS debate.

    Nick is now looking more enthusiastic than he did at 07:45 this morning when it was raining. Nick now has a slight bouncing stance as he lets us all know how difficult it could be for NS. All for the benefit of BBC News 24.

    Just then, a likely lad with an blue Aye T shirt on meandered past Nick 🙂 Quality..

  21. Petra says:

    FGS they’ve now got another has-been spouting Nicola Sturgeon hating guff in the ”other place” and conveniently making no mention of his links to the SSP. ”I (Hugh Kerr) asked one leading member recently how they would describe democracy inside the SNP – they thought for a minute and said “Stalinist”.

    Not only spouting guff but making comments that could leave himself open to a defamation of character case with his, ”The final straw has been the attempt to jail Alex Salmond.”

    • weegingerdug says:

      I’ve long since ceased to care what is published on that site. It’s nothing more than a platform for its author to pursue his increasingly lengthy list of grudges and vendettas

  22. Alex Clark says:

    Meanwhile, Sir Philip Rutnam a senior civil servent has just been awarded £300,000 as damages for unfair dismissal against Pritti Patel plus legal costs whatever they were. We can be sure that this will take the total amount at least up to that which Alex Salmond won in his case against the Scottish government.

    What I want to know is when we can expect the investigation to commence against Patel for the waste of public money and the sacking of an entirely innocent man wh has had his reputation trashed.

    What about it Dross?

    The link doesn’t mention the amount awarded against Patel but the BBC has just announced it.

    • Alex Clark says:

      No surprise here then.

      The payoff means Patel and Boris Johnson will no longer face the possibility of giving evidence before a public tribunal. It will, however, lead to demands to explain how much has been spent defending the home secretary.

    • jfngw says:

      I’m sure at this very minute Baroness Davidson of Brassneck will be writing to the PM demanding to know why this public money has been wasted and insist anyone who broke the ministerial code will resign. £370K of taxpayers money!

      Oh hold on: Home Office says “The Government does not accept liability in this matter and it was right that the Government defended the case.”. It would seem the PM does not even take responsibility for the decisions of his government. The Tories encapsulated in a single day, at the same time as demanding resignations they are sweeping their own failures under the carpet.

  23. Croompenstein says:

    Peter A Bell calls us ‘mindless minions’ on Prof Robertsons blog LOL, I wonder why he seems to turn up on other peoples blogs could it be that no one is buying his wares on his own blog. Peter A Bell I wonder what the ‘A’ stands for ? 🙂

    • weegingerdug says:

      He’s always popping up on other people’s blogs because no one reads his. I think the A stands for Angry. Peter is permanently infuriated with the world because it refuses to accept his own estimation of his genius.

      • Mark Russell says:

        A common affliction. Spends too much time contemplating impossible notions with rubber ducks and loofahs. Bath-water and bowel; the scunner of demented Jocks.

        Why the anger?

        • grizebard says:

          From extreme impatience and frustration that indyref wasn’t done before Brexit and a feeling (as Paul says) of being unjustly ignored by the powers-that-be, in a nutshell.

  24. Itchybiscuit says:

    Best wishes Paul and I hope your recovery continues apace.

  25. Yuki says:

    Glad you are on the mend and feeling much much better.

    I am also feeling much much better and believe the yessers are more united now. 🙂

  26. yesindyref2 says:

    Oh dear, how sad:

    New Government legal files appears to debunk Alex Salmond ‘conspiracy theory’
    By Tom Gordon

    Mr Salmond has claimed senior SNP figures conspired to use a police investigation to thwart his high-profile legal fight with the Government.

    He said their aim was effectively to have his judicial review action over sexual misconduct claims elbowed aside by the criminal case, sparing Nicola Sturgeon embarrassment.

    He said they wanted his case to be paused or ‘sisted’ as the lower priority, so that the criminal case would then ‘overtake’ his and damage him.

    However the newly released legal advice shows the Government didn’t want Mr Salmond’s case to be sisted.

    Early bath for some bloggers! Unless they ask Douglas Ross, Baronness Davidson, Murdo Fraser, Michael Gove or Boris Johnson to write an article for them.

    Oh, wait …

    • grizebard says:

      The reluctant release of the legal background stuff has rather backfired on the increasingly-desperate witchfinders. Another case of needing to be careful about what you wish for, methinks!

  27. Alex Clark says:

    The Independence campaign has started, just saw the party political broadcast by the SNP and it was all people who were No to Yes. Loved it, the Unionists heads will be exploding right now LOL

  28. barpe says:

    Just noticed a programme on ITV at 7-30pm tonight, entitled “Is our 300 year old Union in danger” (or something similar), Julie Etchingham I think.
    No doubt yet another probable attack on us “pesky Scots” for trying to escape from England!!
    It’s full on anti Indy now!!

  29. scrandoonyeah says:

    Maybe people should read Professor James Mitchell’s article in the Holyrood Magazine today.

  30. Statgeek says:

    “You could almost taste the evident glee of the likes of The BBC’s Sarah Smith as she anticipated the wheels coming off the SNP, destroying any prospect of Scottish independence for the foreseeable future.”

    Why we should never let the media (or polls) dictate events. They should be there to measure opinion, rather than make it.

  31. Old Pete says:

    Apart from the “Bathman’s” blog and his rabid followers who are now openly siding with yoonies.
    Glad you are feeling a bit better.

    Living in South Ayrshire you will find it a large bed rock of Conservatism. Where I live John Scott is a difficult man to defeat and the Tories have a strong base of support here. Think you are in the Cumnock seat which is SNP, lucky you.
    Still onwards and upwards and hopefully we can finally replase Mr. Scott with Siobhan Brown, she is an excellent candidate but we need to get ALL Independence supporters to vote for her.

  32. Alba Woman says:

    Erasmus ‘s words re that other place ‘ In the land of the blind the one – eyed man is King’

    Saor Alba

  33. Arthur Thomson says:

    Nicola and Megan in the Brit firing line tonight. These pesky women. Who do they think they are? Nice that they have each got company, though. Mind you, if I was a Brit I would be wondering if it was a good look. Then again, if I was a Brit I probably wouldn’t have enough self awareness to notice.

    I have often expressed the view that all publicity (within reason) is good publicity. Nicola has become a household name and people at home and abroad are no doubt perplexed by what is happening to her. Who would have thought that our leader would be so famous and well thought of – without paying out shed loads of dark money? She is worth her weight in gold in keeping Scotland’s independence in the public eye. And that is apart from the terrific work she and her colleagues are putting into making Scotland a better place to live.

    And yet, some “names”, self appointed gurus of the Yes movement, question why we need a leader. What planet are they living on? Whose side are they actually on? Not mine I suspect but fortunately they are largely irrelevant aside from their publicity and entertainment value.

    Get into them Nicola – in your nicest possible way, of course. We, who support independence are right there with you.

  34. jfngw says:

    Ruth Davidson hears is wanted for a TV interview, then finds out it’s Channel 4.

  35. yesindyref2 says:

    Supposedly the draft SNP manifesto intorudction has gone out to the branches, and a certain place has an article with that introduction. Just read the introduction and the otherwise sour grapes article is titled “The last and final request”.

    My first read is that it’s excellent, my second is that it’s excellent, and some may have noticed that I am cynical but seemingly rightly, trust Mike Russell.

    It’s laid out that way for a purpose, way beyond the comprehension of the blogger I guess, but Aidan O’Neill and Lady C would understand, and a nod from me to Keatings for having a possible part in it indirectly.

    I’m happy 🙂

    • Tam the Bam says:

      I am really sorry to hear Mike is standing down in May.

      Met him back in Jan 18 or 19 (not sure which) in Maryhill/Glasgow when the topic for discussion was Brexit and Scotland.

      We will miss his expertise..his eloquence and experience.

      I know you’re ‘no awa tae bide awa’ Mike and also know you will also be doing your thing behind the scenes.
      Saor Alba.

    • Petra says:

      I’m happy too yesindyref2 😀. Soor grapes from the other place as usual 🙄.

      ”We pledge to Protect Scotland’s Parliament and honour the will of the Scottish People.

      Since at least 1320 it has been the accepted legal position in Scotland that it is the People of Scotland that are Sovereign and that all power wielded by our government is devolved to it by the People and with the consent of the People.

      The form that government takes has changed many times in the intervening 700 years but the principle remains the same, all power flows ultimately from the People and their consent to be so governed.

      Just over 20 years ago the People of Scotland instructed the UK parliament in Westminster to further devolve some of the powers they grant to it to a new Parliament closer to home at Holyrood.

      A mere 6 years ago the People of Scotland voted overwhelmingly to make that parliament in Holyrood permanent, to never have its powers reduced, undermined, or removed by Westminster without their consent. Indeed they voted to greatly increase those powers and to enshrine in law the Sewell Convention that enforces Holyrood’s primacy over Westminster with respect to its devolved powers.

      Since that date many new powers have come to Holyrood but the Tory government in Westminster, that has no Scottish mandate, has repeatedly chipped away at the powers of Holyrood and passed laws with devolved impacts over the express rejection of those laws by the Scottish People’s representatives both in Holyrood and Westminster. It has ignored the Scottish People’s elected representatives who voted against every single step of the EU Referendum process and has dragged Scotland out of the EU despite a clear instruction from the Scottish People not to do so.

      With this manifesto the Scottish National Party explicitly seeks the authority of the People of Scotland to enact laws that protect the powers of the Parliament at Holyrood from further erosion, that enshrine in law the principle that Westminster may not pass laws that alter devolved law in Scotland without the consent of the Parliament at Holyrood or the consent of the Scottish People expressed in a clear referendum on the matter, and may call referendums on expanding the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament at any time, referendums that will carry the full force of the Sovereignty of the Scottish People.

      Should the political parties that support this call represent a majority of Members of the Scottish Parliament after this election that will be interpreted as clear authority from the Sovereign Body in Scotland to enact said reforms protecting the Parliament at Holyrood and guaranteeing that the People of Scotland will always henceforth have the opportunity to express their wishes in a legally binding manner.

      Hold a referendum on Scotland’s Future.

      In 2016 the Scottish National Party sought election and formed a government in Scotland on the promise that should there be a sustained majority in favour of Independence or a material change in circumstances to those that prevailed in 2014, like being dragged out of the EU against the will of the Scottish People, we would seek to hold a further referendum on whether Scotland should become an Independent Nation again and chart its own course as part of the European family of Nations by the end of that parliament.

      As each of those conditions has been met repeated requests have been made to Westminster to enable that referendum by temporarily devolving the power to explicitly do so through a Section 30 order as defined in the Scotland Act.

      This manifesto represents our last and final request for those powers that the People of Scotland clearly voted for in 2016 to be granted to Holyrood by the mechanism of a Section 30 order.

      Should that request not be fulfilled by the date of the election in May and should a majority of MSP’s committed to holding such a referendum be elected to Holyrood in that election the Scottish National Party will immediately move to pass legislation in Holyrood to hold such a referendum as soon as it is safe to do so.

      The Scottish National Party will continue to press the UK government in Westminster to honour the will of the Scottish People to grant a Section 30 order and to participate in that referendum in good faith but we will not delay giving the People of Scotland the opportunity to express their will in this matter a moment longer than absolutely necessary.

      The UK government can choose to honour Scottish constitutional law or continue to operate in flagrant breach of it. Its choices in this matter will speak volumes in the international community.

      Regardless, the Scottish National Party will honour the wishes of the People of Scotland.”

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Thats a given Petra….x

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yes, designed to appeal to devolutionists worried about the power grab which is already happening – that’s most Labour and LibDems voters plussome SNP, and those wanting at least to see an Indy Ref – most SNP plus some Labour and LibDems.

        Interesting timing, after Sarwar got the leadership not Lennon, and of course Sturgeon upstanding in the Committee.

        Next step for the branches to approve that I guess with maybe some corrections or suggestions, and then the draft Indy Ref Bill.

        All the rest is a distraction.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Sad thing is Wos had a genuine scoop, perhaps the scoop of the decade so far, and didn’t want it as it didn’t suit his current requirements. And those 10-20 people saying no to S30 won’t like it either. It’s all sausage to me as the Germans would say.

  36. Mark Russell says:

    I’ve posted this elsewhere, but the same applies.

    The blame – if any – for this affair, lies with the civil service, who have an established record of incompetence, particularly when rushing legislation in response to a populist crisis.

    It was exactly the same with medical regulation following the Shipman and Alder Hey scandals. The Blair government were determined to ‘protect’ the public and introduced a new regulatory framework for the health professions and a more punitive Fitness to Practise regime. The new regulators advertised the complaints process widely – posters in hospitals, surgeries and the media – explaining how the public could make complaints if they were dissatisfied with their care or had concerns regarding their clinician.

    Within five years, FtP complaints increased by over 700% – and the government and regulators extolled the success of the scheme. It certainly rooted out some dangerous practice – but there were serious drawbacks too. When a complaint is received, an agent assesses it and if they consider there are grounds or evidence to support the complaint – it’s referred to a hearing.

    Only 46% of complaints reach a hearing – the rest are dismissed at the assessment stage as having insufficient grounds or evidence – or the complaint is regarded as malicious, vexatious and without foundation.

    Malicious complaints against health professionals are unfortunately too common – and some have tragic consequences. Yet, there is no action taken against a member of the public if they make a malicious complaint, their case is simply dismissed. Even when the motive is extortion, revenge or reputational damage – the complainants are not referred to the police or CPS – ergo: there is no consequence for their dishonesty.

    The same dangers for the civil service arise from the #MeToo movement. It is perfectly proper that we ensure all concerns are heard following sexual abuse and non consensual conduct – but there has to be checks and balances in the system too. We have to recognise that some women will make serious unfounded allegations against men – for many reasons – and have done so for just as long as men have abused women.

    Women must never be deterred from making complaints against any man, but should their claims be malicious, vexatious and wholly without foundation – then clearly, there must be repercussions too. But just like the regulatory legislation – rushed and ill-considered – the civil service in the Scottish government have created an unfair and unworkable policy – and then tried it our prematurely on the wrong man.

    I don’t doubt that AS regrets whatever he did that became the centre of this storm – inappropriate behaviour perhaps, but it certainly wasn’t criminal – and the jury properly decided at the trial. Perhaps some perspective is needed.

    I’ve known dozens of politicians and establishment figures over the last 40 years through my job. Alan Clarke, Nicky Fairbairn, John Smith, Donald Dewar and Ted Heath were all former patients from a very different generation. The first two would never get past a job interview today as they’d likely be on the SOR for multiple offences – but even the others could be in trouble, if the standards adopted by the Scottish government were in force.

    They were ‘tactile’ – hugs and kisses for sure – and they could flirt and tell raucous jokes but always keeping below the line of what was appropriate. But that line in itself is never a straight one – and that’s always the danger.

    I guess after the 1960s there was a sense of sexual liberation and freedom – that was all good – but we must recognise that we are all individuals with a different perspective on life, love and relationships – and respect that too. In many ways, that was a failing of the libertine and bohemian movement – tear down the barriers that bind, but remember we all have our own too. For good reason.

    Just as the sixties was a reaction against sexual repression, the #MeToo movement is exactly the same but in counterbalance – an understandable reaction against the like of Weinstein et al – monsters in every sense of the word. Then, of course, you go down another level and find Prince Andrew and Epstein – and that’s real revulsion.

    But just stop and think. We are just animals – and not very intelligent ones at that. We are driven mostly by our emotions, cravings and desires – and whilst a few can somehow exclude their sexual drive from that equation – the overwhelming majority cannot.

    If we knew every instance when a politician – or anyone for that matter – found themselves in a completely inappropriate, but consensual carnal encounter, it would keep us entertained for years. Some, hopefully, were delightfully memorable for both parties – but equally some were not – and with all the conflicting emotions and damage as a result.

    We used to say that men are from Mars and women from Venus – but the truth is that some are from completely different galaxies – and that whole relationship journey makes navigating a minefield like a walk in the park.

    All of us could do with stepping back from the trench warfare and just think about it all in these terms.

    All the principals are intelligent, driven public figures, subject to the greatest scrutiny. Like everyone else they are also driven by their emotions, cravings and desires – as much as their public duty.

    There are the civil servants who function under rigorous frameworks and conventions, now responding to populist events in the most ill-considered ways. That a policy covering historic abuse and harassment complaints was conceived and implemented in a few months is quite astonishing.

    If only they reacted in the same way against the virus.
    The First Minister stated her position and motivation clearly yesterday. She didn’t lie. Her primary motivation was heavily influenced by the #MeToo movement – and her sense that something untoward had happened in the past. But clearly, she had other considerations – and commitments too. Loyalty, friendship – and wider responsibilities.

    However you look at this – NS’s predicament when told of the allegations – was impossible to reconcile, given all the circumstances at the time. Obviously she would make mistakes, whatever course of action she took – but the suggestion she deliberately hatched a convenient plot to imprison her friend just in case he decided to re-launch his political career – or any other reason – is so far over the Cuckoo’s Nest it doesn’t bear any countenance.

    If it wasn’t obvious.

    She’s a woman. As are most other actors in the affair apart from AS.

    Why wouldn’t they be influenced by the #MeToo revelations? Sexual abuse ain’t a pleasant experience, but there is a reaction from Hollywood that extends far beyond Holyrood. And it’s unchecked and ill-considered – just like the sixties and the medical regulation response in 2003.

    NS was perfectly correct. Any man that abuses a woman – or anyone else – should answer for his crimes, irrespective of his position or power. The law should apply equally to everyone, whatever their status. But the ‘law’ should be well considered and equal too. In every respect.

    The mistake was giving the civil service the predominant role – and rushing the measure through.

    The former First Minister committed no crime and has been subjected to the usual establishment tour de force when incompetence has been exposed. I’ve never met him, but those I did know in politics always spoke warmly of Alex – away from the usual cut and thrust of party loyalty.

    So, we learn of some encounters when he held office. Disappointing perhaps, but so what? They were consensual and no criminality took place. Embarrassing no doubt for all concerned, but that is the nature of human behaviour and relationships. Doesn’t everyone have a story they’d rather not recount?

    When you are a public figure, it can be an awful experience. Of course there are dividends – but the corollary applies too. Who would want their life dissected to the extent these individuals – AS & NS – have been subjected to, particularly in the febrile atmosphere of the Internet and social media? We all have an opinion and sitting at a computer with principles is easy – especially when so many are being generated elsewhere that we can adopt for our own motives and desires.

    But remember that we are all just human. Away from the fancy places, courts, television studios and parliaments – we are just animals and governed by the same basic things. Our emotions, our cravings and desires.

    I watched the AS interview with Mr Campbell the other night. Stuart is a very passionate, talented individual, but one whose anger and rhetoric doesn’t have a red or reflective line. That’s ok – we are all different – and that’s perfectly understandable. But we can all deconstruct each other to the n-degree – but eventually we have to start the pendulum moving in the other direction – and that starts by acknowledging our own limitations and influences – and by perhaps employing a little understanding thereof.

    It would be preferable if we all set aside our differences for once. We populate a unique planet that sustains life. We are a complex species amidst other complex life-forms that inhabit this place. We still don’t truly understand ourselves, never mind anything beyond our ken – but we are in danger of losing everything, not least because we devote all our energies to things that are truly inconsequential.

    We are running out of time. This has been a hugely damaging and time consuming affair – for everyone – not jut the principals.

    The law doesn’t solve every problem – far from it. Our criminal justice system is archaic and grossly unfair, for so many reasons. Jut like science, it is extremely limited in its application – and just as damaging – when faced with the impossible.

    I’ve enjoyed reading this website over the past decade – just a shame the MSM journalists weren’t so incisive. But it’s stuck down a rabbit hole whilst the real action is taking place elsewhere and it needs to extricate itself to some higher ground ASAP.

    Otherwise, peccavi, peccabo – the only thing left to eat is your own shit.

    Good luck.

    • What a lot of words to say ‘boys will be boys’.
      From one of the rabbits stuck down the WGD rabbit hole.

    • Terence Callachan says:

      Its not only men that have inappropriate behaviour

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Guys… I told Grizebard…..sometimes I pick my nose..and enjoy it.
        Now…….can we PLEASE get onto the subject of winning this election and our INDEPENDECE……if its not too much trouble?

      • Mark Russell says:

        Indeed. There are some seriously scary women out there. I had an appeal at the Old Bailey in February 2014 and was briefly in the cells with a defendant in another case. She was being sentenced for multiple knife murders and stabbings – Joanna Dennehy – and even though she was handcuffed to two wardens, I didn’t fancy my chances.

        Then there are the mothers who use psychological abuse on they kids when the marriage breaks down so they end up hating their dads. Parental alienation. And damaged kids.

        Even worse, there are women who fart and snore in bed.

        The GRA does’t go far enough for me. I’m identifying as a dachshund from now on – dogs have it sussed.

    • jfngw says:

      Is this the new avenue of defence, there is no such thing as inappropriate behaviour, I’ve seen this line elsewhere now. We have all behaved inappropriately at some time so why should anybody need to answer for it. Great news then, as long as you keep it just on the side of not being criminal you can do what you want.

      • Mark Russell says:

        Never said that. But our behaviour is heavily influenced by a range of factors – including the social norms at the time. It wasn’t that long ago when two blokes kissing in public would have been arrested and prosecuted – and condemned by the public and media. Consider what is now being posted by people on discussion forums now – compared to a decade ago – the boundaries between inappropriate and criminal are constantly in flux. What was acceptable twenty years ago wouldn’t be tolerated now in many cases.

        But we all have a sense of what is right and wrong – yes? Just the basic stuff; treat others how you would like them to treat you. Do no harm…but realise that sometimes you will, even inadvertently.

        I went through primary school sitting next to a lad who didn’t have the most comfortable upbringing. We all had nicknames – his was Bugs. Children can be so cruel. Often the mot insulting nickname stuck. He was a lovely lad and a good friend. Thirty years later we met in a pub unexpectedly and I went to greet him. Before I could say anything he stopped me and said “My name is….xxxxx.”. That’s all he needed to say. I was mortified.

        I had no idea until then how much his nickname had hurt over the years – but that’s what kids do. We all had nicknames we didn’t like – but we were taught that sticks and stones break your bones, but names can never harm you. Clearly that’s nonsense and inappropriate now – but there’s still a corollary there too that we shouldn’t forget. We also have the ability to control the hurt and damage too.

        The message above was intended to remind everyone that we are all intrinsically different and with any behaviour, there are mitigating factors. Understanding, respect and tolerance all help, but remorse and forgiveness are also part of the package. But not if you’re Prince Andrew, Epstein or Savile.

  37. yesindyref2 says:

    From elsewhere by the way, a sensible question: “ I can’t help but wonder why, if there is a majority in Holyrood to push forward on the Indy ref front, there is any need at all for the whole first section.

    I think it’s needed because the manifesto itself would be front and centre for the SG/SP as defendants if there was any court challenge from the UK Gov to Indy Ref 2. And even if for some reason Indy Ref 2 failed, the Scottish Parliament could hold one forever more, without an S30, though Westminster agreement would help internationally.

    I suspect it’s had a lot of legal input to it, though some may have come from the paper “Scotland’s right to choose: putting Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands” in Dec 2019.

    If the SNP get an overall majority on May 6th, I think the Precious Union is gone.

    This relates to my posting up screen a little …

    • grizebard says:

      What makes it particularly interesting to me, as a precedent, it implicitly recognises that a “yes” majority creates immediate de facto independence, and all that’s left for WM to do is “dress it up” formally to cover their nakedness and “enable” negotiations to formally commence. Fine, but anyway, the noble lords clearly recognise that after a “yes” vote, however you slice it, there’s no going back. A genuine “we the people” moment.

      Lookin’ forward to it for real!

      • Golfnut says:

        ‘ it implicitly recognised that a ” Yes ” majority created immediate de facto independence.
        Agreed, I have skimmed this, so will read again later. 2 issues stand out for me.
        It doesn’t address the issue of where sovereignty lies, it assumes that the convention of absolute parliamentary sovereignty remains with westminster and therefore retains absolute control of the process.
        We know that isn’t true, Johnson let the cat out of the bag when he demanded what our plans were constitutionally after the vote, Scotland repealing the Act of Union makes nonsense of that document.
        The second is the use of ‘ UK Constitutional law ‘ as the bedrock for their first assumption, Parliamentary sovereignty. In law it doesn’t exist.
        Scottish Constitutional law takes precedenence, the Devolution Act are only relevant if they dont impinge or imprede Scots Constitutional law, which they would.

  38. Terence Callachan says:

    Supreme court ?
    Has 12 justices
    Nine are english
    One Northern Ireland
    Two Scottish

    So just as unfair as Westminster , England always wins , whats new

    They wont stop us
    Nothing can stop a majority for scottish independence , Nothing

  39. Dr Jim says:

    She controls the vertical she controls the horizontal, the police the civil service the judges the lawyers the bloody weather
    If you want Independence Nicola Sturgeon is the only one going to make sure we get it, when you have the former FM in his, (what’s laughing called evidence), introduce his *opinion* that Scotland can’t be Independent right now because all these institutions are now falling apart and Nicola Sturgeon’s not the one to lead the country, the bit being left out there is *until I’m back to fix it all* then we can be Independent, how on earth can anybody trust a person who comes out with that sort of nonsense as a piece of *evidence*, that was a blatant wind up to his supporters on the mad Jehadi blog to keep the misogyny going on his behalf

    The Julie Etchingham programme just showed a clip of the former FM making that statement and now that she’s shown it that’ll be the line the UK government will take funnily enough the same line the Jehadis are taking

    So who exactly wants Independence and who doesn’t? well it’s pretty obvious who doesn’t, because he said so, check the footage, he was quite clear and unambiguous in that statement

  40. Tam the Bam says:

    Dr Jim….with all due respect ..I’m encouraging supporters of Independence to concentrate on just that.

    The feud is over!

    • Dr Jim says:

      The feud is not and will not be over and anybody who thinks it is isn’t paying attention
      The French media have reported on this and they’re headline was *revenge* and they weren’t talking about Nicola Sturgeon
      The German media and the Irish media are of the same opinion, but one thing most of them are sure of is that until it’s resolved they believe Independence for Scotland just landed on the back burner

      That’s what the former FM just did to all of us to satisfy ego, so what makes anybody think he’s about to stop

      • Tam the Bam says:

        ….and you seemingly are not in favour of what Paul (and i ) are in favour of……TELL PEOPLE ABOUT SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE….dont scare them ffs!

        • Tam the Bam says:

          ….and as regards EU nations taking a ‘dim view’ of whats happening in Scotland…..I’m pretty sure Nicola is in posession of a mobile phone.Sleep easy.

          • Tam the Bam says:

            For goodness sake….do you wish to perpetuate this ‘feud’ ?………You’re better than that Dr Jim.

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Calm down Tam, I read the same article as Dr Jim probably, one by Kirsty Hughes. My take on it is a bit *shrug* in a way, it’s a natural reaction from them but can change back just as quick as it changed with the “feud”. As for the feud, well, it’s not over but I can’t help thinking it’ll be one-sided now, as Sturgeon will have better things to do. Maybe even picking up her mobile phone and dialling some EU numbers:

              “Allo Allo, ici Nicky, ca va?” as they say in Germany.

              • Tam the Bam says:


                • yesindyref2 says:

                  No, I’m quite mellow 🙂

                • Tam the Bam says:

                  Look Indyref2….I’m not so naive as to believe there are ‘feuds’.

                  I want them over.Now.

                  I am prepared to apologise for ..perhaps intemperate posting on ‘another place’ when I truly believed he was chasing Indy for Scotland……..I deliberately dont post on that site (I’m probably blocked/banned) ….because I no longer believe his ultimate chase is Independence for Scotland…….but redemption for Stuart Campbell.
                  Can you imagine?
                  The amount of egg all over his face?
                  Even when the SNP win a stonking majority in May…the Mayor of ……..oh eff off..i dont care…..will still say Scotland sold down the river……by a guy living in Bath….sheeeesht!
                  Morton for the Cup.

              • grizebard says:

                Haven’t seen that article myself, but has Kirsty finally come off the indy fence yet? (Since the only way we’ll get back into the EU is via indy.)

                Or does her institutional position preclude any pronouncement as definitive as that?

                • Tam the Bam says:

                  Academics are historically ‘shy’ of declaring anyting political Grize…you should know that.

        • grizebard says:

          Well, what happens now somewhat depends on the former FM, so we do have to face the possibility that he will continue his current dog-in-manger tactics, in which case it will effectively be a form of anti-indy intimidation in cahoots with a failing BritNat opposition. We’ll have to see, but if he is intent in continuing his attempt to destroy the imminent prospect of an indyref, one thing is sure: he will finish off the job he already started of trashing his own reputation and will earn a personal entry in the annals of infamy.

          It’s not fantasy, this. He seems to have been orchestrating this divisive troublemaking behind the scenes for months and months, and it’s currently unclear whether the resounding knockback he’s just received will cause him to wisely take pause and reconsider or simply spur him on to further destructive foolishness.

          In that regard the ball is in his court, but the rest of us must indeed press on regardless. A resounding win next May should settle that issue at least.

          • Ken says:


            When something is wrong it needs to be put right. Do not dishonour people. Or rewrite history.

            • grizebard says:

              Alex Salmond has pursued a Trump-style conspiracy theory far beyond the well-recognised mishandling of complaints against him, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with “righting wrongs”. He has dishonoured his own reputation, not me. If anyone is trying to “rewrite history” it is him, and it is has become toxic to independence. If you still doubt that, go pay a revisit to the Wingnuts.

  41. Tam the Bam says:

    Is it possible to upload a vid ….probably from U-tube…its a band….def not political.

  42. Hamish100 says:

    If you find an obstruction and it’s too big to move you go around it leaving it to stew in its own juices.

    Interesting Cherry has an article in the National. Not by chance I think but maybe encouraging that she is moving on or biding her time.
    For Salmond MacCaskill they failed to realise that reflective glory is not enough.

    Time marches on whether they like it or not.
    16 year olds who can now vote were 9 in 2014. We are ancient history to them. Let’s get independence for them, the new generation and us.

  43. Arthur Thomson says:

    I have had more than enough of the negativity towards Nicola Sturgeon and her team. She has my confidence.

    I am really disinterested in the opinions of her detractors and equally disinterested in the innumerable attempts of the Brits to diminish her.

  44. keaton says:

    Probably worth noting that the “new” 53/47 Savanta-ComRes poll actually predates the 50/50 Survation one, so we can’t say things are moving in the right direction just yet, polling-wise.

  45. jfngw says:

    To my mind there is a conspiracy, but it’s not a ‘Get Salmond’ one, it’s a ‘Get Sturgeon’ one. Led by a variety of bloggers, the MSM (or the majority of it), the right wing periodicals and the BritNat parties, a sort of new unholy United Together alliance.

    As the see their conspiracy theory disintegrate before their eyes they are now scrambling around for anything to hang their hat on, it’s now how quickly the review should have been dropped, it’s truly pathetic to watch.

  46. James Mills says:

    Alex Salmond has it in his own hands to stop this alleged ”feud ” with the FM and the SNP . But , sadly , his actions demonstrate that he is blinkered as to the consequences of his words and actions .
    He has clearly convinced himself that he was a ‘wronged man ‘ and that some people were ‘out to get him ‘. He totally ignores the overwhelming evidence that HE provided the ammunition for these accusations of sexual misconduct – even if not criminal . Would he have been happy to have had a daughter of his subjected to the types of advances that he admitted to ?

    I have no doubt that he is being driven partly by shame for his actions and trying to redeem his reputation but this has morphed in his mind into a conspiracy against him .

    The most telling fact from his testimony was , as Nicola Sturgeon pointed out , his complete lack of empathy for OTHERS who have been damaged by this case . This is a damning indictment of the man .

    Another self-inflicted moment in his evidence was to suggest that Scotland is not ready for Independence .
    This was breathtakingly injurious to his reputation . That the man who , by common consent , did more to get us to the brink of independence in 2014 would ‘put the boot in ‘ to the Independence movement is deeply hurtful to many Scots .

    If he claims that his intention was only to target the Scottish Government/ Nicola Sturgeon then he is kidding himself ! The Alex Salmond of 2014 would have walked on fiery coals before he would do anything so blatantly harmful to the cause of Independence .

    This statement was the natural result of a man out for revenge , whose feelings are so hurt that he will adopt a scorched Earth policy and hurt anyone and anything to redeem himself -even the cause the loved !

    He has become so inured to the consequences of his actions that he has become blind to the damage he could potentially do to Independence , and worse , has become blind to the company he has joined . People and organisations that only recently demonised him and Independence are now standing four-square with Alex Salmond in his attempt to undermine Scotland .

    Has he become so bitter that he will cheerfully stand with the English press who have unscrupulously attempted to undermine everything that he and the SNP have achieved ?
    Will he happily link arms with Kirsty Wark and Sarah Smith who openly drooled over the possibility of his being found guilty of sex crimes ?
    Has he reached the depths of enjoying the company of Andrew Neil ?
    Will Nick Robinson be on his Christmas list now ?

    When you are in a hole . Alex , stop digging . No good can come of your continued fight to ‘clear ‘ yourself . The damage has been done – but you can only make it worse .

  47. Petra says:

    ‘UK is over’: SNP welcome blistering Welsh attack on Tories.’


    ”In a Scottish Affairs Committee meeting to discuss the UK’s replacement for EU structural funds this is what Tory MP John Lamont wanted to speak about -”

  48. Petra says:

    ‘Scottish independence: Ian Blackford says vote could be held this year.’


    ‘Proud to share that we’ve been named a world top 3 destination to study the performing arts.’

  49. Ken says:

    He is a wronged man. He is innocent, He was found innocent. He was defended by SNP women. That has to be put right.
    He did not want any of this descended upon him. It should not have been. It was totally wrong.

    Put it right. People he had promoted known for years throw him under a bus. Illegally. He doesn’t have to clear himself. He was cleared in Court. He did not do it.

    He has every right to defend himself from false accusation. Just like anyone else.

    There is a problem with the criminal justice system that had to be put right, The Lord Advocate has to stand down he is acting illegally. Wasting £Millions of public monies with unlawful prosecutions.

    The women did not want to go to Court. No wonder. The Police did not want it to go to Court because it would not stand up in Court. An unelected civil servant wanted it to go to Court. A total abuse of power. Without any authority.

    Alex Salmond promoted these women. He has always supported women. Supported gender lists. Supported their candidature. Women representatives who Alex Salmond had supported (as friends) went to Court and lied. They had some of the best jobs and privileges in Scotland. They are not fit to be representatives. A bunch of vipers.

    It needs sorted out. Two wrongs do not make it right. Continual wrongs do not make it right, Alex Salmond did more for Scotland and the Independence cause than anyone. He deserves better. It needs to be put right. It has been admitted changes and procedures need to happen and be followed. So it does not happen again.

    • jfngw says:

      Are you suggesting some of these women should apologise to him, did one of them not make enough cooing noises as she had their hair twiddled by Mr Teazie Weazie. Things happened that should not in a workplace, not criminal things but unacceptable things.

      • Ken says:

        The women can do what they want. They already have under anonymity,

        The authorities should apologise. The Scottish Gov if need be. It was done under their watch. Compensation and an admission of mistakes being made has happened. Give it a rest. The continual false accusations should desist. Stop the false accusation of an innocent person. Might help the Independence cause.

        Get on with supporting the Independence cause and holding the opposition to account and supporting the SNP. To do the right thing. Blaming the victim does not help.

        • P Harvey says:

          Who is the ‘victim’ you refer too?

        • Eilidh says:

          Speaking as a woman who suffered sexual harrassment by 2 colleagues in the 1980s I find some of your post offensive. The police and the Crown Office felt the allegations met the threshold for prosecution. If you think they were not acting independently then you clearly did not understand the evidence given by Lord Advocate and Crown Agent the other day if you watched it Thankfully AS was found not guilty of criminality but that does not mean he is innocent of inappropriate behaviour. Time to move on Ken and please stop rerunning this because you are not helping Indy either

        • Hamish100 says:

          Ken this is 2021 not 19 hundred and 21. You are so wrong on so many counts it is hard to fathom.

          Alex Salmond should if not consider himself the his wife and wider family.

          However he was wronged in that the investigation process was inappropriately run by the Civil Service. They should be removed from their positions.

    • grizebard says:

      Do get real, please. In the light of events, this kind of immature hero worship of someone who felt able to behave badly, if not criminally, in the workplace due to his public stature, and who appears entirely lacking in contrition for the manifest harm he wrought back then and ever since, is entirely misplaced. He put the current FM in a very difficult position both professionally and personally which, had she not handled it with great aplomb, could very easily have ended the career of someone who has moved the case for independence significantly on among the very people who now need to be persuaded. In his vindictiveness, by spreading unsubstantiated innuendo, he freely presented Unionists with a big stick with which to beat the SNP and sent their media lackeys into an extended feeding frenzy from which only now are they relenting, frustrated. Not due to him, who now seems determined even to stymie the cause of independence and delay it for years. That is not the behaviour of a person to be admired, whether you believe in independence or not.

    • Glasgow Gowan says:

      Ken, you are right that AS was found not guilty (not proven on one charge).

      Under the law of Scotland he is an innocent man.

      But Nicola knows more than we do. She supports the women.

      I am at a loss but maybe one day we will know the truth.

      But like you, for me AS is a hero of the independence movement who gave us an independence referendum.

      Nicola will finish the journey he started and bring us independence.

  50. Petra says:

    Video:- ‘Tory minister ‘pleasantly surprised’ by 1% pay rise for NHS staff.’


    ‘NHS pay rise: Nursing union sets up £35 million industrial action fund amid mounting anger.’

  51. Petra says:

    Time for Johnson and Hancock to be interrogated for 8 hours?

    ‘Dozens of Covid contracts remain unpublished despite PM saying details ‘are there for everybody to see.’


    Prof. Devi Sridhar:- ”Just to clarify- false headline. This isn’t what I said & would be self-sabotage. I was asked about international experience of vaccination cards & talked about Israel’s system & explained their rationale. Not saying what we should or shouldn’t do here.”

  52. Ken says:

    If the Gov wants help abused women they should be given equal rights. Women who co habit (the majority) do not have equal rights. The have to put in a claim within a year (1/3) and fight through Courts. It costs £thousands.

    They do not have equal rights. Married women have equal rights to a half. Co habiting women do not. There has been consultations going on for years. It is 2021 not the 1950’s. Put it right.

    Women are abused and have to stay in abusive situations because they have no where to go because they do not have equal rights, Rental agencies (solicitors) illegally demand 6 month + deposit up front rent. Even from women who have good credit and funds.

    There is little legal aid. It has to be paid back in any case. It has been changed in England so they do not lose their house/home. Legal fees are extortionate. They can deny people justice.

    It needs to be put right, instead of all the hand wringing, Gov should do something about it. If they want to help abused women.

  53. Petra says:

    Tories preempting the outcome of enquiries once again.

    Haggis_UK:- ”Niall Paterson – Why does Nicola Sturgeon need to apologise for a Alex Salmond’s actions, but Matt Hancock is not held to the same level of accountability? Douglas Ross – We got no closer to the truth with Sturgeon’s evidence… she’s misled parliament & has to resign.”


    ‘Tricia Marwick. As we come to the end of The FM, Nicola Sturgeon’s, evidence to the Scottish Parliament Committee one thing is absolutely clear. Regardless of the conclusion of final report it is a fact that it will be tainted by bias 1/3 thread.’

  54. Petra says:

    Check out Professor John Robertson’s site ‘Talking up Scotland.’

    And Ann on the Indyref2 site.

  55. Petra says:

    Haha. Brilliant.

    Janey Godley:- “I don’t even know what the question is now l, my heads puggled With the lot of it.”


    ‘It is you, Margaret Mitchell, who is exposing Scotland to ridicule.’

  56. Alex Clark says:

    Johnson must resign for lying to parliament!

    Boris Johnson ‘misled parliament’ over Covid contracts, court order shows

    • Petra says:

      And you can bet your bottom dollar that the SEVEN HUNDRED AND EIGHT contracts amounted to more than £500,000.

  57. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    This comment below is from Clapper57

    So this week in the Land of Tory W/E 5/3/2021

    The BBC decide the Royal family are THE go to (trivial) story ……meanwhile elsewhere in real life people see everything is going tits up courtesy of UK Govt……but the BBC need us all to get with THEIR program…….save the Queen and destroy the one who stole Harry away from the “Firm”.

    However also this week on planet ToryUK-Earth :

    COVID death toll up to 124,025
    9.9% drop in GDP
    £37bn bill for Test & Trace
    £100k+ spent decorating a flat a la Boris and Carrie
    £3.50 a week pay rise for nurses
    £370k of public money for alleged bullying by Patel
    1 breach of international law (not only one BTW as done before I believe by UK )
    Budget – majority of Tory and marginal seats benefit from levelling up fund ( One being Rishi Sunak’s constituency which is not a deprived area so not sure what is being levelled up here…more Tory votes for Rishi maybe)
    13% poll lead for the Tories …….have the English not heard about federalism…..seems not…just for viewers in Scotland……for ….reasons.

    Plus BEFORE this week these things happened :

    “The Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Transparency Policy” [Justice Chamberlain]. …… Douglas and Ruth think that’s a resigning matter…after all do they both not stand on a high moral platform that threatens to teeter a wee bit ……while in their glass house with bricks in their hands…rubber bricks BTW as seems to be bouncing off their chosen target ..but you know Matt Hancock is in THEIR club so an exception must be applied and rules ignored don’t you know … bricks will ever be thrown in his direction with Ruth and Douglas shoring up the rear…..ooh missus……mind you acting unlawfully over dubious Covid contracts in the middle of a a pandemic is okay with Douglas and Ruth….but talking about independence in the middle of a pandemic deserves for you to be thrown out of a parliament, out of the UK, fired into space on a one way ticket to oblivion ……seemingly……. a La Tory playbook of (skewed) Ethics….to be adopted only by non Tory people obvs.

    PLUS…. Shellfish fiasco and George Eustice’s selective memory syndrome……

    Yon Tory minister (ex UKIP) George Eustice well remember when he tried to rewrite history with Shellfish exports……did he do this while helping organise a nativity trail with yon Tory Fisheries minister (female) who prioritised her private life over government business…..TBF was only actually business dealing with fishermen plebs so not a priority…..mind you heard the nativity trail went down a storm and so a win win as she kept her Govt. job AND made a success of the Nativity trail ….so all is very right with HER world ….while ours and the fishermen’s world is going tits up.

    Apparently George’s version of reality (fantasy) is different from our version of reality (Truth).

    See the UK knew perfectly well what the rules for third countries were.

    DEFRA was well aware of the rules. They helped write them to protect EU fishing industry from outside (3rd country) dumping. There was no rule change. Ministers chose to ignore the warning from civil service about this and NI. Did UK expect EU to highlight all the rules

    Eustice wrote to the EU about ‘surprise’ over shellfish. EU wrote back showing him his own letter to stakeholders on Dec 10 detailing the position – the one he was claiming surprised him

    Eustice says the UK’s live shellfish exports to the EU have “been in place for many years” and the new rules – live shellfish caught in most waters barred EU entry – are of “grave concern” to businesses The UK has high standards and EU customers trust its business, he argues

    Eustice accuses the EU of changing its position on shellfish, citing advice the UK received in September That’s it’s “unexpected and difficult news for an industry that relies on trade between the UK & EU” Reminder: EU says rules apply to all 3rd countries, have done for years .

    See the above a lot of it is OLD news and NOT BTW an exhaustive list of the catastrophic mess and mistakes the Tories have made in WM Government but seems a good time to revisit …….mind you did you know that ‘Whataboutery’ is the new go to (hijacked) word used by Unionists and Tories when their double standards are exposed as hypocritical when they try to demonise the SNP as the most corrupt party in UK ……mind you that’s just like the time that the word ‘democracy’ was hijacked to excuse Brexit and was the go to word for many a Remainer Labour MP as well as Tory Brexit MP’s and other dubious faux politicians a La Farage……cheeks…same…a*se.

    Poor Douglas Ross he thinks he is being so politically savvy and once again HQ drag him by the lugs back to yon place where the truth goes to die…….and where lies live ( like Bwitish fish) happily ever after…or so they think…….with some credit to also to be given to the so called official opposition (LOL) who are currently incognito ………

    One step forward (Douglas thinks) and three steps backward ( we all know)……..Douglas is a Stepford politician like his other Scottish Tory MP colleagues….. they do not make the rules but simply obey them……….HQ says jump and they say say how high ?……innit.

    My work here is done……….Lol

  58. Petra says:

    Good one Not-My-Real-Name / Clapper57. There’s so much going on with these charlatans that it’s hard to keep up with the scope of their underhand activities (the ones we know about), but one thing for sure is that we are all conversant now with what exactly constitutes the breaching of the ministerial code and when THEY do it we should ALL be screeching for THEIR resignations.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Hi Petra……hope you are well.

      “Oh what a tangled web we weave …..When first we practice to deceive”…..that’s in the Tory handbook….allegedly……however in this instance it’s……#BurnForRuthAndDouglas

    • Dr Jim says:

      Petra, see the National for the story of the fake rev and the fake documents

  59. Petra says:

    Thanks for the heads-up Dr Jim. Another case of a ‘source’ told me (a load of old cr*p). Not unlike the ‘source’ that told Craig Murray that Nicola Sturgeon was part of a conspiracy cabal and he went on to tell Crazy Campbell who then went on to inform his cult members. Then along comes Alex and highlights that they are a couple of toxic, lying charlatans.

    The rude and sweary beasty doesn’t seem to be too forthcoming about his use of the title ‘Rev’ either, normally considered to be a title of respect 😀. In his case it registers more as REVolting Campbell and / or REVengeful Campbell. I see that he’s also posting on the National, as he bans people from his site when they don’t agree with the garbage that he spouts. He’s nothing more than a nasty, wee conman whom I’m sure is absolutely detested by at least thousands of people now. What a way to make a living.

    ‘Michael Russell says ‘leaked’ SNP manifesto is ‘nonsense.’

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