The restless elephant

Some parts of the British establishment seem to be waking up to the fact that the UK as it is presently constituted is heading for a crisis which it may not be able to survive. The culprit is not Scottish nationalism, it is the wakening beast that is English nationalism. The nationalisms of Scotland, Wales and Ireland could always be contained or marginalised by the British state, a marginalisation handily summed up in the dismissive phrase “the Celtic fringe”. But what can’t be ignored is the nationalism of the largest constituent nation of the four nations of the UK. English nationalism has the potential to consume and overwhelm the British state. The writer Neal Ascherson once described Scotland’s place in the UK as like being in bed with an elephant. The elephant is getting restless. It has not just taken all the duvet, but it threatens to break the bedframe too.

The point about the rise of English nationalism is well made in a recent book by the BBC journalist Gavin Esler. Esler is a self-avowed Unionist and no supporter of Scottish independence. The thrust of his book is to act as a warning that unless the UK undergoes significant and substantial constitutional reform, transforming itself into a federal structure, it will be unable to survive the rise of the nostalgic and backwards looking English nationalism which drove the Brexit campaign.

Gavin Esler makes the interesting observation that British politicians and commentators once spoke about England when they meant Britain – much to the irritation of people in the other nations of the UK. In more recent years however, this formulation has been reversed, now politicians, especially pro-Brexit Conservative politicians, speak about Britain when they mean England. This is clearest in the pronouncements of such avowedly English nationalist politicians as Jacob Rees Mogg and other patrician members of the current Conservative government in Westminster. Brexit is frequently described as the will of the British people when it is obviously no such thing. Brexit may have gained a – narrow – majority of support from voters in England and Wales, but it patently failed to come anywhere close to gaining majority support in Scotland. He again conflated Britain and England when he likened winning the Brexit referendum to ancient battles in England’s long mediaeval wars with France, saying,”this is so important in the history of our country… It’s Waterloo! It’s Crécy! It’s Agincourt! We win all these things!”

Any Scot can tell you that Scotland was not on England’s side in its wars with the French monarchy. Scotland was once such a close ally of France that the core of the French royal bodyguard was formed by the Garde Écossaise (Scottish Guard). However like the rest of the modern Conservatives,for Rees Mogg the fate of the entire UK is to be determined by the decidedly English nationalist project of Brexit, lost as it is in its fantasies and reveries of a mythical England standing alone against the world.

Esler’s fear is that when English nationalism comes to define the British state and determine its actions, there is no space left within the existing structures of British government for a distinctively Scottish political sensibility. As the joke has it – an Englishman, a Northern Irishman and a Scotsman go into a pub, but the Englishman wanted to leave so they all had to go.

What is even worse from a Scottish perspective is that the Conservatives are using the Brexit which Scotland didn’t vote for as an excuse to weaken and undermine the devolution settlement without the consent of the people of Scotland. The infamous vow which was made to Scotland in the final days of the 2014 has now been well and truly traduced. Not only did the No vote not secure Scotland’s place within the EU, the stronger powers that the Scottish Parliament was promised, and the closest thing possible to federalism are disappearing faster than a Gordie Broon escaping responsibility for his role in this debacle. It’s not just that Scotland is being forced to leave the pub against its will.  It’s also being robbed of the bus fare back to where it set out from and kicked in the shins for good measure.

Meanwhile the Conservatives seem hell bent on repeating the same mistakes that Westminster made with Ireland in the late 19th century when most Irish people would have been content with some form of meaningful home rule which retained constitutional links to the UK. SNP politicians are routinely treated with derision and contempt by MPs on the Conservative benches, who either ostentatiously walk out or boo and jeer whenever an SNP representative takes to their feet to speak. The message is clear – Scotland, you won’t get a hearing in the Westminster Parliament.

Last week similar observations were made by the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford who said that the centralising approach of the UK Government and Johnson’s refusal to engage meaningfully with the devolved governments was “putting the union in peril”. Speaking to the UK Parliament’s Welsh affairs committee he noted that he had had only one proper meeting with the Prime Minister and described the British government’s dealings with the devolved nations as “All ad hoc, random, and made up as we go along. And I’m afraid that really is not a satisfactory basis to sustain the future of the UK” He added ,”There is no institutional architecture to make the United Kingdom work.”

Echoing the thrust of Gavin Esler’s arguments the Labour First Minister said that he felt the United Kingdom “as it is, is over ” and added that a new union should be created to reflect a “voluntary association of four nations”.

Even the Guardian’s arch-unionist commentator Martin Kettle warns that something has to give. In a recent article for the Guardian he argues that Johnson’s centralising instincts and contempt for devolution are” threatening to aid the breakup of the UK not to prevent it”. Laughably, Kettle contrasts the hard-line English nationalist approach of Johnson with what he describes as the “more conciliatory” Michael Gove, which is a bit like describing Freddy Krueger as more conciliatory than Jason Voorhees.

Unfortunately for all these apologists for the British state the force which they identify as the biggest threat to the continuation of the UK in its current form, the rise of English nationalism and the capture of the Conservative party by a nakedly reactionary form of that English nationalism is also the force which is most likely to mount a successful resistance to the thorough-going constitutional changes which they see as being required to ensure the continuation of the unions that form the UK. Militant English nationalists in the Conservative party will fiercely resist any restrictions being placed on the absolute power of a Prime Minister with a majority in the Commons merely in order to placate an unhappy Scotland which they have long othered as an ungrateful grievance-monger.

Despite the focus on English nationalism it is of course the increasing possibility of another Scottish independence referendum which is driving the recent attempts to revive the corpse of the federalism fairy. It is becoming increasingly clear that there is no credible pathway to the kinds of reforms that are required in order to restore Scottish confidence in the UK. None of the proposals aired so far solve the problem of an unwanted Brexit being foisted on Scotland. However we cannot simply rely on the strains and contradictions within the UK leading to the eventual demise of a UK union that is no longer fit for purpose. The cracks in the creaking edifice of the British state are widening and growing more evident with every passing day, but we must continue to make the case for independence as the only plausible route to a form of government in Scotland which is truly reflective of the needs and wants of Scotland and its people. Even so, it’s becoming ever more obvious that we are pushing at a Westminster door that has lost its hinges and bolts and is approaching collapse.

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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198 comments on “The restless elephant

  1. Old Pete says:

    English Nationalism has always been the problem, well written again Paul.

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug The restless elephant Some parts of the British establishment seem to be waking up to the fact that the UK […]

  3. John Muir says:

    And spot on identifying English Nationalism as the obstacle in the way of any effective reform of the UK towards federalism. The current setup is just too good for the permanent majority to choose to lose.

    Sleeping with an elephant? Time to get out of bed!

  4. Interpolar says:

    Get out of bed? Wake up first!

    The elephant analogy is so appropriate. So much of Scotland still hasn’t yet understood what’s at stake, let alone shown willingness to do anything about it.

  5. Isobel Macrae-Wilson says:

    not so much the elephant in the room, as the Elephant of Doom. Stifling any murmurs of discontent with the duvet of blitz spirit, poor wee Meghan, re-written history. Boris with his flameproof undercrackers, aided and abetted by the wannabe britzs of BBC Scotland. It’s going to get worse, so we can only strap ourselves in, calm reasoned argument in one hand and a sense of humour, in the other, they really are pathetic, and they are surely just crossing their fingers and hoping we just all get back in the shortbread tin. But we will not.

  6. Robin McHugh says:

    Sometime around 1916-1922, Winston Churchill said that if the Conservative party became the’English National Party’ that would bring about the end of the UK union. This was during the time that Ireland was being made to consider’Home Rule’.
    On the morning after indyref1 David Cameron caused that journey towards English Nationalism to accelerate, but I don’t think he realised that’s what he’d done when he talked about English votes for English laws. However, others did, and the juggernaut gathers pace to this day.
    We really need to get off that truck.

  7. Charlie Gillies says:

    Elitist England no longer uses the ” British title rather they and their propagandist media now prefer to use UK as their title when describing their Home Counties England believing this gives then power over the other 3 devolved Nations and a mandatory right to rule due to their over population numbers, not by election consent or agreement but by class and their presumed superiority over the other so named inferior Nations of the British Isles ….. democratic life is changing in this 21 century and if England does not wish to be left behind stuck in a ” Tommy no pals” isolationism of English Westminsters own making …. then negotiation is the democratic path the will be forced to walk ……

  8. DUGGIE says:

    In two minds on the best way to call their bluff on Federalism. On one shoulder the calm friendly wee voice is whispering “Let them pass a proper federal constitution then stick it in the referendum as a third choice” whereas the sensible voice is shouting in my other lug “It will still be a con, just go for Indy all the way”

  9. JaniceGale says:

    Brilliant! That’s it 😊

  10. andyfromdunning says:

    Well said Paul. I have also read Eslers book. It is good and I felt balanced. More than once he stated that “no matter what may be done to save the Union it is probably to late for Scotland”. He also commented that “there is no desire within the English elite to change the current system”. QED

  11. Gregory R Nunn says:

    England a Republic?
    A written constitution?
    Royalty moved away to tax havens, everything sold off or turned into museums?
    Those will have to happen first in England to even begin a path to a partnership of equals as things stand now.
    The best thing for England is to let the fringe go.
    Happily, willingly, and with great expectations, not sadness.
    These islands are a wonderful location for a group of friendly, open border countries to coexist.
    That is the future.
    When is the only question, really.
    Independence really is the pursuit of happiness.

  12. Dr Jim says:

    Nicola Sturgeon is going for Independence with no sidetracking of *devious maximus* and that’s what has them panicked, she won’t deal and she won’t propose a deal and neither will she accept a deal

    *I don’t want to *just* hold a referendum I want to *win* one* the FMs phrase that started all the trouble and why we are where we are today with attacks on her from all sides trying to stop her

  13. gavinochiltree says:

    The going is getting tougher. Brit Nats now totally control the print media, and the BBC is now an out and out State broadcaster. Wings has gone MI5ish and the SNP need a thorough clear-out. Nor can we rely on Labour or the Dumbs—their real attitude to Scotland is revealed in speeches to These Islands. They would dump devolution in a heartbeat, if they could get away with it.
    The YES movement need to get back to basics and forget all the extraneous stuff–splits only help our enemies.

  14. Arthur Thomson says:

    I am always at pains not to conflate English and British, as being one and the same. My experience of ordinary, decent English people is that they have no desire for Scottish people to be involuntarily accepting of being subordinate to English people. My English counterpart just wants to get on with living a decent life that doesn’t include the exploitation of their neighbours. I maintain that the fundamental problem lies with those who identify as British.

    The British are those who inhabit these islands who take the view that might is right. They are led by people who self identify as being part of an elite, “exceptional people” who collectively have the right to control all of these islands. Inevitably the majority of the British are rooted in the most populace part of these islands – England.

    In my view, the problem that I and my English peers have is British Nationalism, not English or Scottish Nationalism. Unsurprisingly, those who promote the “union” are not going to acknowledge that. Instead they look for an explanation that neatly lays the blame at the feet of the people who don’t want their imposed ” togetherness” – which is actually shared shackles that ensure we all feather their nest. How English people deal with this is up to them.

    For now, i take the view that we clearly identify Britishness as the problem and promote the advantages of an independent Scotland for everyone – except the Brits who have an aversion to the concept of sharing anything that they can misappropriate.

    • John Muir says:

      My heart agrees with you. My Mum was English and a Scottish Nationalist who voted Yes in 2014! I know plenty of good people in England who are fine neighbours.

      But “Britishness” is a paradox. Apparently it means different things to those who identify with it in Scotland and in England. In England, “British” identity correlated with voting Remain. In Scotland, “British” was strongly Leave. The Brits in Scotland are a different group than those you’ll find in England, and especially in London. London was a Remain city, with high British identity.

      Actually, here’s Prof. John Curtice’s latest pod: an interview with 2 fellow academics who have been polling for years on this very subject. Worth a listen, as neither of them is English either, yet argue this question of identity is key to Wales and Scotland’s futures alike.

      https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/what-scotland-thinks/id1500003987#episodeGuid=b324cc18-67eb-49e4-a5ab-407d107738ce

      • Arthur Thomson says:

        I don’t see it as a a paradox in the way you say John. I think the apparent conflicts can be explained but I couldn’t begin to explain my perspective without writing reams and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to do that here.

        I associate irregularly with a small group of men, for whom i have nothing but respect, who are all English to the best of my knowledge. I have no doubt that they would happily identify as British in order to include me – someone who misses no opportunity to clearly identify as an SNP supporting Scot. That is a benign use of Britishness that I understand. They don’t want to own me and I am not available to be owned, it is just a case of genuine mutual acceptance. In time they may understand that we can be ourselves and don’t need a collective identity. They have shown no animosity towards me despite knowing who i am and i feel none towards them. It is important to me not to bad mouth English people like these men because that would be wrong of me.

        The Brits I refer to in my previous comments are very specifically those who collectively want to rule over me and mine and to diminish my culture in order to own me – and that includes those on the left as well as the right of politics. They may identify as English or Scottish as a secondary characteristic but Britishness is their cover for their predatory nature. They must have it all. It is time they were put out of power for the benefit of all the inhabitants of these islands. Scotland can and I hope will bring it about.

        Let’s make Scotland independent and put British imperialism to bed.

        • grizebard says:

          A lot to comment on about that interesting exchange here, but the only thing I’ll add is that Scottish independence, and the consequent major adjustment that the English will have too make about themselves, should hopefully bring about a new form of Britishness, one that has nothing to do with pathetic reminiscences of past power and great pinky-red swathes on a world map, but rather is a natural consequence of sharing our proximity on these here islands as friends and equals.

          Back in ’14, Bitter Together (esp. the Labour component) made much of how independence was supposed to “cut us off from our family” elsewhere in the UK (blithely ignoring, as they did, the reality that many of us have family in the greater Scottish diaspora with whom we have never had any difficulty in remaining close), whereas in actuality independence need add no hindrances whatever to our mutual relationships both personal and general, and in fact put them all on a far healthier footing.

      • Gruff Williams says:

        Interesting. In Wales, of those who identified as Welsh only, 71% voted Remain; those identifying as British, 58% Leave; those identifying as English, 71% Leave.

  15. bringiton says:

    Any federalism cooked up by Westminster will look pretty similar to the present setup whereby Southern England benefits at the expense of everyone else (that is called grievance mongering).
    After independence,we will continue to have strong links with the other governing bodies in these islands but it will be on a much fairer basis than present.
    All that Olde England has left is it’s sense of self importance which is vital to the Brexiteers in their quest for global dominance 2.0
    Those of us who are of a more stable mentality can see where they are going and realise that their future holds nothing for our country and even England for that matter.

  16. Arthur Thomson says:

    With regard to federalism, my response begins and ends with an F.

    I want an independent Scotland, not a rearrangement of the bloody deckchairs on the rapidly sinking SS Union.

  17. jfngw says:

    The problem English Nationalist have is they don’t acknowledge it as nationalism but as the ‘natural order’ as if it is ordained by god. Possibly that’s why they use phrases like ‘god’s own country’ and revel in ‘Jerusalem’. There is a massive arrogance within the country, Boris Johnson and Rees-Mogg are the perfect epitome of these characteristics.

  18. Malcolm Pate says:

    After having read lots of comments on the WGD about the voting of Constituency and List seats on the Holyrood election. I would like to put forward an idea I have to try an bring together the Independence party’s.
    Nominate a Responsible person from each of the Independence parties. They form a small committee and between them work out from past voting results where they can use their nominees for the List seats.
    It has to be SNP 1 and where they can’t come up with a possible List nominee then put SNP 1 and 2.
    This has to be a joint concerted effort from all Independent Parties as the Unionists will be doing something similar. This could be our last chance for many years.
    INDEPENDENCE FOR SCOTLAND

    • grizebard says:

      Formal collusion on that scale would be regarded by the Electoral Commission as forming a single entity, and thus have their campaign funding treated as one, so it’s a complete non-starter. Besides which, to have any hope of success, even some kind of informal understanding would – staringly obviously! – have had to have been built-in from the very start of the project, and instead they variously set off on their exclusionary own (how familiar!), and before very long angrily burnt all their bridges, thereby dooming the effort. Now they will pay in May, at best by sinking without trace, at worst by slightly damaging the SNP and independence as they go under. So nice belated try there, but no cigar.

      This is what I mean by the curse of amateurism. These people are tiddlers trying to play in a sea of Unionist sharks. Sharp operators who are happy to big them up for their own convenience now, only later to casually dismiss them as irrelevances.

  19. Ken says:

    1923 Ireland could not vote for it. Home Rule/self governance.

    Universal Suffrage 1928

    2021 Scotland can vote for SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence.

    The Brexit Ref was fixed. Illegal manipulation, Data protection and representation of the people’s Act broken.

    Tory Hedge Funds and associates illegally made a killing on the Stock Exchange. Syphoning off private and public monies.

    The polling industry has been censored and fined many times. They just get away with it. The purpose of Brexit. Tax evasion and misappropriating public monies illegally, without proper scrutiny.

    The majority want to stay in the EU, especially the young. The Brexit Ref result will be overturned. The EU are suing Westminster. It will take three years.

    The DUP are suing the Tories. Former allies. Foster is suing Johnston. Johnston and the Tories will lose and be voted out. The Tories have broken the December agreement.

    Johnston and the cronies has lied and reneged. Wasting £Billions of public monies which could be better spent. Manipulating and misappropriating the public purse. Deceitful, dishonourable and dishonest.

    • Don Carr says:

      It wasn’t fixed the English had had enough immigration, that’s all.

      • Pogmothon says:

        Only one problem with that is that the largest part of the immigration / migration to England is from outside of Europe. the next annual figures will possibly be the end of P. P. they will definitely be very hard for the Tories to explain away.

  20. Ken says:

    ‘Scottish ministers question time’ at Westminster is a complete and utter disgrace. A total embarrassment. Contemptuous conceited Tories plants.

    Beyond belief how people can be so ignorant and arrogant. Non self aware. A total turn over and turn off, Gove and Reece smog. Thick as two planks. What planet are they on. Zog.

  21. Don Carr says:

    I enjoy your blog as a rule Paul, but why you are such an EU fanatic?
    To be independent isn’t to hand powers away to other nations .
    314 years should have taught us that

    • weegingerdug says:

      Being a part of the EU is scarcely comparable to being part of the UK.

      • John Muir says:

        Indeed. Just look how easy it was to Leave! The UK didn’t have to get special permission from the EU to hold a referendum. Everyone else in Europe just accepted the result and their right to hold it.

        • Tam the Bam says:

          Trade figures just announced today:-

          UK Exports to EU … down 40%

          UK Imports from EU … down 28%

          Just a post-transition blip? …. or the result of new supply chains having been established?

      • Don Carr says:

        Indeed, but we ran our campaign seven years ago without any need of the carrot of the EU, who incidentally were anything but supportive.

          • John Muir says:

            That we did.

            By the way, I think the squabbles over Indy strategy all boil down to that harsh reality.

            The folk who demand action yesterday, are sure we could have won indyref2 all along, and imagine we have all of Scotland behind us for immediate UDI, they haven’t come to terms with 2014’s loss. They aren’t interested in winning over a majority. All they see is everyone thinking and feeling just like themselves.

            Majority support for Indy is young indeed. 2020 is when we took the lead, right in the era of Covid. We haven’t had our chance yet.

            But soon we shall. And we must fight to win! Not against ourselves, but together for the cause.

            • grizebard says:

              Well said there, John. If one hasn’t understood the reason for defeat back then, one isn’t prepared for winning the next one. If we had everyone in Scotland behind indy except the last-ditch intransigents, it would be easy.

              Nevertheless, I do think there will come a time – and as you say, soon – when we will have to be astute enough but also brave enough to put it to the test without a clear promise of winning, and rely on making a very convincing case to the people (and UKGov unintentionally helping along!).

              We can’t wait forever or people will begin to give up hope, UKGov will make ever more mischief, and all governments – ours included – eventually accumulate disenchantments. That I think is the main reason for all the impatience.

          • Don Carr says:

            Devolution took two goes.In time people get used to new ideas and they are definitely getting used to independence ..
            Once we have been out of the EU a while and life is seen to go on , being “dragged out of it”, will be seen not to have been the equivalent kind of total disaster that unionists would have us believe that governing ourselves would be.

        • Clydebuilt says:

          Don Carr
          “Indeed, but we ran our campaign seven years ago without any need of the carrot of the EU, who incidentally were anything but supportive”

          They weren’t supportive as the UK was an EU member. The UK is now seen as a 3rd country by the EU. who will welcome back a resource rich Scotland.

    • Jim says:

      Don,

      The EU is a proper union of nations and no one country in that union can outvote the other nations because they are the largest. This is what happens in the UK.
      There are 533 English MP’s, 59 Scottish, 40 Welsh and 18 Northern Irish.
      English MP’s can outvote the other 3 Nations combined 4.5 times over.
      If, say Germany, could outvote the other nations, there would not be an EU because none of the other countries would join up to what would effectively be a ‘Greater Germany’
      This is what the other 3 nations have to put up with in the UK.
      The UK suits only one country and we all know who that is.

      • Don Carr says:

        Yes it’s better than the UK, but it’s a capitalist cabal, Jim, dress it up anyway that you like .
        Being 1% of it won’t give us any say.
        It terribly bloated and undemocratic and I hate to think that we would win our freedom on the basis of joining another union, which has been grabbing more power to it’s center for decades.

        • Ken says:

          EU accounts for 20% of Laws for trade and grants etc. EU costs Scotland nothing only brings benefit. Renewable grants, CAP payments, shared Defence costs.

          Scottish Parliament 30% with Devolution.Less powers to improve the economy.

          The UK accounts for 50% of Law and interference. Trident, Hinkley Point, HS2. A total waste of monies, Scotland has to pay for it but receives no benefit.

          Scotland has to pay back loan repayments on monies not borrowed in Scotland. Not be able to invest the monies in Scotland, Scotland pays for all Westminster poor, bad decisions. It costs £Billions every year. They take Scotland’s revenues and replace it with their debts.

          The Barnett Formula. A total scandal. No taxation without representation. They are away with Scottish revenues and resources. They fund London S/E with it. Scotland loses out. The North/South divide. No taxation without representation. Scotland outvoted 10 to 1 at Westminster.
          .
          Westminster Illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud have cost Scotland dear. Scotland pays for all the Westminster poor bad decision.

          £54Billion of EU trade lost already. Increased transport costs and tariffs. Longer journeys to avoid hold ups. Was Putting prices, imports and exports costs up. Difficulties mounting up. Increased volumes of red tape. Queues at the airports. Heathrow 6 hours. Even in a pandemic with lower traffic.

        • Alec Lomax says:

          Undemocratic! Have a word withyourself. For one thing only democracies can join the EU.
          I write also as a fan of Schengen and the Euro.

        • Jim says:

          Don,

          ” Being 1% of it wont give us any say”
          That’s about 10 times the amount of say we have within the UK.

          ” Undemocratic” You don’t seem to have a handle on how the EU works.

          Each country within the EU has its own priorities and has to work in coalition with other countries to achieve its objectives. That was the reason for Brexit. Westminster doesn’t do coalition, it’s too used to domination, and if it can’t dominate it goes in the huff and leaves taking the other 3 nations with it regardless of their opinion.

          You also say that it’s ” A Capitalist Cabal”. In all honesty is there anywhere on the planet that is a more capitalist cabal than the City of London. The place is awash with money laundering ( No pun intended) and the people most vociferous in extoling the advantages of Brexit were the money people. Why?, because the EU were about to pass laws making offshore tax havens illegal. Now that certainly didn’t fit the bill for the likes of Jacob-Rees-Mogg or Nigel Farage.

          I believe that the EU is a much fairer society than the UK could ever hope to be, that’s my opinion and if you disagree then that’s your prerogative.

        • You’ve been fed too much Brexshite Don.

          The EU is a trading bloc & it’s primary concern is standards; including employment rights & not an awful lot else really.

          You don’t give up sovereignty when you join. You have to trade with an agreed set of standards, whether you’re in or out. Within you trade without tariffs & paperwork; you can also choose to live, work or learn anywhere without a visa. You do have to commit to joining the Eurozone when you meet the convergence criteria, but since one particular criterion is joining the ERM, it’s easily avoided. ERM membership is entirely voluntary, ergo no Euro.

          Scotland joining the EU is more akin to you joining your local co-op. Whereas being part of the UK is more like giving your mum your wages and getting your bus fares and pocket money back; even after you’ve got your own place.

          Yes it’s bloated; twenty odd languages will always see to that. Yes it’s imperfect, but Brexit will soon illustrate that we’re far, far better in than out.

          • Don Carr says:

            A trading block can also be a cabal.
            Don’t think that EU is ever going to stop grabbing power away from nation states, unions are powerful things and they get very self important,just look at Johnson and his attitude to “granting” a section 30. The ambitions of those devoted to the EU is ultimately to create a superstate, like America.
            That’s the way these people think.
            Freedom of movement was a very big step in that direction and it proved too much for the English working class. So don’t just blame Farage and Moog.

        • heilan' loon says:

          Don I agree with part of what you say, regarding EU membership, myself, I would rather go the EEA route, still have the four freedoms, (trade, Movement etc) I would go further than Norway and have a customs arrangement, would love to see an iScotland sign up to the Schengen agreement BUT I want Scotland to be an independent coastal state, it is a big bargaining chip but also as a former fisherman(Trawl, Dredges, Creels and Pair Seine) I want a system that benefits what swims below the sea, the CFP isn’t fit for purpose when trying to keep fish numbers up, we saw that when the Scot Gov tried to implement Cod Recovery Zones when numbers almost crashed.
          Scotland went to the EU to try and get this implemented, now the CRZs were proposed closed areas where the amount of cod caught compared to other species were too high in ratio, the Scot Gov at the time asked the EU to put this into fishery rules, EU said “Non” to this, but Scot Gov went ahead and implemented it, now what pissed off fishermen, and I believe this is partly where the industry started to lose ho-e with Scot Gov, they saw boats from every coastal nation go into areas closed by Marine Scotland and fih away, where Scots boats weren’t allowed to, this meant some boats went onto the English registry, that’s why you see so many fish boats with English PLNs(Registrations).
          We saw it again just a couple of years ago in the Bay De Seine in France, where french Scalop dredgers were pissed off at British boats fishing away in an area where French boats weren’t allowed, again it was the French Gov that put legislation in place to prevent too many smaller scallops from being caught, The MSM were speaking about trawler wars etc where boats were being rammed etc, but the British boats were there legally and the French couldn’t do anything to stop them as Brussels made a similar stance again.
          Now Faroes, Iceland and Norway all have better systems in place than the CFP, closed areas, bigger mesh sizes rtc and the industry is healthier than ever in those nations waters, and a better system is needed here in the future to prevent over fishing ever happening, again and being in the EU prevents that, and its nothing to do with the industry, but for all marine life, (Oh and we could stick two fingers up at the Westminster government at the same time, by preventing English boats from fishing the waters of an iScotland, something we wouldn’t be able to do if full members of the EU and rUK had fishing agreements with them)

          • Don Carr says:

            Thank you, that was most informative .
            Lets hope it isn’t fished out again
            Fish is expensive enough!

      • arayner1936 says:

        We could get some support from the Council of Europe as the UK is still a member of that.
        It was pressure from the CofE complaining that the UK was too centralised and not democratic enough which enabed us to vote for devolution in 1997.
        The CofE could well support our right to have an Independence Referendum and might possibly be prepared to monitor how that is conducted.

        • Capella says:

          Excellent suggestion. Craig Murray thought we should involve the CofE election monitors when we have the referendum.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Don,

      the Eu can’t tell us to fight illegal wars never mind legal ones or instruct us to keep nuclear weapons on our soil. Just 2 examples.

      This current Brit union has imposed the former for hundreds of years and for the latter 80 years.

      • Don Carr says:

        There’s no stronger nationalism than me Hamish.
        All the EU will do is provide you with excessive immigration.
        Everything has it’s limits .

        • James Mills says:

          ”Excessive immigration ” ? Have you seen the demographics of Scotland since the union with England ?
          Scotland is one of a handful of countries that have barely moved forward in numbers over the last century . Compare OUR rate of population growth with the average around the world .
          We NEED immigration – just another factor that is dismissed by Westminster . Our needs are NOT addressed !

        • Dr Jim says:

          Scotland needs immigration we’re three million people short

          • Jonathan Marshall says:

            Correct it is one of the main stumbling blocks to growing our economy.

          • Don Carr says:

            God almighty!
            Where on earth did you read that rubbish!
            Short for what?
            More, more , more
            Aye that’ll make things better !
            Uglier too
            Count on it!

        • grizebard says:

          As the others say.

          I have no notion what rings your bells, but it’s not as though we’ll all be speaking Lithuanian in a decade’s time, or anything like it.

          Maybe you’d rather go on a long waiting list for essential hospital treatment, or not be able to find the necessary home care or a retirement home when the need arises, rather than suffer to let some good people in to help you out?

          Countries prosper by allowing appropriate immigration, that’s a well-established fact. It isn’t a zero-sum game here, you know, it’s a win-win. You’re afeared of a phantom.

        • Hamish100 says:

          People wishing to live and work here are welcomed.

          Incidentally immigration to the U.K. from outside the Eu always exceeded the numbers from the Eu by a substantial amount.

          Another lie from brexiters.

        • Ken says:

          Westminster illegal wars and destruction of other countries caused the migration into Europe. Other EU countries have to give support. Westminster reneged. The UK – EU contribution €12Billion (cut rate) did not even cover it. The trouble and devastation UK/US caused worldwide. Costing £Trns,

          The EU established after WW2 to stop starvation and war in Europe. Millions died. The world economy decimated.

          The WW2 loans/debts were only paid off in 2006.

          Illegal war 2003 to 2010. Still being paid off by Europe. People are still suffering and in desolation,

        • Ken says:

          There are over 3million of British migrants worldwide. Living and working in the rest of the world. Retired to SpainEurope etc.

          The Tories are illegally deporting people. Charging children who are born in the UK for citizenship. Illegally. Costing £Millions. There was nearly full employment in the UK. Extra workers were needed for the NHS, farming, oil and other industries. Or the economic success falls.

      • Don Carr says:

        A distaste for the EU,doesn’t equate to to one for self government . In fact as I see it , they are one and the same.

  22. Capella says:

    I’ve always regarded the Tory Party as the English National Party. Unde Margaret Thatcher that became crystal clear. It wasn’t till 2005 that I realised that Labour are no different. Good luck to England. They deserve their own government. So do we. And Wales.

  23. It is rapidly becoming clear that Tory Middle England is now going through a profound national identity crisis. Witness the constant barrage of lies about Brexit, such the likes of David Frost bleating about the UK and the EU being “sovereign equals.” The EU is the world’s largest trading bloc, comprised of 27 (with an independent Scotland joining to become the 28th – hopefully) countries in a beneficial partnership giving them huge clout. The UK is a small island nation, of only 65 million people compared to the EU’s 450 million. The idea that 65 is equal in power to 450, and that 1 is equal to 27, is beyond laughable.

    The only plausible reason why Frost, Johnson, Rees-Mogg et al keep refusing to face this crystal clear reality is that they just cannot bear to admit that the UK is now just a small country. One whose Empire and global superpower status have long gone, leaving it struggling to accept the decline in global power and relevance which that reality has brought upon it. Why? Because they were raised on the idea that the UK, but really England, is an exceptional nation, which was born to lead the world, and lways prevails and defeats its opponents. WW2 nostalgia, a disease which plagues many Tories and Tory voters, is another big problem, partly because the Tory Party core vote is heavily composed of people in their 50s-60s, who were born not long after the War and raised by the generation who took part in it. As a result, too many of them cannot see past the walls of the myth that England will always win, especially over Europe. That myth is a huge part of their identity, and it influences how many of them see the world ‘England won, so it is superior.’

    How does this influence the Tories’ treatment of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland? Well, do they treat us as equal partners in the UK Union? No, they try to dominate us, refusing to heed our objections, concerns, and desires for political decisions which benefit us, and not only them. The idea of team-playing seems to be beyond their understanding, they just have to dominate.

    But most of all, they are so nostalgic, as if longing for a past where they could be what they imagine they once were. The perfect, superior nation with the right to run the world in their image. I think many ex-British colonies, from the Caribbean nations to the USA, India, Malaysia etc, have very different memories of the English attitude to them during the days of the Empire and they are not positive. Proof of this is strongly suggested by the fact that not a single Commonwealth country has wanted to go back to British Colonial rule after gaining their independence….

    Brexit is a part of such nostalgia and, to the English Tory mindset, has made the idea of Scottish Independence much more frightening. Put simply, if we leave the UK then ‘Britain’ will cease to exist. This will be the final end of the UK’s global status, reducing England to a smaller, weaker country on the fringes of a powerful bloc of nations and to being pushed around by them and the USA among others. English Exceptionalism, particular the part exemplified by Frost with his “sovereign equals” delusion, will then be pummeled and battered as it crashes into reality, as with the UK being no more, they will not be able to retreat into the past as they are currently doing with Brexit.

    With the past gone, they will be left with the future. As being ‘English,’ not ‘British,’ and they have no idea what that means for them in the 21st century. They will have to work it out, with much less power and influence than they believe they have now, and that terrifies them. George Osborne admitted this in his Evening Standard article a few weeks ago.

    So, now knowing how scared they are of us leaving, and dumping them into that identity crisis, we must be on our guard. The Tories will do anything to try and avoid it, and dirty tricks are likely to be a tactic that they will use. Their desperate attempts to portray Nicola Sturgeon as a liar and betrayer of her mentor, Alex Salmond, are one. Opinion Polls with suspect methodology are another (yes, the recent one like that was quickly exposed, but by then its apparent findings of a No majority had been splashed all over the media, so it had done its job in their eyes). Trying to buy support by investing money in Scotland outside the control of Holyrood is surely another. As Paul has pointed out, and I share his concerns, if we fail to win a majority in May then the Tories and their media allies will quickly use that as an excuse to claim that Scotland doesn’t want Indyref 2, and as an excuse to neuter Holyrood through removing its powers and so its ability to push for Independence. With growing support for Welsh Independence, it is quite possible that the Senedd in Cardiff may suffer in a similar way. They will do this to avoid, if at all possible, being forced into the English national identity crisis that they are now clearly scared to death of.

    We have to win in May. Without an SNP majority we will not have the leverage that we need to force the Tories to respect our rights, and wish to look forwards as a country. Not backwards, as they are trying to do to us if we stay under their rule.

    Forget the Salmond-related infighting, or anything else.

    We have an election to win.

    • Jim says:

      I wish I could write as eloquently as that Christopher.
      You’ve just summed up my feelings on everything that’s going on in this dysfunctional UK.
      Very well said.

      • Christopher Rosindale says:

        Glad we agree Jim. But Osborne’s article also betrayed a weakness in the Tories’ position. We have seen the polls showing how many English voters would be prepared to sacrifice the Union on the altar of Brexit. Reader’s letters in the Telegraph, Sunday Times, Liverpool Echo and other papers, and comments by Tory party members on the Conservative Home website back-up those polls. Simply put, if the issue of Scottish Independence was put to English voters in a UK-wide referendum, rather than just to Scottish voters, there is a great risk that the Tory Party Core Vote could split on the issue, leaving the Tories facing the same nightmare which has crippled the Labour Party over Scotland and the EU since 2015. They would be faced with trying to hold onto the votes of both the pro and anti-Union camps by trying to appeal to both sides at once, and that is impossible. The result, their chances of winning General Elections could be seriously hit as they end-up losing thousands of votes on one side or the other.

        This could benefit us, as the Tories will be desperate to avoid this scenario and so are unlikely to ever agree to a UK-wide referendum. But the risk of their Core Vote splitting on the issue remains, and if the worst comes to the worst after May, we may be able to try and force a debate on maintaining the Union South of the Border by provoking the English voters into arguing over the issue, making it rise-up into the political mainstream. If enough Tory Core Voters turn against the Union, it may become an electoral issue for the Tory party, forcing them to consider a referendum on Scottish Independence to avoid losing seats, which is exactly the scenario which led to the Brexit referendum as they tried to beat-off Farage’s UKIP. If we gain an SNP majority in May, the same tactic could also be used with more force, as the existence of that majority will be pretty clear proof that a huge number of Scots no longer want to stay in the UK, and many English voters will assume that all Scots think that way.

        Lastly, does anyone else find it significant that Welsh FM Mark Drakeford is now openly criticizing the Tories for their arrogant attitude to the Union? He is Welsh Labour, and no fan of Welsh Independence, yet now he is acknowledging that Welsh voters are increasingly angry at the Tories’ behaviour and it is almost as if he is trying to pitch himself on the issue for political reasons. Why would he do so so close to the Welsh Assembly election, unless, and I have seen some evidence online that this may be happening, he is trying to stop Welsh Labour voters from switching to Plaid Cymru? Adam Price will not win the election, but if he manages to remove Drakeford’s majority, and with the Tories down there getting more hostile to Welsh devolution (some even want to abolish the Senedd altogether and replace it with direct rule from London), he might find himself propping-up Drakeford to keep him in office. That would give Plaid Cymru much more influence than they have now, especially as Drakeford would probably have to support their agenda to some extent in order to hang-on to their support. And with more power would come more exposure, potentially making Welsh Independence more popular and giving Price more clout in UK politics.

        The parallels with the rise of the SNP at Scottish Labour’s expense would then be obvious, and a dangerous second front in the Tories’ Union problems would potentially open-up.

        And, as military history has shown many times, fighting on two fronts frequently ends badly for the defenders…….

        • grizebard says:

          I guess for Drakeford, grim reality bumps into party dogma so hard that it just can’t be brushed aside. No doubt he might be more reticent if the UKGov were in Labour’s hands. It’s just a pity that the governing position in Wales doesn’t better inform its party colleagues in Scotland, but you can’t make the wilfully purblind see, and double standards and rank hypocrisy seem to be a standard part of their own job description.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      *Post of the Month*

    • ArtyHetty says:

      The folks re WW2 nostalgia are in their 70’s and 80’s. Otherwise very good comment.

      • arayner1936 says:

        I’m in my 80s AH, and certainly not nostalgic about WW2. I became a Scottish Nationalist when the current queen took the title of Elizebeth II.

        • ArtyHetty says:

          Oh sorry, no offence meant, I should have said some and not generalised. Even then I doubt many look upon that time as anything but dreadful. I was just replying that people in their 50/60’s were not really affected by WW2. All the best, AH.

  24. ST says:

    Simon Jenkins in The Guardian put it simply.
    ” Once the idea takes hold of a nation’s political soul it is never satisfied until, in some sense, it is achieved. That has been the lesson elsewhere in Europe, of Ireland, of the former nations of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.”
    Scottish Independence is inevitable in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years.
    We are suffering the birthing pains of a new nation. My sons, 21 and 23 , will with their generation, deliver a new constitutional arrangement with the rest of the British Isles. English Nationalism will be the coup de grace. Much as that form of Nationalism is repugnant we have no more right to deny the English their destiny as they have to deny ours.
    And so in our own ways we will learn to stand on our own and develop a mutually respectful relationship. The Unionists are running out of time. They know it and deep down we know . Be patient. It will happen

  25. The Gillies says:

    Wake up Scotland! Get ready for the fight of our future!!

  26. James Mills says:

    When Independence comes , just let’s not sign any Treaty with Boris Johnson’s lot .

    They will break it before the ink dries . Ask the EU !

  27. Dr Jim says:

    Scotland has the largest coastline in Europe, the largest fishing waters in Europe once our maritime border is returned to its rightful place according to international law, Scotland is the gateway to the North that England will need to negotiate access to post independence, Scotland has enough renewable energy to power two Scotlands, Scotland has more fresh water than the entire British isles put together and England has the least clean water of all of them

    Have no fear of threats from England over trade or deals, post Independence England is a little boxed in country that can’t go anywhere without the permission of others because they stupidly just erected 27 borders with the countries of the EU to the east of them, they would be particularly bonkers to erect border 28 with Scotland and turn themselves effectively into a Leper colony

    If Clown Minister Bollox Johnson thought for one minute he actually had the upper hand he wouldn’t be making pronouncements every five minutes about not *allowing* Scotland democracy

    He knows he’s rubber ducked, they all know it hence this massive campaign to discredit the FM and sew the seeds of doubt in the minds of the electorate, all we see from the Internet opposition is Nicola Sturgeon bad which has replaced SNP bad, all they’re trying to do is cut the head off the leader to break down the confidence of the troops

    The SNP manifesto is to contain an absolute commitment to an Independence referendum if the SNP win the May election, and that referendum will be very quickly indeed, very quickly
    Legislation will go through Holyrood to hold it, it will pass and Clown Minister Bollox Johnson will have to take the people of Scotland to court but still won’t be able to prevent the event or outcome and result of that referendum

    Then the world politicking will begin and Clown Minister Johnson doesn’t want that because he knows he’ll lose, so just saying no with a threateny look on his face has got no chance with Nicola Sturgeon and she will never deal with a Tory and they know it that’s why £££millions are being splashed around to all quarters to try what they’re trying now, to head us off at the pass

    • Capella says:

      Great post Dr Jim. Stay positive and instill a bit of backbone in the waverers. It’s going to get very rocky for the next few weeks and we need to stand firm. Paul is doing a great service to the independence cause and we need to support that.

  28. Alba woman says:

    We have the high ground while Boris and Co flail about on the lowland …..we wait confidently for the Yes vote to come over the hills and sweep them away. Not long to go now.

    Both votes SNP.

  29. Alex Clark says:

    Survation have just published the results of a full scale Scottish poll that as far as I’m aware it has not yet been published anywhere else yet either online or in a newspaper. Maybe those that commissioned the poll didn’t like the results so have kept it quiet.

    Just 4 questions, 3 about Nicola Sturgeon/Alex Salmond and the inquiry with one on Anas Sarwar.

    The headline question:

    Q1. The former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, has accused the current First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, of breaching the ministerial code in relation to the Scottish governments handling of harassment allegations against Salmond. Sturgeon has denied breaching the ministerial code.

    Which of the following statements best reflects your view?

    Nicola Sturgeon should resign as First Minister 33%

    Nicola Sturgeon should not resign as First Minister 50%

    Don’t know 17%

    I’m guessing the client didn’t like the result but I’ll be happy to be proved wrong and see it published.

    https://www.survation.com/survation-scottish-politics-poll-march-2021/

    • grizebard says:

      The 33% is slightly high for comfort, though, and is an indication of some reputational collateral damage done to the FM. But after the independent adjudication is made – and it would be a surprise bombshell indeed if that went against her – perhaps opinions will settle somewhat, and just leave the “never-Nicolas” once again on their ownsome.

      • You think 33% is high?

        It’s a roughly 40:60 split with DK’s removed. There must be close to a fifth of Unionists on board; perhaps more depending on how many WoS & Eck fanboys & perhaps general misogynists have to be factored in.

        I’m not saying it’s great, but it could’ve been a lot worse.

      • It’s also a very leading question. Definitely designed to elicit a particular response.

      • Alex Clark says:

        I didn’t think 33% was too bad considering that close to 50% of the electorate are Unionist in outlook and half of them rabid about it and would want Nicola Sturgeon to resign undser any and all circumstances.

        I’m sure I’ve seen earlier polls too that had a majority saying she should resign “if found to have lied to parliament”.

        The result you get definitely can be highly influenced by the wording of the question.

    • Arthur Thomson says:

      I am at a bit of a loss with this poll. Was it a poll of SNP supporters or the electorate as a whole? I would have assumed that all the various shades of tory would say she should resign. No? If even half a dozen of them wanted her not to stay i would be pleasantly surprised.

      • Arthur Thomson says:

        Should read ‘wanted her to stay’.

      • Alex Clark says:

        It was the whole electorate, 1013 people of which there were 185 Tories and 330 SNP; 322 Yes voters and 398 No voters (weighted numbers)

      • Alex Clark says:

        15% of Tories, 41% Labour, 38% LD and 75% of SNP voters said she should not resign.

        74% of Tories, 45% Labour, 40% LD and 14% of SNP voters said she should resign with the rest being don’t knows.

    • heilan' loon says:

      If you ask me, the answers are leading, should it not have been if Nicola is found to have been guilty, or Not guilty with ratios that way, as if she is found guilty then you might find the results saying she should resign could be higher, and again if found not guilty, again support for her could be higher, but by leaving the answers as is, then folk are having to choose to non answers because they don’t really reflect the question/statement made.

    • Terence Callachan says:

      Ignore these stupid irrelevant polls dont take part in them dont talk about them ignore them you dont see polls like this about boris johnstn or michael gove or any of the other idiotic fumbling fools in the tory government of englands westminster , you are being tricked , polls about Scotland always Scotland and these pollsters swindle and cheat by keeping records of every poll they do so they can check past answers that help them choose future participants so they can get the result they set out to get.

  30. malkymcblain says:

    This is the type of thing that converts soft noes to yes. That is your task if you dream of an independent Scotland. That is your only task at this time now please share this widely and see if you can convert a soft no to believe in Scotland and it’s ability to thrive. Watch and listen and share.

    • grizebard says:

      “This [independence] is priced-in. This is going to happen. It’s just a question of when. So if you know it’s gonna happen, the simple thing to do is do it as well as you can.”

      It’s just a pity that the English Establishment is still in denial about us taking our leave. Too much self-regard is at stake. (I still believe that motive is as strong, if not stronger, than mere economic considerations.) The best way “to do it well” of course is a “velvet divorce” Czech-Slovak style, but currently it’s hard for Boris to even publicly concede a referendum. So we have to wear them down. And the best way to wear them down is simple: keep beating them at elections. For which we have a beauty of a chance coming up. They know it and fear it, and you know it. Let’s not blow it.

  31. Hamish100 says:

    Thanks for this. If the colour on the map for Wales was different from England then little England looks just that , little
    Look at the fishing and energy resource around Scotland.

  32. Hamish100 says:

    Notice elsewhere claims that police have raided a house re the so called hate bill. Photograph shows police breaking down a door. SNP bad. Problem is the photograph appears to be illustrative only, no one is wearing masks suggesting it’s pre-covid and forgive me but hasn’t the law supported by most of ourbParliamentarians still to be enacted?
    Too much disinformation coming from so called Independence blogs or Twitter.
    If you don’t vote for Independence parties in May that can win, you don’t support Independence.

  33. Over the coming weeks we’ll be playing whack-a-mole bingo with the Unionist claptrap Hamish: Too wee; too poor; too stupid; you can’t have the pound; you’ll have to join the Eurozone; there’s no more oil; 80% of your trade is with the rest of the UK, we won’t buy your stuff; the Spanish veto; the federation fairy; the ‘deficit’ as per GERS; once in a generation; broad shoulders; only the Union does vaccines etc, etc ad nauseum.

    In other words nothing new, just more of the same old, same old that we’ve had 6½ years to work on. I can counter them all, every single argument. EVEL has put paid to “lead us don’t leave us” & Brexit makes EU membership a big weapon pointed at them instead of us.

    The concern trollery is as pathetic as it is obvious & is easily rebutted, because they’re basically grasping at straws there & it’s easily called out.

  34. malkymcblain says:

    Nicola working for Indy !! All power to her. Watch

    • jfngw says:

      You would need to be over 86 years to have voted Conservative and seen them win in Scotland.

      Ruth Davidson is the perfect example of Tory policy to Scotland, if you can’t get your votes from the electorate then just bypass the electorate and have your party members promote you to a position of power. Will she be in the cabinet soon, my bets are on it.

  35. Dr Jim says:

    Let’s remember the anti Nicola Sturgeon mouthpiece the blogger from Bath who initially insisted day after day up to three and four times a day that Nicola Sturgeon had no intention of ever calling an Independence referendum, she was a fraud a charlatan a British plant and a dozen other adjectives applied to her at any given time from this blogger, he ranted and railed about her constantly that she would let Scotland down and no referendum would be forthcoming

    Turns out now his tune has completely changed to insisting that nobody vote SNP in the forthcoming election because Nicola Sturgeon will get Scotland the wrong kind of Independence and that would be the most awful thing that could ever happen even to comparing the FM to various dictators the world has seen throughout history, who are all dead BTW because people do die, which is something the blogger from Bath seems to insist that Nicola Sturgeon will never do, she will remain immortal and inflict all this terror on Scotland until the rapture

    I suppose what surprises me most is not the folk who believe this utter gymslip petted lip screeching it’s the followers who are clearly not and never have been supporters of Independence attempting to disguise themselves as card carrying SNP members who are now so disenchanted with the FM because of the invented claptrap by this big girls blouse that they have resigned, cut up, dropped, let lapse their SNP memberships in their gazillions, I really thought even the opposition were smarter than this

    Clown Minister Bollox Johnson knows it’s happening and is turning every thumbscrew on his lieutenants and commanders to break Scotland, we must be stopped from having this referendum that the Bathman blogger said wouldn’t happen, now says will but it’s the wrong kind of referendum by the wrong person and I suspect she’s not wearing the right clothes, y’know mans clothes

    It would appear that particular blogger is busted, will it stop him? probably not, will he be stopped? I would guess most definitely because his ego can’t be contained but like his Twitter ban the rest will follow sure as night follows day

  36. Hamish100 says:

    Too true. The individual has nowhere to go but to come out as a Brexit britnat. He has claimed too many things which are slowly but surely are proving to be nonesense. The aggressive positioning, the rudeness is not a vote winner for his views but the opposite.

    I believe that there are still many undecideds who can be persuaded to vote snp or green ( that’s crucially important) then we move towards a referendum.

    Let the cons refuse a s30 – no surprise there, but it is an important marker to the international community and to our own people that the right wing Elton cabal and a few “hinger on’s” are an anti-democratic force. Our friends in Europe (Eu Or EFTA) are watching. They want us to be part of their group, Johnson has lost his supporters in the USA, Farage has resigned from another party. The fight will be on the media but even Neil cannot control it -even from France.

    So we have a bit of March and April to persuade others to vote for independence.

    If we do win ( never count your chickens…) the SNP will have to move at a pace.
    The people have had enough of Westminster, Brexit, covid corruption, favouritism to Norther Ireland. Not to move on with Independence preparations would not be forgive.
    I believe the SNP knows this.

  37. Hamish100 says:

    Elton cabal should of course be Eton cabal. We are all “candles in the wind” to prescriptive text!

  38. gullaneno4 says:

    Comment on that Survation poll seems to be non existent in Unionist circles, the press, WoS and BBC/Sky/STV.
    A bit like the tree that fell in the forest that no one saw.
    I posted it on Wings expecting the usual wallopers to make their usual threats but no …….very quiet
    in fact a bit of a wheesht moment.

    • Capella says:

      The framing of the question alone suggests to me a WoS poll.
      1 Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of something
      2 Nicola Sturgeon denies it.
      3 Should she resign?

      There is no possibility of NS being innocent. To be accused is to be guilty. No need for evidence, witnesses, hearings, or any due process. We’re back to the days of w*tchcraft. Put her in the ducking stool. If she floats she’s guilty. If she drowns she’s innocent. Oh well, too bad.

  39. Jonathan Marshall says:

    Excellent article. I have alway viewed the UK as a political construct that exists to sustain the elites power wealth and prestige over the masses. In that sense the UK has always been England… the so called Celtic fringe has always been marginalised because if it ever threatened the UK guise England would have to show its true face… EVEL was the start of that as anything that threatens England’s control of the Union has to be crushed. The Yes movement has to be very wary of any suggestion of Home rule or Fedralism which is sure to come along as the powers that be try to regain control and seek to muddy the waters.Long ago I actually saw Full fiscal Autonemy with shared Foreign Policy and Defence as an option but Without the veto powers to stop Ilegal Wars and foreign Incursion it wasn’t really a good option… Besides England would never accept the other so called Nations having a veto over its desires. Anyway BRITEX appears to have been the final nail in that option… But I still think it will be rolled out in some VoW+++ form to try and sway the usual soft Nos and soft Yeses.

  40. Ken says:

    Fool people once. Not twice. Support for Independence increasing.

  41. Pogmothon says:

    Totally OT but a bit of lighthearted plagiarism never hurts;-

    “You talk about this law or that law you don’t like, you talk of vengeance. Are any of these laws going to bring your independence to you or independence to my country and me?
    I forgo the vengeance for Thatcher and the latest parcel o’rouges.
    But I have selfish reasons, my European friends were forced to leave this country because of this Brexit business.
    All right, now I have to make arrangements to bring them back here safely cleared of all these falsehoods and tory lies.
    But I’m a superstitious man and if some unlucky accident should befall them, if they should get shot in the head by a patel border control officer, or if should hang themselves in a detention centre, or if they are struck by a bolt of lightning, then I’m going to blame some of the people in this election, and that I do not forgive.
    But, that aside, let me say that I swear, on the souls of my grandchildren, that I will not be the one to break the peace we have to make with ourselves to go forward to May and on afterwards.”

    is’at ma coat a’ready

  42. Capella says:

    James Kelly posted an answer to his question of what the anti-SNP brigade suggest we do if we’re not to vote SNP. It comes from the prime proponent of SNP Bad himself, the good Reverend Stuart Campbell:

    “We wish we had a constructive course of action to suggest to you, folks. But we don’t, because democracy has failed you. There is no way you can vote that will fix the ruins the SNP have made of Scotland. We cannot see a way forward. It is becoming nearly impossible to evade the conclusion that all is lost. Nicola Sturgeon has destroyed it.”

    So that’s it. Democracy has failed so DON’T VOTE for the one option that can possibly restore democracy. Saty n the glorious union instead where we can guarantee that democracy will be subverted as it alwasy has been.

    This is our last chance to rescue Scotland from the maw of Westminster oligarchy. We can’t afford to let the deniers of democracy suppress the vote.

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-choice-in-may-is-simple-either-keep.html

    • James Mills says:

      WoW ! What a powerful wummin ! SHE has DESTROYED democracy !

      Well , I for one am not going to stand against a wummin who can do THAT !

      You have my vote Nicola !

      • Arthur Thomson says:

        Can we be sure that this is his last word on the subject?

        I didn’t think so.

        Do i care?

        I don’t think so.

    • Alec Lomax says:

      The Rev using the royal ‘we’ yet again?

  43. Capella says:

    Apos for typos
    It confirms for me that the main driver of this kind of counsel of doom is depression. Having painted themselves into a corner there is nowhere left to go. Counselling would be my advice. or join a group, an independence supporting group of your choice.

  44. ArtyHetty says:

    The elephant hasn’t just taken the duvet and broken the bed it’s going to squash Scotland to death unless independence is secured. No offence to real elephants.
    Don’t be a squashed mouse Scotland, be a lion.

  45. James Mills says:

    Do you think the Bathman is desperately trying for the Honours List ?

    ”Arise , Sir Rev. Stu ! ” or perhaps he has ambitions to sit with Ruthie in the House of Frauds ?

    • Capella says:

      No, I think that this level of negative ideation stems from depression..
      All is lost
      There is no hope
      We are doomed, doomed.

      Of course, the unionists love it as it promotes voter suppression. They don’t have to get a lot of votes in Scotland – they can’t. But they can suppress the SNP vote with this sort of false narrative.

      Feel hopeless Jockos – stay at home and blame Sturgeo, is the basic message.

      No. We’re not going to do that, is the reply.

      • weegingerdug says:

        You are correct that promoting voter abstention plays directly into the Tories’ hands. Partly his counsel of despair is due to depression but I think it’s also because after months of saying that Sturgeon will be removed from her post and that she won’t deliver on a referendum, it looks like she’s going to survive and the SNP is committed to delivering a referendum. He can’t cope with being seen to have been so wrong. A refusal to acknowledge that he is ever wrong about anything is a key part of his character -a vital defence mechanism for a very fragile ego.

        But now he’s been proven wrong about his central message and he’s lashing out in anger and frustration.

        It’s classic narcissistic behaviour, if he can’t have what he wants no one else should have anything they want. Since it’s going to be Sturgeon who leads Scotland into another referendum his sole remaining psychological defence against the terror of being seen to have been wrong is to argue that independence is no longer worth having.

        • Capella says:

          Spot on. Let’s hope recovery is swift

          • gullaneno4 says:

            Spot on 2.
            It all went tits up on WoS when his new second vote independence party idea bombed.
            I think he was expecting universal praise and misjudged his popularity..

            So pleased to see the Scots reaction to the Salmond inquiry.
            Any person who thinks Salmond is a positive for gaining independence nowadays is lacking something,.it is a polar opposite.

      • jfngw says:

        My opinion, that’s all it is as I’m not qualified to say anything else is there were two events when his writing changed.

        First, the Dugdale case, he was pretty annoyed, I believe, when some SNP politician’s congratulated her. Although he denies it I feel he was a bit devastated losing that case.

        Second, after the meeting with Alex Salmond, he saw evidence, although I suspect it was not all the evidence, just selected evidence.

        After these points the blog became not about independence but removing Nicola Sturgeon, any defence of her or the SNP pretty much guaranteed a site ban.

        • Capella says:

          Agree with both points. It’s such pity that the purists can’t just commit themselves to winning independence. We can make Scotland a country we would all want to live in once we have control of the levers.

          • jfngw says:

            Agreed, when you spot people on twitter only wanting independence if we can effectively have no corruption in politics, it’s living in some fantasy land, all countries have corruption. There is currently little financial corruption in Holyrood but that’s because they have so little financial control over the economy, it will increase with independence as the opportunities increase, it’s just the way of the world. All we can do is try to combat it.

            Of course, keeping the Tories out of office would stop the institutionalised corruption they seem so fond of in Westminster. What’s that Kirsty McCall song again ‘ There’s a guy who works down the pub swears he has PPE’.

  46. Ken says:

    Dishonourable

  47. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    My brother wrote an article on the 11 September 2015 for Bella Caledonia which today seems to be actually quite prophetic though I am sure he was not unique in his observations….it was entitled “The Fall and Rise of Tory England and the Crisis of Labour”…..he got the brains and I got the brawn….and I am the sister.

    It is a long article but there is a lot of it , which in post Brexit UKnotOK , that will resonate with most fair minded Scots…….funny how we in Scotland could see the writing on the wall but certain political commentators on Twitter, who are now recognised as prominent ‘liberal’ minder Remainers ,could not…..they are however now recognising the bias of the BBC because of the impact on them but somehow failed to see the BBC bias when it impacted the YES side pre 2014 referendum……I say “failed to see” when I really meant ignored.

    My brother came up from Cambridge the day before the Independence referendum and left on the morning of the result…..dejected but not beaten……as he knew as sure as night follows day that this was not the end………because he predicted that the Tories would assume this ‘matter’ was finally put to bed and thus resume disregarding Scotland….and doing it deliberately too.

    On the 19th September 2014 Cameron stated that Scotland has spoken and then proceeded to advise us that England must now be heard via EVEL…..the following year in 2015 a majority of 56 SNP MP’s were returned to WM via those who live in Scotland………I now find it inconceivable that with the corruption, incompetence and duplicity of this Tory UKnotOK Govt led by fool and charlatan that Scots in May’s elections will not choose to take the same course as they did in 2015…….

    If they do not then we are all truly doomed.

  48. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    @ Me @ 1.08PM

    ” prominent ‘liberal’ *minder* Remainers “…..

    *minded

    “led by * fool and charlatan”

    *a

  49. Hamish100 says:

    I see the National, has reported on an article that suggests Snp chief Murrell text messages do not show a conspiracy. Unlike the unionists conspiracy to get the FM.
    Still nice to see Fox -ex trade minister( we will better Eu trade deals) is trying to protect the civil servants involved. Why? Maybe he’s repaying the good deed of PM Cameron who breached the ministerial code for him
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/mar/06/david-cameron-ministerial-code-werritty

  50. grizebard says:

    This newly-discovered need for purity before a referendum is puzzling, if you think about it. In effect it’s saying that the people of Scotland can’t possibly be trusted with their own democracy, so that whatever imperfection exists currently can never be corrected by any subsequent election.

    Barring a few perfectionists, at the moment we are all obliged to vote SNP (or Green, for those so inclined) in order to bring about the necessary constitutional change – even granted the SNP haven’t themselves exactly been helping at times – but afterwards normal politics will prevail, we will together all vote on our other priorities again, and no party will get a free pass.

    When we vote in a few weeks’ time we’re voting for our future as a truly representative democracy, not voting for a party except as a means to an end. Come independence, we’ll get the government we choose, not one foisted on us from afar without our consent. That’s still worth voting for, isn’t it?

  51. anna says:

    A little off topic, but not straying from the conclusion that it is essential to vote SNP back with a majority in May as the crucial step towards Scotland becoming independent and being able to make its own financial and other decisions unhindered.

    I strongly recommend following Independent Sage, that is the group of scientists, gathered by former government chief scientist Sir David King, to comment on the covid crisis. They have an open access twitter account (Independent Sage) and weekly online meetings at 13.30 on Fridays (that can also be viewed afterwards on youtube). They present up to date data and comment on the government’s performance – and are highly critical of Johnson et al. On the other hand Scotland’s decision making is often commended. It is well worth checking out.

    Amongst yesterday’s comments was the report that Dido Harding’s (Serco) Test and Trace, which has had very little impact in bringing infection rates down, has cost “four times the aid budget, that’s more than you spend on all secondary education. It’s two thirds of the total NHS staff budget each year. This is staggering.” If this is not a reason for independence I don’t know what is. (Perhaps the report today that the UK govt is planning to increase the number of Trident warheads?).

    • Capella says:

      Dido Harding’s budget – £37 billion – is bigger than the Scottish Budget – £34 billion. We, at least, work.

  52. Dr Jim says:

    England wanted what they thought was *control* because that’s what that particular country believes its destiny to be, controllers, in charge, world beating, the Empire, Great Britain and all the majesty they think goes with it, so they selected the biggest liar clown buffoon they believed who could sell this idea to the people of the Nation of England, I deliberately leave out the three other Nations of this benighted Kingdom because unless anybody’s been hiding in a cave forever and not noticed our votes in Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland don’t count, and the result of Brexit showed that fact up in the most stark and obvious way

    So the Clown Prime Minister Bollox Johnson was selected for the task, did the people of England care what he was? no of course they didn’t, they wanted this shiny new power and control they’d been promised so they said go right ahead Clown Minister and make us great again, well Bollox Johnson hasn’t delivered the shiny has he, but do the people of England care? of course they don’t, why? because to admit failure is to admit they are less than they claimed to be and there’ll always be an England mentality refuses to deal with that outcome so they will do what England always does and *soldier on* telling themselves that they will come out the other side greater and stronger just as soon as they can find a way to impose something, anything, on somebody else, then they will declare themselves winners no matter the cost to anyone or anything or any other nation, because like Donald Trump it’s England first

    Those in Scotland who would have us believe it’s better to remain inside such a Union with that country come in a number of categories with a number of arguments to support their desire for subservience to the will of another country with this odd mentality, and all of them wrong

    This attitude is the slavery of cowardice and fear, will you be worse off with Independence, will you have different money, will you have a border, will you have your relatives wrenched from you and made foreigners, will you have no trade so will be poverty stricken, will you be able to defend yourselves from raging enemies intent on destroying you

    They use one argument in three completely different ways the Union says you are doomed without them, then they say they will cause you to be doomed without them, then like a loving Jewish mother in a sit com they say they want to protect you forever so you must never leave home, have another plate of Brisket, see how good life can be

    Do we in Scotland ever see one good reason, just one actual advantage of remaining in this prison
    Do they ever present a reason we can ever trust given the history of these people
    The people of England vote and get what they vote for and that’s fine for them, but must we keep allowing them to make all the decisions for us?, over us,? about us,? because they’ve created a system where we don’t get a vote at all and if we want a vote they get damned angry about it

    What right has another country to be angry at us for wanting to decide something for ourselves

  53. Alex Clark says:

    Ruth Davidson has today declared to her party faithful that Scotland has “passed peak-Nat” she forgot to mention that she said the same thing in 2016 as well. Oops.

    • grizebard says:

      She might wish, but this isn’t 2016/17 and the popular dynamic is entirely different these days, now that people have had time to inwardly digest everything that has happened since. Not least the marked contrast – as a few of us seem now to be in danger of forgetting – of the UKGov’s hapless and arguably corrupt handling of the Covid crisis compared to our own government’s generally effective performance.

      We have all had a taste of what a Scottish government can achieve, and in the most difficult of circumstances forbye, and – bar the usual never-please partisans – rather like it. An entrée, if you will, and now we’re ready for the main course.

  54. Alex Clark says:

    Tomorrow it will be the turn of Johnson to lie to the party faithful that there will never be another referendum under his watch and they will lap it up.

    Just like the DUP did when he promised there would never be a border down the Irish Sea, just like he vowed to the Brexit fanatics in his party that he would leave the EU by 31st of October 2019 and that he would rather die in a ditch than extend the transition period.

    He never died in a ditch though did he and the transition period was extended until Dec 31st 2020.

    The party faithful that will lap up his every word tomorrow will be the same, they never learn that it is unwise to trust a proven liar.

    • grizebard says:

      Ach, his exceptionalism and crowing over us may go down a treat with his select little audience, but – like Baroness Placemat’s piece of self-abasement on a previous occasion – it works in diametric reverse up here. The readily-provided exposure is not all received the same way, though he’s probably too self-pleased to realise it. So I suppose we should be grateful that this buffoon is in charge down south.

  55. Capella says:

    Pete Wishart on the SNP Bad bloggers. Acknowledges the justifiable criticism but seems to see a light at the end of this tunnel. Not that that will mollify them.
    https://petewishart.wordpress.com/2021/03/13/meet-the-bloggers/

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, cosy feet “Pension Pete” seems a little obsessed with the fockers …

      • Dr Jim says:

        My little birdy tells me that although Pete Wishart is right he needn’t have bothered as certain of *the blogger* may not be around for much longer

    • grizebard says:

      Hmmm, I am surprised to find myself largely agreeing with {ahem} “Pension Pete”. Though he does somewhat miss one point, which is that if the “socially conservative” among us are in disagreement with the SNP, maybe the party could usefully reflect that until we get our independence, as a necessary umbrella movement it ought to be willing and able to represent all strands of pro-yes and potentially-yes opinion, and not divert itself too much on internal squabbles over issues that do not reflect widespread public opinion or concerns.

      The time for having nuanced differences is after we have achieved a polity where we can actually exercise them.

  56. Terence Callachan says:

    On the other side of that door you say has lost its hinges and bolts
    Is a cannon lying in wait

    Westminster has not made its main thrust of attack yet
    whatever form that will take we dont yet know
    But you would be daft to think the end of the union
    Or as i like to call it
    the end of englands control of Scotland Wales and NI is going to happen
    without a dogfight
    Lives will be lost
    Westminster as i have said before
    Will do anything to keep control of Scotland
    And i mean anything
    They know that once Scotland goes
    The rest will follow
    Not so very long ago lives were lost when little Malta decided it wanted independence from England

    • yesindyref2 says:

      You really do love pushing the concept of violence.

      YES was never violent and never will be, despite your best efforts.

      Behave yourself!

      • Terence Callachan says:

        You really are ignorant of past events if you think violence will not happen when Scotland declares independence.
        I dont push concepts
        NO are violent and will be again
        You better believe it

      • Eilidh says:

        You know Pete had a perfectly good job in Runrig a band which went on successfully for 17 years after he left to become an Mp. I bet there are days when he reads the crap some bloggers write and wishes he hadn’t bothered running for Parliament and just stayed as a musician instead. Pete isn’t perfect but he is well liked in his constituency and I largely agree with what he has written. As an ordinary member of the electorate I am heartily sick of the vitriol and hatred towards the Snp and the FM from certain bloggers and their acolytes. They are an embarrassment to Scotland

    • grizebard says:

      This is just as negative and depressing a take as the Wingnuts. And the very same question as Paul posed to them could equally be posed to you: what is your solution then? (Other than darkly insinuating or just giving up, that is.)

      Mercifully though your ultra-cringe view is just as ill-founded. You’ve been bluffed by a gang of private-school posers! (Or what Walsh via his character Renton call them.) Unlike Dorothy in Oz, you aren’t willing to “pull back the curtain” and discover the fraud that is the once-almighty British once-Empire, which is actually tottering on its last legs (wooden ones worm-eaten with inconsistencies). It just needs a well-timed push.

      And most critically and worrying of all, you don’t seem to have the faintest understanding of the true power of democracy.

  57. Terence Callachan says:

    Living on an island we share makes our situation differentEngland really does think this whole island is theirs , they dont have that in writing but thats no mistake ,they will fight to keep it.

    • “…England really does think this whole island is theirs…”

      I may not have posted much over the years Terence, but I’ve read plenty; you have form in this area. You really need to get a grip of your Anglophobia & keep those particular thought to yourself.

      The idea that England, all of it, sees Scotland as a possession is pure, unadulterated guff. Sure, the establishment & the power hungry do. There are many that don’t know any better; most don’t care.

      There’s plenty of English people, in England, that are either genuinely enthusiastic or fully supportive of our aims.

      So, Mr Terence “Ah’ll haud the jaikets” Callachan lay off the jingoist warmongering crap (as per recent posts) if you please; it doesn’t do anyone any favours.

      If anything, your tub-thumping could just encourage a few knuckledraggers to start spouting off. That would just be a gift to the other side, so please stop giving.

  58. Dr Jim says:

    Dr Liam Fox Tory MP made something very clear the other day in the House of Commons when he said the civil service is not devolved to Scotland Wales or Northern Ireland, they may work to the direction of those governments but they do not work for those governments, the civil service are answerable to any UK government Minister

    Just like Scotland’s economy our elected representatives run it but don’t control it

    England is not in the UK, England owns the UK
    The trap of devolution was a tool to undermine any elected government and has been in place since day one, Scotland is always compared to England who are in real terms an Independent country because they and only they as a country of this Union control all of their own finances in the same way other Independent countries do, the difference is they control ours too in the same way a country controls a colony

    No government in England is answerable to Scotland Wales or Northern Ireland no matter what they do

    Scotland cannot be a country until we are a country

    Vote SNP 1X2

  59. James Mills says:

    The Tories /unionists remind me of the Fawlty Towers episode with the Germans .

    ”Don’t mention the War ! ” was Basil’s message , yet he raised it on every possible occasion .

    Likewise the mantra from the Tory/unionist side has always been ”Don’t mention Independence !” , yet they do so continually and have done so since 2014 !
    Yet their argument since 2014 has been it is the SNP or the nationalists who are always raising this issue .

    Look at the Tory Scottish election leaflets in every local , Holyrood and General election since 2014 – every one was dominated ( to the exclusion of EVERYTHING else ) by talk of Independence referendums – balanced by a million photies of Ruth .
    ( I think they also included a pledge that no large beast of burden had been harmed during the photographic process )

    So . like Basil , they are the instruments of their own demise : in their fear of another vote , the prospect of another referendum is always at the front of their minds and they in turn constantly keep it in the public consciousness by accusing the SNP of harping on about it when it is their obsession .

  60. Pogmothon says:

    Totally OT but I feel it needs saying and thinking about,

    I agree wholeheartedly with Terence Callachan’s comment at March 13, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    “On the other side of that door you say has lost its hinges and bolts
    Is a cannon lying in wait”

    If westminster DO NOT use force it will be the first time they have contested an independence where they have not employed force. He sights Malta as an example, but ask the people from Croke Park what Westminster establishment violence looks like if you want to see something closer to home. When people require yur actual democracy or self-determination.

    I have no wish to frighten anyone especially YES, NO waverers.

    However to close our eyes to the methods they have always employed, is simply to encourage the continued use of those methods.

    “Know Your Enemy”

    They will manufacture and or adapt any situation that allows them to flex muscle and blame us as the transgressors of the rules or law. (being able to prove your innocence a month or year or decades later will not negate “maggie’s cavalry” on the day or vilification by the media and establishment) ask the miners, or the families and friends of the 96.

    “The best way to win a physical fight. Be Somewhere Else”

    Go to the march or gathering that they have banned. Let the international media film the Yes Groups, and all the Police / Military especially the ones on horseback, and the others in riot gear. But before you come face to face with them MELT AWAY like “snow aff a dyke” go home in a thousand different directions. The guerrilla tactics of peaceful protest may not save everyone. But it will show the world who transgresses against whom. The first time they can claim a show of force saved the day, from what? by who?
    We are not dressed in riot gear carrying all kinds of weapon’s or mounted on “heavy horse” (a very old well tried tactic). But what about the 2nd time or 3rd or 4th etc, etc. Politicians or celebrities being arrested does not help either.

    Should you require further proof of the establishments’ methods? Look at what happened last night on Clapham Common, FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW.

    From their view point it is so simple, we made a rule, you broke that rule, we enforced that rule, don’t do it again, or the same thing will happen. (physical and psychological suppression) (If the commissioner is replaced I would take money that he will be a more right wing hardliner than she ever could be)

    A win, win, win, for the establishment as they see it.

    For them it has nothing to do with women’s rights or safety. Or a women who may have died at the hand of one of their own, who was trusted to carry a firearm continually in public.

    No it’s the line in the sand that they dare us to cross. Which we do so at our peril.

    You kin grab ma coat ony time ye like…. Oh! look there’s nay a biddy in it !!!!!!

    • Capella says:

      Actually, it’s the SNP that has drawn the line in the sand. We are having a referendum and if you object then take us to court. The court will decide where sovereignty lies.

      If the Westminster mobsters then decide to act outwith the law they will find themselves at odds with the civilised world. We may then have to call on our international friends to support us. Fine.

      Robin MacAlpine once wrote a useful article titled “Just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you can use it”. That was in 2014. He could reissue that.

    • J Galt says:

      The problem is the “rules” are being applied selectively, as we saw recently in Glasgow.

      However in the case of last night’s event that would probably have been justified.

      A sensible Cressida Dick would have called off the troops and allowed the event to pass off unmolested – even if only for the sake of her own neck.

    • grizebard says:

      Do you seriously think that this kind of doom-laden paranoia is likely to convince any visiting doubter of the advantages of independence, as Paul asks of us? It’s just an echo of that dastardly “Ulsterisation” ploy the Tories dabbled with a while back (and thankfully quickly dropped).

  61. Capella says:

    Another false claim bites the dust. In The National – Revealed: The truth behind the SNP’s ‘manifesto’ leaked to Wings Over Scotland
    https://archive.fo/Gs4PJ

    • Dr Jim says:

      This is not the first time WOS has used this type of deception to then claim later if people thought it was real it was they who were *F*****g stupid* (his words)
      The Davy Crockett defence is how he persuaded his men to fight at the Alamo, Crockett invented a letter from Generalissimo St Ana read it out to his men which stirred them up to fight then told the truth that he had written it himself but claimed it’s what St Ana would have said if he had written such a letter , by then the men were so stirred up by the arrogance of the idea of such a letter they didn’t care who wrote it

      Everybody died at the Alamo, at least Crockett was actually there to face the consequences of his actions, there was no internet at that time so it could be incited safely from a great distance such as a town in another country

      • Capella says:

        I used to like Davy Crockett too – aged about 5 🙂 Feet of clay sadly.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Davy Crockett was a moderately successful politician and not so much the invented frontier backwoodsman Indian fighter who killed a *Baar* when he was only three as the song in his honour goes

          If there were a Daily Mail at that time Crockett would’ve ended up President before he ever got to the Alamo, still they were great stories when we were kids

          • Tam the Bam says:

            ” Davy…..Davy Crockett……King of the Weegie Ironmongers”…….

            ….aye ok….I’ll get ma coat (again).

    • Eilidh says:

      The Bam from Bath has already got a comment on the National saying the article they published today re the source of the so called manifesto was a disgracful piece of journalism. Seriously!!!!

  62. Ken says:

    Sir Ian Diamond ONS. Former Chancellor of Aberdeen University. 2018. Ripped off public monies and did not pay it back. Unionist. Paid £600,000 2017/18. Overpaid. Secret payments. Appointment ‘inappropriate’.

    Sunak failed banker. Billionaire family,

  63. Ken says:

    The UK is one of the safest places in the world. Gun laws. The rate of murder is really very low. People should not be scared of going out. The crime rate is really quite low. Murders are usually accidental with people known to each other’s in families or acquaintances. Committed under duress.

    Drink/drug plays a part. It is a gender issue. The penetrators are mainly men. More violent and more likely to commit crime. 2/3. Men are more likely to be victims. 3 times more.

    Austerity has increased killings. 200 more knife killings a year in London S/E. Austerity and support being taken away, Welfare cuts £16Billion from 2015 to 2020. The Scottish Gov has to mitigate the cuts,

  64. Bob Lamont says:

    An interesting piece posted on indyref2 this morning https://bylinetimes.com/2021/03/12/the-end-of-the-union-identity-meets-provocation/ the final paragraph of which reads – “The Union may, in the end, survive politically, but now only under duress”

    Ultimately there is no question Scotland and England (and come to that Wales and NI also) are rapidly diverging, the only question left is how acrimonious it gets before reality dawns and the Union disintegrates.
    The choice Scots have now is to leave in an orderly fashion or wait until the fire starts, but leave they shall.

    • Statgeek says:

      “And yet, this is not an anti-colonial struggle or an attempt to assert freedom from an oppressor.”

      That depends on one’s point of view. Look at Norway’s oil fund and look at our own.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Yes, I stumbled over that one also but took it to mean military rather than psychological or financial oppression.

      • Our “oil dividend” was to have the, ahem, “fiscally sound” Tories squander it elsewhere on our behalf.

        The UK’s extraction rates have been broadly similar throughout, but Norway has a sovereign wealth fund of around $1.3Tn & the UK has record debt.

        On top of that, there were more free, one-off dividends from the Tories’ privatisation fetish. A couple of the bigger ones generated close to £5Bn each. There were several hundred public assets, large and small, sold off, I’m sure it must’ve added up to a serious chunk of change.

        All gone & the proceeds well & truly spaffed.

        • bringiton says:

          During the 2014 referendum,a term that was being used by the Yes side was that “A positive campaign always wins over a negative one”.
          Well,that appears to be except for viewers in Scotland where Project Fear had a significant impact on many Scots.
          We have to start highlighting the failures of management by the UK governance of Scotland.
          Pensions,EU,Oil resources,future NHS privatisation,Renewables etc etc.
          Followed up by what an independent Scotland could do to counter that and a lot of other stuff required to make us a prosperous nation.
          in Scotland,negativity works for many people.

          • JoMax says:

            And the negativity is widespread. I know of one man who, on his final visit ‘home’ in 2014, pre-IndyRef1 was asked about Scottish independence and quite adamantly said, “Oh no. Scotland couldn’t possibly go it alone. Too poor, etc etc ….”

            He emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1960’s! Oh, the irony.

  65. Hamish100 says:

    I’m wondering if we should swap Police forces?

    The Met to deal with so called Rangers supporters and PS dealing with vigil participants?

    Of course either group should not have been on the streets their although the latter is more laudible

  66. Ken says:

    There now an argument women cannot be protected in Law because they are not a minority? (Tory woman). Privilege.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yeah but the Tories insist we’re all one country then Scots are a minority aren’t we

  67. Dr Jim says:

    It takes special kind of training now to be professional Internet trollers now that certain bloggers have been teaching the luniacs the art of the nutter

    First they wait for an acknowledgement of something like the dreadful murder we’ve just seen the reports of by the FM then the trolls wade in with comments on how much the FM doesn’t care to acknowledge everybody else and that makes her bad, if the FM acknowledges everybody else the trolls next move is to comment on how she shouldn’t have let it happen in the first place and so on

    If congratulations are in order for someone or a team on a sporting achievement the same thing applies, why didn’t she congratulate everybody else, the implication being she doesn’t like the other sporting person or team so failing half the country and so on

    This is the art of Qanon Donald Trump subversion aimed at the naive or angry to make them even more angry at the target of the one directing the subversion, the mission is always to undermine thwart and divert attention away from the legitimate and to concentrate the minds on the conspiracy and they’ll point to a word, a phrase, a moment in time and build the conspiracy around that

    We most of us use names and phrases to jibe at politicians or folk we don’t like, that’s human nature, but mostly we heard them from somewhere else and repeat them because we either think they’re funny or appropriate for some of the people we aim them at, but what most of us don’t do is plan or think these things up to design malicious campaigns around the targeted use of such things

    It’s how Donald Trump became America’s most successful unsuccessful loser both as a President and a human being, but there’s money in it, and where there’s muck there are mucky little shits with a website trying to make brass out of it

    Remember Jo Cox, this is what this behaviour leads to, do they care? do they F… nothing to do with them

  68. Hamish100 says:

    Regarding the understandable concern over the recent murder.

    I listened with interest on R4 yesterday that the idea of the vigil and the use of the individuals name was undertaken without discussion with the family or boyfriend.
    The commentator remarked that individuals believe that they have a right or obligation to “copyright” a name or a cause with a thought or concern to the immediate grief to a family.
    If this is true it’s worth thinking on how we use people for our own benefit or beliefs.

  69. Hamish100 says:

    Dr Jim. apparently you are the FM. I knew you had inside info!

  70. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I think the problem with those who state they are NOT going to vote SNP in May’s Scottish election is that they, as we all will , have to live with the consequences of Boris and other career politicians such as DRoss, Davidson and others, too many to mention , from using it as a faux justification for Scots not wanting independence….thus they will continue to erode powers from Holyrood and impose Tory policies that will undermine and destroy devolution.

    I have had some concerns with the SNP but I am a realist and I am also so absolutely totally scunnered by the political opportunism of opposition parties weaponsing the recent inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Salmond allegations ……and they have also shockingly weaponised the Covid pandemic while conveniently , for them, failing to hold to account the many corrupt and incompetent decisions made by the Tory UKnotOK Government.

    I have said before on another blog and on here that the reason the Tories have no credibility is because they accuse the SNP of corruption, mishandling, sleaze, incompetence and duplicity while clearly they themselves, individually and as a party and from their record as the UKnotOK Govt, are doing this from a political glass house….and lets be honest the hands of the Lib Dems and the Labour party are also not clean in the scandal, incompetence and credibility stakes.

    I would urge Scots to seriously focus on what the alternative would be of NOT voting SNP in May will mean for them and the dire consequences that will surely ensue.

    I do not need to listen to any political debates or political opinions because my decision is and always has been to get independence for Scotland, thus I need no persuading to vote for it or indeed to listen or read anything that undermines what I believe to be the right path for Scotland, if it is to survive and grow as a country, that benefits it’s people who choose to live here.

    A people who will then, post independence, have the democratic choice to vote for a government that they elect as opposed to another larger populated country making that decision for them……….with the current obvious negative and catastrophic impact and consequences that has proven to entail.

    Irrespective of the conscious and deliberate MSM whitewash on Tory scandals there is fortunately still sources to be found where the Tory scandals are exposed. However I can only assume that the people who live in Scotland and choose NOT to vote SNP in May either do not frequent alternate media on the internet thus are oblivious to the scale of scandal, incompetence and corruption of the Tories OR if they ARE aware then they themselves are obviously cut from the same cloth.

    So if voters are STILL willing to vote Tory in Scotland then they have become willing accomplices to the many Tory misdeeds and that is indeed a very sad state of affairs from a moral perspective and does very little to restore faith in human nature .

    If however people choose to vote for an alternative Unionist party in Scotland in May, i.e. other than the Tories , then they really should consider and be aware that their vote will have absolutely no impact while the Tories are THE party that rule in the UKnotOK…..indeed it will only help the Tories to further destroy all of the things they are currently destroying and ultimately that will be to the detriment of everyone……with the exception of the fat cats who donate to the Tories obvs.

    I have been critical of the SNP and individuals within the party but I am intelligent enough to know that currently there is no prospect of advancing further with independence if we do not vote for the SNP in May and that is a fact……..the political Unionist parties and the media are waiting and ready to once again weaponise any result post the election in May that they will say shows that Scotland does not want another Indy Ref……….with the (wrong) assumption being that those who live in Scotland are therefore content with the current status quo.

    The current position is that everyone in the UKnotOk has been let down by all Unionist political parties …..i.e. the ones who currently hold the power and all of the others who fail to fully hold to account the ones in power who have committed the biggest political fraud of all (not an exclusive example)…….implementing a Brexit on false and unfulfilled promises, unrealistic expectations and resulting in dire economic consequences (and one NOT voted for by those who live in Scotland)….though as I have stated Brexit is not a unique example in Tory scandals……though the compliant media still continue to force feed us all tittle tattle and trivia to ensure that the REAL Tory bad news is kept well obscured from public scrutiny…..and they are doing it deliberately too.

    If you wish, as a voter living in Scotland, to remain a part of this then I think you need to take a hard look in the mirror and reflect who you really are or what you have become……..an enabler…alternatively vote SNP and don’t let the you know what’s get you down.

    It is SNP for me in May.

    Apologies for long comment…..once I start I find it hard to stop…so strong is my passion and anger.

    • A lovely read, NMRN.
      Not ‘long’ in the slightest.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Jack….my real assumed name is Clapper57…..unfortunately , because of a mistake made by me I am unable to use my old assumed name to add a comment on WGD and some other sites….not this or other site’s fault….long story so will not bore you with it…..hence I now need to use NMRN to comment on here……..I have interacted with you , on here, in the past if you remember…..Cheers

        Have a good evening

    • No need to apologise, I found that quite uplifting. As Jack said, a lovely read.

    • wm says:

      No need to apologise, completely agree, the English Tories Blue ,Red or Yellow have been ripping the rest of the UK off including Scotland’s wealth since 1307. Ninety % of the wealth, most of which was produced North of London is now in London and the South East.

  71. Hamish100 says:

    Good summation as to how many of us feel.

  72. Margaret Barrie says:

    Thanks for this most informative and helpful article, Paul. You amaze me with your resilience to adversity.

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