Visibly producing the appearance of listening

Yesterday the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales participated in a four nations summit meeting chaired by Boris Johnson. Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill were also in attendance. The meeting had been called by Downing Street following the results of the elections to the Scottish and Welsh parliaments last month. Feeling the need to look like he was doing something after elections which produced a record majority for pro-independence parties in Scotland, Johnson called the summit ostensibly so that the leaders of the devolved nations could discuss covid recovery with the British government following repeated criticisms from both Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford that Downing Street has sidelined, marginalised and ignored.

However that wasn’t the real purpose of this supposed summit. Like those TV adverts where cosmetics companies make the carefully worded legalese claim that their expensive product can visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, this summit was called by Downing Street as a cosmetic exercise to visibly produce the appearance of listening.

It was always clear that nothing of any substance was going to come out of the meeting. Yesterday’s summit was postponed from last week after Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford both wrote to the Prime Minister’s office to complain that the proposed agenda for the meeting was vague and ill-defined. But then you don’t really need a detailed agenda when the purpose of the meeting is simply so that you can go ,”Yeah right whatevah” and then brief to the right wing British press that you were being constructive and cooperative but there’s no reasoning with those beastly separatists, it’s all the fault of Thatessempee for being divisive.

As predictable as Michael Gove evasively sliming his way through an interview on the telly, following the meeting Nicola Sturgeon reported that “nothing substantial” had come out of it. However both Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford, who is most certainly not an advocate for Welsh independence took advantage of having access to Boris Johnson’s ear, if not his attention, interest, or sympathies, to warn him that his Government’s power grabs at the expense of the devolved governments risked the break up of the UK.

The Conservative Government has shamelessly used Brexit, which Scotland didn’t vote for, as an excuse to hollow out the devolution settlement, which Scotland did vote for. The British Government’s UK Internal Market Act unilaterally gives Westminster governments the power to make spending decisions on devolved areas and to override and ignore any objections from Holyrood or Cardiff despite the fact that all the major anti-independence parties, including the Conservatives promised during the independence referendum campaign that if Scotland voted no they would ensure that no changes could ever be made to the powers of Holyrood or the devolution settlement without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament. Funnily enough we don’t hear much from the Scottish Conservatives about that when they’re pontificating about the need to respect the result of the referendum.

Following the meeting the First Minister said: that she and the Welsh First Minister had made it clear that ” If we are to have good faith discussions about working together where we can then that’s not helped by the power grab and the UK Government trying to muscle in on devolved spending. ” She added: “We then had a discussion that shared some experiences around Covid, but the proof in the pudding of all of this is going to be whether it has an impact, whether it changes any of the decisions of the UK Government that impact on the devolved nations. ”

Meanwhile writing in the Guardian newspaper, Alex Niven, a university lecturer and author of a book advocating greater powers for the English regions and decentralisation of the British state, argues that there has been an astonishing lack of thinking in England about what will replace the current model of the British state.

Those of us who support Scottish independence are acutely aware of the need to formulate plausible and convincing arguments for independence. Considerable work has already gone into these by organisations like Common Weal, Business for Scotland and Believe in Scotland. However Alex Niven has pointed out that there is scarcely any awareness in England, never mind serious work, about how England would need to change if some form of union with the other nations in these islands is to survive. This is absolutely crucial because even though anti-independence politicians like Gordon Brown are constantly trying to promote federalism as the antidote to Scottish independence, without widespread support for this idea in England, it’s a non-starter.

For their part the Conservatives appear content to complete their transformation into an avowedly English nationalist party and have no interest whatsoever in embarking upon radical constitutional changes which would limit their power in England just to keep Scotland happy. They know that they only need to entrench themselves as the party of English interests in order to secure their power at Westminster. For the immediate future they are content to stall and delay the inevitable confrontation between Downing Street and a pro-independence Scottish Parliament which has a commitment to deliver another independence referendum within its five year term, hence the summits with ill defined agendas which were never designed to produce concrete outcomes.

The Tories have no intention of going into the next independence referendum campaign with a revised offer of union to put before the people of Scotland. They are relying on the hope that they can stall long enough that some magic event will intervene and defeat independence for them. Apart from that they are relying on scare stories and fear mongering and cosmetic exercises like meaningless and toothless summits, royal visits and plastering union flags on everything. As Alex Niven has noted, deep down the Conservative party has accepted that the Union is a busted flush. They’re just hoping that the soft noes, nd the undecideds, the waverers and the home rule advocates in Scotland – Brown’s so-called Middle Scotland – haven’t noticed that the the “muscular unionism” the Tories hope will replace traditional unionism is really just a version of the right wing xenophobic English nationalism which led to Brexit writ large. The Tories’ big problem is that in the absence of a plausible version of a reformed union, “Middle Scotland” won’t be able to ignore it.

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100 comments on “Visibly producing the appearance of listening

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Visibly producing the appearance of listening Yesterday the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales participated in a four nations […]

  2. Dr Jim says:

    It seems no matter what time of day I’ve entered a supermarket in the last week or so there are no National newspapers on sale yet the stalls are chock full of Tory papers mischaracterizing misrepresenting and *misremembering* all and any news whatsoever regarding anything, and of course especially Scottish issues to which they now just downright lie about, the BBC cuts short the Covid briefings by the FM so they can interview opposition politicians on their medical knowledge and expertise in the matter completely ignoring the fact that the man standing next to the FM is the expert on these matters yet they cut away from him to people who know nothing except to say *we’re no happy* and meanwhile the programme is ongoing on the Internet with journalists asking the expert questions the public want to hear the answers to on the channel the BBC just left

    This is the arm of the UK government co operating to inform and inquire on our behalf, in other words you only get to see and hear what the English government and its BBC will allow you to receive, and this is in the middle of a world pandemic public health crisis that every citizen in Scotland should be able to access easily by the broadcaster they pay a considerable amount of money to for that access

    You have to think where an organisation like the BBC gets the power to decide the value of which public health information it broadcasts to the people of Scotland who elected a government to inform them when that government feels it necessary who and what are the BBC to decide to censor that information and who gave them such power

    That’s UK co operation

    Oh by the way the BBC excuse for doing this is *to present a balanced view*, so remember when you next attend your doctor you insist on the BBC giving an interpretation of his diagnosis

  3. Dennis Smith says:

    I haven’t read Alex Niven’s book, and I’m not sure if I can face another exercise in masochistic English navel-gazing. But for anyone interested in wrestling with the complexities of British and English identity I can recommend another recent book written by academics in Edinburgh and Cardiff – Englishness by Ailsa Henderson and Richard Wyn Jones (Oxford, 2021).

    This is based on years of solid academic research (the Future of England Survey) and is impressively sharp in its analysis. It shows that Britishness means different things to different groups in the different countries of the UK. It also shows how many people in England slide easily (and sometimes unconsciously) between being British and being English. They identify one key group of English voters who decisively swung both the 2015 Westminster election and the 2016 Brexit referendum. In 2015, wearing their English hats, they voted to preserve England from one groups of outsiders (the SNP). Then in 2016, wearing their British hats, they voted to preserve Britain from another group of outsiders (the EU).

    In some ways this makes life difficult for people who want to argue for Scottish independence. We can’t just criticise ‘English nationalists’ or ‘British nationalists’. The facts are more complicated. These groups overlap in complex and contradictory ways. But we need to grapple with these issues if the English are ever to be helped to understand their own muddled identity.

    If anyone want to follow these ideas further, I reviewed the book last month in the Scottish Review, available at https://www.scottishreview.net/DennisSmith571a.html

    • Capella says:

      Interesting theories Dennis – I will certainly read your review. My own theory is that the “English” never recovered from the Norman conquest. They were turned into serfs and have remained serfs ever since while the Normans took over their land, their wealth and their government. French words are used by the toffs, army ranks are French, the aristocrats “came over with William” and have never left. Their names are French derivations.

      We had our Normans too, Robert de Brus for example, but they never conquered and it wasn’t till the 18th Century that the British finally managed to suppress the Highlands.

      Eddi Reader had a good conversation with Ruth Watson on the Independence Live Election Special. She feels that English people suffer more from the cringe than Scots. They learned to despise their culture and regard themselves as inferior. Posh boys rule England and the UK. They think they are born to rule. The Angles, Saxons and Jutes are just foot soldiers.
      They could do with an independence movement for themselves to get rid of the iron grip of the Posh Boys.

    • samthedug says:

      I enjoyed your review Dennis, thanks.

    • grizebard says:

      “But we need to grapple with these issues if the English are ever to be helped to understand their own muddled identity”. No, we here in Scotland don’t, interesting as it may well be. That exercise would only be relevant to diehard devolutionists desperately wishing to save their shoogly project, or indeed those well-meaning folk in England who are constantly but largely fruitlessly striving for reform (yes, I get a regular update of the ERS missives!) for their own legitimate sakes, perhaps spurred-on somewhat now though because of a perceived growing danger to the Union.

      As for the devolutionists here, if they pursued the task honestly, they would very rapidly conclude it’s beyond “all too little too late” and more like a complete bust. The timescales involved and the political obstacles are prodigious. Frankly, the only thing that might possibly change all that would be the cataclysmic event (for them) of dissolution of the Union.

      Scotland leaving is the biggest parting gift we could possibly bestow on English political reform. That’s all we here actually need to know.

      • Dennis Smith says:

        Sorry, I have to disagree here. Leaving aside the argument that it’s always a commendable act of altruism to help other people (including English people) to understand themselves better, we have to argue with people here in Scotland (unionists) who consider themselves British as well as Scottish, or even British and not Scottish.

        Henderson and Wyn Jones do a good job of showing just how complicated and confused people’s ideas of identity actually are. It’s hard to engage in constructive dialogue without making a serious effort to understand the other person’s point of view. And that means trying to understand ideas of Englishness and Britishness as well as Scottishness. All three are historically entangled.

        • grizebard says:

          You’ve changed the argument here slightly. You now seem to be introducing the idea of complicated issues of identity among at least some Scottish people, as opposed to simply us understanding English notions of identity. Which is perhaps not surprising, because the conclusion easily reached is that there is no way whatever that any Scottish perception of English identity (of which we have indeed necessarily had much over the last century or two, being “in bed with the elephant”, as it were) can have an iota of purchase on the English themselves.

          From our own point of view, it seems to me – having made the transition of understanding, as have many before and since – the conclusion remains an essentially simple one – that we do not have any influence, that the English Establishment has no intention of addressing our issues in any meaningful way, that as Scots we barely feature in their landscape except as a useful resource in various ways, and that pragmatically we need to “take back control”, whatever our notions of identity may happen to be. Even many enlightened English people living here can testify to that.

          There is perhaps a quarter of the population that is resoultely Unionist in attitude, and these people are not going to change their attitide in any meaningfully timescale, whatever analyses we care to perform on them. Our attention need instead be on the “wavering middle”, people who are clearly Scottish at heart already, as evidenced by a consistent majority who believe that Scottish independence in ultimately inevitable, and whose overriding concern is purely economic. That is the real fulcrum of levering a win.

          • douglasclark says:

            Well said, grizebard.

          • Dennis Smith says:

            I don’t disagree that my position is flexible. I’m basically channelling the arguments of Henderson and Wyn Jones here. I don’t agree with everything they say and in some places I may well misunderstand them. But one of their basic points is that questions of identity are inevitably complicated. So I disagree with your assertion that “the conclusion remains an essentially simple one “. Life is never simple.

            Most of the time Henderson and Wyn Jones don’t speak about the English, the Scots and the British: they ask their respondents to self-identify on a scale of one to ten and then talk about English-identifiers, etc. And some of the results are surprising. There are people who identify strongly as both English and British, or as strongly Scottish and British. And when you crunch the numbers and look at detailed beliefs and values it’s clear that different groups mean very different things when they use words like “British”. To take one example, British-identifiers in Scotland hold views very similar to English-identifiers in England, and very different from British-identifiers in England.

            It’s not enough to concentrate on people “who are clearly Scottish at heart already”. Some people feel equally Scottish and British. The question is not just whether they feel Scottish but also what they mean by “Scottish”. In the decades around 1700 Covenanters and Jacobites both self-identified as Scottish but they held such different views about the essential meaning of Scotland that they ended up killing one. There’s a compelling argument that in a democracy sovereignty must be vested in the people – a test that the current Westminster system miserably fails. But this throws us back on the question “Who are the people?” – a question that can only be tackled by detailed, open-ended debate, issue by issue and person by person.

          • Janet says:

            Leaving DevoMax with FFA as the logical campaigning stepping stone?

            Gradualism works.

            The important point is that normal people are not political but can be persuaded by speculation regarding mortgage interest rates.

        • ArtyHetty says:

          Independence isn’t dependant on identity anyway. Scotland has a broad and diverse population, like myself, not all born and bred in Scotland. I frankly do not care whether people want to be called Scottish or not, but I do care that if they live in Scotland, if it’s their home, that they want the best for Scotland and for all the people of Scotland. Just like any other independent country, people will consider their nationhood to be whatever they want it to be really, but the question is, do they want a government of another country, which they did not vote for, governing them, and mostly, to the detriment of their country and the people in it.

          The people of England can sort themselves out, moving into the 21st century would help. Not everyone in England is English or considers themselves ‘British’, nor should they be expected to choose one or the other. My father was in the army in the 1950’s in Malayia, he was never proud of ‘Britain’, he’d seen how brutal the ‘British’ were, he saw also just how unequal the ‘British’ were, in the utter poverty of those living in NE England, shocking.

          Scotland can’t help the English to ‘understand their own muddled identity’, that’s not Scotland’s responsibility. What would be pertinent is for the English government, to start discussing and getting into dialogue about how the two countries can get on, and work together once Scotland does vote for independence. So far, we’ve had nothing but displays of ridicule and sheer contempt from those in the British Nationalist parties who inhabit the corridors of WM, and now we see them paying lipservice with their faux co-meeting as this article by Paul discusses.

          It’s another con, trying to appear all considerate and amenable, but we are not fooled, they will put the boot in (kick!) soon as they have the hand shake secured.

          Scotland will not be taken for a fool anymore, you can be what you want in Scotland, no need to choose any type of ‘ness’ in an independent country, you can be a citizen of the world. It’s time people of England woke up, they are still considered ‘subjects’ and not citizens, that’s the crux of the matter really, not whether they are of any particular nationality.

          In Scotland the people are sovereign, not subjects, no matter their nationality or ‘ness ness’.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        I agree grizebard, your final paragraph is precisely the point Fintan O’Toole has been making for many years, only at the collapse of Union will England be finally forced to deal with it’s own distortions and conflicts.

        • “This is a story of sea power. In November 1939, the war was 2 months old. Blitzkrieg on Poland had given the world a new word and the generals a new idea of battle.
          At sea the problems were still the same. In war Germany could feed herself.

          England could not. If the ships bringing England’s food could be sunk or immobilised, England would starve and the war would be won.
          For this, the Germans had three powerful weapons; the magnetic mine, the U Boats, and the surface raider.
          These pocket battleships were strong and swift. There had never been anything like them. They were the tigers of the sea.”

          This is the voice over setting the scene at the beginning of ‘The Battle of the River Plate’.

          John Gregson, Anthony Quayle and Bernard Lee feature as stolid John Bull mariners taking on the Gerries, the Captain of the Graf Spee played by Peter Finch..

          “At sea the problems were still the same”, as they were in the days of Nelson presumably.

          This stiff upper lip twaddle dates from 1956, one of many black and white WWII derring do Boys Own War Pictures chronicling England’s war with the Gerries which we were fed during that decade.

          I copied this ‘always be an England’ jingoism from BBC’s Films offerings.

          John Mills and Bernard Lee, again. are saving the British Empire from Hitler in the original ‘Dunkirk’, also in the BBC catalogue this week.

          I wonder what modern day Germans make of all this jingo England rubbish these days.

          My friends ex colleagues and indeed relatives born Down There, think of themselves as English, first and foremost. That’s just a fact.
          England won the war and saved their Empire,

  4. Bob Lamont says:

    I’d already commented on the National piece as follows:
    “”It is understood the PM has committed to more regular four nation meetings” – ?
    Jack describing it as “constructive” whilst simultaneously acknowledging ” the FM’s assessment that “nothing substantial” had come from the meeting was a “fair reflection”, confirms this was nothing more than window dressing – When it appears public view of your competence is in doubt, hold a meeting.
    Summary – The PR stunt Drakeford and Sturgeon correctly identified, to be repeated….”

    Nothing has changed my mind at all in that, the duplicity of the Secretary of Flounce for Scotland is starkly apparent behind his “there’s nothing you can do about it” arrogance.
    This man is due a lesson in democracy.
    Time to light a fire under the Turdo types Scotland has endured so long as a bridge to nowhere, set the clock ticking to Indyref2, the answer will come hard and heavy, enough is enough.

  5. Hamish100 says:

    Thanks will read both articles.

    From Paul’s perspective the drawing of teeth with a piece of elastic is Johnson’s forte. His bad press of the past week meant he had to marry to fill up the Tory papers with the guff on Sunday as a diversion.

    I have commented before about the bankrolling of the unionist press and I know promoting the tories with dark money from “Ulster” has never really been satisfactorily explained as far as I can see.
    The new DUP creationist leader is dangerous but may in fact drive more people away from the unionist cause. It was noticeable that the day before Arlene Foster resigned from the leadership of the DUP she was visiting the Shankhill. Tells you I think the forces behind the smiles and the smears.

    Back in 2014 I actually recall a boastful unionist from Houston (Renfrewshire not USA ) I believe that he would never accept a YES vote. He then passed comment that there is a list of “patriots” (Browns phrase) who would fight. He didn’t mean 12 rounds.

    We will have to wait to see if the Britminiscot version of NI politics will be the last throw of the dice by the bowler hats and/ or the rolled up trouser leg.

    I will keep wearing my Bermuda shorts for the moment. Much to the disdain of my better half.

  6. bringiton says:

    Britishness is almost like Scandinavianess.
    An assorted group of countries bound together by geographical proximity.
    At times in the past,in the case of Scandinavia,one country or another was dominant over the others but unfortunately in our case,only England.
    Educating England that it does not have a God given right to dominate it’s neighbours and of course much of the rest of the world at one point,is not going to be an easy task.
    These things take time but hopefully in my life.

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Discussing this with a Croatian friend and colleague, we likened Britishness to ‘Yugoslavisness’ , i.e. an artificial construct in order to keep the Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, Montenegrins and Kosovans grouped together under one flag. Initially centralist (and centralising) as the Kingdom of the South Slavs and subsequently under the non-aligned Communism of Tito, with everything emanating from Belgrade (read, Westminster).

      Now, notwithstanding their bloody civil wars in the 1990s and the re-emergence of these historic Balkan nations, we attempted to map Slovenia to Wales (peaceful, less ‘shouty’ independence seekers), Croatia to Scotland (much more vociferous in their claim to nationhood and standing up to Serbia/Yugoslavia) and Serbia itself to England – the land housing the federal republic’s national capital, the one prepared to fight to retain the unitary state of which it was the biggest power etc. Finally, owing to the sectarian violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this we paralleled to Northern Ireland.

      Not perfect by any means but a Wales-Croatia detente was established on that basis and our agreement that nationalist Serbs were the baddies in this scenario and the agreement that their conflating of Serbia and Yugoslavia mimicked the similar attitudes of our eastern(and southern) neighbours on this island. (It would be interesting to take this further and get the views of some Slovenes, too.)

      Another colleague, a Norwegian, with whom I have started making tentative links with regard to politically in order to establish a similar rapport of Scandinavia and ‘Britain’, has already mentioned the oil situation – comparing her country’s affluence based on the black stuff and Scotland which has, in her words, ‘been robbed blind’ for decades. (I’m still working on her to appreciate the injustices meted out on my country since London Rule.

      Yours aye,

  7. Col says:

    Why does Nicola warn Boris that his policies risk the break up of the UK?

    • Capella says:

      Why not 🙂

    • James Mills says:

      Because Johnson is such a narcissist that he can’t abide anyone telling him that what he is doing is wrong ! So he will double down on that which has been identified as ”wrong” !
      This can only be good for Scotland .

  8. Capella says:

    I watched Mark McNaught’s Independence Live interview with Kenny McAskill which was live streamed on 3rd June. I wondered if he would put forward his sudden conversion to Home Rule. But strangely he did not, even though his article about it must have just been published. Mostly, the interview was a rehash of all the anti-SNP talking points. I’ll post the link in case anyone wants to hear an Alba spokesperson. But I’m not recommending it. 1 hr. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUsjOnU5pYQ

    Alex Salmond wanted Home Rule or ” Devo Max” as an option for Indeyref1. He described it as “all or something”. So it’s no surprise if Alba turn out to be promoting the Gordon Brown plan to save the union.

    Alex Salmond also wanted to keep the pound as our Indy currency. He was the original advocate of “both votes SNP” in 2011. He appointed Frank Mulholland as Lord Advocate and it was he who pursued the “malicious prosecutions” and not James Wolffe who now gets blamed. It was under his leadership that the method of presenting accounts was changed to remove internal campaign funding from scrutiny. It was under him and Kenny McAskill that the law was changed to prevent evidence given in one case from being presented in another.

    All of this is now laid at Nicola Sturgeon’s door and she is pilloried for it.

    The Alba leadership will have a steep hill to climb if they are to persuade independence voters to back them. But their target audience is clearly the soft NOs who might opt for the promise of Devo Max to stay within the sheltering arms of Westminster.

    Won’t happen.

    • grizebard says:

      I’m just wondering if, in anticipating the local elections next year (conducted under STV), the lost Albanites are trying to out-Murdo the BritNats, and are hoping to get Unionist and soft-no last-gasp preference transfers from a scattering of people who – for diametrically different reasons – all dislike the SNP.

      • Capella says:

        A sort of coalition of the unwilling? Promise Home Rule – the Liberals did that for about a hundred years. I believe the Labour party also had it in their manifesto until about the 1930s/40s or until the SNP arrived on the scene. They’ve changed tack more recently.

        Quite a few of the Albanites were previously SNP councillors. But how much of their vote was a personal one? I heard that Kenny McAskill’s constituents were pretty angry when he abandoned the SNP.

      • jfngw says:

        They are using the Farage technique, stand in elections were the turnout is only normally in the low 30% area, then have all your supporters turn out in the election. Farage turned his normal 2-3% in Scotland into 10% of the turnout for the EU elections, not by increasing the actual support but just by having his supporters turn out to vote.

        It’s the same reason the BritNat parties want more devolved to local councils, they know they can’t win Holyrood so they try and grab the power in elections with a low turnout. It’s effectively the opposite of democracy and you can see in the councils how they have worked together to maintain unionist control.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Alex Salmond figured that a devo max option would win in 2014 as opposed to the more nuclear option of YES, David Cameron figured that too, that’s why he refused it, he didn’t want more devolution to Scotland, that’s why the panic near the end when YES went surprisingly into the lead

      In the end Cameron won, he got rid of Salmond and all was going to be alright with a beaten Scotland and no more talk of any significance for a good long time, except nobody foresaw or considered what would happen when Nicola Sturgeon took over

      Not even Salmond and that’s one of the reasons he’s back, there’s no opportunist like an old opportunist

      Oh aye, good luck with helping the English to understand themselves, I’ve never heard of anything so daft in my life, the country that swept the earth under a bloody banner robbing and murdering, a nation believing its cause was and is always more righteous than any other because they have the *Royal Family*
      My own mother was English and spent over 60 years of her married life in Scotland and bore five children every one of which and our children and grandchildren is SNP and were she alive today she’d still be voting Tory, and her reason? the English are born to rule, it’s in their blood

      I still loved my mother but you cannot reason with that, ever, you think my entire family didn’t try?

  9. Hamish100 says:

    Still the mighty U.K. has signed major trade deals with……
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-57347874#comments

  10. Capella says:

    Kenny MacAskill writes in the Scotsman on 25th March warning us not to vote for the Greens because they don’t prioritise independence. Vote for another independence supporting party.
    How sneaky, he writes as an SNP MP.
    Also, he doesn’t prioritise independence but advocates Home Rule.
    At least I’ve learned how to spell his name. 🙂

    https://archive.is/GCIZV

    • Pogmothon says:

      How and when did he sneak back onboard.
      After very publicly jumping ship to join the auld ba party.
      Or is it the hootsmon muddying the water again.
      Naw Kenny you buggered off, ye canna just jump back inti oor sand pit when it suits U.
      Awa an play wi awa yur new pals, an gee’s peace

  11. WT says:

    Is it not time to stop all this Alba bashing? How about discussing ways to convert NO voters to YES rather than criticising YES voters who happen to disagree with some preferred vehicle for change? There is a lot I don’t like about Alba and equally a lot I don’t like about the SNP and Greens but we have to stick together a push independence forward. Some of the comments here are very negative. As Paul says:
    “If you intend to spend the next four years undermining the SNP, the Scottish Government and the pro-independence parties that the great majority of independence supporters voted for, you can do so somewhere else, because you’re not going to do it here.”
    It is time to get some positivity back into the movement. We are all on the same side. Lets try to get the comradeship back and work together to prepare for the job ahead of us and prepare for independence.

    • Col says:

      Now that’s a good idea.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Sounds good.
        I believe in Scotland’s independence and it’s people.
        The new position of the Alba party is devo max/ vow?
        Was this discussed at your annual conference or another dictat. The ALBA MP’s who refuse to test public opinion by standing down and calling an election are cowardly. The councillors still getting paid (elected as SNP) have an election next year and will try their best to split the 1, 2, 3 etc vote helping the tories and labour by the back door.

        Let’s stop the frankly disgusting comments made against our First Minister as well as the SNP and we could have a conversation. Do some of you not realise you are being used/abused by the unionist trolls?

    • grizebard says:

      You’re in the wrong place to be preaching “kumbaya”, my earnest friend. Try doing it where it might really matter – among the sore losers who apparently still can’t reconcile themselves to the bitter (for them) fact they achieved virtually no support from the voters of Scotland recently, yet still keep harping on incessantly about how awful we (who called it correctly) and the successfully re-elected Scottish Government both are. Show us by example, not by empty words. Once your missionary expedition to the angry and unreconciled blogosphere has been successful, come back and maybe then we’ll be more likely to take you seriously.

    • Capella says:

      The worst way to convert NO voters to YES is to advocate Home Rule as a “compromise” position. That is another version of “The Vow”. It will never be delivered – see the Liberals promising it for over 100 years and Gordon Brown in 2014.

      If this is the official policy of Alba, and why would Kenny MacAskill promote it if it isn’t, then we have every right to criticise their policy and point out the cul-de-sac that voters are being led into.

    • Capella says:

      In fact – try to imagine the uproar that would ensue if – say – Humza Yousaf or Kate Forbes wrote an article in a national newspaper promoting Home Rule. The Alba bloggers would be incandescent with rage and told-you-sos.

    • andyfromdunning says:

      Agreed, but will common sense prevail?
      You see this narrow minded polarisation in lots of blogs and articles in the National.

    • Dr Jim says:

      That would all be lovely except the ABLA party are NOT a party of Independence which makes them every bit as bad as the Unionists

  12. Bob Lamont says:

    The Indy movement got what it required at Holyrood, a pro-indy-referendum majority.

    Whereas the Alba bashing is tiresome, I can’t blame any for reacting to the SNP bashing which long preceded the formation of Alba, yet appeared to attract them during the election. For some the vitriol continues despite the election being over, with added layers of “we wuz robbed” and conspiracy theories galore, the sure mark of propaganda manipulators in the background.

    Political party allegiance has nothing to do with how folks will vote in Indyref2, an estimated 40% of Labour members and 15% of Tory members are “Yes” despite official party policies, you don’t see them slagging each other off when it comes to pro-Indy.

    You cannot quote Paul’s moderation requirements without taking it in context. Alba supporters are welcome, the slaggers and conspiracy theorists are not, simple really.

  13. Hamish100 says:

    It is right to challenge the apparent change in the ALBA position towards a position of devolution.

    Since MacCaskill is close to Salmond it is not unreasonable to consider what is going on.

    According to some it seems in 2014 Salmond would have gone for an incremental step of devo + before Independence. Part of the “ it’s a process” and incrementalism. A reasonable tactic but rejected by PM Cameron.
    Time has moved on.

    I think the country is pass devo +, max, federalism since Brexit.

    I think Independence is a clear political decision.

    Any half way house being proposed is trying to pick up soft votes from Labour, Greens, Lib Dem and even tories. It is the new pro devo party. However, the status quo is just unionism.

  14. bringiton says:

    Union.
    What union?
    A union normally means a partnership between parties.
    As far as the Tories are concerned,there is no partnership,only Greater England over which they rule.
    Everything they do and say supports that position.

  15. Dr Jim says:

    Even supposing the devo max full fiscal federal home rule autonomy was something people wanted at first thought, perhaps once they thought about it again and realised that it would mean the English government would still never relinquish any authority over its defensive offensive capability and would still charge Scotland pro rata per head of population more money than any other country in the entire world with a population our size, and would still make Scotland the first strike target in any argument with any hostile country towards England because we’d still be stuck with Englands nuclear capability and piles of missiles 30 miles from my back door and all the leaks into Scotlands waters that the MOD keep insisting are safe

    I don’t even like the sound of something called *home rule* it still sounds to me like a slimy way of saying colony

    • Tatu3 says:

      Your last paragraph. Very true

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Indeed, and in fact doesn’t Scotland already have ‘home rule’.
      What IS ‘home rule’ otherwise? Only independence for Scotland will allow for full fiscal autonomy, as well as being able to reject the English governments’ WMD’s parked on Scottish soil and in Scotland’s territorial waters, and much more.
      No ‘devo max’ or ‘home rule’ will give Scotland the freedom and powers that every other independent country in the world has. Simple really.

      I watched Indy car Gordon Ross other day on Ytube, he was talking about and congratulating BBC radio4 for presenting a programme about Scotland’s mostly economic viability with independence. The programme was apparently structured around comparison, of, er, the large English region of Yorkshire. Scotland was found to be better off re, GDP etc, but actually not by that much. I have no idea how Scotland could be considered almost on par with a region of England nor why that matters. As much as it sounded positive, you can just imagine the negative argument used as well, if Scotland has GDP akin to a region of England, then why can’t those regions be ‘independent’ and, in fact Scotland has only a few pennies more to run a whole country! The BBC in comparing Scotland to Yorkshire, were likening a whole country’s value, and worth and economic health to a region of England. No doubt GERS was used to come up with fake stats for Scotland’s economy. Anyone else hear it and have any views?

      We all know that Scotland’s economic viability is hugely underplayed at best, and massively lied about, at worst.
      Ps I really like ICar Gordon’s Ytube channel and Scotland at 7, (Broadcasting Scotland, they need subscribers btw!) via Ytube are both excellent.

  16. Petra says:

    Westminster ‘Save the Union’ summit was no more than an empty gesture.’

    ..”And Mr Drakeford said after the meeting: “I did have to be as clear as I could with the Prime Minister that if the UK government thinks that the best way to meld the United Kingdom together is to steal powers and steal money away from the Welsh government, then that is deeply, deeply counterproductive and has completely the opposite impact when we have to do things differently from now on.”..

    http://www.businessforscotland.com/westminsters-promised-save-the-union-summit-was-no-more-than-an-empty-gesture/

    ………………………………

    ‘Le Monde: French paper outlines what independent Scotland could look like.’

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/19349086.le-monde-french-paper-outlines-independent-scotland-look-like/

  17. Capella says:

    A handy checklist of why we want EU membership.

  18. Petra says:

    Maybe that’s what Gordie was discussing with Willie? 😀

    ‘Drama as it emerges that Gordon Brown’s post-election propaganda poll showed a majority for independence – and found that voters don’t think they should have to wait “a generation” to get a choice on their own future.’

    https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/06/drama-as-it-emerges-that-gordon-browns.html

    ……………………………………….

    ‘Scotland described as ‘standing out’ on children’s rights.’

    ..”By stark contrast, the Tory UK government is threatening to take the Scottish Government to court over the legislation in an attempt to thwart efforts to ensure children’s rights are respected in every decision that is made in Scotland.”..

    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2021/06/04/scotland-described-as-standing-out-on-childrens-rights/

  19. Dr Jim says:

    This week in Holyrood we’ve heard from all the new MSPs who’ve no doubt worked hard and done their best to get elected, but also the long timers who’ve entered our parliament using the list system without ever having to lift a finger to campaign or bother getting their Arses off their couches because they knew they’d be in as first choices mainly for the three Union party coalition of losers

    I’ve listened to most of them this week and the tone set by the Union party losers is one of co operation as long as the SNP and Greens do what the Union party tells them, they sound bold in their insistence when they say the word co operation, but of course that word means nothing to any of them for they know that it’s not aimed at the winning party it’s aimed at their own voters or those voters who perhaps have some kind of notion that the Scottish parliament and its MSPs exists to work together to achieve favourable outcomes for Scotland, it doesn’t

    The Scottish parliament was set up as a pretence at democracy by the English government under protest, they never wanted it and they’ve never supported the idea of devolution, and the minute they can put an end to it the better they’ll like it so they can get back to doing what they do, which is dictate from the throne of Englands parliament and we colonialists will just have to suck it

    The Scottish parliament now exists in defence of Scotland from the attacks by England to dismantle any and all little authority we have, so when the Union party incessantly talks of co operation with Scotland it means they’re panicking playing for time and plotting our downfall

    It benefits nothing and no one in the English parliament if Scotland does well at anything, the English parliament is voted in on the strength of numbers in that country and Scotland has had no impression on those elections for over 60 years, so it matters not who Scotland votes for, we get what the English voter wants and y’see that’s fine for them but not good for us because if you’re an MP or the government in England you need your voters to believe you’re doing your best for them not some ragamuffin colony in the frozen north, the voters of England don’t give Scotland a second thought at any time of the day night or year unless the voters of Scotland say we’re leaving the Union then all of a sudden we become important to their whole way of life and they can’t live without us

    Now is the time for the Scottish parliament to co operate with the English parliament in the same way as the English parliament has always co operated with us, they won’t listen, they’ll fob off, they won’t have sincere dialogue, they’ll lie, they’ll obfuscate, they’ll delay until they have their plan to deny

    Our Scottish parliament must treat England with totally friendly suspicious hostility while it completes its plans to divorce us from them, in other words don’t turn our backs on the Bastirts or they’ll do us first

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Well said Dr.Jim, absolutely. The BritNats will stab Scotland in the back, it’s a typical case of sweeten up the natives, then, kick them into submission, and tell them it’s their own fault they started it and they couldn’t manage their own affairs anyway.

      Classic bullying except it’s being done to five million people by a few lying mega rich troughers in London, though of course fully endorsed and aided by their little lackeys who say they are Scottish, but who are kissing the feet of their London masters. Sickening.

  20. Petra says:

    Mike Russell:- ‘The two things that must happen if we are to have united Yes movement.’

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/19352012.two-things-must-happen-united-yes-movement/?c=4nhilq

    ……………………………….

    ‘Associate Feature: Creating a new clean energy revolution in Scotland.’

    http://www.holyrood.com/comment/view,associate-feature-creating-a-new-clean-energy-revolution-in-scotland

  21. Petra says:

    ‘BBC: Union fighting plans for London ‘take over’ of Scottish studios.’

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/19352009.fears-bbc-london-plan-take-over-scottish-studios/

    ………………………………………..

    Well done, Jane 👍

    ‘Nicola Sturgeon billboard effort to ‘start conversation’ in Tory constituency.’

    ..”Jane Brown has mounted two 8ft x 4ft billboards close to the A93 in the heart of Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire West.”..

    ..”Brown, who campaigned for independence at Highland Shows and around Scotland ahead of the 2014 referendum, and helps by leafletting in her local area, isn’t on social media at all to get the word out – so felt the physical billboards would be a better strategy.”..

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/19352429.nicola-sturgeon-billboard-effort-start-conversation-tory-constituency/

  22. WT says:

    Hi all, thanks for taking time to respond to my post earlier. Look, we can all take issue with things people say in a party that taken out of context can be misinterpreted either purposely or accidentally. That’s what has happened with MacAskill. I don’t want to go into the world of who said what but we have had John Mason and Pete Wishart saying demotivating stuff about 60% and as another quick example:
    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-election-2021-results-snp-msp-says-not-the-end-of-world-if-referendum-takes-another-decade-3229522

    I certainly don’t want to wait that long. Do you?

    I know a lot of people who just do not have that long.

    Do I think either of these (60%/decade) represents the position of the SNP?

    No, I won’t misinterpret.

    Every time I post calling for unity in the yes campaign I get hammered. This is just the same as it was on the few occasions in the past when I posted on wings and also on this site. Have a quick look at the way you have responded to a call for unity – just a call for unity – and ask yourself, would this approach get a NO to convert to YES? I don’t think so.

    From my perspective I want total independence nothing less. I am not a member of Alba just a rather impatient and worried SNP voter. No party membership of anything.

    Bob Lamont puts it well up above “Political party allegiance has nothing to do with how folks will vote in Indyref2, an estimated 40% of Labour members and 15% of Tory members are “Yes” despite official party policies, you don’t see them slagging each other off when it comes to pro-Indy.”

    (Thanks Bob I didn’t know about the 15% of Tory members being YES)

    There’s all to play for here – we have to start proselytizing and forget the carping. I must admit, that I am not sure how we do that, how we can reach the NO voters through the morass of unionist invective in the media. Perhaps that is what we should be discussing.

    With regard to MacAskill, according to the Times, ‘he said he still favoured Scotland leaving the UK because it would give full control over issues including defence and foreign policy but he added that the country must begin tackling its social problems.’

    “Something needs to be done to break the logjam and move the country on, as the weekly cycle of ‘we demand it ’and ‘you’re not getting it’ is doing no-one any good,”

    I don’t agree with anything that undermines full independence so statements like this (Home Rule) are a concern. But I think we have to stop the factionalism and the negativity for that too undermines the drive to independence.

    We have to get out of this union – and we need to do it fast – and no matter all the differences amongst us in the movement the only way we can do it is to convert the NO voter to YES. That is our task.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I really don’t get it. You quote ONE selective part of what I said to reinforce your original view, to pronounce “There’s all to play for here – we have to start proselytizing and forget the carping. I must admit, that I am not sure how we do that, how we can reach the NO voters through the morass of unionist invective in the media. Perhaps that is what we should be discussing.” where in the world of sports did the media the discussion ?

      Kansas or Cheltenham, can’t quite decide

    • Alex Clark says:

      OK, I get it, you’re impatient but not all are as impatient as you. In fact, that’s a trait that is very prominent among Alba supporters but among the majority of Independence supporters, it really isn’t.

      I can only talk for myself but having a referendum ASAP means absolutely nothing unless it can be won and right now is not the time to have an Independence referendum. The negativity you talk of is written throughout your post.

      “I certainly don’t want to wait that long. Do you?”

      “I know a lot of people who just do not have that long.”

      “We have to get out of this union – and we need to do it fast”

      What makes you think that having a referendum “fast” is the best way of gaining our Independence? Why do you appear to be placing “fast” as so much more important than actually building support and winning a referendum? Do you fail to see that there a good many obstacles that will need to be overcome before we can have that referendum such that it will be recognised worldwide as being legitimate?

      You are also aware of course that support for Independence has fallen from a high in recent months due mainly to the bad publicity arising from the Salmond inquiry and the constant attacks on the SNP policies relating to the GRa and Hate Crime bills. That it is many supporters of Independence who are mainly responsible for these attacks is stupidity of the highest degree.

      You won’t win Independence by rubbishing the political party and their leadership that are the only realistic chance of us gaining Independence in the foreseeable future.

      The tortoise won the race and not the egotistic overconfident hare.

    • grizebard says:

      You are requesting us to be tolerant and understanding after a recent history of which you must surely be aware, and which I won’t boringly reiterate here except to say it’s not a good look when self-declared supporters of independence are in very obvious synchronism with diehard opponents of the same.

      On the one hand you try to present yourself as even-handed while on the other hand you are clearly pushing the ultra line, albeit in a far more civilised manner than what we’ve long had to endure from elsewhere. So perhaps you might begin to recognise that calls for mutual tolerance like this could possibly, without too much effort, be construed as provocative, even if this is not your intent.

      Besides, it must be somewhat confusing for ultras like yourself, having swit-ched allegiance from the SNP because you believe it to be “too slow”, to have to observe a visible change in tack on the part of your new amour to an approach that is even more gradualist! Publicly espousing (even if just kite-flying) a policy which people like yourself have erroneously accused the FM of promoting. Bitterly ironic or what?

      The fundamental issue which ultras like you continually seem to miss, even after an election in which it was rubbed in your face in a way that couldn’t be mistaken, is that independence just isn’t achievable by some kind of clever-clever election-bending, it’s only achievable by persuading a majority of people that independence is in their personal best interests. Until a realistic prospect of that is in the offing, impatience and a rush to action is fundamentally self-defeating.

      Pressing forward with purpose is one thing, kamikaze is quite another.

  23. Dr Jim says:

    Every piece of evidence I have ever seen on NO voters converting to YES is not done by persuasion of YES voters, it’s done by the evidence of their own eyes if or when they’re enabled to see it, and that’s always been the problem, we have a media in Scotland who are anti Independence so refuse to do their job properly when it comes to the machinations of the English government, the BBC even issued a statement on Boris Johnson’s lies to the effect that exposing those lies would undermine confidence in the democracy of government, the biggest load of guff imaginable, but they said it

    We have the National newspaper that all the other publications have denounced as an SNP fan mag, nonsense like that sticks especially when there are any newspaper reviews the National is never mentioned except recently I have to say on STV where they regularly have a journalist from that paper on, so thanks to them for that at least

    The reasons and vagaries as to why voters think the way they do over certain issues is always quite complicated, some voters may say they don’t like a particular policy of the SNP thus refuse to vote for Independence even though the particular issue has absolutely nothing to do with the constitutional issue of Independence where any political party may be elected and change any particular policy anyway, some folk just don’t like a particular politicians face and take the humf

    Exposure of the truths and facts is the only sure fired way to point out how a political party is behaving and it must be constant just like the ridiculing the opposition press apply to the SNP, it works, it always has or England would not be in the position it is in their own country, they control the media and its output, somehow Scotland must become the media, but that’s not easy

    If you want to hammer in a big nail you use a big hammer and bang it hard

    Lots of little political parties deciding they want some of the action for whatever their reasons are a distraction and an absolute nuisance, do we want lots of little armies arguing with each other over who gets to say what or do we want unity like the English Union party of three, the message for voters must be that the SNP are not and will not be forever the government of Scotland unless we decide that, Nicola Sturgeon is not immortal to live forever in charge of Scotland, but an Independent country is immortal
    A country of our own chosen by us to be represented by us by whichever politicians of the time we choose and nothing decided for us by another country whom we didn’t choose, people tend to forget that England is an Independent country already because no other country in this so called Union can prevent them from doing anything they want anytime they want, yet England denies Scotland the same rights and freedoms and folk accept it for it’s all they’ve ever known

    Scotland’s choice is the freedom of our country to choose in exactly the same way as Independent England chooses, no more no less

    • Statgeek says:

      “it’s done by the evidence of their own eyes if or when they’re enabled to see it”

      Indeed. Examples of how the union does not benefit Scotland. Things like:

      Nukes
      Nuke Subs rotting in our ports
      Finances being siphoned off
      BBC reporting being less than balanced (e.g. QT audiences, website prominence and timing of pro-Indy vs pro-Union stories)
      Brexit, and reserved powers
      Covid, and reserved powers
      Democratic deficit, such as 58 of 59 MPs in opposition in 2015
      Tory governments half the time, despite Scotland rejecting them every time since the 1950s, adn Labour happy to sacrifice Scottish voters for the Union.

  24. Capella says:

    So this billboard is up in the heart of Tory Deeside – not far from the Capella residence as it happens. Great idea from a local supporter.

  25. Hamish100 says:

    Driving up from Irvine there is a huge union flag next to the A737 to Glasgow before Howwood. Complete distraction to drivers and should be removed.

  26. Tam the Bam says:

    Feel free to do so Hamish … we’re not going to complain!

  27. Petra says:

    Here we go again 🙄.

    ‘Orange Order plans to restart parades in Glasgow in July.’

    ..”If Glasgow remains in level 2 restrictions, numbers would be restricted to 50 people and the time limited to one hour (here’s hoping).”…

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/19352491.orange-order-plans-restart-parades-july/

    • Dr Jim says:

      They’ll have some difficulty getting permission from GCC for this because it’s not the amount of marchers to be counted it’s the amount of people who might gather in attendance leading to Police Scotland decisions on officers in attendance, plus they’ll still have to clear any route with GCC and after the last debacle with them who knows

      Still, if they’re refused that’ll give them another reason to threaten us all again

  28. Hamish100 says:

    The Sunday Times has a full story over Prince Wullie and Katie will live in balmoral more often to show how much they love us!
    Apparently the U.K. government is worried about losing us. I’m beginning to feel like a pet poodle.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      Well, that’ll make all the difference.

      Actually, they usually don’t cause much of a problem when they’re up for the summer. Keep themselves to themselves, potter to the local shop from time to time.

      I believe HM likes it all very low key. Can’t see that suiting those two – esp him…

    • Dr Jim says:

      Sky news this morning reporting that the Royals were indeed instructed by Boris Johnson to *get involved* in saving the Union because he fears another Scottish referendum

      How can Boris Johnson *fear* a referendum when he insists publicly he will refuse one
      Could this revelation mean that Johnson is a liar? ………..Shocker!!

      • Golfnut says:

        First mooted several weeks ago by the Cabinet office as if the queens involvement was at her own instigation and that they had merely given her the nod. Both versions are a lie.

        • Dr Jim says:

          It’s an incredibly patronising lie trying to shift the concern onto the Queen as though somehow we’ll all be a bit more Luvvy towards her Maj because it’s her idea to save us from ourselves rather than the stinky Tory politicians who ordered her to do it

          I think now nobody will care whose idea it is, they’ll just feel as though somebody is trying to make a fool of them and they won’t care who it is, Politicians or Royalty

          Looks like they got their big bird gun out and blew their own toes off on this one

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        Whoopeedo! Seems you in Scotland are going to have more Wills and Kate in order to safeguard ‘the union’ (aka the Disunited Kingdumb).

        “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also spend more time in Scotland in an attempt to boost affinity for the bonds holding Scotland and England together – although there is no indication yet whether this plan extends to Wales.”

        And don’t forget Scotland and Cymru/Wales are not nations. (Presumably then, neither is England …)

        UK Government to tell staff to stop referring to Wales as its own country
        06 Jun 2021 2 minutes Read

        https://nation.cymru/news/uk-government-to-tell-staff-to-stop-referring-to-wales-as-its-own-country/

  29. Hamish100 says:

    I won’t hold my breath as bbc and stv journalists interview the royals and ask the pertinent questions.

    Are you speaking to Harry? Is the new baroness of Davidson (ex bbc) providing advice as to what the plebs think?

    This will be done with due deference to the journalists lowly position and wish to be court correspondents.

  30. Bob Lamont says:

    Oh dear, how will Sunak respond now having woken up the Tory bastard child austerity… https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/we-need-to-avoid-the-paradox-of-thrift-leo-varadkar-urges-public-tostart-spending-as-country-re-opens-40506638.html
    Varadkhar’s plea might not go down well with folks strapped after Covid, but at least he’s recognising austerity measures help none…

  31. Capella says:

    Curious that the “Palace” think a future King Billy is more appropriate than a future King Charles. I read that Charles would change his regnal name to King George to avoid association with the Stuart dynasty.
    They’re opening up much more than the summer residence at Balmoral Castle.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobite_succession

  32. Hamish100 says:

    I see the misnamed Scottish tv is showing to a most grateful group of English and Romanians their football match live.
    They should be taken under the trades description act. What a disgrace- again.

  33. Petra says:

    Check out Phillipa Whitford’s tweets in relation to Palantir and additionally Virgin being given a seat on an ENHS decision making body. She says that, ”while this #NHSDataGrab supposedly only applies to England, we need to ensure UK Internal Market Act isn’t used to demand data from #NHSScotland.” https://twitter.com/Dr_PhilippaW

    …………………………

    ‘Most of World lagging behind Scotland with more vaccinations than people.’

    ..”Only Wales, Israel, UAE, Mongolia and Scotland have now administered more than 100 vaccines for every 100 people.”..

    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2021/06/05/most-of-world-lagging-behind-scotland-with-more-vaccinations-than-people/

  34. Petra says:

    Phantom Power:- ”Cost cutting by the Ministry of Defence means military sporrans are to be imported, almost certainly from Pakistan, leaving Scottish manufacturers on the brink of ruin, just a week after sporran-making was placed on the red list of endangered crafts.’’ https://mobile.twitter.com/PhantomPower14/status/1401100677821218819

    ……………………………………..

    ‘Colin Turbett: The English Care Review of Children’s Social Work Services and its significance for ‘the Promise’ in Scotland.’

    ..”Why the Promise team are talking to Josh McAllister, when last year it declared “there is no place for profiting in how Scotland cares for its children”, is unclear. The Promise team might be better listening to his critics.”..

    https://sourcenews.scot/colin-turbett-the-english-care-review-of-childrens-social-work-services-and-its-significance-for-the-promise-in-scotland

  35. Petra says:

    Are they spying on us? 😀

    ‘Secret papers reveal UK spied on Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners.’

    ..”Undercover police officers have spied on more than 1000 political groups since 1968 including trade unions, the anti-apartheid movement, the anti-Nazi league and campaigns against the poll tax.”..

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/19352858.headline/?c=356f36

    …………………………..

    Meanwhile they’re targeting Romany gypsies and travellers. DRoss’ll be over the moon about that. https://mobile.twitter.com/bowers_jake/status/1400495644448546817

  36. Petra says:

    ‘Is Boris Johnson the raucous clan chieftain that feudal Britain deserves?’

    ..”The simplest way to tell that Britain is an increasingly feudal society is that land and who owns it is becoming more and more important, while labour and capital are rapidly losing significance. Wages have long stagnated, while house prices have grown by an average of 5% a year.”..

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/boris-johnson-raucous-clan-chieftain-feudal-britain-deserves/

    ………………………….

    Check out Ann’s latest links on the Indyref2 site.

    https://indyref2.space/forum/topic/links-sunday-6-june-2021/

  37. James Mills says:

    If Kate + Wills are to be semi-permanent in Scotland ( well , at Balmoral anyway ) in order to turn the tide of ‘nationalism’ and safeguard the UK , can I offer a few suggestions to help their mission be more successful than their recent overtures :

    1. Fly the Scottish Saltire prominently over Balmoral . You’ll probably have to dig deep in the basement to find one .

    2. Don’t shoot any pheasants ( or peasants ) or any other wildlife ( Tories are fair game ! ) while in residence .

    3.Visit ordinary people – not those forelock-tugging peasants who are hand-picked by your obsequious staff .

    4. Visit housing scheme in Dundee , Edinburgh , Glasgow , Paisley etc… and see how REAL people have to live who don’t have a ( future ) King’s ransom each week to pay the bills .

    5. Visit a Food Bank – I’m not sure that you will know what that is but it will open your eyes to how some of your Granny’s ‘subjects’ have to live !

    6. Willie – get shot of your ENGLISH sporting titles ( President of the F.A. etc.. ) it’s NOT a good look when pretending to be empathetic to the Scots .

    7. Kate – ditch the wardrobe – get down to Primark and see how much you can buy for the cost of ONE designer dress !

    8. DON’T patronise us with the patently obvious lies that you LOVE Scotland and its people . You are quintessentially Rich people with no understanding of how ORDINARY people live their lives , other than what you have been told by other similarly detached people who themselves do not have a Scooby !

    After doing all of the above – F*ck off back where you came from and tell Boris the Clown that it was full of ”verminous Scots ” who wouldn’t listen .

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      James: I am sure Nicholas Witchell would have summarised your excellent points on the BBC, by saying that there is a great opportunity for increasing the love and affection that the Royals already hold in Scotland.

      With maybe a backdrop of a Spitfire and a Union Flag.

  38. Hamish100 says:

    Nice one😀🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  39. boskie says:

    Just my point of view

    If reports are to be believed that William and Kate are going to be the stooges for Boris and his lot in Scotland, when the time comes and we vote for independence surely as he was backing the union for Boris he has given up his right to the crown as the union of the crowns would be lost as well.
    Would be interesting to put the question to him.

  40. Dr Jim says:

    The message has gone out to diplomats and staff from No 10 that no one is to refer to Scotland or Wales at all in respect of being countries or nations anymore we are all officially the nation that shall be henceforth called *The One Nation*

    Apparently Boris Johnson came up with that, and it kinda shows he’s as mad as a box of frogs, a fruit cake, bonkers, a zoomer, pick a name but the Clown Minister has lost whatever marbles he had left, what’s he going to call the FMs of Wales and Scotland ? the one nation FMs?, What about the football when England play us *One Nation* from eh the One Nation up there? pointy finger

    This can only be good for us, yet another Prime Minister of England goes mad, at least it took Thatcher a few years before she went crackers, this guy’s already gone, it’s nurse Ratchet for Bozo

    • Petra says:

      BoJo and the Royals losing the plot, Dr Jim.

      ‘Government staff told to call UK ‘one country’ and avoid talk of ‘four nations’.’

      ..”The SNP have hit out at the revelations, saying that the change in rhetoric would show that promises of a Union of equals have “turned to dust”.”..

      ..”A source close to the royal household told the Sunday Times that the royal family “think of it as their Union” (aye right enough 🤬). The family hope to spend more time in Balmoral and strengthen ties with St Andrews so that they look like residents of Scotland and not occasional visitors” (aye right enough 😀)…

      http://www.thenational.scot/news/19353544.government-staff-told-call-uk-one-country-avoid-talk-four-nations/

    • jfngw says:

      They told us in 2014 ‘you can’t eat flags’ but it is all they have left, the extreme nationalism, the attempt to try and eliminate countries which are not England, but as we know they see England as the UK. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start talking about more living space soon.

      It is dangerous times when we have a deranged narcissist as PM.

    • Golfnut says:

      Well he allegedly has saxcoburggotha blood in his veins which kind of explains the madness, they do have a bit of family history there.

  41. Alex Clark says:

    Nurse Ratched

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