Blinking first in the game of referendum chicken

They’re at it again, you can hear the sound of goalposts being shifted all the way from Westminster to Scotland. The Times newspaper is reporting that “senior Tories”, that would be Michael Gove then, are urging Boris Johnson to change the existing franchise for the next Scottish independence referendum and extend the right to vote to all Scots living elsewhere in the UK. That’s the Tories there, the self -proclaimed scourge of divisive nationalism, wanting to ensure that the franchise is based upon ethnicity and not upon residency.

Can you imagine the outcry if the Scottish Government proposed that the franchise should be restricted to people born in Scotland, excluding the estimated 400,000 residents of Scotland who were born in England? That would rightly be denounced as ethnic nationalism and a transparent attempt to gerrymander the vote but it is the same as what the Conservatives are currently proposing. They hope to make independence more difficult by extending the franchise to a large group of people who are believed to be predominantly opposed to Scottish independence. If there were reasons to believe that Scottish born people resident elsewhere in the UK were largely in favour of independence, the Conservatives would be as interested in ensuring that they had the right to vote as they were in ensuring that all UK citizens resident in the EU had a vote in the Brexit referendum irrespective of how long they had lived outside the UK.

Under the rules in place at the time, British citizens living abroad lost their right to vote after 15 years of residence outside the UK. These are people who have made their lives in their country of residence, have integrated there, and who could be assumed to be less interested in supporting Brexit. The Tories weren’t too bothered then that this group couldn’t vote, but now they want to give the right to vote in a Scottish independence referendum to a person who was born in Scotland but moved to England as a child and has lived there ever since. Their hypocrisy could not be more obvious.

We’ve heard this idea before of course, it pops up every time that someone in the Conservative party realises that their Just Say No campaign against a referendum has as much chance of succeeding as Zammo, PJ and Duncan’s Just Say No song did of persuading teenagers not to roll themselves a spliff in 1986. That went well, considering that for decades the UK has topped the European league tables for the consumption of cannabis and other drugs. We need them in order to numb the psychological impact of having to take Boris Johnson seriously.

This proposal will of course be fiercely resisted by the Scottish Government. It is for Holyrood, not Westminster, to determine the franchise for Scottish elections, and likewise it is for the parliament of an independent Scotland to determine who should be a citizen of Scotland, not the Conservatives at Westminster.

The report also mentions that those Conservatives making this proposal are also suggesting that unelected don’t -call-me-baroness Ruth Davidson be brought into the British Government in order to head the anti-independence campaign. Because foisting a member of the House of Lords on us will totally restore Scottish confidence in the quality of British democracy.

This development does however tell us a number of interesting things. Firstly it tells us that for all their Just Say No rhetoric, the British Government realises that another independence referendum is inevitable. It means that for all the mealy-mouthed equivocations of the likes of Douglas Ross, the Conservatives understand that the Scottish Parliament does indeed have a mandate for another independence referendum, given to it by the electorate of Scotland when voters chose to give MSPs representing parties promising another referendum within the terms of this parliament a substantial majority. They know that there is nothing they can do in Holyrood to prevent another referendum and that wee Dougie and his band of Scottish Tory Naw Bags are a political irrelevance. It tells us that in the political game of referendum chicken, the Tories and the British Government have blinked first.

Secondly it tells us that they are aware that they cannot be certain that the courts would side with them if Holyrood were to press ahead with another referendum despite a refusal from Downing Street to agree, which is precisely what the Scottish Government has said that it’s going to do. This is also the opinion of former Conservative MSP and professor of public law Adam Tomkins who said recently that an independence referendum organised by Holyrood could still be legal even without a section 30 order from the Westminster government. He said that Brexit-related court decisions had “muddied the waters” on a Holyrood-only referendum and that his fellow Conservatives could not simply assume that it would be unlawful.

However perhaps most importantly of all this suggestion tells us that the Conservatives and the British Government have no confidence in their ability to win an independence referendum. They have no plans for the serious and substantial reform of the UK that might be able to persuade Scotland that this country’s needs and concerns could get heard and recognised within the UK. There will be no Vow Mk II, and the so-called “muscular unionism” which is really just English nationalism masquerading as British won’t have any traction in Scotland beyond that staunch minority which would never vote for independence under any circumstances.

The Conservative proposal to extend the franchise on an ethnic basis is born out of panic and a poverty of political ideas. Even if it were successful, a Scotland in which a majority had voted for independence could not be sustainably kept within the UK on the basis of votes of people outwith Scotland. The anger and resentment it would produce would simply create a political and constitutional crisis which would precipitate independence anyway. This is a game of political chicken, and the Tories haven’t just blinked first, they’re blinking S.O.S. in morse code.


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105 comments on “Blinking first in the game of referendum chicken

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Blinking first in the game of referendum chicken They’re at it again, you can hear the sound of goalposts being shifted all the way […]

    • Alasdair Sutherland says:

      If the vote is extended to people living in England, or elsewhere, then they MUST ensure that all political broadcasts from the Independence side are broadcast across the entire UK. The Unionist side is automatically broadcast there already of course, by all media, all newspapers etc. But would they not HAVE to allow equal party political broadcasts by the YES organisation?

      • robert harrison says:

        Fair play are you joking when does England ever really play fair because ive heard them talk about it but never actually do it they want to lie and cheat because thats all they can do now.

  2. Capella says:

    It’s for the Scottish Parliament to determine the franchise, not Westminster. When the SNP put forward the final part of the referendum bill it will spell out the date and who is entitled to vote. The framework bill has already been passed and received Royal Assent.

    Of course, Westminster could in theory, change the law and make it unlawful for the Scottish Parliament to define the franchise. We would then clearly be in the position of a colony and, as Prof Alf Baird said in his Sunday interview on Through A Scottish Prism, UN rules would then apply. All pretence at being in a partnership of equals would evaporate.

    In some ways that might be useful.

    • arayner1936 says:

      Capella – I had the same reaction to Paul’s piece and intended to point out the UN rules on the franchise when a ‘colonised’ country wishes to exercise self-determination as yourself.
      I recommend Alf Baird’s discussion on Yours for Scotland and his book ‘Doun-Hauden’ to anyone interested.
      Scotland has many of the recognised features of a colonised country such as exploitation of resources, decrying our languages and culture as inferior, and putting colonisers and those who support that system into the top jobs in politics, business, civil service, cultural institutions and universities.
      Importantly, the UN rules state that there should be not outside interference by the colonising power or any one else.

  3. Alex Clark says:

    The franchise as to who will be eligible to vote in Scotland has already been defined in the Referendums (Scotland Act) 2020 and is now law. If the Tories want to change Scottish Law they will have a fight on their hands.

    4 Those who are entitled to vote
    A person is entitled to vote in the referendum if, on the date on which the poll at the referendum is held, the person is—

    (a)aged 16 or over,

    (b)registered in the register of local government electors maintained under section 9(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 for any area in Scotland,

    (c)not subject to any legal incapacity to vote (age apart) (see section 5), and

    (d)a Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a relevant citizen of the European Union.

    • Capella says:

      Thx Alex – so is it just the date left to decide?

      • Dr Jim says:

        My secret moley person tells me there’s going to be an announcement next March on the date which is expected to be September which would be in line with what the FM said “In the first half of the next term of government”

        That’s the stick on gospel dead cert rumour

        • Capella says:

          I notice the franchise doesn’t include “British citizen” and we are no longer citizens of the EU. So that would disqualify British citizens not registered in a Scottish local authority. Sorry Boris.

        • Hamish100 says:

          Wait another 9 Months for an announcement?

          I think we should be informed much sooner. Before Christmas in order to spoil Boris’ 2 veg and yorksheer pud. It will give the independence campaigners time to get on the front foot and boost morale.

      • Alex Clark says:

        The date and the question are all that remain to be resolved.

  4. Christopher Rosindale says:

    Of course the Tories are thinking of such a strategy, because they have no desire to deal with the real problem, which is the way that the Union has always been run. Namely, to suit England’s desire to be dominant and not to be a team player with 3 other nations. To transform the Union into such an equal partnership would involve England losing power over Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and so being forced to respect the wishes of those countries, even if they go against their own. The comparisons with Brexit are all too obvious, as that did not happen and we were dragged out of Europe because England refused to respect our desire to remain in. The Tories, whose core vote lies in England, do not see the other 3 nations as equals, because to do so would involve facing the reality that England is much smaller, weaker and less exceptional than they think it is. This would clash head-on with their long over-inflated sense of their own importance and resulting domineering attitude, and a deep English national identity crisis would result, with God knows what impact on the Tory party’s future. Their fear of that identity crisis has been let slip in the past few months by George Osborne, Allister Heath, Ben Wallace, Jacob Rees-Mogg etc in newspaper articles. Basically, if we vote to leave the Union then the ‘British’ identity, which is all that the English Tories know, will end for good. It will be a full-stop point in history, when the romanticized Imperial past, WW2 victory afterglow and all of the associated, nostalgic trappings which the English love to wallow in will become nostalgia for a country which no longer exists. As a result, the Tories will find themselves being forced to define what being ‘English’ means in the 21st century, and that terrifies them. Because I am convinced that they know, and George Osborne admitted this in his article, that the end result will be a much smaller, weaker, less important England, which will not be a global power any more. 314 years of history will be over, and out of reach in the past…. The Tories’ panic over the future of the Union, the risk to which is a direct result of their own arrogance towards it, cannot do what it takes to save it because they cannot bring themselves to give-up their power over it. And that is not likely to change, because they would end-up triggering the very identity crisis that they are desperate to avoid. They’re now in a trap of their own making.

    • Drew Anderson says:

      Let’s be clear, we won’t be voting to “leave” the Union, we’ll be voting to end it. We’ll revert to the status quo ante; the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England.

      It won’t be our problem, but it will be fun watching the Westminster Tory regime wrestling with their identity and naming crisis. Do they persist with a “United” Kingdom (of one kingdom, one principality and a province); or some other torturing of the language?

    • arayner1936 says:

      Good points and we have seen some of this English exeptionalism in TV commentaries and newspaper reports about current Football tournament.
      Too many of them refer only to England and suggest that ‘the country is behind Southgate and his players,
      The other two ‘home nations’ in the contest are barely mentioned and it is assumed by many that all of the UK supports England!

  5. Bob Lamont says:

    Superbly elucidated Paul.
    The unsettling reality for some with a “bee in their bunnet” is that most who chose to work or even retire in Scotland from England cherish what they have found, and would fight tooth and nail to not only defend it but support Independence from wherever they originated, they know what they left.
    There is always some woodentop flying a Union Flag over the shed, among those of English origin they are the 0.000000000001% curiously most called Ian Murray.
    Would Baronless St Ruth of Assassins take on the job ? Depends on the money…
    For the rest of the public it’s not depends, we’re offski…

    • Jim says:

      ” Most who chose to work or retire in Scotland from England cherish what they have found and would fight tooth and nail to not only defend it but support Independence”

      I beg to differ!

      • Bob Lamont says:

        You are actually quoting the Daily Wrecker ? 🤣

        • Jim says:

          No, I am actually quoting the survey done by the University of Edinburgh which happened to highlighted by the ‘Wrecker’. ( I couldn’t find the actual survey so the ‘Wrecker’ coverage will have to suffice)
          The facts remain, 72.1% of those born elsewhere in the UK voted NO, not your 0.0000000001% Union Jack flyers as you are trying hard to put forward.

          And stop laughing at peoples contributions to the topic. It just shows you up to be either arrogant, full of self importance or both.

          • Capella says:

            That may well be the Edinburgh University research that Dr Alf Baird referred to in his interview on Sunday:

            While 52.7 per cent of native-born Scots voted Yes, a massive 72.1 per cent of voters from England, Wales or Northern Ireland backed the Union.
            There were more than 420,000 Britons from elsewhere in the UK living in Scotland when the last census was taken.
            And if they cast their ballots in line with the findings of the Edinburgh University study,
            more than 300,000 of them will have voted No.

            Archive link:

            I wonder if many have changed their mind since then. There is an English for Yes group in Scotland. Certainly the EU nationals still here will be more YES friendly. However, Priti Patel is doing her best to chase them off home.

            • iusedtobeenglish says:

              “I wonder if many have changed their mind since then.”

              The ‘Useta’ household consisted of 2 (Son and I) “from England” and 1 (Daughter) in Scotland since 10 days old. We voted:
              1 x Hard YES (Daughter)
              1 x Hard No (Son)
              1 x Soft No (Me. Apologies…)

              You now have 3 Hard YES voters.

              If what Paul describes above as “the serious and substantial reform of the UK that might be able to persuade Scotland that this country’s needs and concerns could get heard and recognised within the UK.” were possible we might be persuaded.

              I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the English/Irish/Welsh residents of Scotland believed it might be possible. But it’s not.

              PLUS, I don’t know about the others but I no longer identify my country as where I was born, but where I live. I was born in England, but I’m from Scotland.

              And, of course, there was the EU.

            • Jim says:


              I know all about the ‘English for yes’ group and they are a welcome addition to our cause but they are unfortunately very much still in the minority.
              The EU Nationals will undoubtedly be more on our side than in 2014 because if we had got our independence in 2014 we would had been out of Europe and that is indisputable.
              That’s not to say that post independence a lot of ‘Remainer’ minded people would perhaps migrate here if we were back in the EU and would no doubt find their Nirvana and would be welcomed with open arms.
              The EU Nationals would be a given if we were to rejoin the EU.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Arrogant I grant you Jim, the “0.0000000001% Union flag flyers” is admittedly a gross exaggeration, but at the risk of annoying you further so is Clegg’s article.
            You need to negotiate “from elsewhere in the UK”, ” born outside Scotland”, ” from England, Wales or Northern Ireland”, “born outside the UK”, but crucially absent is how pivotal the arguments were rather than country of origin to the result.
            Think back to “Vote No to stay in the EU”, the Pensions propaganda, etc., I honestly believe these to have been pivotal irrespective of whether English, Irish, Welsh or Scots…

            By way of contrast, this from the same University the year before in 2013, admittedly not the actual survey but it demonstrates the point – There is NO correlation between that analysis and a screed of polls showing ca 80% of that same demographic lately in favour of Independence.

            There is much more to this than ethnic origin, and there is nothing the Unionists would like more than to open the mandate for discussion as they’re set to lose…

            • iusedtobeenglish says:

              I agree with you, Bob.

              The EU business certainly swayed me. Plus – in my case – the economic arguments pro have become clearer since. (Thank you Scotland the Brief! I added a few coppers to the fund to get a copy into Scottish homes.)

              Thinking about it, do you think there may be an element that the “born Scots” had heard it all before for decades, whereas we “from elsewhere” were still a bit naive?

            • Jim says:

              Hi Bob,

              I have no inclination of causing animosity and am only interested in facts which moves our cause further to our goal.

              Unfortunately in 2014 ” Vote No to stay in the EU” was correct. If we had got our independence in 2014 we would have been out of the EU. No ifs, no buts!
              Of course we had no idea that The English Electorate would decide for us 2 years later that that would be the case.

              The Pensions propaganda was despicable because we all know that the Scot Gov can easily pay the pensions for Scottish pensioners. In fact, more than the DWP does today.

              Ethnic origin is a difficult one!

              My sister has lived, worked and raised a family for over 50 years in Denmark and yet is still not allowed to vote in either referendums or national elections because she has not taken up Danish Citizenship, even though she has paid her taxes in Denmark all her life, much like our host would have found when he lived in Spain if he had not taken Spanish Citizenship.
              I think the point I’m trying to make is that when people migrate they do not lose their Nationality.
              If you were to migrate to South Africa would you cease to be Scottish?

              Scottish people who migrate to Australia do not suddenly become ‘Australians’ and so on, and the same applies to people who migrate to Scotland.

              People who migrate to Scotland from wherever do not suddenly give up their nationality.

              And why should they. Are we going to deny peoples nationality because they moved to Scotland, of course we wouldn’t .

              But should they have a swaying say in the outcome of Scotland’s destiny? Well that’s another debate.

              There is a long way to go on this this one.

              • grizebard says:

                Unfortunately in 2014 ”Vote No to stay in the EU” was correct.

                Well, that’s not at all as cut-and-dried as you claim, even in the very narrow sense you evidently mean. While the EU clearly preferred to appease its then existing member UK, and was hardly supportive of Scottish independence back then, it’s clear (to everyone except maybe some europhobes) that its attitude to us would have radically changed after a break had occurred anyway.

                That’s realpolitik for you. There’s a “paradigm change” in (among other things) international relations that even some avowed supporters of independence continually fail to grasp somehow: everything suddenly changes. There’s a new reality, a new power dispensation. It’s a kind of “velvet revolution”. Something that many of us could almost touch and whose deep absence on the day after even many no-voters felt.

                Look at the efforts the EU took to keep a very recalcitrant and xenophobic UK at least partly attached. Post a “yes” win, how much more likely would it have wanted to keep us, given the much greater mutual respect and positive inclinations, not to mention Scotland’s very desirable natural resources? The BritNat propaganda on that front such as {ahem} “Spain’s veto” and Barroso’s little stunt on Marr’s puppet show have long been exposed as empty drivel, though it clearly led some astray, as intended.

                How on earth do you imagine the EU would have continued to ignore us? We didn’t take the plunge, so we’ll never know, but we might even have had a fast-track return somewhat like the former DDR.

                Going beyond your narrow point, in any event we would have fortuitously avoided this far worse calamitous UK-driven hard Brexit f***up. We would now be looking back with immense relief.

                • Jim says:

                  Do you actually read what people post or are you just so desperate to shoot them down in flames with your oh so demeaning attitude that what you say is right and anyone else who tries to contribute to the blogpost is automatically wrong if it disagrees with your thinking or do you just skip to a particular point that suits your agenda of being ‘Superior’

                  When I made the point that Scotland would have been out out of EU in 2014 had we won independence that was factually correct.

                  We would have had to apply to rejoin the EU with no guarantee of how long that would have taken, regardless of your ‘Crystal ball’ analysis. Which, I may add, you have berated former posters for daring to use their Chrystal ball to make their point, maybe because obviously in your world your Chrystal ball works better than theirs.

                  This is not the world according to ‘Grizebard’. It’s a democracy with hopefully healthy and respectful debate to get us where we want to be. An Independent Nation.

                  • grizebard says:

                    Oh dearie me, you make a blank assertion presented as absolute truth, then take almightly umbrage when it’s even modestly challenged with reasons given. You may decry my assessment, but – {ahem} factually speaking – it’s no less plausible than yours. Since events moved in a different direction, we’ll never know for sure, as I also commented. But maybe you want to take issue with that too?

                    This is open debate – try to get used to it.

              • Bob Lamont says:

                My point on nationality was that it did not dictate voting intent on Indyref in isolation, being out of the EU had by far the greater influence whether Scots or English.
                An intriguing thought on re-reading the 2015 Wrecker piece, it tells you more about the direction of debate for what was coming in 2016 than what happened in 2014.
                A lot has changed in the last 7 years, none of it good for the Union.

              • arayner1936 says:

                I am concerned that there are too many people from other parts of the UK, often in prestigous jobs, or retired from such, who think they know better than the ‘natives’ what is good for them.

      • arayner1936 says:

        True, and the numbers of people from other parts of the UK, particularly England, have risen during the past seven years.
        We need to reconsider the question of the franchise. Once we are independent we can decide who can have Scottish citizenship but we cannot do that at present so must look to the UN for advice on how to make any referendum fair to the people of Scotland who are only part of those who live here at present.

        • Drew Anderson says:

          Reconsider the franchise all you want, but I guarantee nothing is likely to change.

          Changes to the franchise, as per last February’s extension (some prisoners, foreign nationals with settled status, refugees, etc…) required a supermajority (two thirds, or 86 MSPs). Good luck getting either Labour or the Tories on board; it cannot be done without support from one of them. We can confidently assume that won’t happen.

        • grizebard says:

          Drew is right – there’s no possibility of changing the franchise before the next indyref (though we may have to fight off Tory poison-pill attempts along the way), so any reconsideration of this right now would be much expenditure of hot air to no useful purpose. (Some might say that we have more than enough of that already!)

          There are no easy routes though, not in elections nor in referendums. We just have to convince enough people (of any and all kinds) that independence is in their own best interests. Which for the majority of people is actually true, right?

          After independence, everything is possible, of course. I can see that case could be made for votes on constitutional matters being restricted to citizens, but that’s for when it becomes worthwhile to consider.

  6. Stuart MacKay says:

    Perhaps this is just thinking out loud that the goalposts might be moved. In other words it’s intent is to sow uncertainty and doubt and so derail the process rather than change the rules. That latter would never be contemplated until a referendum actually was on the cards. In other words you can expect Westminster to be throwing banana skins all the time to undermine support but only start throwing rocks when it really started to matter.

  7. Capella says:

    The question is to be the same as 2014. This was submitted to the Electoral Commission over a year ago. They say they need to “test” the question but how difficult can that be when it was massively tested in Indyref1.

    That really only leaves the date. A bill with the date on it should zip through Parliament in 5 minutes.

  8. Alice says:

    Thanks for such an excellent post…my thoughts wandered to the panic post Indy 2, engendered by the question ‘where the hell are we going to put Trident? ‘The voters in the other parts of this wonderful union are not going to be happy with Johnson on that one.

  9. bringiton says:

    Ah yes,Gerry Mandering,the Tory MP for Covid on Sea.
    He has much to answer for.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Not really Private Spike he was a Colonel, twas everyone else who did, including Pte Paddy French who was forced to change his surname to Francois to avoid being shot by his own officers..

  10. excellent, Paul.
    Looks like Spring or September 2022.
    It;s a long game played slow.
    We are independent now.
    oss Sarwar Rennie Baillie and Murray have no authority in Scotland. They rely on England to back them up…good luck with that once the die is cast.

  11. Angus Gother says:

    Very good reasons given above for not entertaining the daft franchise extension proposal.
    Here’s another one. Imagine that it happened. How long would would the referendum be delayed while a special electoral register was compiled? AFAIK current registers don’t have birth place info. Imagine the outrage all over England – “Why on earth does the ER need to know where I was born?!?”

  12. Dr Jim says:

    Murdo Fraser tory MSP elected by nobody and rejected for 22 years by the Scottish electorate goes on BBC Manchester TV and tells those people there that Scotlands First Minister does not speak for Scotland and that the citizens of that town in England should pop right along to Scotland on their holidays if they want and apparently Scotlands folk will welcome every Covid infected one of them

    If there were a way to be fired as a MSP that definitely should be a reason, deliberately undermining the government of a country

    • Capella says:

      He should be arrested for incitement to infect people with Covid. Appalling behaviour in a public health crisis.

    • Capella says:

      In fact, it’s tantamount to germ warfare. It reminds me of the British in North America infecting native Americans with smallpox by giving them smallpox infected blankets.

  13. Alex Clark says:

    O/T If Scotland win tomorrow night then they will be through to the knockout stages.

    Today’s results have seen Ukraine and Finland both finish 3rd in their groups on 3 points which means a win for Scotland and 3rd place on 4 points is enough to progress. No pressure then 🙂

  14. Alex Clark says:

    I’ve just listened on the BBC news channel to Gareth Southgate, the England team manager describe it as “odd” that no other Scotland player is self isolating after Billy Gilmore of Scotland was found to have tested positive today, while England have taken the decision to isolate 2 of their own players who they claim had “close contact” with Gilmour in last Friday nights game.

    This stinks in my opinion and I won’t be at all surprised if this now becomes a political issue rather than remain a football matter.

    • Alex Clark says:

      It’s now been announced that the 2 English players have had to self isolate after consultation with Public Health England and it was not the management or FA who raised this as a concern since the players trained today with the rest of the squad. You can see what’s coming.

      • James Mills says:

        But is understandable . If two players from the opposition are deemed to have been in ”close contact” with our player , why are none of OUR players deemed to be in the same position ?

        Is wee Billy Gilmour ostracised by his ‘teammates’ ?
        Has he no pals in the Scotland camp ?

        These Covid protocols appear to be viewed differently depending on which nation is applying them .
        And another point … John Fleck was self-isolating after a positive test , and then a clutch of his teammates were also deemed to be ‘close contacts ‘ .
        Have the protocols in the Scotland camp changed since this earlier incident ?

        • Alex Clark says:

          As far as I’m aware there has never been a player from an opposing team self isolate after “close contact” with one of their opponents who then tested positive for Covid a few days after playing the match.

          Why was it that Public Health England stuck their nose in and forced the FA to act and isolate 2 English players? To my mind, this is now a political issue and has No 10’s Union Unit sticky fingers all over it. You can be absolutely certain that Nicola Sturgeon will be asked at tomorrow’s Covid briefing why more Scottish players are not self isolating and making this the Scottish government’s responsibility.

          If the entire team that played England, the reserves, and management all self isolate and then Scotland lose against Croatia it will be Sturgeon’s fault. If she doesn’t intervene and ask why more Scottish players aren’t self isolating she will be described as a hypocrite.

          This is all political and it would be naive to think otherwise, just wait until you see tomorrow’s headlines then you will see clearly where I am coming from, I know already that this is front page news in the Times, the Telegraph and the Sun. More to follow no doubt.

        • Hamish100 says:


          I think you are overthinking this. Let the medics work out how long any individual was in close contact with others.

          Each nation are also entitle to view things differently. It is allowed due to different rates of infection across their own area. Whether you are in Spain England and Scotland. Your are in England follow their rules as well as uefa. Simple.

          I hope you aren’t being political?

          • James Mills says:

            ”I hope you aren’t being political ?”

            Sorry ?

            Does questioning the impact of Covid on our football team sound political to you ?

            I cited the fact that some of our team were isolated earlier in the month in similar circumstances to the Billy Gilmour situation . I wondered why similar restrictions were not applied in this latest episode .
            NOT political – unless you see conspiracies everywhere !

  15. Clydebuilt says:

    Capella says:
    June 21, 2021 at 10:03 pm
    ” It reminds me of the British in North America infecting native Americans with smallpox by giving them smallpox infected blankets”.

    Billy Gilmour was given The man of The Match trophy.
    It had shiny surfaces probably glass. . . I understand Covid can live for several days on such a surface.

    It’s down to excellent work by the SFA’s staff and medical team that other players have not had to isolate!

    • Naina Tal says:

      According to a manny,(a GP and Tory MSP or MP), on the wireless (GMS), the reason the English players have to self isolate is that Billy Gilmour spent 20 minutes with them in the tunnel.2 of his club team mates.

  16. Dr Jim says:

    The football thing has become political when Adam Boulton of SKY news is reporting this on his programme entitled “all out politics”

    In typical English media reporting style they’ve made this into a political issue instead of a sport issue
    In other words if England don’t win all the football then Scotland has prevented them from doing so with our filthy Covid infected player and if Scotland lose at the football then we deserve it for being the baddies

  17. Dr Jim says:

    Tory Minister for sport, digital culture, heritage and tourism says in reply to a question from Tory sniveler Andrew Bowie on the taking back control of powers from Scotland “There are no plans to subsume these powers from Scotland” *at this time*

    Now why would UK Tory Minister Nigel Huddleston feel the need to add the words *at this time*

    • Capella says:

      “subsume” is an interesting word too.

      Subsume | Definition of Subsume by Merriam-Webster › dictionary › subsu…
      Subsume definition is – to include or place within something larger or more comprehensive : encompass as a subordinate or component element

      • ArtyHetty says:

        Surprised it doesn’t say assimilate, it seems apt. The BritNat state will have plenty plotting going on to try oust the SNP/pro indy government when things really hot up and the indy ref is in the bag.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      When they say ‘no plans’ they really mean, there are definite plans…

  18. Alex Clark says:

    Wembley to be allowed at least 60,000 fans for Euro 2020 semi-finals and final – BBC

    • ArtyHetty says:

      I think at the Tokyo Olympics they are restricting numbers to 10,000?
      Covid is a gift to the disaster capitalist Tories and their red Tory pals.

  19. Dr Jim says:

    Liberal Torycrat Willie Rennie’s fall into now total irrelevance seems to have embittered him so completely now that he’s unable to disguise a facial expression of pure hatred towards the FM as he asks the most ridiculous of questions yet again at todays briefing in a suggestion that if some break the rules and conditions of restrictions that others should be allowed to do the same

    The FM does not allow people to break restrictions, individuals make a choice to do that then the FM has to deal with the consequences of other peoples actions, at no time does the FM advise the public to do the wrong thing

    If Liberal Torycrat Willie Rennie in his angry hatred of the FM demanding that she create an enforcement policy more rigorously upon those who break the rules ( such as football supporters) wants Scotland to become a Police State then maybe he’ll have to wait until his party win an election on that particular platform and see if the Scottish public relish the chance to vote for that proposition

    I look forward to the Liberal Torycrats next manifesto containing details of their dictatorial desires
    Willie Rennie is sounding more like Priti Patel with each passing day and I think most people would recognise that Priti Patel is a mentally dangerous individual, so good luck with getting people to vote for stuff like that in Scotland

    • Drew Anderson says:

      What was he proposing; lift everyone wearing tartan last Thursday and Friday because they might be on their way to Wembley without a ticket?

      Aside from the police state & post Culloden style tartan ban implications, do Police Scotland have enough personnel & accomodation for such an approach?

      Or was the FM supposed to stop running the country to, personally, patrol every road and rail line out of Scotland simultaneously?

  20. Welsh_Siôn says:



    UK Gov want children in Wales to celebrate ‘One Britain One Nation Day’ and sing ‘We are Britain’ anthem

    22 Jun 2021 2 minutes Read

    The UK Government have said that they want school children across Wales to sing a ‘We are Britain’ anthem as part of an event that will teach them about the UK’s “shared values”.

    They are encouraging schools across the UK to take part in a ‘One Britain One Nation’ day on June 25th which includes singing the song “We are Britain and we have one dream to unite all people in one Great Team”.

    The lyrics include: “Our nation survived through many storms and many wars, We’ve opened our doors, and widened our island’s shores, We celebrate our differences with love in our hearts, United forever, never apart.”

    It ends with the repeating lines “Strong Britain, Great Nation”.



    Not picked up on this yet, Scotlandf?

    • AAD says:

      I’ve just read about it. Good luck to the Tories with that one; most Scottish schools will have broken up for the summer holidays by then. However, it does have a definite fascist feel to it. Pity those teachers who disagree with this sort of attempted brain washing.

    • Golfnut says:

      Scottish Schools will be closed.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I’m off to watch “V” to remind myself what happens next…

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yeah, read it, they’re not even asking us to be one nation now, they’re telling us we are one nation, so get on people and sing it’s praises in the spirit of oneness with the specially written anthem for the occasion

      I wonder if we have to wear special clothing like the right coloured neckerchiefs and wave special flags supplied to us by the directorate, youngsters could wear scouty style apprentice military uniforms and cheer in unison as the Tories pass by, a bit like when I left the Boys Brigade when I began to wonder why we were called a *brigade* and why was there a picture of the Queen on the wall with a large Union flag, and why it was mandatory to attend church or there was no taking part in events, and that was all of 60 years ago when I left at 12 years of age

      It all looked and smelled of something I had read about in 1930s Germany, and they were supposed to be the bad guys, even at that age I found it hard to tell the difference

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Smacks of ‘Tomorrow belongs to us’.

    • Capella says:

      That’ll work 😂😂😂

  21. Alex Clark says:

    I got it wrong and the Tories didn’t try and use the non self isolation of contacts of Billy Gilmore in the Scotland squad as an attack against the FM.

    Maybe for the best since it has now become clear that as the Scotland squads training camp is in England and as he caught Covid there, it was for Public Health England to conduct Track and Trace of his contacts and advise on self isolation.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      OMG, didn’t think on that latter point, poor lads being subjected to the dildo harding treatment, they’ll be walking funny for weeks…

  22. grizebard says:

    Methinks the Tories are in a very awkward place. Their “just say no” bluff was well-and-truly called – funny isn’t it how an election result can move previously-unmovable mountains?! – but all their latest goalpost-moving speculation isn’t all that clever really. Maybe they intend a new bluff: an implicit threat to supplant our democracy if it doesn’t go their way (just as they are trying on with a fairly pussy-footing Electoral Commission), but it’s also an unintentional giveaway that they feel and fear that their inherently-exploitative Union is on a shoogly peg because people here are slowly but steadily rumbling it.

    To stop being afraid of their latest rumblings is the next first step to liberation, and instead we should recognise their new bluffery as an implicit admission of their own weakness and insecurity.

  23. Alex Clark says:

    Good luck to Scotland tonight, won’t be easy to beat the 2018 World Cup finalists but we live in hope.

  24. Old Pete says:

    Humped again, Scottish football team just showing how outclassed we are by Croatia an Independent country of just over 4 million. Football pundits talking the usual rubbish, Croatia deserved to win they were miles better so good luck to them,

    • Alex Clark says:

      Couldn’t disagree with that. The last World Cup finalists were too good for us tonight.

    • grizebard says:

      Well, they’re evidently no “too wee, too puir” anyway (even after starting from where they did). Shows what full autonomy and self-reliance can achieve.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Sorry, to hear that, Scotland.

      Trusting you’ll support us now. 🙂

      • Alex Clark says:

        100% Might even have a wee punt on them to beat Denmark at 4/1 which is too big a price.

      • Luigi says:

        I will certainly be supporting Wales now. If you guys can do it, maybe Scotland can (one day)! I will also be rooting for Coatia, another wee country of four million that utterly destroys the “too wee, too poor” argument. Two fantastic teams punching above their weight. Here’s to the wee guys.

        Go for it brothers. 🙂

  25. Capella says:

    After Murdo Fraser’s appalling effort to undermine the Scottish Government Covid message, I came across this article from Newsnet. Perhaps it’s already been posted. It details the sabotage of Colonial Quay.

    ‘Good luck to Wales 🙂

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye, and if you have a quick squint at what articles they were promoting by way of allowing comments, it is their manufactured “stories” over Burnham and SQA/OECD, with of course rent-a-mob descending en masse.
      Both have been torn to pieces on John Robertson’s site, but just as with the QEUH strategy they keep pushing the ludicrous in hopes they still have legs and obscure having to report on SG successes…

      • One of the many joyous moments which we shall experience come independence is witnessing ‘Colonial Quay’ closing its doors and this lot of Brit Nat ‘Good Chaps’ One of Us’ collaborators joining the dole queue.
        The BBC is not alone in ‘Anglification’ of our institutions of course.

        Like all imperial bellicose nations, England has ensured that many key elements of scottish life are held fast for England; not least of all the 18% of Scotland laid waste so that the Overlords can hunt and shoot wild beasts, while in our major cities we have to build multi storey flats to cram Oi Polloi in to the little space Scotland’s Feudal Lords and the Filthy Rich and their clever lawyers ‘allow’.

        We are there, Duggers.

        Nobody seriously thinks that Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, and Willie Rennie are anything other than puppets of their English Masters.
        And before any Brit Nat WGD Watchman jumps on here and accuses me, or us Duggers, as anti-English racists, I am sure that all reading know what I mean by ‘English Masters’, and it sure ain’t a plumber from Penrith, or a joiner from Jarrow.

        Almost without exception, the Jock BBC Team were brainwashed from birth, indeed some got merit badges for it in their Britler Youth Movements, to swear loyalty to their queen, ‘country’, and a very naroow Christian god.
        And it shows.

        When the last helicopter takes off from the roof of Queen Elizabeth The Second House on the Clyde, let their be a throng in attendance, waving them a fond and permanent farewell.

        • It’s raining today, so be warned, Duggers.
          I may have a rant or two.
          Admittedly it’s only smirring, and there’s much to do outside in Chateau Collatin…if it dries up.
          Anybody got the number of a local Arapaho rain dancer?

          Paul, you are on fire, as are our mighty army of Duggers.

          Jeffrey Donaldson has taken over as leader of DUP, and immediately resigned his Westminster seat.
          Meanwhile 4 Jobs Dross has so much spare time, and oodles of our cash in four wage packets, to attend fitba’ matches for which 5.4 million Scots couldn’t get a ticket for love nor money, but The Linesman finds time to pop up on London Calling BBC to assure us via his pal Martin Guissler that, although the Grand Panjandrum Alister Jack announced to the conquered Jocks that details of the Australian Deal were ‘secret’, Scottish cattlemen need not worry since Australia sells all its steroid beef to SE Asia.
          Ross is without doubt the silliest little Placemat so far.

          England has entered its 3rd Wave. But don’t mention it; I did, but I think I got away with it.

        • iusedtobeenglish says:

          Britler Youth – love it!

          That’s the term, not the concept, of course…

    • barpe says:

      Thanks for that article about BBC Scotland, Capella, it should be required reading for all Scots.
      We will never achieve our Indy aim until all of us appreciate just how much we are being conditioned by this ‘Colonial’ broadcaster – they are a cancer in the body of Scotland.

      • barpe, e mail a copy of this excellent piece to evry employee of BBC in Scotland.
        How desperate for work can you be to betray your own country for English gold?

        It’s been a while since I observed that there are only so many vacancies selling advertising space for the Findo Gask Thunderer.

  26. Dr Jim says:

    Michael Gove says Boris Johnson won’t allow another independence referendum until after the next general election says the 24 hour rolling BBC papers and SKY press preview, and I laughed and laughed
    From a position of never ever ever until maybe 40 years from now we now have a completely lost the plot Boris Johnson trying to delay the referendum until he’s left office so he can’t be blamed, one word, plums!

    England talks to itself in the hope Scotland listens and obeys, the trouble is England doesn’t listen to Scotland hearing us say we won’t be obeying we’ll be doing what we decide now and that’ll be an end of it, people in Scotland expect a referendum now and it seems pretty clear that very soon the touch paper will be lit on that subject and if Johnson and Gove don’t like it well it’ll be take us to court and try and stop us, then see what happens

    One Irish journalist on SKY pointed out quite simply that when Scotland goes Northern Ireland is very close now to being right behind us because even the loyalists can’t stand the way the country they thought they belonged to is treating them

    The icing on the cake during all this was talk of the Tories putting channel four up for sale because the output of that channel is too left wing so the Tories want to threaten them with private shareholders so that channel four will do as it’s told and be more beholden to the new right wing owners, this is right out of the Germany 1930s playbook of how to control and subdue freedom of speech and the truth, something those people actually learned originally from how the English Empire was constructed, Boris Johnson never did forgive them for that ice sculpture replacement

    Dictatorship by subjugation of speech culture and personal freedoms such as democratic protests, these Tories are doing the lot all at once, if they just took a minute to look they’d see that was the problem in Germany, Hitler tried to do it all too quickly and down he came, poor old Boris Johnsons Churchillian dreams can’t be realised inside 5 years so he’s doomed to failure

    Remember to sing the anthem on Union day folks, Michael Gove’s SS might be watching

  27. Dr Jim says:

    This just in

    Brexit Lord Frost is complaining about the EU cutting British content broadcasting from European TV, the poor Tory souls are complaining they won’t be allowed to continue the free flow of British propaganda into Johnny Foreigners homes

    Isn’t being Independent wonderful, here in Scotland we’re forced to not only have it on our TVs but forced to pay them for it too

    • and French has replaced English as the official language of the EU. Zoot alors!

      • iusedtobeenglish says:

        Mon Dieu!

      • Golfnut says:

        French being the language of diplomacy and English for commerce, pure irony that England just binned a trade agreement with the EU. Scots of course was our trading language, Doric reflected the the strong trading links with Scandinavia and the Hanseatic league while Lallands reflected our links with England. Someone’s now going to have to come up with a French version.

  28. Clydebuilt says:

    Our football team are draped in the colours of the union. . . . white, red and Navy blue . . . . Wonder who scored that goal for the Union.

    The strip should be the colours of the Saltire.

  29. UndeadShuan says:

    The new Boris one nation anthem, does it remind anyone of this?

  30. Alex Clark says:

    Here’s James O’Brien on LBC and what he thinks of the great wheeze “One Britain One Nation” that the UK government wants all school children to sing on “Freedom Day” 25th June.

    This lot have totally lost it, haven’t they?

  31. Golfnut says:

    That worthless oil is now up to 75 dollars a barrel, worth remembering this historical event.

    • Capella says:

      What a telling photo Golfnut – thx for posting. It’s quite striking how recently this happened. Are those barrels of oil sitting outside the Stock Exchange? 😂

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      In fact, it’s so worthless that WM have just authorised “an extension of an existing licence” for the Campbell Field (W of Shetland)

  32. Dr Jim says:

    The UK English government always answer financial questions in the same manner
    “We have provided £billons to alleviate” whatever question is asked
    The problem is the UK English government have provided nothing, all they’ve done is borrow off the backs of the security of the population, and that value is based upon every taxpayer paying it back

    They gave us nothing, they borrowed from us and we then pay them back our own money

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