Pat McFadden’s nightmare

An email to a Tony Blair’s chief of staff Jonathon Powell has been released by the National Archives today, following the rule that government information, including private correspondence is to be published after 30 years. In the email, by Pat McFadden who is now a Labour MP but who at the time was Blair’s special advisor on Scotland, McFadden said that the late Donald Dewar, who was then the Secretary of State for Scotland, believed that the Scottish Parliament would have the power to hold an independence refedrendum without Westminster’s consent. In the email, dated July 22, 1997, McFadden said some Scottish MPs were very scared “that such a referendum could take place” and feared “the slippery slope to independence”.

McFadden wrote that what concerned the Labour MPs was that according to the model of reserved powers which was later adopted in the Scotland Act which is the legislative cornerstone of devolution, Holyrood will have the power to legislate on anything not on the reserved list. The power to hold referendums is in itself not a reserved matter, therefore,”Mc Fadden added, “[Holyrood] can have referendums on anything it wants, even if it cannot enact the result.” He went on to say that the Scottish Secretary of State Donald Dewar was of the view that Holyrood would be able to hold a referendum on independence as well, even though the constitution was on the list of matters reserved to Westminster, and admitted that this followed the logic of the UK Government’s White Paper on devolution.

McFadden wrote: “Donald’s view is that the Scottish Parliament can have a referendum on whatever it likes, even matters outside its competence, which is in line with the logic of the White Paper.”

Although the email has no legal effect, it does vindicate the view of legal experts who have argued that even though the constitution is a reserved matter, Holyrood could nevertheless hold a referendum to test public opinion on independence, even if it can’t legislate on constitutional matters. Although the outcome of such a referendum would not have a legal effect, a victory for supporters of independence would have immense political importance both within the UK and internationally. The referendum would be a consultative one, just like the EU referendum was, and legally it would still be for Westminster to legislate in order to put the result into effect. However as we saw from the Brexit referendum, the political imperative to act on the outcome of even a consultative referendum is overwhelming. The same would be true following a vote in Scotland for independence.

We are currently in a situation where we have a Scottish Government and a large majority of MSPs in Holyrood who have been elected by the people of Scotland specifically in order to ask the country for its views on independence in a referendum. Moreover the anti-independence parties stood on a platform of opposition to consulting the country on its views on independence and were heavily defeated. The logic of the White Paper of Blair’s government upon which the devolution settlement is based is very much that this is a situation where the political demand for a consultation in a referendum of the views of the people of Scotland on independence is crystal clear.

That was precisely McFadden’s fear.

Recently the former Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins, who when he’s not trolling on Twitter with references to Rangers football team is a professor of law, admitted that the legal position of an independence referendum held without Downing Street’s consent was far from clear and that the British Government could not simply assume that the referendum would be struck down by the courts and ruled to be unlawful. There are, he conceded, good legal grounds for arguing that it would be perfectly lawful. Westminster’s claim to absolute sovereignty rests upon the fact that it was until the introduction of devolution the only democratically elected legislature in the UK. That position has now changed. Both the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments have political and democratic legitimacy independent of that of Westminster. Tomkins also admitted that court decisions following the Brexit referendum had considerably muddied the legal waters on the question of the absolute sovereignty of Westminster.

The current position is that the Scottish Government intends to press ahead with a referendum within the term of the current Parliament but after the crisis phase of the pandemic has ended, and to dare Johnson to challenge it in the courts. Irrespective of any ultimate court ruling, even the mere act of a Conservative government in Westminster taking the Scottish Government to court in order to thwart it from putting into effect what it was given an explicit mandate to do by the electorate of Scotland would be politically explosive.

Court action to block a referendum would be an acknowledgement from the British Government that in its view the traditional understanding of the Union as being based on consent was no more and that it was willing to overrule the democratic will of the people of Scotland and prevent them from “choosing the form of government best suited to their needs”. That would be immensely damaging to support for the Union within Scotland (as well as Wales and Northern Ireland) and this is why although Johnson and his allies make no secret of the fact that they will won’t agree to another referendum, they stop short of spelling out precisely how they propose to prevent one from happening.

They know that any steps they take to block a referendum only makes independence more likely and chips away even further at the already crumbling foundations of the Union. They also know that there is no guarantee they’d succeed, placing opponents of independence in an impossible position in a referendum, where they would have to campaign in defence of a UK which did not believe that the future of Scotland should be decided by the people of Scotland, in effect making a case for why democracy in Scotland should be subject to the whims of a government and party which the people of Scotland have repeatedly rejected at the ballot box.

Even if they did succeed, and the courts ruled that a referendum was unlawful, the political pressure for Scotland to have a say on its own future would not simply go away. If anything it would intensify, as Scotland faced the fact that the traditional basis of the Union was a lie and that this is not a union founded on the consent of the people of Scotland, but upon compulsion and the decisions of a government elected by the largest partner in this so-called Union. However ultimately no British Government can prevent the people of Scotland forever from deciding on the future of Scotland.

Over the weekend, The National newspaper revealed that the SNP are preparing for a new independence referendum campaign with the party publishing new material updating arguments for independence in the context of Brexit and the pandemic. The next year is going to be crucial for Scotland’s future. Pat McFadden’s nightmare is about to come true.

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170 comments on “Pat McFadden’s nightmare

  1. another excellent post Paul. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  2. Dr Jim says:

    Well that’s a YES you can have a referendum but we’ll eh, we’ll do eh something eh, but we don’t know what because whatever we (Westminster) do will make it all worse for us ( Westminster)

    There’s a big Scottish granite boulder rolling towards Westminster and they haven’t got an Indiana Jones to get them out of the way

  3. Jock says:

    Courts generally avoid getting involved in politics. The Courts do law not politics. The Courts don’t like telling politicians how to behave. Anyone wanting to know how the Courts here would answer a question about the legality of an independence referendum would do well to look at the decision given by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the possible succession of Quebec.

    Back in 1998 the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to clarify if Quebec had the legal right to become independent. The Canadian Supreme Court noted that no such power existed under the Canadian Constitution at the time but went on to make the point that the issue was as much political as legal. Essentially, if a majority of the population wanted it the key factor would be international recognition not what the federal Government declared the law to be. International recognition would be largely dependent upon whether the Federal Government was acting in accordance with the democratic principles which underpinned the Canadian Government.

    To quote from the judgement:

    “The Constitution is not a straitjacket. Even a brief review of our constitutional history demonstrates periods of momentous and dramatic change. Our democratic institutions necessarily accommodate a continuous process of discussion and evolution, which is reflected in the constitutional right of each participant in the federation to initiate constitutional change. This right implies a reciprocal duty on the other participants to engage in discussions to address any legitimate initiative to change the constitutional order. While it is true that some attempts at constitutional amendment in recent years have faltered, a clear majority vote in Quebec on a clear question in favour of secession would confer democratic legitimacy on the secession initiative which all of the other participants in Confederation would have to recognize. …. Although there is no right, under the Constitution or at international law, to unilateral secession, that is secession without negotiation on the basis just discussed, this does not rule out the possibility of an unconstitutional declaration of secession leading to a de facto secession. The ultimate success of such a secession would be dependent on recognition by the international community, which is likely to consider the legality and legitimacy of secession having regard to, amongst other facts, the conduct of Quebec and Canada, in determining whether to grant or withhold recognition. Such recognition, even if granted, would not, however, provide any retroactive justification for the act of secession, either under the Constitution of Canada or at international law”.

    • grizebard says:

      Well reminded. This is my (unlearned) view of what any modern court in the UK would follow. Even less than with elected politicians, who may have at least some claim of support for any position they take while in power, courts will not want to be seen as suppressing the self-evident democratic will of the people merely for the sake of what some 19th century English legal theorist once blithly asserted. Indeed, the UKSC has already made clear in some recent Brexit judgements that political matters need to be settled by a political process, not a juridical one.

      Otherwise you don’t have a democracy any more. It’s as simple as that.

      • grizebard says:

        The corollary of course is that to succeed, we have to have a majority of the people behind independence. An important sine-qua-non that too many enthusiasts appear to fail to notice and fatally discount.

        And we somehow have to do it from a standing start after a long campaign of Unionist-supporting media (and more shady others) who twist and distort, and exert their utmost to try to convince the faint-hearted that we are uniquely incapable in the whole wide world of managing our own affairs.

        This is going to be all about the timing. Letting the reality sink in as much as possible of the bumbling incompetence of the BoJo Circus and the ever-present danger of being at the sharp end of the whim of any such gang of pretenders in London, while equally not letting a precious opportunity slip irretrievably by. And with a far better standing start than we had last time.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Excellent

        • iusedtobeenglish says:

          Exactly.

          It’s quite easy to forget that many people in Scotland are still taken in. To me, some btl commenters seem to think any campaign could just be a repetition of 2014 because “they’ll know better this time”.

          However, NO are going for a different set of weaknesses this time. They won’t use the same arguments, so neither can YES.

          I hope the campaign includes an ‘education drive’.

    • Golfnut says:

      Well said.

    • jwatsone@gmail.com says:

      Canada is a Confederation spare totally different to Scotland and England which purports to be a Union of equals!

  4. Guga says:

    We need a referendum, and the sooner the better. I am already living on borrowed time, and I would like the opportunity of kicking the bucket in a free Scotland rather than dying knowing I’m still in an English colony.

    The political opposition to a free Scotland, as well as the assorted Quislings and Fifth Columnists, should wake up and smell the coffee. The younger people in Scotland were not brought up with the same level of brain washing in schools as the older generation, and more and more of them want to have our freedom restored. The Whigs can be discounted, but Labour (i.e. the Red Tories) need to realize that if they continue to hang on to their master’s coat-tails, they will become more irrelevant, and end up like the Whigs. As for the Blue Tories, they should realize that their English masters won’t be able to save them either.

  5. Capella says:

    That’s it settled then. We have the right to ask ourselves a question. We have the structures in place to ask ourselves a question. We have just voted in a government to ask ourselves a question. All that’s left is the date.

    There are local elections next May. A referendum could be held in tandem. After that, September would be the next obvious time to have the referendum.

    Let’s do it.

  6. Hamish100 says:

    If you are in a relationship and you cannot get out of it by voluntary means.

    Then surely that relationship is an abusive one and cannot be upheld in law?

    • grizebard says:

      The “abusive relationship” analogy is a powerful one, and many have independently hit upon it because it is so visibly relevant. The toxic mixture of sweet talk and veiled (or not-so-veiled) threats when we say we’ve had enough and we’re leaving, followed by – as time has since proved, from almost the minute the result was in – a rapid and insouciant reversion to past mistreatment that the result enabled.

      Even the (mis-)representation of this relationship as “solidarity” is itself a shameful collaboration with the abuse. Such promoters are wilful and craven enablers.

      This analogy provides an effective meme that must be put right at the centre of the next indyref, and directed especially at those who may vaguely sense its rightness but who haven’t yet fully assimilated its implications. A necessary wake-up call for many of those we still need to convert.

      Once you see it, you can’t un-see it.

  7. Bob Lamont says:

    Well set out Paul, it never was in London’s gift to deny SG’s right to hold a referendum on anything, it is only the constitutional outcome with which they must either agree before or after, or fight the rest of the world to deny the outcome.

  8. Dr Jim says:

    Of course it leaves England with the strategy of not fighting an Independence referendum at all but dismissing the result and significance of one before it happens hoping to engender the boycotting of the event altogether hoping to create the impression of voter apathy towards the proposition

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, have no doubt about it, voter suppression and disengagement will be one of their last plays. After all, they’re rapidly running out of alternatives, what with a long trail of broken promises behind them. If their last campaign was resolutely negative, the next one will be even more so, if perhaps somewhat more subtle, at least in the beginning. One might readily believe that it’s well underway already, with even an occasional little whiff on here.

  9. Dr Jim says:

    So Baroness Lorne sausage links of Lundin is sworn in as the latest card swiper benefit recipient in the unelected House of Lords living of the backs of folk who work for a living, or even the poor and disabled who can’t, and that’s her reward for rallying sectarianism in 2014 against Scotland’s human right to freedom of democracy

    Oh, plus expenses, I wonder if she manage to beat Lord Jack McConnells record of over ja £quarter of a £million in one year

    • grizebard says:

      I’m happy, very happy for her, Dr.J. Now ensconsed in the Great House of the (Unelected) People, she is an ongoing revelation to everyone here of how things truly stand. No wonder the ex-Presiding Officer was known to mildly tick you {wink} Nicola off for repeatedly reminding viewers of the generously-funded absence of accountability.

      In fact, I hope that Baroness LinkedtoLondon (LoL?) enjoys her experience so much that she stays resolutely in place long after we have quit subsidising the rotting pile. Then we will be spared her presence on our repurposed media, and if the English are still willing to pay for her abject deference let them do it on their own. A win-win, possibly…?

      • grizebard says:

        “Baroness LoL” – it has a certain ring to it. Our laughter being entirely derisive, of course.

  10. Golfnut says:

    I cringed a bit when I read your inclusion of the assertion that the result of the referendum result would require endorsement of legislation by the westminster parliament. Tomkins made the comment that to all intent and purpose Scotland was and always was an Independent country, what it is not is a Sovereign State. Scotland is in a union with England by Treaty, an equal partner in law. We aren’t a colony like Canada, Australia, New Zealand or any of the other myriad of colonies requiring an Act of the Westminster Parliament to create a Sovereign State, in fact it is the exact opposite, our Yes vote requires westminster to repeal an Act of Parliament releasing England from the 1707 Treaty of Union. Scotland isn’t voting for Independence, we are voting to remove consent.

    • grizebard says:

      You have a point, but it almost certainly won’t impact internationally. (Realpolitik, y’know.) What will, and in effect makes your principled point redundant, is that a majority vote for “yes” immediately makes us independent de facto, if not de jure with absolutely everyone. Because everyone and their uncle, both at home and abroad, can readily see how things truly stand. It immediately becomes a paradigm shift, and all Westminster can ultimately do about it is put on a fancy display of faux generosity to save face. (Oh, no doubt with some behind-the-scenes bluff to block passage just to help dissolution negotiations along.)

      • Golfnut says:

        I respectfully disagree, how we get ‘ there ‘ legally makes an enormous difference to the International community, ie, speedy entry into the EU and the International treaty’s / contracts we are as a partner in the UK signed up to. You have already acknowledged some of the difficulties which might( will almost definitely ) happen in negotiations. I agree though that the abusive relationship must be highlighted, make no mistake the ICJ is going to be busy when this partnership ends.

        • grizebard says:

          I don’t believe we have any difference about international acceptance of a definitive legal position being key, we only seem to disagree about how we’ll get to it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to think it will happen by some kind of pure juridical process as of right – well, good luck with that notion because it just won’t happen, since there isn’t a single jurist in the UK brave enough to challenge centuries of constitutional deference, and the UN certainly won’t intervene – whereas I claim that WM will be forced, including by international pressure, to recognise an unmistakeable democratic mandate fairly delivered.

          If you doubt this, just imagine for a moment what David Cameron would have said – would have had to say – outside No.10 Downing Street after a “yes” vote, instead of that “England is back in charge” arrogance.

          It’s a popular mandate that’s the key, not some kind of high-falutin’ constitutional tussle, if that’s what you’re suggesting. Constitutional theorising and justification may accompany a post-referendum settlement, but however well-founded many of us may feel such matters to be, all on their ownsome they won’t achieve a peep. That’s political reality.

          • Golfnut says:

            Nope, not suggesting anything of the sort grizebard, in fact the exact opposite, what Westminster does is irrelevant to Scotland’s International recognition so long as Scotland ends the Union within the parameters of Scots Constitutional law, nothing high falluting there, rather it is the position Scotland must adopt prior to the descent into farce that the negotiations between Scotland and England will undoubtedly become. It is those negotiations I expect ending in the ICJ.

            • grizebard says:

              Well, I think you’re punting a wild goose chase that just won’t happen. What “negotiations”? Without a referendum result in our favour, there won’t be any. You’re effectively hoping to sidestep the people of Scotland and instead have basically UDI à la carte at the World Diner with a side-serving of theoretical legalistic garnishing. Nobody, but nobody, is going to pay any heed whatever to “Scots Constitutional Law”, I’m afraid, least of all with no visible proof of majority support from the people of Scotland. ICJ? Dream on.

              Jeez, we desperately need to get away from this kind of impractical wishful thinking. There is no international fairy godmother to come to our aid. This is real life, not a fantasy. We need to be prepared, but not like this.

              • Golfnut says:

                At absolutely no point have I suggested that there isn’t a need for a referendum, in fact it is absolutely essential if the principal of Sovereignty resting with the people of Scotland within Scots Constitunional law to counter the claim of absolute Sovereignty at westminster. It is demonstrably the will of the people in action. My original comment deals with the immediate post referendum scenario of dealing with westminster as an equal rather than as a subordinate. Have you the wit to understand this.

                • grizebard says:

                  Hmmm. I think I see where the disjunction lies. There are lots of potential sticking points from here to there, and I was trying to unpick which one was your current concern. In regard to this particular one (as you kindly remind me), I can only repeat that you’re attempting to reject an assumed constraint that doesn’t really exist except (mostly) as a convenient fiction. Actually irrelevant to us, since as I’ve said repeatedly before, and as Pogmothon downthread reiterates, from the instant a yes majority is delivered, we alone speak for ourselves as of right and everybody knows it. On this we do all seem to agree.

                  What I mean by a convenient fiction is that although the whole world, including England, will certainly see the result as definitive, many countries won’t formally recognise our independence until WM signs off on it. That’s just an inconvenient fact. For the sake of propriety, all legalistic t’s crossed and i’s dotted sort of thing. We don’t for our own sakes need WM to sign off on anything, it’s just easier to graciously let them save face and do it. My point was that they can’t actually refuse to do it anyway, because everyone can see how things truly stand. So I’m not hung up on that issue if it pragmatically saves a lot of bother all round, gets things nicely sorted for the sake of everyone else.

                  (We can regard the process as a mutual agreement to dissociate if we like, even if there is strictly no recognised locus on our side to sign that off. If England were equally gracious, it could even collaborate on such a formal conclusion, which would be very satisfactory indeed, and would actually look better in the eyes of the rest of the world.)

                  However if England were, for example, to threaten to withhold assent as a dastardly tactic to squeeze an unfair dissolution deal, I would be with you all the way. Otherwise, “the faster out from under the better”, is my view. Personally, I wouldn’t feel a whit the lesser for it, however it’s actually effected.

            • grizebard says:

              OK, I fear we may be talking somewhat at cross purposes here. Again correct me if I’m wrong, but while I’m blithely assuming that BoJo will be forced to concede, or will be successfully bypassed by the SG anyway, you may be positing a scenario where BoJo succeeds in blocking/stalling every legitimate avenue the SG can take. In that latter case you could be right, the SG might have no alternative but to take the issue to the wider international community on some kind of constitutional / human rights basis. And certainly wouldn’t need WM’s “permission” to do so. But that would be in the midst of a historic constitutional crisis here at home where almost anything else could happen besides, such as the SG precipitating a plebiscite GE, for example. By no means are we lacking potential ways forward, and the bigger the crisis the more effective the outcome is likely to be.

              So I still believe – but at this stage it’s just a hunch like anyone else’s – that BoJo is bluffing and that ultimately even he wouldn’t dare attempt a Spanish-style block, because he would destroy the Union anyway in the process, as well as whatever was left of his already-tattered reputation. Desperate measures betray a deeply-felt lack of legitimacy.

              • Stuart McNicoll says:

                Nope your not even close.
                Conceding westminster the right to legislate terms on Scotland’s independence will create massive problems for Scotland, thankfully the FM has different view to to your own.

                • Golfnut says:

                  Should read Golfnut.

                • iusedtobeenglish says:

                  I think you make a valid point about the potential problems raised – and I can’t see that grizebard altogether disagrees with you.

                  It seems to me that what g is trying to say (and, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you entirely disagree) is that:
                  1) whatever happens, and however we get it, we need a demonstration that self-determination is the will of the majority of the Scottish people
                  2) we need this for international recognition
                  3) we need that so we can negotiate independently, like a proper country

                  The first challenge is securing and demonstrating the will of the majority of the Scottish people. The FM is aware of this. She’s said many times that she doesn’t just want to hold a referendum, she wants to win it.

                  Unfortunately, that’s not the foregone conclusion that it’s easy to believe there is when talking to like-minded souls. I understood grizebard to be saying that.

                  “Conceding westminster the right to legislate terms on Scotland’s independence will create massive problems for Scotland, thankfully the FM has different view to to your own.

                  I don’t just think it will create problems, I think it already does! I also think, as a lawyer, the FM realises that some numpty has already conceded that WM can do this. Apparently.

                  Remember what McFadden said? – that Scotland could hold a referendum on anything they wanted? It went on to say “…even if it cannot enact the result.”

                  Constitutional matters are reserved. The FM realises that, and she also realises that the international community will see it too. A bid for independence will not be seen as part of Scottish Law in the wider world

                  It’s very important that Scotland doesn’t come across as a petulant child shouting “the UN says I have rights you know” because it’s being sent to bed early.

                  The big question will be, could WM hold that a country that has voted to leave a voluntary union can be forced to stay against its settled will? See 1) above…

                  • Golfnut says:

                    grisebard is without doubt one the best, articulate contributors on this blog I don’t need any explanation on what he said or meant, suffice to say it was completely at odds with my own comment meaning as is yours.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Dear God man we are all on the same page here, if only you can see it.

  11. Hamish100 says:

    Golfnut,
    Absolutely. Maybe that’s the question.

    The Scots Parliament asks the sovereign people of Scotland for permission to remove consent form continuing in the (unequal) Union with England.

  12. Bob Lamont says:

    OT an interesting summary particularly the end observation…
    https://newsnet.scot/news-analysis/virus-gets-freedom-day-in-england/

  13. Dr Jim says:

    If the new Baroness accepts an appointment by the English government to a *Scottish position* she need not attend the Lords to receive her *stipend* and expenses

    That didn’t take long did it

    She says she refused Sec Of State which btw wasn’t offered, so what will it be Hmm…..
    Lord Chancellor? Lord High Commissioner? Lord Viceroy? the made up titles could be endless

    • Capella says:

      Gauleiter?

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Here you go Dr. Jim – with lyrics, to boot.

      (Dedicated to the new Baroness.)

      _____________

      I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General

      I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General
      I only have information on matters Better Togetheral,
      I dunno the kings of Scotland, nor the battles historical
      Not Flodden nor C’loden, in any order categorical.
      I’m not at all acquainted with matters mathematical,
      I mis-understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
      About binominal theorem, I really have no news,
      With a doleful look about the square of the hypotenuse.
      I’m hopeless at integral and differential calculus;
      I dunno scientific names of beings animalculous:
      ‘Tis only in matters completely Better Togetheral,
      I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General.

      [With acknowledgements]

      • grizebard says:

        Has “Union” Jack been sent his P45 already, then…? {grin}

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          I’m sure you can choose as many dedicatees as you like for this song as you like, grizebard.

          Just like shooting fish in a barrel, if you ask me. (I haven’t adapted it for our very own Simon Hart-less … yet … 🙂 )

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            “as you like” – repeat.

            I’m better at song lyrics than typing your actual English, it seems ….

  14. Alex Clark says:

    I believe that a referendum is essential in order to achieve international recognition of an Independent Scotland after a Yes vote without any delay or doubt. That though is exactly what I also believe Westminster will do their utmost to avoid.

    There is no way they want or will even chance having another fair and legitimate referendum taking place because they know that if the result goes against them then it is all over. This is really where the difficulty lies in having Indyref 2.

    Things will likely go as expected, maybe in spring of next year if Covid no longer takes up all news space, but that is still a big “if” t=at the moment. Then we can expect a final request for a Section 30 order to be made and without hesitation for it to be refused, because as always “now is not the time”.

    Plan B, we hear is to then pass the necessary legislation in Holywood and seek Royal Assent. From this point on we are past the point of no return and the UK government can decide to challenge this legislation before it receives Royal Assent or allow it to become law and they can have some stooge of theirs, either an individual or a group challenge it instead in the Supreme Court in an attempt to keep their fingers clean.

    If the UK government challenge it then the Supreme Court may make their ruling relatively quickly, if it’s an individual or group who takes them to court, then their decision may take a long time, and will the Scottish people be prepared to wait for a long time? Probably not in my view.

    These are just my thoughts based on what I have read and there is much that can be read of the opinions of government and lawyers between 2011 and 2014 before we had the referendum.

    Who might win a Supreme Court case on Scotlands right to hold a referendum without Westminster permission? That’s the $64,000 question I suppose but the odds would appear to be in their favour based on the legal opinion that is out there, where of course more legal minds agree with Westminster than do Holywood. Stranger things have happened though and the result is absolutely unknown which is why even the likes of Tompkins don’t want to go there.

    The real question though for the SNP leadership is what happens if they do lose a court case on the right to hold a referendum?

    I’d guess, that as of now they don’t have an answer to that question and it will depend on how the Scottish public feels about being taken to court by Westminster in order to deny them a democratic choice as to how they should be governed. Hopefully, they will feel outraged.

    I’m hoping that it won’t come to that but I’m under no illusion as to the battles that lie ahead, no one ever said it would be easy but at the end of it all there can only be one winner and that will be whoever the people of Scotland choose it to be.

    • grizebard says:

      That about covers the ground, I think. My belief though is that an English Government with no mandate in Scotland would be pushing its luck to an unprecedented extreme in taking the SG to court over a constitutional issue involving its clear mandate to officially sound out the public view on independence. It’s a lose-lose for London, because lose or win, it would expose the Abusive Relationship for all to see.

      Consider it. If the SC were to concede to London, it would give the SG less rights than the unelected JK@SGP or The Daily Whatever in conducting any poll on the matter. The consequences are very different, we know, but no court worth a toss can base a legal judgement on something as ephemeral and overtly political as that. The SC’s relationship with Scotland is already on a shoogly peg, and that would finish it off right there. So it’s more than Pat McFadden who needs to worry about where the Clown of Downing Street might in desperation be tempted to take this.

      Me, I think he is getting steadily boxed into a corner of his and his several predecessors’ making, and the bluffer will fold. At the right time (and not too far away), he just needs to be put to the test.

      • grizebard says:

        Oh, and when he folds, I expect that the next stage of his acceptance process will be to try to “fix” the rules of the game, eg. introduce quotas and suchlike. But we have the gold-standard precedent to stymie such ploys.

        One thing which I’ve been mulling over lately, but which hasn’t yet been fully considered anywhere, is the developing English public attitude to all this. They themselves – for differing reasons, true – may be coming to an acceptance of dissolution well ahead of BoJo & Co. Some already expect us to be gone before too long. I still have faith in their fundamental sense of fairness, that many are sympathetic to our position, and that they would disapprove of obvious UKGov manoevres to keep us shackled against our express will. (Some others would happily get rid of us for far less noble motives, but whatever, all grist to the mill.) Not enough to cause BoJo real political problems at home, but certainly enough to forestall another episode of “luvvie bombing” and maybe even enough to cause them to rally in our support, with people in English public life willing to get behind a campaign for “a fair indyref deal for Scotland”.

        And were there a majority “yes” vote in IR2, I rather think the vast majority of them would immediately accept that result as a done deal, and expect their government to honour our choice. That is another corner for which BoJo is heading, if enough of us have the self-confidence to push him that far.

        • iusedtobeenglish says:

          Sounds reasonable to me!

          Now that EVEL’s at least temporarily abolished, I think the SNP/Plaid/NI as applicable MPs should start a campaign for EPEP – English Parliament for English People. With PR, like us.

          They haven’t got one. It’s not fair. And, one good turn deserving another, they need our help too. 🙂

    • Pogmothon says:

      Under the present situation any legislation from Holyrood requires Royal Assent to become law. Until it becomes law no individual or a group can challenge it, as in fact it does not exist in any legal sense. The question also arises as to whether a group or individual would have the legal standing to take a challenge forward. (I see petards being hoisted)
      Neither can the wastemonster challenge it prior to this point.
      The only thing they can do is delay the royal assent until they rush through legislation to nullify said Hollyrood act. As they did with the European Continuity Bill.
      (Thereby reinforcing the international view that we are being forcibly detained against our will)
      Of course all of this is conjecture until the situation actually arises.
      However it is based on that thing which the wastemonster and the legal profession love, past presidents, tradition and ceremony.
      One other thing to point out is, that following a vote of 50% +1 how we create laws and manage affairs in Scotland is solely down to what we decide.
      No third party input is needed, required, or mandated. from that point forward.

  15. Dr Jim says:

    If Westminster sent in the army to shoot the entirety of SNP representatives Scotlands Yoon diehards would stand four square behind that decision and proclaim we Scots deserved it, so if anyone’s expecting a change of heart from Yoonworld it aint never gonna happen, what we’re depending upon is the hopefully civilised democratic rest of Scotland refusing to turn away from any behaviour or threat of such interference in Scotland’s democracy that intends to steal or destroy or take it from us even if they happen not to totally agree with the politics of the situation and understand that it may be the SNP today, but tomorrow it’s them or somebody like them

    There are always bad people, it’s incumbent on all of us to stand against them or they always win

  16. Golfnut says:

    I think it was Alex Clark reminded us that LNER was owned by the UK gov, here’s the difference between travelling to Wales and travelling to Scotland.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/921033298627541/

  17. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Anyone like a good laugh?

    Prof Tomkins (yes, THAT one) has just been holidaying in my country …. in the most Anglo part of it in fact and comes out with this dribble.

    https://nation.cymru/news/angry-scotland-should-be-more-like-wales-and-accepts-its-place-in-the-union-says-scottish-academic/

    ‘Angry’ Scotland should be more like Wales and accepts its place in the union says Scottish academic

    21 Jul 2021 3 minutes Read

    ‘Angry’ Scotland should be more like Wales and accept its place within the union, a British academic and former Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament has said.

    Prof. Adam Tomkins, returning from a holiday in Pembrokeshire, said that Wales felt “much more at ease with itself than Scotland” because it did not have an adversarial relationship with England.

    • Capella says:

      What’s the Welsh for “idiot”? I’m guessing plonker but that might be English. He is however a berk (someone who hails from Berkshire, it’s full of them apparently).

    • raineach says:

      surely ‘accepting our place in the union’ is exactly the same as requiring English based companies to observe the law of Scotland in their operations within the territory of Scotland?

      • Dr Jim says:

        We have three English based political parties in our Scottish parliament intent on preventing the parliament from being a Scottish parliament, that needs a far bigger word than acceptance

      • grizebard says:

        Ah, “acceptance” is only one way, just like “solidarity”. Them’s the unwritten rules of the Union. I’m only surprised he didn’t come right out with what he was thinking, which was actually “know your place”.

    • Statgeek says:

      Obsequious Tomkins should live in another part of the Union. Easier for everyone.

  18. Capella says:

    Still trying to accept that Petra is no longer with us in this vale of darkness. So here’s some links from Ann’s links page over on Indyref2. I hope this works and you aren’t suddenly deluged with full size tweets.

    Ok, time to do a thread on long COVID. Long COVID is a *real* multi-system syndrome that occurs in those infected (far more common than in uninfected controls)- predominantly impacting the young. Let’s do a deep delve into this syndrome that some in JCVI are in denial about! https://mobile.twitter.com/dgurdasani1/status/1417513507935948810

    I’ve heard three serious examples of misinformation on BBC programmes in the past 24 hours from Professor Robert Dingwall of JCVI, Lord Sumption and Sir Charles Walker MP. Thread https://mobile.twitter.com/globalhlthtwit/status/1417470932315160587

    If Dingwall is really questioning reality & severity of long covid he has no place advising govt on covid. Evidence is overwhelming and well documented. He is gaslighting the million plus Britons living with it. https://mobile.twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1417250746693824525

    • grizebard says:

      Many thanks for taking up here from the sadly-missed Petra.

      The JCVI seem to have re-bought into the “herd immunity” thing – or perhaps after someone on the telly rightly corrected, since herd immunity is indeed the desired eventual outcome, I should call it “premature herd immunity”, relying on vaccination keeping the worst at bay before coverage is sufficient. Younger people in effect being used as “cannon fodder” for their greed and impatience. It’s an outright betrayal of fiducial duty. (But then most of them don’t vote Tory, so who cares, eh?)

      Sumption in particular has been signed up to this “strategy of the damned” right from the get-go; never mind vaccination, just “let it rip”. He is a public menace.

      I fear that the SG is still being led astray by these reckless English influences. Should have cut them off completely, including even the JCVI now. Vaccination is proceeding apace, and it would only have taken another week or two of continuing caution to have made a whole lot of difference. This is yet another mistake in the making, and some people will be paying for it for possibly a long time to come.

      • Capella says:

        Yet the JVCI have been generally good. Another link from Ann’s collection is this short twitter thread by Paul Nuki, senior editor on global health at the Telegraph. https://mobile.twitter.com/PaulNuki/status/1417556793014816768

        He sets out the risk assessments used to inform advice on vaccinating children. Looks sound to me. I’m no public health expert though.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I disagree with his opinion and I think it is clear that the FM and the CMO Dr Gregor Smith disagree also.

          Ms Sturgeon said it is “extremely important” that vaccinating all 12-17-year-olds is not ruled out entirely.

          “To that end, the chief medical officer is writing to the JCVI asking that the benefit of vaccinating all 12-17-year-olds is kept under close and ongoing review and that it takes account of all available data from countries already doing this,” the First Minister said.

          “I think that is really important – if there is a benefit to be got from vaccinating younger teenagers then its really important to make sure that young people don’t lose out on that.”

          https://archive.ph/wip/2fxC5

          • Capella says:

            Yes, it may be right to vaccinate all the 12 – 17 year olds. As I said, I’m no public health expert!
            I do recall the uproar though when the JCVI recommended a 8 – 12 week gap between 1st and 2nd vaccines. That turned out to be sound and others then followed.
            Just glad I don’t have to make these decisions.

            • Alex Clark says:

              I’m just a bit suspicious as to the reasons behind JVCI refusal to vaccinate 12 to 17yo when many other countries are already doing it. To me, it very much makes sense not to approve this when your policy has become one of ending all restrictions and to “let it rip” just to get it over with and to hell with the consequences.

              Let’s just say I have seen no reason to ever trust this government’s motives on anything and my view on the JVCI decision is as a result of this.

              • grizebard says:

                Yes, my feeling also.

                I’m glad to see though that our CMO is pushing back on the JCVI with the 12-17 cohort at least. That’s encouraging.

                To be fair, I believe part of the calculation may be that with the Delta variant now dominant, to reach (proper) herd immunity requires a considerably greater proportion of the population to be vaccinated or pre-infected. (I forget the actual figure, alas, but it was well over the ~75% value originally mooted.) So maybe they are making a calculation that they can’t get there anyway by vaccination alone unless they make it compulsory, as France is doing with their health workers and actively considering for everyone else. But with “freedom firsters” like Sumption having such influence in England, that option’s just not going to happen there.

                For comparison, of the 18-29 cohort here (the youngest currently eligible), around 70% have now had their first shot (which is very encouraging since they will likely follow through), but only ~20% have had both. It’s probably only the 50-plussers which currently have the required coverage. But this is a movable feast, and there’s no reason to just give up on them as a lost cause merely due to impatience.

                OK, there’s always a “balance of risk” judgement to be made, but does anyone have a notion of the number and proportion of “long Covid” cases that are likely to ensue? The current stance looks an awful lot like capitulation, and to hell with the downsides for young folk.

  19. Capella says:

    New York Intelligencer. The United Kingdom Picked a Bad Time to Declare ‘Freedom’ From COVID. “State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issueda “Do Not Travel” warning for Americans considering a visit to the U.K. The highest of four cautionary levels, “

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/07/the-u-k-picked-a-bad-time-to-declare-freedom-from-covid.html?utm_source=tw&utm_campaign=di&utm_medium=s1

    UK Gov is changing election law in ways which will impact on the devolved governments. Scot Gov is consulting on our views.

    UK Elections Bill: letter to electoral stakeholders

    https://www.gov.scot/publications/uk-elections-bill-letter-to-electoral-stakeholders/

  20. Capella says:

    I’ve seen tweets today about the HoL removing powers from the Scottish Government to control renewable energy.This happened in 2013 but today the anti SNP/Sturgeon brigade are posting it as if it had just happened.

    This is all over social media today as though it has just happened. Apparently it was 2013 when Alex Salmond was FM but I haven’t tried to confirm this. https://mobile.twitter.com/ladyguru1/status/1417747159923965952

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Thank you for doing this.

    • Alex Clark says:

      It was from Dec 2013.
      Newsnet done an article on it.
      Someone attempting to stir the porridge again?

      https://newsnet.scot/archive/fury-after-unelected-peers-strip-power-from-scotland/

      • Bob Lamont says:

        One comment on that Twitter thread really stands out to me “This is from 2013 as far as I can tell. it’s still shit but it’s not new and I find its reemergence curious. Can only find it on two sites I’d never heard of”.
        It’s fairly clear it’s recent origins are mischievous designed only to lull the unwary, perhaps bearing a ludicrously large blue rosette, a smirk, and a knife stamped “less than genuine Bowie” ?

      • Capella says:

        I read it in a tweet from Grousebeater who is an Alba supporter and very much anti SNP/Sturgeon. The original headline comes form Scottish Energy News – no date.
        http://www.scottishenergynews.com/lords-axe-holyroods-power-over-scottish-renewables/

        But why is it circulating now? Perhaps to fill in the time until they can get on with a real SNP Bad campaign after recess.

        Greenpeace featured on R Scotland at lunch time. They are campaigning for a “just transition” to renewables and say that the workers are being neglected by – you’ve guessed it – the Scottish government. But the BBC hasn’t got it on their website.
        Details here.
        https://www.insider.co.uk/news/scottish-youth-climate-strikers-protest-24585296

        • Dr Jim says:

          A 2013 recycled SNP bad news attempt before the FM was FM, and it was the guy who is the current loser leader of the 1.7% unpleasant pretend Independence devo max for the moment that could last 50 years party, they know the score on the Independence referendum, they’re just making as much noise as they can for attention so they can then claim they put pressure on Nicola Sturgeon

          All piss wind and vinegar from the disgruntled who made a wrong decision to jump to an ill conceived personal agenda party now trying to justify it instead of owning their mistake and getting with the programme we all know is going to happen

          • grizebard says:

            That last para has it right on the nail. Instead of actually learning from their errors, they are redoubling on them. Led up the garden path and now blankly refusing to admit it and publicly hating those who played it right. It’s absurdly, visibly self-defeating. It would be laughable actually if it didn’t put progress at entirely avoidable risk, not least by convincing the otherwise “overwinnable” that an indy Scotland would be run by a bunch of reckless zoomers.

            Probably something to do with the local elections next year. They are going to get another drubbing there, and after that…?

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Scroll down the bottom for a chuckle, “Registered office: Level 3 The Union Building, 51-59 Rose Lane, Norwich, Norfolk, England, NR1 1BY” and perhaps a clue ?

      • Pogmothon says:

        As to the re-heating of the 2013 “unelected peers strip holyrood control of renewable energy”.
        It was mooted a few days ago that control of the national grid power transport net work would be sold off after the wastemonster summer recess.
        Me thinks someone is simply throwing out seed to see what grows.
        Especially as Scotland contributes massive amounts of cash to the power transport system.

  21. Hamish100 says:

    With Scot goes pop wanting donations for a poll on GRA I wonder if it has anything to do with pending court case?
    Each to their own but I won’t be donating to something that does not move Independence on one iota. The laws to be passed at the last parliament was supported by SNP, Labour, Lib Dem’s Greens. Don’t they understand how parliament works?

    • grizebard says:

      Likewise. Just one of the drums the Albanista obsessives keep banging on, apparently oblivious to public indifference as well. Neat way though to try to keep a campaign issue going by pretending it’s a poll. The best that can be said, if there is a significant response to the issue, is that it will give the SNP fair warning not to get too far ahead of public opinion and lose sight of the Common Aim.

  22. Capella says:

    Late call – Colin McKay of STV points out to Liz Truss that she comes to Scotland to launch a multi job policy but has no idea how many Scottish jobs it will create. https://twitter.com/murrayf00te/status/1417935838529327112?s=20

  23. Capella says:

    Last call! Tories are delighted. They have reported John Swinney to the Statistics Authority for tweeting a graphic with unverified numbers. It basically says – wear a mask. Shock.
    https://archive.fo/CNwRQ

    • Alex Clark says:

      Rather pathetic really if that’s the best they’ve got.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Reminds me of a bus with “£350 Million a week to the NHS” graphic that the the Tories used in the run up to the Brexit vote..

      • grizebard says:

        Not to mention the FibDems’ notoriously skewed campaign bar charts and even the BBC’s “purely representational” {ahem} truncated SNP election wins.

    • Hamish100 says:

      The pictorial has been out for the past year. I cannot recall the tories stating it should be withdrawn. Probably some have forwarded on to their friends and colleagues.

    • grizebard says:

      Perfect illustration of experts’ longstanding warning: “you can’t build an economic recovery on top of a health non-recovery”. No matter how much they might wish it otherwise down there in Freedonia.

      And desensitising the tracing app – the ostrich ploy – if that’s attempted next, will only make matters worse in the longer term.

  24. Golfnut says:

    Kind of warms the cockles of your heart.

  25. malkymcblain says:

    Completely OT but I thought this may be of interest. See what the Vikings are up to now…Scotland should take inspiration from this.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Scotland is already on course to be the first renewable energy powered country in Europe with some of the largest wind farms in the world and undersea turbines, that’s one of the reasons why the English National Grid has the desire to *invest* £5 billion in laying cables from Scotland to England to draw down that power

      England doesn’t build for themselves, they beg borrow steal and take from others and always have

  26. Capella says:

    SNP digital campaigning is alive and well. https://twitter.com/theSNP/status/1418147557243441157?s=20

  27. James Mills says:

    Freedom has arrived in the land-of-make-believe ( aka England ).

    Everyone can do what they wish in the face of the pandemic – except those millions of people ”pinged” by the Test n’ Trace app who must isolate .

    But businesses are complaining that their workers are NOT available because of the app , so certain people will be exempt from isolating – even though they are potential carriers of the virus .

    So ”Freedom” is relative – in the sense that if you have a relative who is a Tory MP who can pull strings for you , your business may be exempt from following the rules/guidelines on isolation .

  28. Capella says:

    A few links from Ann’s links page on Indyref2.

    Thirty years after declaring its independence from the Soviet Union, Find out why Tallinn, Estonia is on TIME’s 2021 list of the World’s Greatest Places. https://mobile.twitter.com/TIME/status/1417620333515972610

    EU statement – no renegotiation of the NI protocol. https://mobile.twitter.com/StevePeers/status/1417852602092507140

    David Allen Green. The Home Office wants to reform Official Secrets law by pretending journalism does not exist

    https://davidallengreen.com/2021/07/the-home-office-wants-to-reform-official-secrets-law-by-pretending-journalism-does-not-exist/

    • Dr Jim says:

      The Northern Ireland protocol:
      England agreed and signed their Brexit deal with the EU to jump a six foot fence, now England says they only want to jump five feet or maybe four or maybe none at all and that is definitely all the EUs fault because they weren’t as *pragmatic* as jolly old break the law England

      The EU should have expected England to lie say the Tories, because they said it *pragmatically*

      Different meanings of words and language in English dictionaries y’see, and if they’re not different the English will rewrite new definitions

      The English been writing different definitions of language for Scotland for over 300 years, the EU shoulda phoned us, we could’ve told them

      • James Mills says:

        I thought when David Frost of TWTWTW ( That Was the Week That Was ! ) died in 2013 that we would never see his like again .
        Then Tory Lord David Frost emerged from his negotiations with the EU to prove that there is a new King of Satire ! Or is it Pantomime ?

      • Capella says:

        Is there a country in the world that isn’t aware of Perfidious Albion’s weasel ways?
        Joe “I’m Irish” Biden is keeping an eye on them too. Is there really no way out of the clever clever trap they set for themselves.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      This guys channel on youtube is worth a follow re, the protocol and EngGovs’ arrogance and entitlement…

  29. Capella says:

    UK border staff not checking COVID tests for amber and red arrivals

    https://www.euronews.com/travel/2021/07/21/uk-border-staff-not-checking-covid-tests-for-amber-and-red-arrivals

    It’s been a while since I visited Munguin’s republic. Collection of news items
    Munguin

    RANDOM THOUGHTS

    Peter Stefanovic continues his epic effort to publicise the lies of Boris Johnston.

    At #PMQstoday Boris Johnson, for the second week running, completely unchallenged, told the same BARE FACED LIE! https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterStefanovi2/status/1417823798041120770

  30. Capella says:

    As ever – don’t forget to check out Prof Robertson’s blog feed – great item on “Huffy wee old guy tells fibs against his imagined mistress”
    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/blog-feed/

    Lots more links over at Ann’s links page on Indyref2
    https://indyref2.space/forum/topic/links-thursday-22-july-2021/

  31. Hamish100 says:

    So businesses are complaining that their employees are being pinged as having been in close proximity to someone with CoVID and having to isolate.
    So that must mean they have been in close proximity with their work colleagues. Isn’t that how the system works. Are the companies been breaking their covid rules?
    Answer to PM Johnson, in isolation in a big hoose called chequers. Or is is cheques in the post please?

    • Capella says:

      Well the BBC top story atm is “Retailers warn of disruption amid record app alerts” NOT record infection rates. I wonder why?

  32. scottish skier says:

    Great to see this remains a pro-indy blog. After my second favoured old school indy blog in a row became infested with unionist concern trolls and right-wingers frothing at the mouth about GRA, I questioned what was up but got ignored.

    The blog itself then even started attacking the SNP with classic unionist ‘SNP accused’ stories while modding out 90% of my concerned comments (and those of others who used to post), so I asked for a partial donation refund of 2021 donations. After all, the site jumped ship to Alba just a week after I made a donation, so was using my cash to promote a party without my previous understanding that would happen. In response, the blog posted pejorative articles falsely accusing me of things that were not even remotely possible. I did try to politely seek to find an amicable solution, even offering to split my donation to all three Yes parties rather than it being refunded to show cross-Yes solidarity (I did this anyway for half of it), but was told I ‘had no case whatsover’.

    So in the end I had to send the email exchange in question to gofundme, including links to the pejorative articles concerned, and unsurprisingly, they funded me in full immediately due to the blog having clearly misused donations. I honestly don’t know what got into the author.

    Anyhoo, you can have my latest donation to it instead. I pop in from time to time, and it’s always a good read.

    We all may have our different views on the best way forward, but I don’t trust any supposed Yesser that spends most of their time attacking their own side rather than fighting the good fight. We can all fall out with each other over domestic policy once we are independent, like folk in normal countries do 🙂

    Cheers,

    SS

    • Alex Clark says:

      I hope you will continue to comment more here as you have plenty to offer, especially on the polling side that readers of WGD I’m sure would like to hear.

    • grizebard says:

      Glad to see you here, where you’ll certainly get a decent hearing. You contributed a fair amount of great good sense over a long period elsewhere, but I’m not surprised that even a stalwart like you found your usual forum has become a lost cause. (It’s one thing for a site to assume the role of critical friend, quite another to become just another viper’s nest for embittered Unionist fellow-travellers.)

      So welcome! – I for one look forward to re-encountering your insights…

    • Tatu3 says:

      Glad to see you here. I used to enjoy reading your comments on the other site, but gave up reading him just before the election when he sadly turned against the SNP and, I believe, independence.

      • scottish skier says:

        Hello Tatu3. I don’t believe the site in question has turned against indy. The author has issues with the SNP/Greens on iref timing and now supports Alba. I am not convinced by the arguments of Alba myself, but I respect people’s choice in how they vote.

        The dispute I had with the blogger was a private matter between a donor and a fundraiser which should have remained so. For some strange reason they chose to make it public, even though I’m not anyone of importance. It was first and foremost that which made pursue a refund, and constituted a misuse of donations IMO. Gofundme unsurprisingly agreed. Since the articles remain up, I put my side of the story on a corner of the indyweb for posterity.

        I am not remotely bothered by the articles in question as they have no negative impact on my life obviously, and I don’t hold grudges. However, they are harming the site and its fundraisers for clear PR disaster type reasons, which is sad to see. It really is an exercise in blog self-flagellation over some random waffler on the internet who posts too much for his own good sometimes (a compliment to the blog in question in days gone by).

        Anyhoo, it’s refreshing to post on a blog where folks are attacking the union, Tories etc, while talking positively about indy. Reminds me of the good old days on wings etc.

    • James Mills says:

      Congratulations on getting a result from your efforts .

      Too many supposed proponents of Independence sound more and more like the famous sketch from Life of Brian – ”The People’s Front of Judea ” or ”Judean People’s Front ” etc…

      Only the purest form of Independence ( with the fine detail to be decided by THEM ! ) can be tolerated , otherwise they are seemingly happy to undermine all other groups who are similarly striving for Independence .
      The SNP is anathema to some former supporters ( usually members from the year 1314 ) and even if they achieved Independence they would more than likely refuse to accept it under those conditions .
      They also are convinced that Nicola Sturgeon is a liability to the Cause and should be deposed and exiled to St Kilda along with anyone who cannot see that Alba is clearly the ONLY way to Independence with or without the troglodyte from Bath doing a Dom Cummings with the data !

      • grizebard says:

        And actually, the more that ordinary people/voters prove them wrong, the more embittered and noxious to the “dear cause” they seem to become. It’s not only the SNP that disappoints (it’s merely the convenient scapegoat), it’s virtually everyone, the ingrates! (Though of course they daren’t admit that.)

        However, there is an element which is carefully stoking this auto-destructive hysteria. A potential weakness is being fostered and exploited (could the Anathemists only but see it) – and that seems new.

        An unhappy coalition of fools and knaves. You always have to ask: qui bono?

      • Dr Jim says:

        Those folk are going to be proved mightily wrong very shortly

    • scottish skier says:

      Thanks for the polite responses.

      As it seems fibs are still being told about me, if anyone really cares, I have not emailed the site concerned about this matter since the 4th July, after passing all correspondence to gofundme’s trust and safety team.

      This was their finding in the case:

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OIHcTdQimM1b5-fp2TDeXxO67-Gfb_cp/view?usp=sharing

      The experience gave me a lot of confidence in the gofundme platform as they were completely professional on the matter.

      Anyway, I posted way too much (a compliment to the blog of times gone by) for my own good, so getting banned is a blessing in a way! 🙂

      • Capella says:

        I posted regularly on WoS until I was banned. I kept on posting long after I should have bailed out. For me there is an obligation to read the articles and comments before diving in and posting and that takes a lot of time. It’s hard to give up such an investment in time and mental focus. So I kept on hoping the site would return to its former goal long after it was clear that it wouldn’t.

        I’m glad I was banned. It forced me to disengage and find an indy committed blog to read and comment on.

        Thanks to Paul for keeping the lights on through what has been the most turbulent anti-independence period I’ve ever experienced. The divide and rule tactics of unionism have never been so blatant as they are now.

  33. Skintybroko says:

    Catching up and so sad to hear about Petra, condolences to her family and friends. Her contributions were alway on point and her effort to the cause will be sorely missed.

  34. Pogmothon says:

    TOT
    I have another ponderation(sic)

    Who among us believes that.

    1 Public charging points.
    2 Public transport.

    Should be nationalized and like the NHS(Scotland) should be free at the point of use to citizens of Scotland

    The rail network and power transmission lines need to be sub-surface (there’s nae snaw or leaves doon a mine)

    • Dr Jim says:

      Folk with older vehicles pay more tax than folk with new cars because they say it’s a green tax, of course it’s not, it’s a subsidy for the new car buyers to encourage them to buy electric because somebody has to pay and it’s always the poorer and the old who can’t afford new shiny electric motors that get stuck with the bill

      As soon as sufficient numbers of car buyers change to electric vehicles then they’ll all of a sudden see a large increase in their *road* tax to pay for the electric charging points because there’ll be less poorer drivers with older vehicles to subsidise that by then

      The money (tax) always has to come from somewhere and somebody and you know where and who those somebody’s are

      If road tax was really about a green tax they’d have put it on the price of fuel so that those who use the most pay the most

      • iusedtobeenglish says:

        “If road tax was really about a green tax they’d have put it on the price of fuel so that those who use the most pay the most”

        One for when we have control of our own resources, I think…

      • grizebard says:

        A fair point, though that would still penalise the owners of older vehicles simply because their vehicles are less efficient. Very tricky politically as well, as El Gordo (or was it Blair?) found out when they tried it. Remember those refinery blockades? Likewise in France with the gilet jaunes.

        You may, like me, remember when the streets of an evening were near empty because most nobody had a car to park, and a lot of consumables were delivered to the door, not just the milk. The “motoring lobby” isn’t just a few execs in Shell and BP, these days it’s damn near everybody, and they really, really don’t want the cost of their daily commute or even tootling around at will to go up. That’s the real problem.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      I think they both sound like great ideas. Hadn’t though of underground railways, but they’d make sense up here.

      With the charge points, what do you think of making it a part of any contract (especially in rural areas) that there have to be ‘service stations’ every 20 miles or so – like the Roman mansio network?

      They often became commercial focal points for the locals. Could maybe have a farmer’s market – a proper market, not a monthly ‘Artisan’ thing. So supporting agriculture and local businesses.

      One thing:

      “…like the NHS(Scotland) should be free at the point of use to citizens of Scotland”

      How would ‘payment’ work?
      Something like whatever the Scotcard’s currently called for citizens of Scotland?

      What for visitors?
      Maybe some sort of temporary card, paid for in advance for the charge points (or credit/debit payment facilities), but free public transport for all?

      • Pogmothon says:

        That is basically what I envisioned.
        The Scotcard for residents. And a visitor card which can be topped up at local / village shops only. No supermarkets or malls.

        • Pogmothon says:

          As to the railways and power lines.
          This would be a 50 to 75 year project. There would be people who would spend their entire working life on the project. One of the important points would be to do it the opposite way to past projects. Start with the islands conections. Progress to the links with the main land. And lastly links to the central belt. Leaveing a basic surface network for tourists. Probably running electrified steam trains. The rest of the currently existing network would become walks and cycle ways.

          • iusedtobeenglish says:

            Shetland improvements would be a huge job. But very necessary.

            I think the ‘other way round’ thing’s an important point. Should’ve been done for HS2, of course. (See? It was good for something! 😀 )

  35. Capella says:

    Start the day with a Janey Godley Boris clip:

  36. Bob Lamont says:

    OT – Hilarious yet totally logical response from JoB to the latest nonsense circulating over “Pingdemic” from politicians, pundits, and MSM….
    https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/james-obrien/james-obriens-powerful-message-to-those-blaming-empty-shelves-on-pingdemic/

    • Dr Jim says:

      I saw a guy selling air in jars recently, he said it was better air than other air and he collected the air from the countryside in big nets that he waved around, then wafted the captured air towards a jar and screwed the top on quickly in case he lost any of that better air, then he put it on sale and actual people bought it, he even got himself on the telly which saw his better air in jars business increase in sales

      This is a true story, and like the times we are living through now you couldn’t make it up

  37. Dr Jim says:

    Hasn’t the National newspaper noticed that it seems almost the entirety of the Salmond 1.7% of disgruntled bitter apart party are posting on their online forum commenting on every story in the exact same fashion, apparently the SNP have no right indulging in humour now because God forbid we ever say anything funny in the 1.7% party notion of what an Independent Scotland should be

    • Bob Lamont says:

      You mean the people’s front of judea, “What have the SNP ever done for us…” lot… Yep…
      All you need to is click your heels together…

  38. Capella says:

    Some links from Ann on the continuing pandemic. Includes a critique of the recent JCVI recommendation on vaccinating children.

    FactCheck: Why hasn’t “herd immunity” stopped Covid?

    https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-why-hasnt-herd-immunity-stopped-covid

    expert reaction to JCVI interim advice on whether children and young people aged 12-17 years should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine

    https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-jcvi-interim-advice-on-whether-children-and-young-people-aged-12-17-years-should-be-offered-the-covid-19-vaccine/?cli_action=1626948384.609

    The good & the bad news. Bad news first: early data from Israel indicates that vaccine efficacy in preventing infection & symptomatic disease (mainly Pfizer-BioNTech) goes from 75-79% to 16% within 4 months against the Delta variant. Thread

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MartinJuhl2/status/1418273528986615809

    • Bob Lamont says:

      On the JCVI advice on vaccination younger cohorts, it appears the question asked of them was loaded, what effect would there be on hospitalisations and deaths, to which the answer is obviously minor, most are struggling at home.

      Had the question been framed as to benefits to pandemic control including reduction in long-covid effects, perhaps a very different advice would have followed, but given one of the experts opined with certainty evidence of long-covid was “anectdotal” (to the shock of those who had published evidence to the contrary), that may perhaps be debatable.

  39. Capella says:

    Recommended. Includes links to interviews

    Just how bad has the relationship between the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments got since 2016? New UKandEUBrexit Witness Archive interviews with Carwyn Jones (FM of Wales, 2009-18) and Mike Russell (Scottish Government’s Brexit Minister) suggest: pretty awful!!

    A thread…https://mobile.twitter.com/DrAlanWager/status/1417785494461730816

    Liz Truss reveals plans to remove Indian Scotch whisky tariffs “Truss revealed that following her visit to Silicon Valley she was told that “Edinburgh was the place to invest in”.

    https://www.insider.co.uk/news/liz-truss-reveals-plans-remove-24576716

    Absent from the group of bidders – which includes oil companies like Shell and Eni as well as state-owned energy company Equinor – is the Scottish National Energy Company. Because we don’t have one.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/thecommongreen/status/1418240008138407936

  40. Capella says:

    In case you haven’t seen the Dawn Butler video. https://mobile.twitter.com/PeterStefanovi2/status/1418222940726779915

    Boris Johnson’s Government is losing control of the health crises – again

    https://www.businessforscotland.com/boris-johnsons-government-is-losing-control-of-the-health-crises-again/

    See other links on Ann’s page over at Indyref2

    https://indyref2.space/forum/topic/links-friday-23-july-2021/

  41. James Mills says:

    Dawn Butler is getting praise for her stance on Johnson’s lies – but this is only a big issue now because for too long MPs , of all parties , have accepted this ludicrous notion that ”an Honourable member ” cannot be called out for telling lies in the Commons .

    It is time these representatives of the people actually woke up to the fact that ordinary people are appalled at this disgraceful procedure .
    In a chamber filled with cheats , prevaricators , liars , dissemblers and Boris Johnson it is past time for them to be named for what they truly are !
    Archaic rules should not prevent lies being exposed and liars being outed !

  42. Hamish100 says:

    Does Dawn Butler believe Blair lied about the Iraq weapons of mass destruction?

    Anyway OT

    How many like me are completely disinterested in the Team GB Olympics. It seems to me from the heady day of the amateur fighting their way through adversity we have in some a career professional supported by the lottery. For the few success May come their way, An OBE, MBE or higher so called honours such as Lord Coe. I was an Ovett fan. Even greater honours await as you appear as a presenter on the bbc as an expert.

    For Scots they have to ignore the butcher apron or suck it up

    I might watch when the saltire flies alongside other nations of the world.

    • James Mills says:

      Team GB is just another propaganda tool for the Westminster Government – bread and circuses to distract the masses from the real issues of inequality , poverty , corruption etc..!

    • Dr Jim says:

      The occasion doesn’t seem to interest England either, normally the opening ceremony is on about four channels, it’s only on BBC 1

      Every country taking part in the Olympics waves their flag as a representation of their country and National pride and the narrators tell us a wee story about each as they parade, usually a wee history of when they became Independent and even how successful they are, as for Scotland we parade not in a flag of our own country and not even in a flag of Great Britain, for of course there is no flag of the country of Great Britain, because there is no country actually called Great Britain or United Kingdom, the redesigned political English flag is the one we parade under which does not incorporate the colour blue (pantone) of Scotland, it is in fact Royal blue of the Royal family and the Red and White of England’s previous flag

      Sorry Wales and Ireland, you lot don’t exist either

  43. Dr Jim says:

    A Tory journalist on Sky news earlier got cut off rapidly when she said if the EU aren’t going to accept *our* proposals which we know they won’t we should just partition Northern Ireland properly and get on with it

    I’m slightly paraphrasing there because I was so dumbstruck by what she said I thought I’d lost my marbles
    There are Tories down there in that country that are well beyond the use of the term Tory

    • James Mills says:

      There’s nothing like a wee war ( Guerrilla or otherwise ) to generate profits for the arms industry – not that any of them would be Tory donors !

  44. Hamish100 says:

    Ot
    Channel 5 thinks it is a good idea to allow 5 English celebrities from cricket to something else less important to travel across Scotland to do “ a spot of fishing”. How glorious it is, how spiffing, how patronising Channel 5.
    Fern Britton, Lord Ian Botham, Longford Christie, Les Dennis, Rosemary Shrager ( 1 of the 2 fat ladies fame) provide intermittent oohs , ahhhs. The usual what is driek? ( dreich).
    The Scots are bit players, ghillies etcetera.
    The production company is based in Brighton, proud of its regional home.
    Oh nearly forgot. You can win a holiday for 3 nights in Scotland.

    Can’t wait for episode 2. Toodle pip.

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