A new financial prospectus for an independent Scotland

The Deputy First Minister John Swinney has confirmed that the Scottish Government is to publish a “comprehensive financial plan” for independence. The plan aims to provide the public with “relevant and realistic” information about the financial prospects of an independent Scotland. This kind of information is sorely needed as until now the debate about Scotland’s finances have been dominated by discussions based on the annual GERS figures (Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland) which even the most dedicated graph creating opponent of independence has been forced to admit tell us nothing useful about the finances of an independent Scotland. Informed critics of the figures insist that they tell us little that’s useful about the finances of Scotland, full stop.

The GERS figures were devised by the Conservative Scottish Secretary of State Ian Lang in the 1990s as he wanted a political tool to use against those arguing for the creation of a Scottish Parliament. Three decades later the GERS figures are still being deployed as a political weapon against those arguing for greater Scottish self government. As a source of realistic financial information about the Scottish economy the GERS figures are worse than useless, but as a campaigning tool for opponents of greater Scottish self government they have been highly effective. It’s hardly surprising that they are fetishised as being tantamount to holy writ in British nationalist circles and anyone who dares to criticise them is condemned as a heretic to be burned at the stake.

However a corrective to the inadequacies and manifest inaccuracies of the GERS figures is sorely needed. The fictitious narrative, so beloved of British nationalists, that Scotland is an economic basket case which is hopelessly dependent upon the largesse of UK Treasury and the English taxpayer is derived from the GERS figures. That is after all the picture that the designers of the GERS statistics set out to paint. Yet, as this blog has pointed out on numerous occasions, even if this tale of woe and penury was accurate, it’s scarcely something for opponents of independence to be proud of, far less to make the basis of their case against independence. It would merely illustrate that the Scottish economy has been shockingly mismanaged by successive British governments to the point that Scotland, uniquely amongst the nations of North Western Europe, has been rendered incapable by the economic policies of the British state of providing its citizens with the basic level of public services that all other countries in this part of the world take for granted.

That’s not an argument against independence, it’s an appalling indictment of British rule and a sign that escaping this criminal British mismanagement as quickly as possible is a moral, economic, and political imperative.

The entire point of independence is to do things differently from Westminster and to manage the Scottish economy and Scottish resources in a way which is beneficial for the people of Scotland and not the political and strategic interests of the British state. A set of figures which are based upon guesstimates derived from Westminster’s spending priorities are fundamentally unsuitable for providing a basis from which to discuss the financial prospects of an independent Scotland. You cannot make the financial case for independence by basing it on a set of statistics which were designed to demonstrate Scotland’s supposed financial dependency on Westminster.

We need to move away from the myths and misinformation of the GERS figures, which is the main reason why John Swinney’s announcement is so welcome. It’s not the only reason however, the announcement is also welcome because it is a much needed sign that the Scottish Government is serious about pursuing independence and is putting in the preparatory work which will be vital for winning the second independence referendum campaign.

The new prospectus is required because previous work has been rendered out of date by Brexit, the economic challenges of the covid pandemic, and the increased urgency of the climate crisis. Previous plans for the economy of an independent Scotland which placed a significant reliance on Scotland’s potential as a producer of oil and gas have now become historical documents. The motor for the future economy of an independent Scotland must be this country’s immense potential as a producer of renewable energy, resources which Scotland is blessed with an abundance of. Above all else the economy of an independent Scotland must be sustainable in the longer term in order to guarantee the public services and standard of living that we have come to expect.

For my own part I would like to see the prospectus contain proposals for the rapid establishment of a Scottish Central Bank to be up and running as soon as possible after a Yes vote in the referendum, and a plan to move as soon as feasibly possible to the establishment of a new Scottish currency. While Scotland is fully entitled to continue to use Sterling for as long as it chooses to, and any British nationalist suggestions to the contrary must be robustly rebuffed, in the longer term the Scottish Government must not have its hands tied by the fiscal policies of the government of another country and must be able to create new money for investment in the economy, as any normal country with a fiat currency does.

Any new financial prospectus will have to strike a fine balance between providing the public with realistic and convincing answers to the questions they have about the currency of an independent Scotland, pensions, and the long term and sustainable funding of public services. On the other hand it needs to avoid merely providing opponents of independence with fresh targets to attack. It’s a tall order, but I have no doubt that John Swinney and his team are up to the job. If they succeed they can progress the case for independence beyond the sterile and pointless GERS-based arguments and put the independence campaign on a secure and robust footing for a campaign during which the British state is going to throw all its capacity for scaremongering, threats, and fomenting division against us.

There won’t be a new blog article tomorrow as I have a physiotherapy appointment in the morning and am likely to be wiped out and drained afterwards. This weekend it’s my birthday, so I’m taking a couple of days off.

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

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243 comments on “A new financial prospectus for an independent Scotland

  1. Radio Jammor says:

    Wholly agree, except for your use of one word: pensions. This matter does NOT need any changing, but for the actuality to be better presented.

  2. Hamish100 says:

    No better time when the tories steal from Scotland with their National insurance fix, pensioners don’t get their increase and any wage rises will be gobbled with other taxes and price increases due to Brexit

    Oh, Brent crude is $72 dollars a barrel. We are being robbed dry. No wonder Gove was dancing.

  3. barpe says:

    I’m delighted that John Swinney is to lead this endeavour, a sure-footed politician, who will be more than up to the job.

    It is signalling that Indyref 2 is not too far off – good!!

  4. Capella says:

    Good to hear that John Swinney is on the case. It’s high time we had an independent statement of our financial prospects because the unionist scare mongering machine will be cranked up to max warp as soon as a referendum date is set.

    UK pensions, currently a reserved matter, are the worst in the OECD. The Work and Pensions Secretary has just announced that UK pensions will not be increased by 8% next April. The Tories will renege on their pre-election promise to maintain the triple lock whereby pensions would rise in line with wages or inflation, whichever was the highest. September’s rate is the benchmark. Wages have increased by 8% and Therese Coffey says this is a “statistical anomaly” so won’t set the pension rate to match.

    In order to have a living income on retirement Scottish people have to be independent.

    • Dr Jim says:

      One is glad to be of service as a *statistical anomaly* for the UK of England Great Britain to exploit, thank goodness I’m not deemed as a person who is a pensioner, I’m almost sure this would have been an infringement of my human rights in that case

  5. Jim & Diane McCabe says:

    Congratulations on your birthday.

  6. wm says:

    Scotland like any other country in the world is a business. It is everybody that lives within its borders that grows its wealth. The main ingredients to grow wealth in any country is people and natural resources, Scotland for centuries of the industrial era up to this day has produced more natural resources per head of population than any other part of the Britain eg Coal, Oil, Gas, and today has more clean energy potential than probably anywhere else in Europe never mind Britain. These resources were how we could produce the industries of the last 200 plus years, this is wealth, money is only an invention that represents the wealth a country produces, the currency is what ever the country decides to call it. Let’s get on with it, the quicker the indy ref the better, we have been made an a**e of for far to long.

  7. I agree with your ideas for a Scottish Central Bank and currency to be set up quickly, I hope the politicians take this onboard.

    Have a Happy Birthday when it comes.

  8. Capella says:

    Nicola Sturgeon says:

    “Recent analysis revealed how out of all countries in North West Europe, the UK has the highest poverty, highest inequality, lowest pensions and crumbling exports – only made worse by Brexit, imposed on us against our will.

    That’s why, to secure our long-term recovery and realise Scotland’s potential, we need to become an independent nation in Europe.

    The democratic mandate for that – with a solid pro-independence majority government – is unquestionable.”

    Conference starts on Friday.

  9. bringiton says:

    The main argument deployed by Westminster will be “Look how difficult ending a union of 40 years has been (EU) and ending 300 years with England will be 8 times as bad”.
    Difficulty expressed as a function of time.
    Many of the arguments used by the Brexiteers,unfortunately equally apply to our case for making our own decisions and not having an exterior body dictating to us,even though in the case of the EU it wasn’t by dictat but by agreement.
    We will need to have robust arguments to counter this because many Scots will be taken in by these glib sound bytes which will reinforce their cringe tendency.
    This is a good start however but much more needs to be done.

  10. James Mills says:

    If we are going to outline the BENEFITS of independence by highlighting Scotland’s resources , let us equally highlight the NEGATIVES that the Union inflicts on Scotland .

    Recently there have been incidents that have clearly shown the negative impact of being tied to a nation that gives NO consideration to any aspect of daily life other than that which impacts England .( or the S.East ? )

    ‘Lockdown’ was delayed in Scotland because No.10 saw no need to act because we were going”to take it on the chin ”.

    ‘Lockdown’ restrictions have been removed in Scotland faster than many experts would wish because the Chancellor was withdrawing the Furlough Scheme in England which necessitated removal in Scotland too .

    The whole Covid fiasco with Scotland attempting to restrict visitors from countries with high rates of the virus being undermined by the cavalier ( if not foolhardy ) approach of No.10 .

    Enormous quantities of Public money has been wasted ( if not ”stolen” ) by the staggering incompetence of No.10 and the UK Cabinet .
    So much has been lost that it would have easily covered the monies to be raised via the new national Insurance Tax rise !

    The refusal to allow the Scottish Government to deal with rising Drug Deaths by utilising a well-established protocol in many countries – safe injection rooms – was dismissed out of hand by No. 10 .

    Shortages in shops has highlighted the pitfalls of leaving the EU – which Scotland did not support .

    The irony that Scotland which is hosting COP 26 has the highest connection charges for renewables in the UK ( Europe ? ) while suppliers in the South of England are PAID to connect to the National Grid .

    These spring to mind but are not exhaustive .

    Let us continually highlight the negativity that this Union brings to Scotland and its people while telling the Scots how optimistic we should be given the riches that our country possesses .

  11. scottish skier says:

    Does very much look like ex-pat Scots / new English in the south of England were lying* and the SNP do want independence soon.

    On the currency issue, while I support moving to a Scots currency, this can remain the Scots £. It just needs to be decoupled from the BoE £ when the time is right.

    In terms of campaigning, in 2014, polling data did show strong evidence for a 1 or 2% direct boost to Yes a direct result of Osborne flying up to tell us jocks he’d take our poond off us.


    Michael Gove: Ian Blackford ‘enjoys Westminster and doesn’t want indyref2 soon’

  12. Statgeek says:

    Expect a dozen questions in the months to come:

    “But, how will Scotland possibly manage to… ?”

    And work out how the UK manages to, with all the debt they have generated, while driving down taxes on big business, and the richest of society. I’m not for taxing savings more than once, but interest on savings over certain amount is perfectly fine.

    Also want to see big businesses pay their way in the world. If the business can’t be profitable (and ergo taxable), it doesn’t have to trade. A better run business can take its place. The way governments and businesses syphon tax payers’ money off into tax havens has to stop. More tax? Maybe. Can’t have good services and low taxes. Something has to give.

    Of course, with a trillion pound oil fund, Scotland would be a far better place…but reasons…

  13. Dr Jim says:

    Prepare ourselves for every Unionist economic expert pouring on to our TV screens and newspapers with forensic analysis to the penny of how dismally Scotland will fail if we decide to vote YES to Independence

    And yet:

    These same experts in forensic economic analysis were somehow invisible from our TV screens and newspapers when it came to examining how dismal the failure of England’s economic future and the damage to Scotland would be post Brexit, they all said it would be, what now?

    We’re soon to have a debate on whether it will be an offence to lie in parliament, my suggestion for what it’s worth would be if there’s to be a law against lying which I don’t believe will ever pass then it should be legal and acceptable to point out the liar in parliament and provide the evidence in public so there’s no need to worry about the first part

    • James Mills says:

      What is an economic expert ?

      A person who will tell you tomorrow why the prediction they made yesterday didn’t happen today !
      You might as well ask Mystic Meg !

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        You might as well ask Mystic Meg !


        Yep. Predicting the future is a load of crystal balls, in my opinion.

    • scottish skier says:

      “Prepare ourselves for every Unionist economic expert pouring on to our TV screens and newspapers with forensic analysis to the penny of how dismally Scotland will fail if we decide to vote YES to Independence”

      Brexit pretty much cancels the economic argument for the union. No serious economic expert will defend the union this time around, just like no serious expert wants the job of PM. It’s like volunteering to captain the titanic on to New York after all the experts agrees it’s going to sink in a few hours. Only those the delusions of grandeur about their own ability would take on the job of running the UK right now. That or those that know the ship is sinking and plan to raid the strong box to personally enrich themselves before jumping on a lifeboat, kicking out anyone else trying to get on board.

      Unemployment will start rising soon as a result of the labour shortage. In the simplest terms, you can’t take away all the chefs without closing all the restaurants, as the waiters just are not chefs, and would need years of training to be that. The UK labour market now has a huge labour market hole combined with a massive mismatch between ‘about to be unemployed’ (end of furlough) and job openings. That can only lead to one thing…

      And beware the stories of ‘rising average wages’. The average value does not include the unemployed, whose wage is zero, e.g.


      Remainers and Brexiteers are both missing the point on labour shortages and rising wages

      …As the ONS explains, the sharp increase in wages this year is partly a “base effect” and part “compositional”. To translate those two statistical terms into English: last year lots of workers were on furlough receiving 20 per cent less in wages. Now many are back into work, they are back on their pre-pandemic wages. That is a base effect.

      The compositional changes concern the mix of jobs in the labour market. The jobs that have been lost in the last year are disproportionately low paid and insecure – our labour market makes it easy to lay off workers on insecure contracts who tend to be low paid.

      To understand this effect, imagine you had 10 people: two on £10 per hour, two on £15 per hour, two on £20 per hour, two on £25 per hour, and two on £30 per hour. The average wage is £20 per hour. Now if one of the £10 per hour workers loses their job, the average pay of the remaining labour market (of nine) is £21.11 – an increase in average wages even though no worker’s pay has increased. This is a compositional effect.

      Wages are not rising notably at all; it is just a combination of people coming off furlough, so getting an imaginary 20% boost which simply returns them to what they got pre-pandemic, while the low paid have been disproportionally put out of work, making the average of those in work look better.

  14. Janice Gale says:

    Happy birthday, superman powers to you Paul and thanks for every word 🙏😊🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  15. Tom Mcseveney says:

    Happy birthday Paul . all the best have a restful weekend

  16. grizebard says:

    That’s exceedingly welcome news about a new financial analysis being prepared. One by one the foundation blocks for a timely and successful indyref2 are being assembled.

    And a great article, Paul, every single word of which made great good sense.

  17. Dr Jim says:

    Alex Neill working hard for the ABLA party on Scotland tonight once again trying to engineer Scotland into a third option on the ballot paper by pretending it’s something to debunk when he knows perfectly well that given two extreme choices between YES and NO the hesitant will choose what they think is the soft middle or halfway option, that was tried by Salmond the last time and Cameron shafted him by saying no then offering the VOW at the last minute which was never on any ballot paper to begin with so he had no need whatsoever to honour it

    Federalism is it? trust the Labour old guard to always be Labour

  18. uno mas says:

    Feliz cumpleaños Paul.

    It´s my birthday on Saturday and I always get funny looks from people when I have to give my D.O.B. as 11.09, like i´m a terrorist or something.

    Or a member of the C.I.A. depending on your opinion on that one.

    Anyway take it easy this weekend mate and we´ll hear from you when you´re a year older.

  19. robert harrison says:

    Well johnson just destroyed that basket case attack because thanks to the conservatives in Westminster we have to subsidise the English care sector by apparently 2.5 billion pounds i remember seein recently a certain qoute from johnson from 01 that he said in the telegraph that our social care would fail under devolution (which never happened) and when we go begging to the English for money we should be told to hop it yet as prime minister that same lunatic expects Scotland to subsidise the English social care thanks to his party and their privatisation chickens have come home to roost such dusgusting hypocrisy and typical irony.

  20. Welsh_Sion says:

    Watch this space … regarding TWO Viceroys (of Northern Colonies and Western Colonies)

    The Welsh Secretary job is among of those being mentioned as a potential change as reshuffle rumours consume Westminster.

    Sky News Chief Political Correspondent, Jon Craig said that Simon Hart was one of the names mentioned by Tory MPs to be facing the axe.

    Secretary for State for Scotland Alister Jack meanwhile has been tipped for promotion to a more senior role.



  21. scottish skier says:

    Wasn’t brexit supposed to save the UK £350m a day which was going to be redirected to the NHS, e.g. for heath and social care?

    • James Mills says:

      But that was before Covid , don’t you know !

      Covid changes everything , we are told .

      They didn’t expect to spend on Dido Hardings pet Test and Trace project ( they’re still trying to Trace the £35 billion she lost ! )
      Then there was the Tory PPE Reward Scheme for donors and relatives which is still being totalled .
      Covid has been so expensive that we could have self-isolated EVERYONE in the UK in a 5-star Luxury Hotel complex for the duration and still had change over for decorating No. 10 AND paid a nanny for EACH of Johnson’s weans !

    • Dr Jim says:

      They sold that bus for £38.75 to maximise cash flow to go directly to the NHS then scrapped it at a cost of £355.00 because it was diesel which produced a profit of £8 million to invest in Dido Hardings bank account
      It’s a Tory accounting thing that most ordinary untrained voters don’t understand

  22. Christopher Rosindale says:

    This is wise, and MUST deliver something clear, factually correct, and capable of being well-defended during campaigning.

    In 2014, Salmond and the previous Yes campaign failed to do this, with dire consequences as their weak economic case for separation was one of the biggest reasons for losing the 2014 referendum. Many Scots, who wanted to vote Yes, in the end decided that they couldn’t risk it because such a weak economic case was put forward. This cannot happen again.

    Pensions is a subject which must be clearly and openly addressed, as any failure to do this will result in huge numbers of older voters flocking to the pro-UK side. Winning a lot of support for Yes in that age group will be hard enough as it is without fatally hamstringing the Yes side on one of their most potent concerns.

    Southern Scotland, where I live, will be the most heavily impacted by Independence as the existing cross-border trade, society and community will be cut in half by an international border. Fear of the impact of this is the key reason why Yes got hammered in 2014 here, and why the Tories have been able to dominate elections here since 2016.

    The new economic case for Independence MUST offer clear, factually based reasons why Independence will benefit Southern Scotland, and not just shatter its existing cross-border way of life, causing negative consequences for thousands of people. If it fails to do this, No is likely to crush Yes again down here, which, after 2 articles (one by Vernon Bogdanor in the Telegraph; the other by David Green on Conservative Home) in the past year promoting the idea of Southern Scotland leaving Scotland and remaining in the UK if a majority of voters in the region vote No in Indyref2. This idea has surfaced repeatedly in the local press since 2015, so its appearance in the 2 articles mentioned may be a sign that Johnson’s government is now considering it. To counter it, an alternative vision, explaining clear benefits of losing the cross-border connection, must be put forward.

    • scottish skier says:

      Southern Scotland, where I live, will be the most heavily impacted by Independence as the existing cross-border trade, society and community will be cut in half by an international border.

      It’s already and international border between two different countries. When you cross it, you are going abroad, leaving one country for another. You change legal systems, educational systems, tax regimes, governments, police force, culture, international sports teams. It’s why there are signs beside the road telling you are leaving one country for another. 🙂

      Here you go. Our trade with the rUK is ‘international’ already as we are not all the same country / nation.


      I’m in the borders too. About 20 miles away from it. Nobody I know crosses it on any regular basis, and if it becomes more international, it would not present a problem. The number of people who actually do cross it is very limited; they tend to be those that live right on it. Most Scots just don’t go to England in the same way most Danes don’t travel to Germany on any regular basis. So the vast majority of Scots just don’t care about the issue as they don’t visit England.

      In terms of a trade border… the UK has an open trade border with Ireland / the EU. The impact of brexit is to cause problems on the British side, but far less on Irish / EU side. If you put up barrier to trade, it is those within the barrier that disproportionately suffer; it is more difficult for them to both import and export than it is for those outside.

      By leaving the UK and rejoining the EEA, Scotland would take down 30+ international trade borders, and would not put up any new ones. The rUK would be putting up one with Scotland potentially, but the net gain is 30+ removed borders. Scotland would be outside the wall, so would be much better off free trade-wise.

      Scotland net exports oil, gas, electrical power and food to England. It is only food that would stop at a border post. And then the checks would be on the British side, at cost to English consumers. But as they can’t feed themselves, nor power themselves, what choice to they have? And e.g. electrical power from Scotland is still lower cost than getting it from further afield.

      And most imports to Scotland don’t come from the rUK as it has nothing to offer us goods-wise:


      Looking at transport, road vehicle imports into Scotland come primarily from the Netherlands, France and Germany.

      If the UK becomes a transit country, the customs problems for these lorries become much less of an issue. No paperwork needed as the final destination would be Scotland, they can freely cross the UK in transit with loads sealed. At dover they could pass through a ‘transit’ lane for goods bound for Scotland rather than customs one. Same for the Scottish border; EU lorries waved through while English exports contend with their self inflicted wall and all the costs on their exports to us that creates for them. Passing those costs on to Scottish consumers would just push Scots to buy lower cost EU products, so harming British exporters.

      This is what is happening in Ireland and N. Ireland. The economic integration of these with the EU is accelerating rapidly due to Brexit. Soon the border in the Irish sea will matter little as rUK exporters lose out to those from the EU. Within a few Years, N. Ireland will import next to nothing from the UK, while the UK continues to import from N. Ireland and the republic as it ‘can’t survive alone’ in this respect. Same will happen to Scotland; with a few years of a trade border with England put up while 30+ fall with the EU, Scotland will be importing next to nothing from England, while England continues to import all the stuff it current does from Scotland because it can’t support itself with these.

      As for Tourism, most of this is international and by air:

      So no loss there. Very few scots holiday in England and vice versa.

      Hope, the border issue just worries ‘British’ people as they see it as dividing an imagined country of Britain. Most Scots don’t nationally identify as British, for them there’s always been an international border along the tweed. It’s why they cheer on Scotland while the English cheer on England at the footie.

      It’s not actually a salient issue with most Scots, but as British people are of a different nationality / national identity, they don’t understand this.

      • scottish skier says:

        Ireland really is the ideal model here. It had complete free trade with the UK, with the latter one of it’s top export destinations.

        Now that the UK has put up a wall, Ireland is not desperately trying to rejoin the UK, as the wall is hurting the UK far more than it is Ireland. In fact, UK businesses are leaving the UK for Ireland.

        The same will happen with Scotland for the same reasons.

        Being inside a free trade wall can only ever hurt far more than being outside it.

      • Golfnut says:

        Excellent comment.

        • Christopher Rosindale says:

          Then explain to me why the No vote outnumbered the Yes vote by 2 to 1 in Dumfries and Galloway in 2014, or why Tory MPs and MSPs now hold all of the Constituency seats in Southern Scotland, with the Tory MSPs being elected with increased majorities in May this year?

          If you think that the currently open Border between Scotland and England has nothing to do with this, you are so wrong. Trade flows unhindered across it every day. People cross it every day to work, shop, go to school or for leisure reasons. After dropping the ball in 2015, the Tories down here realised what a potent issue the Border is regarding the prospect of Independence, and they have been weaponising it to get votes since 2016! And it has worked…. They have successfully wooed the huge pro-Union vote here, and have no intention of letting go of it.

          So, it matters a great deal down here. There is also a perception that the SNP are more interested in the Central Belt because that is where the majority of Scottish voters live, with Southern Scotland being treated as an afterthought, getting less investment as a result. The controversies surrounding no improvements to the A77, A76 and A75 roads, for example, which are some of the worst major roads in the country, are a good example.

          The hurdles faced by the Yes side to avoid a second crushing defeat down here are enormous, and they must face this and do something about it. Or the Tories and the No side will simply run them over in Indyref2.

          • scottish skier says:

            Because these are the most British/English areas of Scotland because of the proximity with the border, which has led to migration.

            But it’s not that important as SB & DG are less than 4% of the population, so will not decide the outcome. The central belt and eastern Scotland from fife to Dundee and Aberdeen will.

            • scottish skier says:

              I’ll pop up a chart at some point, but correlations show Yes was up to 10% higher in areas whose residents more strongly identified as Scottish than British. Getting British people to vote for indy is like asking Scots to support partitioning of Scotland. This makes the border areas a tough gig.

              The fertile ground is (first and foremost) Scottish identifying people, who comprise 62% of the overall population.

              Self-identified Scottish (not British) voted Yes in 2014.

              While legally most are British & Scottish in terms of citizenship, Scotland is a multi-national state in terms of how people see themselves in terms of their nationality / national identity. I literally am of a different nationality to someone who identifies as British, because I don’t have that identity. We might as well be French and German.

              • Alex Clark says:

                In the poll, voters born in Scotland will vote Yes 52/48, those born in England will vote Yes 42/58. That to my mind is very decent support for Independence from those new Scots that happened to be born in England.

            • Christopher Rosindale says:

              I am not concerned about the likelihood that D&G and SB voters will sway the result, although if it is narrow that is not impossible, but of the effects of the rest of Scotland overriding the votes of a majority of voters in those areas if they vote No but a majority of Scotland votes Yes.

              You are aware of the logic used by the SNP to justify Indyref2? That because Scotland did not vote for Brexit but was outnumbered by voters in England and Wales it had to leave the EU anyway? The democratic imbalance which that exposed is what has led to the strengthened drive for Indyref2 and the conversion of people like me from No in 2014 to Yes now.

              The 2 articles which I mentioned recently both use the same logic, if applied to parts of Scotland which vote to stay in the UK but are ‘dragged out’ of it by a majority of other parts of Scotland against their majority wish. This is the basis of the idea of D&G and the Borders staying in the UK if such an outcome occurs in Indyref2, with the Scotland/England border being moved to their Northern edge. This idea has appeared, more than once, in the local D&G press since 2015, and its sudden appearance, this year, in articles in the Daily Telegraph and on ConservativeHome, makes me think that Johnson’s government is quietly considering it…. Alister Jack, or his team in his Dumfries office, may be the reason for this as, likely being aware of it from the local press, he could have floated the idea to his Cabinet colleagues, with the 2 articles then being ‘test balloons,’ put out to see how the Tory supporters in England react to it. Having the idea put out by 2 non politicians, instead of by Jack, Gove or anyone else in the Tory party, gives Johnson’s government cover to distance themselves from it if it proves unpopular. This is what is called “Plausible Deniability.”

              My fear then, is this. If D&G and the Borders are forced to leave the UK, through being outvoted by a majority of Scotland, the sense of injustice that this may create among the population in those regions results in the growth in popularity of the idea of moving the Border North….. If this happens it may become very difficult for Holyrood to keep ignoring it, and they may be forced to put it to a regional vote in future.The importance of the ferry link to Northern Ireland, for as long as that part of the UK is still in the UK, should not be overlooked either, as WM will probably want to hang onto it, so they may be sympathetic to the possibility of retaining D&G and the Borders as part of the remaining UK, if a majority of voters here back that option. The loss of Southern Scotland back to the UK would be a humilation for Holyrood, which would likely topple any government there, or at least the person in the First Minister position.

              Do not dismiss this prospect, as it may be more likely than you realise when Independence occurs, if the severing of the 300+ year old cross-border community in Southern Scotland proves to be severely disruptive socially, economically and politically.

              It is vital to try and prevent it, either by somehow overturning the huge 2014 No majorities, or at least by severely reducing them in Indyref2.

          • scottish skier says:

            Here you go.


            Plot of % Yes in 2014 for different local authority areas based on the % of respective populations nationally self identifying as British, Scottish + British, English and Other UK (Census 2011).

            Unsurprisingly, the more British/other UK identifying a LA population was, the lower the Yes vote in 2014. Of course conversely, the more Scottish and less British/UKish an LA area is, the more it voted in favour of independence.

            Of course all areas in Scotland do have ~6/10 identifying as ‘Scottish only’ so a Yes vote across the board is quite possible. However, the no vote will be strongest in those areas with the largest British + English populations.

            I suspect that you may find English Scots are more pro-indy than British Scots, but breakdowns by national identity is scant.

    • bringiton says:

      This will be the pensions that were only going to be guaranteed safe by leaving Westminster to control them (no triple lock now).
      Along with the claim that only by voting No were we guaranteed to remain in the EU.
      No one believes serial liars unless they want to or are mentally challenged.
      I don’t believe that people in the south of Scotland are idiots so Westminster is going to have it’s work cut out to come up with reasons (more lies) why we should continue to allow them to mismanage our affairs.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “To counter it, an alternative vision, explaining clear benefits of losing the cross-border connection, must be put forward” – I agree there should be clarity, but let’s be equally clear that this is to counter the manifold rubbish spun on it by Alister Jack, Fluffy, Bogdanor, Green, etc. down the years, it is arrant nonsense.

      Before the EU even hove into view I travelled from my native Galloway extensively across Europe, and was thoroughly fascinated by the ease with which people transited across borders, regulars who lived in one country but worked in the next were cheerily waved through without a by-your leave.

      Years later and in the EU, I saw the exact same behaviour at the Swiss, Ukraine and Turkish borders, YET suddenly for reasons unclear, folks in the south have been convinced by political muppets that they will suddenly be treated differently, over what is essentially is a trade compact.

      Unless the Tories are stupid enough to rescind the CTA within the UQ post Indy, to their considerable detriment, life will go on much as it always has, it really is THAT simple.

      In short it is their fears we must overcome, we need only cite the NI/UK/ROI borders or point to Austria/Switzerland for reality checks.
      Setting out every minute detail for others to pick apart and reframe the argument is a hiding to nothing I’m afraid.

      • Christopher Rosindale says:

        Bob, it would help if the SNP would stop tip-toeing around the Border issue, as they seem to be extremely reluctant to talk about it. This is creating a vaccuum which the Unionist side, not surprisingly, are exploiting for political gain.

        Post Brexit, the likelihood of a harder Scotland/England border, in terms of trade (although I agree with you that the continuation of the CTA is logical, there is no guarantee that WM will agree to this as they may decide, for whatever reason, that they do not wish to grant it. That the Tories are now riddled with English nationalism, and that the break-up of the Union will force England to work out what it is afterwards, as the British identity will be gone, increases the risk that WM will behave in such a way. They will listen to their own voters’ wishes, not ours.

        Scotland could not force them to listen to us as we would be the weaker side in the negotiations, being a country of 5.4 million people compared to a country of 60 million people) has greatly increased. If we return to the European single market, which is a no-brainer for economic reasons, but England and Wales stay out, then we will have 2 sets of regulations divided by a border, which will mean border checks on goods, including customs checks. Therefore, the existing cross-border economy will be sliced in half, with substantial effects on businesses in Southern Scotland. This will be a lot worse if passport checks are added-on by WM refusing to include Scotland in the CTA, as that cuts the social cross-border community in half as well.

        We cannot risk assuming that WM will be reasonable on these issues, as their behaviour over Brexit has been riddled with unreasonable, ideological actions. We have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst just in case.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Whilst I agree more could be done to counter the bunkum being circulated in the south by AJ and Co, fear of change is what is being exploited here, along with the notion London is the more powerful. Many of the false perceptions there desperately need debunked, Believe in Scotland’s initiative to begin distributing materials in D&G is the start of a reality check, but let’s address your own perceptions.

          First – CTA
          CTA is NOT London’s to dictate, it is a binding legal agreement between the UK and Ireland, Scotland as part of the UK only need become an addendum to the Agreement post independence,
          London may only rescind their part in the Agreement or abide by it in whole.
          Ireland as co-signatory has already stated an independent Scotland would be welcome to join CTA, so London either cuts off both Ireland and Scotland to no net benefit of England, or agrees to Scotland joining. Now which do you suppose benefits England most ?

          Second – Customs
          A – There are two sides to a border, both sides negotiate an agreement to mutual benefit, for London as the stronger negotiator, see Brexit and Frosty the No-Man.
          B – England are a net importer of product for resale or processing, Scotland is a net exporter of such product on which their factories and distributors depend.
          eg – London needs Scottish potatoes etc to keep Walkers Crisps etc in business – Scotland could quickly get investment to build it’s own Tayto or Melton-Mowbray pie factory, so who exactly is in the strongest negotiating position ?

          Yet the most absurd of AJ’s nonsense circulating is that Indy would simultaneously trigger instant EU accession, and that EU regs could see Scotland’s exports grind to a halt at it’s unique “hard” border.
          Firstly it will take years to gain EU accession, and Scots have yet to decide whether they wish to do so. So false.
          Secondly, the sanitary and phytosanitary rules which have so damaged exports are from rUK to EU, not the other way around. So false.
          Thirdly, should rUK wish to apply restrictions on imports from Scotland in such a scenario, it must apply to all EU states without exception.
          Once you see the duplicity in this bunkum from AJ et al you cannot unsee it.

          So in summary –
          Will cross-border travel and trade be impacted post Indy ? Most unlikely.
          Will it be impacted on joining the EU ? Possibly if rUK still hasn’t got it’s third party country act together, but Scotland’s exports will increase to the larger markets as did those of Ireland, not decrease.

  23. Capella says:

    Saw my first “Blow for Sturgeon” headline of the campaign! 😂
    The Scottish Daily Mail has the results of a poll on its front page showing 57% would vote
    to “Remain” if there was a referendum on whether to Remain or Leave the UK.

    Now this was a Scotland in Union poll and the question is not the question that the referendum will ask. So let’s not get too excited, unlike the Scottish Daily Mail.

    • scottish skier says:

      Use of the words ‘Remain’ vs ‘Leave’ in any poll renders it meaningless unless it’s used for the EU referendum question, which these two terms have become intimately associated with. People in the UK are now firmly in Remain and Leave tribes in their own heads.

      Many of these answering remain will be remainers thinking the question is about remaining in that union, i.e. the EU.

      Polling has to be super clear, simple, with no obvious scope for confusion, or you will get strange results. This is a classic fail as it gets pro-independence voters to quickly tick remain as they are a remainer.

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Scotland in Union. Lol.

    • jfngw says:

      A SIU poll, is it a organised a bit like this one?

  24. Dr Jim says:

    I met Vernon Bogdanor once at a lecture many years ago, this is a man who is as rabid a Britisher as one could ever meet, a rewriter of glorious history much in the vein of Neil Oliver only much smarter, a man who will never answer a question that he has not been pre prepared to answer and certainly one of the most far right wing figures I ever met in my life, so the Telegraph is the perfect vehicle for this excuse for a history inventor and serial misleader, Bogdanor will never appear at an open forum event because his views are only for those who share those views and do not ask pertinent questions that he can’t answer, a Gordon Brown of the academic world if you will, only prepared to speak to his own kind for fear of challenge, and if anyone does challenge his views they are responded to with, let’s say extremely thinly veiled but totally visible hatred at the audacity of the challenger for daring to question him at all, oh, and he will refuse to answer such questions anyway and or generally stomp off, again a bit like Gordon Brown when confronted by *that bigoted woman*

    Like I said yesterday the experts are coming and the Telegraph the Express the Daily Mail will fill their pages up with them, and no matter if the Scottish government produced every fact pro Independence related with all evidence backed up and supported by the Gods in heaven these figures would appear in these publications to refute the word of God if it means retaining Englands control of Scotland

    We can’t silence these people but we can help to expose them as the fraudulent lying Bastirts they are

    • Hamish100 says:


    • grizebard says:

      I’ve always known that Bogdanor was Ur-English Establishment, and he has previously made his anti-indy views known in the Graun as well as the Torygraph, but interesting to get some personal insight as well. He represents a fair amount of the kind of attitude and thinking we are trying to free ourselves from. Maybe someone should invite him to give some lectures here on The Union come IR2…?

  25. Capella says:

    OTOH an Opinium poll shows support for independence at 51% and that 51% would vote for the SNP in a Westminster election – up 4 points.

    Also, John Curtice points out that the Scotland in Union poll is asking a non standard question and got the same result as a poll earlier this year i.e. opinion hasn’t changed.

  26. WT says:

    Both polls tell us we have a lot of work to do to convince the NO voters to turn to YES. Christopher Rosindale puts his finger on a number of areas that we must firm up: the border (my son who lives there crosses it many times per week), currency, pensions (this is a big one and one we can use to our advantage perhaps by offering to bring ours in line with levels in Europe) and I would add that of defence – our prospectus on that in 2014 was woeful. It is there for us to win – we just need to continue to solidify and press our case.

    • Christopher Rosindale says:

      Thanks for the back-up WT, and your point about your son’s many weekly border crossings perfectly proves what I was saying about the impact that a hard International border, in place of the currently open, internal UK one, will have on this region – it may well prevent them from taking place.

      As for the survival of the CTA, no-one up here can guarantee how WM will react on the issue. They may be pragmatic, or, humiliated by the break-up of the UK, and thus facing their worst national identity crisis in 300+ years, they may decide to play hardball and refuse to agree to its application to the new Scotland/England border. Their actions will be decided by the attitude taken by a majority of their supporters down there, and we will have no control or indeed much influence over this.

      Your point about the equally weak 2014 proposals on Defence is also a good one. I had forgotten about that and I thank you for raising it. It must be addressed, particularly given the future of Faslane after Independence as thousands of existing jobs will be lost there if Trident leaves. What will become of those workers, and the dependents who rely on them, must be firmly described to avoid handing another issue to the No campaign for them to ruthlessly weaponise.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Would you be so good as to explain where precisely in WT’s comment he “proves what I was saying” ? I’m genuinely struggling to find it.

        And since you quoted Alister Jack’s “hard international border”, perhaps you might address what he has consistently avoided – highlight a single EU external border example of HARD. Any one will do….

        • Christopher Rosindale says:

          His comment about his son crossing the Border regularly proves my point that people do this down here.

          Um, the Irish Sea border, the external borders with the EU in Eastern Europe, with Africa, America etc. Any border with a country not in the European single market has products, customs and passport checks, except those in the CTA. That is what I meant by a Hard border. If England and Wales stay outside the European single market but we rejoin, we will end-up with a Hard trade border (at least) between Scotland and England.

          Given the delusional/identity crisis behaviour shown by WM over Brexit, especially regarding the Single market and FOM, do you seem re-joining the European single market any time soon? To do so would be admitting that Brexit is a failure, and that England cannot survive without Europe. This would tear the Tory party apart…..

          • Christopher Rosindale says:

            “see them” not “seem” – sorry, typo.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Perception is not proof, you merely agree. I’m not disputing there is cross border travel for work and leisure, nor that trade is impacted already, merely that much of what is presented is propagandised by others for political purpose, and you appears to give it credibility. Most I addressed on your other post, but perhaps a reality check –

            Pre-EU, French workers used to cross to Germany daily and vice versa, regulars waved through with a smile, an occasional spot check and a shared joke, a routine, that was normal then.
            The EU changed everything within Europe, internal borders disappeared for trade between member states, Schengen did away with people checks for countries who had signed up to it, this was the new normal.

            Today the French/German scenario for workers in the EU era is still a daily occurrence at the Ukraine, Moldova, etc. borders.
            When the UK brexited to be a third country, it reverted to the old style border much as Moldova, except the UK’s are physically in the sea, including NI’s to comply with the GFA. The UK were not Schengen participants, but CTA guaranteed free movement of people within the British Isles.

            It’s an exercise in political semantics intended to influence public opinion to refer any border as HARD, if anything post-Brexit UK has WET borders for trade and free movement within the British Isles preserved via the CTA.

            Post independence Scotland will have a DRY border to rUK, and WET elsewhere for trade until and if it rejoins the EU when only the DRY border remains, but CTA remaining a legal obligation, means people transiting it will experience no change whatsoever.

            Even were London stupid enough to rescind the CTA to their considerable detriment on foot of Indy, the German/French scenario would prevail, a smile, a wave, the occasional spot check and a shared joke, but consider Ireland’s response to such petulance… SCHENGEN ?

            It’s a game of political illusions and scaremongering.

      • Alex Clark says:

        The number of potential job losses at Faslane in the vent of Independence was greatly exaggerated by the Better Together lot before the first referendum, and their claims were shown to be bogus. From the Herald:

        Figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) under freedom of information law reveal that only 520 civilian jobs at Faslane and Coulport near Helensburgh are directly dependent on Trident. This contrasts with the 6000-11,000 jobs that pro-Trident politicians claim are at risk…

        Of them, 159 are employed by the MoD and 361 by the MoD’s contractors, Babcock Marine and Lockheed Martin. Most of the workers – 310 – live in West Dumbartonshire or Argyll and Bute, with the rest living elsewhere in Scotland (103) or at unknown locations (107)…

        John Foster, an emeritus social sciences professor at Paisley University who convened the study, argued that there would be less than 1000 jobs lost in the communities that surround the Clyde bases. He said that new jobs would be created at Faslane by the introduction of Astute-class submarines, which do not carry nuclear weapons.
        Dire predictions of job losses assume that the Government would close the entire Faslane base which was “highly implausible”, he said. “The SNP Government has made it clear that it would keep Faslane open were Trident to be cancelled.”


      • scottish skier says:

        Thanks for the back-up WT, and your point about your son’s many weekly border crossings perfectly proves what I was saying about the impact that a hard International border, in place of the currently open, internal UK one, will have on this region – it may well prevent them from taking place.

        I can’t see how this would be true. Everyone in Scotland is entitled to a British passport and could retain that / apply for it post-independence, i.e. have dual nationality. Scots were born Briitsh of British parents and British grandparents… Their kids would be entitled to the same, and, as I understand it, even grandchildren based on current British nationality laws.

        So nobody along the border would have any problems crossing even if England went North Korea as they’d have British passport.

        Hell, you can walk right in even if you are not even British, but Irish. I enter and leave the UK using the UK passport queue with an Irish passport.

        Also, at present, EU citizens can enter the UK for business trips or pleasure without a visa, so even if Scots decided not to get a British passport, and England/The rUK was so anti-Scottish / anti-British / anti-English (10% of the Scottish population is English) to refuse an irish style common travel area, if Scotland was part of the EU/EEA, people could still freely cross the border, just not to necessarily work.

        Seems to me you’ve fallen for unionist fairy stories! 🙂

        • Christopher Rosindale says:

          Entering without a visa is NOT the same as FOM. Just because they can enter doesn’t mean that they can stay indefinately. That is now the case for UK citizens in the EU and vice versa.

          Upon Independence, the UK as it is currently constituted would cease to exist. Scotland and what remains of the UK would be seperate countries, so the current UK passport may not be valid after that point, as that will be up for negotiation between 2 separate governments.

          As the Tories are now infested with English nationalism, do you really think that they can be relied upon to see sense over letting Scotland join the CTA? Witness how obssessed they now are with “controlling our borders post-Brexit,” plus their growing hostility to any forms of immigration into the UK.

          There is no guarantee that they will be reasonable, as their approach will depend on what their own core voters think. And they may not be friendly towards us, we cannot predict that.

          • Alex Clark says:

            I am in complete agreement with you in that the issue of a “hard border” being created if Scotland rejoins the EU is very important. It will have to be dealt with in detail in any Independence referendum, you can be absolutely certain that whoever replaces Better Together will attempt to create fear over a “hard border” in their arguments.

            However, you appear to be doing their job for them now by providing arguments against Independence using totally hypothetical scenarios that in my view are highly unlikely to occur. What you are arguing is that England would want to treat Scotland differently from Ireland who is already in the CTA. In fact, the CTA was created so Irish citizens could still visit Britain without checks and vice-versa. This was after a civil war and many deaths never mind a legal vote.

            Your worries are legitimate but your fanciful ideas of a “hard border” are fanciful. Undoubtedly there will be checks on some goods, especially animal products but you can be fairly certain that any deal between Scotland and rUK after Independence AND re-joining the EU will look very much like any deal in place the rUK have with the EU over Northern Ireland.

            It might take around 5 years before Scotland is ready to re-join the EU if they choose to do so and I’m pretty sure in that time they will get over their hurt feelings. In the meantime, every person who is currently a UK citizen living in Scotland will retain the right to that citizenship, until they are no longer on this Earth.

      • scottish skier says:

        Click to access scottish-transport-statistics-2020-may-2021.pdf

        2.6 In 2018-19, there were 92.3 million passenger journeys, wholly within Scotland. Forty
        per cent of start and end points were in Glasgow and 11% were in Edinburgh. There were
        almost 10 million cross border journeys starting or finishing in Scotland. Of these, 51%
        started or finished in Edinburgh and 27 per cent started or finished in Glasgow. (Table 7.6a
        and 7.6c)

        10 million is 5 million per year. This is less than one cross border journey per person equivalent in Scotland per year.

        Which is correct for me. I have made 2 cross border journeys in the past 2 years. I can take my Irish, Scottish and/or British passport for this in the future if the England insist. I already do this for flights to London.

        It just isn’t an issue. Just a unionist fairy story.

        • scottish skier says:

          Or in fact think it’s 10 million per year (18-19 rather than 18 & 19), in which case it’s 1.85 border crossings per year per person equivalent, which on closer inspection includes journeys where the destination was not the rUK, but Malaga, Ibiza, the USA, Canada

          So covers tourists coming in and out of Scotland, not necessarily via England.

          So my above figure for Scots residents probably isn’t actually far away.

        • scottish skier says:

          Ok, out of genuine interest because this canard often pops up..

          It seems that for passenger journeys, TS actually only have figures for rail, air and ferry where the initial destination was the rUK. Table S4.

          Car journey data is not something so easy to track for obvious reasons.

          Anyway, the former is 23.14m per year for 2018 in and out. So half that in terms of round trips, i.e. 11.6m per year, which is back to 2 rUK trips per scot equivalent per year.

          But then there are road journeys. If we generously add the same again for this, then we are up to 4 cross border round trips per Scot equivalent per year.

          Certainly, no matter which way we look at it, most Scots just rarely cross the border. It’s in the low single figures in terms of crossing per year. And why would they? Scottish and N. English cities are hours apart, meaning commuting just doesn’t happen.

          So even if England put up some sort of barbed wire fence poorly staffed with border guards, spotlights, rabid dogs and huge queues, the average Scot would not notice as they’d just fly or take the train instead of driving.

          Those most adversely affected should be English and British people resident in Scotland, who have family, friends in England, so would cross more often. Proposals of a hard border by the UK government deliberately targeting these may well turn them against the UK, increasing support for yes in this group.

  27. scottish skier says:

    Westminster VI:
    SNP 51% (+4)
    Conservative 21% (-4)
    Labour 17% (-3)
    Lib Dems 5% (+1)
    Other 6% (+4)

    By 44% to 33%, Scottish voters think the news SNP/Green pact will be “good for Scotland”.

    ‘Opinium asked voters how much they trust political leaders when they talk about “the current debate over Scottish independence”. Nicola Sturgeon was the most trusted with over half (55%) saying they trust her.

    Alex Salmond was the least trusted, with 69% saying they do not trust him, followed by Boris Johnson on 67%.



    • scottish skier says:

      Opinium Holyrood VI

      51% SNP
      21% Con
      18% Lab
      6% Lib
      4% Oth

      40% SNP
      21% Con
      16% Lab
      10% Oth
      8% Grn
      5% Lib
      0% Alba

    • scottish skier says:

      The SNP and Scottish Greens have recently agreed to form a government together after the results of the elections in May. Do you think this is good or bad for Scotland?

      Yes voters
      79% Good
      5% Bad
      16% DK

      No voters
      12% Good
      69% bad
      19% DK

      SNP voters
      76% Good
      4% Bad
      19% DK

      Green voters
      94% Good
      1% Bad
      5% DK

      Alba voters
      12% Good
      88% Bad
      0% DK

      11% Good
      82% Bad
      7% DK

      So, Yes, SNP and Green voters all very supportive of the SNP-Green pact.

      Those most opposed to it are No voters, Tories and Alba. Caution on Alba though due to the small sample size of just 3 Alba voters.

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, if anything it’s getting harder to find Alba voters, it seems.

        What about Labourites though? Just out of passing interest, how are they reacting? Or are there none left? {grin}

        • scottish skier says:

          In terms of the SNP-Green coalition, this is what Lab and Lib voters think:

          Lib Voters
          32% Good
          53% Bad
          15% DK

          Lab voters
          17% Good
          59% Bad
          23% DK

          Actually quite a lot of support or voters nonplussed.

          • grizebard says:

            Well, I guess insofar that tribalist attitutes still to some extent hinder further advancement in support for independence, that is a good thing.

            And we shouldn’t forget, we only need to change a relatively few minds now to prevail. Incremental gains backed by a solid sense of purpose is all we need.

      • Alex Clark says:

        It’s not possible to get a split of 88/12 with just 3 Alba voters, it can only be 100/0, 66/33 or 50/50 if one of the 3 is a DK.

      • Derek says:

        Would you not get 66/33 with 3 Alba voters? 88/12 suggests 15 or so.

  28. Dr Jim says:

    All sorts of controversy over different polling results showing this or that about Scotlands Independence, some using non standard questioning to achieve dodgy results and some using timescales to produce the results they want to put forward so the media can chew them up twist them around and spit out any old conclusions they want to come to as to the deep and meaningful implications of it all, but always resulting in the opinion that NO, Scotland either doesn’t want a referendum or Nicola Sturgeon would lose it if she holds it, the thing is we just had the only recent poll that actually counts, an election, in which the SNP and Green party offered the choice of Scottish Independence in their manifestos, and well blow me down with a feather Scotland just went and voted for those prospectus’s so it kinda negates all the palaver the media go to to prove something different

    There will be a referendum on Scotlands Independence in 2023 exactly the timescale set out by the FM on many many bloody many occasions, the people on the so called YES side of the argument who keep carping on about not being happy about one piece of piffle after another or have a personality problem dealing with the fact it’s not *who* they wanted to be in charge of doing this need to start getting a tight grip on themselves because what they think they want or who they think they want leading this just isn’t going to happen purely and simply because without the SNP it won’t ever happen, the Greens can’t do it by themselves and whether folk like it or not there is no other pro Independence political party ever going to get close to running Scotland in any future timescale

    Scotland is now in the last chance saloon so it’s time to draw your metaphoric sis shooters and point them at the real enemy of Scotland, and no it’s not Nicola Sturgeon for she right now in this time is Scotlands only hope, whether some folk don’t like that or not is of no consequence to Westminster, at this moment they fear Nicola Sturgeon like they’ve never feared Scotland before

    In 2014 England knew they were going to win and to hell with the polls suggesting otherwise for a nano second, the referendum in 2014 was tailor made and designed to fail, David Cameron made sure of it, Nicola Sturgeon knew what went wrong as did others of us and she will not make those same mistakes

    Some folks believe that thousands on the streets waving Saltires is the way to win I can tell them now it’s not even though it’s great to see and take part in, and I’ve been one of those flag bearers many times, this contest between our politicians will be won behind closed doors and who has the political conviction to stare down the other, but to do that we need to be together, all of us who believe Scotland would be a better country free from Englands rule, forget about the personalities because the Tories Labour and Liberal Democrats will always keep producing the same people with the same values over and over again until the end of time with the same opinion, keep hold of Scotlands assets to power Englands greed and their votes

    2023 is just around the corner, let’s do to Englands Union what they did to to us in 2014, get behind whoever is our leader for one thing and one thing only, Independence

    Scotlands YES supporters are *better together*

  29. Statgeek says:

    Age breakdown of the Westminster VI. It looks like the polls are literally showing the big finger to the unionist parties. Vital that the Indy-minded seek to get the younger ones voting, and prevent WM from disaffecting them:

  30. scottish skier says:


    Still thinking about the current debate over Scotland’s independence, how much do you trust the statements and claims made by the following people?

    Alex Salmond

    Alba voters
    4% Trust a lot
    8% Trust a little
    0% Don’t trust much
    79% Don’t trust at all

    SNP voters
    8% Trust a lot
    17% Trust a little
    22% Don’t trust much
    45% Don’t trust at all

    Caveat on Alba is the tiny sample of their voters!

    • Statgeek says:

      Very strange, and would have to defer to the small sample caveat, because that makes almost no sense at all. Guessing the polling company have weighted the small sample into crazy land, given only two respondents and the answer being more than zero in four categories.

      • Statgeek says:

        Adding to the mix. I just included the leaders of the main parties. Why Brown and Ruth are in this, I have no idea. Sunak isn’t a leader, and Salmond’s party / sample isn’t worth including.

        * Rennie polled presumably due to field data ahead of recent leader change.

        • Capella says:

          Quite astonishing, the level of trust the voters have in Nicola Sturgeon after 7 years as FM.

          • grizebard says:

            Yes, of course, the longer in power, the more likely any government, no matter how reasonable and effective, is to accrete reputational damage by offending one segment of the population or another. As indeed we’ve seen. (Amplified in our case as it has been by the Usual Suspects.) So quite an achievement to have prevailed nevertheless.

            But you could equally well say “because of 7 years as FM”. Part of the “slow, slow catchee monkey” policy (which of course aggravates the unco impatient) is to convince sceptical voters by dint of sound example. And that seems to be effective.

            • Statgeek says:

              Also reflected in the facts that she’s the only leader with NET positive support overall, although that will be due in part to the strong support within her own party, and it being the largest party.

          • Dr Jim says:

            Kung Fu politics, bend like a reed in the wind, use the opponents force against them

            Or Scottish Kung Fu, bide yer time then kick the shit out of them especially when they’re no lookin, one learns that in the Dojo of the housing scheme

        • dakk says:

          Davey Edwards or whatever he’s called seems very popular with his own!!

  31. Welsh_Sion says:

    As Scotland introduces vaccine passports from 1 October, could someone please have a word with this numpty in my home country, please?

    Anti-vaccine resort owner bans visitors who’ve had the Covid jab

    09 Sep 2021 2 minute Read


    The owner of a holiday retreat near Machynlleth has banned visitors from staying there if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

    Sharon Girardi, who owns the Blaeneinion eco-retreat, claims without evidence that vaccinated people are a health risk to other guests and describes the vaccine as “experimental”.


    • Dave tewart says:

      As someone who was in contact with the virus and contacted by Scotland’s testers and then found to be positive I can say without hesitation that the virus is transported by Humans.
      I feel fortunate that I had No Symptoms but worry that I could have given it to many others, the vaccine may have prevented me from getting really ill.
      So it matters not as to the vaccination status as I had both earlier in the year, the effictiveness may of course be down against the Delta variant.
      I managed to avoid the virus from the start and have isolated for the last 10 days.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I smell a court case coming on that one

    • grizebard says:

      Militant anti-vaxxer with an “eco-retreat”, eh? It’s a shame that attempts to live in better harmony with nature are befuddled by anti-science whackos. Strange times indeed. (Why am I suddenly reminded of that {errm} erratic air force commmander played so well by Sterling Hayden in “Dr. Strangelove”?)

      Though they somehow don’t seem to mind using the telephone for their business and getting on the internet to proselytise for their pernicious mistrust.

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        Though they somehow don’t seem to mind using the telephone for their business and getting on the internet to proselytise for their pernicious mistrust.


        Follow up: Apparently the ‘eco-retreat’ is funded by the Welsh Government. Harrumph!

  32. scottish skier says:

    Poll is a nice birthday present for you Paul. Hope you have a good one.

  33. Dr Jim says:

    Dross down in the polls, Sarwar down in the polls, Cole Scuttle non existent in the polls, all three of the English Union party branches down in the polls

    Scotlands National Party up in the polls, Nicola Sturgeon up in the polls

    • grizebard says:

      And as soon as England follows suit, the loud chorus of criticism previously fostered by the BBC Northern Branch magically falls silent, without explanation. Again and again events conspire to make these ever-eager professional cavillers look foolish. Yet they are so desperate to sling their mud and cry wolf that they never seem to learn.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Aye, nor the slightest cheep of DRoss making himself look an idiot in HR again, he’s getting the Baroness Brassneck VIP treatment.

        The way PQ avoided all mention of Vaccine Passports for England was blatant, but not near so blatant as their pushing the London perspective on the NIC increase before HR voted.
        Impartial they were and are not.

  34. UndeadShuan says:

    Martin lewis and Kate Garraway ask oiliver dowden about indendence referedum and people of Scotland wanting one.

    3 times he said he couldnt hear her, but was fine on every other subject during the interview, hmmm.

    Then wafled about once in a generation, high bar waffle wiffle.

    Nicola sturgeon on next, be interesting to see what their tone is?

    • UndeadShuan says:

      Was a fair interview, she was challenged on independence, but was given plenty time to answer with no interuptions.

      All interviews should be like that one, with kate garraway and martin lewis.

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Once a generation. It’s sign of ignorance south of the border about the Scottish political scene whenever ‘once a generation’ is muttered.

  35. Naina Tal says:

    Great to hear The First Minister on GMS giving Martin Geissler the treatment BBC usually mete out to SNP politicians. She left him floundering as he repeatedly tried to interrupt while she steamed right on with full answers to all his questions. He ended up resorting to “We haven’t got much time.”
    Other SNP politicians should look and learn! More of this please.

  36. scottish skier says:

    Emma Raducanu reaches the final of the US Open proudly wearing her Romanian-Chinese colours.

    Reminds me of this other ‘British’ hero before he got so much racist abuse in the British media he started keeping his flag below the parapet so he could just get on with tennis.

    Was so anti-English he married and English woman.

    I’m not sure of Raducanu’s national identity, but how she dresses at tournaments might give you a clue.

    The Brits do like to forget that not everyone who has a British passport actually identifies as British. Many British people don’t even want to be British, but are not lucky like me in having an Irish gran. Or like Raducanu, who I imagine has a nice European passport thanks to dad.

    I wonder which one she uses on the ATP circuit….

    Anyway, if Raducanu wants to visit Andy in an independent Scotland, and her and Andy are faced with an English border like this when they travel south as some say will occur:

    They can both just flash their EU passports and cross as folk are doing at Dover. Failing that, their British passports can be used as Andy and family are all currently British so will remain so if they need to post indy.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I’ve said it before SS, the only hard border I’ve ever encountered in my travels was between Israelis and Palestinians, a far from pleasant experience as an outsider and thankfully unique.

      External EU borders are simple and straightforward affairs reminiscent of the border checks before the EU came into existence, folks regularly crossing to work and return home, just as many still do on the Ukraine, Swiss etc borders today, regulars are simply waved through with the occasional spot check. And they don’t have CTA.

      Ask any from Norn-Iron or Dublin what changes they’ve noticed and you’d get a shrug, yet uniquely Scots will be expected to line up at Checkpoint Charlie or Checkpoint Camilla to be strip searched in the pouring rain or snow at their very own Berlin Wall ?

      Utterly preposterous nonsense.

      • grizebard says:

        Which is why we had better get a well-crafted joke or handy comedy sketch or two ready when IR2 comes, because this border check nonsense will certainly (re-)appear. A predictable rehashed outing of Magrit Curran’s vile “estranged families” gambit.

        It doesn’t have to be true, or even vaguely plausible, it will merely be one of many such little scares deployed to stoke up an unsettling feeling to convince enough faint-hearts to stick with what they will fondly imagine to be the familiar status quo.

        Which, with the way things are going in England, won’t actually be a familiar status quo at all. So we had better be damn ready and willing to make that clear as well.

        • Ross Anderson says:

          As noted above, any trump-like wall would have to be paid for by the English, manned by the English, and would mainly be concerned with stopping English/British people residing in Scotland, and asking them for papers when they tried to cross back into their own country.

          After all, most Scots don’t cross the border on any regular basis, just as most Danes are not driving over into Germany every day. I have, unusually, crossed Carter Bar twice this year. If Scotland was independent, one of these visits would not have even happened. However, the last time I crossed by land before that was in 2010. I fly over England a few times a year on hols / to visit the French family, sometimes via a London airport, and for that I take a passport and pass through immigration anyway. 🙂

          When it comes to goods, EU lorries going back and forth overland between an independent Scotland and the EU could use the express ‘transit’ lane at the borders, as the final customs destination would be these two, not England, so no need for any paperwork, just sealed loads and a transit pass. By contrast, English exporters to Scotland would need to have all their paperwork ready for entry to the EU/EEA. Not the case for Scots exports such as oil, gas and power going by pipeline and powerline. At the moment, many EU goods are being waved through into the UK to ensure no supply interruptions, so Scots food and drink might face the same. Even if these were slowed by checks and paperwork, the cost of this would be borne by the English consumer; tariffs are paid by the importer, not the exporter. As England can’t feed itself, there’s no choice but to import from the EU, with English people paying the cost of the tariffs, which are in turn used to fund the Trump wall construction, maintenance, border guards, complex immigration processes etc.

          We only need to look at Belarus, N. Korea etc to know that it is always better to be outside the wall than inside.

          There is a price to pay for getting rid of folk like my (French) wife, and the above is it. The harder the wall, the worse English/British people will be affected by it, while Scots hardly notice.

          It’s why British/English people are angrily pointing it out. If there was a wall, it hurts them. But it’s not a salient issue with most Scots. No more so than the Scots border with Norway or Denmark is.

          • grizebard says:

            You know all that, and anyone who cares to follow your train of thought ought to know that too, Ross, but my point is that it’s those who don’t bother, but who will inevitably be subjected to Unionist soundbite propaganda propagated by BritNat media, whom we need to consider, and for whom we need to have a workable strategy.

            As is wisely said, if you have to explain your position in detail, you’ve already lost the argument. As Paul has reminded us, it’s all about having a convincing story to tell. And we need to establish that well before the starting gun for IR2 is fired. But I guess airing the issues and countering the fear-mongering is a start.

          • UndeadShuan says:

            Or lorries could go via NI into ROI and take ferry from ROI.

            It may work out quicker than via England.

            At least until we expand our own direct roro ferry capacity to mainland EU.

            Mabye a bridge to NI would be handy after all, only once we are independent 😉

            • Christopher Rosindale says:

              I am currently working on a proposal for the re-opening of the closed Dumfries – Stranraer railway, with an extension to Cairnryan port as part of its expansion with new ferry routes to Ireland and France, alongside at least one of the 2 existing routes to NI. Access to Ireland would plug us into their ferry routes to Europe, while a direct route to France would give us our own direct route. All of these would bypass England.

              We are clearly thinking on similar lines, based on your post.

      • grizebard says:

        On the upside, having a border and our own control of it is something decidedly positive, as the current pandemic well illustrates.

        It seems more than a little ironic that Labour exceptionalists, for example, like to assert that they are the “internationalists” while we poor lost souls are the “nationalists”, apparently oblivious to the plain fact that it’s them and not us who seem happy enough to collude in Tory Drawbridge Britain.

  37. Capella says:

    SNP conference begins in a few minutes. The live stream should appear here:

  38. scottish skier says:

    45(+2) Yes
    48(+1) No


    So Yes up in both Comres and Opinium.

    Based on this, my 2021 PoP average for Yes, ex DK is:

    50.39(+0.01)% Yes.

    • scottish skier says:

      w/o Undecided:
      Yes 48 (+1)
      No 52 (-1)

    • scottish skier says:

      Comres Holyrood VI

      SNP 48 (-)
      Conservative 22 (-)
      Labour 20 (-2)
      LD 7 (-)
      Other 3 (+1)

      SNP 36 (-4)
      Conservative 23 (-1)
      Labour 18 (-)
      Green 13 (+5)
      LD 7 (+2)
      Other 3 (-2)

      Alba obviously will fall under ‘other’.

  39. Hamish100 says:

    Hells bells. Listening to SNP Conference. How boring can you make it? The 5 min gaps between votes feels like an eternity.

    I think I will log into a meeting on incontinence at least I might learn something for the future.

    Surely it has to improve?

    Put some fire into our bellies- land reform to be more radical, any MP, MSP or councillor with a bauble from the Brit Empire has to resign or give up the wee pat from Her majesty.

    Give us something like Independence vote in 2022 whether the unionists like it or not.

    • Capella says:

      Come come Hamish100. That was a well managed online conference with some good resolutions passed overwhelmingly. Onward and upward.
      There’s a Q&A with the Treasurer, Colin Beattie, tomorrow morning if you’re a member. You can ask about the £600,000 that the StuAnon faction are looking for. Or join Graham Campbell for SNP Socialists.
      Or just enjoy the speeches.

      What were you expecting? Herds of wildebeest galloping across the plains?

      • Tam the Bam says:

        I assume your link will function tomorrow Capella.

        For some reason I couldnt access the livestream .

      • Dr Jim says:

        Scotland is slow to change says Michael Russell, and he’s right or we’d have bumped the Labour party out 50 years ago but the problem was we had no one to replace them with, we have now but once again Scotland is slow to change, because if you try to do anything quickly in Scotland the people become cagey as to why you want something done quickly

        Scotland is also a hardline suspicious country by nature, and we’re like that because we’ve never been able to trust a word that comes out of Englands mouth as it’s always always been to Scotlands detriment so we suspect everybody of being the same, we found out the Labour party were just Tories with a different coloured Rosette but how many years did it take us to wake up to that

        As a boy I watched cinema goers rush from the hall at the end of the film to escape the English National anthem and believe me there was hardly a soul left standing as it played, where were these supposed Loyal Unionists then because you could count them on one hand after the war when barely a soul in Scotland wanted anything to do with Englands flag waving shower of bandits who were stripping Scotland out then to feed the greed of England, my father knew it then that something was rotten in Scotland and it was the Labour party and the Unions they used to support themselves financially or as a work striking tool to win elections in England on false pretences, but no matter what happened in England Scotland was still stuck with whatever the voters of that country decided and Scotland was then and is now barely an afterthought

        Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t have a white horse to ride to the rescue bearing arms to smite the English barbarians nor does she pretend or lie to the people as has been done in the past that it’s all just a matter of declaring something, blustering on the telly for half an hour twice a week and waving her arms around, that’s been done and we lost, but even if we’d won the vote there was absolutely no guarantee whatsoever that England would have decided to recognise Scottish Independence anyway, remember the phrase *advisory referendums*? because the 2014 referendum was never designed to win, it was originally configured on a three question vote with the devo max option as Alex Salmonds banker vote which he knew would probably be the winner until David Cameron shafted him by forcing the two question option

        Nicola Sturgeon does not and will not proffer or accept a three question option and that’s why Westminster fears her a damned sight more than they ever worried about Alex Salmond, he was a man they could deal with, she is a woman they cannot deal with and cannot control, if she wins it’s the end of days for the Westminster Empire and they know it, so it will be done slowly with care and attention to detail and the gathering of allies from around the globe, no TV studio with the Boris Broadcasting Corporation harassing and harrying on behalf of their defunct Union, this upcoming referendum campaign will be entirely something different from the lead up to 2014, Westminster knows it and they can’t find a way to stop what’s about to happen, so they’re forking out money to pay bloggers, alternative so called Independence supporting political parties, people who previously backed Scottish Independence but now somehow miraculously don’t, newspapers will receive *help* from Westminster, this is the referendum campaign where England will spend Scotlands money bribing anyone they can to oppose Scottish Independence, like Brexit people will get rich off opposing Nicola Sturgeon and all bought and paid for from our own money that Westminster will use to buy the imprisonment of our country

        Only Scotlands people can vote in the end and they must vote YES or Scotland will be forever consigned to self inflicted servitude

      • Hamish100 says:

        That would have been interesting.

        Passing resolutions overwhelmingly may not always be a good thing. Labour and tories do it all the time.

  40. Alec Lomax says:

    Independence for Somerset writes that Scotland needs a successful Alba Party.
    98% of the Scottish electorate think differently !

    • Dr Jim says:

      98.4% of the Scottish electorate is dead right

    • scottish skier says:

      I actually have nothing against Alba in the same way I’ve nothing against the Greens, but have not voted for either. I don’t feel any sense of joy or unhappiness at them polling 0%, just more confident in my own predictions about the political situation, as my feelings were they were destined to get nowhere in May by taking the approach they did.

      As I’ve noted before, they (or at least many of their vocal online adherents) seem to believe, incorrectly, that they embody independence movement somehow, and that led to the expectation that they deserved Yes people’s list vote simply because they were pro-independence, and that somehow not voting for them ‘was voting for more britnats’.

      You see that in comments such as you refer to. It’s actually a very unionist attitude to getting votes, as used historically by Labour in Scotland; i.e. ‘You should vote for us simply because we are not the Tories, and if you don’t do that, and e.g. vote SNP, you are a Tory because you might let the Tories in by the back door!’.

      ‘Vote Alba to stop britnats getting some Holyrood seats by the PR list back door!’ is just that same old unionist approach but [supposedly] from a pro-indy angle. It’s lazy and amounts to blackmail of a form. The electorate don’t like.

      The trust of the electorate and their votes are earned, and it is a long slog. It took the SNP a century of hard work with many setbacks to get to where they are now. Alba need to understand they face that same long climb and it’s their fault, not that of voters, if they don’t make gains. They don’t deserve Yes list votes simply because they are yes any more than the Lib Dems deserve unionist list votes simply because they are unionist. As Scots become in majority Yes, so we are seeing an expansion in Yes parties as the tent gets too small for everyone. This has seen the rise of the greens and now the appearance of Alba. Alba have said they are not SNP, so they can’t expect SNP votes, only Alba votes. Greens vote Green, not SNP, although they tend to give their ‘second preference’ constituency vote to the pro-indy SNP in the absence of Green candidate that can win under PR.

      The European style PR list vote is your ‘first preference for government’ and your constituency a relic of British unionist FPTP where you can vote tactically. Greens vote Green-SNP, not the other way around.

      It will be interesting to see if Alba understand why they failed for Holyrood, and revise their strategy for e.g. the council elections. For these, they need to not mention independence, but focus strongly on a distinct, positive local government message. People know they are an indy party, and can take that into account. It should not be the focus. If they go down the ‘give us your second STV preference for independence and if you don’t you are a unionist’, they will likely end up going nowhere, with a similar share of the vote as per the Holyrood election. Given the large number of seats on offer though, this would give them about 2% of councilors.

      I might offer a third preference to them, but they need to not make things about indy certainly not about how the ‘SNP are not doing enough for indy, sorry potholes!’.

      I hope this is seen as constructive criticism and not an attack on a Yes party. Those that spend time attacking other yessers do no good, as WGD rightly states.

      • Dr Jim says:

        There may be some in that party who believe they are part of a YES movement but they should know just as the people of Scotland know that as long as their leaders are who they are Scotland will never vote for them and they made that abundantly clear at the last election, but of course their leaders already know that

      • grizebard says:

        Alba was born, personal egos apart, from an incorrect understanding of how the AMS voting system operates for Holyrood elections. And quickly morphed from a claimed support adjunct of the SNP into an obvious antagonist, online at least. And encountered the electoral consequences accordingly.

        And don’t appear to have learnt any lessons from the experience since. If anything, the anti-SNP drumbeat online has increased, as if the new party had nothing else to offer the electorate besides an exceptionalist obsession with another and notably more successful party.

        With local elections being conducted under STV, what chance, on current levels of support, that any Alba candidate will be able to survive a round or two of exclusions? They are never likely to remain in contention long enough to pick up any portion of third preferences that might otherwise be available.

        What is more interesting perhaps is how willing the average Alba enthusiast might be to offer a second preference to the SNP? Is there even a vestige of the formerly-professed pro-indy solidarity left?

        • Malkie says:

          Symptomatic of Alba is an Alba-supporting blog which appears to be read by only one person. He posts almost continuously (apparently having little else to do with his life) calling SNP supporters “numpties” and “liars”. Not so long ago, the same blog called us “natsis”. You have to wonder how the owner of this blog thinks that this nonsense is contributing to the cause of independence. When Alba’s level of popular support drops from the current 0.3% to 0.0%, it will disappear into the dustbin of history and, hopefully, take that hateful blog with it.

          • Dr Jim says:

            They see their job as sucking the life out of Independence supporters by constantly attacking the only political party who can actually achieve it, thank goodness there’s virtually nobody listening to them inside or outside of the Internet

            They only managed to fool some of the people some of the time and now they’re fooling nobody any of the time

            • scottish skier says:

              Alba don’t seem to get that the SNP/Greens cannot deliver independence.

              Only Scottish people can do that, and Scottish people are represented by the SNP-Green government; the timetable proposed by these was chosen by the ‘independence movement’ (or 98% of it in terms of Yes party votes).

              If Alba’s plan is to ‘harry the SNP into delivering on independence’, then they are attempting to (indirectly) harry the Scottish people into following Alba’s timetable, which will be doing the opposite of what Scots clearly told Alba they wanted.

              Alba specifically stood on a ‘We’ll harry the SNP if you elect us’ ticket, and Scots said ‘No, please don’t harry the SNP, and indirectly, us voters. We don’t wish you to do this, and we will make that clear today when we vote.

              So if Alba go ahead and say ‘Well, we are just going to ignore you Scots voters and are going to go ahead and harry the Scottish government, with the aid of the unionist press!’, you can guess how they’ll do in future elections.

              This is not rocket science. You can’t harry the electorate into anything and they will not be happy at all if you try to. You can only work to try and gently persuade them of the benefits of something, and that is what all Yes parties should do. Accept the election result and work to persuade the wavering and those willing to listen to vote Yes.

              Of course if the SNP don’t try to deliver what they promised, then come May 2026, no doubt there will be a big opportunity for a party willing to actually deliver that to make inroads. I myself would be looking for such a party after holding my hands up and saying I made the wrong decision in May 2021. But until such time as they actually choose not to trying and deliver iref2, harrying the SNP/Greens will only turn voters off Alba as it did in May this year.

              You can’t tell the electorate they voted wrongly. Only they will decide that in their own time.

  41. Pogmothon says:

    How important is the letter “S”.

    Is it just something that mostly gets tacked on the end of the occasional words

    Or i it something which occasionally i left off some word and there is no change or lo .

    IMO it is most important.
    And it would seem we once again need to teach english speakers the correct use of the language they so cherish.
    Within the incorrectly termed UK there are in actuality
    Scotland a Kingdom,
    England a Kingdom,
    Wales a Principality,
    and last but not least
    Northern Ireland (which I do not know the correct heraldic title for, so I’m calling it a Principality.

    Now follow the logic
    The title prince, implies the heir to a throne. Upon assent the individual becomes a king, in that instant the area surely moves from Principality to Kingdom. Nes pa???
    By this logic each constituent area should be looked upon as a “Kingdom”
    So what is obvious now, is that, that missing “S” is all important in describing the UKs as multiple KINGDOMS.
    And not a singular Kingdom.
    Now I know that there will be those who wish to be pedantic about this and maintain that there are only two Kingdoms and a Principality and Northern Ireland.
    (honestly I’d be disappointed if the Dross were not screaming about the correct use of written/spoken English)
    Fair enough… same rule applies two more than one, “S” required on the end to indicate more than one.
    I know that in future I will be stressing the currently missing “S” in speech and writing.
    What you do is entirely up to yous.

    • From Primary playground days gone by:-

      ‘What’s the longest word in the English language?’

      ‘Antidisestablishmentarianism’, I hear you cry.

      Wrong; it’s actually ‘smiles’.

      Because there is a ‘mile’ between the first ‘s’ and the second ‘s’.

      Thanks for jarring my tired old memory with a smile from skooldaze.

      Enjoying the blog greatly these days.

  42. Hamish100 says:

    Watching some old discussions on utube where a well kent face referred to some as “numpties”. It couldn’t be I wonder?
    Answers on a postcard.

  43. Hamish100 says:

    I see we are the worst with covid across Europe. Allegedly.
    It’s bbc compares unlike with unlike . For example the level of vaccination. When Scotland is doing better you never see a graph comparing us and Kosovo for example. Why would you?

    Everything is fluctuating. Guernsey has a massive hike Jersay rates drop.

    I think I will stick with https://who.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/ead3c6475654481ca51c248d52ab9c61

    If Scotland isn’t shown on a table with other countries by the bbc things are better.

    What a group of gutter scavengers are bbc journalists joined by their Tory paper friends.

    Now I will go out shopping to find what’s not on the shelves due to Brexit. BBC aids the Tory diversionary tactics.

  44. scottish skier says:

    I see the ‘real independence supporters’ (= unionists from the south of England) are out trying to mislead on the parliament protest restrictions story.


    SCOTTISH Parliament bosses are set to change Holyrood’s legal status in order to make it easier for police to remove protesters.

    The move is not the decision of the SNP government or MSPs but of the parliament’s corporate body.

    Plans to introduce more control on protests on parliament grounds are of course nothing to do with MSPs, but a corporate body decision.

    As to whether I agree of not; it’s a bit yes and no. Protesting outside parliament, or at least close to it, should of course be allowed. And this is not under threat. Even if you were kicked off parliament land, nothing would stop you protesting on the edge of it, within loudspreaker / visible distance of it.

    Disrupting parliament by forcing your way into the building, climbing on it etc, entering the chamber with the intention of interfering with proceedings… is an attack on democracy. If it’s not OK for trumpists, it’s not ok for anyone, certainly not while we democratically elect the parliament in free and fair elections (if this were not the case, that’s a whole different story). This sort of action is not peaceful protest, and if everyone was doing it, democracy would grind to a halt.

    It’s the latter the changes are aimed at dealing with I understand.

    So I am against anything that limits peaceful protest, but also against Trumpist style attempts to interfere with the democratic operations of the Scottish parliament.

    Anyway, you can tell real indy supporters; they won’t lie about who is making changes to the rules here and try to pretend it’s the SNP. Only unionists would do that.

    • Golfnut says:

      If I’m not mistaken this originated from UK gov legislation and not the SG or Scottish Parliament. Noticed fb had quite a few posts from so call ed independence sites blatantly blaming the SNP,

      • scottish skier says:

        Yes, it’s nothing to do with MSPs. The Scottish Parliament is ultimately a UK civil service building, maintained and run by the same.

        It is just the MSPs who are ‘Scottish’ as Scots elected them.

        • scottish skier says:


          “We [Holyrood Parliament] are also operating in the context of an increasing level of disruptive activity, including protests on our roof requiring specialist policing and emergency services response, and unauthorised occupation of the Debating Chamber. Actions such as these have the potential to disrupt the Parliament’s ability to meet.

          For the benefit of clarity, this is what I meant about ‘Trumpist’. Interfering with the business of a democratic parliament is no different from interfering with elections themselves. It’s just not on in a functioning democracy. If we all started doing such things on daily basis, we’d literally shut down democracy.

          Standing outside waving banners and chanting slogans peacefully by contrast is a fundamental right and any law change should not be targeting such activity.

  45. James Mills says:

    Demonstrations interrupting Holyrood business :

    If I am not mistaken there are already daily interruptions to business by an ‘organised ‘, disruptive group of ‘numpties ‘ -DRoss , Sarwar , Baillie , Turdo , …

    I look forward to the parliamentary Corporate Body moving swiftly to end this wilful disruption of our Parliament .

    • scottish skier says:

      Haha, aye.

      But in seriousness, peaceful protest is a cornerstone of democracy. But if the democracy is functioning, with peaceful protest allowed, disruptive direct action should not be used as rule, especially against democratic institutions. And it is direct action this change is supposed to tackle.

      I imagine none of us would be pleased if a group of independence supporters stormed the chamber to ‘protest’, causing a security alert and key legislation to be delayed. Likewise, while unionists should be free to flag wave outside, they should not be allowed to burst into the parliament building, climb on the roof, whatever… to try and disrupt an iref bill for example. Not while we can all make our wishes known freely at the ballot box.

      Of course if Westminster tries to stop Scots voting in iref2 and ‘succeeds’ somehow legally using ‘English’ law, then such direct action protests against British institutions become absolutely justified. If you cannot freely vote for something*, then it is a fundamental democratic right to take direct action, starting with peaceful Gandhi type civil disobedience stuff, escalating all the way to what my Irish forbearers had to do to restore democracy after the British ended it in Ireland.

      *Something compatible with international human rights laws obviously!

  46. Alex Clark says:

    Rees-Mogg visits Wales and rides a zip wire in his tweed suit, shirt, and tie. A wee shout of “Rule Brittania” and a wave of a flag at the end. Another Westminster clown in a suit.


    • Dr Jim says:

      Wot no pith helmet or natives to carry his bags deep in the depths of a foreign land facing the dangers of the Welsh countryside

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Touche, Alex. You beat me to it, this time!

      Actually, I have more important things to do than following Really-Smugg.

      • Alex Clark says:

        I usually have a read of the Nation Cymru site two or three times a day. They are very good at getting up to date news on their site quickly and the articles are often relevant to supporters of Independence in Scotland as well as Wales.

        A simialr type of news site based in Scotland would do very well I think, who runs/supports the site?

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          Here you go, Alex.



          Book Council of Wales (CLlC)
          Welsh Government (WG/LlC)

          See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation.Cymru

          • Alex Clark says:

            Thanks for that.

            So Nation Cymru is in fact a regulated online news website that is supported by the Welsh Government. A news website along the same lines could do very well in Scotland where tbh I think most people are fed up with the standard of reporting from the mainstream sites.

            The Nation Cymru by comparison seems generally fairly balanced and gives a good deal of articles on Independence related issues as well as more general news.

            • Welsh_Sion says:

              Believe it or not in a previous life I was accosted by someone sharing the same first name as you so that we’d go equal shares on Newsnet Scotland, incl. selling of NNS merchandise and so forth.

              I was warned off by other nationalist friends so I did not proceed. I don’t know what the person in question is up to now.

  47. buggybite says:

    A very happy birthday to you, Paul. And I hope your physiotherapy appointment is productive, and that you’re making progress …however tiring. And thank you, as usual, for your thoughtful take on our route to independence.

  48. Hamish100 says:

    Strange to see the majority of posters and supporters of SGP J Kelly saying I would vote for you but I’m not a member of ALBA. . Maybe the 1.6% is an overestimate?
    Still MaCCaskill as new deputy leader with friends in Bath should do the brave thing and resign as MP force an election and try and get re-elected. That’s called leadership. The alternative is cowardice.
    I’m sure even ALBA supporters would agree.- the ones that do exist.

  49. scottish skier says:

    I used to have decent respect for the man, e.g. for his handling of #megrahigate


    “We [Alba] didn’t get the result we wanted in May,” he [Macaskill] said. “Others have to answer why, when Scotland’s situation is so critical and the plight of many Scots so perilous, they preferred to see unionist MSPs returned, rather than those committed to independence.”

    [Holds head in hands]. I know where I’ve heard this before:

    ‘A vote for the SNP is a vote for the Tories by the back door!’

    (c)New Alba, sorry New Labour

    Aye, it’s the electorate’s fault, and ‘if you don’t vote for us you are a unionist’, even if you voted SNP-SNP or for a ‘supermajority’ ((c)Alba) via SNP-Green.


    On the same note, some might say that that hoping for Kenny Macaskill to offer his constituents a chance to elect an MP from a party of their choice has “as much chance of success as a hungry orphan pleading for more in Dickens’s Oliver Twist”.

    Anyway, sadly, if the SNP/Greens really are ‘secret unionists that are not actually interested in indy’, it looks like we are going to have to set up a new Yes party which is, but one that doesn’t take the electorate for granted, doesn’t try to blackmail voters, nor blame them for it’s own lack of success.

    Someone prepared to put themselves to the voters like Dennis Canavan would be great figurehead.

  50. Hamish100 says:

    Or the more likely option.

    The SNP and the Greens do support independence but need to manoeuvre through the barriers put in their way by the British state.

  51. dakk says:

    Alex is a gambler, as is Campbell.

    They went all in with the whole Nicola framed Alex shite.

    They lost.

    May well still be cashing in their chips with the british state though.

    • Dr Jim says:

      They call him the *father of Independence* but they’ve forgotten that if he’d had his way they’d have had to call him the *father of the third option of devo max then wait 50 more years*

      Not so snappy a slogan really

  52. Hamish100 says:

    I see the news headlines with a tennis player winning a championship. Good for her. Interviews supporters bedecked with St. George’s flag, red rose and the rest.

    Sorry Sir Andy M you have up your nationhood to the PR people too quickly so you can achieve the term Brit.( no not the music award).

  53. scottish skier says:

    Spot on. A man after my own heart.


    ‘Union has been doomed for decades’, says historian who predicted Brexit

    THE Union has been doomed for a century and Scotland will gain ­independence within five years, according to a bestselling historian.

    Dr James Hawes said the “tipping point” for the collapse of the UK will come more quickly than expected and it will be something which ­initially appears “quite small”.

    Winter of discontent coming.

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Cymru – Be Prepared.

      In an interview on the BBC from my namesake –

      Wales must ‘have things in order’ if Scotland leaves the UK says former YesCymru chair

      12 Sep 2021 2 minute Read


      One of the founders of YesCymru has said they must put egos aside and ensure Wales “has things in order” if Scotland leaves the UK

      Siôn Jobbins, who stood down as YesCymru chairman in July, told Radio Cymru “We must work together and ensure that independence for Wales is top priority.”

      Mr Jobbins’ comments came after the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said this week she would try to secure a referendum on independence in Scotland before the end of 2023.

      “We in Wales need to have things in order by then,” Mr Jobbins said.

      “The starting gun has fired. Whatever our opinion about independence, I don’t think a lot of people want to be in a United Kingdom that has no Scotland, and I think Northern Ireland won’t stand around too long either.


    • grizebard says:

      [Dr. Hawes] argued that the Union is on course for collapse because it would only ever have truly worked if ­England had been split into regions.

      Exactly. Since a truly federal solution would then have been possible and necessary. Quite a leap to have to take, though, and instead British politicians – just as much those from Scotland as from England, by no means least the Labour ones – saw no reason to deviate from an ever-more-centralised state run largely for the benefit of southern English interests.

      The social solidarity of the welfare state was the cement which kept it all together, and arguably the slow and steady dissolution of this “glue” by the increasingly-aggressive assertion of those same narrow interests is weakening the fabric, so that the collapse, when it happens, could indeed be sudden and dramatic.

  54. scottish skier says:

    A Sunday lunchtime browse of the indyweb, and fascinatingly, it seems some people consider my comments of such vital importance to the independence movement, that they’re copying and pasting them onto other blogs from as far afield as Somerset.

    There’s no doubt that what I post must be seen as very, very important to these people. If was talking dung, I’d just be ignored, so I must be spot on in my analyses to have such attention lavished on me.

    Even bloggers who’ve banned me actually see my comments as so important, they come here to read them, while allowing others to paste them BTL on their blogs.

    I feel truly honored to be recognised as someone of such importance to Scotland future!


    • Hamish100 says:

      Funny how some folk have many passports, patriotic to every country and I just want one for Scotland and I am not allowed.

  55. Capella says:

    Well – that was invigorating! Another fine morning of speeches and resolutions at the SNP Conference.
    Hamish100 will be delighted to see that the time for voting has been shortened to 4 minutes as delegates get more proficient with all this digital way of doing things.

    Kate Forbes gave an excellent speech as always. Every speaker so far has stressed the need for independence so there should be no more wailing about nobody mentioning it . The voting was in overwhelmingly in favour of the resolutions. But who would vote against the draft Referendum Bill, the rejection of the cruel Nationality and Borders Bill or the mendacious Freeports Bill.

    Topical motions were also overwhelmingly supported. Conference voted to reject the SPCB plan to ban demonstrations around Holyrood, They also voted to reject the NI hike planned by Westminster and also to stop large estates and corporations from getting planning permission and grants to plant large areas of conifers without the agreement of the local community.

    So time for lunch before the afternoon session. Link here. I hope it will update for the afternoon:

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      So time for lunch before the afternoon session. Link here. I hope it will update for the afternoon:


      In case of problems this afternoon, a trailer of John Swinney’s speech:


      • Capella says:

        Thx Welsh Sion – John Swinney is normally such a mild mannered man it’s always fun to hear him score a palpable hit against the unionists.

        The Scottish Deputy First Minister will use his speech to the SNP national conference to hit out at the “muscular unionism” of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government – adding that the Prime Minister and his colleagues simply “do not have the brains to match the brawn”.

      • scottish skier says:

        “Conference voted to reject the SPCB plan to ban demonstrations around Holyrood”


        SNP conference: Members tell Holyrood not to restrict protests

        Well this is awkward for this who’ve been running around telling people it was the SNP trying to limit protests. They’ll not be trusted now.

        Anyway, as discussed further up, the law change is nothing to do with MSPs, and IMO people should be free to protest as long as they don’t interfere with the democratic operations of the parliament, elections to it etc.

        Not only that, but as things stand, even with the HM civil service proposed law change, protesters could just cross the road and continue demonstrating away.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Capella— You do seem uptight over my earlier post over the conference being boring in my view. Multi millionaire Land owners will sleep tight, no radical policies in my view.
      If they shortened voting to two minutes would it have made any difference to the voting? It’s that the excitement over- shortening voting time from 5-4 mins?
      I joined the SNP in the 1970’s I don’t just want Independence I and many others wish other changes that we can vote for. Not just the cuddly things in life.

      • Capella says:

        Only kidding Hamish100 – 😘

      • grizebard says:

        There’s a limit to how productive it can be to discuss and promote lots of things that don’t have a snowball in Hells’s chance of being implemented this side of independence. Don’t become infected by the current fallacy of trying to run before we have even thrown off our chains.

        Post indy we will be in a whole different world of possibilities. Which of course is the point of it all. (Though some people will no doubt still complain about something or another. That’s just the way of the world.)

    • Capella says:

      Well it didn’t update so here’s the link for session 6. Humza Yousaf atm:

  56. Capella says:

  57. Alex Clark says:

    Nicola Sturgeon was also talking about Independence today on the Sophie Ridge show.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Boris Johnson says he intends to remain as PM for another ten years after the next General Election and we know even if it isn’t him it will be a clone of him in male or female form, once again if we remain in the Union Scotland will not vote for another English government

      Now some might argue Oh but it *might* be a Labour government in charge next time so why don’t we all just wait and see if it is, well then that justification for remaining within the Union just enlarges the case for leaving the Union because Scotland would still not have voted for it and we’d be waiting for England to vote for it proving once again that Scotlands fate is to be left entirely in the hand of Englands voters and not Scotlands electorate

      Labour Unionists in Scotland suggesting this wait wait wait and see position have put themselves in the invidious position of defending dictatorship, this sort of behaviour is like the poverty stricken serfs of the middle ages hoping for the King to die so that the next King might not be as bad as the last King who taxes them into starvation so that he eats pheasant and deer while the population are criminalised if they dare do the same, so grain and gruel it is then

      Labour Unionists in Scotland must get a grip on themselves, this is not about religion, this is not about political parties you don’t like, this is not even about your workers unions, this is purely and simply about the country you live in and your own personal input into how it’s governed, which because of the population differences between Scotland and England mean you are outvoted ten to one by another country on every vote you have, you cannot then in all decent conscience complain about more mitigation against English introduced policy to whichever Scottish government is in post to make peoples lives better when the Labour party in Scotland refuse to vote for the power to do it

      The SNP did not steal the Labour party in Scotlands voters, the Scottish electorate voted against Labour because they were found out to be no different to the Tories so why on earth dear Labour voters would you continue to stick with a Tory supporting bunch of twisted liars when you could have your own country back and retake your own political Labour party to the people with a new party where your votes will actually count for something, voting to support that would seem to me to be a damn sight more sensible than waiting for the sunshine to rise again in England in the hope of some of the light trickling through to Scotland, by not doing something you’re waiting for the Tories in one shape or another to keep smacking your arses and having a right good laugh at your inability to make a decision to stand up for yourselves

      Today in Scotland the Labour party has yes man Anas Sarwar, yesterday we had the guy whose name nobody can remember and the day before that we had the yes woman who’s now off to make herself some cash working for an organisation that nobody actually knows where they get their cash from and you guys are paying for it, tomorrow there’ll be another Anas Sarwar just the same as all the previous Anas Sarwars taking every instruction from a leader who doesn’t live in Scotland, couldn’t care less about Scotland and crucially does not need the votes of Scotland to be in government in England anyway

      Get a grip Labour in Scotland you’re being used as mugs to support England not allowing your votes to count

      • grizebard says:

        Well said there, especially (but not exclusively) the 5th para.

        Please note any Labour-supporting passers-by. We’re not asking you to give up on your beliefs or allegiances, rather the opposite really: give them proper room to flourish. And it’s your own current failing leadership that’s the only thing in the way.

      • ArtyHetty says:

        Excellent Dr.Jim, very well said. You should send that as a letter to the ‘National’, because I’m sure there are quite a few Labour folks who read it to keep apace with matters so they know what to crow about when they get on the telly or when their BritNat rags publish their gripes.

  58. scottish skier says:



    Food shortages could be permanent, warns industry body

    Labour shortages in the food industry means consumers may not be able to find the products they like in supermarkets, an industry boss has warned.

    “The just-in-time system is no longer working and I don’t think it’ll work again,” Food and Drink Federation (FDF) boss Ian Wright said at an Institute for Government event on Friday.

  59. scottish skier says:


    Scottish independence: Six in 10 want indyref2 by 2026, Tory think-tank finds

    In new polling released today to coincide with the SNP conference, it says “Scots increasingly reject having a referendum in the next two years”, with the combined share of voters backing a referendum this year or next year at 27% – down from 35% in February.

    However, a breakdown of the polling shows two thirds of Scots do want the poll to be held within this parliamentary term.

    TBH, I see public opinion shifting to earlier rather than later with each passing month of brexit. We are only just starting to see the negative effects of it, which will get worse with each passing day.

    • grizebard says:

      It doesn’t matter too much what people say to dates in a poll, because there will always be an element of “manyana” with those who have busy lives to attend to. Results like this, though, at least provide an indication of the fact that there are already many people who realise, however superficially, that there is an evolving critical situation that demands an eventual decision for all our sakes.

      The important thing is to go for the referendum when good judgement suggests that the actuality of a vote will be accepted by the great majority of people, whatever their previously-expressed preferences for timing may have been. Even without “events” forcing the pace, we don’t have to wait for absolutely everyone to catch up before firing the starting pistol.

      And what will help carry the ensuing win is the substantial majority of people who have long held the view that independence is inevitable “sometime”. We just need to convince them that the “sometime” is “here and now” so that we can all (finally!) move on.

    • Capella says:

      • Statgeek says:

        Yup. They love to split the Ayes into smaller groups, but hold the Naws as big as possible. Such is the ‘free press’ in the UK.

        • Dr Jim says:

          I’m sure if there were a poll solely on the subject of who would like to keep the Tories in government for at least the next 13 years the percentage voting YES to that would be miniscule

          C’mon National do a poll

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Tory think-tank finds white tank under lard-arse in ermine” would probably be a more appropriate headline.
      We recognise SiU as right-wing nut jobs and imbibers of embalming fluid yet give this shower a free pass with some degree of credibility ? John Lamont and his cronies have nothing to say of the slightest interest to the Indy movement.

  60. Dr Jim says:

    If the Boris Broadcasting Corporation were really as non partisan towards the Union as they claim or not under Union control then why in England is it that any political party is dismissed as of no consequence if their percentages are as low as the Tories Labour and Liberal Democrats are in Scotland, why is it important to the BBCs claim of equal representation that three very low percentage parties who have zero chance of ever forming a government in Scotland are given so much airtime

    The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are not even the opposition in Scotland yet they each enjoy equal TV coverage as the Tories who have such low numbers they, like the Greens in England should barely get a mention at all, and since the election where the Greens are now actually in government in Scotland how many times have we seen a single one of them being interviewed

    So how can the BBC or anyone else claim non biased reporting when each of the three Union parties enjoy equal viewers airtime by party to the SNP when the viewers clearly don’t want to see or hear from them or they would have voted to see and hear them in parliament, they didn’t!

    The Boris Broadcasting Corporation are treating Scotland as though we’re a town in England and to hell with what we voted

  61. Alex Clark says:

    If there’s one thing the Tory press and Tory think tanks love to do, it’s to talk up splits in the SNP and how “internal critics” are unhappy that Sturgeon isn’t doing anything about Independence or that Sturgeon is leaving the party next year to go to the UN yabba yabba yabba.

    They are at it all the time, throwing bones to the Unionists and anti-SNP brigade to gnaw on in the hope they can get the pitchforks fighting with the flaming torches. It is so obvious to those paying attention but they obviously believe it is worth pursuing.

    From the Times article linked to by Capella above you will see all this and more exaggerated 10 fold, the “critics” and “allies” talked of are rarely named, and if they exist at all almost always turn out to be long term critics like Sillars who has been spinning this crap for years.


    • Statgeek says:

      It always gives me a feeling the Indy camp are doing something right when the DE goes into full ‘REEE’ mode. Being likened to rats now. Shades of 1930s elsewhere…

      • grizebard says:

        The problem with negative wishful thinking is that it goes absolutely nowhere. It certainly doesn’t affect the SNP faithful who know the facts, and if the notion is to keep the uncertain on board the BritBus (y’know the one that used to have the big NHS money promise on the side), that fond hope is regularly being confounded by events which prove to the diminishing passengers that the bus driver is a chronic liar who hasn’t got a clue where he’s going.

  62. bringiton says:

    It is becoming very tiresome listening to the London establishment completely ignoring a government in Scotland,democratically elected by a majority of Scots,with a clear mandate to hold an independence referendum during the course of this parliament and instead using dodgy polling data to try and refute this.
    On that basis,a majority of people in the UK would now reject Brexit but of course,that doesn’t fit with a far right political agenda being persued by the junta in London.

  63. scottish skier says:


    “There have been five national elections in Scotland since the referendum of 2014. In each of them, the parties of independence have won a majority of seats. In this year’s Scottish election it was both a majority of seats and, thanks to Alba’s small contribution, a majority of votes as well.

    Huh Alex? There have been only two national elections since 2014; May 2016 and May 2021.

    UK union elections are only ‘national’ if your nation is Britain. To Scottish people like myself they are not national, but union, like EU elections.

    May 2021 is the first time Scots have given a majority of votes to pro-indy parties in either national or UK union elections.

    Incidentally, in terms of ‘wee books’, if Alba are getting advice on Scotland from completely out of touch residents of southern England who haven’t lived here in 3 decades like Michael Gove, then they’ll not get far with the Scottish electorate. It is absolutely impossible to understand Scotland from the South of England, and the longer you are away, the less you will. To even begin to understand Scotland, you need to live here amongst its residents, and for sufficient years to start identifying in whole or in part as Scottish.

    • grizebard says:

      If that particular wee blue book is being paid for by the late Bathist funder as an Alba party-political stunt, I want my contribution back.

      • Alex Clark says:

        I doubt it will become a classic.

        He revealed that Alba would help assist with the publication of a new edition of the Wee Blue Book, written before the 2014 vote, on the case for independence with the text to be written by former Common Weal chief Robin McAlpine and edited by Campbell. Salmond 100,000 copies of the new book would be published around Scotland before the local elections of next year.


        • grizebard says:

          How exactly will Alba “help assist”? I can’t think what that party has to offer. (Dark money funding? For all the wild funding accusations that have been directed elsewhere, we’ve never had any transparency about their funding, or none anyway that I recall.) And since Campbell is deeply involved (“editing”), is he also the main funder? Since there will surely not be two different blue books, this looks more and more like it’s turning into an Alba stunt that’s parasitising on funding that came from a whole lot of people like me who had no such intention.

    • Capella says:

      I think they could actually do something constructive for the Independence movement, unlikely though that may seem, given the personalities involved. The reports I’ve seen of the Alba meeting (in The National and Twitter) suggest an unrelenting anti-SNP, anti-Nicola Sturgeon moanathon. Producing a Wee Alba Book would be one positive project they could engage in that might advance the cause.
      Not holding my breath.

      • grizebard says:

        If they want to do that in their own name and under their own funding, that’s fine, they’re welcome. But not on the money that people like me donated to Stu Campbell for a Blue Book that wasn’t party political. That makes us all involuntary contributors to Alba, which wasn’t explicitly or implicitly part of the deal. Even if there’s just an Alba logo on the front. But it could be far worse, since we would have no oversight whatsoever on how that funding is being spread around.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Soundbite Salmond and the Winged Campbells from England funded by who now? charge to the sound of all these SNP members who are plagued by *infighting?* isn’t that usually the Tories dead tree scrolls who usually pull that con trick that nobody believes but the hard of thinking and well, the Tories

      • Tatu3 says:

        If, at the Alba conference, there was so much anti SNP, who is to say the new wee blue Alba book would not just be full of the same, given who would be writing it?? That’s my worry. And like grizebard says, some of us contributed towards a new wee book, but certainly not in the name of Alba.

      • scottish skier says:

        There’s no way any campaign linked to the WoS of today could be helpful to the cause of Scottish indy.

  64. yesindyref2 says:

    Alba is actually turning out to be a good thing for the Indy movement.

    But I’m not going to say why 😏

    • Alex Clark says:

      Tease LOL

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, YIR2, you are such a tease! {grin}

      Could it perchance be by corralling all the clueless self-centred no-hopers who lost the plot last time into one convenient black hole, well out of the way, leaving the field open this time for the serious and well-organised…?

      (Oops, have I just given the game away…? {wink})

    • Dr Jim says:

      Well they are supplying much of the comedic value in their fantastical demands, and claims of being a *political* party

    • yesindyref2 says:

      All the above!

      Plus of course it’ll have Indy Faking Splitter burning the midnight oil trying to figure out what’s going on.

      “But but but Alister, Raver Michael told me …”

  65. Capella says:

    • scottish skier says:

      Most of the minority saying ‘damage’ are just saying so because they identify as British. Many will not even actually think it, especially in the face of brexit, but will say it anyway.

  66. Capella says:

    Completely OT but Germany said goodbye to Angela Merkel yesterday.
    “Ms. Merkel lives in a normal apartment like any other citizen. She lived in this apartment before being elected Chancellor of Germany. She did not leave it and she does not own a single villa, houses, pools, gardens.”
    Seems like “Mutti” set a good example for world leaders. Great photo of her staring down Donald Trump at a G8 too. https://twitter.com/alvinfoo/status/1436568475586088962?s=20

    • Bob Lamont says:

      She may not have been everyone’s political taste, but enjoyed and deserved overwhelming respect from Germans and beyond.
      Meanwhile in the UK 🙄

      I couldn’t help notice Schneider further down quoting Sajid Javid on vaccine passports:
      “I don’t like the idea of saying to people you must show your papers”
      The hypocrisy of demanding photo-ID for elections sailed over his head there 🤣

      • grizebard says:

        Well put.

        My first reaction was that this shower don’t do joined-up thinking, but in a way they do: whatever works for keeping the Tory Party in power. That’s all that matters to them (and their sponsors).

  67. scottish skier says:

    So, Mrs SS’s car is in the garage needing a new handbrake cable.

    Guess what, it’s in for a few days for a such a simple repair, and they still don’t know when it will be ready because parts are a struggle to source due to brexit.

    Growth stalled in july and it’s not going to get any better.



    • Bob Lamont says:

      Most cables snap the core but can have a new core inserted by repair specialists if the outer is aok (usually the case)… Just a thought if it drags on…

      • scottish skier says:

        Thanks for the tip. It’s relatively minor inconvenience for me, but for the garage (a local small business) ​and its part suppliers, it’s a big problem. Both will lose income. This is happening everywhere, and the inevitable result is job loses.

        I was reading an article about a lack of bottled water in some places, and folk were saying ‘But people don’t need bottled water’ but that’s not true. People who work in the bottled water industry need bottled water on shelves being bought or they will be losing there jobs.

        With the end of furlough looming, things are going to get ugly very quickly. Rising unemployment with a critical labour shortage due to a total mismatch of skills required vs those looking for work have.

  68. Capella says:

    Livestream of SNP conference day 4

  69. Dr Jim says:

    51.281 deaths in England from Covid recorded from February to August this year with 640 fully vaccinated but everything’s fine in the land of no or misinformation

    Makes you wonder what the real numbers are from when there was no vaccine, it’ll come out eventually

  70. Dr Jim says:

    Today the *British* media has been rocked to it’s very core by the biggest sledgehammer blow to their Tory rule, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon delivered a speech the likes of which I’ve never heard from any politician ever in my 72 years, it was crammed with meticulous detail of the failures and downright meanness of Tory government and was delivered with more serious weight and power than I thought was humanly possible, no bluster no arm waving no calls to arms, Nicola Sturgeon was complete and total calculated business

    If there are still any unconvinced as to the strength of her leadership and veracity of her words then those people will remain as they are, but there can certainly not be many now who cannot see the future as laid out by Scotlands FM

    Or in other words WOW! just WOW!!!

  71. scottish skier says:

    Adding in the latest polls from this month, and ‘no obvious change’ is the only way to describe things.

    My average of all polls for 2021:
    46.0% Yes
    45.6% No
    8.7% DK

    Ex DK:
    50.2% Yes
    49.8% No

    Yes remains at baseline ‘would vote Yes first thing tomorrow no questions asked’ levels.

    Updated plot:


  72. Capella says:

    I thought Nicola Sturgeon’s speech was spot on. It was longer and more detailed than I expected. She drew the sharp distinction between the callous, selfish Tory Party in Westminster and the aspiration of most Scots to be a democratic, fair and just society. It was calm, measured and dignified.

    I particularly liked her pointing out that, for the first time, the host country of COP26 is not organising a youth conference in advance of the main event. The British Government obviously doesn’t think that is important. But the Scottish Government will fund and organise it instead. I do hope Greta Thunberg and her young activists will enjoy being there for the selfies.

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