Ambulance chasing with Douglas Ross

I wasn’t planning to blog today as I’m wiped out from physiotherapy, but I am so angered by Douglas Ross that I have to say something.

Douglas Ross is a thoroughly odious individual who leads a thoroughly odious political party, a party which has no hesitation in pursuing cheap political points no matter how spurious, how devoid of context, or how misleading they may be.

At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday Ross attacked the First Minister on waiting times for ambulances, and shamelessly accused her of “hiding behind the pandemic” as though the pandemic isn’t really happening and isn’t really putting immense pressures on the ambulance service along with every other part of the health service. Likewise it is not “deflection” as Ross suggested, to point out that the Health Services in every other part of the UK are also struggling to cope with the extra strain imposed on them by the covid pandemic. It’s just reality. What is really deflection is to pretend that these issues are unique to Scotland in an attempt to score some SNPbad points with the Scottish media.

I have a very personal interest in ambulance waiting times. In October last year, before vaccines were available and with the NHS reeling under the impact of the pandemic, I suffered a massive stroke. In an ischaemic stroke such as the one I had, a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain, causing the part of the brain supplied by the affected artery to experience oxygen starvation. If the blood flow is blocked for more than a few minutes the affected part of the brain dies. Brain tissue that dies does not regenerate. The bodily functions controlled by the damaged part of the brain are impaired.

A stroke is a medical emergency second only to life and death situations when a patient is not breathing or is bleeding out. According to widely accepted response times, an ambulance should be on scene within an average of 18 minutes in response to a category-2 999 call reporting a suspected stroke. (See A prompt response is critical, for every minute that a stroke patient is left untreated, 1.9 million neurons die, the chances of making a good recovery diminish, and the chances of being left with a lasting or permanent disability increase. The quicker the patient who has suffered an ischaemic stroke can be got to the hospital the greater the chance that they can be injected with a powerful clot busting drug which can prevent further damage to the brain. That’s why speed is vital.

I collapsed shortly after the onset of the stroke and started vomiting violently. Then I had a severe epileptic seizure as the stroke was making the electrical activity in my brain go haywire. After that I lost consciousness. My husband called 999 within seconds of the stroke starting, but due to staff shortages caused by the pandemic, it was almost an hour before the ambulance got to me, far longer than the recommended 18 minutes for response time to a suspected stroke.

By the time the ambulance got me to the hospital it was too late to treat me with the clot busting drugs that could have minimised the brain damage caused by the stroke. There’s nothing to be gained by dwelling on what ifs, but had the ambulance arrived within the recommended 18 minutes I might not have been left with some of the physical problems that are still an issue for me and which may be permanent. I have very poor motor control, lack of sensation, and significant muscle weakness all down the left of my body, in particular in my left hand and arm. I was left handed, but now I can’t even hold a pen or a knife and fork, far less participate in the artistic and creative pursuits I used to enjoy so much. It is unlikely that I’ll be drawing any more Gaelic maps. These issues are long term, and due to the extent of the brain damage caused by the stroke, I was warned that there’s a significant chance that they could be permanent.

Of course the biggest what if of all is what if there wasn’t a pandemic. Then the ambulance service might not have been short staffed and might have got to me sooner. But there is a pandemic. It can’t just be ignored or wished away. It could not be ignored or wished away all those long weeks when I lay semi paralysed in a hospital bed and couldn’t get any visitors. It certainly can’t be ignored or wished away by an unprincipled shyster of a Conservative politician in search of an SNP bad point.

Douglas Ross wants to pretend there is no pandemic because it gets in the way of him scoring a cheap political point. He wants to ignore the fact that the National Health Service in every part of the UK is struggling to cope with the additional stresses put on it by the pandemic, it is not deflection, as Ross and the Tories claim, to point out that simple reality. What is deflection is pretending that it’s only Scotland which is struggling, and that it’s struggling due to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

As I try to come to terms with my new reality, and learn to live with my disabilities, it’s some comfort to imagine that the ambulance was late getting to me because it was saving the life of someone with covid, someone who is now alive and well and making plans for the future just as I am.

Douglas Ross wants to deprive me of that comfort and make me and people like me believe that the health issues we face were unnecessary and avoidable and entirely the fault of the SNP – as though there is no pandemic. At the same time he is desperate to avoid any scrutiny of the manifest failures and shortcomings of the Conservatives in Westminster in their mishandling of this crisis.

Nicola Sturgeon accused Douglas Ross of insulting the intelligence of the public by trying to pretend the pandemic is not a factor in ambulance response times. I’d go further, he is personally insulting me and everyone else who has suffered the consequences of this pandemic. I am deeply offended that a man whose party has wrought such havoc on the health service in England and on public services in general is now trying to capitalise on the long term health issues and disabilities of me and those like me. I would say he should be ashamed of himself, but Douglas Ross is a Conservative and has no shame. His is the worst kind of unprincipled, unscrupulous ambulance chasing.

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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185 comments on “Ambulance chasing with Douglas Ross

  1. Simon Jonathan Taylor says:

    Douglas Ross. He’s the reason contraception was invented. Bit harsh ? Nah

  2. Elizabeth Cameron says:

    I was luckier than you. I had a heart attack in the early morning in May 2020. The ambulance was with me in 20 mins and had me in QEH soon after.
    My care was excellent (as usual) and it really makes my blood boil to hear Ross and the BBC lie so much about our NHS.

    Years ago, at least 10, my sister-in-law in England, told her family that if she ever had a medical emergency, to call a taxi to take her to hospital. Waiting times for ambulances were horrific. And they live in a town, not a city.

  3. Mrs Sheryl Hepworth says:

    Hope you continue with your recovery Paul. You have done so well after the stroke and have lost none of your fire I’m pleased to say! Take care and rest now you’ve got that of your chest, well done!

  4. Movy says:

    That is one of the most brutal, accurate and thoroughly deserved put downs of these foul Tories I have read.
    Well said WGD but please now you’ve got it off your chest sit back, relax and recover.

  5. Hamish100 says:

    My brother in law had a cerebral-
    pre covid, paramedics, hospital and reception staff brilliant.
    As I waited listening to his cries of pain carrying down from A&E I listened to the selfish gits with sprained ankles and stubbed big toes complaining of the queue jumper. I can’t say for sure if they were all tories but it wouldn’t surprise me. They probably are the ones who believe that since they are vaccinated they don’t need to wear masks at any time. After all, they are alright Jack.

    • P Harvey says:

      Every word you have said is true
      Dross is beneath contempt
      He clearly has no moral base or humanity!
      I’m sure you feel a little calmer now – please take it easy!

    • SuborbitalPigeon says:

      This is a profoundly embarrassing viewpoint. Tribalism is not good for anyone.

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, methinks Hamish was presuming too much in terms of political allegiance. Selfishgittery tends to be resolutely apolitical, because its practitioners are generally too self-centred to care about social matters (except to moan about them) nor to vote to do anything to improve them.

        As for Tories, there are some who support independence. It’s just a pity that they seem to be unwilling, perhaps out of misplaced loyalty, to make their presence felt at all. But you might think of those who believe that everyone should be industrious and self-reliant, that many more might spurn a party line that is fixated on the contrary proposition that Scots are, and should remain, a nation of dependent scroungers.

  6. Ian Campbell says:

    Well said wee ginger dug!
    Keep up the good work both personally and professionally!👍

  7. Janice Gale says:

    I am so sorry that an idiot like Ross has subjected you to mental torture but you have given a good account of reality for anyone willing to listen. I can’t wait to be free of the buffoons and stupids but while we have to wait we must expose their hypocrisy, lies and avarice so that given the evidence of their deminishing income as a prompt voters in Scotland will know the truth. Thank you for your extreme efforts and please keep going. ❤️

  8. James Mills says:

    If DRoss was circumcised then they threw away the best bit !

  9. John McGuire says:

    I think I ‘love’ Donald Ross as much as I ‘love’ Boris Johnson. What pair of bottoms and just great for our cause.
    Paul, keep well, keep writing, keep sticking it into these Tories.
    Sincere thanks.

  10. Alex Clark says:

    Douglas Ross is always trying to insult the intelligence of the public but it is becoming less and less effective. If it wasn’t for the likes of the BBC continually covering up for these liars then Scotland would already be Independent.

    Well done in speaking out and exposing the mendacity of the likes of DRoss, Sarwar, Baillie and the rest in their attempt to score cheap political points.

  11. Arthur Thomson says:

    Paul, you have been brilliant since your stroke. Thank you for your amazing efforts. It is mind boggling that Dross (and equally his Labour/Libdem chums) can continue to sink lower and lower. They apparently have no social conscience. There is technical term for people like them. Their supporters are uncivilised.

  12. Christopher Rosindale says:

    Douglas Ross is desperate, that’s why he’s resorting to such tactics.

    He and his colleagues are now faced with:

    1) A First Minister who’s proving immune to his attacks. Just remember the visible frustration among the Tories when theirs, and others, attempts to damage Sturgeon by weaponising the Salmond inquiry flopped. They were practically fizzing with fury.

    2) Having to be loyal to a Westminster party leader who would happily stab them in the back – like he did to the DUP – if he decided that doing so served his personal interests. Fear that Johnson will grant Indyref2 against their will, and with them lacking the Commons numbers to stop him, must have been festering in the Scottish Tories’ minds ever since.

    3) Being lined up as the likely fall-guy if the Scottish Tories do badly in future elections, or lose Indyref2. Not wanting to be mocked by future historians, Johnson will dump the blame for it on anyone he can think of. Step forward Douglas….

    4) With Brexit, bungling the Covid-19 pandemic in England, and lying, cheating and corruption now endemic among the Tories, Ross must know that the case for the Union is now weaker than it has ever been. But, scared that Johnson will betray his party over Indyref2, he is forced to defend all of this as ‘the benefits of the Union.’

    5) With the average age of the core Unionist voter now at least 65, the Tories’ core vote is slowly shrinking. This does not, in the long-run, bode well for the Union….

    He is now, in political terms, a dead man walking. And he probably knows it.

  13. Dr Jim says:

    A moving account of your own story Paul and I’m sure a reflection of many others, more of Scotlands folk need to speak out against what these people are

  14. perthcol says:

    Paul, it is this type of very personal vilification of the turd that has to be posted on public social media sites.
    Can you do this? The NHS deserves protection from this gobshit.

    • weegingerdug says:

      You have my permission to copy this post and share it as you see fit. I’ve already shared it everywhere I am able to. Believe in Scotland’s facebook page doesn’t accept links to blogs posted by the blog author but if you share it with a couple of lines of text explaining why you think people ought to read it they will probably publish it.

  15. barpe says:

    It must have taken immense courage to write this article, with all it’s terrible events, and it must have been devastating for you to have to listen to Dross venting his spleen, today.
    But you are head and shoulders (and a good bit more!) better than him and his gutter politics.
    I agree with Christopher Rosindale, above, when he says Dross is a ‘dead man walking’.

  16. Macart says:

    That needed saying.

    I said (what feels like) a long time ago, that those who play politics with this pandemic will not be forgotten or easily forgiven. Mr Ross should perhaps think about his words.

    Assuming he actually thinks…

  17. Alan says:

    DRoss and his tory lot have offered nothing to Scotland. Nothing positive, nothing that will advance the country. I am ashamed that he is the MP for Moray. He no more represents me than fleein in the air. Your posts just keep me going and fighting for an independant Scotland. Keep up the great work Paul. Saor Alba

  18. Capella says:

    Hitting the nail on he head with this post, Paul. I watched FMQs and was disgusted with the mendacious performance of DRoss. Several times he got up to pour scorn on Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Health Service. Nurses and doctors deserve batter than that. They will be in no doubt about the mean and selfish Tories with their 1% pay rise in England followed by huge hikes in their NI tax and fuel prices as well as all the other woes they suffer in England’s privatised Health Service.

    Nicola Sturgeon was calm cool and collected as usual. But how sick and tired she must be of having to deal with this apology of a person. As are we all.

    Take care and keep up the physio. Lets hope your brain cells, or the techies, develop a work around in time so that you can make your Gaelic maps again.

  19. therealiggi says:

    What an intelligent and moving critique
    Well said Paul
    As a former AHP in NHS A&A I hope they look after you as you deserve,

  20. Izziel says:

    Last summer I collapsed in the street outside my home while talking with neighbours during an unusually hot day. Under covid restrictions we were following 2 metre distancing regulations.and no one was able to catch me as I fell on the tarmac.

    I am an OAP and the ambulance service probably saved my life that day with a quick response. I have AF and it went into overdrive.

    People like Dross critising our Health Service leave me speechless .. the most polite thing I can say. What a horrible world these kind of individuals inhabit.

    All the best for your continued recovery.

  21. Capella says:

    Ruth Davidson writes for the New Statesman. The National fact checks her allegations and finds her to be just as mendacious as her successor.

    “Measuring a country’s GDP doesn’t give the whole story, but whichever metric you use, the SNP’s record falls short” – Baroness Davidson, New Statesman, September 13.

    • grizebard says:

      Ah, Bitter Together still in evidence, as southern Labourite mag gives space to ermine-clad political-reject Tory to help distribute more SNP-baaad lies.

      Says it all, really.

      • Capella says:

        Sad how low the NS has sunk, spreading lies and unfounded allegations. You would expect the editor to fact check before this sort of drivel gets published.

  22. Malcolm Pate says:

    Sky news headlines this morning is a Shortage of lorry drivers for everything petrol no food on the shelves. No mention about Brexit. I read most of the YES blogs and Indytruck Davey was telling us over 6 months ago that this was going to happen. I think it’s time the main news media was getting their news from the social media. Roll on Independence for Scotland.

  23. Hamish100 says:

    Ambulance chasing is exactly what the bbc are doing re the Alex Salmond story. You wonder why the bbc publicising Cleggs book ex Daily Record , don’t door step him and ask the searching questions.
    Just lots of pictures of Salmond and the FM. You would almost think they are trying to promote a theme.

    • Why do you think Clegg was extricated from the Daily Police Gazette to the safe wastelands of the Thomson Empire up in Dundee?

      • Hamish100 says:

        Yip. It certainly looks like there was a deal done there with the Tory / labour press.

        Didn’t the Herald get involved as well?

        Maybe the bcc will do a wee programme on it with Sarah Smith, Kirsty Wark and others? Maybe not.

  24. Bob Lamont says:

    Very well said indeed, your own experiences bring a personal perspective to it as others have reinforced in comments, the NHS is a lifeline for the many, but for Tories it’s just another political football, and for DRoss an opportunity to make an arse of himself again.

    When was the last time you heard a positive view on the NHS from any opposition politician, or come to that the BBC ?
    The relentless guff on Scotland’s NHS “failure” and “crisis” matches the experience of none, yet they always manage to find that one distraught son whose elderly mother had to wait hours for an ambulance and could have died whilst he was polishing the car. It’s preposterous drivel the vast majority can see through as contrived.
    Prof John Robertson is regularly challenging this nonsense, the personal failure of X complete with picture in case the reader has forgotten, the skewed chart scales, the distorted tables, to support their latest schlock horror story keeps his blog very busy.
    No other branch of the BBC across the UK presents as BBC Scotland does, NONE.

    Nowhere other than in Scotland has the likes of the bellicose brothers, the DRoss and Kerr tag team, and despite their endless railing against SG, the data on almost every metric for Scotland’s NHS leaves England trailing.
    The Tories in Scotland are a national embarrassment.

  25. Eilidh says:

    Well said Paul. The Tories particularly Douglas Ross really are a despicable lot and it seems every Tory leader in Scotland is more obnoxious than the previous one. I have to wonder if any of them understand what humility is. The UK is an utter shambles at the moment because of Brexit and policies of inept PM Bojo but that gets barely a mention by the mainstream media. DRoss comments at FMQs were an insult to everyone working in the NHS and I can understand why they upset you so much. Look after yourself

  26. Welsh_Sion says:

    The start of something bigger and more positive?

    (Remember, the Greens have no representation at the Senedd nor at Westminster from Wales and are still, officially, the Green Party of England and Wales in my home country. Unlike Scotland.)

  27. Naina Tal says:

    Great post Paul. I agree with every word. I had reason to attend hospital recently as an out patient. First time in my three score and ten! I have to say I found staff very attentive and helpful and for the most part quite light hearted in their approach. I’m not by any means saying they are not under pressure, All credit to them though for their professionalism towards people in their care.
    One thing I did note though was the large number of staff who were doing things which were necessary in this vicious pandemic, and which presumably would otherwise not be done. I’m thinking of the need to “meet and greet” every visitor, not only at the main door, but at the entry to every department, obviously mainly to check vaccine and symptom status.
    The waiting areas have taken on a sparse look with most of the chairs removed. This involves extra work and extra staff maintaining a safe area and scheduling in appointments in the new situation.
    In my first experience of having to attend hospital I have to give credit to all the great people who attended to my minor problem. Yes I had to wait a lot longer than I would otherwise have expected, but we ARE in the middle of an effen pandemic!
    The lying, snivelling, toadying tosser who is the heid linesman of the biggest English party in Scotland can’t see past SNP baddery, aided by daily denigration of our elected government by the unelected attack dogs in Unionist Broadcasting.
    For God’s sake you moron, Ross we ARE in the middle of a pandemic. If you ever need to go to hospital I hope and expect you would get the same exceptional service I got. Oh wait!!! You’ve got the three salaries. You would go private wouldn’t you?

  28. DaveyTee says:

    I don’t agree with everything Paul writes, but this posting should be given national coverage. Ross and his wretched Tory colleagues are just so odious that I cannot see how anyone in their right mind, far less any Scot, can bring themselves to vote for them.


  29. James Mills says:

    DRoss and BBC Shortbread , Alex Cole-Rennie , and the other opposition invertebrates in the Labouring Party are a disgrace and show absolutely no empathy with the people suffering during this pandemic.

    Each day they appear in the ”news” with the latest product of their ambulance chasing – identifying the one person who has NOT been seen within three years at the worst Scottish hospital A&E in the world !

    Is there a special Hotline that patients are advised to phone in order to get their case on the telly?

    Surely Sarwar the Socialist Millionaire can’t be available at EVERY A&E in Scotland ready to pounce on a negative story ? Or does he rely on his GP relatives to funnel cases to him ?

    Has BBC Shortbread allocated a ”journalist” to every A&E , microphone in hand , ready to promote the best negative story that shows the Scottish NHS in a bad light ?

    How does DRoss have the TIME to chase ambulances when he is busy making an arse of himself either at Holyrood or Westminster ?
    ( How does all that travelling help the environment , DRossie ? )

  30. unknown says:

    This is a delicate one to post, easily misunderstood.
    I do not disagree with your assessment of Douglas Ross at least what I see of him in the media and read of him online.
    I do not know the man,
    I see his public persona, the role he plays. Perhaps that is all there is to the man? Perhaps there is more?
    I see him as an irritant, like a swarm migies, or a walking migraine, Toothache in human form perhaps..
    But, I do not know the man, so my opinion has little real value.

    His attempts to conflate ambulance waiting times with the SNP is not so unexpected is it?
    Isn’t that what all political parties do? Every political party, in every country, they all do it, including the SNP.
    A straw man argument of sorts.
    They point out and attribute undesirable circumstances to the failure of their opponent in an attempt to make them look bad in the eyes of the electorate, and imply they could do better if elected.
    If members of the electorate are of a similar mind to the view being expressed they may well agree, in principle if not in all details.
    His attempt was ill devised and poorly executed implying a lack of awareness, deliberate or otherwise. But the intention was not unique to him.
    I don’t take what he says personally, he has no idea I exist, why would he?
    He’s playing the role, playing the game the way he believes will serve him best.

    I sympathise with you Paul I really do, to have your life turned upside down in an instant is jarring, shocking, frightening, frustrating, unfair, undeserved. But it is.
    My mother was here one day, had a headache, twenty four hours later she was gone.
    Before the pandemic, before Brexit, and we also waited a lot longer than 18 minutes.
    There is no negotiating, there is no bargaining, there is no consideration of the effects or our opinions wants desires needs or hopes. Its happening and you can do nothing about it. Just watch, uselessly watch.

    The NHS is not perfect, its employees are not all saints.
    There are no saints here.
    Just people trying to do the best they can. Good days and bad days, Good people and not so good. That is life.
    Without them our lives would be an order of magnitude worse, many orders of magnitude worse.

    Ross’s amateur attempts to damage the SNP are no surprise though are they? its what he is meant to do. The more amateur the better!
    His lack of finesse is reminiscent of Trump or Johnson. He is no diplomat.

    But the SNP have had problems with health management and other areas of government. They are not perfect. No one is.
    To deny criticism because the argument is badly constructed or poorly delivered, to dismiss it because it is delivered by someone not deemed worthy, can be a mistake.
    Perhaps there may be a grain of truth amongst the diatribe? Not just about this issue all issues.
    Not just in politics.

    The effects of the pandemic and Brexit are playing havoc everywhere, people are making it up as they go along, fire fighting, increased demand with decreased resource, Some of it could have been avoided some of it not so much.

    Anyway, that’s enough, too much, I wish you well.

    • So,it’s just ‘politics’, ‘Unknown’?

      Well, that’s all right then.
      Christos on a bike.
      Nevertheless, your post serves to further the debate.

      They are killing tens of thousands of our fellow citizens by fascist edict. But, hey, it’s just politics.
      The SNP would do the same in Opposition.

      Can anyone really believe that Ross or Sarwar could lead the country?
      Not even the misguided souls who voted for them believe that.

      It’s just a ‘game’, Unknown?

      Aye, right.

      God, give me patience.

    • Dr Jim says:

      How to shrug your shoulders in words

  31. unknown says:

    You seem “offended” by what I wrote.

    How much of what offends you did you read and how much did you read into what I wrote?
    Did I advocate Ross or Sarwar to lead our country?

    You are looking at this with a moral compass, humanity, compassion for your fellow humans. Because you are among them .
    To hold politicians to a higher standard,

    There are others who do not consider the individual, only themselves, as though their actions had no consequences.
    Perhaps because they are not affected, directly.

    To many of them it is “just politics” I bet. Just a job, a game in effect.
    To play to the party bosses to get position, to play to the media to gain coverage to play to the electorate to get power.
    Johnson all over.
    Copied by others in many parties, as Johnson copied others before him, he was not the first, he is not unique.

    The aim of the game to get power, individual and party power.

    The aim should be to use that power to make everyones lives better.
    But that is not the game they are playing is it.

    • grizebard says:

      Well, a functioning democracy needs a functioning opposition, whatever party or parties is in power. Because all governments are flawed and occasionally make mistakes, so your basic point is hardly novel. And OK, politics doesn’t always meet the standards we might wish or expect, not least when there are vital interests at stake as with independence. But the people of Scotland deserve something considerably better than the hollow opportunist dregs offered by the likes of DRoss.

      Frankly, if I were a Unionist I would be despairing at his dog-in-manger tactics, because they demonstrate a total lack of principle or ideas, and betray more than a whiff of desperation.

      • Statgeek says:

        “Well, a functioning democracy needs a functioning opposition, whatever party or parties is in power.”

        The main opposition in Holyrood is in Government in Westminster. They don’t get typical ‘opposition rules’, when they have all the levers of power and all the media, and none of the solutions.

  32. I am beyond offended, ‘unknown’.

    buried in your ostensibly rambling non partisan musings there lurks the usual ‘one is as bad as the other’ equivalence.
    You put Sarwar and Ross and ,god help us all, Cole Hamilton, on a par with the FM…if only the pesky Jocks would vote them in to power.

    You knew what you were doing, ‘unknown’.

    They all lie just to get ‘power’?
    Ergo NS is as big a charlatan as Dross and millionare socialis Sarwar?

    Utter nonsense.
    Have you really being paying attention since 2014?

    We are held prisoner in our own country by a foreign power.
    That’s me done…no more chat.

    • unknown says:

      Whether or not you are offend is not my concern. That is up to you. A view different to yours was expressed and you chose to be offended.

      Should I have been partisan then?
      Is that the secret to gain your favour and avoid offending you?

      Is that not a good way to play the political game?

      • Pogmothon says:

        Lets all just take a minute, chill and consider the oh so fundamentally prophetic words of Karen Dunbar

        “I Smell Shite”

        And NO I am not offended by your shite.
        You have every right to your shite.
        However I have passed the point in my life where I give a shit how eloquent or considered your proposal my be, to me your sill a bamstick talking shite

        So I will leave you with another of Scotland’s great comedians and his,

        Proposed solution to oh so considerate and supposedly even handed people trying to piss down your neck and telling you it’s raining

    • Robert Oliphant says:

      I think “unknown” is judging all this on the basis of the historic “bi-polar” dynamic of UK politics,
      Labour accuse Tory, then Tory accuse Labour ad infinitum as they trade their “turn” at power,

      Well “unknown”, can I suggest that if you had been paying attention since the pandemic began,
      you would have noticed that there has been a distinct divergence in how NS and her Holyrood government have done things compared to “business as usual – crisis, what crisis?” at Westminster.

      Compare and contrast for example Catherine Calderwood v Dominc Cummings,
      how their individual indiscretions were dealt with.

      NS and her ministers have during the pandemic, heaven forbid, actually admitted they have made mistakes and even “worse” admitted they don’t know all the answers,
      compare that to the “Muppet Show” (if BoJo can cite Kermit the Frog, it’s fair game!) at Westminster as they lurched from one mistake to another, massaged the statistics, blatantly lied,
      without one iota of self awareness that people were dying as a result of their (in?)actions.

      Now more recently, the SNP have been widely criticised for having the temerity to enter an agreement with the Greens to give a degree of stability to this Holyrood administration,
      as if that is a bad thing as it is viewed through the prism of the confrontation politics of Westminster,
      how dare anyone actually seek consensus!?

      Whereas the rest of the World largely look at this as the norm and that absolute majority rule is rare and to be avoided,
      concessions to achieve a common concensus,
      how bizarre a concept is that to Ross, Sarwar, Cole Hamilton et al.

      Politics up here have changed for the better,
      the electorate have largely rejected the old style of doing things,
      I hope irreversably so and the next logical step is for us to break that chain that Westminster binds us with once and for all!

      • Angela Rayner ripped Dominic Raab a second erse at PMQ going for his throat over his £36,000 for seven nights at a Crete resort for the Filthy Rich, in highlighting the plight of workers on £18 grand a year getting stuck with a NI Hike, the cap on energy pricing being lifted and bills for the poorest going through the roof.

        Yesterday, millionaire dentist, board member of a Cash And Carry company who weren’t paying the minimum wage, which when made public prompted the Millionaire Socialist to transfer his shares in this nice little earner to his privately educated children’s Foundation (so that’s all right then), the hapless Anas Sarwar, champagne Blairite, had the opportunity to go after Dross and the Blue Meanies at FMQ, which Labour must do if they are to at least overtake the Blue Tories as Opposition in Holyrood. The the gas crisis, the NI hike, the break on the Pensions triple lock, the HGV driver Brexit crisis, and so much more.
        So many open goals for Labour to crush the Tories on the floor of Holyrood.

        But no, he is an ally of Dross and the Blue Meanies.

        Preserving their English Masters’ precious Union comes before the well being of Scots citizens.

        Sarwar hose ship building…perhaps forgetting the broken promises, no lies, that BAE would build of 13 Frigates in Govan and, oh yes, , a new BAE state of the art yard in Scotstoun if we voted No in ’14.. to have a go at Sturgeon.
        Fuck the poor and pensioners; who do you onlookers think we are? The Labour Party?

        Coal Scuttle pitched in with SNP/Scottish Health Service are crap, while his party in England were going after the Tories at Westminster ,on NI hikes, energy bill rises, and the triple lock pensions betrayal.

        Ross Sarwar and Hamilton. Three fleas on the same mangy putrid Unionist dog.
        Scottish Labour do not represent the Scots workers. They are there to shore up the Tories.

        Not long now, I venture.

  33. unknown says:

    Dr Jim.
    Yes, that is a good way to put it.

    People being people.
    Unless the standards are changed, the quality is changed, the social obligations are felt like a responsibility happily taken up by all people, the intentions are changed and honoured then that is the way it will always be,

    We need a change.
    We had a chance in 2014 to be better.
    We didn’t take it.
    We need another chance,
    Waiting, ever waiting, restless, jaded, bickering, fed up, resigned until a opportunity presents itself.
    Watching uselessly, waiting.

  34. Bob Lamont says:

    I think we have to recognise that DRoss and Juan Kerr’s rampant nonsense are simply bit parts by ham actors in a more sinister orchestrated campaign to rubbish the NHS under SG administration.
    John Robertson tore apart their latest “blind em with bullshit” piece and left no turn unstoned,

    With the opportunity to regurgitate their Jeanne Freeman propaganda slipping away as the Official Inquiry moves on to the mechanics behind the myths, the BBC grow desperate for any negative health related story to keep up the momentum, today’s BBC/Scotland page features “Covid in Scotland: Non-urgent surgery postponed at Aberdeen children’s hospital” and “Legionella bacteria found in water at Monklands Hospital” (can it be found anywhere else ?).
    What’s tomorrow’s BBC headline ? Birds spotted flying south, fears of incontinent pigeon attacks spread for hospitals…

    • Alex Clark says:

      Just read the Prof’s article, how utterly ridiculous the BBC are being made to look with those pathetic out of date graphs. Once again the BBC in Scotland are hoist with their own petard 🙂

        • Alex Clark says:

          Unbelievable NOT.

          The graph though is probably right and they have picked the peak period for waiting times this year. The fact that this happened to be around May is of no consequence because the graph serves its purpose in implying that the crisis is NOW as per their headlines.

          This only works if you ignore the dates on the graph but they know that of course and set out deliberately to deceive those that don’t notice such things. All we can do about it is exactly what Prof Robertson is doing on his blog and that is to point out the deceit of the Tory mouthpiece, the despicable BBC reporting in Scotland.

        • Capella says:

          This one’s hilarious. Prof Robertson takes the MSM nonsense apart.

          ‘International humiliation’ for England as no Channel ferries built there

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          Is it any coincedence that the journo covering the graph story about the alleged crisis in the NHS in Scotland is one Christopher SLEIGHT?

          NHS Scotland’s ‘biggest crisis’ in five charts
          By Christopher Sleight (of hand)
          BBC Scotland news

          Published2 days ago Comments

          (I notice that Comments are open, too. Buzzing with SNP Baaad, Sturgeon Baaaad England-based trolls, too, I’m sure.)

  35. Alex Clark says:

    Will DRoss get to his feet at the next PMQ’s and demand Johnson explain what he is doing about the MEGA crisis in the English NHS? Probably not eh.

    NHS ‘on the edge’ with some patients waiting 48 hours for a bed

    A&E units across the UK are so crowded that 50% are being forced to hold sick patients outside or turn ambulances away every day, Britain’s top emergency doctor told the Guardian. The figure is the highest ever recorded; it was 27% in October 2020 and 17% in March this year…

    As a result, patients in some emergency departments were having to wait more than 48 hours for a bed, with hospitals across the country seeing unprecedented levels of demand, Henderson warned…

    “This is a disaster,” Henderson said. “This is a system that is on the edge.”

    Just 66.2% of people arriving at hospital-based A&Es in England in August were seen within four hours, the lowest percentage ever.

    DRoss needs to learn people in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones, next time he questions the FM.

    • grizebard says:

      And will BBC Jokeland stop giving DRoss a free pass and start comparing Scottish performance favourably with the situation in England where the facts merit?

      Oh, look!, a pig has just flown by…

    • Bob Lamont says:

      There are times I wish someone had the guts in Holyrood to actually spit it out, Scotland doesn’t have half the problems attributed to it rather than being a handy media diversion to England’s problems with the complicity of SG’s opposition and the BBC in Scotland in particular…
      Maybe some day…..

  36. Alex Clark says:

    Johnson is said to be backtracking and is ready to give visas to HGV drivers from the EU. What an embarrassment the UK has become, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that there are really not that many EU drivers banging on the door begging for visas to come and work in the UK.

    • Capella says:

      Depends what pay they are offered?

    • grizebard says:

      Some Tory stooge on EBC Home Service at lunchtime was trying to persuade listeners that “being able to choose who we let in” was exactly what “taking back control” was all about. It seems we’re going to have the kind of {ahem} freedom of movement that keeps business supplied with plentiful cheap foreign labour (if they can still get it back) while preventing British workers from having the reciprocal ability to benefit by going elsewhere! I wonder how many voters for Brexit thought that kind of one-way “heads I win, tails you lose” deal for working people was the point of it all…?

      These UKGov spinners are so bent they can meet themselves coming round the back.

  37. Alex Clark says:

    Johnson’s big speech to the UN yesterday had this section.

    “We still cling with part of our minds to the infantile belief that the world was made for our gratification and pleasure, and we combine this narcissism with an assumption of our own immortality. We believe that someone else will clear up the mess we make, because that is what someone else has always done. We trash our habitats again and again with the inductive reasoning that we have got away with it so far, and therefore we will get away with it again.”

    I wonder who or what he was thinking of when it was written?

    • James Mills says:

      He has no idea of how utterly crass his ”Muppets” allusion was to the serious people at the UN .

      This was the UK PM talking seriously to the world about the greatest single threat to human existence – and he brings up Kermit and Miss Piggy !
      He must have been thinking of Raab and Patel !

  38. scottish skier says:

    Can only agree with others on this article Paul. An excellent, honest and poignant tale which will resonate with so many. Wish you all the best for your health.

    I am lucky so far in not needing the services of the NHS that much to date, although they patched me up as a nipper a few times. NHS borders were amazing with the birth of our daughter and the team that looked after Mrs SS were sent a big box of choccy biccies as thanks.

    I could never fault the dedication of the staff and it sickens me how the Tories constantly attack it as we know their ultimate agenda.

    Cheap political points earn no votes, only deeply held principles and trying to do your best in the circumstances do. But I doubt the Tories / Labour / the Libs will ever learn this.

  39. Welsh_Sion says:

    Good news for the weekend!

    Welsh Secretary scraps plans for massive Union Jack on Cardiff building as cost balloons

    24 Sep 2021 3 minute Read

    The Welsh Secretary has scrapped plans for a massive Union Jack on the side of a Cardiff building after costs ballooned.

    Cardiff council officers had approved planning permission for the 105-foot high flag on Tŷ William Morgan tax office.

    But it has now been jettisoned after it turned out the final cost would be as much as £180,000 to the taxpayer.

    The UK government said the secretary of state halted plans because it “did not represent good value for the taxpayer”.

    A Yes Cymru petition to revoke planning permission, had already garnered over 19,000 signatures.


    • Alex Clark says:

      Unionists have always gotten their knickers in a twist over stickers LOL

      “Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray told HuffPostUK that his staff had found “a dozen” ‘Yes Scotland’ stickers stuck on the windows and doors of his constituency office. Murray’s staff took a photo of one of the stickers, before spending nearly an hour removing them and cleaning up.”

      • James Mills says:

        Couldn’t he have just put union flag stickers over them ? I’m sure he does not go short in that department !

      • grizebard says:

        The Labour variety of Unionist does rather appear to specialise in posing in wounded victimhood whenever it can. (Eg. Murphy and the egg.) There seems to be something neurotic about these people. (Psychological damage from losing their self-entitled “birthright”, perhaps?)

        And richly hypocritical besides, since these puir put-upon sowels are the very same ones who are entirely unconcerned about keeping the people of Scotland locked in an abusive system that regularly operates against their best interests.

  40. Dr Jim says:

    Unionist TV and press media are reheating the myth that Labour must win 25 seats in Scotland to form a government in England, and that is the biggest lie they’ve always perpetrated on Scotland, because it’s mince and they know it

    Keir Starmer once again is pressed to answer the democracy call of Scotland deciding its own future and once again Starmer fumbles around hunting for a suitable lie or diversion in order to avoid saying *not a chance in hell* and every time the subject is mentioned of a deal with the SNP to get over the line the English Labour party are on their toes like a sprinter to avoid answering that question in Scotland but rapid quick to answer it in England where the answer is an emphatic *not a chance in hell* ….because…if such a deal is mentioned in the big great country Kingdom of England the voters in that country immediately turn their back on the Labour party, and the reason? English voters want nothing to do with the country of Scotland having any hand in making decisions for them

    So Scottish Labour supporters, instead of being ridiculously stupid and blaming the SNP for your own woes you might take a second to take in the fact that English people are anti Scottish and want nothing to do with Scotland in what they believe is their government in England, the fact that England rules Scotland is of absolutely no consequence to them and they believe it’s quite right that they should, so what does that tell you Labour supporters, as far as England and its voters are concerned it’s stick your Scotland up your Arse

    So how equal do you feel now Scottish Labour voters, wake the F up for God sake

  41. Capella says:

    Prof Robertson on the case again this morning. BBC getting its Covid numbers wrong again in an effort to gaslight the public. I was certainly taken in when I first read this report today. We obviously have to check every graph and recalculate every set of figures that BBC Scotland publish.
    What a travesty of a Public Service Broadcaster. Prof Robertson is doing a fantastc job in demonstrating these devious methods.

    • barpe says:

      Agreed, his site clearly (every day!) shows BBC Scotland for what it really is – a pure anti-Scottish propaganda organisation.
      We need to spread his message far and wide.

  42. Hamish100 says:

    No name of the author other than reference to national office of stats and the WHO.

    Trying to suggest that their interpretation is unbiased.

    Ot Now we have failed labour leader trying to suggest he is an expert on vaccines. Next we will have former FM Henry McLeish saying he will vote for Independence….again! How many times is that?

    One of my older grandchildren who is pro Indy age 7 asks. Who is that grandad? Yes , who indeed.

  43. scottish skier says:

    Oh ffs, tory selfish overbuying has started already.

    Fuel crisis UK- live: Forecourts ration petrol over panic buying amid fears Christmas supply chaos unavoidable

  44. Hamish100 says:

    Is it just me, but the report by the bbc that “ The Ministry of Defence said it was providing 114 personnel to carry out non-emergency driving work from Sunday and expects this to last two months.
    An additional 111 personnel will help to run mobile Covid testing units.” is hardly a huge some.

    Surely we could find 114 volunteers used to drive minibuses etc ( the emergency 999 ambulances require specialist trainers) and have the correct checks?

    Set up a volunteer list NHS Boards.

    • Capella says:

      It’s not just you. I was surprised by the headline chosen by the BBC. “Soldiers Arrive in Scotland” Arrive? Where have they been? If they’re not already in Scotland why are we paying £5 billion + a year for “defence”?


      “This group of individuals from 68 Squadron from 7 Regiment Royal Logistics Corp have been doing this task in the east of England and north-east of England already,” he said.

      “So there’s a good degree of experience of this pandemic in amongst this bunch now who are going to support the Scottish Ambulance Service.”

      So England has already had troops driving ambulances. Crisis in English Health Service?

      • Alex Clark says:

        Between 10 – 31 August 2021, 48 service personnel from 7 Regiment RLC deployed across the country to help support the NHS which is currently experiencing extreme pressure on its urgent and emergency care system.

        All nine Ambulance Trusts in England are reported as ‘REAP 4’ meaning that they are under extreme pressure to carry out essential tasks.

        CAT C Drivers from the Regt were deployed across nine ambulance stations, helping to complete a total of 1,827 patient transfers in support of frontline and patient transport ambulance capability.

        The soldiers involved supported the North East and East of England Ambulance Services. The East of England Ambulance Trust confirmed that the peak of the crisis was managed with the assistance of 23 soldiers from 7 Regt RLC, allowing the Trust to now be back working at a manageable level. The troops were spread across seven counties with tasks being overseen by a SNCO based at Kendrew Barracks.

        The BBC and the Tory rags have managed to keep that very quiet.

  45. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    If, as the UKnotOK government state, there is a shortage of HGV drivers in Europe as well as UKnotOK……then what is the point of them relaxing rules on immigration to get EU HGV drivers to come here temporarily to help UKnotOK…….as if there is same shortage in EU as here…..who will come?

    Actually believe Grant Shapps said “Global shortage” of HGV drivers………

    Unless perhaps astronomical amounts of money is to be offered to the existing EU HGV drivers to entice them over here…more money poured down the Tory Brexit drain.

    Sorry just had to add a comment………apologies.

    • Alex Clark says:

      I very much doubt that EU truckers will be lining up for temporary visas to come and work in a country that threw them out and doesn’t really want them here in the first place.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:


        Though the UKnotOK Govt desperate to convince us all (i.e. hoodwink us ) that there is a shortage everywhere yet somehow they, the UKnotOK Govt. can magic up EU drivers to come back here to ‘help’ us out………or rather ‘use them’ until no longer required……..Never trust a Tory.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          Sorry should have added UKnotOK government doing this to infer driver shortage impacting other countries too thus they too must also be suffering shortages of food, fuel etc…..however peeps on Twitter from other countries stating no shortages in their shops etc……so other countries NOT in same position as UKnotOK…..reason being mainly Brexit NOT solely Covid as Tories state….or ” supply issues ” a la BBC…….

          DRoss accuses FM of hiding behind Covid as an excuse……obviously not heard his colleagues on TV using Covid as convenient cover for much of this mess being generated by Brexit. ( he has though but his job at Holyrood is to deflect not lead ).

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Having discussed this latest “initiative” (sticking plaster) with a couple of EU drivers who previously worked in the UK, I was assured even if visas were ‘smoothed’ and the wages tripled, uptake would be minimal across Europe.
        As one who had upped sticks a year before Brexit became official rather more bitterly put it “Little England can shove it”, then apologised before remembering I was Scots. 🤣

        Drivers in the industry talk, England and thereby the UK’s reputation trashed because of the animosity Brexit generated, even in Ireland.
        There is going to be no quick-fix I’m afraid.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          PS – There is always demand for drivers and thereby a shortage, wherever you look.
          The UK has a particular problem because they have drivers and trucks waiting rather than delivering.
          There are no shortages or empty shelves this side of europe.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      You know..I can foresee the ‘better together’ campaign of the future rapidly morphing into the ‘dont desert us’ campaign.
      I feel a song coming on …” Do not forsake me oh my darlin …..

  46. Dr Jim says:

    They say the EU has the same shortage of HGV drivers of 400.000 so that’s the same as good old Blighty , well eh no it’s not, if you take even a nano second to look at that figure you can see that’s spread amongst a population of 500 million and 27 countries, you do the sums, the UK has they say a shortage of 100.000 HGV drivers in a population of around 65 million, again you do the sums

    Pandemic Schmandemic ! Brexit and Tories is wot did it

  47. Alex Clark says:

    Reports of queues two miles long at a petrol station in London, Shapps said to have 2000 Army HGV drivers on standby for essential supplies including food and medicines. Many petrol stations are rationing how much you can buy, some at just £15 per visit.

    Ration books for Xmas?

  48. Hamish100 says:

    So simply put, if all it takes is the provision of a visa to enable a driver to visit the U.K.then Covid is not the reason, just the brexiters myopia.

  49. Dave tewart says:

    The Times are reporting on-line that the Essar refinery in Essex is about to stop production of vehicle fuels, produce 60% of englandland’s needs.
    The company requires support to continue.
    If corporal jones shapp doesn’t want ‘Panic’ the doris will have to do some more planning ahead.

  50. Alex Clark says:

    There is a good article for tomorrow’s Times though about energy supply for anyone interested.

    The energy supply company Del Boys dreamt they’d be millionaires

  51. Dave tewart says:

    The Sunday Times for tomorrow, article by Jamie Nimmo.
    Suggests that the company took advantage of VAT deferral scheme of £356m with payment to start.

  52. Alex Clark says:

    Apologies Dave, I’ve found it, it was way down the list of articles and in the Business section rather than News.

    It accounts for “about a sixth” of road fuel supplies rather than 60%. You’re right about the VAT and that seems to have been repaid over the past year to some extent and the total bill reduced.

    To be honest it looks like more of a scare story from the Times to me than something to be genuinely concerned about though the headline screams the opposite.

    Petrol giant Essar on brink of collapse

    You have to wonder why they would do that at the exact same time as the BBC are screaming about panic buying at petrol stations. Has Bojo maybe fallen out of favour.

    • Dave tewart says:

      A slip of the wee brain cell, yes a Sixth of the total but I would think a local effect would be larger.
      My thoughts are the same, is the big flounder have his coat on a shakey nail.

  53. Legerwood says:

    What is the saying – ‘troubles come not singly but in battalions’

    Well looks like some more are marching over the hill.

    Then there is China’s involvement in the National Gas Grid as part of a China/Australia/Qatari consortium that bought a majority share in the grid.

    Do you think Boris Johnson thought of this before signing up for the US – Australia pact?

    • dakk says:

      We can still expect some dying swan theatrics in the very last throes of the English empire I suppose.

      I mean Andy Neil has been greetin live on AIR tonight by all accounts.


  54. Leave the EU to “take back control” which is exactly what the eu has done by imposing controls on uk goods entering calais. in doing so, this has turned kent into an enormous lorry park. the delays to uk exports have forced M&S to close 11 supermarkets across the EU. But “taking back control” is exactly what the uk has not done. lorries in calais roll on to a ferry and roll off at dover straight onto the uk motorway network and onto their final destinations. no checks or controls are in place and implementation of controls has been delayed, again, until after xmas. !!!! Invariably, once these eu lorries have delivered their goods, they return to the eu empty and avoid the kent lorry park. these dead miles increase the cost of goods from the eu to the uk customers. So just to recap, missing goods which used to come from the eu and the empty shelves you see are not due to uk border controls, there arnt any. they are due to other related issues eg, eu companies who understand what will happen once bojo does finally impose controls and have decided to look for other markets within the eu. Logic would dictate that in dec bojo will once again delay border controls in the uk and push back their implementation until autumn next year, however, bojo has proven to be less than logical, brexit hasnt really started yet, there is a lot worse to come. even the bbc and kier starmers labour party’s moratorium on ever mentioning brexit will be very difficult to maintain.

    • shortly after Priti Patel threatened to starve the Irish, Ireland ordered the 2 largest roro ferries in the world to move goods to and from dublin to rotterdam. Even if England realistically cant close its border with scotland, in such a case, all scotlands exports to the EU would end up in the kent lorry park. Why? cos thatcher closed all of scotland’s ferry ports. presently, all goods from scotland to the eu presently go via england. I watched Lesley riddoch’s big debate night, excellent stuff apart from the comments about the scotland england border. No one, including Robin MacAlpine, had given the issue very much thought, all the answers from the panel were extremely poor. Paul, I think you need to write an article about this issue, to generate discussion and to raise awareness. It needs to cover both issues, ie. what the political discussion will be during the indyref2 campaign will be, eg the threats we will face from the unionists but also what the actual reality we will face after a yes vote. bear in mind, of the 38% who voted leave in scotland in 2016, many did so because they were told by farage that the uk would remain in the single market. So the chances are very high that an independent scotland would look to rejoin the SM and the Customs Union fairly quickly. We would need then to build a hard EU border at Gretna in the same way that france has had to build at calais, a lorry park would be needed at Carlisle. One saving grace, we will be able to dismantle the border in the irish sea recently built by the english between scotland and northern ireland. genuine question though, does scotland have a ferry port deep enough to accommodate an irish sized roro ferry?

      • Capella says:

        Ask Prof Alf Baird. He’s the expert on ferries. He gave evidence in the Holyrood committee enquiring about the ferry problem.

      • Capella says:

        Also, the Holyrood Enquiry into the procurement of ferries where Alf Baird made some pretty hard hitting comments about the shambolic state of procurement within the Scottish Government. At approx 25 mins in. Roy Pedersen is just before him and also makes interesting points about the history of procurement. It’s all worth listening to if you’re an anorak!

        • excellent link, tx capella, however, it doesnt really answer my question, is there anywhere we could use, in the short term, for an irsh size roro ferry? ie, we could order such a ferry 6 months before indyref2, and if its a no vote, sell it. wrt the infrastruction Alf mentions, im not sure whether the powers to do such work are reserved? what im really saying is when it comes to the scotland/england border, we dont get a say on what england will do, and when priti patel threatens to starve the scots by building a wall across the M1 and the M6, we need a response. The same issue happened during inyref1, when we proposed a currency union, that also was dependent of the english agreeing and when the issue was discussed we gave the unionists an open goal and they took it when all 3 unionist leaders announced that they would never agree and they killed the idea stone dead. we lost that argument, The currency was the issue most quoted by No voters. I think this is what annoyed me most about the response from the panelists on lesley riddoch’s big debate night, their idea of an unmanned perspex sentry with an electronic scanner by the side of the road at the border is what happens in civilised countries like france and belgium or france and germany (pre eu) When a border between beligerent countries like checkpoint charlie, india/pakistan north/south Korea reveals what a border is really like. it is a line on the road with controls on both sides. the scots may wish for a frictionless border but once indy, we dont get to tell the english what to do. We are giving the unionists another open goal. Listening to the panelists describe the england scotland border reminded me of Nigel farage and his frictionless border claims during the euref and in one sense nigel was right, lorries from the eu roll off ferries and onto uk motorways frictionlessly, no checks, not even a perspex sentry box, but what nigel didnt realise was that once we left the EU, westminster doesnt get to tell the EU what to do anymore. as such, the EU has erected a hard border in Calais and turned kent into a lorry park. !!! 1hr 19 mins in

          • Capella says:

            See Alf’s paper linked to from Scotland Speaks he recommends Prestonpans for regular crossing to EU and Scapa Flow for deep water container ships.

            My own research has identified two major national strategic port priorities and opportunities in Scotland: at Cockenzie/Preston Links on the site of the former power station which would be aimed at developing intra-European trade, the latter now made more critical by an enforced Brexit, and; the unique natural deep-water harbour of Scapa Flow positioned at the crossroads between North Sea and Atlantic Ocean aimed at handling and ‘intercepting’ global container transhipment covering a wide array of markets. Combined, these two maritime infrastructure initiatives could easily and rapidly double (or more) Scotland’s current lacklustre levels of international trade, and at relatively limited expense.

            I think the Scottish Government is maybe devloping Prestonpans now?


            • Golfnut says:

              Hunterston on the Clyde is a natural deep water basin, selected by Chevron as an ideal location for an oil refinery, rejected by Thatchers gov in favour nuclear missiles, currently being developed for the manufacture of cables to transfer power generated from off shore sites. These cables require big shops for transportation. Ideal ferry port for the West of Scotland.
              Prestwick of course would be the Air hub.

            • i did read it capella, but it still doesnt answer my question, i’ll reiterate, im not sure holyrood has the power to start creating such infrastructure, my question was, “is there a port deep enough to handle an irish type roro ferry”? It matters not, in the short term, how poor the road is to this port, if the ferry can pull in and lorries board, then we can body swerve the issue by simply ordering a a ferry.

              • i think the point is made, even if we are not in the sm/cu, all of scotlands exports to the eu will end up blocked in the kent lorry park. if we ARE in the sm/cu, all of scotlands exports to the eu will end up blocked in the kent lorry park.

                we have no means to bypass england. we have no port or ferry?

              • Capella says:

                The Rosyth – Zeebrugge ferry roro freight line ws topped in 2018 apparently because one of the boats caught fire!

              • Capella says:

                See also Forth Ports – privatised by the Tories in 1992. I think an Arab sheikh bought it and also Tilbury in London but not certain if that is still the case. Millions has been spent in Tilbury to make it a container port (but not the Forth).Whoever owns it charged a great deal thus discouraging use. Alf Baird would know, in fact I’m sure i read a paper of his about this some time ago. Will search

              • Capella says:

                Also Douglas Fraser’s comment on the BBC website on the sale of Forth Ports in 2011.

              • Alex Clark says:

                I think all the ports /owned/operated by Forth Ports have deep enough water to handle the same size of ferries currently being handled at Irelands largest port and the main shipping port to the EU continent.

                Rosslare Europort is the Number One port in Ireland for direct RoPax sailings to the Continent with 30+ sailings per week.

                Our main strength in Rosslare Europort is the broad range of services and routes we provide. The entire Europort is bar-swept to 7.2 meters, allowing unrestricted access to vessels with draughts up to 6.5 meters.


                A draught of 6.5m doesn’t present a problem, Rosyth, Leith, Grangemouth and Dundee all have existing Ro-Ro facilities with the depth of water required but they are small and insufficient for a port that would bypass sending goods through England.

                My preference would be for a brand new facility built specifically to handle freight between the EU/RoW and Scotland. The real cost would be in the road/rail links and storage facilities, customs etc. What I have in mind is something similar to the port of Esbjerg in Denmark which is an amazing facility for a country of Denmark’s size.

                Does Scotland have the power now to invest now in such a facility? Well transport is a devolved responsibility so it does have the power but it does not have the funds without control of either borrowing or taxes or both. Guess we will need to vote for Independence first before a major project such as a port as good as Esbjerg could be started.

                • grizebard says:

                  Yes, I believe on that last point that you’re right. But the outline plan for such a development could (and should) be in place specifically to counter the kind of threat that could well manifest during indy debates. Together with an ability to expertly refer to Ireland’s experiences.

                  After all, there’s nobody in Ireland wanting to return to previous dependence on England, let alone reunion with it, whatever the short-term monetary cost. Au contraire, the long-term financial advantages of membership of, and trade with, the EU continue to accrue to the Irish year by year. By that means Northern Ireland is being slowly weaned from its dependency culture too; for them also it’s really just a question of time.

          • grizebard says:

            Fair points all round. As you point out, the difficulties of an EU-in Scotland and an EU-out England put most of the problems on the English side. A civilised solution, and one that could readily operate in practice, as others have previously mentioned, would be for sealed EU road transport at least to pass through unhindered. But the issue does indeed provide a hostage to fortune that would undoubtedly be ruthlesssly exploited by BT2 in IR2 just like currency was the last time. So some convincing countermeasure is required, I agree.

            Pre-Brexit, several possible searoute possibilities were explored quasi-commercially, perhaps punting for support from the SG, but in the event nothing seemed to come of it. That would have been a useful counter from the very get-go, but operational cost was presumably the deciding factor, absent a present and overriding imperative as the Irish eventually had.

            I’m not sure though it’s necessary to go as far as to institute a ship-building programme in advance in order to neutralise an indyref challenge, but it would require a convincing, well-thought out plan (including the sounding-out of suitable port administrations on the other side in the likes of Denmark, Netherlands and/or North Germany) that could be brought into operation if circumstances demand, following the Irish example.

            • tx grizbard, i wasnt sure i was getting my point across well enough, my post is a tad rambling, thats why i asked Paul to do it 🙂 but we could order the ferry built then sell it to ireland if it is another no yote. this leads onto another question about the point you made about accessing eu ports. in 2014, the plan was, after a yes vote, to wait 18 months for negotiations between wm and hr before declaring our independence. However, having seen the contemptuous manner in which wm has dealt with such deadlines during eu negotiations, i think this would be a mistake. Is there any reason that after a yes vote, whe vcouldnt declare our independence immediately? and negotiate our separation from wm as an independent country? why, because regardless of how folk think about what type of eu membership scotland should pursue and how long that would take to negotiate such a thing, there is no question, no doubt that nicola has a mandate to take an indy scotland straight back into the sm/cu without the need for another referendum. After seeing the damage done by being out of the sm/cu i dont think we have the luxury of faffing about for 18 months till we get back in. we need to get back in the sm/cu immediately, we cant afford not to. This will mean we will need to erect a hard eu border in scotland at the same time. there is no point in denying this. but we can also point out that while we are erecting this border, we can at the same time dismantle the border in the irish sea recently erected by the english between scotland and NI

              • grizebard says:

                I’m inclined to agree about immediate action (including return of all MPs) after a post-indy win, and for exactly the reason you state. There could be no end of UKGov wrangling, obfuscation and delay, both deliberate and incompetent. (Recall the live-action video coverage of Verhofstadt’s experience of the Brexit negotiations, if you saw that.)

                I believe a win signals de-facto independence, so rapidly estabishing popular acceptance of that new reality (both north and south) is crucial, and such a declaration also hastens de-jure independence. Finally would the full meaning of the now-hackneyed phrase “live as if you are in the beginning of a new country” (or whatever) burst into life.

                There will inevitably be at least some “loose ends” continuing for years afterwards, so some petty-bureaucratic notion of having everything neatly tied up in neat ribbons before the final break is both practically and politically naive.

            • Bob Lamont says:

              Perhaps I’ve misunderstood, but IF Scotland is the EU, and containers are bound non-stop between the two they take the fast lane bypassing the local logjam as they do through any third country.
              This is how some Ireland freight still operates using the landbridge.

              It is only in the transition between independence and membership where we’d be running the gauntlet of the Kent car-park and WM whims, but I wholeheartedly agree these should be bypassed by our own shipping for freight asap.

              • grizebard says:

                I think the point is, Bob, though that would in the event be the actualité, that’s not at all how it would be presented during IR2 debates. As often, it’s the appearance, not the reality, that counts politically (alas).

                However, there is a corollary that I’ve been wanting to mention for ages. There’s political capital to be obtained by exposing such threats, if it can be deployed astutely. The Union camp puts itself in danger of overplaying its hand with the “iron fist in velvet glove” routine. What kind of Union is it whose appeal to us is largely based on dire threats of vicious retaliation if we leave? Are these people who are issuing veiled threats perhaps unwittingly telling us more about the reality of their Union than they might prefer? A truth they will never admit otherwise. And could and should that not be usefully turned against them?

                • Capella says:

                  That was the reality of how the union was forced on Scotland in 1706/7 – by threats and menaces. I see no reason to expect any different if we choose to end it. The Sottish people were adamantly opposed to it and rioted in the street against it. However, the grandees were bribed into accepting the “offer” in face of the alternative.
                  See this tweet with contemporary account.

                • iusedtobeenglish says:

                  I’ve actually thought much the same thing. Many people (myself included until fairly recently) quite simply don’t see. In fact, when I’ve spoken to soft NOers, my response has been along the lines of “So are we really better off in a union where we have to stay or WM turns nasty?”

                  One bloke actually said “But if there’s a border, England wouldn’t let us use Dover, so how would we get stuff into the EU?” It wasn’t a high-level political debate, more a leaning-on-a-garden spade rumination. So I could simplistically answer “Well, Denmark’s in the EU too. We don’t have to export via France, so we don’t have to use Dover. Probably need to be organised though – but Nigg’s being enlarged to take passenger liners for a start…”

                  His response was “Oh aye! Never thought of that!”

                  So maybe chipping away to give people a fresh perspective on what they think they know is the way to go. From experience, once you do see something (let’s be kind and say) incorrect – and it only takes once – not only can you not unsee it, you start to notice everything. IYSWIM?

              • bob “they take the fast lane bypassing the local logjam as they do through any third country.” ……… as long as boris allows it………….

                you think the unioinists will agree to this during indyref2 campaign??

                • Bob Lamont says:

                  Your “as long as boris allows it” and “you think the unioinists (sic) will agree to this” affords them powers they do not have.
                  In the example from which you quoted, Scotland is an EU member – Have you the faintest idea how hard the other 27 would land on rUK’s head ?
                  Alister Jack already made the leap from independence to instant EU membership and hard borders, that rather leaves them in a minor pickle don’t you think.
                  If they retract the instant EU scenario that translates to hard borders post-independence by London’s choice.
                  In short they’ve boxed themselves in.

                  • they also said we couldnt use the pound during indyref2, they didnt have that power either but that didnt stop them using that argument. thats kinda my point, there’s a difference between what is said during the campaign and the reality we will face after a yes vote.

  55. Ken2 says:

    Goods are still getting into Ireland as part of the EU.

    A transport hub is bring developed at Prestonpans. For EU/International trade. Scotland is well strategically placed, for goods going East – West.

    Flights to China and Dubai hubs from Scotland. Cuts out overnight stays at Heathrow. The Heathrow transport, air freight congestion around/through London. Slowing traffic and the transport of goods. The Brexit red tape holdups.

    A new harbour facility being constructed at Aberdeen N/E for cruise, container ships.

    A new Naval base in Scotland. To patrol the shores. To boost the Scottish economy, Instead of rotting nuclear subs at Rosyth. Getting rid of Trident.

    A better fishing fleet. Not Brexit cutting trade by £Billions. Ruining the economy. The Tory complete and utter incompetents.

    Neil the greeting face liar. An alcoholic needs proper rehab. From his home in France. The lying Brexiteer. How many lives have been ruined by his lies and deceit.

    • J Galt says:

      Sorry a transport hub at Prestonpans is not currently “being developed” – indeed every obstacle is being thrown in it’s way not least by the local authority concerned. Alf Baird is indeed the expert on this topic, if he’s following this perhaps he could bring us up to date.

  56. Ken2 says:

    Container ships could go out and in Scotland all the time. There are enough ports. Clyde etc.

    Thatcher used Scottish funds and revenues, secretly and illegally to build Tilbury Docks 26 miles and Canary Wharf. (Banker). Bankers fund the Tory Party. Then tried to keep it secret under the Official Secrets Act. The McCrone Report. The ministers sworn to secrecy. Now in the HoL. £Billions/Trillions taken abused and misused.

    That could all change when/if Scotland was Independent. Especially with Brexit. Goods and services could be sent direct from and to Scotland. A transport hub being developed.

    There would be less congestion and delay. Things are changing now. Plans put in place and realised. Salmon and whisky going to China etc. Direct flights from Scotland to USA etc.

    Tourist coming post pandemic. They all need somewhere to stay. Edinburgh one of the most visited Capitals. The Scottish scenery the best in the world. Glasgow west coast, Inverness. 500 route. Being developed further. Need more Airb&b. Not enough to cater for visitors. Only a few hundred in the central belt. Scotland raises £Billions from tourism.

    Heathrow is totally subsided (Scottish monies). London Transport is totally subsidised (Scottish funds). Scottish revenues and resources being spent in the south, illegally, by the Westminster government.

  57. Ken2 says:

    Two ferries are still getting finished. £100million each? The normal price. Not even realised yet. There were reports there were constant changes to the design. Not properly investigated yet. That should not have been tolerated? Or they would be finished.

    Much to do about nothing, The usual holds ups anywhere. The usual making a molehill out of a mountain ferry. The unionist Press liars trying to have a field day.

    The traditional lack of investment in Scottish transport system m historically, by Westminster unionists. Thieves and liars.

    HS2 £Billions over budget. Trident a total waste of monies, Hickley Point the most expensive plant ever built. Public monies totally wasted (Scottish funding). How many ferries could have been built with that monies. Totally wasted. The Westminster unionist totally wasted space, time and monies. Ruining the world economy.

    Scottish transport system totally underfunded for years, lack of investment. Scottish funding paying for London S/E totally subsidised transport system. An absolute disgrace,

    HS2 £Billions wasted. £160Billion++. Going into London transport system. Rail journeys in Scotland take nearly twice as long because of Westminster total historical lack of investment. It is an absolute disgrace,

    Now £Billions being totally wasted on nukes for Australia to annoy the Chinese. The Westminster warmongering total incompetent.

    The Chinese British consortium borrowed monies funding Hickley Point. The colossal waste. Where are they going to put the waste? The Japanese discharging nuclear active waters into the sea, years later.

    The Chinese/Australia consortium owns part of the British Grid. The shortages. The Tory unionists total incompetents now threatening the Chinese. 1.4Billion.
    Borrowing Chinese monies to threaten the Chinese. What planet are these Tories on, Zog.

    The sooner there is an election to get rid of them the better. The sooner there is a Referendum to get rid of them the better, A bunch of wasting chancers. Beyond belief. The total mess and shambles. Someone else will have to clear up there mess.

    Thatcher privatise the utilities and sold them off to foreign companies. Now making excess profits while everyone else pays for it. Demutualised the Building societies owned by the members. Deregulated banking which cause the banking crash. Sold off to the bankers who gambled the mortgage books on the stock market. The bankers fund the Tory Party. Total graft and corruption.

    Hickley Point, HS2, Trident etc. The Tory slush fund. Their noses in the trough. Cameron etc. Total illegal troughers. Public monies bailing them out. Everyone else has to pay for the corruption. Non scrutinised properly public contracts. The civil service liable for the corruption. Laissey faire government. The Tory/unionist corruption.

    • grizebard says:

      It’s not “nukes for Australia”, if by that you are trying to imply nuclear missiles. It’s boats with nuclear propulsion. Even your favoured Russians have those. (As you know.)

    • J Galt says:

      The normal price?

      Around £50m each.

      However the incompetence doesn’t end there. The port of Ardrossan has to be substantially developed if the new Glen Sannox is going to be able to use it. Wrangling is currently ongoing between the SG and the private owners of Ardrossan as to who is going to pay for this. No prizes for guessing that the taxpayer will end up paying. If the new Glen Sannox was commissioned next week she would not be able to berth at Ardrossan until this work is carried out – how many years away is that?

      And it may not even be possible.

      It is fairly common knowledge in ferry circles that the regular Masters on the Arran run were consulted on the maximum size of new ferry which they would be happy taking into Ardrossan – they gave as an absolute maximum overall length 100m – the new vessels have a length of 103m.

  58. Hamish100 says:

    The sad thing is the situation at Port Glasgow is not good and from the outside personalities have got involved.

    Further down the Clyde we have the ridiculous “ally cat” sponsored by the government with no RO/ Ro facility although connections with the train. It’s lucky to sail if it’s a force 3!!! In competition with Western- part sponsored, by the government which has ro/ ro capabilities and can sail in pretty rough seas up to midnight. This is why McEleny and ALBA have picked up on it.

    Mike Russell unfortunately appears to have been too cosy with the othrt ferry companies and took his eye off the ball in Argyll re the ferries.

    We need ferries, preferably built in Scotland and we need better services unlike the current situation at Gourock/ Dunoon where the answer to any problem is catch a bus from gourock to the western ferries.

    Further, in the west coast and north coastthe ferries are our live blood to our island communities. If you want to go to the cinema or buy food plan for 2 days. The last ferrry can be at a ridiculous early time. No wonder young families don’t want to live there.

    Cal Mac management have no incentive to get the finger out. This should change now.

    The overseeing committee for ferries to the western and northern isles need a shakedown and a proper strategy in place to deal with older ferries etc.

  59. Alex Clark says:

    The details of the Visa scheme for HGV drivers and poultry workers has been announced this morning. It’s a joke, a temporary visa which will expire on Xmas day is what is on offer hahahahaha oh my sides.

    • Capella says:

      Actually, it’s Xmas Eve! You can get the turkeys into the oven then p*** off back to your hovels.
      I don’t think many will be tempted.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Yes, it’s Xmas Eve.

        I think you’d have to be in dire straits to accept such an offer and leave your home in the EU to come here, pay your own flights and find somewhere to stay when you weren’t working. Nobody would rent you a place for just 3 months, maybe they expect the employers to provide accommodation.

        All this, just to be fired on Xmas Eve, have they actually thought this through?

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        They definitely haven’t thought this through. Christmas Eve is usually the most important day of the Xmas festivities for a lot of our fellow Europeans, especially the Eastern and Central Europeans (e.g. the evening meal, the Christmas Mass etc.,)

        Dear or dear! What an absolute omnishambles!

    • scottish skier says:

      Nobody will come. Why would they when they are in high demand across the continent, but don’t need a visa for that, nor have to suffer racist hatred before being kicked out by Christmas.

      Nothing could say ‘We don’t want you furriner scum here but we’re in the crap, so are forced to tolerate you for a while, but want you gone asap’ better than the proposed scheme.

      And we are short 100,000 drivers. What good would a few k do even if that turned up?

      • scottish skier says:

        It seriously amazes me that 1/2 the population of one of the founding partners of the UK union, near half of N. Ireland, and 1/3 of Welsh don’t want to be in Britain yet the English Tories still think that their country is the bestest, greatest great nation on the planet and everyone wants to live there.

        Jesus, millions of people in Britain don’t want to be British, why would anyone else?

      • Alex Clark says:

        European drivers ‘won’t move to UK for just three months’

        “I would move but not for three months. It’s not enough time as we don’t know the roads, the maps or how it all works. I think it will create a lot of problems or accidents.”

        “But I think no-one will move for three months. Even from Romania, even from Poland.
        “You have to do a lot of tests, fill in a lot of forms and it’s expensive. Most people are living hand to mouth these days.”

      • Bob Lamont says:

        All I hear is “Little England ? NO, don’t do it” over here.
        It is a most remarkable transition in a little over a decade, England has gone from “where to make your fortune” to pariah state, Scotland being collateral damage in that process.

        The Tory dogma of market forces will prevail will not work even at this late stage, that Brexit majority was won by ostracising any who were not English, and guess what, the majority in Europe are not.

        Your “Nobody will come” is not quite true, but the numbers willing will be nowhere near what is required and will be demanding triple salaries.
        Bridges have been burned over Brexit, those on the other side of the bridge have shrugged and walked away, the Bridge too far, again.

  60. Welsh_Sion says:

    For those of you lucky enough to go to Continental Europe in the near future.

    Prepare your saltire stickers.

    Bumper Brexit? Drivers with Welsh flag number plates to be forced to use ‘UK’ sticker when abroad

    26 Sep 2021 2 minute Read

    Number plates in Wales displaying the Welsh dragon or Cymru symbols will be forced to add new ‘UK’ stickers when driving abroad.

    The new rule that will come in on 28 September will only apply to those with a Euro symbol or Welsh, Scottish or England flag on their number plate – or who have no flag identifier at all.

    Only numberplates with the Union Jack on them will be exempt from the rule change.


  61. scottish skier says:

    It would the morally correct thing for people who voted for brexit to refrain from filling up their cars at the moment.

    Although I suspect they won’t, but instead will be the ones filling up multiple jerry cans causing the filling stations to run dry so there’s none left for decent folk. That’s what Tories do after all.

    I suspect the much larger number of Tories in England was what caused this:

    Scottish petrol stations have ‘enough fuel’ after spike in demand

    • scottish skier says:

      That posted before I was finished!

      Scottish petrol stations have ‘enough fuel’ after spike in demand

      30 March 2012

      Fuel production in Scotland has been easily able to meet the slight increase in demand, according to ministers.

      The Scottish government’s resilience committee met to discuss the matter following a 24 hour spike in fuel sales on Thursday.

      There had been reports in some areas of garages running out and queues at the pumps. At 17:00 on Friday, 97% of Scotland’s filling stations had fuel.

      Earlier the Unite union ruled out a strike over Easter by tanker drivers.

      Compared with increased fuel demand in England of more than 170%, in Scotland the rise in demand is about 10%.

      Lets hope the same good behaviour is seen this time.

  62. scottish skier says:

  63. Hamish100 says:

    I see there has been some recent independence marches recently. Is there one being planned for the copd. Too show the world that Scotland rejects The lying Johnson and co. Thousands of saltires set against the inevitable butchers aprons would be good to see.

  64. scottish skier says:

    How can anyone expect me to support the union when my wife is attacked in such a revolting way?

    So she’s here to ‘undercut British salaries’ is she?

    This alone is sufficient for me to back indy. The UK disgusts me.

    Shapps called the panic over fuel a “manufactured situation” and blamed it on a hauliers’ association.

    “They’re desperate to have more European drivers undercutting British salaries,” he said.

    An Opinium poll published in the Observer newspaper on Sunday said that 67% of voters believe the government has handled the crisis badly. A majority of 68% said that Brexit was partly to blame.

    • scottish skier says:

      Mrs SS isn’t an HGV driver obviously :-), but the ‘undercutting British salaries’ applies no matter what she does in this nazi style messaging.

      It’s going to get worse too as unemployment rises. Then any non-white English person working or non working (‘benefit scum!’) will start to get it.

    • grizebard says:

      The “undercutting” argument implies casual Brexiteer acceptance of job (and other) shortages as collateral damage, whether carelessly incidental or carefully intentional, of their hard isolationism.

      Meanwhile, elsewhere in the BoJo Clown Circus, they’re offering temporary visas to EU HGV drivers. Are they in league with the dastardly “undercutters”, then?

      These people are so incompetent they can’t even get their alibis straight. The only people left who think this is well handled are died-in-wool Tory voters who can’t admit, poerhaps even to themselves, that Brexit is a truly epochal error.

  65. Capella says:

    Ha ha ha – the British have sent their army to Scotland on a rescue missoin to save us. We must be out of the UK then? 😂

  66. scottish skier says:

    Just watched this. I am not a boxing fan, but it’s a fascinating story.

    An Andy Murray of his day.

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