Downing Street goes full Fawlty

When it comes to countering the growing clamour for another independence referendum the Tory Government of the performance artiste whose stage name is Boris Johnson has gone full Basil Fawlty. Arguably the Johnson administration went full Fawlty quite some time ago what with its arrogance, nastiness, snobbish incompetence,pathetic over-estimation of its own abilities and its racism against European citizens. To these existing Basilisms we can now add: Don’t mention independence!

Like Basil’s efforts not to mention the war in front of German guests, Conservative efforts not to mention another independence referendum are doomed to failure, because it’s all that the Scottish Conservatives have got to talk about. If you stripped the Scottish Conservative manifesto for May’s Holyrood elections of all mentions of the Scottish Tory opposition to another independence referendum you’d be left with four blank glossy pages in red white and blue and a photo of Douglas Ross looking irate. To be honest, irate is how Douglas always looks, not helped by the fact he always wears a shirt whose collar is slightly too small for him, which merely enhances the impression that his head is about to explode.

Opposition to another independence referendum is quite literally the only policy that the Scottish Tories have got. If they can’t talk about that they’d be left with nothing but trawling through old Twitter posts looking for something to feel victimised by in order to pose as the defenders of the moral integrity of pantomimes in Aberdeen.

According to a report in The Times, which is well connected to the Conservative hierarchy, Downing Street is worried that by mentioning independence the Tories are simply playing into the hands of Thatessempee by reminding the electorate of Scotland that the Conservatives are anti-democratic hypocritical authoritarians. Which, you know, they are. The Times said that its sources in Downing Street claim that ministers have been warned not to talk about the constitutional question amid fears it makes the UK Government appear “needy” and only helps the Yes side.

The paper also reports that Downing Street is worried that a second referendum would be very hard for Better Together MK II to win because independence would be presented, correctly, as the quickest way for Scotland to get back into the European Union.

By talking about their opposition to another independence referendum, the Conservatives just reinforce the entirely accurate perception that they are hell bent on ignoring the outcome of democratic elections in Scotland and are fatally undermining the Union that they profess to love so much by destroying the traditional foundations of Scottish Unionism, the belief that the UK is a voluntary union of nations, and replacing it with the conception of a UK founded on compulsion, a new conception which Scotland has never been consulted on, much less given its consent to.

It is reported that Conservative ministers have been told not to talk about independence at all and instead to talk only about those policies of the Conservative government which are beneficial to Scotland. So that would be … eh … and … eh and possibly … um.

Perhaps they could talk about how Brexit has been so beneficial for the Scottish fishing industry or about all those trade deals with the USA and other major economies that the Conservative government has struck on Scotland’s behalf. Oh no, wait.

Or maybe they could tell us how it is some sort of Union benefit to strip £20 a week from the poorest families in the UK just as food and energy prices are soaring due in no small part to the needlessly hard line Brexit that the Conservatives foisted on us all for purely narrow party political reasons.

Or how about they tell us how under the Conservatives the future of devolution has been secured and how the Johnson government has kept the vow that the Conservatives signed up to in 2014 promising that the no British government would ever tamper with the powers of the Scottish Parliament without the express consent of Holyrood.

Oh … no, wait . And oh no, wait, again.

Nope, sorry, I’m drawing a blank here.

This diktat to Conservative ministers not to talk about their party’s opposition to another independence referendum is not a sign of strength, it’s a sign of great weakness.Tory ministers are being told not to talk about another referendum because the Conservatives have no convincing and plausible democratic reason for defying the very clear and explicit instruction given to Holyrood by the electorate of Scotland at the elections in May that there must be another independence referendum within the term of this Scottish Parliament. They know that they are being anti-democratic and they know that by being so they are undermining any case they’d like to make to keep Scotland in the UK. After all, how can Scotland meaningfully be called a democracy within a UK in which a British government enjoying only minority support in Scotland believes it has the absolute right to overrule the democratic will of the people of Scotland as expressed through the ballot box. Every time a Conservative minister mentions their opposition to another referendum that affront to democracy is underscored.

So rather than deal with this the Tories would prefer to do a Ruth Davidson and vanish whenever they have difficult questions to answer in the hope that an obliging Scottish press will come along shortly with an SNPbad story that will give Douglas Ross an excuse to present his irate face to the cameras.

Likewise a British government doesn’t instruct its ministers not to talk about a Scottish independence referendum if it is confident that it has a convincing case to put before the people that is going to win it that referendum. It’s not merely that Brexit has turned on their heads many of Better Together’s arguments from 2014 – it’s opposition to independence which represents narrow, divisive and reactionary nationalism. It is also that the Conservatives have told so many lies have been responsible for so much deceit, over both Brexit and the promises that they made to Scotland in 2014 in order to secure a No vote, that any Better Together MK II campaign will have zero credibility and few will believe anything that it says. Who is going to believe a promise from Gove or Johnson that Scotland will be respected?

This omertà diktat not to mention independence is a sign of Downing Street’s desperation. It’s the political equivalent of sticking your head under your union flag duvet in the hope that the subject of independence will go away. Johnson’s problem is that it’s not going to. We’re his worst nightmare.

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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130 comments on “Downing Street goes full Fawlty

  1. Arthur Thomson says:

    The Tories of all colours will be unable to resist talking about independence. They have no policies for Scotland except shut up and put up – as you have eloquently described. It will be fun watching them try though.

  2. grizebard says:

    Not so long ago all the UKGov had to do to block an indyref was “just say no”. Now after yet another decisive SNP win, it has changed to “just say nothing”. The Ostrich Gambit. As if that’s going to make us all shrug our communal shoulders and respond, “well, we tried, but that’s obviously a bust now”.

    Oh, and if BBC Jokeland did pick up on that instruction and returned to pre-indypanic behaviour as if nothing was still brewing, they would be doing everyone a favour.

  3. De NaNaNaNaNa……Angus…Angus says:

    I fair enjoy reading the Dug.
    Positive, sticks to the subject of Independence and sees British / English nationalism for what it is, sycophantic, class structured, isolationist and Etonian led arrogance.

  4. scottish skier says:

    Aye, they are bricking it Paul. That’s why the ‘SNP don’t really support independence so don’t vote for them!’ message from ahem ‘real independence supporters’ (that have only just appeared in the past year or so) is so rife on the indyweb these days.

    It’s utterly desperate stuff. When Yes is a minority view, you try to discourage people moving to Yes with ‘They are just racist anti-English who just care about indy and not about schools and hospitals’ chat.

    But what do you do if that fails and Yes has entered permanent majority? You try to split the Yes vote. It’s your only hope for buying time while you firefight.

    Because seriously, anyone who thinks that when the majority of Scots finally back indy, that the party which has fought for that goal for a century will suddenly gone off the idea is two bricks short of a wall. Or lying to you. This is why we have Michael Gove and other new English saying ‘The SNP don’t want independence but instead love Westminster’; both singing from the same unionist handbook.

    The day the BBC subtlety promotes a vote for the SNP is the day we know the latter has gone unionist.

  5. Janice Gale says:

    Oh I love your last sentence ❤️

  6. Capella says:

    Possibly this is their tactic spelt out in The Times a few months ago. They plan to do nothing and hope that the independence movement splits and starts fighting among themselves (with a little help from their friends).

    Delay delay delay. Propose all kinds of delaying tacitcs e.g. federalism, which will never materialise. Spread lies and disinformation. Reignite Project Fear.
    Sick of it.

  7. James Mills says:

    Given the precedents with the Ambulance Service and now the Tanker deliveries , I expect No.10 will just send in the army to fight the next referendum !

    Beats getting Gordon Brown out of his crypt again !

    That’s if there are any army personnel left after they have been deployed to do every f8cking job in this Great United Kingdom !

  8. Hamish100 says:

    This is why we should be talking about it increasingly and I hope a clear strategy of calling out the news media takes place at every turn.

  9. scottish skier says:

    Brexit Britain stealing the show from EU countries as it heads for the sunlit uplands.

  10. Capella says:

    OMG – Britain First has been registered as a political party.

  11. scottish skier says:

    I see Wings no longer supports the Yes campaign officially. Shutting down it seems. He’s just going to enjoy life in Brexit England; his love of three decades.

    With Yes now in permanent majority, I guess it’s time for him to retire. Job failed.

    • Dr Jim says:

      He was successful in the hate creation business for a while, but like all double agents you can’t play both sides against the middle forever and not eventually get caught, then the cash stops because you become uselessly ineffective and boring

      • Derek says:

        I disagree, in that you two – and me -and Stuart – all want an independant Scotland.

        • grizebard says:

          There’s a world of difference between “wanting” and actually doing something visibly productive to help move that goal closer. Eg. to raise morale among the existing faithful and to find ways to change the mind of the necessary 5-10% of indy-hesitants. As opposed to yet another of the many inventive “my way or the highway” distractions that somehow keep emerging.

          Given the recent dearth of anything constructive from SC, the biggest help that he can provide right now is simply to take a much-needed break, and in consequence desist from publicly backstabbing people who are actually achieving material progress. Just a great pity though it has reduced to that.

          • James Mills says:

            Ah , but you are crediting SC with being a supporter who cares more for the end rather than the means to the end .
            He has , in the recent past , displayed the characteristics of a person who Angela Rayner of the Labour Party might describe as ”scum” !

            In his latter whitterings he resembled the central character from ‘Downfall’ , prepared to sacrifice everyone and anyone to his assuage his paranoia .( or meglomania ? )

        • scottish skier says:

          I can’t say I’ve seen any evidence of Stuart Campbell wanting indy in a long time. I’m also not sure he ever did. He only seemed keen when it looked like Yes wouldn’t win, like back in 2014. As we’ve got ever closer to a natural majority, so he’s turned against the parties that have led Scotland to that point.

          And after all the attacks on the SNP for the 600k that so far, nobody had found to be ‘missing’, given he’s not running the blog any more, what happens to people’s donations? will all unspent cash be returned or is it ‘missing’ now? He claimed to have raised £900,000 by 2019.

          He’s done a few polls, but these are about 5k a pop. Where’s the rest?

          I’d be feeling very had right now if I was a donor.

          • Marc says:

            He’s broken down income / expenditure and what he plans to do with the balance in his post.

          • grizebard says:

            I am my father’s son, so I like to think the best of people wherever I can, and thus tend to think that it’s more a case – and SC is by no means alone in this – where frustration and thwarted impatience have curdled into something, well, unhelpful.

            A suppressed disenchantment ultimately not with any SNP politician even (though that is typically how it’s expressed), but with an entire public, an uncomfortably-large segment of whom seem absurdly impervious to what’s being perpetrated upon them, and maddeningly glacial and lethargic about actually doing something positive about it.

            If we were as self-confident as the English, we would have become independent a long time ago. But we are who we are, and the necessary process of self-realisation demands great reserves of patience. Only dogged persistence will pay. For that we have the right leadership, I think.

            • scottish skier says:

              Far enough, but I’m still curious as to where the £900k+ has gone. That’s £100k a year. Where is it all?

              If we were as self-confident as the English.

              England is absolutely terrified of being an independent country and standing on its own two feet. They are way more against it than us.

              Hence English MPs doing everything they possibly can to stop this happening.

              • scottish skier says:

                And mind Scottish (identifying / born) voted Yes in 2014. It was the Brits and English that crapped their pants and voted mainly No.

                The Scots are a brave people willing to stand on their own two feet. They are not the ‘gutless’ people Stuart Campbell calls them. He knows it – I’ve said it many times to him, but he won’t retract that slur.


                Independence referendum figures revealed: Majority of Scots born here voted YES while voters from elsewhere in UK said NO

              • scottish skier says:

                Nothing says ‘We English/Brits are a cowardly people’ more than ‘No you can’t have an S30!’.

                Mind that deep down, bullies are deeply insecure cowards inside; it’s why they pick on those smaller than them to try and make themselves feel better.

                Never mistake insecurity driven arrogance for confidence.

                The Scots are a confident people, happy in who they are, marching on to their new place in the world. The Brits/English by contrast are an insecure people who are in the middle of an existential crisis.

              • grizebard says:

                It’s an interesting dilemma for the English. While a bare majority voted to “go it alone” on the basis of a superficial understanding of the consequences, backed by empty sloganeering, the consequences of a Scottish departure are sufficiently visible to many. Not least the damage to their own amour propre. So the situation isn’t comparable.

                The fundamentals are (truly) all good, all we really lack is sufficient self-confidence in ourselves. The fact that (understandably) we have to carry at least some reluctant foreigners along with us is essentially irrelevant, since given a sufficiently-positive response from ourselves that wouldn’t matter. It doesn’t need to be a Norwegian-style 98% or anything like it, just something better than the previous limp “oh well, then”.

                In the end our future is ours for the taking. We just have to go out there and take it. So the evident frustrations of the grumblers are not unmerited. We all share it to some extent. But if we’re wise we focus it into avenues productive and not self-destructive.

                (Which incidentally includes not getting too preoccupied by the odd negativist, TBH.)

                • scottish skier says:

                  While a bare majority voted to “go it alone” on the basis of a superficial understanding of the consequences,

                  If you mean brexit, then no, the people of England didn’t vote to ‘go it a alone’. If they’d done that, Scotland would still be in the EU along with N. Ireland.

                  Nope, England is too scared of independence – or at least their rulers are – hence forcing Scotland and N. Ireland to depart with it. ‘I’m too chickens**t to go alone, so I’m bullying you guys into coming with me!’ is what actually happened.

                  And is still happening. England is absolutely f**king terrified of standing on its own two feet, and governments across Europe / the world know this. Hence England commands zero respect on the world stage these days.

                  It’s not the Scots that are cowards, as a (self-identifying) people we voted Yes in majority in 2014. It’s England trying to stop us voting again because of their own deep cowardly insecurities as a country. That’s what my French family all see as that’s what the case is. Same for my Irish side.

                  If you want to see an insecure, cowardly people, completely unsure of themselves and untrusting of those around them, then they’re the ones queuing for miles at the petrol stations right now. Greed and insecurity. Nobody could possibly stick oan the telly right now and say the English/British are a confident looking people ready to face the world as a nation.

                  I’ve never panic bought through the pandemic, nor fuel now because I do have confidence that most people in my country of Scotland will keep the heid too, just as they did in e.g. 2012. Bravery is not going to fill up until you actually need to. It’s staring at the empty shelves but resisting the urge to take the remaining bog rolls and instead just taking what you need, leaving stuff for others with the trust they’ll so similar. Cowards grab whatever they can. You’ve seen the movies; the Tory cowards run off into the jungle with all the supplies to try and save themselves… but then get eaten by the lion while the brave folks help each other to safety.

                  I am confident Scots won’t riot either. They’re too mature and confident a people for that. It’s why their international football fans are generally well behaved too. It’s the insecure bullying nations that fight and riot.

                  You can be sure any queue at Scottish forecourts right now will be mainly brexit brits just as the George square rioters were. Cowards also like to violently trash stuff as they are insecure and it makes them feel tough / better about themselves. At the same time, the insecure people in the British media use psychological projection* to put their own bad attributes onto us Scots. Anti-Irish racism by brits becomes ‘Scottish sectarianism’. Freud would find them fascinating as a people.

                  The constantly name call too; like calling people ‘woke c**ts’ from behind the safety of a keyboard.

                  Nope, the Scots are not cowards. Many made the wrong decision in 2014, not foreseeing what’s happening now, but they’ll be mature enough to admit it when we vote again.


                  • Donald Blyth says:

                    A well-known hallmark of not being cowardly is, of course, going on and on about how not-cowardly you are.

                    • scottish skier says:

                      I’m not sure I understand this, but yes, modesty comes with bravery.

                      And people who are brave still feel fear. They just fight hard to overcome it. That’s how you can tell a brave person from a secret coward; the brave person admits they’re scared. While, as you not the coward says how super brave they are / how they are not scared at all.

                      Speaking personally, I fully admit to feeling sick with fear in the early days of the pandemic when we knew so little. Going to tesco masked up for the first time and seeing the place half empty made me sick to the stomach. It is very hard to overcome the thoughts of ‘if you don’t take those other packets too, maybe there will be none left at all’ even if you are knowledgeable enough to know that there is plenty food, and it’s people not resisting the temptation that’s causing the problem. I imagine most on here would have been through similar feelings of fear.

                      As for indy, while I felt deep sadness in 2014, at the same time I was so proud of the gumption shown by so many Scots in voting Yes in the face of project fear. For many, it did take guts and even I felt it when I crossed the box. Gulp. This was huge.

                      Brexit however took no bravery. It is not brave to build a wall to keep out people. It is not brave to want to only listen to people wanting to speak your own language around you on the bus, train… It is not brave to want to kick the Polish builders out of the job queue so you can waltz into the job but not work as hard. It is not brave to want to retreat to the past and hide from the future. It’s not brave to try to strip me of my birth citizenship, nor is it brave to force my wife to apply to stay in her own home. Nope, nothing I could see about the case put for brexit was remotely brave.

  12. Dr Jim says:

    The Tories have paid out good money to prevent Scottish Independence, gifts have been exchanged and promises made, TV channels have been threatened with the withdrawal of their licence, honours have been handed out, all manner of incitements and deviousness has been employed but those damn ungrateful drug addled verminous drunken begging Scots can’t seem to accept their inferiority and condition in life and just lie down to their masters

    And that damn Sturgeon woman just won’t go away

    Great innit

    • Pogmothon says:

      For Scottish Skier at 5:30 pm September 28, 2021

      I must concur,

      Bravery is self effacing, it does not cry out look at me. as most Scots over say 40 would have been taught as a child “Blawin yer ayn trumpet is empty praise”

      The absence of fear is not bravery.
      It is in fact a mental heath problem usually accompanied with the absence of empathy.

      Bravery is actually the recognition of fear and doing the right thing in spite of the fear.
      Or doing the right thing anyway.

      For some it is instinctive, this could be called a natural bravery. Options come as after thoughts.

      For others. Options come as thoughts before the choice.They are the ones who “do the right thing anyway”.
      These ones are what I believe constitute the majority of Scots both born and adopted.

      I think this goes some way to explaining our apparent cautiousness in mental concepts. They do not require an almost instantaneous reaction, so we chew it over for a while (some more than others) but eventually we all “Do the Right Thing”.

  13. Bob Lamont says:

    Spot on with the Basil Fawlty parallels, English exceptionalism, latent racism, gliding seamlessly from one disaster to the next, only to finally give the car “a damned good thrashing” as it wasn’t my fault….

    First the edict nothing on Covid be mentioned in England, then ditto on Brexit, now it’s Scottish Independence for the “ignore it and it will go away” treatment, there’s nothing like a well thought through plan, and this is it, nothing like it. The elephant in the room…

  14. Iain says:

    Your mention of Ruth Davidson reminded me that she exists. Do we know if she has set the House of Lords alight with her towering intellect and political skills?
    Or is she just busying herself with expenses forms?

    • I believe that one of her avarice stained fingers is now in the same sinecure haven pie, John Smith’s widow’s Smith ‘Foundation’ , as a ‘director of this publicly funded ‘Think Tank’.

      She joins Fifi Le Bon, Kezia Dugdale, on the Money for Nothing Gravy Train,.

      They must laugh their feckin’ heads off at us mugs.

      Just watched Newsnight.

      Emily Maitlis knows who pays her wages. She is now an Arch Right fascist ‘on message’ apologist for the Far Right Tories.
      But first, she let Ian Murray fire out cocaine strength soundbites…in order to blacken the Left of the Labour Party, and usher in New New Labour, the true Blue Red Tories.

      After all, she is a very wealthy Kensington lass.

      Then, in an interview with Michel Barnier, she used the tried and trusted ‘quotation marks’ ruse to hurl insults at the man, sourcing Dominic Cummings and Nigel Farage, in an effort to goad the man to anger. Didn’t work, of course.

      She is a born again Right Wing zealot, heralding the successes of Brexit Britain; the Aukus deal, and Britain free to issue visas, while alarmingly ‘threatening’ violence in Norn Irn if the Furriners didn’t renegotiate the NI Protocol because the DUP are on the verge of breaking the Power Sharing deal over there.
      She was blaming Barnier for Johnson’s Brexit Deal.

      Barnier was having none of it.

      His look of disdain, as Maitlis talked rubbish about wonderful Brexit Britain, was there for all to see.
      England is fast becoming a dangerous English Nationalist fascist state.

      Ian Murray is a simpering insignificant little nobody.

      We are nearly there, Duggers.

      • grizebard says:

        It’s curious that although the current BBC “ethos” (though less emollient terms could well apply) is simply to act as a convenient unquestioning mouthpiece for whichever politician happens to cross their path, no matter what self-cotradictory nonsense is being essayed, that particular modus operandi appears to have got lost on its way north, where entirely different rules seem to apply, at least if you’re an SNP politician or a member of the Scottish Government.

        All that frustrated pent-up questioning and a veritable cascade of vigorous interruptions are reserved exclusively for them. It must be some kind of cathartic release for the poor repressed Beebie interviewers, I guess, if at the cost of being an enormous annoyance to a steadily-increasing number of the rest of us.

  15. Alex Montrose says:

    Bozo had great success with a previous ‘don’t mention’ edict, before the pandemic he ruled that ‘austerity’ was not to be used by the media to describe Tory policy, and hey presto, just like that, it was gone.

    • grizebard says:

      Cases of government-inspired media groupthink, I suggest. But it’s not working with Brexit, because just like the little boy in “The emperor’s new clothes” (a very early illustration of the phenomenon), there are plenty of people perfectly willing to call it out. Like the woman in that recent (and later-censored) BBC interview, whose brief aside resonated with many.

      When at least half a population can smell a rat, as with Brexit and Scottish independence, media-imposed omerta is doomed. All it does is diminish whatever reputation it once had, ultimately even among its (now-former) believers.

      The conditions which have led to the steady rise in support for independence are real and ever-present, and can’t be simply wafted-away by superficial media manipulation; the most it can achieve is to delay the inevitable, which then typically happens more suddenly and dramatically than it otherwise would have done.

  16. James Mills says:

    The Tory Mantra of :

    ”Don’t mention the Brexit war ” ,
    ”Don’t mention the Austerity war ” ,
    ”Don’t mention the Petrol Station war ”,

    and now ”Don’t mention the Constitutional war ”
    is at variance with their constant ”Let’s mention the Second World War ” at every and any opportunity .

    • grizebard says:

      True, though I can’t think what possible resonance that backward look has with the younger generations (even if WW2 still occupies a considerable slice of school history).

      Even among at least some of us raised on a diet of heroic war films, who also amusedly witnessed at first-hand the gadarene rush for the doors when “God save the Queen” was played at the end of an evening’s showing. There was much to be admired about the generation before mine who bequeathed us so much of worth to rightly admire, and I reckon there’s few of them, if they were still with us today, who would put up for an instant with the kind of vacuous pretenders who strut the political stage down south today. (I can just about hear my Mam’s scathing dismissal of the BoJo Clown Circus as I write…)

      • grizebard, your post recalls the cartoon, in ‘Punch’, I think, depicting a passenger airplane, the seats empty, doors open, in flight, with a big Movie screen showing the trooping of the colours.
        The Captain is demanding of the cabin crew:-
        “Which idiot decided to play ‘God Save the Queen?”

        We all made a mad dash for the exits in the ‘sixties during the closing credits of the picture at Children Saturday matinees, so it’s hardly recent Bad Nats anti-royal phenomenon.

        • iusedtobeenglish says:

          “We all made a mad dash for the exits in the ‘sixties during the closing credits of the picture at Children Saturday matinees, so it’s hardly recent Bad Nats anti-royal phenomenon.”

          Just for the record, that happened in England too… 🙂

  17. Dr Jim says:

    When you hear Tory government Ministers like George Eustace on the TV saying words like “It’ll all blow over” and “This will pass in time” you have to conclude that means “We don’t know what to do”
    Then you hear words from the so called Prime Minister like “Don’t talk about it” and “Don’t mention certain words” or even countries, again it means they haven’t a clue and can’t cope

    So how does it keep getting worse? because the so called British media are in the business of repeating the same words to the people, they’re telling us to wait like we’ve caught a cold or something and it’ll go away sooon

    Suspend your way of life, put your health on hold, stop worrying about things, have a sleep till it’s all over but don’t blame Brexit because that’s the same as blaming yourself for voting for this shit and we don’t want to embarrass ourselves by reminding ourselves of that mistake do we now because we might come to the conclusion it was the Tories with the collusion of Labour who promised us a new brighter tomorrow out of that EU thing that was really to blame

    This morning I listened to a song from an English performing outfit called *Fascinating Aida* called
    “We’re sorry Scotland” it was funny and right but it was just another in a long line of 300 year sorrys from some of the nicer folk in England who keep apologising for the rest of the R Soles in England who keep falling for the stuff they’ve been told and it doesn’t help Scotland just like the rest of the hollow empty apologies before

    Today the Labour party are saying to Scotland just wait until England votes us back into power and we’ll make Scotland loads of promises that we won’t keep

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yep exactly well said.

      The public have bought into the current Tory and media gaslighting ‘public to blame culture’ by blaming….themselves…… blaming themselves for this “there is NO fuel shortage” while simultaneously being aware that ” there IS a fuel shortage due to HGV driver shortage”…..that’s the same public who pay road tax, motor insurance and who if, as promoted by Brexiteers, they were now truly living in a so called ‘Global Britain’….should surely, as car owners, expect to be able to get fuel for their cars…..if they lived in a so called ‘Great’ and ‘Global’ country……is fuel for your car now considered a luxury product ?

      George Eustice stating people buying fuel unnecessarily….how does he know ?….clue.. he doesn’t but he does know how to promote something to deflect away from his government in the hope it hits the right target…oh look how selfish the public are wanting fuel for their cars and not helping out us Tories by doing without fuel to help us out of a crisis we helped to create……kinda like Chinese whispers……..obvs cannot be Brexit because well if it was we would all be implementing the war time spirit and would only need to queue when they start issuing ration books for the food shortages now in supermarkets. (Grant Shapps expert on queues apparently…especially Global British queues)…and can’t be the Tory government because they have got Brexit done while simultaneously STILL trying to renegotiate it via the man who negotiated it with the EU….i.e. Lord Frost the former Head of the Scotch Whisky Association.

      Rare honest people on TV are stating Tory Govt were made aware of this driver shortage but did nothing…..did nothing as too busy trying to appease the anti immigrant mob and once again have been found asleep at the wheel by not appreciating that to encourage new UKnotOK HGV drivers you need higher wages and better working conditions also not recognising the impact of their insular immigration policy on EU HGV drivers that has helped result in this current crisis …….

      The reactive knee jerk thinking among Tories to ease crisis is to encourage retired HGV drivers back to the industry, streamline the process for new drivers to get their HGV licence ,higher wages but neglect to promise improvement to drivers working conditions, con insufficient amount of EU drivers to come back to be used for temp period after being abused post Brexit……oh and get the Army to help out……probably missed something from list….like drivers being allowed to drive longer on roads perhaps ( was suggested by Shapps BTW)…..

      An HGV driver is a hard and thankless job…and one the Tories disregarded as being skilled until the proverbial sh*t hit the fan a la Global Britain shortage-Gate.

      Obvs this is because they, Tories, choose to operate in a reactive manner as opposed to being proactive… thus like any normal functioning Govt. . who would be expected to be prepared and able to anticipate problems like these via their own policies BEFORE they occur……of course when you have other priorities other than governing in a responsible manner then easy to see why Tories are distracted and AWOL on most responsibilities associated with governing a country that acts to the benefit of it’s people…….too busy with helping out Tory donors and their own Tory MP’s who have ‘other’ jobs and responsibilities(landlords) out with their parliamentary duties. lining their own pockets and ultimately actively governing to only serve the few and not the many.

      Don’t even get me started on the other shortages i.e. the various workforce shortages in other sectors due to……apparent forbidden word in anti immigration so called ‘Global Britain’…… i.e. Brexit.

  18. UndeadShuan says:

    I think the guardian has been told to remove posts that worry them.

    Every time i post saying that the UK will fall apart into constituent countries just like USSR did, they remove the comment. And scotland wasnt mentioned in my comment.

    They must be very very worried that the UK will fall apart and that not just Scotland, but NI and Wales will all leave with Billy nae mates England left on its own.

    We are seeing akin to last days 9f USSR with fuel and food shortages and even talk of rationing being introduced.

    I predicted back in 2015 that brexit would be the UKs downfall and so it transpires.

    I didnt predict it would be lead by a bunch of useless incompetent clowns who would accelerate it happening. Between them, not 1 of the uk goverments cabinet posts contains a competent minister.

    • James Mills says:

      They are all incompetents – hence the PM is only the ”First among equals ! ” So True !!!

    • grizebard says:

      It was one of the saddest revelations of late to discover that The Graun was just another convenient facet of the same English Establishment, and none more so than under its current direction. Long gone is the radical spirit of C.P. Scott.

      As we discovered in the later stages of IR1, what worries them far more than our reasonable wish for a significant measure of autonomy, are the implications our departure has for their own social control and a lone England’s standing in the wider world. For them it’s not about us at all, and all about them, their concern not least because the decision for dissolution is rightfully for us alone to take.

      The bitter irony is, the cure for their dilemma was elementary: adapt the Union to allow Scotland sufficient (if ultimately imperfect) autonomy within its scope. Post IR1 the opportunity was ripe. But the Establishment’s own deeply-embedded complacency and greed for absolute power made that impossible, and thus doomed their already-withered empire to extinction. Now all they have left to defend the relic, by vainly promising the now frankly implausible, are the pathetic figures of Federal Broon and Henry the Waverer.

  19. Legerwood says:

    This article from Newsnet posted in the last day or so may give some inkling as to why UKGov is worried about Scotland going it’s own independent way. Also provides useful info/ammunition to use when discussing matters with the soft-Noe

  20. Capella says:

    I think it’s very sad that WoS has closed down. He banned me from the site some time ago and I haven’t bothered reading any of the anti-SNP/Murrells conspiracy stuff since then though i did notice it pop up in my Twitter from time to time.

    Who knows what caused the rage fuelled campaign against Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP and its supporters. It no longer matters. But Stuart Campbell did do a huge amount of work researching and publishing useful analyses of the economic and political facts of Scotland’s position. It would be a pity if that was lost. So I hope that can be salvaged.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The trouble always was with Campbell he turned off as many people about Independence as he turned on, he made it a war, a conflict between them and us that never needed to happen, they were bad we were good and never the twain shall meet without insult to the other, he coined phrases, invented nasty nicknames, wrote derisively and meanly no matter how well or even accurately at times, it’s why the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon wanted no part of him and that riled him to the point when he lost another court case yet again to Kezia Dugdale some SNP members congratulated her on her win over him, but what Campbell couldn’t seem to grasp was that where the SNP did not support or agree with Kezia Dugdale politically they liked her personally a whole lot more than him and he couldn’t separate the difference

      You don’t get banned from Twitter for being a nice person, Campbell was banned for hate speech,
      In politics no party wants to be associated with a person with a, let’s say off putting personality unless they’re Tories or some other anti politics party (if you get my drift) which not a soul on earth can claim he doesn’t have, there aren’t any long queues forming at Campbells door looking to be best buds

      We need people who can use words to find common ground, not folk who dig pitfalls with spikes in them, in the end when Scotland is Independent we all won’t be going anywhere so some people repairing will need to be done by all of us even if we don’t look forward to it, this is our country and we live in it along with the folk who don’t politically agree with us, the last thing we need are people like Campbell constantly dividing everybody else against each other

      Remember, the guy doesn’t even live in Scotland, he’s lived in England longer so what the hell does he know about the lives of number 12 Anywhere street or Mr and Mrs Anybody and their kids

      • Capella says:

        You’re right, of course. The truly toxic identity politics, for one thing, has destroyed many good relationships – which may well be why it was invented. Let’s not go there.

        But the fact finding articles on Scotland’s finances, comparison with Ireland’s broadcasting service costs, the GERS fiction and so on provided good solid data for persuading the undecided. It should still be there in the archive section and therefore accessible.

      • says:

        “He doesn’t live in Scotland” What on earth has that got to do with whether or not he wants, believes in, works for an Independent Scotland. By definition u appear to be excluding everyone who does not reside in Scotland from having any input into the campaign. So sad

  21. Arthur Thomson says:

    I have just listened to the FM’s Covid report. The clarity of her statement was superb. I was informed. I contrast that with the unintelligible statements of British politicians whose statements are so transparently designed to deceive.

    Dross snorted drivel, Sarwar sniveled at supersonic speed and the other guy squeaked something that I can’t remember. The FM spelled out what is understood to be happening, the steps the Scottish Government is taking to safeguard the populace and the desired/anticipated outcomes of planned policies.

    We are so very fortunate to have her.

  22. Bob Lamont says:

    OT – Something I’d commented on elsewhere, why the obsession with EU truck drivers?
    I’m all too aware a lot of EU drivers left the UK as they had been since 2016, but as the last contingent left late December 2020, how many are we talking of which finally tipped the balance such that the entire freight industry went from coping to collapsing overnight ? 100 ? 200 ?
    And a further consideration, these were the drivers, where are all the unused trucks they are no longer driving ?

    The oft quoted “10,000 drivers short” is a pre-Brexit estimate by the freight industry as a buffer for trucks breaking down, delays in switching loads, etc., yet the system worked fine with the occasional hiccup right up until Brexit actually landed.

    If there was such a massive exodus of EU drivers at the end of December you might expect an alarm sounded, yet the public only hear about it months later when the entire system can no longer cope. A second aspect is that were fleets of UK trucks standing idle minus drivers all these months somebody might have screamed yet nobody actually noticed😳 .
    The trucks parked at various locations around the UK waiting on paperwork to clear of course has nothing to do with it at all, oh no, it’s because Tomas from Krakow gave up on dear old blighty..

    The original Kent lorry park had capacity for 2,000 trucks, removing them from normal delivery cycles, perhaps 3 major loads across country per day.
    The infamous Operation Stackup had capacity for well over 1,000 trucks, and many other holding bays and parks were built in rapid succession.
    Now scale that up, say 9,000+ deliveries short PER DAY.

    EU drivers ? 10,000 drivers short ? We’re being gaslighted BIG time, the Visa system is never designed to work because it’s not the problem…
    “Sorry to keep you waiting sir, the driver for your fuel delivery is currently stuck at Manston. Sorry to keep you waiting madam, the driver for your delivery of Avocados is currently stuck at Manston, but has another delivery before yours, and may be re-prioritised so there will definitely be a delay. Pardon ? Oooh possibly in December…ish, Which year ? Ooh I’ll need to check…”

    • scottish skier says:

      There is no doubt part of the problem is what you point out. However, at the same time, EU citizens have been leaving in their 100’s of 1000’s since 2016, with those arriving reducing to a trickle before drying up completely with the end of free movement, net.

      You can see here that the number of EU nationals in the UK has been falling steadily:

      At the same time, non-EU, non-UK national numbers have hardly changed. So the UK is losing population.

      There have been some returns of UK citizens from the EU, but many of these are older retirees who’ve come back from Spain and so are not part of the workforce.

      Those EU that are staying are like my wife; they’ve married into the UK and have kids who are now part Scottish etc. They are here not really because they want to be, but because it’s not so easy for them to up sticks.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        You missed my recognition of this point SS, but I wasn’t arguing they were not leaving rather that there was no sudden massive exodus of EU drivers at the end of December 2020 which created the HGV crisis 6+ months later.

        Yet ONE pivotal moment at the end of 2020 I’d forgotten about was recounted by a Polish journalist this morning to explain why few Poles have any interest in rushing to the UK’s aid.
        EU truck drivers, cars, minibuses loaded with passengers headed home for christmas just as the Kent variant exploded into public view – families and individual stranded for days without food or water, no UK assistance, barely a pot to piss in let alone a place to wash, nowhere to charge phones, and barely a flicker of concern from HMG.
        They were almost ready to riot when rescue arrived from EU countries having rustled up testing, paramedics, generators, food and water while the UK cheered on their coming pre-Brexit Christmas, not exactly England’s finest hour.

        And yet here we are 9 months on, and EU drivers are the diversion for a UK systemic failure, despite the huge “Made in England” label attached.

        I have no desire to move back from the EU to the UQ, I didn’t like what I saw coming over 20 years ago, and it turned out far worse than I could ever have expected.

  23. Dave tewart says:

    LOts to agree with there but one major factor missing is the ability of an EU truck to pick up a load for delivery within the uk and for a return to base delivery. Thus maximising the truck’s use, not great for the driver but no empty miles.
    Easy solution, rejoin the Single market and freedom of movement BUTT the tories will not lose the dogma.
    Just listened to an Northern Ireland Unionist tell his opponent that he couldn’t accept a foreign government that he has no control over making decisions that effect his life, the biggy we have as well, the unionists can’t see that the solution is self government.
    Next we will be on the austerity programme as the Bank of England want to raise interest rates to control inflation.
    Didn’t the broony tell us that he had abolished the economic roller coaster?, like the rest of their predictions they last less time than a sour plume.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      That’s my point about knock-on effects Dave, cabotage is one of the victims. EU based truck drivers now come in laden at a price which allows them to leave empty bypassing the England logjam, the cabotage problem is now passed to the the UK freight industry to solve, but who don’t have the spare capacity because all their drivers and wagons are tied up in a Kent car-park.
      Viz, the EU drivers and Visas story is a red herring, the problem is systemic.

      For austerity see almost any of Mark Blyth’s lectures or Richard Murphy’s short synopses, that they are still pulling this con all these years later is extraordinary..

  24. Hamish100 says:

    Should we level up to the level that Northern Ireland benefits?

    I would ask Mundell snr. and dame Davidson but apparently one is off to New Zealand to bring lamb back to Scotland Davidson is well Davidson. Are ermine robes self fitted with pockets?

  25. Capella says:

    OT but important IMO. Please watch this Dr John Campbell video then circulate it as far as possible. He is very concerned that the wrong advice is being given to vaccinators by PHE and others so that there is a danger of them vaccinating into a vein instead of a muscle – with bad consequences for some people.

    I don’t know what advice Scottish vaccinators are given but i’ll send it to Humza Yousaf anyway.

  26. scottish skier says:

    Having a wee wander, and apparently we’re all ‘fawning sturgeon sycophants’. Yet a quick search for mentions of ‘Sturgeon’ on this page and Paul’s article doesn’t contain any, with the name only cropping up in 4 out of 63 comments, and only one of these you might judge as being complimentary of the FM, rather than just making an observation.

    By contrast, a search of the article I in question elsewhere has 28 mentions of Sturgeon in just 40 comments.

    Seems to me, based on the data in hand, like Salmond back in the day, it’s not indy supporters who are dementedly obsessed with SNP leaders.


    • scottish skier says:

      I’ll just add that if such things dinnae hae yer unionist troll radar beeping like there’s nae tomorrow, then I dinnae ken whit will.

      Those that talked incessantly about Salmond, and now do the same for Sturgeon. Well, you know who they are.

      • says:

        I know who I am and despite having no confidence in the current Scottish government under the leadership of Ms Sturgeon I am not and should not be regarded as a “unionist troll”.

        • Hamish100 says:

          Fair enough, but you are siding with the tories, labour and Lib Dem’s who hold similar views. Thankfully the Scottish public don’t hold your views. Your minority view is even less likely to gain independence. Fair point on my part I think.

          • says:

            My point was (though I accept possibly badly put) was that I do not have confidence in the current Scottish government etc. to achieve Independence. If this is my expressing the same view of unionists then surely I stand vindicated?

            • Capella says:

              I think you’ve come to the wrong place then. See Paul’s rules above:

              . 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.

              • says:

                I accept Mr Kavanagh’s rules about not “mouth off about not liking the snp” as it is his blog and I apologise to him if I have overstepped the mark. However I would respectfully suggest that anyone should have the right of reply when they are being wrongly alluded to being a unionist even in a general context. Meanwhile I wish you all well and will not comment further on this subject. Scotland aye.

            • Hamish100 says:

              No – because you are on the side of the unionists.

              If we achieve independence in 2 years 5 years you would be proven wrong. We can predict the future but the main concern for people like me is that we fail, again.

              That will be at the hands of those who tacitly or otherwise supported the unionists. That is everyone not just the government or the FM.

              The previous FM who led the unsuccessful campaign I assume still believes in independence or why would he lead ALBA?

            • Dr Jim says:

              If a political party is not united it doesn’t win, Alex Salmond knows that rule perfectly well hence his divisive invention of a nothing party and employing tactics to prevent the only party that can win winning

              Old style Labour party politics

        • scottish skier says:

          I’m very unhappy with the Tory government and Boris johnson, but the vast majority of my posts don’t actually mention his name because I’m not obsessed with him.

          That was what I meant.

          As for you not trusting Sturgeon. You are absolutely free to be out of touch with most Scots, and who knows, maybe you’ll be proven right!

          • says:

            I’m not sure I’m out of touch with most Scots regarding the independence question and I sincerely hope I am proved wrong when I will publicly apologise on here.

            • grizebard says:

              It’s easy enough to hold a notion of the alignment of the views of “most Scots” with your own if you resolutely ignore the evidence in front of your very eyes. Like the recent election results, fr’instance.

              This is the problem people like you seem to share. You are so convinced of your own righteousness that you plumb refuse to recognise the reality that the rest of us can see so very plainly. And why s things stand you will continue to fail to convince anyone outside your little bubble for as long as you bother to try.

              So never mind the public apologies, just do yourself a favour, quit dreaming and wake up.

              • says:

                With respect I voted SNP in the last election as being the best for Scotland as a government and would suggest this may ( or may not) have been a reason for the vote with others voting with this in mind. However I believe the independence question is a separate issue and my position remains the same. It is also nice to see that you are dismissive of or not interested in my willingness to publicly apologise if proven wrong. Once again this will be my final comment on this subject and I wish you and all those seeking independence every success.

  27. James Mills says:

    Johnson’s ”Galactic Britain ” based on the new Spaceports in Cornwall and in the colony of Scotland .
    Due to shortages of space pilots the Army is being drafted in to solve the problem .

    Johnson has intimated that a new Dan Dare fast -track training programme will solve this ”short term ” problem with Richard Branson leading the training programme .

    In the mean time he has indicated that a limited number of EU space pilots will be offered visas to meet the UK shortages – but will be required to provide their own life-support space suits due to a shortage of these in the UK that was not caused ( and he stressed this ) by Brexit !

    Priti Patel has voiced some concerns about the need for tight immigration controls at these new Spaceports to prevent a surge of illegal aliens flooding ”the country” to take advantage of the UK’s generous Universal Credit system .

  28. Capella says:

    Ken Loach, who was turfed out of the Labour Party, has his say. Withering.

  29. Statgeek says:

    Well there’s no way the BBC can sit back and not ask Scottish Tories about Indyref2. Not unless they’ve been got at by the Tories in London.

    So it’s all ammo for the Indy parties to use against the BBC there.

    Or the non-Tory parties at Holyrood (be nice to see Scottish Lab or Lib Dem do this) ask the FM Indyref2 questions. Fat chance.

    First they fight you (1745), then they laugh at you (1745-2014), then they ignore you (2014 to present), and then you win.

    Paraphrasing, obviously. Seems to be the right order. Or is it still in the right order, and the fight is Indyref2? Hmm.

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    I see a concerned question about where Campbell has spent the £884,841 raised, and there’s an article that details that fully:

    You have to get through a lot of stuff, but the categories are:

    COST OF FUNDRAISING: £130,000 – commissions and perks
    WAGES/CONTRIBUTORS – £260,000 – him for 10 years, Cairns, Moodie, Dateline 2018
    KEZIA DUGDALE – £220,000
    POLLS – £120,000
    WEB HOSTING – £30,000

    TOTAL OUTGOINGS: £838,000.

    Hope that helps those who might think he scoffed the lot – or the gulls did. Always a good idea not to falsely accuse people explicitly or implicitly.

    Good Night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.

  31. Hamish100 says:

    Are these audited accounts? If so where are they published?

    Asking on behalf of a friend. Lol

    • scottish skier says:

      Lol. Aye. My point exactly.

      And a very fair one. Wings isn’t someone’s blog. It may have started out like that, but it grew into a political business with a £120k/year turnover (on average), several employees, a legal team, a high visitor number website and an active campaigning force in the indyref which sent materials out across the country. One based in another country too; a country not favourable to Scottish indy.

      So I’ll scrutinize the same way as I do the SNP, and in no sense is it personal. Sturgeon and Campbell are on the same political playing field for a living, so they’ll get the same treatment from me. The only difference is Sturgeon is way more successful.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        I don’t know where to start with this, so in no particular order:

        1. There are no shareholders
        2. It’s not a business, and if it was, it would be a close business
        3. It would be entitled to exemption under section 477 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies
        4. The members would not require the company to obtain an audit in accordance with section 476 of the Companies Act 2006.
        5. Under £2.5 million a year, no audit is required
        6. You clearly don’t know the cost of fundraising or perks
        7. You clearly don’t know the punitive costs awarded against him for the Dugdale case
        8. You clearly don’t know the expenditure he laid out on the bookS plural
        9. You clearly don’t know the costs of polls, or how many he had
        10. You clearly don’t know the cost of a managed dedicated server, for a massive bandwidth website subjected frequently to DDOS, with special attention needed by the host to handle that including maybe, who knows, intervention on upstream CISCO servers
        11. You clearly also don’t know what donations he made from the funds
        12. Your ability to “scrutinize” with a “z” is clearly as bad as Campbell’s is of the SNP’s accounts – which would be nil, none, zilch, nada. zip, nothing at all.

        Whose fundraising efforts and spendings are you going to cast undue suspicion on next?



  32. scottish skier says:

    Oddly, this doesn’t seem to be on the BBC. Funny, as they do like to make such comparisons between the different nations of the UK.

    Scotland’s homelessness rate half that of England’s, campaigners say

    …Almost one in 100 households in England (0.94%) were experiencing what the charity Crisis called “forms of core homelessness” – such as sleeping on the streets, sofa surfing, or staying in either unsuitable temporary accommodation like B&Bs or living in garages or industrial premises.

    That rate compares to 0.66% of households in Wales and 0.57% in Scotland, Crisis said.

    The charity put this down in part to Scottish ministers having the “right political will” to tackle the problem.

  33. samthedug says:

    Starmer in his speech now declaring “Labour are a party of the Union”. He’s more Tory than many Scottish Tories.

  34. Moderator says:


  35. Dr Jim says:

    BBC Reporting Scotland continue to peddle the myth and outright lie that Labour need Scottish votes to win in England while at the same time announce another ridiculous Gordon Brown lead commission to save their precious Union

    The only way the Labour party win elections in England is if the English voter votes for them, there is no other way, there never has been, the hatred by Labour for the SNP is because the SNP are what Labour should have been, instead Labour employed themselves by being the Tories little helpers in Scotland and were found out and got what was coming to them

    • grizebard says:

      The only way that Labour win UK elections is if the English voter votes for them. That’s surely the point. I would have no objections to the English voting for whomsoever they pleased in England as long as they didn’t enforce their result and its consequences on us. (As they do.)

      This fiction that we have any influence on UK elections is a Labour fraud which was occasionally masked in bygone days when Scotland customarily voted Labour and England by occasional happenstance voted the same. Those days are ancient history now.

      The fraud is exclusively a self-deception, in fact. As I’ve mentioned before, an attempt to keep the Northern Twig-not-Branch in the sight of English supporters who otherwise would totally discount it (as they generally do). A kind of plaintive “look at meee, look at meee!” But as long as these special pleaders keep Labour insisting upon its exceptionalist “birthright” to hegemony in Scotland, the party will cleave to Unionism, and they will continue to cause it to fail here. (The sooner they succeed the better, then, one might conclude.)

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Read an article which was repeated recently, that in all the time Labour were in power in Scotland only on two occasions did that vote actually tip the balance for a Labour majority.

  36. samthedug says:

    Starmer’s slogan for his speech is as pathetic as Johnson’s “Global Britain” it is “Britain Remade”, you really couldn’t get any more Red Tory than that. The 30-40% of Labour voters who support Independence are unlikely to be impressed.

  37. As promised previously, another graph.

    Scottish Free Choice Self Declared National Identity / Nationality as a Function of Year of Majority

    Graph of Scottish free choice self declared national identity / nationality as a function of year of majority (YoM) i.e. the year a person turned 18. Selected YoM with corresponding years of birth (b, in brackets) are shown.

    British identity in the Scottish population peaks in those born in 1944, i.e. the post war consensus baby boomers, these people turning 18 early in the swinging sixties (1962).

    Britishness then goes into continuous decline while Scottish (only) identity remains relatively in those turning 18 until ~1997 onwards when it starts to rise measurably, with a corresponding acceleration in the decline of britishness. This is the generation turning 18 in the year of the 1997 devolution referendum, i.e. ‘Thatcher’s children’, born in 1979.

    2007 sees a huge surge in Scottish identity in new 18 year old voters. These are the young Scots coming of age under pro-independence devolved governments.

    These trends are fundamentally linked to the ~60 year rise in support for devolution (52%, 1969 -> 74% 1997) then independence (45%, 2014 -> 50.2% 2021). They are both a cause and a symptom of this, just like the rise in support for pro-indepdence parties, namely in the form of the SNP and Greens.

    The SNP got 2.4% of the vote in 1964, and have been in ascendency since, albeit with ups and downs.

    To undo this process, you need to undo 60 years of UK, European and world history.

  38. Alex Clark says:

    This is some drivel from Starmer.

    He told delegates: “Scotland is in the unfortunate position of having two bad governments: the Tories in Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood.

    “When Nicola Sturgeon took office she said she wanted to be judged on her record. Well these days with the poorest in society less well educated and less healthy, and with the tragedy of so many drug-related deaths, we hear rather less about the SNP’s record.

    “The SNP and the Tories walk in lockstep. They both exploit the constitutional divide for their own ends.

    “Labour is the party that wants to bring our nations together. Under the fantastic leadership of Anas Sarwar, Labour is the party of the Union.

    So, the SNP are Tartan Tories again and “walk in lockstep” with them according to Starmer?

    Well. I think those that still support Labour in Scotland can clearly see who it is that really walks in lockstep with the Tories in Westminster and Holyrood and that is Starmer and Sarwar.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      He’s preaching to an England audience, and they’ll swallow every word of it as gospel.

      Given the delusions of Sarwar and Starmer still playing “old” politics, it will be no surprise to see Labour support reform in a purely scottish form.
      Sarwar and Starmer have sunk the UK’s Labour in Scotland, sheer arrogance used to be their enemy, now it is their nemesis.

    • grizebard says:

      All of which nonsense reveals that Starmer doesn’t have a clue about Scotland. He’s just supporting Sarwar because he can hardly do otherwise. And so on to ever-increasing irrelevance.

      I’m just sorry for the non-tribal Labour supporters who are caught up in this artificial dilemma. If Labour won’t adapt this side of indy, the quicker we all get there, the better for them.

    • scottish skier says:

      Scotland is in the unfortunate position of having two bad governments

      This old unionist canard.

      Scotland has only one government, and it’s in Holyrood.

      The UK government are not a Scottish government and Johnson is not Scotland’s PM.

      Scots elected the Scottish government, but did not elect the UK government, UK citizens did.

      The UK government does not represent Scottish people in any way, either domestically or on the world stage. It represents the citizens of the UK.

      Nobody talked about Scotland having ‘three governments’ when were in the EU did they.

      Scotland’s MPs and the Scottish Grand Committee represent Scotland within the UK parliament, that’s it.

  39. Alex Clark says:

    Another 3 energy suppliers have gone bust today and the message from the government is the same as it has been over the petrol shortages. They have even put this on their stamps LOL

    • Alex Clark says:

      Oh well, that didn’t quite work. was meant to be an image.

      • grizebard says:

        It is. (Worked for me anyway.) Just out of interest, which 3 now…?

        Ironic really, Tory marketisation theory dramatically falling apart in practice like this before our very eyes. (Railways too – yet another franchise recalled.) Yet they are striving to enforce this on the NHS, starting with England. The mind boggles.

        • Alex Clark says:

          “Enstroga supplies around 6,000 domestic customers while Symbio supplies around 48,000 and Igloo provides around 179,000 with gas and electricity.”

          Image doesn’t appear for me even using a different browser? Strange.

        • Alex Clark says:

          At the last general election, the Labour manifesto promised to take back into public hands Energy, Water, Rail and Mail.

          This week Starmer has abandoned that commitment for a Labour government. In Scotland though water is already in public hands, next up is rail and when Independent I would quickly follow up with the Post Office and the energy companies. As a minimum, I would have a state energy company along the lines of Statoil in Norway.

          • Welsh_Sion says:

            As you know, Water is run by a ‘not for profit’ company back home in Wales. First Minister Drakeford has taken the railways back into the Government’s hands.

            QUESTION: Does any of this receive recognition from Big Boss Starmer?

            ANSWER: Welsh Labour gets single shout out in Keir Starmer speech

            See the article on Nation.Cymru

            Dear Mark Drakeford – are you YES, yet?

          • grizebard says:


            The way things are going, the SNP will on its own account have implemented everything on Labour’s old list before Sarmer even has an opportunity in government to renege on any of it!

        • Welsh_Sion says:


          To answer your previous question – I snuck onto the BBC site and copied and pasted this:


          Three more energy suppliers have gone bust amid the surge in wholesale gas prices, the regulator Ofgem has said.

          Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy said they would stop trading on Wednesday.

          The trio are the latest companies to go under as soaring gas prices have made price promises by suppliers to customers undeliverable.

          Together, the suppliers represent less than 1% of the UK market with a total of about 233,000 customers, Ofgem said.

          Enstroga supplies gas and electricity to about 6,000 domestic customers, while Igloo has about 179,000. Symbio Energy has roughly 48,000 in the UK and a small number overseas.


          • grizebard says:

            Obliged, WS (and to Alex too). It must be creepy for anyone with an energy provider other than the usual main suspects, wondering if the shadow will eventually creep up over them too…

  40. James Paterson says:

    I did some research recently just in case some English Labourites i know brought up the old nugget about Labour needing Scottish votes to win in the UK. Sice 1945 there have been 22 elections in the UK of which Labour have won 9. The last time UK Labour needed Scottish Labour to help them win was in Feb. and then Oct. 1974. Since then England and Wales have either not needed Scottish Labour seats to win, as in 1997,2001 and 2005 or have done so badly that even a huge number of Scottish Labour seats would not have made any difference to the result as in1979,1983,1987,2010,2015, 2017 and 2019. To sum up Starmer is talking Labour or should that be Coop mince as usual.

    • grizebard says:

      And the situation in ’74, shortly after the 3-day working week and the lights regularly going out, was a rather unique one. But maybe Starmer, Bailey, Uncle Anwas Sarwar and all expect (hope, even?) something the same will happen over the coming winter to rescue their fading fortunes…?

      • Legerwood says:

        And that did not end well did it? Winter of discontent. Crisis what crisis? And the Tories back in.

        • scottish skier says:

          With multiple energy firms going bust, things are not looking great. If you are one still going, you are of course scared to take on new customers. After all, you are facing huge wholesale costs yourself and you’ll need to charge anyone you take on more to cover the rising costs. Already some providers are refusing to do this as a result.

          The thing is, this was all predicable. After the 2015 price crash caused by debt fueled fracking overproduction in the USA, there has not been enough investment in new supply, notably for gas. At the same time, gas demand has kept creeping up, notably in China, which is buying up all the LNG. Then we had a cold winter last winter, with the pandemic hitting operations over the summer so production and storage is at lows, and here we are. Maybe facing another cold winter if the current more continental weather synoptics hold out.

          Scotland has loads of gas of course. If homes here run dry it’s because the UK government has taken our gas for England. Much like it took Irish potatoes to feed England while the Irish starved.

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