Vote no borders Offord: No vote and 27 borders

Having decided that none of the Scottish Conservative MPs are competent enough to take over from David Who-he? Duguid after he was demoted from his position as a junior minister in the Scotland Office in the recent cabinet reshuffle, the Conservative Government has finally decided on a replacement to join Alister Jack at the Scotland Office. You can’t really blame them for not wanting to promote any of the others in the small contingent of Scottish Conservative MPs, who struggle to constitute a talent drip never mind a talent pool. Few of the Scottish Tory MPs have any sort of public recognition at all. There’s former Scotland Secretary David Mundell, who is thought of so highly by his colleagues that they’ve shipped him off to New Zealand as a special trade envoy where he can sell out his Scottish farming constituents from the other side of the globe.

There is of course also the permanently infuriated Douglas Ross, who already has several other jobs to keep him red-faced and fuming, he’s the branch office manager of the Scottish Conservatives at Holyrood in charge of appearing in huffing interviews on Reporting Scotland and maintaining a constant state of rage about the existence of a Scottish Government that isn’t a Tory one, the concept of democracy being alien to the Conservatives. He also still finds time for his other job as as a junior referee, running up and down fitba pitches, blowing a whistle at footballers for rule infractions. Giving him yet another job would merely elevate his perma-rage to infra-incandescent levels and send it beyond the range at which it could be detected by normal human senses.

Then there’s Andrew Bowie, the actual Tory boy, who has the fresh face of a teenager but whose public pronouncements rarely manage to reach that level of maturity. Andrew is most notable for thinking that six artfully stacked chips constitute a fish supper and for possessing a smugness which is inversely proportional to his abilities, which makes him exceptionally smug indeed. He gives the impression of being a man who would drop everything in order to rush to the scene of a traffic accident, not to offer help, but just to say “I told you so.”

Boris Johnson has instead decided to give the millionaire Conservative donor,failed Holyrood candidate, and resident of England, Malcolm Offord a peerage so he can take over as a junior minister in the Scotland Office. Offord will then join Ruth Davidson and the political reject’s reject Michael Forsyth as unelected politicians who are able to influence legislation and UK Government policy affecting Scotland despite the fact that no one has voted for them and they have all the democratic accountability of a 19th century Highland laird, which not coincidentally is the preferred role model of the Conservatives for dealing with recalcitrant Scottish people.

Offord couldn’t even manage to sneak into Holyrood on the list vote, but he’s still going to have political influence anyway, despite being rejected by the voters. As such he joins former Conservative MEP Ian Duncan, who was rejected by voters in the Westminster Perth and North Perthshire constituency but was given a peerage so he could still sit in the Lords.

One of the strongest arguments for independence is that it would mean that when a politician is rejected by the electorate, that would be the end of their political career. As a part of the UK a British government representing a party which fewer than a quarter of the Scottish electorate actually voted for is able to subvert the democratic will of the people of Scotland and foist upon us politicians who have been rejected at the ballot box.

Offord is perhaps best known for being the man behind the so-called grassroots Unionist Vote No Borders organisation during the 2014 referendum campaign. Despite being as grassroots as the plastic wrapping on a roll of AstroTurf, when it was launched Vote No Borders was given a gushing three minute long promo puff piece on the BBC’s News at Six, although no genuine grassroots initiative on the Yes side was ever given even a fraction of the same publicity on the flagship BBC 1 news programme. The BBC has never deigned to explain this gross imbalance and blatant bias in favour of the No side in Scotland’s constitutional debate, but then the BBC is as accountable to the people of Scotland as a Conservative member of the House of Lords. Amongst other scaremongering gems the supposedly “positive” No Borders campaign was forced to pull a cinema advert which claimed that after independence seriously ill Scottish children would have to get in the queue behind a “long list of foreigners waiting to be seen” at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

“No Borders” Offord is now happy to represent a British Government which has erected twenty seven borders to trade and the free movement of people between Scotland and countries where there was previously no such barrier. So it’s not so much “vote no borders” as vote against borders but get them imposed anyway by people you haven’t voted for.

Offord’s elevation to the Lords and his appointment to the Scotland Office is a perfect illustration of the anti-democratic contempt that the Conservatives have for Scotland. Only independence can truly guarantee democracy in this country and ensure that the wishes of the Scottish electorate are respected.

There are those on social media who criticise this blog for continuing to highlight the mendacity, hypocrisy and contempt of the Conservatives when it comes to Scotland, saying, “we” already know how much damage the Tories are doing to this country. Well no.

Just who is the “we” here? Confirmed supporters of independence might already know, but independence will not be secured by only talking to those who already support independence. A significant number of Labour supporters felt able to vote tactically for the Conservatives in May’s Holyrood election. Clearly those voters are not part of the “we” who already know how much damage the Conservatives are doing to Scotland otherwise they wouldn’t vote tactically for the Tories, yet as Labour voters they could be persuadable of the need for Scotland’s independence.

This blog remains confident that the Scottish Government will deliver on its promise of a referendum within the term of this Scottish Parliament, until that happens “we” cannot cease making the case for independence, highlighting the lies, deceit and mendacity of the Conservative Government, and trying to reach out to those who could be persuaded. Although my health issues mean I can no longer blog on a daily basis, that is exactly what this blog is going to continue to do.

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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99 comments on “Vote no borders Offord: No vote and 27 borders

  1. Capella says:

    Spot on. The real enemy of Scottish self determination is the government of the UK located in Westminster. The sooner everyone becomes aware of that the sooner a majority for independence will be recorded in polls.

    Malcolm Offord is the umpteenth example of the anti-democratic rule of the oligarchs which we are subjected to daily via their media. Clad in ermine, picking up £330 per day for sitting in the largest unelected legislature in the world (second only to the Chinese Communist Party politburo, if indeed it hasn’t overtaken them), Offord will continue to use dark money to undermine our democracy.

    It needs to be spelt out every day in every way.
    But take it easy Paul. The daily reinforcement is what the commenteers in the BTL section are for.

  2. Joyce says:

    Always spot on Paul. Your health issues may have affected your body, but your mind is still razor-sharp.

    By the way, the German online newspaper WELT reports that WM has sent a letter to German drivers to cross the Channel and work as lorry driver in England.
    The letter is shown in 2 posts.

  3. Hamish100 says:

    The tories rely on labour and Lib Dem’s as lap-dogs. Screaming Independence sets the unionist hares running promoted by the state broadcaster. Listening to Johnson yesterday he stated that it had to be a Lord as that’s how it works! The fact the new Lord naw haw paid money to the tories is not an issue.
    This is how the tories and labour work. Of course it didn’t have to be anyone or a Lord.

  4. Janice Gale says:

    Absolutely Paul, we the people will keep banging on about it and exposing the trickery of the shoehorned Lords until the day we join Iceland in throwing off the tyranny of an occupying usurper who clings like a leech to our country by undemocratic means. Can’t say it enough.

  5. therealiggi says:

    Just read a couple of blurbs on the Torygraph page!
    OK OK I was curious!
    Well, no we don’t know how much damage the tories are doing. When DRoss is allowed to spout crap, and hunners of tories, some with Scottish names, pile on, NS should be in the pokey, the EU hate us, the tories under the failed footie ref will sweep to victory, the unwashed are fed up with NS, the essenpee, the failures of a scot government, Indy has peaked
    Saving grace is They don’t realise that Indy ain’t just the essenpee, but wheesht let’s not tell them, it would fry their wee brains
    Scots hate English (sigh!!) and we have a twisted view of our own importance, living on the fantasy, I assume, of some wish for Bonnie Prince C to come back, on one hand we should get back in the tartan decorated shortbread tin, but being accused and sneered at for living in one. They wish!
    Then some hatchet faced auld besom, (and that’s the polite version), says the climate emergency is a left wing plot, it’s all about the economy, no one will vote for a government which supports clean energy, it’s destroying the right of everyone to be well fed, have a job, be prosperous
    Ahem, you, you old bag will be well broon breid but the world will be short of not just bread but O2 H2O and the immigration problem, also raised, will be more than Priti dreadful could smugly sneer at
    So, comments from the lovely torygraffers, Greta Thunberg is an “autistic” and dim, it’s no bojo’s fault, it’s Carrie Antoinette, there is no climate emergency,
    You couldn’t make it up.
    Oh wait!
    They are
    They just did

  6. James Mills says:

    Having just finished watching the excellent Handmaid’s Tale I have a rather explicit image in my mind of the new ”Lord” OFFORD !

    For those who are not conversant with the premise of this story , young women are enslaved as baby -making machines for the ruling class .
    When inducted into a household to be ritually raped by the Husband ( aided and abetted by the wife ) the Handmaid is given a name prefixed by the husband’s name – she becomes Of-Fred , or Of-Joseph , to denote her ownership by that family .

    Therefore , when faced with OFFORD , I naturally thought that he was being ‘used’ by someone in authority .
    The opposite , of course , is the case . It is the Scottish people who are OFUK – we are the ones being ritually F*cked .

  7. Alex Clark says:

    Well said Paul, people might be persuaded to support Independence for any number of reasons but right up there with the most important of them is to point out how disastrous the Tories are at running the UK. Tories, that the people of Scotland didn’t vote for and who have been massively rejected at the ballot box in Scotland for decades.

    We must never hold back in exposing the uselessness, lies, corruption and complete incompetence of the government of the UK. It is only by becoming Independent that the Scottish people can actually hold the government they elect to account.

    I have heard very little in the way of ideas from those that criticise this blog for attacking the Tories, the one’s that I have come across seem to consist of holding a referendum immediately or if not that then just declaring Independence anyway whether the people of Scotland actually want that or not.

    There will be another Independence referendum and until that time I will continue to attack the policies and criticise the incompetence of Westminster politicians where I see it. The vast majority of people certainly do not know of the scale of the “mendacity, hypocrisy and contempt of the Conservatives”. This blog undoubtedly helps reach some of those who want to know more and opens the eyes of others. Keep on keeping on!

  8. Me Bungo Pony says:

    I am always suspicious of those who purport to support Indy, but want to give the Tories a free pass while turning their ire on the only political party that can actually deliver Indy.

    It’s not as if it’s constructive criticism. It’s an unreasoning, visceral attack on the SNP’s policies and personalities that can only damage the party’s, and Indy’s, image in the eyes of the electorate.

    I have an image of a Trojan Horse in the heart of the Indy camp. This one, not full of Greeks, but full of gleefull Unionists unable to believe their luck at the naievity of the dullards that wheeled them into such a strong position.

    • grizebard says:

      I appreciate your concern, but thankfully their influence among ordinary voters is miniscule, and so long as their heretofore antagonistic behaviour persists, unlikely to increase. (They’ve even started bickering among themselves.) Far better to concentrate their energies, like we here, in highlighting and opposing the BoJo Ermine-Clad Clown Circus in its desperate and increasingly anti-democratic attempts to keep Scotland suppressed and exploited. That is the real enemy of us all (even of those who have yet to realise it).

    • scottish skier says:

      Whether Alba folks like it or not, unionism is thinking – and acting upon – ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’. My unionist concern troll radar is finely tuned after 10 years of this game.

      When Yes was in minority, the approach was just to keep it like that by constantly hammering it down. Now it’s in narrow majority, the Brits know their only hope is to divide it, for if remains united, the UK is over. Alba is like a gift from heaven for them. What better than thousands of Yes voters than can be encouraged into outright attacks and hostility towards the movement. All you need to do is go on Alba supporting blogs and hate sturgeon and you are welcomed, no questions asked. Heaven for a unionist concern troll. Hell, you can even take out a National subscription and fire away. Just say you are Alba if confronted.

  9. Legerwood says:

    “”…for not wanting to promote any of the others in the small contingent of Scottish Conservative MPs, who struggle to constitute a talent drip never mind a talent pool. “”

    Classic, Paul. Weekend pick- me- up right there.

  10. Simon Taylor says:

    Offord clearly confused.
    Promoting the No Borders campaign in 2014 he supported Brexit.
    Go figure ?

    • scottish skier says:

      He supported the erection of 31 new borders. 33 if you count those down the Irish sea and between Gibraltar and the UK (EU folks like me don’t need a passport to enter, Brits do).

    • grizebard says:


      It’s the classic behaviour pattern of the bully. Whereas we are still subject to the bully’s unwanted whims over matters big and small, our land border included, the EU can’t be gaslighted and pushed around, not least over its borders. From that enforced impotence the bully just had to get away.

  11. scottish skier says:

    So Offord joins Kenny Macaskill, Neale Hanvey, Ruth Davidson, Annabel Goldie and numerous others in making laws for Scotland with no electoral mandate / as a part of ‘a government Scots didn’t vote for’.

  12. Welsh_Sion says:

    Yes, it’s the BBC, but maybe you’d like to keep the article for future reference. Not that I can guarantee its 100% accuracy, of course.

    Conservatives: Who funds them, and what’s in it for them?

    By Chris Mason

    Political correspondent, BBC News

    Published: 18 hours ago

  13. scottish skier says:

    Scots, I give you the UK PM.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Some say why go on and on about the Tories. How’s that going to win Independence? I think those holding such a view need to take a long hard look at themselves.

    • therealiggi says:

      This was the kind of flavour I was talking about from the mad old b*** in the torygraph, never mind the climate emergency, jail the M25 protesters, look at the economy, the saviour of mankind, I.e. the Tory elite and their deep pockets and keep those nasty immigrants in the channel
      It is dangerous stuff
      Wake up the blue Borders, get a grip englandshire

  14. yesindyref2 says:

    Well, the guy was “No Borders”, and seeing the reactions from some Unionists, it seems he’s already managed to remove the borders between Indy supporters and some Unionists, which can only be a good thing. Alba in their way are doing the same thing. Exploiting the cracks could be a good thing to do, and articles such as this, help.

    Onwards and upwards!

    • grizebard says:

      “Alba in their way are doing the same thing.” (?) Exposing the seamlessness between Unionists and fake/delusional indy supporters, I presume..?

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Showing that people can dislike to put it mildly, Sturgeon and the SNP, but support Independence. They get a lot of upvotes from actual Unionists.

        Offord does the same, specially for Labour voters and politicians.

        • grizebard says:

          I imagine they do get a lot of upvotes from actual Unionists, but only for self-evident troublemaking purposes. The usual divide-and-conquer. I very much doubt that this is converting anyone. (Which is rather the point, no?)

          I would think that genuine non-SNP pro-indy groups like Labour for Indy would have significantly more positive effect on their own no-tending brethren. But they seem to keep their heads very much below the parapet, alas, and are certainly not swanning-around upvoting Alba.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            If you think, for example, that the ScotGov rollout of the Vaccine App was almost perfect, then you don’t have that in common with a voter that thinks it went badly. If an Alba supporter is highly critical, then they do have that in common and can join in and agree with that voter or perhaps even group of voters. They are then inside the automatic defence mechanism, and if they then say they support YES, they’re more likely to get an interested response and an open mind than the ScotGov supporter who has put the defences up already.

            Some people seem to think Alba are Indy fakers; I know some personally and some even outside of politics, from before Alba was even a twinkle. They ain’t fake, they just don’t support the SNP any more.

            • grizebard says:

              I remain unconvinced, alas. These are two forms of negativity, with a degree of commonality in that both groups very evidently resent the SNP, for strangely similar reasons – mutually supportive in their antagonisms, even – but with polar opposite motivations. And it’s the motivations that are the difficulty. The rampant negativity convinces no-one to change because it can’t change the underlying motivations. I flatly disbelieve that any soft-no will be convinced to convert to indy because of a small coterie of angry indy dissidents. It’s just not credible human psychology. They might even be deterred by the apparent disunity, as the Unionist eggers-on evidently hope and intend.

              I can readily believe though that doubters could be persuaded to change by like-minded people who have already “crossed-over”, and can give positive reasons for their change of heart. As in the example I already gave. Another notable one, much quoted, is the change of heart of many brought about by Brexit. (But Alba, note, are even antagonistic to that potential motivation on purely doctrinaire grounds.)

              I don’t believe the average Albanista is anti-indy, but they are being played by a Greek chorus of Unionists. For reasons that should give any indy supporter pause for thought. In the end though it doesn’t what Alba is about, or what its members believe, because it’s a political dead end. It has no traction with the general public because its variously-disparate factional concerns are manifestly not the public’s concerns, whether they are indy-supporting or not. Something its supporters continually fail to appreciate, blind in their self-righteousness to the accumulating evidence.

            • Hamish100 says:

              Yes but they attack the SNP, Greens before the tories, labour, libdems. They also attack the FM with venom. Just look at the sites. Free ride for the unionists in my view.

              Strange eh?

            • scottish skier says:

              Some people seem to think Alba are Indy fakers

              They are definitely not indy fakers, but they are absolutely perfect cover for online unionist concern trolls. These can hunt out attacks on the Scotgov by Alba supporters and enthusiastically join in, rabble rousing with an ideal cover story. The problem is that Alba folks often don’t call this out, even when it become obvious that trolls have joined in (the can’t help but slip in unionist canards etc), because the latter are saying the same as them, albeit with extra lashings of right-wing racism and vitriol.

              Ultimately, though, as it is impossible to damage the SNP/Greens through negative attacks on them (these can only damage themselves by their own behavior / not delivering / breaking promises) – something unionists have still not realised after 14 years of SNP at the top -so all that happens is Alba is damaged.

              If I was Alba, I’d be doing what WGD does; making sure my blog and comments promoted Yes with an Alba flavour while avoiding negative attacks on the SNP. I’d be looking for fake ‘real indy supporters’ and policing these with my comments. I used to do this for the fake SNP supporters that masqueraded as rabid anti-English nats before giving themselves away with the usual slip ups.

              Constructive criticism with alternative politics proposed is fine. Negative campaign will always be a flop, certainly if you are fighting a positive one. It’s what the Greens do, and successfully. The Greens openly campaigned as a rival to the SNP and the SNP have less seats because of this. But there’s no division, anger and mistrust. I must admit at being surprised at Salmond not understanding this; he did seem to know the power of positive over negative when he was in charge. So each time I see him attacking the SNP and so damaging Alba, I’m kindae perplexed.

              • Dr Jim says:

                The opinions of a *political party* ? ABLA , generally come from the top down
                The Tories weren’t the ones who invented that party or it’s opinions, or did they?
                Nowadays you can’t tell who’s who and who means what, but that particular *party* seems to say a lot of nasty things, by whose direction?

                Nothing perplexes me about that lot, they have one main purpose and Independence is only a side issue to it

                • scottish skier says:

                  I certainly find it hard to believe that e.g. the weirdo creeps stalking me on the internet when I don’t post about them personally, nor post on the blogs they post on, with my comments primarily analytical, referenced, and only occasionally about other political parties, are independence supporters.

                  Nope, that level of creepy obsessive ‘hang around outside your house’ stalker hate can only come from the other side.

                  That and my posts being true. Only the truth can generate that much anger, especially from someone of no importance like myself.

  15. stewartb says:

    I have read a couple of things on economics and public finance that Offord has written recently and heard him speak on the subject. He is both a smart ‘marketeer/salesman’ and his articulation of economics are not just traditionally, tired old Tory ones: indeed he writes about ditching Tory economic ‘dogma’ e.g. on deficits and public spending. He makes much about – and seems intent on weaponising in the next Better Together campaign – claims for the secure international status and intrinsic guarantee of Sterling as an attractive currency for lenders and contrasts this with an assumed status of a new Scottish currency.

    I find little or nothing to disagree with on the topic of Offord, on his past record and recent enablement, that has been written here – stated for the avoidance of doubt! However, I caution – don’t underestimate him! Learn more about HIS formulation of the economic case for the Union and prepare to counter it because he may well play a key role in designing the next ‘Better Together’ playbook.

    • grizebard says:

      He may well be an effective front-man for BT2, and thus dangerous enough, but will he ultimately, with his own brand of heretical free-thinking, have any less transience than Federal Broon last time? Convenient to have in debate perhaps to challenge the pro-indy side, but ultimately to be cast aside after a successful defence as having served his purpose but now “surplus to requirements”…

    • Golfnut says:

      I was a marketeer and salesman, offord is a con artiste, big difference.

  16. malkymcblain says:

    Thanks to Gordon Ross and Davy MacGuiness for posting this on You Tube recently.

    Thanks also to you Paul for your input.

  17. Capella says:

    I see from twitter that the Tories have launched a coordinated campaign against the Scottish Government’s Covid Passport scheme.
    They are claiming that the Scottish Government declined to join a UK government scheme and spent the magic £600,000 on a Scottish scheme out of sheer vanity.

    None of this is true of course. There is no UK government Covid Passport because Boris and Sajid decided in September to cancel the England and Wales scheme. But they are busy tweeting it out as if it exists and getting idiots to retweet. The Mail has joined in of course.

    Here’s The National on the subject so you can enjoy the explosion of incandescent rage engulfing Tories everywhere. Their efforts to sabotage the public health message and ensure many more Scots get infected is criminal.

    I wonder if Mr Offord is behind this faux campaign?

    • James Mills says:

      Problems with a UK Government App ?
      Hang on , we’ll get the Army to deliver it – once they’ve finished driving ambulances , HGV lorries to supply supermarkets and delivering fuel to petrol stations .

      • ArtyHetty says:

        The point being there’s no such ‘UK government App’ in the first place.
        The Tory BritNats and their compliant media hope that the people of Scotland really are zipped up the back.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Having read the National article previously, it was unclear who started this nonsense off before the Daily Fail got involved, but the tell-tale re-writing recent history points firmly to the Tories.

      Surprised to see no mention of it on the BBC website, but perhaps they’re still stinging from their “public aren’t ready”/interested story having run headlong into the App download demand issue that they thought better on making further fools of themselves, and concentrated on the “confusion” among clubbers and football fans and App “bugs” angle.

      There is ample evidence of public support for the initiative, but with two weeks to go before it becomes relevant, presumably the Tory “wreck-it” campaign will continue to harrumph.

      • Capella says:

        Listened to the paper review on GMS this morning with Fiona Stalker and Martin Geissler and guests David Clegg and Gillian ? They body swerved the Covid Passport scheme but all salivated over the prospect of discussing it in the coming days, weeks and months – maybe even years, I lost track.. Probably right up until Westminster introduces one.

        So stay alert 😂

        • Hamish100 says:

          Fiona stalker missed the opportunity of asking Clegg what he really knows over the salmond issue.

          Surprised at this as usually the bbc asks a question not directly linked to the subject being discussed.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I caught some of this while driving to the shops. I think it was Geissler who spoke of being surprised at not being asked for his vaccine passport when he went to the football yesterday at Tynecastle. He said he had arrived late at “3 mins to 3 as usual”.

          He then made the point so the listener was clear, that when he got there, there was no queue and no sign of anyone having to show their passports despite Hearts stating that they would be using yesterday’s game as a “dry run”. H didn’t show anybody his but said that he didn’t know if any dry run took place at all.

          Now if he had been paying attention he would have been aware of a fairly long clip on the BBC yesterday showing a queue of Hearts supporters standing in line with their phone in hand ready to show them to the stewards who were checking passports. They interviewed a few people and unlike normal, the majority view was that it wasn’t a problem having to do this, just one guy interviewed stated that he had been unable to verify his identity.

          No one else on the panel bothered to point this out to him so the listeners who might not have seen the report on the BBC news would be left with the impression that no inspection of vaccine passports took place at all yesterday at Tynecastle.

      • Capella says:

        Also, the BBC have already broadcast the news that Savid Javid has ditched plans to introduce the Covid Passport in England on 12th September, though he kept the option open to revisit this later. So they are pinning their hopes on plenty of “chaos” “shambles” and “outrage” headlines to come (probably already written by Malcolm Offord).

    • Dr Jim says:

      Notice how the media consistently refer to it as the *controversial* Covid app

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Aye, the go-to adjective for things the public support but media and political backers would rather they didn’t throughout the ages….

      • ‘Critics’ were expressing ”concerns’, Dr. Jim, hence, in BBC Speak ‘controversial’.
        It is Doublespeak for Sarwar, Dross, and Coal-Scuttle yelling ‘SNP Bad’ again.

        Not long now, Duggers.

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      “There is no UK government Covid Passport because Boris and Sajid decided in September to cancel the England and Wales scheme.”



      I don’t think you’re right in dragging us into England’s situation. “The Saj” has NO remit for Health across the border – as we know, Health is devolved to both Parliaments in Holyrood and Cardiff Bay.

      I refer you to the Welsh Covid Pass:

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        And yes, the usual suspects are against the idea – Tories and Lib Dems (latter having 1 MS out of 60!)

        News in brief: Lib Dems attack Welsh Government’s Covid pass proposals

        17 Sep 2021 9 minute Read


        Senedd committee calls for clarification of Covid pass proposals

        18 Sep 2021 4 minute Read

      • Capella says:

        Apos WS. Thx for the link. I was thinking about the other Covid Pass scheme which allows users in England and Wales to download a pdf with bar code vaccine confirmation but which expires after 28 days. That is the scheme which the Scottish Government declined to join. Wales’ data is easy to integrate into England’s so it went ahead. The reason the Scottish Government declined was that they were told it would take a year to integrate the Scottish data. So SNHS went ahead with their own. I downloaded mine about a month ago.

        The Covid Passport is a different scheme.

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          Apology accepted, Capella. But that’s the great thing about this blog – we can exchange ideas and approaches and learn more about each other’s nations and latest news whereas we wouldn’t (or rely on erroneous external sources) otherwise.

          We have our own concerns regarding the non-availability (currently) of such pass/passports in Cymraeg/Welsh – although there were moves as early as the first national (i.e UK wide) lockdown to promote passes/passports – even then. I was approached by a translation agency in Scotland (yes, in Glasgow) if I would translate such passes into Welsh. However, at that time, the (UK) Government were dithering (what else is new?) as to whether to introduce them or not so conflicting reports of whether a translation or not was needed varied by the hour. In the end, passes/passports were not introduced ‘nationwide’, so I didn’t obtain the commission.

          I suspect that the new Wales passes will be translated eventually – either by myself or colleagues in Wales on a freelance basis. Or, alternatively, Mark Drakeford and his Health Minister will farm it out to the Welsh Language Unit in the Senedd. Either way, we will still be in the position of having to rely on them being solely in English until that happy day.

  18. exile says:

    I agree with stewartb @ 10.52 pm. Don’t underestimate Offord, and “Learn more about HIS formulation of the economic case for the Union and prepare to counter it”. Perhaps Believe in Scotland is working on this already?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mundell was a nobody, Jack is a nobody. Duguid was a nobody.

      Offord has susbtance and business acumen. We must never underestimate him.

      Anyways, back to work.

      • scottish skier says:

        Offord is an Englishman (he is legally an English citizen) that backed brexit. The latter means he has zero business acumen,.

        I foresaw everything that is going on now years before the vote (it’s a good part of why I unquestionably voted Yes in 2014), and was at pains to say that EU workers will flood out of the country the moment Brits vote Leave, ruining the economy for decades to come.

        And I’m a geoscientist / chemist. Nobody with an ounce of business accumen could have thought Tory brexit was a good idea economically.

        As an SME director, no way I’d listen to a word of advice from someone like him. FHS, he’d have advised us to back brexit. It’s costing us 10’s of k in export/import problems and project delays due to supply chain issues.

        • Ross Anderson says:

          And I bet you h Offord’s been regularly filling up with petrol/diesel the past week, preventing remain voting nurses etc from getting to work.

          Farage was of course out greedily looking to take fuel from key workers when he had his accident. That sums up these type of people to a t.

    • grizebard says:

      The most important thing to keep in full view is that no matter how insightful his analysis of Scotland’s position within the Union may be, and how well-judged his proposals may be for reform, he’s no more able to guarantee any of it will actually happen than I am. There may be lots of sweet nothings offered before another referendum, but afterwards there will simply be more nothing. (Or yet more retrenchment, more likely.) Because there’s no will whatever down south to follow through. He may be more effective, but Offord is still just another convenient front for BoJo and whoever may eventually follow him, of whatever party.

  19. Welsh_Sion says:

    Johnson on Marr this morning:

    Prime Minister indicates shortages could continue to Christmas

  20. andrewgscott says:

    “There are those on social media who criticise this blog”.

    You’re not but don’t listen to them!

  21. Capella says:

    In Private Eye 1st – 14th October:
    Break Up, the book written by David Clegg and Kieran Andrews. It exposes how opposition MSPs on the Harassment Committee established “back channels” with the “Salmond camp” to undermine Sturgeon.

    Dundee Courier editor Clegg and Times Scottish political editor Andrews note that “some MSPs on the committee soon became attracted” to Salmond’s theory of a conspiracy to sully his name, “as they realised it was fast becoming their best hope of damaging Sturgeon”…
    Break Up reveals that “back channels had opened up between members of the group and allies of Salmond with Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie particularly well informed of the Scottish government’s pressure points.”

    They note that all three benefited from their “Hammer of the Nats” image in the following election in May.

    Still – they failed.

    • grizebard says:

      Seems to me that such backdoor co-operation, if proven, should merit parliamentary censure of those members involved, because such reprehensible underhand behaviour brings the entire committee system into disrepute and undermines public confidence in it. (Though given the obvious public misbehaviour of those particular MSPs at the time, if true this would hardly come as a surprise.)

      As for Alex Salmond, if this happened, it surely marks the end of the road. For him or anyone associated with him to be actively collaborating with Unionists to harm or bring down the Scottish Government, that is totally unforgiveable. For any genuine indy supporter, there is no conceivable way back from treachery.

      • Capella says:

        Agreed. It may be why Alex Salmond is suing Clegg and Andrews. He is certainly furious about them publishing this material – perhaps legitimately. I haven’t read the book – yet 🙂

      • scottish skier says:

        As #committeegate developed into a full BBC/MSN/Wings assault on the SNP and FM, this is increasingly what I felt was happening.

        When Salmond then falsely accused the FM of multiple code breaches stretching back years, I was like whit? Why not report her before if he had concerns? Why suddenly now join with the unionists and S. England right-wing blogs to go for the jugular?

        Then along came Alba and it all made sense.

        Held my head in my hands and sighed.

    • Dr Jim says:

      During the whole *trial* of Nicola Sturgeon Jackie Baillie was in constant contact with someone on her phone, which lay beside her the entire time, and she was observed making constant reference to it during questioning

      I don’t believe she was watching back episodes of Eastenders

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Still – they failed”, true, but do you not find it a little odd that a “tell-all” book is published precisely when BT are floundering in changing Scottish public opinion ? I mean look at what Scotland’s national broadcaster BBC has on it’s website, complete and utter tosh which informs absolutely none.
      So pardon my suspended belief what Clegg and Andrews have produced is a “tell-all” rather than a political convenience. Yet look at the Private Eye highlighted targets –
      Baillie has long been a liability to Labour in Scotland so no great loss as collateral damage.
      Yet what so terrifies the City, State and thereby the Tories about the retired leader of the SNP such that they would go after him yet again knowing full well that he would sue ? Or is he merely a means to an end ? Publicity ! Squirrels ?

      Salmond’s multiple personal flaws exposed aside, I’ve long been convinced he is as much a victim of conspiracy as any other in Scotland’s sphere of public influence – There have been far too many instances of “Dagger” in the “Drawing Room” revelations since Brexit in 2016 not be contrived by those tasked with protecting the State, the City, and by default, the Tories.

      Clegg ? Andrews ? I’d expect Oor Wullie to be closer to the truth.

      • Capella says:

        I have no doubt that David Clegg, from NI, is a unionist and will do whatever it takes to damage the independence cause. But he also has a book to sell and is in a privileged position to gather in the details.

        I agree that Alex Salmond was a target of unionist dirty tricks. But he also provided the ammo through his own behaviour IMO. The British state wants to take down Nicola Sturgeon too and Salmond gave them plenty of help with that. He may be motivated by revenge.

        There are two favoured stitch-ups used by the state – sexual misconduct or financial fraud. Salmond was feely-touchy enough to provide the bullets for the first ploy. They expected to connect Sturgeon to that and get rid of her for breaking the ministerial code. That failed. So now they are desperately playing the financial fraud card. So far there is very little traction.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          “But he also provided the ammo through his own behaviour IMO.” – Agreed, but that is precisely what the State’s MO has been exploiting since time immemorial, weaknesses.
          The SG conspiracy theory they attempted to sow failed to get much public traction, even the rise of Alba failed to gain much electoral support, they grow increasingly desperate for something, anything as leverage.
          How Jackie Baillie responds may prove instructive, she may not be the brightest bulb in the socket but she’s not completely stupid.
          Clegg will have a guaranteed income no matter how many of his books sell, he is but the latest of a long line of squirrels on Scotland’s political landscape…

      • grizebard says:

        I can see your point about squirrels, since that seems to have been the general line of mainstream press reviews such as in The Observer. “The SNP are all in disarray” is their hopeful take, even if it’s all mere distant wishful thinking. Just a pity though that some here have swallowed this well-crafted ploy, hook, line and sinker.

        These days I don’t share your apparent view of Salmond as “as much sinned-against as sinning”. He is a grown up and a very experienced politician, and yet he allowed his personal foibles to be ruthlessly exploited when he should have had the strength of character to own up to them and at least foil the would-be puppet-masters. So far so human, I suppose. Much worse though, knowing the wider issues at stake, to then deliberately turn his thwarted bitterness in such a dastardly attempt at the good name of his successor, simply for refusing to collude with a brazen attempt to save his own reputation, and to do so with a whiff of misogny besides, that was entirely unforgiveable, IMO. Time will no doubt reveal more, but I believe that the behind-the-scenes whisperings of this latter-day Iago have poisoned the minds of many sincere independence supporters, and all to no useful purpose except in aid of the Union.

        And yet, as you say, on it goes. Salmond and his inflated ego is the Unionist gift that keeps on giving. Damn him for it.

  22. Hamish100 says:

    Strange that the bbc scotchland didn’t ask. Of course, they are party to what did happen and the opportunity to damage both the existing FM and the previous.

    Their concern for the women ( if any) was incidental.

    Ot – wonder why Davidson didn’t get the job from Johnson? Sookin up to him less important than actual donations to the tories?

  23. Dr Jim says:

    Unfortunately Nicola Sturgeons book won’t be out for at least 10 to 20 years, she’ll still be busy

    • grizebard says:

      I’m looking forward to a somewhat shorter timescale. Post-indy, I suspect much will quickly emerge that some will find {ahem} embarrassing. (None of them Nicola.) Which is one reason why some are evidently so desperate to prevent it happening.

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        I don’t usually go in for religious parables (considering I think of myself as a ‘born-again agnostic’ and writing my own fables for independence) but the story which is over 2 000 years old of a man building his house on sand springs to mind …

        I expect others also have vested interests in their nefarious activities coming to late post-indy in a free Wales.

        Watch this space …

    • Capella says:

      She could get Peter to write it. That would annoy just about everybody. He could call it “Yes First Minister” 😂

  24. Welsh_Sion says:

    Scotland and Cymru as one once more:

    Leaders of the UK’s devolved nations call for last minute U-turn on Universal Credit cut

    03 Oct 2021 3 minute Read

  25. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Apparently Douglas Ross has stated the Nicola Sturgeon is ” detached from the working class” ….I think that considering what the Tories are currently doing re NI increase and also removing the £20 credit uplift from UC…and past austerity measures…and the rampant Tory cronyism to the NON working class among us… then I think DRoss is ,via this incredible statement, using this statement as a substitute for a resignation letter and instead is using a subliminal message to offer his resignation.

    OR alternatively he is adopting the old tried and tested Goebbels trope of ” Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty”……

    Perhaps DRoss is reaching out to a ‘specific type’ of working class with whom this message will resonate…..or perhaps it is just a fact that there is no lengths to which he will go to, no depth too low, no gutter too dirty that DRoss will not utilise/weaponize in order to sink to the bottom and thus insult our collective intelligence in order to deny the reality of living in a post Tory Brexit UKnotOK.

    As his Britain under his political party is imploding , he in his role as Head branch office WM deflector, expects us to see credibility in a succession of incredibly insulting post truth political slogans far removed from the actual truth…….where reality is expected to be ignored and replaced by an alternative version of Tory reality courtesy of non political entities such as DRoss.

    An Ayn Rand quote “We can ignore reality but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality”……and this is what DRoss and his colleagues expect of us all… ignore what we are living through and believe their version of reality….thus we go back to Orwell’s ” The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears . It was their final and most essential command”.

    DRoss promotes this type of messaging as he has no actual power, no imagination, no originality and through his words and actions displays the characteristics of the perfect pawn for the Tory HQ’s game plan. What DRoss and his masters cannot control though is those of us who use “common sense” , independent thinking , our intelligence , reason, critical thinking……actually to condense this statement we, who use our brains, can see when we are being played by an unscrupulous lackey like DRoss and his masters at HQ.

    Nothing to see here…Everything is fine….Everything back to normal…..The future is going to be great….Better Together…Stronger Together…..Build back Together…Strong and Stable…..oh and not forgetting Red Tories who endorsed Better Together….Win the Future…..Stronger Together….Stronger Future Together……meanwhile in the land of the living aka reality where us mere mortals reside and where empty promises and slogans mean Jack s**t because they lack any real substance………. and do not actually result in providing the things they were supposedly meant to provide for us minions… minions who are meant to worship on the altar of a party slogan….in other words they solve nothing and offer nothing to the “many” indeed they usually only result in satisfying the “few” (non minions as in the privileged or alternatively minions who are gullible) .

    Manifesto commitments that got you elected on are tossed aside like chip paper the moment they prevent your party from implementing what works for your party (and your wealthy donors) as opposed to what’s best for those DRoss currently champions (NOT) i.e. the “working class” people…..that’s UKnotOK politics for you…..excuses, lies, pointless and meaningless slogans, underhand tactics, blaming others for consequences for which your party is responsible via policies that your party implemented ….you know I could go on and on but really let’s be honest…..if this is the here and now…the reality we currently endure….. then why do some who live in Scotland ,also those others who do not live here, think that independence for Scotland is the worst case scenario ….when the reality is that we are no worse off ,via resources etc, than any other normal functioning country outwith the UKnotOK…..many of those countries who prosper with far less than our resources BTW ……indeed it is via the Union that we, in Scotland, are currently enduring the worst case scenario as a citizen…..but hey let’s live in this(NON) Union that relies more/entirely on empty promises and slogans…..cause that seems to be working for us all……NOT.

    For once not apologising for length of comment……as feel compelled to speak the truth as I see it and also speak from the heart……..calling a spade a spade DRoss.


    • James Mills says:

      Abridged version : D Ross = DRoss !

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Oops never saw your comment James….that’s actually really clever BTW and very true too……

        Have a nice evening James

    • grizebard says:

      Quoting the ultra-liberals’ ultra-liberal Ayn Rand is something new here, but especially in the light of Brexit, it’s a good quote all the same! {grin}

      DRoss is a convenient stooge; if he didn’t already exist the UKGov would have needed to invent him. He is good enough to keep the vast majority of unthinking Tory voters from becoming aware of their real interests, and that’s about it. He may annoy the bejasus out of people like us, but he is merely a useful shill. If there was somebody smarter (like Offord) waiting offstage, s/he would have a long wait because the last thing that BoJo needs is a potential rival in the Northern Colony. That could be dangerous – they might even use their brainpower and go native.

      More relevant, I would suggest, is the residual insidious influence of the Labour Party. I think it’s their membership and the like-inclined who could be the key to winning IR2. The ERS has just publicly bemoaned that the late party conference failed to commit to PR electoral reform for UK elections because its leadership under Starmer remains antagonistic. (Presumably holding out for an eventual Buggins Turn in No.10. Even at the cost of having to wait A.Very.Awful.Long.Time. Meanwhile, all our lives move inexorably along. Are you, Dear Labourite Reader passing through, happy to wait that long?)

      Sarwar may be a far more emollient and sympathetic figure than DRoss, but he’s where he is – just like all his predecessors and presumable successors – because the Northern Twig-not-Branch fears that it simply couldn’t pay its way in an independent country that would forbid foreign financial support. English money included. They are wrong. It’s the opposite. Progress can only be made when its membership finally realise that they have been led nowhere by a succession of people without courage, ambition or ideas. Having made that necessary mental jump, they still don’t need to change their party allegiance, they just need to embrace a new start for it in a brand-new country.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        “Quoting the ultra-liberals’ ultra-liberal Ayn Rand is something new here, but especially in the light of Brexit, it’s a good quote all the same”!

        Ha Ha…yes…but desperate times calls for desperate measures…….or something…I’ll clutch any straw….Ha Ha.

        Have a good day

      • Alex Clark says:

        There’s a story in today’s Mail on Sunday that is claiming 3 Labour MP’s are getting ready to defect to the Tory party because of dissatisfaction with the leadership of Starmer.

        I was going to post it here but didn’t bother as it sounds highly dubious when Starmer is busily purging the left wing of the Labour party. Whether there are defectors to the Tories or not, the Labour party under Starmer doesn’t seem to know what they are doing and appears in danger of falling apart.

  26. Capella says:

    Report outlines how independent Scotland may join EU to ‘undo damage of Brexit’

    SCOTLAND could “undo the damage” of Brexit if it joined the EU as an independent nation, according to new analysis.

    Economists at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands used state-of-the-art modelling to look at the impact of Brexit on trade for the UK and devolved nations.

    Their findings differ from a recent LSE report which claimed that Scotland wouldn’t be any better off if independent and in the EU.
    (won’t archive)

    • grizebard says:

      This is exactly the kind of exercise of which we need much more. From now on, corral as many neutral economists as possible who are able and willing to go on record as giving their personal “thumbs-up”, from a purely economic standpoint, to an independent Scotland.

      The classic BBC strategy is to weaponise the “dismal science” and bombard the public with such a blizzard of figures and nit-picking that they are left totally confused, exactly as intended. When people plaintively ask for “more information”, they don’t mean the bandying-about of yet more volumes of raw data, but the very opposite; it’s a cry for help, and what they actually want is more assurance. And that they can get from independent (no pun intended) experts who understand the economic fundamentals and in whose dispassionate and informed judgement they can trust.

      So let’s get motivating and collecting them now, please!

      • Marc says:

        Agreed, also important to gently impress on those who support independence but not an Independent Scotland in the EU that the two come hand in hand, in order for an Independent Scotland to be successful economically:

        Kohl said: “It is interesting to also compare our results to one other recent study which came out from colleagues at the London School of Economics, who take a somewhat different approach.
        “We agree with each other in that independence of Scotland and other devolved nations would be even more harmful than the damage that Brexit itself imposes on the devolved nations. But they find that even with EU membership, the Scottish economy would not be in a better position. So our results are more positive compared to these other results. “Across the board we can agree even these small positive results we find are conditional on knowing there is fully fledged EU membership again.”

  27. Arthur Thomson says:

    Yet another great post Paul. Thank you.

    I find it interesting that some are heralding the emergence of a new Great British Genius. We are warned not to underestimate the super intelligence of the new beast. We seem to have been here before – many times – and invariably the super clever individual has turned out to be a duffer. And there are good reasons for this. If he wasn’t a duffer he would have done something more significant than “no borders”. If he wasn’t a duffer he wouldn’t have tried and publicly failed to get elected despite the infinite supply of Tory money. If he wasn’t a duffer he would have been up front, active and successful in turning Scotland Tory. But he is just another Tory wide boy and any “cleverness” he has is being devoted to his success in amassing his ill gotten gains.

    So why are some people recommending that we take notice of him as anything other than yet another Great British Duffer? Why are they recommending that we perceive him to be clever and to read his weasel words? Why are we being recommended to take him and his observations – that were no doubt supplied to him by state actors – seriously rather than treating him and them with the contempt they deserve? Mmmm.

    Those Scots who haven’t yet felt able or willing to take the challenging step to support independence are not going to be swayed by the minutiae of the latest unionist duffer. They are going to look at their own personal experiences, past and present and their best hopes for the future. Their experience of placing trust in the Scottish Government is going to be a key factor in that equation. Which is why the same people who want us to take seriously the latest British no mark are also keen to undermine the SNP and the Scottish Government.

    Without wishing to imply that Paul is supportive of my comment, I think that his post puts the elevation of the latest Great British Hope into its proper perspective. My view is simply to say “aye right” and move on, whilst making a mental note of who yet again want to sidetrack us into plumbing the depths of unionist bull…t.

    • James Mills says:

      I think when compared to the run-of-the-mill , common-or-garden Scottish Tory he looks to be of Einsteinian intellect !

      In reality he is still a Grassroots Tory confidence trickster !

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I wish I was a duffer who could, as a self-made person, give £150,000 to say the YES2 campaign without even stirring a roller, calling on 3i (who they – red dots?), or losing one of my 50 odd directorships, or dipping into any share I might have of the £5.6 billion realised by investing a couple of billion pounds in UK companies.

      For other info:

      I would guess he’d merit a place on the post-YES iScotland Fiscal Commmission, cos if he can help to do the same for Scotland but 10 or 20 or 50 times over, he’d have my vote for his position.

      • James Mills says:

        How many Tories have made fortunes out of the corrupt Tory PPE and other scandals ?

        It only takes friends in the right place for some people to get-rich-quick !

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          No wonder Old Moore’s Almanack has withdrawn all those adverts for Joan the Wad and the lucky Cornish Piskies as methods of getting rich quick.

          A more realistic preposition has to be to get to know your local Tory!

      • scottish skier says:

        You do seem to like this guy! 🙂

        But seriously, he voted for mass, uncontrolled emigration of highly skilled workers, and the erection of 31+ hard new trade borders. Not only that, his advice for companies to support brexit has sent many to the wall, and many more will follow. His ‘business acumen’ has already cost my SME 10’s of k, and we didn’t listen to him as he didn’t seem to have a clue what he was talking about; something that has proved a very accurate assessment given the empty shelves and queues for petrol rations.

        I can’t see him getting on any sort of credible economic committee, especially one in a democracy, given him liking to make laws from an unelected position while milking Scots taxpayers to top up his personal fortune.

        Anyway, I could not vote for someone who doesn’t believe in ‘standing on their own two feet’, but advocates ‘taking subsidies’. It’s why I could never vote for the ‘subsidy junkie’ (or they at least believe they are) Scots Tories. I want Scots to stand on their own two feet, unlike conservatives who can’t get enough of the ‘English handouts’ they believe they are receipt of.

  28. scottish skier says:

    On Sunday Boris Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that labour market problems would not be solved by pulling “the big lever marked uncontrolled immigration” to allow in large numbers of foreign workers.

    Erm, the UK doesn’t have immigration; the number of non-UK nationals here has been falling for many years, even when full free movement was still in place.

    Number of EU nationals living in UK falls 200,000 in a year

    That 200k net loss happened with full free movement.

    The current crisis is caused by ‘uncontrolled emigration’ you prize idiot.

    Lucky for you, you’ve stripped brits of the right to free movement in true East German style. Now they can’t freely leave. They are at the mercy of other countries letting them in as economic / political refugees if they try to flee. But that’s not going to be enough to stop the skills/brain drain as other countries will welcome Brit workers with the right skills, offering them better wages. You will need to turn the border guards around, just as the USSR etc did. The Iron curtain was of course not for keeping people out, but keeping them in.

    The UK is so utterly f**ked. Key skilled workers are leaving at a rate of nearly 4k/week in a mass exodus of historic proportions and this racist imbecile is on about ‘uncontrolled immigration’.

    Never in the history of human civilization has mass emigration coincided with economic expansion. Only depression, poverty and people leaving in search of a better life.

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      From that interview with Marr earlier:

      Moment Andrew Marr calls out Boris Johnson for ‘not telling the truth’ over wages increasing

    • Eilidh says:

      Not to mention the UK has an aging population. It would be interesting to know the ratio of job vacancies at the moment compared to those seeking work Of course not everyone looking for a job qualifies for benefits so an accurate count of those seeking work is nigh on impossible to get. Bojo is a liar as we know. Uk needs immigration and he knows it but will never admit it of course

      • scottish skier says:

        Here you go. From the UK government. Age of exiting the labour market for men vs time.

        Under Thatcher-Major, the long term trend of people getting better off, so retiring earlier, stopped, and in the 1990’s, retirement age started climbing again. Things improved under Labour somewhat, with retirement age staying steady at just over 63. But the return of the Thatcherite Tories in 2010 has people increasingly working themselves to the grave.

        • Eilidh says:

          The vast majority of people 60 and over struggle to get other jobs as I well know and I don’t anticipate many employers paying someone that age to train to drive an HGV lorry and precious few will be able to afford to pay for that training themselves. Retail used to take a fair amount of older workers but as we know retail is declining with store closures etc

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