Andrew Bowie’s bumper book of British banality

We’ve all been distracted by empty supermarket shelves, petrol shortages and soaring gas prices none of which have anything at all to do with the rank incompetence of the Conservatives and their fixation on getting the hardest possible Brexit as a favour to their money laundering friends, oh no. On top of that there’s the revelations of the Pandora papers and the extent to which the Tories are funded by dodgy individuals who are allegedly involved in industrial scale corruption and are pally with anti-democratic authoritarian types who aren’t actually Priti Patel. But don’t let it be said that the Tories are incapable of multitasking as incompetently as they do, or more exactly fail to do, everything else. They have still found time to grace us with a collection of essays by Conservative thinkers, and Alister Jack as well, which it pleases them to call the case for the United Kingdom.

Titled “Strength in Union: The Case for the United Kingdom “
The slim volume was edited by Andrew Bowie, which ought to be enough to warn you that you’re in for an unsatisfying gruel of smugness, arrogance, irrelevance and triumphalism, all cooked up in an industrial oven of British exceptionalism. There’s nothing new in this paean to the British state, it’s just the same rehashed nonsense that Scotland was force fed by the BBC and the Better Together campaign back in 2014. This is the kind of stuff that would be rejected by a GCSE modern studies teacher for being trite and unresearched. Meanwhile, just enjoy the irony that the party which brought you “freedom” from a union so that we could measure our “sovereignty” in imperial units has now published a book called ‘Strength in Union’.

The essays even try to assert that the British nationalism of the Conservatives is outward looking and a beacon of tolerance, diversity and inclusion which the rest of the world aspires to even as the Home Office imposes a hostile environment and EU citizens who have made their homes in the UK are told that they are no longer welcome. Yeah, it’s that bad.

We are told by Michael Fallon, chanelling Philip Hammond who infamously warned that an independent Scotland would have no defence from threats from outer space, possibly because the BBC would not allow Doctor Who into an independent Scotland, that Scotland is dependent upon the inflated military budget and nuclear viagra of the UK and would be hapless helpless and utterly vulnerable as an independent nation because it would friendless and isolated, unlike the UK which has got such fantastic relations with its neighbours.

There is the usual attempt ( copyright Gordon Brown) to rebrand universal values as somehow uniquely British, so for example Tory MP Karen Bradley, who when Secretary of state for Northern Ireland showed that she had not got the foggiest notion about the basics of the history or politics of Northern Ireland by confessing that she hadn’t realised that nationalists in Northern Ireland won’t vote for unionist parties and vice versa, brings that same depth of insight into an essay which avers that tolerance, freedom, and diversity are core British values which presumably Scotland will be deprived of as an independent nation.

Bowie’s own contribution is an exercise in banality and trite irrelevance. He tells us at length about how he feels just as much at home in London and Cornwall as he does in Scotland which leads to the inevitable conclusion in a dispassionate observer that Andrew Bowie’s emotional attachment to a place is predicated upon the possibility of it being governed by a Tory. Apparently we are supposed to conclude that Andrew Bowie’s feelings are an adequate justification for a Conservative government which enjoys little electoral support in Scotland but which unilaterally and without even the pretence of a mandate is undoing the devolution settlement which the people of Scotland campaigned long and hard for even though Bowie’s own party assured the people of Scotland when it was seeking a No vote in 2014 that the powers of Holyrood would never be altered or changed without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament. But Andrew Bowie loves being British and that makes it all OK.

Brexit gets few mentions in this collection of essays, it is hailed as heralding trade opportunities for Scotland,with a grudging admission that a majority in Scotland voted to remain. Since we are very far from seeing any of these supposed trade opportunities, the tract quickly goes on to describe Brexit as being in the rear view mirror, as though we are not still dealing with its lasting and long term negative consequences. The message is clear, get over it Scotland, rejoice in your blue British passports that don’t offer freedom of movement or settlement in Europe and enjoy buying things – if they are in stock that is – in ounces and pounds now that we’re free of that satanic and foreign metric system with its logic and ease of use.

Alister Jack’s contribution tells us that he is not a fan of describing the UK as four nations, because in his view the UK is “one great nation” He reduces the cultures and identities of the different nations of the UK to “regional variations” and a “tapestry of dialects”. He decries the “separatists” “constantly trying to make Scotland a different country.” Just think about that for a second, the Secretary of State for Scotland, the man who is supposed to represent Scotland in the British cabinet, by his own admission does not like to think of Scotland as a nation. Which begs the important question – just why does he think that he has got his job?

Meanwhile former party leader Theresa May equates being Scottish with being from Yorkshire. It should be clear by now that the Anglo-British nationalism of the Conservatives has as its goal the erasure of Scotland and Wales as nations and their reduction to glorified English counties whose role is to allow Anglo-British nationalists to pretend that their nationalism is more expansive and inclusive than that of other, lesser, nations. For the Tories Scotland is just more fuel for the binfire of British exceptionalism.

You don’t have to be a supporter of Scottish independence to recognise that Scotland is already a different country and that it did not cease to be a country in its own right because of the Union of Parliaments of 1707. Indeed the treaty which underpins that Union contains important provisions which guarantee the continuation of Scotland as a nation such as Scots law, education and the place of the Church of Scotland. Alister Jack discounts all this and dismisses the Scotland-England border as nothing more than a sign by the side of the road. as though it was of no more importance than a sign telling you there’s a cafe off the next exit.

This appalling lack of understanding of Scotland as a nation with its own distinctive culture, history and identity, a history and identity which inform the distinct political culture that Scotland still possesses, a political culture that rejects Alister Jack and his party, would be laughable were it not for the fact that this ignorant arrogant patrician is supposed to speak up for Scotland’s interests at the highest level of the British Government.

This collection of lightweight opinion pieces doesn’t just fail to make the case for the United Kingdom, it illustrates the intellectual bankruptcy of Conservative opposition to Scottish independence. It fails as it is trying to argue that two contradictory things are simultaneously true, that the UK is both a single nation and a union of four nations that remain distinct. It tries to paper over the yawning chasms in this argument by appeals to British exceptionalism which only seem convincing to the likes of Andrew Bowie.

If this is the best that they can come up with as a case for the Union, the UK is already over.

There won’t be a blog update tomorrow as I have a physiotherapy appointment in the morning and as usual I’ll be wiped out afterwards.

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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199 comments on “Andrew Bowie’s bumper book of British banality

  1. Sheila Beck says:

    Sorry. They lost me at the third Rt.Hon.

  2. Alec Lomax says:

    Historical truth isn’t the Tories’ strong point

    • Melb Don (Donald McKillop) says:

      Proud Scot Brits have been trying to make Scots into English for centuries. An example of this are the numerous statues of Nelson in Scotland. Compare this with the paucity of statues or even any knowledge of, in my learned opinion, the best leader of naval forces ever to have sailed the seas, Admiral Thomas Cochrane, a contemporary of Nelson. The list of his achievements are too long to delineate here. Born in the area of Hamilton, and whom Lord Byron stated, “there is no man I envy so much as Lord Cochrane.” One of many wonderful Scots, in all fields of human endeavour, to be relegated to just an addendum of predominately English history of the United Kingdom.

      • Golfnut says:

        Also worth noting was that C S Forresters ‘ Hornblower ‘ books were based on the exploits of 3 Scottish Admirals, also one third of the seaman manning Nelsons ships at Trafalgar were Scots.

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          And Welshies, too, no doubt, Golfnut.

          So much for, “England expects … “, eh? 🙂

        • Melb Don says:

          All the Novels of the Aubrey/Maturin series that were written by Patrick O’Brian are based on the life of Cochrane. The best known of this series is Master and Commander as a result of the film starring Russell Crowe.

          • Golfnut says:

            Brilliant film, I thought there might have been a sequel since the film dealt with only half of the voyage. Books are well worth a read. G A Henry a prolific writer in his day of historica novels did Cochrane proud covering his time in the Americas.

  3. Dr Jim says:

    Oh I don’t think there’s any lack of understanding with the Tories

    At best they can’t contain their total indifference, at worst they despise those who aren’t them, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the Tories to even engage in dialogue concerning *people* now that their power is absolute, they’re so drunk on themselves it shows on their faces

  4. P Harvey says:

    Just demonstrates how desperate the tories are!
    And how short they are with reasons to remain in the union
    Hope your hospital appointment goes well & that you are improving

  5. grizebard says:

    Post-devolution there have been many calls to abolish an essentially-redundant Scottish Office. In contradiction of his party’s contrary bloating of his wee empire, Alistair “Union” Jack is the first to deploy a novel reason for abolishing his own office, namely that Scotland doesn’t really exist!

  6. Capella says:

    The Centre for Policy Studies was founded in 1974 by Keith Joseph and Margaret Thatcher it says in the preamble. It developed the bulk of the Thatcher reform agenda, it says. It’s responsible for free ports, fixed rate mortgages, full expensing (eh?), the public sector pay freeze, the stamp duty holiday, and putting the spotlight on how to use market based solutions to reach Net Zero targets.
    Knock me down with a feather. That is one super innovative organisation.

    I can’t face reading the Rt Hons’ weasel words this early in the day. But thanks for drawing it to our attention. Looking forward to Michael Fallon (resigned in disgrace for feely-touchy stuff) – sorry, The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon, telling us how “The SNP has no idea how to defend Scotland”. I think he will find they do.

  7. Clydebuilt says:

    Children’s Human rights Judgement Westminster Vs Scottish Government

    I was informed about the result of this case by the BBC . . . . BBC Radio 2’s 12 noon news bulletin.
    Been listening to The BBC’s radio station broadcast at Scotland since and they haven’t mentioned it (currently 12.25pm). But they managed to broadcast 5 mins of Lord Haw Haw (Boris Johnson)

    Update. They have just mentioned in passing in 12.30pm news bulletin

  8. scottish skier says:

    Another spot on article Paul.

    It should be clear by now that the Anglo-British nationalism of the Conservatives has as its goal the erasure of Scotland and Wales as nations and their reduction to glorified English counties whose role is to allow Anglo-British nationalists to pretend that their nationalism is more expansive and inclusive than that of other, lesser, nations. For the Tories Scotland is just more fuel for the binfire of British exceptionalism.

    As I have regularly rabbited on about recently, this is all based upon a deep racist hatred of Scottish people by some (I emphasize) British/English, facilitated by Scots being a very small ethnic minority (8.4%) in terms of the UK population. If Scotland was 50% of the UK populace, we wouldn’t be having any conversations about whether or not we needed ‘permission’ to leave the union. Same if England suddenly decided it wanted indy; Scotland would not have to give the nod.

    But because Scots are racial minority, they can be ‘othered’ across the rUK as nasty, unpleasant (‘anti-English’), ungrateful people who are an enemy of the state. No different to the way the same people talk about Muslim, Jewish, black, Irish, European… folks at times.

    The ‘anti-English’ insult is deliberately designed to make people across the UK suspicious of Scots, stirring up racist hatred against them to justify denying them democracy. It’s the same trope as linking muslims with terrorists. This is done while trying to say that Scottish, Welsh etc are not really peoples, their languages not really that, just bad English or ‘gobbledygook that’s a waste of time teaching it as nobody speaks that anymore’. Imperialism always tries to denigrate local cultures as imagined or inferior in an attempt to justify refusing these civil rights, including the right to self-determination.

    The ‘No section 30’ is the pinnacle of his racist hatred, and attempt to strip civil rights from people based on their ethnicity / race. English people can vote for independence, brexit, but not the Scots, Welsh… It literally is ‘Black people cannot vote for the government they wish without our permission, and we are not giving it!’.

    It’s nothing to do with unity and us all being some sort of ‘big family’, and all about racist hatred towards a minority group. If Scots were loved, we’d told we were completely free to leave if we liked, with that carved in ‘Great British’ stone.

    Jack’s hatred of Scottish people is all too evident. For him, anyone who doesn’t feel British is some sort of sub-human who doesn’t deserve full voting rights, including the internationally accepted right to self-determination.

    The Scottish government know it’s this, but of course they must take care with language, lest the media pile on them and things only get worse, but we must understand it for what it is.

    Irish folks understand it better because they have always had it. Scots are now experiencing it as they show an interest in independence. Only way to stop it getting worse is voting Yes.

    • You might not like this, but the Scots are not a race. We are a nation, The word you’re looking for is xenophobia. That’s not to denigrate it, because it’s just as bad, but it isn’t racism.

  9. Christopher Rosindale says:

    All this guff in this ridiculous book fails to mention the real reason why the Tories are so opposed to Scottish Independence.

    It would end the British identity, and force the Tories to painfully work out what England’s place in the world is in the 21st century. …

    Yesterday, William Hague let slip what is probably the most important admission regarding Scottish Independence from a senior Tory at their conference. In a speech, alongside guff about Independence benefitting England’s enemies, he also claimed that the Union’s break-up could result in the U.K. government losing its permanent seat on the UN Security Council. In other words, it could lead to a substantial decline in England’s global importance.

    This is identical, almost word-for-word, to a claim made by George Osborne in his Evening Standard editorial in February this year, and proved that this deep fear, of what happens to England if the Union breaks-up, is shared by senior Tories in their party.

    So, despite all their claims and ‘beliefs’ about the value of the Union to Scotland’s future, as set-out in Bowie’s book, in media interviews, articles and in speeches, their real reason for trying to prevent Scottish Independence is:

    ‘We are frightened of what will happen to England if you leave us…..!’

    As usual, even when talking about something as fundamental as the future of the Union, it is all about what England wants, and not about what Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland want.

    This is a potent campaign weapon for us. Calling-out the Tories’ fear, of England’s future without the Union, could force a debate on the subject South of the Border. This is the logical conclusion of English nationalism, that England defines itself as an independent country, by separating the English national identity from the British identity. Such a debate could spilt the Tory core vote in England, forcing them into the trap which Nigel Farage forced them into over the EU. Of having to hold a referendum to stop their vote from splitting, and costing them seats and elections.

    The Yes campaign needs to start promoting Scottish Independence as beneficial for England as well as Scotland. By ending the political strife between WM and Holyrood, by removing MPs from WM who do not want to be there, by removing 59 seats from the Commons which will never vote Tory, (and so giving the Tories much more control over England), by saving money which can be sent to English constituencies instead, by allowing England to be the dominant, arrogant nation that it is within its own borders, free of the moaning and dissent from Scotland (many English Tory voters see us that way now).

    More than one poll has now indicated that more and more Tory/Leave voters down there are losing interest in the future of the Union. This is an opportunity for Yes, as a positive, post Scottish Independence vision of England’s future may well find an audience in England, which, if it grows, will be hard for the Tories to fight against. Pressure from Scotland for Indyref 2 is easier to ignore, as there is a much lower cost in Tory votes, than if there was pressure from England, which could split the Tory core vote….

    This has to be considered by the SNP to try and force WM to agree to a referendum, as right now, the Tories have nothing to gain by agreeing to one. If they are under pressure from their own English voters however, that is very different.

    • Alex Clark says:

      You make a lot of very good points in your post. Absolutely the Tory hierarchy very much fear the diminished status of an England that is no longer a part of the United Kingdom.

      What will happen then to their “world beating” aspirations? How far down the largest economies in the world table will they fall?

      The folly of Brexit has made the UK a laughing stock throughout the world, the fear is that the “loss” of Scotland to Independence will further diminish any status they have left and leave them alone in the world and as an object of pity for the likes of the EU, US, China and Russia.

      Maybe they should have learned to play nice when they might still have had a chance of salvaging something. Their arrogance and exceptionalism will be their downfall.

      • Christopher Rosindale says:

        A further piece of evidence was in David Frost’s Conference speech.

        Frost is upset by the fact that the Northern Ireland Protocol is forcing Northern Ireland businesses to re-orientate their supply chains away from the UK, and towards Ireland instead. This is bringing Northern Ireland’s economy closer to Ireland and away from the UK….

        This was inevitable after Brexit, but Frost either dismissed this or was too stupid to realise it….

        Warnings are now being made that it is only a matter of time before Northern Ireland’s politics make the same journey, setting in motion a United Ireland. This is the real reason why Frost is so angry about the protocol that he negotiated(!).

        It is not that it isn’t working, but that it is working too well!

        However, Frost’s anger, combined with the warnings, has let slip that the Tories are now just as afraid of losing Northern Ireland as they are about losing Scotland. It can only be for the same reason – losing either part of the UK will end the existing British identity, and force the Tories into an almighty identity crisis as they are forced to work out what England is without the Union.

        This fear must run very deep, and attacking it through campaigning for Indyref2, such as by goading the Tory core voters down there with questions such as “like your leadership, do you believe that England is too weak to stand on its own 2 feet without the Union?” should be a new strategy, as many English Tory voters probably won’t like the idea of their country being dependent on the Union, given that they don’t see it as a Union of equals anyway….

  10. yesindyref2 says:


    A few people elsewhere have been like: “The conservatives did not vote for this in Holyrood

    Yes, they did. From the Parliament dot Scot records (go down to stage 3 and click the + and go down a bit to “Final vote transcript”):

    “The result of the division on motion S5M-24369, in the name of John Swinney, on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill at stage 3, is: For 114, Against 0, Abstentions 0.

    The motion is agreed to and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill is passed. [Applause]”


    “The result of the division on motion S5M-24238, in the name of Andy Wightman, is: For 114, Against 0, Abstentions 0.

    The motion is agreed to and the European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill is therefore passed. [Applause]”A few people above have been like:

    “The conservatives did not vote for this in Holyrood.”

    Yes, they did. From the Parliament dot Scot records:

    “The result of the division on motion S5M-24369, in the name of John Swinney, on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill at stage 3, is: For 114, Against 0, Abstentions 0.

    The motion is agreed to and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill is passed. [Applause]”


    “The result of the division on motion S5M-24238, in the name of Andy Wightman, is: For 114, Against 0, Abstentions 0.

    The motion is agreed to and the European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill is therefore passed. [Applause]”

    Those both also have the full list of names which includes Tory MSPs.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Don’t ask me how that got messed up and some bits duplicated. I blame it on upgrades to root servers and the domain name system and farceboak. Don’t ask me how that got messed up and some bits duplicated.

  11. Dr Jim says:

    As the great British media fawn over comedy turn Boris Johnsons Churchillian masterpiece of speechifying to the British people this morning and for the next however long to come it occurred to me that if Nicola Sturgeon had made the same speech to Scotland’s people laced with the same lies as Johnsons speech that same media would have been screaming about the wall to wall lies and inaccuracies of her statements, but in Johnsons case they merely report it all as though it will all happen in the way he says it will while studiously avoiding how any of the crap that came out of his mouth was actually true

    Boris Johnson is a man who couldn’t stand in a Scottish pub for more than 20 minutes without the clientele bouncing him onto the street for the roaster he is

    • Bob Lamont says:

      5 minutes

    • robert harrison says:

      Whats worse is to many Englanders swallow that vomit by the bbc thats how johnson became prime minister in England the media kissed his rear the entire general election of 2019 all while slandering corbyn round the clock never forget the bbc said during said general election that holding the prime minister to account is to undermine the British state yet the basic job of a journalist is to hold them in power to account meaning the prime minister is no exception in fact hes pirorty 1.

  12. raineach says:

    There are 3 basic reasons advanced against any country [sorry – province] seeking independence from England
    1. We love you
    2. You don’t exist
    3. We’ll kill you
    This applies to all statements made at all times against all independence movements

  13. Capella says:

    Professor Sir Tom Devine criticised the “nonsense” from the Scottish Secretary, who made the claim in an essay for the conservative Centre for Policy Studies.

    It is part of a new collection of essays, titled “Strength in Union: The Case for the United Kingdom” and edited by Conservative MP Andrew Bowie (below), which sees a series of senior Tories and ministers take turns promoting the UK and dismissing calls for independence.

    In The National

    Also in The National – the Pandora Papers reveal the Dubai Sheikh who owns a 63,,000 acres estate in Scotland. Some interesting BTL comments which you can’t access form the archived version but could i you can click through to he original.

  14. Hamish100 says:

    It shows that they are worried.

    Personally I think we are over the 50% pro-independence mark and this shows in their comments.

  15. James Mills says:

    Is this publication ” Strength in Union : The Case for the United Kingdom ” entered for the Booker Prize for fiction ?

    I say this because there appear to be ,other candidates from the Unionists side on the shortlist :

    The Promise ( not the Vow ! ),
    Bewilderment ( Tory response to Brexit ),
    The Fortune Men ( Tory relatives who cashed in on PPE contracts ),
    A Passage North ( a journey rarely taken by the Tory Elite ),
    No one is talking about this ( the media silence to the endemic corruption in the Boris Johnson Government ).

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Is this publication ” Strength in Union : The Case for the United Kingdom ” entered for the Booker Prize for fiction ?


      Not fiction. More like the fantasy section.

      • Mein Bumph?

        I can’t be bothered even glancing at this rubbish.

        Second Lieutenant (RN Failed) Andrew Bowie edited this garbage?

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          Bowie – not the sharpest knife in the drawer. (Though I guess someone has already said that.)

        • JoMax says:

          I reckon that like me, Jack, you’re old enough to remember The Navy Lark on the old steam radio. Bowie makes the perfect Sub Lieutenant Phillips RN. On being warned he was about to crash the ship into the dock, he would issue the order:

          “Right hand down a bit. Full ahead backwards.”

          Britain, Bowie & Co to a T.

          • James Mills says:

            ”Full ahead backwards !” The Tory blueprint for the UK .

          • Welsh_Sion says:


            You will also recall Ronnie Barker’s character too, then: ‘Fatso’ Johnson. Very prescient, no? 🙂

            Episodes of The Navy Lark are re-broadcast regularly on BBC4 Extra, too!

            • Duggers, this, from Bowie’s Wiki entry.

              ‘After leaving school, he joined the Royal Navy and attended Britannia Royal Naval College before serving as an officer, achieving the rank of Sub-Lieutenant. After leaving the Navy, Bowie studied History and Politics at the University of Aberdeen, where he was elected Chairman of the University of Aberdeen Conservative and Unionist Association for the 2012/13 academic year.’

              Two years at naval college and a year farting about in the navy proper, where all he ‘achieved’ was to hone that preposterous accent.

              He ‘served’ for a year as a lowly Sub Lieutenant; ‘achieving the rank’? Whit?

              Then he went back on the fiddle, which he picked up at school.
              Dim but not nice Tory Boy.

              • Bob Lamont says:

                Aye, Bowie’s Wiki page is a hoot once you tabulate the timelines, it’s a list of failures, ‘achieving the rank of Sub Lt’ particularly amusing.

                • Golfnut says:

                  I think when he left Naval College he would have been commissioned as Sub Lt, midshipman or Cadet in the Merchant navy are classed as Warrant officers( non commissioned)

                  • Exactly, golfnut. He did not ‘achieve’ anything in his year long naval career.
                    Like Baroness Rape Clause who posed in battledress and was made an ‘honorary’ Colonel in the Week-end warriors, Bowie’s three years in the Navy Lark seems to have passed without distinction.

                    Yet he struts his stuff droning on in that ‘officer class’ haughty voice…..
                    The man is a product of the Blue Tory conveyor belt.

          • No comment, JoMax, but Dennis Price, the original ‘No 1’ was pivotal as the slick Upper Class chancer in many Brit movies debunking the Establishment and Class System.
            ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’, ‘I’m Alright, Jack,’, and ‘Private’s Progress’, ‘The Naked Truth’, to name, as they say, but a few.
            Still very watchable now, as we enter Empire 2.

  16. Hamish100 says:

    The SOS for Scotland gets it wrong again trying to suggest a border poll in NI requires 60%. Of course he is wrong

    Interesting that his mistake is not reported in the BBC NI or Scotland.

    Of course 62% of Scotland were ignored during Brexit and got the worst deal of all.

    Tory charlatans and liars

  17. bringiton says:

    Petty Officer Pugwash and his ship,the Black Pig,named after what is about to happen to pigs in his constituency because of Brexit.

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    I just read WGD’s article in The National:

    I’m no lawyer but regrettable as today’s ruling is, it clearly has no bearing on the lawfulness of a future independence referendum. The legal arguments are quite distinct.

    The entire basis for arguing that a second referendum would be lawful even without Westminster’s consent is that it does not affect Westminster’s ability to make laws for Scotland.

    Exactly, in my opinion. Both Bills were sent back precisely because they do attempt to restrict Westminster’s ability to make laws for Scotland, whereas the forthcoming Referendum Bill won’t.

    How Tomkins could say: “First reactions to complex legal judgments are dangerous, but my first reaction is: today’s ruling does nothing to harm children’s rights in Scots law but may well prove to torpedo any argument that Holyrood can legislate solo for an indyref2 Bill.

    I don’t know. Still, he did get the first two bits right. IANAL also. However, this tweet from TOmkins is an interesting one:

    “In all seriousness, it’s notable how angry the UK Supreme Court is with the Scottish Govt in this morning’s judgment. SNP ministers *knew* they were legislating in breach of the Scotland Act, but they did it anyway. The Court is contemptuous. Scathing.

    It is not for a Court, any court, to be “contemptuous” of any government, whether the Scottish Government or the UK Government. Their domain is the Law and the Rule of Law, not politics.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Just to add to that, it seems to me some people (not on this forum) are engaging in wishful thinking. So Tomkin’s opinion is perhaps being swayed by his hope the ScotParl can’t properly run a ref Bill. That’s a very surprising weakness, and he should have stuck with his first sentence. McHarg and LPW were far more impartial and pertinent with their opinions which they came out with just an hour or two after the judgement.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      SNP ministers *knew* they were legislating in breach of the Scotland Act” (Tomkins).

      It was the Scottish Parliament. Governments (as in ministers) are the executive branch, Parliaments the legislative. Tomkins should know that. And his party voted FOR both Bills with no abstentions, though he himself was absent.

  19. Capella says:

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Alister Jack really is an all round embarrassment.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Just in, Alister Jack’s estate burned to the ground, oops sorry that’s next weeks Irish news

    • scottish skier says:

      Jack’s border, but sign free.

      It’s like it’s all one single great Irish nation.

      Unlike the UK, where the English separatist nationalists have put up hard borders and customs posts between home nations. 🙂

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Having travelled extensively across Europe from the 1970s onward, people crossing borders was a normal if brief formality and you were on your way. It used to amuse me no end the regulars living on one side and working the other side of the border simply being waved through without any papers being checked.
        Even in the EU era it continued, as it does today for countries not in the Schengen arrangement, the most obvious being the UK and Ireland due to the pre-existing CTA.

        Alister Jack’s preposterous fearmongering over a Scotland/England “hard border” for people requires two possible future events to simultaneously and instantly collide on gaining independence, Scotland to be in the EU and the CTA to be abolished across the British Isles.

        That he is given any credibility in peddling this nonsense is quite astonishing.

        • scottish skier says:

          It’s the separatist nationalist English / British who have put a ‘hard border’ between our ‘family of nations’ down the Irish Sea. Ask the DUP.

          There used to be just a road sign you might not even notice; now there are customs border posts at Cairnryan.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            I was talking about people and borders, not goods and customs, but you perfectly illustrate the conflation of the two AJ intended.

            To passengers and drivers, Cairnryan and Stranraer are no different today as they were 20 years ago.
            Whether Scotland is independent, or even in the EU, it would not change a thing unless Dublin and London agree to scrap the CTA, which would damage London more than any other.

  20. John Tosh says:

    On the defence point. We’re defending ourselves from whom exactly? The only land border an independent Scotland would have would be with RUK.

    The only foreseeable situation where we might have to stand alone, and not as part of a larger alliance, would be to defend that border.

    So, it’s a bit like a Mafia protection racket, “you should stay in the Union ’cause it’d be a shame if someone were to attack you and RUK wasn’t there to help”.

    • scottish skier says:

      At present, it is only England attempting to overthrow democracy in Scotland by force of arms/law, i.e. ‘No section 30’.

    • Golfnut says:

      Your correct John, the largest ongoing threat to Scotland’s security and wellbeing comes from south of our border.

  21. Dr Jim says:

    Following Boris Johnson’s game show speech yesterday that saw him take on the role of the host of *Catchphrase* the TV show where you *say what you see* on a screen filled with a cartoon character giving clues to the answer to the catchphrase cheered on by an audience trying to work out that answer before the contestants, the judgement of England is in and it seems that once again England loves a game show and Boris is just as popular with the English public as he was before he appeared before them reimagining the ghost of Bruce Forsyth *higher lower you get nothing in this game for a pair*

    England likes lies, England’s media love lies they salivate over what lies they’re going to hear next from this circus performing free ice cream man promising them Curly Wurly’s and Cadbury Flakes while all the time knowing that he’s lying with every word that drips from his smirking mouth, and still they love him for it

    You can’t do Winston Churchill to the world anymore and get away with it, nobody is just that stupid, well it appears except for the audience in the great TV studio of England who either can’t tell the difference between a shyster selling air without the bottle to put it in and Boris Johnson channeling one of the biggest lying head cases in political history, there’s nobody on the beaches to fight, it’s just the Tories pretending that everybody else are the bad guys, they’re not, it’s them

    Scotland did the right thing when we voted against the England game show because we’re not daft and we saw right through it and Johnson, we in Scotland always see through the lying Tories yet still by overwhelming weight of numbers the TV game show lovers of imaginary history in England outvote us ten to one so Scotland gets whatever they impose upon us

    We know what to do Scotland, get a tight grip and let’s *get Independence done*

    • Alex Clark says:

      The normally Tory friendly think tank, the Adam Smith Institute described Johnson’s speech as “bombastic, vacuous and economically illiterate”.

      They probably got that one just about spot on.

  22. scottish skier says:

    Wait for the hate-filled racist attacks to start. It’s why Andy Murray stopped wearing his saltire wristbands etc.

    David MacMillan: ‘Being Scottish helped me win Nobel Prize’

    A Nobel Prize-winning scientist says his success is down to being Scottish and knowing how to get to a punchline.

    Prof David MacMillan, who is from North Lanarkshire, told the BBC that growing up in Scotland meant he learned how to convey ideas quickly.

    The professor said he was “very, very proud” of his “working class” upbringing in New Stevenston.

  23. yesindyref2 says:

    So – turning the tables on the Unionists to whom Westminster is over all, and particualrly for Adam Tomkins as I don’t do Twitter:

    Under what circumstances (the Constitution) should a Court with 5 unelected Judges (the Judiciary) – appointed via UK Government (the Executive) approval and the Queen (Head of State), have the right to overturn legislation passed by the 649 members of the UK Parliament (the Legislature), with those members representing 65 million people of the UK (the Citizens), and voted in by 40 million enfranchised voters (the Democracy)?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Interesting to see the sexist language: “A person satisfies the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 15-year basis if he has been …


      Anyways, “It is the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor to convene a selection commission:

      Lord Chancellor = Dominic Raab = Tory Minister.

      So it is under some control of the UK Government, and the Tories were looking at reviewing the “the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013” as they weren’t happy with the UK Government being sent homewards to think again, by the UKSC – twice.

      It’s not a safe system, and though not completely correct, I’ll stand by my shortened version “appointed via UK Government (the Executive) approval and the Queen (Head of State)”

      From that page also:

      Role of the Lord Chancellor

      The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 preserves a role for the Lord Chancellor once a selection commission has made its decision. The relevant sections are Sections 28-31 of the Act.

      Section 28 requires that the commission must submit a report to the Lord Chancellor which must state: who has been selected; who was consulted; and which contains any other information required by the Lord Chancellor. The provision also allows for the Lord Chancellor to ask for any further information not included in the report.

      The Lord Chancellor is under a statutory duty to consult the senior judges (as above), the First Minister of Scotland, the First Minister of Wales and the Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission of Northern Ireland. Sections 29-31 of the Act then set out the Lord Chancellor’s options. In closely defined circumstances the Lord Chancellor can invite a reconsideration or can reject a candidate, though reasons must be given for either of these courses of action.

      If, following the consultations above, the Lord Chancellor is content with the recommendation made by the selection commission, the candidate’s name is forwarded to the Prime Minister who, in turn, sends the recommendation to Her Majesty The Queen who makes the formal appointment.

      The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
      April 2016

      • raineach says:

        i think it is because ‘person’ is a masculine noun. The crowd, as they say, roars his disapproval

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          Unless specified otherwise, ‘he’ etc always includes the feminine pronoun ‘she’ etc. in English statutory law. (Examples of exceptions are those concerning say, Domestic Violence and Sex Discrimination, where invariably ‘she’ is used instead of ‘he’.)

          I don’t know the practice in Scotland – as I only studied English [sic.] Law for my first Degree at the end of the 1980’s.

          The idea that ‘he’, ‘male’, man’ etc encompasses the female of the species gives rise to the old legalistic joke, ‘man embraces woman’.

          Happy to help.

          • DonDon says:

            WelshSion, the way my old rector (headmaster, it was a Scottish school) put it, the masculine embraces the feminine.

  24. Hamish100 says:

    BBC politics live -2 tories 2 labour including Jackie Baillie. The other labour so-called is Kate sorry Dame Hoey of Brexit Ulster fame.

    This is the impartial bbc at its worst. I assume Baillie put her apologies in the the Scottish Parliament?

  25. Golfnut says:

    Good article.

    Think about this, we have a parliament sitting in a separate from Scotland legal jurisdiction, dictating to Scotland.

    • scottish skier says:

      Yes, Scotland is in effect under apartheid rule; at least in the face of a Section 30 refusal.

      We now have a minority British/English (nationality/nationally identifying) government ruling Scotland against will of the majority ethnic Scottish (ditto) people, refusing to grant Scots their fundamental civil rights.

      It’s very obvious that the SNP are not ‘anti-English racists’ as e.g. they do not wish to see English citizens denied a vote on English affairs (or Scottish affairs with respect to English residents of Scotland), including independence for England.

      Quite the contrast the other way around, where English/British unionist parties across the UK wish to deny Scots the right to vote on Scottish affairs, including independence for Scotland. The SNP are absolutely tonight to describe this as ‘anti-democratic’, but soon they may need to start calling it for what it really is; anti-Scottish racism. It goes well beyond a lack of respect for democracy into something much darker. Something that slips out of the mouths of Tories all to often.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        This is repeated and continual blood and soil nationalism, and I can not condone it by my silence.

        If this forum condones such blood and soil nationalism, I’m permanently out of here.

        Not in my name.

        • scottish skier says:

          Huh? How can free choice self national identity be in any way blood and soil? Blood and soil is the complete opposite to that.

          I’m half Irish and married to a French woman who is Scottish identifying now. If Scotland goes blood and soil, my family and I are in real trouble.

          Anyone in Scotland (and beyond) is free to nationally identify as Scottish, and countless numbers of ‘non-Scots born’ in Scotland, including from Africa, Asia, the Americas… do and did exactly that when asked in the 2011 census. 1/4 of English born immigrants did too. At the same time, a lot of actual Scottish born (‘soil’), and we can imagine of some Scottish born of at least one Scottish born parent (‘blood + soil’) said ‘No, I’m not Scottish’ and just ticked British freely. It was entirely up to people.

          Blood and soil nationalism is exclusive, free choice national identity is inclusive. When I use national identity / nationality terms, it is not me labelling people, but how people feel themselves..

          Certainly, to deny the existence of different, self-identified nationalities in the UK is fundamentally racist, and I hope you are not doing that. That is what hardcore British nationalists do; i.e. trying to wipe out nations of the UK. Is my wife not French? Is my office mate not Iranian? Are people who describe themselves as English not that?

          My Scottish national identity is protected by law under the equality act. I should not be discriminated against because of it. The refusal of a section 30 is discrimination against a self-identified, established ethnic group on the basis of this, including against English Scots, German Scots, Nigerian Scots….

          The English British Tories dislike me not due to my politics; if I was a Scottish (only) Tory that supported independence, they’d still dislike me and try to stop me voting. They dislike me and wish to stop me freely voting for the government I wish (via iref2) because of my nationality / national identity, which is different to theirs (I’m not British).

          By contrast, I have no such desires to stop English/British people freely voting, either for the union or indy in Scotland if they live here, and for e.g. English indy south of the border if they like. I didn’t oppose brexit for England, I’ve only opposed it for Scotland as people in here voted against it.

          It’s not me being blood and soil nationalist, but the refusal of a section 30 by English/British politicians, notably those not representing Scotland, that is at heart racist. It’s not possible for the UK government tp both like/respect Scottish people, and refuse a section 30 at the same time.

          And you can bet your bottom dollar that if England wanted indy, there would be no refusal from London because of the nationality of who is asking, i.e. it is racism driving things.

          If a big leave vote in Scotland had carried that after England voted narrowly for remain, we’d still be in the EU right now, without a doubt. But the other way around? Nae chance.

          Sorry, but I will continue to call out racism when I see it clearly, and will continue to support full civil / human rights for Scottish nationals / citizens. I will not condone nor turn a blind eye to attempts by the UK government to take voting rights away from Scottish people.

          For if Scots cannot vote freely for indy, they have no vote at all. ‘You can have any government you want as long as it’s English/British’ is not democracy in any way.

          I say this as someone of part Irish origin who knows all about racism towards that side of my family; racism that led to Irish democracy being overturned brutally by the English/British. Also, as someone who’s wife had to recently apply to England to stay in her own Scottish home of 20 years against the wishes of Scottish people, simply because of her nationality.

          Anyone, of any nationality, who supports Scotland’s civil right to freely choose its own government is my friend. People who do not support that and would like to stop me voting because I’m Scottish are clearly not.

        • grizebard says:

          There’s an irony here. If a person in Scotland sees themselves as “mainly Scottish”, of course they are going to see this one-way UK social contract as a self-evident violation of their human right to self-determination, whereas if they see themselves as “mainly British” they see no problem at all. But which view is more consonant with reality? Just because one can’t (or won’t) see a problem doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist, and it can have manifest consequences regardless. Any supporter of independence, and many fair-minded people besides – more than half the country, even – can see that there are indeed manifest consequences, not least because we have all been consistently exploited, lied-to and cheated for a very long time. And when a UKGov minister like Gove can flatly state that England will never let Scotland go, and has suffered no consequence except some applause at a conference of a party which has a small minority following in Scotland, you can see that there is something very wrong indeed. It makes any “British-minded” person – whatever their origin – tacitly complicit in the ongoing abuse.

          One obvious example of the latter attitude (“with knobs on”) is our current Scottish Secretary, who clearly has not even the faintest glimmer of constitutional awareness (an essential prerequisite of the job, one might have thought), as has been painfully obvious these last few days if not long since. A deliberate policy of English cultural assimilation is an abuse of human rights, however you care to cast it.

          I can agree with you insofar as it isn’t a viable strategy to convert the “British-minded” by simply attempting to shame them (as some on the left alas do) of their longstanding allegiance. It’s bad psychology. But neither does it do any service to them (besides the rest of us) to fail to attempt to make the realities of that mindset more visible. In order for us to prevail, at least some of them are going to have to sufficiently reassess. Highlighting their position is at least a start, not something to suppress, Basil Fawlty-style, for fear of causing offence. That is not the real offence here.

          • scottish skier says:

            There’s an irony here. If a person in Scotland sees themselves as “mainly Scottish”, of course they are going to see this one-way UK social contract as a self-evident violation of their human right to self-determination, whereas if they see themselves as “mainly British” they see no problem at all.

            Yes and no. There are plenty of British people who agree Scots have / Scotland has a right to self-determination. These are the nice, non-racist ones that are just like you and I; friends, colleagues, neighbours. But they are not in charge. The racist right wingers are, and everyone non-British/English is getting it right now, from EU citizens being here as ‘cheap labour taking jobs from British people and undermining wages’ to Scots being ‘anti-English subsidy junkie racists’.

            This talk from the UK government is deliberately designed to stir up racist hatred against EU workers in the UK (is it any surprise why they are all leaving?), while turning English/British people against Scots, so trying to generate a reason for taking voting rights away from the latter, i.e. ‘no iref2’. Sturgeon is right to say going down this road is ‘unthinkable’, as taking away the vote from / persecuting minority groups only leads to very dark, violent places.

            No country in history has ever suppressed democracy peacefully by ‘force of law’. If you want to stop people voting freely, violence will ultimately be needed to do that. So it is unthinkable that the UK government should try to stop iref2, especially as it is the will of a majority of voters in Scotland, not just MSPs.

            Anyhow, on the subject of peoples:


            1. The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.

            2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

            This is why unionists really get upset when you talk about Scots as a ‘people’. The right to self-determination applies to peoples, not specifically to areas of land; although the two are normally directly associated with each other, which is very much the case in the ancient European Kingdom of Scotland.

            To argue Scots don’t have a right to self determination under international law you have to argue that they are not a people.

            Which is exactly why unionists do this, with screams of ‘blood and soil’ immediately thrown in our direction if you point out that Scots are a people with their own country, laws, education systems, customs traditions, culture, languages, international sports teams…

            But of course being a people requires no blood and soil. Hence the words ‘self-determination’. This is self-identification. There is no blood and soil in the UN covenants. Self-determination of a people comes from them all collectively agreeing through self-identification they are a people, in our case Scottish people. Same for Danes, Swedish, Irish…

            And people should look up ‘ethnic group’ too. If you think this is about skin colour and ‘blood and soil’, you should ask yourself why that idea comes into your brain.

            ethnic group

            a community or population made up of people who share a common cultural background or descent.

            The people of Scotland all share a common cultural background due to living here, or having done so previously. Some may also be Scottish through descent, with their parents passing on that culture / identity to them, even if they don’t live in Scotland any more. It’s nothing specifically to do with skin colour nor genes, and if that’s what comes into your mind, it’s worrying.

            It’s why people are unhappy about the English census only having a ‘white English’ option when many black people are ethnically English; some of these recently having helped the English footie team get all the way to the Euro finals.

            The reason the ethnicity question always mentions a country/global region is because that’s where it comes from. English is the ethnicity, not ‘black’. It’s why it’s ‘White English’ and not ‘English White’.

            Black can’t be an ethnicity as there are countless black ethnic groups / peoples, just like there are multiple countries with majority black populations with quite different languages, cultures, histories and so ethnic groups. The racism comes from saying ‘Black people can’t be ethnically English’ even though these have a common cultural background and descent to while people (parents also English etc).

            Scottish Scots, Irish Scots, British Scots, English Scots, Welsh Scots, French Scots are all part of the Scottish ethnic group / Scottish people, given the civic nature of Scottish nationalism, and so ready adoption of that national identity.

            And the final aspect, as noted in related posts, is that all voters in Scotland can join that group if they like; this being done by extending the franchise to all legally resident adults, including migrants from the rUK and beyond. This is the epitome of civic nationalism.

            What is key though, is it does not force Scottishness on people, it simply opens the door for them, and lets them decide if they want to come in by their own free will.

            Anyway, I’ll stop waffling. I just find the subject of nation state development very interesting and understand it helps me try to predict the future for my own country. It also lets me see the ‘warning from history’ signs early on; those that the UK has been showing increasingly for years now.

  26. Tam the Bam says:

    Well said IR2.
    It was drawn to my notice that BTL comments ‘elsewhere’ attracted the fury of a ‘retired’ blogger.
    He at least distanced himself from any policy concoction which smacked of blood and soil nationalism.

    • scottish skier says:

      Did this blogger ‘self-identify’ as Scottish? I assume he wasn’t proving this with ‘blood and soil’ birth certificates or something. 😉

      Aye, blood and soil nationalism is ugly. In an ideal world, we’d freely choose our national identities, just as the Scottish census data I quote allows. Something that really seems to annoy some people for some strange reason!

      It’s the key to civic nationalism. ‘If you come to love and work in Scotland, you can be Scottish, but we don’t force that on people. We won’t call you Scottish unless you agree to it, but the door is absolutely open.’.

      Membership in the civic nation is open to every citizen, regardless of culture or ethnicity, who shares those values.

      It’s the SNP message. As a non-blood and soil party, they don’t say everyone in Scotland is or must be Scottish as that would be racist. They say everyone is welcome to be. They do this because they know not everyone wants to be Scottish. Many want to be British too, or not Scottish at all, but just British. These people cannot be forced to be Scottish and we can’t pin that label on them without their consent.

      It’s quite different from the British approach of forcing Britishness on people – e.g. Jacks essay about us all being one British nation – currently by threat of force of law / armed force (no Section 30).

  27. Welsh_Sion says:

    And here’s Bowie on us – ‘the West Britons’:

    Tory MP compares Welsh identity to being a ‘Londoner’

    07 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read

    • Dave tewart says:

      Just listened to the secretary of state for Wales being interviewed on LBC radio about the army basing 100 soldiers to assist the Welsh Ambulance service.
      The Cheek of the man.
      He said that the Welsh Government has to sort this out, they can’t just keep calling on the uk government for help.
      This from a member of a government that has just done the same in their englandland plus fuel delivery drivers.
      This is the standard of the soft abuse we Celts have to put up with.

    • Pogmothon says:

      Aye..Aye chust so, chust so

      Ah kinda juloos that Mr Bowie hisn’a tried tae buy yin of lizzie’s stamps with Aberdonian sillir in Headcorn Kent. that wid explain tae him jist who brittish we awe ur.

  28. Capella says:

    Good interview with Ivan McKee by Mandy Rhodes of Holyrood Magazine. Interesting background and experience which he doesn’t say much about usually, but maybe should:

    With a rich ancestral heritage that befits this mongrel nation, McKee has family genes from Italy, Ireland, Poland and here in Scotland. And he’s proud of that international perspective that his family tree brings.

    He is an engineer by trade and has built, bought, and sold manufacturing businesses right across Europe and beyond. His engineering background means he is always looking for solutions – a fix – to a problem and in terms of Scottish independence, he just believes we can do better and need to get on with it.,the-business-of-politics

  29. Dr Jim says:

    Anti Scottish racism exists today as it always has:

    A Post Office in Headcorn Kent England has a sign displayed outside that reads “No Scottish Banknotes accepted” the bank of England when asked for comment replied “It’s a matter of discretion there is no such thing as legal tender”

    They started it like they always start it and if anyone Scottish responds in impatient frustrated kind against it the racists invariably blame the responder

    Many times I’ve said if Scotland were a nation of black people the Union would have been over a very long time ago because the world would not have remained silent as their countries also have at some time or another been subjected to the same thing from the same country

    This has nothing to do with voting entitlement wherever anyone happens to live

  30. Dave tewart says:

    That man shapps has just announced that the isolating in hotels on entering from the list countries has been dumped.
    All you need to do now is to send a Picture of a lateral flow test that is negative.
    Glad I kept back 5 from the dump as I’ll be able to sell pictures of them.

  31. Bob Lamont says:

    From Paul’s comment in the National the perfect summary of Alister Jack and the Tories –
    “The only reason this upper-class fool still has a job is because the Scottish Conservative contingent at Westminster can’t collectively constitute a talent moist patch, never mind a talent pool.”

  32. Capella says:

    Alister Jack pockets £1m in subsidies while celebrating the cancelling of the £20 uplift. Hypocrite. Details in The National.

  33. James Mills says:

    Andrew Bowie appears to have all the necessary attributes to constitute his own Carry On film :

    ”Carry On sub-Lieutenant !”

    With Kenneth Williams playing the eponymous hero ( ? ) who , due to a MoD foul-up , is mistakenly and hilariously promoted to be senior officer on HMS Brexit , the UK’s flagship ( and only sea-worthy vessel ) , he is ordered to sink all boats in the Channel suspected of carrying HGV drivers seeking asylum in Blighty .

    The furious displaced ego-maniac Captain Johnson ( played by Sid James ) immediately plots against our hero and sabotages the ship by failing to order sufficient fuel for the voyage ,
    while simultaneously embarking on a romantic entanglement with junior rating Patel .( Barbara Windsor )

    Further confusion arises as the navigation officer , Lt. Raab ( Charles Hawtrey ) has mistaken his tourist map of Crete for a naval chart and plotted a course for the Med – and crashed the ship on Ailsa Craig !
    Two midshipmen are tragically lost overboard – Sunak and Javid – but no one notices !

    Proceedings are brought to a hilarious climax when the ship , with Lt Bowie at the helm , again crashes into a newly constructed bridge between Scotland and N.Ireland , sinks then triggers a detonation of munitions in Beaufort Dyke , destroying the bridge and also sinking the newly commissioned Royal Yacht , The Prince Philip , as it passes on its maiden voyage carrying The Queen on a secret visit to the Cayman Islands to visit her off-shore accounts .

  34. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Bit embarrassing for the queen …with her two sons associating with paedophiles…….though one of these son’s now faces accusations himself………

    Jimmy Saville and Prince Charles………( Sir Jimmy Saville)……So called Great Britain…nothing came out about Saville till after his death even though he was active for years in abusing young people….protected….friends in high places……friends who also , more importantly, must be protected..

    Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew……..the son accused of child sexual abuse…..USA… Epstein died only AFTER story broke….took his own life…allegedly……he also had friends in high places but apparently also had enemies in high places too….Andrew unfortunate that accuser NOT from so called Great Britain and that case being brought against him from outwith his so called Great Britain ( strange not strange though that those great renowned pursuers of truth (Not)…The Met Police….did not pursue one particular incident that took place on their patch (London)….i.e. within so called Great Britain)….the establishment eh…what are they like !

    Queen has been given substantial ‘bail out’ amount by UK Treasury to offset losses during Covid also increases in sovereign grant….. in fact the Sovereign Grant accounts show that the monarchy cost £69.4 million in 2020….. for ‘bail out’ from Treasury read as ‘bail out’ courtesy of taxpayers aka (some subservient Royalists and others no choice) mugs and also same for increase …. that BTW is the same Queen financing one of her son’s legal fees in child sexual abuse case being brought against him ( accuser states at the time of the sexual encounter she was a minor)…….

    Yeh this Great Britain they talk about….nothing rotten , corrupt or broken about it…… for sure.

    Starts from the Top……….so it does….so it does.

  35. scottish skier says:

    Of course Scottish-French relations are fine. It’s English/British-French elations that are in real trouble.

    Total loss of confidence’: Franco-British relations plumb new depths

    It’s the problem with the muscular unionist blood & soil nationalist ‘scots are British’ approach. Nobody actually thinks that apart from the British.

    De Gualle didn’t personally thank the ‘North British’ for helping liberate France, he thanked the Scots and their Auld Alliance with his country.

    The Irish didn’t fight for freedom from the Scots, but from England. Hence the Anglo-Irish agreement.

    You can bet that Dublin and Paris will be some of the first to recognise Scotland becoming indy again.

    • stewartb says:

      I was intrigued by the reference to General de Gaulle. The search it prompted introduced me to something I had no knowledge of so my grateful thanks. Others may be interested in this.

      Below are some extracts from the speech delivered by de Gaulle at Edinburgh, 23rd June 1942:

      ‘I do not think that a Frenchman could have come to Scotland at any time without being sensible of a special emotion. Scarcely can he set foot in this ancient and glorious land before he finds countless natural affinities between your country and ours dating from the very earliest times. In the same moment, awareness of the thousand links, still living and cherished, of the Franco-Scottish Alliance, the oldest alliance in the world, leaps to his mind.’

      ‘In every combat where for five centuries the destiny of France was at stake, there were always men of Scotland to fight side by side with men of France, and what Frenchmen feel is that no people has ever been more generous than yours with its friendship.’

      ‘This friendship and understanding which Frenchmen have found in Scotland throughout history are to-day more precious than ever. Undoubtedly, they are mingled at the present time with the joint aims, efforts, and ideals which go to make up the alliance between France and Great Britain. But I think I can say, without giving cause for offence, that although mingled, they are not lost in the mingling, and they retain their special character, just as in a bouquet a single flower still keeps its own perfume and colour.’

      ‘For my part, I can say that the comradeship of arms, sealed on the battlefield of Abbeville in May-June, 1940, between the French armoured division which I had the honour to command and the gallant 51st Scottish Division under General Fortune, played its part in the decision which I made to continue the fight at the side of the Allies to the end, come what may.’

      We live at a time when every friendship counts, especially those which have lasted longest. That which you extend to us in the difficult task my comrades and I have undertaken affords comforting proof that, like your forefathers, you know where the real France stands and you have kept your faith in her future. We, like our forefathers, will know how to repay.’

      The full speech can be read here:

      • Capella says:

        Thx for posting. My father was in the 51st and was captured at St Valery after the battles at Abbeville. I don’t think he ever knew of de Gaulle’s speech.

  36. scottish skier says:

    Huh, I thought the SNP, Blackford etc ‘don’t really support indy’, hence ‘don’t go to marches’.

    Was I lied to?

    Ian Blackford set to speak at independence rally in Glasgow

    • raineach says:

      Yes. You were lied to.

    • Dr Jim says:

      As we speak Abla supporters infest the comments sections spitting out bile because this rally was organised by non affiliated YES to Independence supporters and not what they’ve labeled their own political marching wing

      • Melb Don says:

        I have only just finished reading the one comment from the latest blog of SGP. I make no comment regarding the blog, but if you can handle reading the one and only comment you should. The comment is close to being libellous but as my field of study is not law, only literature, I simply elucidate, in my opinion, he is of epsilon intellect.

    • Robin McHugh says:

      Where and when, SS?

      Can’t get access to the link to the article in The National and there were no copies left in Alloa this morning by 9.45am.

  37. Hamish100 says:

    How can you be sure it is not a hologram?/ see conspiracy theories have to star somewhere.

    If I called myself “ Independista for scotia” would this mean I support independence? Life can be complicated for some. Lol. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Is there a WGD section or should we just go along and enjoy the craik.

    Feeling a little bit more optimistic though.

  38. Capella says:

    Newsnet debunks the umpteenth BBC effort to blame the Scottish Government for Care Home deaths.

    When does BBC Scotland’s unethical journalism become fraud?
    By The Media Monitor

    On Friday October 1st a story led the BBC Scotland news agenda. A melodramatic headline adorned the online version – ‘Nearly 200 care homes took mainly untested patients’.

  39. Capella says:

    From Business for Scotland:
    New Westminster plan to grab power over roads and undermine Holyrood
    Michel Gove will reportedly use money once distributed by the EU to upgrade the A75, which links Stranraer and the Northern Ireland ferry port at Cairnryan to the A74 at Gretna close to the English Border and the M6.

    • scottish skier says:

      British nationalism certainly isn’t civic these days. No consent sought, but instead it is forced*, making it blood & soil nationalism. Hence the talk about ‘one British [sic English] nation’, with ‘Scots’ classed as another type of British [sic English] people just like ‘Londoners’ or ‘folk from Yorkshire’. At the same type, the borders become largely closed to ‘foreigners’ who are portrayed as ‘her to steal British jobs, put pressure on services and undercut wages’. The goal is a greater English ethnic nationalist state with Scotland, Wales etc wiped from the map (‘There’s not really a border, just a road sign!’).

      It’s all very well if Scots chose Britishness freely, but if it’s forced, we are into Balkan fascist forced attempts at creating monoethnic states, and we all know where that led.

      You cannot nation build with ethnic nationalism, it always brings a country to its knees by dividing people, which is exactly why the UK breakup is accelerating. Muscular unionism will have the opposite effect to that intended.

      Only civic nationalism works as it is unifying; unity coming through free consent.

      *Scottish parliamentary democracy undermined with voting rights removed (no Section 30) from Scots.

  40. scottish skier says:

    Something went wrong there!

    Should read:


    Negative impact (less than 5.0):
    4.8 UK

    All other countries showed positive impact (greater than 5.0):
    5.8 Spain…

    And so forth.

    My use of greater and less than symbols was interpreted as html code!

  41. Hamish100 says:

    Aka – “ Independista for scotia”- hells bells. I’m being stalked.

    Apparently feeling a bit optimistic is not allowed in the depressive world of pop.

    As we move forward it is positive thinking that will move us forward.

    A high IQ is just a bonus. Lol

  42. scottish skier says:

    OK, actually wrong question and wrong columns pasted on the eurotrack data. Totally messed up.

    MODS – you can delete and I’ll fix it in a repost.

  43. scottish skier says:

    Re-posting after messing up some numbers last night (thanks mods):

    Yougov UK Scots sample Westminster VI
    55% SNP
    20% Con
    12% Lab
    8% Lib
    2% RUK
    1% Grn

    In your opinion how good or bad is the state of
    Britain’s economy at the moment?
    9% Good
    72% Bad

    How do you think the financial situation of your
    household will change over the next 12 months?
    13% Get better
    49% Get worse

    Sample Size: 1670 adults in GB
    Fieldwork: 4th – 5th October 2021

    Not pasting link as embeds a whole pdf!

  44. Hamish100 says:

    Johnson was foreign Secretary ( one of the worst ever) , he was supportive of the tories austerity plans as well. How many years is that folks? From 2010 we have had Tory governments that Scotland did not vote for. The Democratic deficit for all too see. Previous to that we had Brown and Darlings economic policies failing. The rich got richer though. Donating in the main to the tories but labour did alright as well. Ask the Russians and Saudi’s. Scots soldiers dying on the foreign fields for no reason-excepting Bosnia in my view.

    If our people do not want the rest of this century to repeat the last then Independence is the way out.

    The weather is lousy but I have decided to March today. This will be one of many.

    Hamish100 Aka – “ Independista for scotia”

  45. Hamish100 says:

    England leads the covid way.

    • Capella says:

      So we’re back in the UK now that rates in England are soaring. But “Does it matter?” asks Nick Triggle because, when England is the worst in Europe it’s suddenly a good thing.

  46. Bob Lamont says:

    What infuriates me over such articles is you get the barest glimpse of reality such as “The UK – or rather England – was the first nation in Europe…”, but they never expand to explain how the other 3 were powerless to prevent becoming collateral damage in the process.

    The “headline “UK is Europe’s virus hotspot” is equally misleading.
    The BBC (notably with HMS Sarah Smith leading the charge) have long used “UK” as a datum, and if a Scottish figure exceeds the UK average the wailing about “Covid capital of Europe” fills the headlines, yet never with an England context or come to that NI or Wales.

    This duplicity has been regularly exposed by John Robertson, his most recent article on the subject tells us where Scotland is relative to the others, never mentioned by the BBC lest it show Scots are doing something positive and questions arising as to why.

  47. Dave tewart says:

    Yesterday the polution league for Europe was published.
    The Drax power station in Yorkshire is recorded as only Fourth in the league, then you read the details that it’s burning BIO fuel, wood cat litter pellets along with Coal, it’s hard to light cat litter I’m told.
    Wait until next month, englandland will be top of the league as the old Drax coal fired station is back on line, burning Polish coal.
    Any trumpeting in the media?, don’t be silly, they only put it in when they have a day not burning coal, conveniently forgetting the Bio coal burn and the Huge Gas burn.
    The Ofgen prediction says that there is a 4% headroom in generation capacity over Normal Demand in the winter.
    The doris will be booking his holiday in a nice warm country as he will not be worried about the power cuts.
    Laugh a minute, the toilet roll company that wants their power supply to be guaranteed to maintain manufacture of toilet rolls.

  48. scottish skier says:

    Oddly, this story doesn’t seem to be on the BBC, unless I missed it?

    Ambassador thanks Nicola Sturgeon for helping EU citizens in Scotland

    THE European Union’s ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida has thanked Nicola Sturgeon for supporting EU citizens who are living in Scotland.

    He made the comments at the end of a two-day visit to Scotland and after meeting the First Minister and External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson in Edinburgh on Thursday.

  49. Golfnut says:

    Wee shout out for Welsh band Manic street preacher, Etonians get a special mention ‘Don’t let the night divide us ‘

    Have a nice day everyone.

  50. Capella says:

    Quiet today. Is everyone off to the march? 🙂 Hope it is good fun whatever, and that the speakers are encouraging.

    I heard some Off the Ball at lunchtime. “The most petty and ill-informed football show on radio.” They had the Scottish Professor, David MacMillan, on the line who just won the Nobel prize. They do like their professors (often have Jason Leitch on with Covid advice).
    Turns out he’s a fan of the show and listens in from Princeton.
    They were delighted to hear that he still has his Glasgow accent after 30 years in America. So down to earth and very clever too.

    From c 33mins 51 secs:

    • JoMax says:

      Another Scottish chap won a joint Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2017, but I only found out a few years ago quite by chance and it so happens he would have been a year ahead of me in my old Edinburgh Secondary School in the early 1960’s, so I felt quite proud when I read it on an FP website. I don’t recall hearing much about it in the ‘Scottish’ MSM. He too is based sadly in the USA.

      • Capella says:

        Still cheers us up when we hear of Scots shining – even if they have to go abroad to do it. Some day that’ll change. 🙂

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Quiet today. Is everyone off to the march? 🙂 Hope it is good fun whatever, and that the speakers are encouraging.


      There’s some fitba match @ Hampden Park, too, Capella.

      Not that it’s any of my business, y’know … 😉

      • Capella says:

        Are we the only two not watching the football?

        Here’s a link to another review of Andew Bowie’s bumper book of nonsense. Gerry Hassan over on Bellacaledonia has a go at making sense of it.

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          Ach – what would I be doing watching YOUR national team at football, Capella? (Brilliant game and result though …. allegedly!)

          I was more concerned with what was happening in Prague last night – obviously. But that said, outside a certain Mr Bale, I’d be hard put to name you anyone else in my national side. (And he wasn’t playing in the Czech Republic last night, either!)

        • grizebard says:

          Interesting summary by Hassan of a visibly-conflicted fantasy. The increasingly-delusional “supple constitution” (quoth Bowie) somehow allied to an increasingly-reactionary Tory insistence that Scottish autonomy must be denied (Jack) and repressed (Bradley).

          It is easy enough for any neutral observer, let alone any of us, to conclude that any “constitutional flexibility”, if it isn’t totally fictional in this fossilised UK, will only ever be deployed to suppress the people of Scotland further, and merely for the sake of English Establishment fears of the predictable consequences of their own perverse isolationism.

          To summarise: Scotland’s fundamental interests are to (continue to) be sacrificed for the sake of the standing of England-as-UK in the wider world.

          Or: Anglosplaining, in a word.

          • Capella says:

            Yes. I particularly liked this:

            Andrew Bowie celebrates the supposed glorious tapestry of the British constitution: ‘The unwritten constitution of our UK is not some museum piece – stuck in aspic, incapable of flexibility and radical thought. From its earliest days it has proven, quite simply because it is by its nature unwritten, to be able to adapt, flex and change …’

            In other words, “This thing which doesn’t exist, is remarkably adaptable and flexible. Look at the width, admire the pattern, the weave…”

            The king is in the altogether indeed.

            • grizebard says:

              Totally. And not a pretty sight either. {grin}

              If there was ever a time to demonstrate the proclaimed adaptability of the supposedly-flexible British so-called constitution, it was with the Smith Commission and its aftermath. That’s when the notion was most tested and most found wanting. The fearful retrenchment that is now being attempted has only confirmed that reality yet more.

  51. Capella says:

  52. Hamish100 says:

    Big game tonight on Scottish Television— Andorra v England. There will be time when this nonesense will end.

    Well done Scotland , we’ll done to the March organisers

  53. Hamish100 says:

    Thanks. I maybe just watch the Scotland highlights although picked up the goals on YouTube .

    STV -are you not embarrassed?

    • There are no ‘Scottish’ broadcasters.
      The wee cosy coven is putting out are parish magazine standards junk, because Scotland must be portrayed as a hick backwater, not up to England TV channels’ sophistication.

      They get paid to belittle our country, and reduce news and current affairs in our vibrant wealthy beautiful country to the level of a village news sheet.

      I’ll play a tune and I’ll dance aroon’ when the last helicopter takes off from the BBC Stockade roof at Plantation Quay.

      They’ll be ditching the PCs and terminals in the Clyde as they retreat South to their spiritual home.

      These people are not Scots. They are Brits, brainwashed from childhood in Britler Youth uniforms, to worship the right god, salute their queen, and rejoice in Empire Past.


    • Alex Clark says:

      Absolutely right that they should be embarrassed at their pretence to broadcast for a Scottish audience and yet they choose to show the Andorra v England game live. The same goes for BBC Scotland, both of these pretendy Scottish television channels could have broadcast what was the most important game for Scotland in these World Cup qualifiers.

      I’ll bet a pound to a penny that this crucial game was broadcast free to the people of Israel.

      It is an utter disgrace that has gone on for more than a decade now, we get to watch England’s matches free on the telly but have to pay a subscription if you want to see Scotland play. The quicker we get our own National broadcaster the better.

      • James Mills says:

        Neither the Welsh , N. Irish or Scots get to see their national teams live on terrestrial TV – their rights having been flogged to Sky .

        However all England games ARE on terrestrial TV , either BBC or ITV , because THEY have bought the rights to do so .
        Interestingly , the BBC use license payers’ money from Scotland , Wales and N.Ireland to help pay for these games .

        It was obviously decided at an executive level at the BeeB that they would not use English license payers’ money to reciprocate .
        Levelling up , anyone ?

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          James Mills,

          I agree with the main thrust of your arguments and I’m appalled that you as a Scot can not watch your national football team on terrestrial TV and would have to pay Murdoch (boo! hiss!) for that privilege.

          However, be it on record that Cymru’s football games ARE available on our equivalent of Channel 4 (S4C) with commentary available in Cymraeg/Welsh.

          Here’s yesterday’s (Friday’s) game in Praha/Prague against the Czech Republic.

        • ‘Levelling up’ is doublespeak for ‘stamping down’, James.

      • Marc says:

        To be fair to both of them (and I don’t say it often) but they don’t have the option. The SFA sold the rights to Sky.

        • Alex Clark says:

          To be fair though the BBC or STV could have bid a bit more than SKY and secured the rights for ALL Scots to be able to watch the games without paying a subscription.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I’m pretty certain that SKY would have bid for the England games too but guess what? The BBC won them if won is the right word.

          • Marc says:

            BBC has not got any live rights for England men’s senior football it just has Wales and the shared rights for all the matches in Word Cup /Euro finals with ITV. The days of the BBC being able to win bids for anything are well and truly gone simply because it’s budget is public knowledge, so if you want to outbid them you pretty know what figure needed to do so is. With Amazon slowly but surely working on its sports offering could well get to a stage in the next couple of years where it’s just going to be be Amazon and Sky fighting to get the rights, in which case even networks like C4 or ITV/STV are going to get squeezed out because their pockets will be no were deep enough to compete with them.

            As for the SFA whoever runs it has the same problem that all the FA’s outside England, Spain, Italy and to a lesser extent France, have in that the TV rights are its cash cow, on of, if not the main revenue stream. It hasn’t got the luxury of its countries, top-flight league, kicking down hundreds of millions into the lower leagues. So rightly or wrongly the SFA is going to always argue that it needs to sell the TV rights to whoever will pay the most, otherwise they will not have the money to improve Scottish football so it can qualify for more major tournaments and progress further in the tournaments and earn more money that way, reducing its reliance of TV income

            • Capella says:

              The Westminster Government controls broadcasting. It can return the BBC to public service broadcasting and require it to broadcast national sporting events as a public service – as it used to do.
              People can still buy private broadcasting if they really want to.

        • Aye, right, Marc.
          The SFA, do not represent the millions who support football in Scotland. They’ve got to find cash to pay themselves obscene wages.
          It is an outrage that our national team’s games are not shown on free to view TV.
          We know why,of course. That would need the Brits who run the SFA to acknowledge that we are in fact a nation; and that would never do.
          The people’s game? My arse.

        • Alex Clark says:

          The BBC won the England games by paying what was needed, the same should have applied to Scotland games. There is no excuse for Scots being deprived of International football from their own team just because the BBC or STV wouldn’t outbid SKY.

    • scottish skier says:

      Scotland international tournament (inc qualifying) games are not on British channels such as the BBC or STV/ITV/C4, as these don’t think it worth bidding enough for the games, primarily because the games are Scottish and not English/British.

      If we had Scottish channels, these would be much more willing to cough up sufficiently to win bids, as English channels (including the BBC) do for England games.

      Broadcasting was not devolved for a reason; it would naturally lead to Scottish channels showing more Scottish content, which is not what the English/British state wishes as it tries to promote/maintain a single, ‘monoethnic British state’, with Scots/Welsh/N. Irish reduced to regional identities, rather than nationalities.

      And we should remember that the BBC isn’t free to view; Scots households pay a £13.13/month subscription for it, with this currently used to subsidise the licensing of England games for English audiences. And Scots can’t choose to take their money elsewhere, such as towards a Sky Sports Subscription, as they could get fined or jailed for it by ‘English/British state TV enforcement officers’, who, from a base in England, prowl Scotland’s streets looking for Scots who refuse to pay up.

      On this topic, following up from Jack’s ‘We are all one (blood and soil) British nation’ comments:

      Tories refuse to say if Scotland still viewed as a nation by the UK

      Thankfully, the Israelis, Austrians, Danes….FIFA and all member nations are not racist towards Scots like the British/English state is. They recognize us as people/nation/country.

      And that includes the European states, hence the two day state visit to Scotland by the EU ambassador that the BBC (as far as I can see) didn’t mention to Scots as it is not Scottish, but British/English.

      • Well said, ss.
        I tried to access Sportscene highlights of The Game on i player, last evening, and again, just now.

        The programme is not ‘yet’ available.

        We all know why.

        We won, and there were tens of thousands of young Scots ecstatic in the victory, some even wearing scots colours and waving saltires and the like.
        Can’t have that broadcast to the masses.

        We cannot get veg or milk or meat or flour or a potted plant in the supermarkets that has not been branded with Johnson’s swastika, the butcher’s apron.
        Think on Germany under Hitler. They invade a country and plaster everything with swastikas and portraits of Mein Fuhrer.

        Idi Amin, Papa Doc, Il Duce Mussolini, ‘General ‘ Franco, are just a few of examples of what England and Johnson’s Far Reich junta are up to, in swamping our land with reminders that we are a conquered militarily occupied colony of England.

        The Union Flag is everywhere in Scotland now. The Big Supermarket chains are collaborating in this evil game.
        Try getting celery not wrapped in a Union Jack. Impossible.

        We are beyond listening to idiots like Dross Sarwar and that tailor’s dummy, Cole-Hamilton.

        I note that Kevin McKenna gets a mention on here. He, and MacWhirter, and Gordon, and guest Brits, ‘retired’ Brian Taylor, WATP Adam Tomkins, Brian Wilson, and the rest, are getting paid by the US Owned Herald to attack and threaten our country for English gold…
        Now is the time.

        Geissler, privately educated obedient BBC boy, actually tried to blame the SNP and Ian Blackford for not mitigating the English Government’s Brexit /Energy ‘capitalist’ balls up this very morning on his pointless little ‘Sunday Show’

        He even trailed another hour and a half over on the Brit Radio where Margaret Curran will be a ‘guest’, giving us all hints to save on our energy bills.

        This tired old failure is getting a nice little earner from my money?

        The Jock Brits have completely lost it, yet hang on by their fingertips to their Britishness ‘cos the money’s obscenely good.

        I wonder what ‘technical hitch’ has led to Scotland’s victory last night being blanked out by the Colonists at Pacific Quay.

        Raging but in a determined way.

        • Nope, tried again at 11.25 am this Sunday morning. BBC 1 Scotland. ‘Sportscene’ still not ‘available’.

          I’ll dance a jig when they finally close their doors for good.

          • Nope, 12.35 and still not available. I can watch the Man U Man C Women’s game, mind, though,but.

            It must have really hurt the BBC Scotland Sports Team…us winning.

            Ratings don’t matter when you have to please your English bosses.

            I’ll try later.

  54. Hamish100 says:

    Aka – “ Independista for scotia”

    wee kiddy on- Indy for trolls. It must be a depressing mindset to see numpties everywhere . Lol . Does he not know he is looking in a mirror?

  55. Alex Clark says:

    You’ll be happy to know that your Prime Minister is currently enjoying his holidays in Marbella, don’t fret though he promises to be back on Thursday in order to see Glorious Britain through any crises that crop up while he’s gone. You’re safe in the meantime with Mr Raab in control so no need to panic.

    No need at all, just don’t panic it’s all fine. Honest.

  56. Welsh_Sion says:

    You’ll be happy to know that your Prime Minister is currently enjoying his holidays in Marbella, don’t fret though he promises to be back on Thursday …


    … unless the sea is closed.

  57. Alex Clark says:

    I’m sad to say it but these are typical of the people who decide how Scotland should be governed.

    “We are learning the true impact of Brexit,” Louise says. “They knew this was going to happen and they didn’t do anything.”

    Her aunt disagrees – she voted for Brexit. Covid is the problem, she says. “Covid has made this more complicated,” Louise says. “But there are other things too, the shortage of labour. Universal credit.”

    Yet it’s important to maintain perspective, according to Iain MacBrayne, a retired lawyer, who says he is “concerned, but not overly concerned”.

    “When I first came to Fakenham [in the 1970s] we only had electricity three days a week. There are difficult times and this is just another one of them.”

    The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

  58. Alex Clark says:

  59. Alex Clark says:

    It’s late, I know. An interlude with a bit of music when there’s not much else happening.

    You can always scroll on by if it’s not your cup of tea.

  60. Capella says:

    Prof Robertson comments on Kevin McKenna’s latest bizarre attack on the SNP. I haven’t read it because it’s behind a paywall and I’m not going to pay to be insulted. But he appears to be another of those people who pretend to be independence supporters but hate the SNP. Labourites verging on Tories in other words.

    Kevin McKenna’s plot: lost or still laser-sharp?

    • Hamish100 says:

      McKenna in my view is a unionist labourite fraternising with independence to pay the bills. A foot in each camp is good business I would say. He may even be a federalist but knows it is never going to happen.

      What can he do ? Attack the snp and the FM. Does the job. Next article please!

  61. Capella says:

    Excellent analysis of the Supreme court ruling on two Holyrood Bills last week.

    The way the Supreme Court has chosen to interpret the Scotland Act has created a hostile environment for the introduction – not only of children’s rights within the devolved sphere – but also other basic rights. Before the election, the Scottish Government committed to introduce a new Human Rights Bill.

    UK Supreme Court ruling leaves us with a dog’s breakfast of legislation

  62. scottish skier says:

    Genuine question, but with the UK now in it’s 5th year of mass, uncontrolled emigration* of younger, skilled key workers, why are English voters angry at the very few folks who actually do want to come to the UK to help solve the labour shortage, and are turning up on England’s channel beaches?

    Surely these should be welcomed and given e.g. HGV driver, chef, front of house, carer etc training?

    Migrant crisis: Anger in area of Kent at ‘how easy’ it is to cross Channel and walk into UK


    • I note that on Marr’s London Bubble this morning, one of his reviewers let slip that the English government is looking for butchers in S America.
      Try Brazil, Kwasi. There must be quite a few retired members of Brazil’s ‘Death Squads’ available.

      We are also trying to coax Indian and Pakistani HGV drivers over…
      That’s go down well with the 6 million UKIP voters.
      Brexit was the greatest ever disaster in England’s history.
      God help them all when we leave their precious union.

      • Dr Jim says:

        If Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland don’t agree with the UK government then there is no UK government, there’s only an English government imposing it’s own brand of dictatorship on three other countries

        Does this make the three other countries of the so called union Scottish Nationalist ?

        Is the entire European Union Scottish Nationalist ?

        Is the United States of America Scottish Nationalist ?

        The lying crony government of England and all those who support them is the problem

      • scottish skier says:

        And also after 5 years of mass, uncontrolled emigration…

        UK sits at the bottom of wages league table among European neighbours

        THE UK has the highest percentage of low paid workers in north west Europe, despite Boris Johnson claiming the EU and European Single Market were the cause of low wages in the UK.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        It’s beyond farcical Jack is it not.

        • Mundell will be negotiating for frozen bacon to be shipped 12000 miles from New Zealand now that Johnson squealed his harrumph when confronted with the slaughter and incineration of 120,000 UK pigs.
          I repeat; England has gone completely mad. A nation gripped in mass hysteria led by a big fat privileged oafish idiot.

          We have a Labour Pool of 500 million from 27 countries on our doorstep…but they Froggies, Dagos and Krauts.

          England is the Fourth Reich.

          The Fat ‘Shagger’ in the Costas now, on a week’s break at a private villa.
          I’d assume that 100 or so civil servants, MI5/MI6, and a squad of Marines, and his squeeze’s hairdresser and gynecologist have been bivouaced in the grounds of his villa?

          All on me and thee.

          The poor man is reported as being ‘exhausted’, bless.

          Conversely, it means that 67 million over here are on a week’s break from the Fat Owl.

          Never mind, Dominic Raab is in charge if the Russians attack.

          Let’s hope the North Sea is closed.

    • Marc says:

      Aside from the fact that (as per the data set you linked) the UK is not into its fifth year of mass uncontrolled emigration, for the same reason that voters in parts of the EU that had people turning up on their beaches got ‘angry’ and forced their Government to crack down on them:

  63. Alex Clark says:

    Regards broadcasting football or any sport for that matter live on free to view TV, this is a matter for the government since they’re the ones making the law.

    The Broadcasting Act 1996 empowers the Secretary of State to designate key sporting and other events as ‘listed events’.

    The purpose of these arrangements is to ensure that key sporting events are made available to all television viewers, particularly those who cannot afford the extra cost of subscription television.

    Read the linked pdf and you will see that most other European countries have similar laws and almost all state that football matches involving the national team in the World Cup and Euro Championships are to be shown live on free to view TV.

    In an Independent Scotland, we would make our own laws covering broadcasting.

  64. Welsh_Sion says:

    This, today – behind the paywall @ the Sunday Times. (I haven’t paid).

    SNP should thank Boris Johnson for flagging up ‘lopsided UK’

    Kevin Pringle

    Sunday October 10 2021, 12.01am, The Sunday Times

    Reference from …

    Boris Johnson arguing for independence by admitting UK is ‘broken’ says Sunday Times

    10 Oct 2021 2 minute Read

    Boris Johnson’s speech at the Conservative party conference this week amounted to making independence campaigns’ arguments for them, the Sunday Times has said.

    Columnist Kevin Pringle said that by admitting to the UK’s “broken” economic model, Boris Johnson may have transformed the independence debate.

    “Johnson should be made an honorary member of the Yes campaign for conceding that the UK has ‘one of the most imbalanced societies and lopsided economies of all the richer countries’, including a gap ‘between London and the southeast, and the rest of the country’,” he said.


  65. James Mills says:

    Re. Sub-lieutenant Bowie’s turgid tome ”Strength in Union : ” which supposedly makes the case for the UK to continue :

    Reviews mention the various contributors highlighting ”solutions” to keep Scotland , Wales and N. Ireland in the fold , but no one mentions England !

    This clearly demonstrates the mind-set of these ”unionists” – England does not get a mention because England is not the problem in their eyes .
    The trouble evidently lies with those oiks in the ‘lesser nations’ who deliberately refuse to benefit from the greatest union in the history of anything !

    The fact that the English can outvote the combined electorates of the rest does not impinge on their consciousness . This is THEIR democracy !

    The fact that none of the ‘lesser nations’ can impose their will on England does not breach the entitled arrogance that they enjoy . This is THEIR democracy !

    The fact that the electorate in Scotland has repeatedly rejected the Tory Party for decades in elections does not stop them having ”the right” to decide what our future should be .
    This is THEIR democracy !

    The fact that the duly elected Parliament of Scotland can be side-lined on a whim by those with no mandate in Scotland is ignored . This is THEIR democracy !

  66. 13.51 hrs. ‘Sportscene still not available from last night.

    By the Cringe, they must be hurtin’ on Plantation Quay.

    • 16.36 hours. No, still not available. The commentator refereed to McTominey’s goal thus:- ‘This is big, huge, massive’. But not apparently for BBC Scotland.
      All those thousands of saltires, and 50,000 Scots delirious is just about too much for the London Boys.

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        A little compensation for you, Jack.

        • Thanks for this,WS.

          Just checked. Still ‘not available’ at 20.50 hrs Sunday the 10th.

          Are the lads who front Sportscene not in the least bit embarrassed about this censorship?
          They haven’t shown the Wales game either. They too were magnificent in Czechoslovakia,

          Bitter Brits,eh?

          • Welsh_Sion says:

            The Welsh game featured with Welsh commentary on terrestrial S4C (our equivalent of Ch4), Jack. This was snuck into the BBC i-player.

            • I’ll hunt it down on i Player, WS.
              With a fair wind behind us both nations will feature next summer.
              But as per, England will be the only game in town.
              It’s 55 years since they won their one and only tournament, yet they speak of themselves in the same breath as Brazil, Argentina, Germany Spain and Italy.
              Brexit exceptionalism is nothing new.

  67. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Been reported that a Welsh soldier who DIED 10 years ago was sent a letter asking him to work as an HGV driver….. his family described the letter as cruel and insensitive….also an 80 year old retired driver was sent one too asking him if he would return to work….apparently he was ‘tempted’….Dear God….

    I am sure these cases are not isolated examples…..just imagine if the Scottish government had done this….DRoss/Sarwar/Cole-Hamilton would think it was Xmas…..and their little helpers too…. the MSM.

    This Tory Government is the most incompetent government EVER….say EVER but really more a case of most incompetent….that we know of….God only knows what has been hidden from us .

Comments are closed.