The Tories are erasing Scotland as a nation

It’s good to see that Alister Jack is being called out for his outrageous comments in the banal collection of britipologetic essays edited by the equally banal free Andrew Bowie published before the recent Conservative Conference. The essays were supposed to demonstrate the case for the Union, but all they have done is to highlight the intellectual desert that is modern British nationalism in Scotland and to illustrate the weakness of the anti- independence argument in a post Brexit age.

Indeed far from strengthening the case against Scottish independence the essays have merely demonstrated serious flaws in anti-independence arguments by revealing that even the continuing existence of Scotland as a nation is no longer guaranteed by the so-called ‘muscular unionism’ of the modern Conservative party, a reflexive anti-independence knee-jerk which is fundamentally nothing more than an aggressive and reactionary English nationalism which seeks the effective destruction of Scotland and Wales as nations and distinctive political entities in their own right and their incorporation into a single supposedly British nation which is nothing more than Greater England.

In his essay, Scotland Secretary Alister Jack wrote that he did not like to refer to the UK as a union of four nations, claiming that the union gives us “one great nation”, and went on to describe being Scottish as a “regional variation” within the UK. He also effectively erased the Scotland England border by reducing it to nothing more than a sign post by the side of the road, as though it had no more functional significance than a sign post announcing that the traveller is entering a particular local authority.

In another essay in the same book, former Prime Minister Theresa May equated being Scottish with being from Yorkshire as though Scotland, a kingdom in its own right which united voluntarily with the kingdom of England in 1707 to create the United Kingdom, was functionally, constitutionally and politically equivalent to a large English county.

It is not necessarily a pro-independence stance to accept the existence of Scotland as a nation in its own right. This was always the understanding of traditional Scottish Unionism. Just before the 2014 referendum the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech in which he declared that the UK is ” is not one nation. We are four nations in a single country.”

This is not a controversial or contentious position. The Treaty of Union of 1707 made no reference to the abolition of Scotland as a nation or its replacement by a single British nation – “great” or otherwise. In fact the Treaty contains important provisions ensuring and guaranteeing the continuation of important Scottish national institutions.

However faced with the prospect of a second independence referendum and an anti- independence case which the Conservatives have themselves fatally flawed by their pursuit of a Brexit which takes no account of Scotland’s reservations or objections, the Conservatives are now trying to double down by delegitimising Scotland’s status as a nation with the right to self-determination.

In doing so the Conservatives are sowing the seeds of destruction for the union that they profess to love so much. The United Kingdom can either be a union of four nations or it can be a single nation, it cannot be both simultaneously. The two conceptions are mutually exclusive. This is constitutional politics in the real human world we are talking about here, not a theological debate about the nature of a single God and the Holy Trinity.

In this new Tory concept of the UK, the centuries long understanding of traditional Scottish Unionism that Scotland is a nation in a voluntary union which it joined freely and which it is free to leave if it chooses to do so has been unilaterally ripped up by a Conservative Government in Westminster which has not even bothered to make a pretence of obtaining any sort of democratic mandate from the people of Scotland to do so. The Tories know that no such mandate would have been granted, they are a party which struggles to win the electoral support of less than a quarter of the electorate of Scotland yet they are using the Commons seats and votes they won elsewhere in the UK to ram through fundamental changes to the nature of the UK without the consent of the people of Scotland, indeed without even going through the motions of consulting with them.

We are now in the ludicrous situation where the man who heads the Scotland Office, a UK government department which only exists because of the constitutional status of Scotland as a constituent nation of the UK, by his own admission does not like to acknowledge the fact that Scotland is a nation. That makes Alister Jack’s position untenable. His job only exists because Scotland is a nation. He is now in the exact same situation as a health minister who doesn’t think there should be an NHS or a Foreign Secretary who refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of any foreign government.

Given Alister Jack’s comments, The National asked whether the Scotland Office still considers Scotland as a nation. A spokesBrit for the Scotland Office refused to answer, saying only that Jack’s comments speak for themselves. Indeed they do, and the refusal of the Scotland Office to give a simple answer to such a simple question speaks volumes. This is not a trick question, it’s not a difficult question. A Yes answer is in no way incompatible with a belief that Scotland would be best served by remaining a part of the UK. However for Jack’s Scotland Office the question is too difficult and politically loaded to answer. That can only mean that the Scotland Office does believe that the question of whether Scotland is a nation is at the very least hedged about with doubt and qualifications.

Alister Jack must resign. A man who does not believe that Scotland is a nation or who at the very least thinks that it is a difficult or contentious question is not a person who is fit to represent Scotland at the highest level of what we have always been told is the government of a union between four nations of which Scotland is one. Of course Jack will not resign. He has no shame, and with the honourable exception of The National, the Scottish press will fail in its duty to the people of Scotland and will not attempt to hold him to account.

But we have learned an important lesson which the independence movement will sing from the rooftops during the next referendum campaign. It’s not just devolution which has no future in a Conservative led UK but neither does the very existence of Scotland as a nation.

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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81 comments on “The Tories are erasing Scotland as a nation

  1. Dr Jim says:

    For hundreds of years England has been inventing ways of deporting persuading inviting Scots to leave the land of their birth which is according to Tories their land that we Scots are allowed to be born in, we’ve emigrated to every land in the world from Scotland the land and home we were born in but disallowed any authority to govern within because we are told it’s not ours but merely a region of the one great country of England and Scots are only tolerated within it if we behave in a manner acceptable to the government of England which is voted in by the people of England, so let’s stop being silly and skirting around the fact that England and it’s people must therefore be anti Scottish, for being such a reasonable and caring people (so we’ve been told) they would never allow such things to happen to *their* people which by extension must be we Scots, for are we not then England’s people

    What is the next move by the people of England’s government towards it’s Scottish region filled with Scottish people, they have been unable to send enough of us away to the far flung colonies of the world and they have been unable to breed us out of existence, and now they are annoyed yet further that we still persist in existing despite every effort to prevent that

    I await the building of the new ship (perhaps they’ll name it *Exodus*) to transport us free of charge to a destination not of our choosing, though if we don’t go away as required what are we to look forward to next, the broken windows of our businesses? well that actually happening now as we speak, will they round us up and herd us towards more suitable accommodations away from the rest of the society who care not to be near us? will they provide trains perhaps to help with the move?

    What’s next for Scotland? well we don’t get to decide do we, that’s up to the English voter isn’t it

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Dr Jim (et al.) – live in hope. Despite Cullodenine™ and other attempts to suppress the thistle, you’re still here. And you will defeat them all in the end.

      46. (of 60.)

      The flowers in Jon Bull’s garden

      Jon Bull had a garden and it was his pride and joy. In this garden, he did not grow any vegetables. He much preferred cultivating flowers that gave off sweet fragrances on the air. The main type of flower that Jon Bull was interested in were roses, and these were by far the most prolific flowers in his garden and he tended them with care. Jon Bull always ensured that they had sufficient water from his red, white and blue watering can. He gave them the best plant food. He nurtured his roses so well, that very soon they became the best-looking flowers in the whole garden.

      The roses’ roots were deeply secured and this enabled them also to seize the best nutrients from the ground – often at the expense of the other flowers in the garden. If they had feelings, they would surely have felt very happy, if not indeed a little smug about their position in Jon Bull’s garden. They were the centre of attention in that garden and that was that. Every other flower was to be looked down upon through the roses’ petals.

      *****

      Now next to the roses, a smaller group of daffodils grew in Jon Bull’s garden. These were a strange sort of flower. For although they grew in Jon Bull’s garden, they had not been fully domesticated by him – they still tended to grow wild, and slightly apart, although, believe me, Jon Bull had attempted to turn them into more ‘garden’ than ‘wild’ flowers. As a form of spite perhaps, Jon Bull had therefore not thought it appropriate (perhaps ‘worthwhile’ would be a better word) to spend too much time and attention in cultivating the daffodils. In any case, as previously mentioned, the roses took up most of his time and attention, and some semi-savage, undomesticated daffodils were not really important enough to be treated in the same way as they were. The daffodils only bloomed for a short time anyway and it was not worth the effort to cultivate them as prodigiously as the roses – at least, that’s how Jon Bull thought. It would also, he thought, lead to him neglecting his prized roses – something he could not and would not ever contemplate.

      So the daffodils would bloom at the appropriate time, with, if we are to continue the feeling metaphor, a certain amount of sadness. Not for them the care given to the roses, and they would soon wither away. True, Jon Bull occasionally gave them some water from his red, white and blue watering can, but the amount was not really that significant. Yet, somehow or other, year in year out, the daffodils would still be there. And in early March, their resplendent trumpets were almost a match for the all-powerful roses.

      *****

      Now adjoining the flowers in Jon Bull’s garden were the thistles. By rights, Jon Bull thought of these plants as weeds, and an annoyance and menace to him, and indeed to his whole garden. In that capacity, they proved even more of a distraction and a more dangerous one in fact, to his roses. Jon Bull had often tried to remove the thistles from his garden but had never succeeded. He first thought that removing the thistles by hand would be an easy enough task. But he soon found himself covered in painful prickles. As a result, he had to go home pretty quickly and to think on another idea of removing the thistles.

      On other occasions, eschewing the use of his hands, Jon Bull had taken up his best patent Wastemonster™ spade in order to dig up the thistles by the root. But it was hard, strenuous work – the thistles’ roots were deeply embedded – and it was often the case that Jon Bull had to give the task up, with sweat pouring from his red, fleshy face and his large stomach wobbling.

      The thistles then would have resisted for another day. Indeed, they were able to proliferate further, as when their flowers had disappeared, their light, feathery seeds could be taken up by the wind and be dispersed all over. When these seeds came to land, they would germinate, and new, sturdy thistle plants would start growing – causing further consternation and anxiety to Jon Bull.

      Another solution presented itself to Jon Bull in an effort to subdue the thistles – weed killer. He convinced himself that a good dose of Cullodenine™ would destroy the thistles once and for all. All his attention in dealing with them had been distracting him from attending to his beloved roses. Cullodenine™ would see an end to those troublesome thistles. However, although a lot of the thistles were killed as a result of the application of the Cullodenine™, in the long run, the weed killer actually proved quite ineffective. Enough of the thistle seeds had managed to escape the carnage, and had been seized by the wind to begin new journeys in the air oceans before falling to earth and germinating a new generation of thistles.

      In due course, these new thistles established sturdy roots and stems which became resilient against anything Jon Bull could throw at them; be they his Wastemonister™ spade or a new, seemingly stronger weed killer, such Beeteeyuk™ which its salesman Darling had mistakenly convinced Jon Bull would be the most effective weed killer yet against those troublesome thistles.

      As for the thistles themselves, they had started to cluster together, knowing that their own common unity of purpose would repel both Jon Bull and any efforts to get rid of them. They also grew stronger prickles in mutual self-defence. Although they were constantly menaced by Jon Bull and his cohorts, the thistles also knew that when they were not under attack from them, they were at one and the same time being neglected in favour of the roses.

      The thistles were then agreed as one: in order to survive as a group and to avoid both the neglect and the dangers posed by Jon Bull, they had to arrange for their seeds to be dispersed as far away as possible from him and his garden. It was common sense really, and the thistles knew it. All it needed was to persuade enough of their fellow thistles of the logicality of this position, and the thistle population would be safe and secure from the depredations of Jon Bull, his cohorts, his weed killers and his Wastemonster™ spade.

      Will a sufficient number of thistles take on board this simple and effective advice, and see for themselves the free and safe future that lies ahead of them, once their seeds start germinating in places beyond the power of Jon Bull and the control he currently holds over the flowers in his garden?

      Watch this space …
      _____

      Parables for the New Politics
      2012-2020

  2. Iain says:

    Jack, Bowie and their four colleagues in the London parliament have nothing to lose by denying Scotland’s nationhood and identity. They do not depend on the votes of Scots to get themselves returned to untroubled lives in London.

  3. Clydebuilt says:

    Tried to buy The National today . . . 6 shops over a wide area . . . . Not one had received the paper today. . . . Piles of other papers.

    • Hamish100 says:

      I had same problem but just get it delivered on a Sunday and on subscription for the week. Saves hassle.

      • Clydebuilt says:

        Hamish . . . . Yeah but. . . I want shops to continue taking the paoer so that folk can see the headlines

        • Pogmothon says:

          The problem is not with the retailers. It is with the distributor “Menizes” who although their name is Jockanese appear to be supporters of bitter together.
          Papers are sold on a “sale or return” basis so that in theory the distributor can increase or reduce numbers provided to the control point where up to 5 copies are returned each day meaning the retailers should never run out.
          Historic evidence over the years makes it clear that this does not happen with the National.
          And that’s before the hard of thinking hide copies under the daily heil, hootsman or some such.

  4. James Mills says:

    Secretaries of State for Scotland since 1979:

    George Younger , Malcolm Rifkind , Ian Lang , Michael Forsyth , Donald Dewar , John Reid , Helen Liddell , Alistair Darling , Douglas Alexander , Des Browne , Jim Murphy , Danny Alexander , Michael Moore , Alistair Carmichael , David Mundell and Alister Jack –

    With few exceptions – ” such a parcel o’rogues in a nation !”

    It is not difficult from reading this list of ”Rt Honourable ” politicians to suggest that Alister Jack’s position , seeing Scotland as merely a ”region” of the UK , is not a new one .
    He has simply articulated what was in the minds of Westminster leaders over recent years .

    None of the SoS’s above , if they displayed any talent , remained in that position for long and recently it has become a dumping ground for the talentless .

    The longest serving SoS in the last 25 years has been David Mundell ( 4 years 2 months ) ! Enough said !

    That said , under Margaret Thatcher we had the longest serving SoSs ( Younger , Rifkind and Lang ) with each man appointed serving 6 , 4 and 4 years respectively , so some respect for the nation , perhaps – or she just wanted them out of the way !

    Under Labour the SoS position has been a revolving door with most recipients of the post lasting barely over a year .
    That is how much Labour valued Scotland !

    Alister Jack is now openly doing what so many at Westminster are thinking – devaluing Scotland in any and every way .
    And there is thought behind it . This is classic emotional abuse .

    ”Emotional Abuse – signs to look out for –

    Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family – Torn out of EU by Brexit !

    Calls you insulting names – ”verminous Scots ” !

    Controls your finances and tells you how to spend your money – GERS !

    Humiliates you in front of others – tells the world that you are ”Too we , too stupid and too poor ” to run your own affairs .

    Decides things for you without your cooperation – take your pick …!

    Alister Jack is part of the classic strategy of Emotional Abuse which abusive partners employ to frighten , subdue and ultimately control someone who they wish to possess for their own ends .

    This is UKOK ! This is Global Britain ! This is The Great British Rip-off !

    • Iain says:

      Re the SoSs:
      So many names, so little talent.

    • grizebard says:

      I do believe that is a very succinct account of the situation, James.

      Add to that a salutary reminder I received the other day whilst re-watching “The Shawshank Redemption”, about institutionalisation:

      These walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them. Enough time passes, you get so to depend on them.

      We’ve had 300+ years of “getting to depend on them”. High time to junk the dependency culture and breathe free.

  5. A regional variation or a large county are we? By the centre! We’ll just have to show them the error of their ways, won’t we? I cannot remember when I was last so angry.

  6. scottish skier says:

    Aye Paul, summed up perfectly.

    Picking out this line:

    …the Conservatives are now trying to double down by delegitimising Scotland’s status as a nation with the right to self-determination.

    As per some recent comments, the reason you get unionists screaming ‘blood and soil’ when you point out that Scots are a people through their own self-identification as that~, such as they did in the 2011 census, is of course because:

    https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/Independence.aspx#:~:text=All%20peoples%20have%20the%20right,economic%2C%20social%20and%20cultural%20development.

    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…

    …in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour,

    The right to self determination first and foremost comes from being a people. The latter is based not on blood and soil, but from ‘freely expressed desire to self-identify that way without and distinction to race, creed or colour’.

    So even if the union actually had wiped Scots border way along with our different laws, education system, NHS etc, we’d still have the right to independence as long as we collectively agreed we were still Scots and not British/English. The continued existence of Scotland a legally distinct country within the union is testament to the Scots being a people, and the acceptance of that by England through the entire history of the UK. And the world accepts it too; hence Scotland is a commonwealth country and competes as Scotland at the many world sports championships such as football and rugby. The Austrians and Israelis are cursing us (in a friendly way) right now ;-), just as the EU sends its Ambassador for talks with our FM, including about independence.

    The UK is not one British nation. It could only become that under international law if most Scots (and Welsh, and N. Irish) freely self-identified as British people. They don’t, and Tories trying to force their own English/British ‘race’ on Scots is deeply racist; it’s literally what the Nazis attempted in Europe, i.e. the creation of a greater monoethnic union state against the will of other peoples.

  7. Christopher Rosindale says:

    This is another example of just how scared the Tories are of the potential break-up of the UK.

    To the Tory mindset, being ‘British’ is the only identity that they have ever known. It is steeped in history, of tales of industrial greatness, wartime derring-do, cultural romance and fond nostalgia. They adore all of that, and feel like it is part of who they are. The idea of restoring Britain to a buccaneering, world-dominating nation free, and so prove its superiority to Europe, was central to Brexit.

    But, if the Union breaks-up, all of that is shattered, for the country which did all of those things will have ceased to exist. As a result, the Tories will find themselves struggling to understand what England’s future without the UK will be like. It is unavoidable that its 21st century reality as a small, weak, unimportant country will end-up having to be faced, and the thought of this truly terrifies the Tories.

    It will be a case of:

    “If we are no longer British, who are we?!”

    In other words, a full-blown, and deeply painful, national identity crisis.

    What Jack is really saying here is that he struggles to separate his identity from being ‘British’ into both being ‘British’ and ‘Scottish,’ so he’s trying to erase the latter to avoid it. This can only mean that he is afraid of the idea of Scotland as a nation, because the logical conclusion of that position is that it should be independent. The man has just revealed his own personal national identity crisis, in public….

    It would be fascinating to find-out how many English people in England feel that England is a nation, not just a region of the UK, because, if a majority of them feel that England is a nation, then that idea also has the same logical conclusion. Are the Tories trying to shut down that argument here as well, for fear of where it might lead if they don’t?

    An open debate on England’s status as a nation, within its own population, would be loaded with dangers for the Tories because, if the idea of an independent England catches on, it could tear their core vote, and their party, apart.

    Promoting the idea of Scottish Independence as being good for England is a strategy which must be pursued. Ignoring requests for Indyref 2 is much easier if they only come from Scotland, as the political pain is less. But if the idea of a free, independent England catches on down there, the Tories will be in a much riskier situation.

    • grizebard says:

      The problem for the English, who do see themselves as a nation, is that “British” is just a code word for “global empire English”. And it’s the inclusion of Scotland that is their alibi. Without us they are in reality old Elizabethan England, a little country surrounded by great powers outwith their control or influence. That is a scary world to inhabit.

      And we here are being kept their prisoner merely to salve their own existential fears.

  8. stewartb says:

    ‘In another essay in the same book, former Prime Minister Theresa May equated being Scottish with being from Yorkshire ….’

    Never trust a Unionist Tory – their price to change a principle is low! Recall remarks made by Theresa May in her speech to the Scottish Conservative conference on 3 Mar 2017:

    ‘Together we form the world’s greatest family of nations.’

    ‘We are four nations, but at heart we are one people.’

    ‘… let us never stop making loudly and clearly, the positive optimistic and passionate case for our precious union of nations and people.’

    Source: https://www.scottishconservatives.com/2017/03/theresa-may-speech-to-scottish-conservative-conference/

    • scottish skier says:

      ‘Together we form the world’s greatest family of nations.’

      ‘We are four nations, but at heart we are one people.’

      No matter which way you read this, it’s creepy as fascist stuff. For a start, I don’t identify as British nor English, so I’m either having one of those two nationalities forced on my by her against my will, or she’s excluding me for being Scottish, while wanting to keep a hold of my country, using e.g. British (only) people here to do that.

      At the same time, my wife is French and my mother’s side Irish, making me a dual Irish national. So May is definitely excluding my wife and my Irish family from her ‘one people’, which agrees with Mrs SS being referred to by the Tories not as a human, but as ‘Cheap European labour who are here to undermine English/British wages’.

      For me, everyone across the world is ‘one people’; Scots are just those living in Scotland or who have links to it, making them identify freely as Scottish. Many people who identify as Scottish don’t even qualify for a British passport, e.g. residents of Nova Scotia…

      ‘Precious’. OMG. Shivers down my spine.

      And for the ‘greatest family of nations’. Has there been some sort of competition here where the UK came out on top? Or is this just ugly right-wing arrogance?

      I don’t think Scotland is the greatest country in the world. I think it’s a great wee county, with decent people, lovely scenery and generally crap weather. I’m not proud to be Scottish, I just am. Sometimes I’m proud of Scots / Scotland though such as when they (self-nationally identifying Scots) voted Yes to stand on their own two feet in 2014 or when they voted against racism in 2016.

      As for Britishness, until 2016, while I didn’t really feel British, I used a British passport without shame. That changed with Brexit when my French family was rejected from May’s facist family. While I could have got it at any time, I applied immediately for my Irish passport.

      How could I wish to be part of a ‘British family’ that is racist towards me and my real family?

  9. Capella says:

    I believe the UK is registered with the United Nations as a state containing four nations. If that is what the United Nations charter says then, when it comes to claiming the right to self determination that is a right we have like every other nation.

    The constituent parts within the former Yugoslavia had the right to self-determination. It was the British judge who pointed out that it would be absurd to require a constituent nation to obtain the permission of the larger state to secede.

    I don’t think Bowie, Jack, Gove, May, Fallon & Co are necessarily ignorant of the rights of Scotland. These people lie and they lie unashamedly. They lie carelessly and habitually. They rely on their media to amplify, elaborate and broadcast their lies. They rely on us to give up and forget the facts of our history.
    .
    No. No. No. (to coin a phrase)

    • grizebard says:

      Its not just the Tories. Their enablers come from right across the political spectrum. Gordon Brown is stalwart there among them still, unrepentantly hawking the same old tosh. If Sarwar or Bailey has any concept of devolution, it’s merely as Mitigation Hell for a government that’s not theirs. There isn’t a single FibDem of standing still active, they have withered into a phone-box space of nobodies, but collectively they’re still there spiritually with the Tories as well. Where is there any resolute defence of devolution even? Instead they’re all busily testing their precious Union to (auto-)destruction.

      • stewartb says:

        On the concept of devolution, quoted below are the words of the former Liberal leader and MP for Orkney and Shetland (1950-83), Jo Grimond from his 1983 book ‘A Personal Manifesto’:

        “I do not like the word devolution as it has come to be called. It implies that power rests at Westminster, from which centre some may be graciously devolved.

        ‘I would rather begin by assuming that power should rest with the people who entrust it to their representatives to discharge the essential tasks of government.

        ‘Once we accept that the Scots and the Welsh are nations, then we must accord them parliaments which have ALL the normal powers of government, except for those THAT THEY DELEGATE to the United Kingdom government or the EEC.’ (my emphasis)

        Grimond grasped the crucial importance of AGENCY for Scotland and its electorate in all matters. Once we have this, we can then vote to decide how much if any decision-making power to cede to or share with others in return for benefits WE judge to be of sufficient net value – and change our collective mind on such matters when we so wish.

        And now the very existence of four nations within the Union – and the very concept of a Union by consent – is under threat, will the Tories’ ‘enablers from right across the political spectrum’ put up any resistance to this? Or may this be a price then see as worth paying as they place maintaining their precious Union above all else?

        • grizebard says:

          Yes, the current misery of principle-vacuum political pigmy FibDems wouldn’t even recognise Grimond if his ghost appeared right in their midst. They have sold the precious birthright he bequeathed them for a “mess of pottage”, as the old King James version so formidably puts it.

        • Capella says:

          Good find. The situation Grimond describes is the situation of a Swiss canton. Most power rests with the canton and IIRC they decide how much tax should be remitted to the central government. If any major decision has to be made they hold a referendum e.g. sholud there be a nuclear power plant in the canton? Referendum. Only foreign affairs, defence and major financial decisions rest with the central government.

          But that kind of federalism is impossible in the UK. England would never agree to be divided into cantons. Why should they? They are happy with the present arrangement.

          • grizebard says:

            Patently (and painfully) true.

            Grimond saw clearly what was needed to reform the Union (and thereby save it from itself), and what that involved was an infinity away from some etiolated promises from latterday snake oil salesman Federal Broon. (Who, as we well know, did sweet FA about it when actually in charge, and cared even less.)

            As for Grimond’s successors, they’ve been living for free off his legacy for far too long, each one more clueless, weak-minded and inept than his/her predecessor. Currently ending up here in Scotland with Plastic Tory Cole Scuttle. His successor – if there even is one – will surely be a wooden plank.

  10. Hamish100 says:

    That is why those proposing federalism again in the labour and Lib Dem parties in Scotland are lying too. They know it is a non starter as the ruling elite in England won’t have anything to do with it.
    The FM and the other elected members ( that includes the ALBA’s) need to ratchet up the independence agenda to 2022 and beyond with Westminster and the Brit state authorities such as the bbc. Show them up.

    Incidentally what has the ALBA MP’S actually done in their “more radical agenda? “.

  11. John McDonnell says:

    Again we hear this reference to the four nations of the UK. The only candidate for fourth nation would be Cornwall yet it only has county status. Northern Ireland, which forms most but not all of the province of Ulster, is not, never has been and never will be a nation. While politically under UK jurisdiction it is a component of the Irish nation.

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Thank you John McDonell for not referring to us as “the Principality”. I think we can safely consign the term to the rubbish bin.

    • Hamish100 says:

      We do exist
      Recent Covid R rate reported in bbc website

      “ The latest R number estimate for England is 0.9 to 1.1, while for Scotland it is 0.7 to 1.0, for Wales it is 0.8 to 1.1 and for Northern Ireland it is 0.95 to 1.05.”

  12. Capella says:

  13. Hamish100 says:

    Not heard that truism.

    The ruling class May own the press barons but with the web the Mail, express, BBC don’t have all the cards they once had.

    • grizebard says:

      Just look though at the way they’re trying to disengage Scots from believing in independence, the way the Tory UKGov is pushing voter suppression laws through the UK legislature, abolishing PR reforms of elections of mayors and police commissioners in England, and putting themselves directly in charge of the Electoral Commission. Then gulp and realise that the process is already well under way.

      If we don’t get out of this miasma soon, we may end up trapped in it forever.

  14. Legerwood says:

    Scotland not a nation? Hmm. Anyone mentioned that to the Queen recently?

    You know the lady who wears a different crown in the nation of Scotland, bears a different Coat of Arms in the nation of Scotland, flies a different Royal Standard in the nation of Scotland and who is not head of the Church of Scotland and has no power to appoint any Minister of the Kirk to his post apart from her personal chaplain in the nation of Scotland.

    Then you have Scots Law, Education, etc etc.

    Now Mr Jack tell me again about how Scotland is a region and Mrs May tell me how Scotland is on a par with Yorkshire.

    • Golfnut says:

      I would add Legerwood, though you list Scots law, that it is legal jurisdiction that define borders between country’s not road signs. Worth remembering that the Crown and westminster are subject to Scots law.

  15. Capella says:

    Last tweet – for those who missed the football match on TV – will cheer you up 😄

  16. Statgeek says:

    I made a wee list of things that will no longer be British after Indy:

    British Gas
    Great British Bakeoff
    British Bulldog
    British Army
    Brit Awards

    What a good idea! 😀

  17. Welsh_Sion says:

    Well … with a name like that, could he do anything less?

    https://nation.cymru/culture/i-am-against-imperialist-nation-states-trainspotting-author-irvine-welsh-backs-welsh-independence/

    ‘I am against imperialist nation-states’: Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh backs Welsh independence

    11 Oct 2021 2 minute Read

    Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh has said that he is now backing independence for Wales.

    In a conversation recorded by the Guardian he said that he believed that breaking up the UK was the only means to bring about the end of the British elite, such as the Royal Family, House of Lords and Eton.

    […]

    How do you say it up there?

    “Go on, big man” 🙂

  18. Eilidh says:

    The more the Tories try this crap the more they drive people towards supporting Independence. They may try to erase Scotland and the Scots. They will never succeed. The Tories and Unionists get more desperate by the minute.

  19. Golfnut says:

    This is an appeal for help by Tory Labour and libdum MPs for financial assistance. Millions of the very poorest in our society have already donated £20 a week to help and many more through increased NI payments will contribute to this very worthy cause.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/970551493675721/

  20. Dr Jim says:

    Tories, and when I say Tories I mean the other two Tory party’s as well, Labour and Lib Dem, for all three of these organisations work as one collective on every level, and that level is there shall be no democracy within the UK, and democracy is what we say it is and when we say it is

    A couple of days ago I listened to a debate in Holyrood over Scotland daring to open offices in other countries to promote trade and connections with other countries around the world, the three Tory parties are incensed by the very idea that Scotland should spend money on this without permission of the UK government, and so enraged are they that in her speech Tory MSP Tess White who has become well known for her anti Scottish rhetoric in her short time at Holyrood argued that the First Minister of Scotland should not be talking to foreign diplomats or others because speaking to these people is a *reserved matter*, now for those people reading who don’t fully understand the terminology of the meaning of the word *reserved* in this context, it means the UK government in England alone has the power and authority to speak to and for the entire UK but other ministers or representatives of Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland have no right or authority to speak to any foreign country representative no matter what the subject, I’ll just ask dear readers to take a second for that statement to sink in

    Speaking is a *reserved* matter, and a wee anti Scottish Tory MSP who got a seat in our Scottish parliament on the list because not enough people in Scotland vote Tory can stand up and make a speech telling the most popular First Minister in Scotlands history voted for with the most votes ever that she should get back in her box and shut up is the height of English Tory dictatorship and only reinforces by 5.5 million fold why Scotland must remove itself from this foul dictatorial excuse for a union with England and do it damn quick

    • grizebard says:

      Whit, whit, whit? But the Labour Party are the real internationalists, aren’t they? They told me so. Repeatedly. And the FibDems are the veritable Friends of Europe, aren’t they? The only ones who truly cared. It used to be all over their leaflets. They have all surely spoken out and rightly condemned this ridiculous Little Englander nonsense, haven’t they?

      Haven’t they…?

  21. barpe says:

    Indeed, Dr Jim, and the quicker the better, please. We must be incredibly near our ‘tipping point’ – Scotland is being insulted on a daily basis by these Tory cretins.

    • Dr Jim says:

      There was another debate following the one I previously mentioned and this one was on “Should Scotland be a good global citizen” all three Tory parties voted against this, and the reason? all three Tory parties are against Scotland being citizens of anywhere except the mini English empire, which btw we’re not allowed to speak in without permission, eh which isn’t *allowed*

      The redefining of the word *co operation* by England now means silence and obey

      • barpe says:

        I think the whole of Scotland would be appalled by that reaction to being “good global citizens” – but our ‘impartial’ msm are never going to widely report such matters, and so Scots don’t fully realise how we are being treated by Westmonster and the three Tory alliances.
        How can we wake up without the oxygen of publicity?

  22. scottish skier says:

    Another morning in Britain’s sunlit uplands.

    https://archive.is/P6k77

    Catastrophic’ trade slump as Scotland’s exports to EU plummet

  23. bringiton says:

    Until the reconvening of the Scottish parliament,Westminster could hide the lack of democracy in Scotland through the Scottish office as supposedly representing Scotland’s interests within the union.
    This worked for a brief time during which London’s political parties were in charge at Holyrood.
    Now that Scottish political parties are in charge,and the focus of Scottish political dialogue is through Holyrood and not Westminster,London is having to admit that democracy is not for Scotland if it threatens the grip they hold over us.
    Without Scotland there can be no Brexit.
    Brexit is built on the delusional foundation of a global imperial power and that requires,as a minimum,the retention of the British state as it is presently constituted.
    Scottish independence is a direct threat to England’s Tories global ambitions,which is the reason that they are so desperate to do everything they can to see it off.
    That is why we are getting ludicrous statements from Westminster’s placemen about Scotland no longer existing as a country.
    We exist as a country/nation with only our state representation being currently through the UK.
    This is globally recognised,despite Westminster’s efforts to the contrary.

  24. raineach says:

    As previously observed, there are 3 arguments to defend the Union with:
    1 we Love you [the 2014 meme]
    2 You don’t exist
    3 we’ll kill you.
    Plainly we are entering upon stage 2 now

    • scottish skier says:

      I recall when a formerly prominent English blogger called Scots a ‘gutless, evil’ people with the English/British ‘brave’; hence his preference for living among the latter rather than the former.

      I pointed out numerous times to the author that Scots (free choice nationally self-identifying) in majority voted Yes in 2014, and continued to back independence in ever greater numbers, based on polls. At the same time, the English/British were doing everything to stop iref2, including threats of violent force (which is implicit in something being ‘illegal’; a law only having power if enforced ultimately by detention etc, such as what Spain did to Catalan leaders).

      At the same time, the latter were putting up walls around themselves in a reactionary fear of other, totally harmless people from Europe and beyond. Nothing brave in this at all.

      Which people are the cowards? It’s not the Scots.

      • Dr Jim says:

        I think when a government have convinced the people of their own nation that self defence is about getting your retaliation in before others even think about attacking you is the point where England has reached now, England doesn’t want to talk, they don’t want to negotiate persuade or even make reasonable argument for a particular case they might believe in, England is now on a course of power for powers sake because they have the luxury of having voted themselves into a position of denial of reason by the use of the new democracy of fear mongering the electorate into acceptance of whatever they say must be right even though that electorate are 100% aware that the leaders they elected are lying through their teeth on a daily basis

        The voters of England now live in total fear of *the economy* *the debt* *the deficit* *the foreigners* *the immigrants* the Scottish nationalists* *the Northern Irish* *the Russians* *the Chinese* *the Labour party* the everything on the face of the earth except the people who have convinced them to be afraid of all the stuff they’re afraid of, the Tories, the BBC and SKY news tell them every day every hour on the hour and reinforce the message by the use of various experts to drive the message home, be afraid! and if you’re not afraid enough they’ll parade a never ending stream of Tory ministers at you to remind you

        And the only people who can save England are the very people who’ve lied to them in the first place but the voters of England are now too afraid to change their minds……..just in case what they said might, just might have a tiny element of truth in it, so better to be rat faced Basterts and powerful than not because well the Queen and or eh stuff

        England has been convinced into behavin like cowardly thugs while believing it’s heroic and noble

        That’s some governmenting you have to admit, but of course they have been practicing this stuff for hundreds of years around the world, they’ve just turned its use onto their own domestic situation

    • grizebard says:

      We’ve of course long had the “iron fist” showing through the “velvet glove”, and you would have thought that more people would have realised by now that this self-proclaimed “friend” is not a country with which to be too intimately associated. (Under whatever leadership, not just the current clown.) But I guess enough people have realised, which is why we’re now at stage 2. Stage 3 might be more like “we’ll suffocate you legally”, but if the velvet glove comes off like that, it’s “game over” for the Union. There’s no way back.

      Neither side benefits from this lopsided “master-slave” relationship, and it’s high time everyone realised it. The only workable outcome is to be distinct-and-equal friends.

  25. Legerwood says:

    Ms Sturgeon is to give a TED talk on the climate as part of a series of talks ahead of COP26. Think it is this Wednesday. It will cover what small nations can do – note nations not regions Mr Jack

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/19638229.nicola-sturgeon-deliver-ted-talk-ahead-cop26-climate-summit/

  26. holyrood published a draft bill for indyref2 before the election. the next move isnt bojo’s he is on holiday and there is nothing on the horizon to compel him to do anything. ergo, he wont the next move is ours. what and when should we do it?

    • more correctly, it isnt ours, its nicola’s.

      • barpe says:

        But what, exactly, are you wanting her to do? Put the bill before Holyrood and then see it crushed by the English ‘supreme’ court?
        I believe she has to be more intelligent than that, and I do expect her to be, when she considers the time right. Patience, we all want the same!

        • i dont mean when, i mean what. whether nicola brings the bill to and passes it through holyrood tomorrow or in the spring, I can see no “deus ex machina” i see that her actions are limited, in the first instance, to bringing this bill from draft to law.

    • grizebard says:

      Given the draft, the “what” is obvious, I would have thought, and the “when” has already been stated. There’s still a pandemic on, with particular uncertainty about what might happen over the coming winter (new variants even?). Also gives more opportunity for the consequences of Brexit to impinge on more people. So wherever he is, and whatever he’s doing, BoJo is working for us (though he obviously doesn’t realise it). His panicking minions are busily revealing their house built on sand. So dinna fret. We can’t wait forever, but our time will come soon enough.

      • barpe says:

        Well said!

      • good points, i agree, the only option open to nicola is to move the bill into law. the when you mentioned I assumed the date of spring/autumn 2023. As for covid, people are becoming inured to it and i think it will be/is overtaken by other issues, eg brexit. There is a perfect storm coming, The most imminent tempest on the horizon is the uk/eu talks on the NIP. Much is said about the trade barrier in the Irish sea, but the biggest issue is the GFA which agreed that the ECHR’s would be the final arbiter in both NI and Eire. Pulling out via S16 of the protocol would leave us with no deal, but it would also remove the ECHR power in NI. It wouldnt just be the EU sanctioning the UK, Biden would too.

        Which brings us to the next tempest, UK border controls, bojo has delay introducing them to jan/july next year. This is of course the uk’s decision, however, the power to allow all goods free access into the uk could be removed if bojo opts to renege of the eu deal.

        a perfect storm indeed. but whether, covid permitting as you rightly say, nicola moves in jan, or spring or autumn next year isnt the point, she is going to need to make the next move sooner than later. Once made, the ball is then in bojos court, he may say yes and grant a s30, great FAB, If not and he moves to block it either by the supreme court or by direct wm legislation, It will rule out all politicians from any further involvement. If the democratic process is subverted, it makes no difference whether the snp or alba are in charge.

        the next move wont be nicola’s, it will be ours, the yes movement. I agree with colin fox. we should move to a campaign of civil disobedience, not much point in campaigning to get folk elected when they are ignored.

        bear in mind, civil disobedience is illegal, even non violent types, one mans freedom fighter is anothers terrorist. politicians can never support illegal action, nor can journalists or high powered bloggers like Paul. At best, they can dress up as giant pandas and join in, I can get up on social media and say “dont pay the tv licence” but if politicians and journalists encourage breaking the law, they will get arrested.

        no, i think passing the bill into law maybe the last political act of the indy movement.

        • raineach says:

          and don’t forget the elections to stormont next year which could trigger another call for another referendum

        • grizebard says:

          Personally, I think the legal move should be next spring, not 2023, when BoJo might well call a UKGE to try to scupper IR2 like May did in ’17 (and came to regret it!).

          After that, we’ll have to see. I suspect that BoJo will feel obliged to challenge it legally, but you never know, he might be tempted to “go for it” while there’s still a chance of winning, backed by a twisted campaign of enhanced scaremongering along the FibDem lines of “if you think Brexit’s bad…”. He has the brass neck for that.

          I’m not sanguine though. The load will likely fall on the Supreme Court, and I don’t envy it the task. If the jurists have the honesty to support the principle of self-determination as any court worthy of its name ought to do – and I still think on balance they will – it will be a pro-democratic decision as it properly should be. If the court instead hides behind a rigid English Exceptionalist interpretation of this so-called “flexible” constitution, that won’t settle the issue, it will simply escalate it. Whatever happens then, the Union will be finished, since it clearly won’t have the acceptance, however grudging or implicit, of an ever-increasing proportion of the people of Scotland, many more of whom will then see the Union for what it really is.

          In such an event, there might even be no need for anything like the nostrums of wannabe revolutionary Colin Fox, the situation might well self-implode all of a sudden as others have suggested. But that’s all for another time.

          • i agree, if bojo says yes, then great, no need for civil disobedience. but in dec 2020, when the bill concerning childrens rights was passed in holyrood, it took until oct 2021 for the SC to rule against holyrood.

            once nicola passes the bill, it will no longer be her bag, what happens beyond that moment is entirely down to westminster, you seem to suggest that if the SC and or WM does challenge our right to hold indyref2, the british empire will dissolve into dust before our eyes!!! Im sorry grizebard, the air on the planet you live on is much thinner than mine. No, once nicola starts the ball rolling, there is nothing more that any politician can do. we can no longer second guess what bojo will do next, call an election, SC etc, bring it on, we will be out of political arrows in this contest. Let Nicola fire the starting gun tommorrow and be done with it. Sept 2023 covid permitting. by friday this wont even be news in london, brext, the eu/uk negotiations, problems in NI will overshadow it.

            it will unite the yes movement overnight. we will pick up the gauntlet, same as 2014 and be as happy clappy as we were back then, and those affected by brexit, the tories austerity, the winter of discontented etc, will have a ready made vehicule to express their anger. however, it will be for us to react to bojos next move, not nicola. If bojo decides to challenge us via the SC, we will see how, whatever uncle tam scottish advocate, chosen by boris to thwart the democratic will of the sovereign people of scotland, likes being followed round by 2000 angry scottish people calling him a traitor. he might even decide that this isnt the best position to be in with the imminent possibility of an independent scotland on the cards. he might even decide this isnt a legal issue but a political one and decide if bojo wants to block it, let him fukcin do it.

            each time westminster escalates, we escalate until bojo caves in and grants the s30

            • grizebard says:

              I don’t think you appreciate the negative effect on Scottish public opinion of even an apparent “win” of some kind by BoJo using eg. some manifestly-unfair legalistic trick. It’s not on the same scale as Ireland in 1916 – we live in different times – but what irreversibly turned public opinion there then was the vengeful execution of some rebels. That overbearing act supposedly demonstrating “mastery” only succeeded in invoking widespread resentment and crystallising latent rejection of legitimacy, and thereby self-destructed. When a tipping point occurs, the consequences can happen fast, and overtake everything, even things which until that point appeared immutable and secure. The collapse of the GDR being another salient example.

              Majority public opinion is the key. It always has been, hence the glacial pace. Civic disobedience by an unrepresentative self-selected little coterie can’t hasten it, and could very easily harm it. I would much rather place my belief in the success of a plan underwritten by Nicola Sturgeon than on anything offered by Colin Fox (who really represents nobody much but himself).

              Everything in its due time. We’re getting way ahead of ourselves now.

  27. James Mills says:

    I note that some political enemies are complaining that Boris Johnson has taken ( another ) expensive ( donated ) holiday while Global Britain is in the throes of several crises .
    They think that he should be making decisions in N0.10 not holidaying in Spain at a party donor’s villa .

    I do not concur .
    Boris in Spain can still make the same catastrophic decisions that he could make in Downing Street . The man has a knack for it wherever he lays his head .

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Your autocorrect sent “wherever he lays his head “, changing “whoever” to “whatever”, and omitting the comma and “or gets” from head.
      Perhaps a software fault ?

  28. Capella says:

    Martina Anderson Sinn Fein telling LORD Frost exactly what she thinks of him and his British government and he doesn’t look too pleased about it judging by the fixed grin over gritted teeth.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I recall that particular dressing down vividly, and fully justified it was.
      Anderson spoke for the vast majority in NI whether Republican or not with her “and people here want to see the protocol implemented in full”…
      Not that you will see that cited by any of London’s media as it does not fit THEIR agenda…

    • grizebard says:

      Only caught up with this clip just now, and it’s a beaut. This perfidious lord of Albion truly telt. Yet he is totally shameless. Off he swans to Lisbon or wherever and inside the walls of the British Embassy says “we want to rejig everything I negotiated and signed, because I was under duress”. Whit? Duress from what or whom, exactly?These people are self-centred buffoons and we will be even bigger idiots than they are if we continue to leave our vital interests in their wandering hands.

  29. Capella says:

    Judging by the epidemic of anti SNP/Scot Gov items in BBC Scotland these days the Union Unit is expecting the referendum sooner than 2023.

  30. JMD says:

    Posted by someone else back up thread

    “.I think the whole of Scotland would be appalled by that reaction to being “good global citizens” – but our ‘impartial’ msm are never going to widely report such matters, and so Scots don’t fully realise how we are being treated by Westmonster and the three Tory alliances.
    How can we wake up without the oxygen of publicity?”

    This is what it’s all about, this is the only game in town. We’d better stop the complacent waffling and get with the program.

  31. Christopher Rosindale says:

    Slightly off-topic, but I am starting to think that James Kelly has lost touch with reality.

    He and I have just had a Twitter spat, where, at length, I tried to explain to him why we should wait until we have COVID-19 under control before commencing active campaigning for Indyref 2. He haughtily shot back with a taunt stating that ‘we have had Brexit for 2 years, how many decades do you think we should wait?’

    It’s as if, according to him, the past 18 months never happened, that more than 8000 Scots have not died from COVID-19, that we should have spent all of that time pushing for a referendum instead of trying to keep people alive….

    My attempts to explain the other benefits of waiting, like needing a new Independence prospectus to campaign with which includes the impact of Brexit (which the 2014 one obviously did not), a draft constitution to indicate the legal values of an independent Scotland, to take advantage of every screw-up and outrage committed by Johnson’s government as proof of the dangers of relying on future English politicians, and to get ourselves into a position where we can safely campaign without spreading COVID-19 or of being accused by the pro-Union media of recklessly, and selfishly, pushing for Independence instead of trying to keep people safe (as the core pro-Union, and pro-Tory, voters are largely elderly people, and so the most at risk from COVID-19, there is every chance that Douglas Ross and Johnson’s government will cynically try this tactic in an attempt to damage Yes’s image to undecided voters), fell on his deaf ears. He seems to think that going into battle naked, which we will be without a new Independence prospectus, and relying on willpower and personality alone, will result in us obtaining, and winning Indyref 2….

    The man is beginning to sound unhinged, and in letting his hatred of Sturgeon and the SNP, after the Salmond inquiry result, influence all of his judgement over Indyref 2.

    I have lost almost all respect for him, and will now treat him as nothing more than an analyser of polls, for he seems to be unreliable on anything else.

    As he seemed, at first, to be a useful source of insight, I am now very disappointed, and disillusioned, in him.

    Just a warning to others, nothing more.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Do not feed the bears

    • Dr Jim says:

      See Pete Wisharts twitter account and others about how some ABLA supporters turned up at the march on Saturday armed with professionally made posters displaying nonsense nasty propaganda about the FM and Ian Blackford, they were asked by the organisers to desist from shouting abuse at the speakers including Ian Blackford, the part that bothered me most is the professional posters they say were handed out to them by ALBA specifically for this purpose

      I wasn’t there but the accounts are well verified by other reliable folk

    • Capella says:

      I agree. It is very sad. But I think we should resist joining in the divide and rule narrative. We lose focus every time we criticise other factions within the independence movement. Our goal is not holding an independence referendum. It’s winning independence. That means persuading a majority of Scottish voters to support it.

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