The Tory theft of devolution to buy themselves votes

It didn’t take long at all for the Scottish Conservatives’ hypocrisy about the COP26 conference to be exposed. But then, it never does. The Scottish Conservatives hide their hypocrisy in much the same way that a puppy thinks that by burying its nose under a cushion it becomes invisible even though its body is still in plain sight. And while no one would confuse the Scottish Tories for a cute puppy, both urinate and crap all over the place and expect the rest us to deal with the mess.

It’s ironic that a conference aimed at striking a deal to limit and reverse global warming should be led by a British Government from a party which permanently has steam coming out of its ears as it finds yet another manufactured outrage to fuel the fires of British nationalist exceptionalist ire, all the better to distract from the daily calamities that pass for the governance of the UK.

Tuesday’s two-faced Tory pearl clutching comes in the shape of their plastic anger at newspaper adverts in the weekend press paid for by the SNP – not, note, by the Scottish Government. The adverts welcomed those attending the COP26 conference in Glasgow with some words from the First Minister, who said : “A nation in waiting welcomes the nations of the world. And added: “While not yet an independent nation, we’re more than ready and able to play our part on the global stage at COP26.”

How very dare Nicola Sturgeon remind delegates to COP26 that they are coming to a country where the issue of independence is very much a live one, and that many in Scotland want independence because they are convinced that an independent Scotland with its vast potential for renewable green energy could be an example to the rest of the world on how to create a modern sustainable net-zero economy capable of providing world class public services and a high standard of living for its citizens. It might encourage them to look into the issue for themselves, and that terrifies the Conservatives, who clearly have no confidence in the strength of their own arguments.

The Tories have responded with their entirely predictable pettit lippery, complaining that the Scottish Government was using COP26 to highlight the issue of independence. How very dare they, harrumphed the Tories and the other usual suspects, like the Scottish Lib Dem ego-in-chief Alex Cole-Hamilton, who’s a major source of hot air all by himself. This is a conference about tackling climate change, not the constitution, they fulminated.

Funny how none of them were overly exercised about bringing Scotland’s constitutional debate into the proceedings when Boris Johnson announced that he wanted to keep Nicola Sturgeon well away from the conference and that he intended to ensure that the venue would be festooned with union flags. Neither were they too fussed when the Scottish Tories tweeted a graphic proclaiming that COP26 was only coming to Glasgow thanks to the British Government – which might not be unrelated to the fact that Scotland is not yet an independent state with its own membership of the UN – and insisted that “together we can fight climate change, with the clear and false implication that an independent Scotland wouldn’t be able to take measures to tackle climate change.

Meanwhile as attention is focused on proceedings in Glasgow, another example of Tory hypocritical double dealing came to light. The decision of the Conservative Government to by-pass Holyrood and use its so-called Levelling Up fund to spend directly in Scotland and Wales on devolved issues is absolutely a bad thing. It should be the democratically elected Welsh and Scottish Parliaments which make decisions about how such funding is spent in Scotland and Wales, not a Conservative party in Westminster which has not won an election in Scotland since 1955.

Even if the Westminster Government disbursed these funds with due and proper consideration of the interests of Scotland and Wales, it would still be a bad thing as it represents a unilateral change to and weakening of the devolution settlement, a change for which the Conservatives have no democratic mandate, a development which runs directly contrary to the promises that the Conservatives made to the people of Scotland in 2014 in order to secure a No vote in that year’s referendum.

However what makes this assault on Scottish democracy and the devolution settlement even more of an outrage is that the Conservatives do not disburse UK Government funds fairly, equitably, and with proper consideration of local needs. They use it to spend in areas where they need votes in order to bolster their electoral support at the expense of areas where there is genuine need but the Conservatives are not in serious electoral contention.

According to the Guardian newspaper. Two councils in England which are represented by Conservative cabinet ministers have received money from the Levelling Up Fund even though they rank amongst the most prosperous areas of England. One is health secretary Sajid Javid’s constituency of Bromsgrove which has been awarded £14.5m in the first announced tranche of the scheme. Meanwhile the equally prosperous Central Bedfordshire has received £26.7m in levelling-up funding for transport improvements and a community well-being hub. The area is represented in parliament by Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary.

Tory councils did better per capita at £93 per head of population compared with £65 per head for Labour councils. We can expect to see the same pattern replicated in Scotland where the Conservatives will spend preferentially in areas which have Tory representation or where they seek to boost their vote. Poorer areas in Scotland will lose out as a result. We have already seen signs that the Conservatives are undermining devolution in order to fund projects in areas where there is Tory support. One of the projects in Scotland which they have said they want to fund and slap a union flag on is improved road links in Galloway, Alister Jack’s constituency. They’re stealing money and power from the devolution settlement and the Scottish Parliament and using it to buy Conservative votes. This is what Michael Gove calls “augmenting devolution.”

I have a physiotherapy appointment tomorrow so there will be no blog tomorrow as I will be wiped out afterwards.

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97 comments on “The Tory theft of devolution to buy themselves votes

  1. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Great Post Paul…..again.

  2. Welsh_Siôn says:

    “It should be the democratically elected Welsh and Scottish Parliaments which make decisions about how such funding is spent in Scotland and Wales, not a Conservative party in Westminster which has not won an election in Wales since 1859.”

    _______

    And for ‘The Welsh Contingent’ …

  3. James Mills says:

    This UK Government has re-written the book on hypocrisy – and that takes some doing considering the past history of UK Governments .

    There is NO embarrassment , NO shamefaced blushing , NO attempt even to deny that they are corrupt , partisan and completely lacking in empathy for those in most need .

    We are living in nascent ‘Global Britain ‘ as envisaged by a venal coterie of self-serving , grasping , empathy-free right-wing extremists whose attacks on everything they dislike , including the courts , makes even former Tory Party grandees cringe .

    Nothing is safe from the predations of this group , most of whom would never have been allowed near the reins of power by any Tory Government in the past . Johnson , Rees-Mogg , Patel , Raab , Truss , Jack , ….. !

    The lunatics have taken over !

    And what is the alternative at Westminster ? Starmer !

    ”This is the way the world ends,
    Not with a bang but a whimper !”

    These words could have been written for the Labour Party leadership at the moment .

    Despair would be in order if we did not have the escape route of Independence .
    Bring it on -soon !

  4. UndeadShuan says:

    And the torys and red torys are now not happy at A&Es across Scotland adopting what NHS Tayside have done since at least 2014 (might be longer)

    Where the reception will direct people to see their GP or pharmacist if they come to A&E with minor ailments that can be treated elsewhere.

    People clogging up A&E with sore throats and or dental issues are not what A&E is for. They are what is causing the delays and backlogs and delays jackie ballie moans about.

    ( there are seperate emergency dental treatement centres for out of hours)

    A&E is for accidents and emergencies not to use as a substitute for visiting your Dr or maybe going to a pharmacy and asking for advice on what you can buy to treat a sore throat.

  5. scottish skier says:

    You might be forgiven for thinking who on earth is advising the Tories on Scottish policy. I mean ‘muscular unionism’ can only be guaranteed to solidify / drive up support for indy in the same way the leave vote would have benefitted if the EU had tried it.

    But then if you realise that the English Tories don’t have Scottish advisors, only British, it all makes sense. Alistair Jack may be from Scotland, but he’s not actually Scottish, he’s British (only, it seems). Gove’s the same. British folk from Scotland think they understand Scots because they also come from Scotland, and may even have a ‘regional’ Scottish identity. However, if they don’t nationally identify as Scottish, they will be clueless, particularly if they socialise with other Brits and not ‘Scottish Scots’.

    You can tell the actual Scottish or (most commonly) dual national Tories; they are squirming at the actions of the English/British nationalists as they know that muscular unionism can only have the opposite effect to that intended.

    Scotland is unusual in that folks born here / living here may develop one of two nationalities, or both. In France, there’s only French. In Ireland, only Irish. In Scotland, there is Scottish and/or British, just as in N. Ireland you have Irish, N. Irish and British. As a result, in Scotland, we end up with two peoples / nations living alongside each other, who are in many respects as different as English and French people, culturally, socially, politically etc. Of course, there is a large crossover ‘dual national’ group, but as the census shows, most people in Scotland are not British at all, while a substantial number are – likely including Jack – British only. And that includes many born and bred here: Think Orange ‘we are a people’ types. British is the people, not Scottish.

    This situation is the root cause of mistakes both sides make in their understanding of the other. Scottish Scots can’t fathom why some of their countryfolk are so opposed to the concept of Scotland as a country / independence. It’s because these people are British and Britain’s their country. For them, Scottish indy is like Fife going it alone from Scotland; they see it as their country being divided. The flipside is ‘muscular unionism’ where people who come from Scotland but are British are busy advising the UK government on the mindset of Scottish Scots / counter indy; a people they don’t understand because they are not one, but a British Scot.

    It literally is like Johnson getting advice on the thinking of Irish people from the DUP. The difference there is that the ‘two nationalities in the same country’ is legally recognised. Anyone in N. Ireland can pick their passport. If you offered the same in Scotland, the vast majority would pick the pantone 300 one over the navy blue.

    And remember, this is not me pinning labels on anyone; it is their free choice national identity and simply a product of a union being seen by some as an actual country / nation.

    Devolution was the brainchild of Scottish & British dual nationals like Dewar. They understood.

    If I was advising the UK government on keeping the UK together, I’d suggest devo max, Scottish passports and a special deal with the EU like that N. Ireland has. That might be enough, at least for another ‘generation’. But as a Scottish Scot I’d never so do that, obviously.

    • raineach says:

      This is something i’ve been saying for a while, but perhaps you just said it better

      • scottish skier says:

        Nobody in their right mind who is Scottish (only) would think putting union flags / British stamps / plaques on everything, undermining devolution and bypassing the Scottish government, would be a good idea for ‘saving the union’. Even Scottish + British people know it’s stupid.

        But if you were a Brit from North Britianshire, you could be convinced that the lack of union flags / things with British stamped on them was the cause of the problem rather than a symptom of it. We need to make Britain more visible!

        Union flags are rare in Scotland because Brits increasingly are; Scots just don’t self-id that way these days in the numbers they once did. So they don’t put up union flags, but just saltires.

        Ironically, it was Thatcher-Major who mass stripped Scotland of its union flags by shutting down or flogging off every nationalised company with the words ‘British’ in it. I grew up in world where British was boarded up, bulldozed, or floated on the stock market. If Scots complained / protested about this, noting it would damage the union, they were told to shut it, and the riot police were sent in if needed.

        British Rail no more, British Coal no more, British Telecom no more, British Leyland no more…

        To this day I don’t think they got the damage this did. Why? Because they were British/English and to them, this was one in the same. No nationalised British industries wouldn’t affect them in any existential way. But if you were a Scot, you’d know that’s not the case in Scotland, where British is and always has been a secondary identity for people, if one at all.

        • grizebard says:

          ” I grew up in world where British was boarded up, bulldozed, or floated on the stock market.” How very true. Not to mention other subsequently-privatised “social glue” institutions without “British” in their name such as the Post Office which were also essential wefts of the social fabric. Even Thatcher-Major didn’t dare touch those. The late-unlamented Tory-FibDem Coalition didn’t have any hesitation there, though.

          The only qualification I would add to this is that it has long been obvious to those of us who are “Scottish minded”, but not to the remaining “British-minded”, that decisions taken in London are at times not in the least “British-minded” but in fact exclusively “English-minded”. That is, decisions have been taken that have very deliberately conferred advantage to England at the explicit disadvantage of Scotland. Rarely if ever the other way round. We are by no means “all in this together”. It is by no means clear, though, whether these “Proud Scots But” remain blithely unaware of this situation, or are aware enough but regard it as the unfortunate price to pay to remain “kept in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed”. If the latter, they are in truth anything but proud, and more like meekly dependent on the largesse of others, largesse that in fact exists purely in their own imagination. The reality is more like “anti-largesse”, otherwise commonly-known as theft.

          Given the multifaceted democratic deficit in this corrupt UK political system, it’s not hard to see why this preferentially-disadvantaged situation exists, and indeed persists. No English politician has any interest whatever in seeing us fairly treated, and instead they typically rely solely on the belief that they can continue to outbluff enough of us so we continue to fatalistically consent to their primacy. It is the increasing evidence that our consent is steadily being withdrawn that is getting them so worried. But they have no answer to it. They are rapidly running out of rails, and all that lies ahead are buffers.

        • douglasclark says:

          I am wanting to make a ‘Beef Wellington’. Just because it looks interesting. Sainsburys sent me a chunk of meat, it is the main ingredient, adorned with a Union Jack. You get this as a part of the rest of the package.

          I’d suggest that they say, in writing, ‘Product of the UK’ rather than sticking a flag on it.

          It might be Scottish, Northern Irish or Welsh. It might not. But claiming a product as part of the union is pretty silly. Goodness, it could even have come from England! As it is a piece of meat, it can only have come from one of our diverse nations, not all of them.

          I have other issues about how to cook it, but that is for another day.

  6. yesindyref2 says:

    The SNP advert was excellent, it hit all the right buttons, and was I think perfect for all its different audiences.

    Chapeau to the designer(s).

    • yesindyref2 says:

      What’s also ineresting is in the Herald article – Nicola Sturgeon defends controversial adverts linking COP26 and independence – the first comment “Just when you thought she couldn’t sink any lower” got 161 upvotes, and the one in the National – Tories fume as new SNP ad describes Scotland as a ‘nation in waiting – the first comment “Spot on, First Minister! Anything that makes the Tories et al ‘fume’ can only be a good thing.” got 211 upvotes. I think the unionists were caught completely off guard with that ad sprung on them.

      As an aside, it’s good to see pro-independence posters taking back btl on the National forum from those whose sole purpose is to hate Sturgeon.

      • grizebard says:

        It is a curious mentality, is it not, that adjudges someone “couldn’t sink lower” by warmly welcoming delegates to a country that harbours positive aspirations for its own future? A country that the US President himself tacitly recognises and which he clearly holds in high regard.

        You were right when you said previously that it was a deft promotional move that caught Unionism entirely unawares. Its gammon wing is evidently still having a very hard time processing it. {hee, hee}

  7. jfngw says:

    It’s hard to think many things that reeks of colonialism more than a Scotland office packed with Westminster selected friendly Conservatives who have never won an election since 1955 (their previous win was in 1924 I believe) and these unelected individuals divvying up Scotland’s finance to bolster their own parties nests.

    I can only hope these direct funds are taken into account when redistributing the elected Scottish Governments spending. If they are taking money directly from Westminster then they need no money from Holyrood. This is not punishment, it is about fairness and democracy.

  8. Alister Jack attended Glenalmond College (£12,500 a term) which wiki tells me attracted ‘media attention’ in 2007 after pupils produced a ‘spoof’ video *that’s one way of describing it) of the well heeled Future Leaders were filmed on horseback with rifles hunting ‘chavs’. (oh, look it up.)

    Jack’s father was Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries and Galloway…god knows where Jack got his cut glass Upper Posh English accent.

    But he was born and bred to rule over the plebs, which includes me and thee, Duggers.
    They genuinely believe, and were taught to ‘rule’ at their expensive boarding schools, that they have the right to succession, and to lord it over the ‘Chavs and the rest of us.

    That’s why he gets free rein on the BBC to lie through his teeth.

    He and his Iron Heel Jock Oligarchy have the power to hire and fire.

    Apparently Glenalmond has an indoor Golf hub, so that the dear little things can practice getting a hole and one without getting wet.
    IT is another world where planting more trees is ok but not in the 18% of Scotland laid waste for Ex Glenalmond Boys to kill animals for sadistic pleasure.

    There are 6 Blue Tory MP out of 59, but this man ‘dictates’ to Scotland?
    Time for revolt.

  9. Capella says:

    The Tories are totally corrupt. They have just changed the rules on MPs receiving back handers from industry groups on whose behalf they lobby, by suspending the ruling of the AFTER “… Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone recommended Mr Paterson be suspended from the Commons for 30 days, after a damning report into his conduct by a committee of MPs.

    The report said the former Northern Ireland secretary had breached Commons rules by lobbying government bodies about Randox and Lynn’s Country Foods, which employed him as a paid consultant.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-59154221

    Absolute den of thieves.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Another nail in the British shamocracy.

    • grizebard says:

      Did that resolute and very vocal defender of public probity, our very own dear Forres Gump, by the remotest chance vote against this latest dirty dodge…?

    • jfngw says:

      I see D.Ross abstained, but you have to consider is abstention effectively the same as not proven in a Scottish court. It is in effect finding the person not guilty, he voted to not punish corruption.

      • grizebard says:

        Indeed, he effectively condones an adjudged case of Tory rule breaking by trying to have it both ways. What a wind-vaning nonentity.

        (In practice, “not proven” effectively means “we know you did it but we can’t prove it”, whereas in this case it’s more like “we know you did it, and proved you did it, but anyway we refuse to admit it”.)

        DRoss didn’t have the same precious consideration for our FM, though; then it was “guilty, guilty!” all over the media before judgement and only total silence after her correct behaviour was validated.

  10. scottish skier says:

    One for the ‘annoys the trolls’ album.

    https://archive.md/EEGFN

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Pulled pork to exploding gammon in 15 secs or less…

      • scottish skier says:

        Boom.

        • scottish skier says:

          Wonder why this isn’t on BBC Scotland? Unless I’ve missed it?

          I mean he actually brought a gift for our FM, so this was not a chance encounter, but must have been pre-arranged formal meet up, even if kept low key for international relations purposes.

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            The converse is also true, is it not?

            I see no mention anywhere that the organisers [sic.] of the Conference, Sharma and Johnson, got anything.

            D’you think that Biden intended that? I certainly do.

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            Close up pic:

            https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FDSRhFbX0AED53f?format=jpg&name=large

            (And you make it EVEN bigger by clicking on it.)

          • scottish skier says:

            Or more probably, kept low key by the British media.

            As far as I can see, the FM formally greeting the POTUS and being given a gift still isn’t considered news by the BBC.

            This is with the BBC having an actual article on ‘who from Scotland met the POTUS’.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-59151001

            The BBC are a malicious, foreign power controlled force in Scotland. I can’t wait to see it closed down. Hopefully the Tories privatise it asap, which would be payment for it supporting the union.

            • Bob Lamont says:

              “Or more probably, kept low key by the British media”
              Correct.
              I regularly check the BBC Scotland webpages for what they are trying to convince us is news but also what they deliberately omit.
              You would never know Scotland’s FM had even been to COP26, speaking in fringe meetings or anything else aside their “urging protesters to show consideration” on the 29th, and the Thunberg/Natake meeting on the 1st, obviously HMS Sarah Smith got the memo….
              “The news where you are….”, minus the humour….

    • Capella says:

      Affa bonnie. Should have been on the front page of all the blats this morning. checks to see –
      nope – Prince Charles meets Joe Biden apparently.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Similar article in the Herald, and here’s a selection of below the line comments from the usual gang:

      He thought she was Gerry Adams with the beard trimmed.”

      “She’d likely been hanging about outside the gents for ages in the hope of meeting and glad handing the poor old soul!
      (reply) “Bet he didn’t wash his hands either!”
      (reply to that) “He would after meeting Sturgeon.”

      “She’s quite the StarF***er, isn’t she?”

      “After that brief encounter, Biden probably asked, “Who the hell was that creepy woman?” ”

      “She’s like a simple minded groupie.”

      Lovely sexist one: “I would imagine Biden was hoping for a glass of champagne and a canape.

      and even the mild one: “Since when did Sturgeon become a world leader ?” Well, indeed, but it won’t be long now.

      It’s why I bang on totally unapologetically about cleaning up our act. Let them make the mistakes.

  11. Old Pete says:

    Nicola looks very happy. Make us all happy Nicola, it’s time to announce the our second referendum for Scottish Independence. With all the worlds press here in Scotland, would the Tories refuse it ?

    • jfngw says:

      That is possibly the worst thing she could do, try and shift the focus of the conference away from climate change to Scotland, I can only image how other world leaders would see this. It’s the sort of nonsense I see from Alba supporters. It would be such a propaganda coup for the BritNats they probably would love her to do this.

      • grizebard says:

        Correct on all counts.

        It’s amazing how the unco impatient keep making the wrong calls, even if for the right motivations.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Old Pete, I thought the same as you when I read your post, but the two who replied to you are right unfortunately. “Now is not the time”.

      Won’t be long now.

      • Old Pete says:

        “Now is not the time” that started a good few years ago now. When will be the time ? Time is starting to pass quickly for me, I can’t wait forever and a day. Still happy to accept I might be very keen and a bit anxious that our chance might be slipping away.

  12. Dr Jim says:

    President Biden expressed his thanks to Scotlands FM for her support in his presidential campaign against Donald Trump and promised a return to Scotland for a longer visit with the FM, similar sentiments were echoed by Senator John Kerry who congratulated her on Scotlands efforts in tackling climate change

    Faces have been exploding

    This is how a real leader does it ……..no drama

  13. yesindyref2 says:

    THERE are three objectives at COP,” one MP told the Daily Mail a few weeks ago.

    “Save the planet. Save the country. And stop Sturgeon from getting a photo with Biden.”

    https://www.thenational.scot/politics/19692748.nicola-sturgeon-meets-joe-biden-absolute-humiliation-tories/

    That went well.

    I was totally against Covid26, but it has turned out well so far.

    • Capella says:

      Ha ha ha – brilliant. 😂

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yes it is 🙂

        There’ll be wailing and Nashing of teeth at SiU.

        • jfngw says:

          The gift to the people of Scotland should be put on display in the Scottish Parliament, a fitting tribute and what politician could object to such a glowing tribute by POTUS to Scotland.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            I’m guessing it’s a “friendship bowl”, like a quaich, and maybe with tungsten to get the colours, Just a guess. There’s no description of it I found.

          • jfngw says:

            To be serious, this was no accidental meeting, he has a gift and an inscribed plaque to accompany it, it was obviously always planned for by Biden and the US administration.

            • DonDon says:

              Yes, I agree that it should be put on prominent display at Holyrood, just to rub the Unionists’ faces in it.

              But it’s a pity that it’s an awful looking thing. Quaich or whatever.

              • Given that there are between 20 t0 30 million US citizens who are of Scottish descent, including the likes of Matt Damon, John Wayne, Johnny Cash, and The Bush Presidents,it is not to big a stretch to suggest that we have a ‘special-er’ relationship with the Yanks than our neighbours to the South.
                The gift therefore should be on prominent display in Holyrood.
                Carnegie, The Bell Telephone Company?
                I’m sure that Biden, and all the former colonies of the English Empire know that Scotland is emerging from the shadow of Little England. Hence the commemorative gift to Scotland’s people.

            • scottish skier says:

              Yes, the formality of it caught me a bit by surprise. Full handshake photo op with gift.

              Rather than a ‘snub to Sturgeon’ it was very much a ‘snub to the British Trump’, especially with an actual gift brought along.

              Mind you, as others not, the British shot at the Americans to try and keep them colonies, then shot at the Irish to attempt the same.

              As Biden is Irish-American, well…

              Chuck in the head of the UN praising Scotland the country for its climate efforts…

              All in all a f’n disaster for the ‘We English/British own Scotland’ camp.

  14. Capella says:

    ICYMI there’s a good article in The National explaining why the BBC would lose its broadcasting licence in an independent Scotland. So another excellent reason to vote for independence.
    https://archive.fo/CnNlT

  15. Alec Lomax says:

    I see Manky Jacket got his bahoukie kicked at XRdemo.

  16. exile says:

    On the bowl….saltire blue and white with a golden halo between?

  17. Capella says:

    BBCRScotland holding their umpteenth “phone in and moan about vaccine passports” telethon. Newsnet covered this astro-turf campaign in their recent article Rat Attack”.

    These weren’t the only politically motivated attacks on the SNP broadcast by BBC Scotland last week. The week began with an attack on vaccine passports – a regular favourite of the broadcaster. The source of this attack was the Scottish Hospitality Group [SHG].

    The Scottish Hospitality Group regularly attacks Scottish government pandemic measures and is often the source of critical headlines on BBC Scotland where it is presented as speaking on behalf of the sector. It’s spokesperson is Stephen Montgomery, seen below posing with Scottish Tory father and son duo David and Oliver Mundell.

    SHG was unheard of before the pandemic. That’s because it didn’t exist. The group was formed in September 2020 from a small WhatsApp group. It is, to all intents and purposes a PR campaign. [Source – https://archive.md/qTsOZ%5D. There appears to be no formal organisation and no specific website. All that exists is a twitter account and a LinkdIn page. Click on the ‘Company Website’ link on the LinkedIn page and you’re taken to the website of Stephen Montgomery’s hotel.

    https://newsnet.scot/news-analysis/bbc-scotland-the-unionists-most-powerful-weapon/

    • jfngw says:

      I tend not to use any of the UK media for facts anymore, I feel I would be drowning in ignorance if I did (they couldn’t even translate a French communique accurately, or more likely intentionally mistranslated it). I tend to just float around various internet sites and use the reporting from various outlets to inform me.

      • scottish skier says:

        Same. Since I got my Irish passport, I’ve found myself reading Irish papers a lot. Also French thanks to the wife. Other European outlets like Euro news etc.

        The BBC and other English/British media outlets are malicious foreign controlled (most Scots are not British) entities interfering in Scottish politics. Hence people’s lack of trust in them and crashing sales.

  18. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    DRoss did not abstain on Owen Paterson vote out of principle (he has none)……he abstained because he was given an exemption by Tory government to do this because of Scottish ‘situation’…….his own fake position being that he had hypocritically called for the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon (pre decision) on the Scottish Government Inquiry….thus for him to vote ‘AYE’ yesterday would have left his position untenable as a credible politician ( yes I know it is already anyway)…….but perception is everything and one must maintain a fake image for those under the categories of Unionist media, the uninformed, the deluded and also his fanbase in Scotland aka SNPBAD mob.

    However he and they, the Tory government, slipped up…… as if he was to REALLY uphold his so called previous partisan position on his fake standards on appropriate behaviour expected from politicians then he would have voted NO to Paterson’s suspension being lifted ( or what Tories are pretending is merely delayed) as 13 Tory MP’s did , not Scottish Tories though as Mundell, Bowie, Duguid and Lamont ALL voted against suspension of Paterson…….Alister Jack, like DRoss, was also given an exemption in vote as a so called CABINET MINISTER in order for him also NOT to face flak as WM’s man in Scotland.

    AND Owen Paterson also voted against his won suspension……would be something if in any other area of life the accused got to vote on their own guilt……and Rob Roberts the Tory MP who was suspended then suspension lifted from Tory party also voted in this vote…..to SAVE Paterson…..the same Rob Roberts who was accused of making sexual advances to staff members……..

    Never saw DRoss on telly yesterday so assume he is in hiding as per until heat dies down….or another SNPBAD story can be concocted with aid of Scottish media……or Tory HQ can concoct a deflection story …………….

    New Standards commission ?…………Standards ?……….Tories ?……..Nope.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      When say voting AYE…..mean on Leadsoms amendment thus supposedly delaying not delaying Paterson’s suspension…………as in eventual brushing under the carpet…. as in him, Paterson, to be let OFF and no suspension or punishment when new Tory ‘opposite of Standards commission’ concocted for the benefit of Tory MP’s who by nature lobby on behalf of those who offer money money money……..but we all know this was to prevent Paterson being suspended and for him… it appears…. an opportunity to play victim…..a ‘victim’ who received very large amounts of money…..over and above his MP salary…..

      I say Leadsom’s amendment but to me this was a Tory party concoction orchestrated behind the scenes and she being a mendacious besom is gallus enough to take the flak for the Tory Brexit party….her being an ardent Brexiteer……..

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Rees-Mogg has just stated “its imperative for the Committee on Standards to progress on a cross-party basis”(Labour and SNP MP’s having stated they would refuse to sit in a ‘reformed’ committee).

        Cut through the waffle…the tories have u-turned and another vote on Pattersons cash-for-questions suspension is to be held.

        • Melb Don says:

          I remember a Tam the Bam being a classmate and friend from Shawlands Academy in the mid 50’s, couldn’t possibly be you?

  19. scottish skier says:

    You can tell the Scottish paper vs the British/English ones.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-59160407

  20. James Mills says:

    In light of the Owen Paterson case , the Tories are set to re-open the court cases against various high profile former Tory MPs , such as Jeffrey Archer who was similarly denied justice when accused of perjury despite being guilty as sin .

    It is likely that the monies lost by Tory MPs during the ”Expenses Scandal ”e.g for cleaning one’s moat etc.. will be reimbursed as there was no evidence that these were misuses of public money .

    Matt Hancock is to be reinstated as a Tory Minister after the evidence against him was overturned by a new investigative committee , chaired by Matt Hancock , which found him NEVER to be in breach of the Covid regulations as laid down by the PM .

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Ah but the Tory MP John Penrose (Dido Harding’s hubby) the supposed Tory anti corruption champion VOTED yesterday in favour of letting Owen Paterson get away with ….CORRUPTION…..one would laugh if it were not so tragic for those of us in Scotland who have to endure being chained to such a rogue state aka the UK.

      As someone above said a U turn is now imminent on Paterson……which makes Leadsom’s position of her so called amendment, in her defence last night on Channel 4 news, a pile of hogwash disguised as supposed (Tory) justice…….she too is being thrown under the Brexit bus…..serves her right for being such a duplicitous Brexit chancer…………one of many.

      Perhaps Boris J and the Tories thought they were invincible because of ….Brexit…..appears Tory sleaze not within that remit……blatant sleaze that is……..

      DRoss and Scottish ( in name only) Tories have NOT a leg to stand on….with or without support of Scottish ( in name only) media or those in other Scottish ( in name only) Unionist parties…….

      Blatant Tory Corruption…..if it looks like a Duck, swims like a Duck and quacks like a Duck then it probably is a Duck……..as in let’s call a Spade a Spade…..etc etc etc

      • NMRN, there are no such animals as ‘Scottish’ Tory, Labour or Lib Dem.
        They are British Conservative, British Labour, and British Lib Dems.
        Dross takes a wage for two jobs, and a bung to ‘lead’ British conservatives Up Here, but not as SoS for Scotland; that falls to another British MP, gentleman farmer and hirer of tents, Alister Union Jack, ably aided and abetted by a cash for peerages lord, who was rejected at the ballot box. but because of two layers of British corruption, is elevated to the unelected House of British Lords, then shoe horned into the British Office keeping the Scottish Colony in check.
        Meanwhile Kenny McAskill is in the Dead Tree Scrolls Fifth Column attacking the SNP, the party on whose ticket he stood at the last election, still taking the money and exes, rather than do the honourable thing and resign, when he joined Salmond .

        Dross and Jack abstained, but Douglas ‘Pasta Shapes’ Duguid, Our Man in New Zealand Mundell, Lamentable Lamont, and Sub Lieutenant (RN Failed) Andrew Bowie voted in favour of Patterson (who has now inevitably resigned) getting Free Money, protesting that he didn’t realise that accepting £100 k a year from two companies to ask Ministers questions on their behalf was ‘lobbying’ and illegal.
        Sarwar was on his pins today at FMQ lying with stats about the Scottish Health Service and A&.

        If we rose up against this evil greedy money grubbing tyranny, who would fault us?
        There is no future for their Union. And they know it.

  21. scottish skier says:

    When I say the English/British right are pathetic cowards that turn tail and run at the first sign of trouble, it’s based on the evidence in hand.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/19694156.douglas-ross-runs-away-key-westminster-vote-owen-paterson/

    Douglas Ross ‘runs away’ from key Westminster vote on Owen Paterson

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-59163961

    Owen Paterson: Government U-turn over MPs’ conduct plan

    They’re pathetic. They’re the types who take the last 5 packets of loo roll in the supermarket after voting for brexit.. who drive around looking to take fuel rations away from remain voting key workers and folk trying to get to their chemo treatment…. who’d not dive into a river to save a drowning child…who’d jump in the lifeboats ahead of women and children….

    That’s who is leading England/Britain now. The pale, slimy, sweaty racist types the Nazis actively sought out to put into positions of power.

  22. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    What are the chances of …at some point…in the future …of Boris Johnson giving a peerage to Owen Paterson…….once things quieten down….irrespective of whether he is suspended and may face a by-election in his constituency and lose his parliamentary seat…Boris J has form in this area as he doesn’t agree with democracy in any form should it effect his absolute control……it’s his way or the highway…..after all Owen Paterson , on Brexit, knows where the Brexit bodies are buried…figuratively speaking.

    Let’s get Baroness Davidson’s take on all of this……she supports and represents Tories…..or is she another Tory currently on a deflection mission…not another one !!!!

  23. scottish skier says:

    There’s a simple test for ‘real independence supporters’…

    The important thing about ‘that meeting’ (and gift) was not (1) Sturgeon meeting the POTUS, but (2) the POTUS meeting Sturgeon.

    The fake indy supporters and rabid unionists are angrily ranting about (1) while any real, sensible indy supporter knows that it is (2) that’s of significance.

    The UN and the USA just snubbed the UK in a big way over Scotland.

  24. Tam the Bam says:

    Owen Paterson MP has resigned.

  25. Dr Jim says:

    Foreign leaders don’t usually turn up with gifts if they don’t like or respect you, it’s not as if President Joe Biden just happens to have handy wee pre packed ceremonial bowls in his jacket pocket and a wee set of tools to inscribe words if the circumstances for a pressie should ever arise

    The opposition, including the pretendy Independence supporters know it fine well, they’re just doubling down on their own stupidity hole and digging it even deeper and making themselves look more ridiculous than they already are

    • grizebard says:

      “Pretendy independence supporters” – PISsers, I suppose. The rabid Union Rag wavers I can understand (they’re freaking out and for good reason) but why would anyone who truly supported independence not welcome recognition of our FM by the current US President? What are such people on? Hating the very same thing as the gammons? When the showdown comes, and a yes majority delivered, international recognition is what will seal our new standing in the world and ensure no backsliding by Perfidious Albion. That’s our insurance policy. What’s not to like?

  26. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Imagine being a Tory MP voting to STOP Owen ‘I’m a victim’ Paterson being suspended yesterday…..only to then be one of the SAME Tory MP’s who now may have to vote FOR Owen Paterson’s suspension……..due to public backlash as in some of the same public who elected YOU as their Tory MP….. …will DRoss and Alister Jack NOW have a position…..in a NEW vote on Paterson.

    Imagine being a Scottish ( in name only) Tory MP or indeed a Scottish (in name only) Tory MSP or even a Scottish (in name only) Tory councillor with a Tory leader like Boris Johnson and a Tory cabinet full of both sycophantic and devious (Gove) members who are sent out by said leader to justify the unjustifiable and defend the indefensible…..constantly…….while still as a Scottish ( in name only) Tory politician you EXPECT the public to believe that it’s Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP that are bad…..Good luck with that….not working so far…..as most of Scottish public ( and other nationalities within Scotland) are not buttoned up the back……much as you would like them to be ( as in the Tory preference is for us Scots and t’others to BUTTON IT).

    Imagine being someone YESTERDAY…YESTERDAY…of ALL days ( though any day would be totally and utterly inexplicable/ inconceivable/inappropriate)……tweeting a hashtag Resign Sturgeon on Twitter……..while ignoring the corrupt sleaze infested Tory shenanigans played out yesterday in HOC’s by the UK government……… though not a UNIQUE example of the many many shenanigans instigated and implemented by the sleaze merchants under the guise of a political party aka the Tory party who have transitioned into a failed ( on many fronts) regime.

    There is desperation and then there’s desperation….BritNat’s are scraping the dirty Unionist bottom of the political barrel yet again…….alas for them the HOT TOPIC yesterday/today/foreseeable future is once again Tory sleaze…..so #BritNatToriesFail ( und other Britnats who support other Unionist parties obvs).

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Just saw Tam the Bam’s comment re Paterson resigning….did he jump or was he pushed……

      Wonder what Boris has promised him …….nudge nudge wink wink

      Saves embarrassing second vote i.e. my above comment “Imagine being a Tory MP voting to STOP Owen ‘I’m a victim’ Paterson being suspended yesterday…..only to then be one of the SAME Tory MP’s who now may have to vote FOR Owen Paterson’s suspension”.

      #NeverTrustATory

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Meant to add Owen Paterson did an interview with Sam Cates of SKY where he said he had done nothing wrong and would do same thing again….so why resign surely he would fight it out if he felt he was right….and surely those Tories who voted with him would support his fight for ….’justice’…….meanwhile those of us in the REAL world know the score …as it appears so too do the Tories especially Paterson……..party over country obviously.

        So why did Paterson resign unless asked to do so…not for the benefit of his constituents obviously but for THE Tory party……just like Dominic Cummings when they, Tory party politicians, all used excuses for him…….both were guilty and yet party deemed them ‘victims’…..while we knew them to be the culprits who got caught out…………..as did the Tory party.

        Henry Hill of Conservative Home….said Paterson’s defence was he did not know it was lobbying…..so how long has Paterson been an MP…..since 1997…..and STILL he is saying he does not know what lobbying is…..post Neil Hamilton cash for questions scandal……so how stupid is he and why is he an MP if he does not, according to him, understand the rules ……or is it a case of do as I say not as I do the Tory defence for the multitude of wrongs they commit against the public…….to the public’s detriment.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          * Sam Cates…meant Sam Coates Sky

        • jfngw says:

          The aim is to now present him as a martyr, his domestic woes, how cruel Westminster has been to him, there are plenty of Tory rags probably willing to present his case. Meanwhile this furore will push the real story out of the headlines, Johnson thinks he’s Dick Barton, ‘With one bound, Dick was free’ (although this phrase could be misinterpreted with Johnson in mind), he hopes the investigations into his various dalliances will be forgotten.

  27. Tam the Bam says:

    Out of date already NMRN.

    A minute is a long time in politics.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yes it is indeed….both your comment above and mine after I noticed your comment at 2.34pm on his resignation were both made at 2.53pm……

      Politics today one cannot keep pace……what with Tory damage limitation uber alles

  28. grizebard says:

    When I heard the announcement about the volte face at WM over lobbyist-MP Paterson, I just laughed out loud. Not that this isn’t serious, but it’s also the latest farce courtesy of the BoJo Clown Circus. The gift for indy that keeps on giving. Among other things, exposes hypocritical stooges like DRoss for what they truly are.

    More usefully, though, it reveals for anyone who cares to see it, just how dependent any government is on popular consent to be governed, how fragile a hold on that this present collection of bumblers in London possesses, and how once that consent has visibly been withdrawn, it is rendered powerless. That’s what an indyref win will do for us, instantly render London powerless.

  29. Capella says:

    Another one for the photo album. FM with Al Gore. She thanked him for his climate change work over the years.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FDXF1_rX0AcGqxQ?format=jpg&name=medium

    • scottish skier says:

      Aye, Sturgeon has been doing a lot for independence at COP26.

      Hence the wails of the usual suspects.

      They don’t seem to grasp that we are not pleased to see our ‘dear leader’ Sturgeon meeting world leaders, but we are very pleased with the implications of world leaders meeting Scotland’s FM (whoever that might be).

      Or in fact they probably do, which is whey they’re all rather upset at the moment.

      I personally am quite happy that the BBC has not reported the POTUS story; it shows how important it was regarding independence. Bums are getting really squeaky here.

      Worth posting this on the topic:

      • scottish skier says:

        Scottish people be like ‘The BBC? I’m Scottish’.

        • Capella says:

          It’s a cracker. Trust an Irishman to score a palpable hit without even trying. Saw a tweet from Tadhg Hickey earlier:

          The only person managing to keep this Tory government together is Keir Starmer.

      • Legerwood says:

        The meeting of Ms Sturgeon with President Biden and the photo thereof was reported, albeit briefly, on Reporting Scotland’s news bulletins at 6.30pm and on the late bulletin at 10.35pm yesterday. If you hurry you can see the coverage in the late bulletin before they take it down later this evening.

        The BBC may have wanted to ignore this meeting but the wide coverage it had received across various platforms made it impossible for the BBC to ignore it.

        • scottish skier says:

          The blink and you’ll miss it approach. Stick 30 seconds in on a crappy show that very few watch and then hide it away as soon as humanly possible.

          Still nothing on the BBC news website that I can see.

          But the Tories were wrong that they needed to ‘stop a photo op with Sturgeon and Biden’. Nope, what they needed to prevent was Biden wanting to meet with Sturgeon. And there, they completely failed. He pre-arranged a meeting and turned up with a gift; he couldn’t have snubbed Bozo even more while remaining polite.

  30. Capella says:

  31. Capella says:

    Just one more because its an excuse to post that smiley pic again and also DRoss frowning at bins. Ha ha. 😂

  32. Hamish100 says:

    Thanks to WGD for having an upbeat and sometimes lighthearted comments section.
    Others seem jealous.

    As for the current debacle at Westminster it can only help us. For the neutrals watching they must watch aghast as Johnson stumbles from one crisis to another. The FM has appeared statesmanlik, in fact is and this has been recognised by world leaders.

    2023 can’t come quick enough although I would prefer a referendum next year or have a Vote in Scots Parliament- We agree to dissolve the treaty of union. Cameras zoom on Ross would be good.

    • Dr Jim says:

      When the referendum comes “Who they gonna call?” there’ll be no world leaders helping out the Johnson gang, but they might have a word or two on behalf of their favourite Scottish politician

      *Bozobuster*

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