plus ça Westminster change, plus c’est la même chose de Westminster

There’s one thing that Westminster is very good at – you might even say that in this respect the UK really is world-beating. It’s just a shame then that what Westminster is world beating at is in finding ways to appear to be dealing with an issue while not actually changing anything at all. This is how the UK has managed to make it into the 21st century with a parliament with an essentially unreformed second chamber. Membership of the House of Lords is no longer exclusively for members of the aristocracy who inherited their seats and or bishops of the Church of England, but CofE bishops still have a seat in the Lords as do 92 hereditary peers.

There’s no pretence of democratic accountability for the 720 members of the Lords. The vast majority are life peers who were appointed by the Prime Minister. It is a system which reeks of blatant and naked patronage and it ensures that politicians who have been rejected by the voters can continue to make laws and influence public policy. Tony Blair responded to public demands to reform the unelected House of Lords by abolishing the right of most hereditary peers to sit in the Lords and to replace them with peers appointed due to the patronage of the Prime Minister. He thus did nothing to make the Lords more democratic or accountable, and increased the power of his own office while appearing to respond to calls for reform of an unaccountable and undemocratic second chamber.

We have seen similar tricks in Scotland, widespread demand in Scotland in the 1980s for a Scottish Parliament and assertions of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland were met with “devolution”, a formulation designed to ensure that sovereign power remained with the Westminster Parliament – as the phrase used by Labour politicians at the time to signify that in the view of the Westminster Parliament, it was merely permitting the new Scottish Parliament to administer powers on Westminster’s behalf.

Although a considerable part of the drive for a Scottish Parliament in the Thatcher/Major era came from a desire in Scotland to ensure that Scotland was protected from the policies of Westminster Conservative governments that Scotland didn’t vote for, the limitations of devolution have become painfully apparent since the Brexit vote in 2016.

Despite the fact that one of the key promises of the Better Together campaign in 2014 was that the powers of Holyrood would be protected and that no Westminster government would ever make changes to the devolution settlement without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament, this was hedged about with the weasel word “normally”, giving Conservative Governments a loophole to exploit, and which they have exploited in full, allowing them to claim that they had to make changes unilaterally to the devolution settlement due to the “exceptional” circumstances of Brexit, a Brexit which Scotland rejected at the 2016 referendum and which it has continued to reject at every election since by voting for political parties which oppose it.

We now see that devolution cannot protect Scotland from the malignant effects of Conservative governments which Scotland didn’t vote for – that was the problem that a Scottish Parliament was supposed to solve. Westminster made sure it couldn’t. To add insult to injury this Conservative Government is now using the Brexit that Scotland didn’t vote for either in order to traduce and by-pass the Scottish Parliament. They even have the unmitigated gall to insist that in doing so they are “augmenting devolution” which is a bit like chopping someone’s legs off at the knees and then saying that you have augmented their mobility because now they can use a wheelchair.

The only thing that prevents the Conservatives from embarking on an all-out destruction of the devolution settlement is the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum. They know that neutering Holyrood and openly attacking the devolution settlement would put rocket boosters under the case for independence. But make no mistake, if Scotland is foolish enough to vote No again in that second referendum, that is exactly what the Conservatives will do. Devolution has no future with a Westminster which will stop at nothing in order to see off any challenge to its power and the way it has always done things.

The latest example of Westminster making a big show of purporting to respond to a political problem but in reality not doing anything of substance which will actually effect the needed changes that the measure is supposed to bring about is Boris Johnson’s response to the on-going scandal about the second jobs of Conservative MPs and their often extremely lucrative outside interests.

The scandal broke because of Johnson’s decision to abolish independent scrutiny of MPs’ activities and replace it with a sham committee with a built in Tory majority in the wake of the decision to suspend Conservative MP Owen Paterson after he had been found to engage in inappropriate lobbying on behalf of companies he was employed by. The scandal soon widened to cover the issue of second jobs for MPs,Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox earns hundreds of thousands a year working for a legal firm. 90 out of 360 Conservative MPs have second jobs compared with five of Labour’s 199 MPs and two each from the SNP and the Lib Dems.

Earlier this week Johnson announced a plan which would supposedly tighten the rules on the outside jobs and financial interests of MPs. On Wednesday MPs voted 297 to nil to back Downing Street plans to restrict outside work to “reasonable limits” and prohibit parliamentary advice or consultancy. Johnson was hoping that this would draw a line under the affair. However an analysis of the register of MPs’ interests soon found that fewer than ten MPs would be affected by the rule change.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the proposed prohibition on MPs being parliamentary advisers appears to be so narrowly worded that only two Tories out of the 48 Conservative MPs with consultancy jobs fitted the description and would be affected by the new ban.

The phrase plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, the more it changes the more it remains the same, looks as though it was invented for Westminster. The only way Scotland will ever see any real and meaningful change is with independence.

 

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122 comments on “plus ça Westminster change, plus c’est la même chose de Westminster

  1. Dr Jim says:

    If the United Kingdom really was a Union of countries then none of these arguments would be up for question because all four countries would be autonomously running their own affairs, the only exceptions to that being agreed by all four constituent parts of the Union

    We are not and never have been a constituent part of a Union, we are and always have been an agreed to by a fraudulent treaty conquered nation

    Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland are disallowed by English law to make decisions that England does not sanction, which part of this do people not understand, Scotland can be opened or closed on a whim by any government England decides to elect, why do we *share* a military? Scotland is not allowed to have a military in case we made the decision to insist on our autonomy and that’s not allowed under English law, did I hear the word co operation there? nope, not a dicky bird

    If all the people in Scotland were black maybe then folk would have noticed by now our white English Viceroy overlords in the Scotland office allowing us our wee local parliament to let us think we’re in charge of something….anything…..but really nothing

  2. Hamish100 says:

    Agree. If we add the House of Lords into the gravy train you can see why it is such a popular place to work in dame monr, Davidson, Smith, Lord McConnell, foulness, and the rest.

  3. Capella says:

    This is the beauty of an “unwritten constitution”. They do whatever they like and nobody can stop them. If anybody does try to stop them (Judicial Review, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Electoral Commission, EU etc) then they abolish them.

    This is not democracy. There’s another word for it and we all know what it is.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Ex Thatcher MP Chancellor of the Exchequer and father of the House of Commons Ken Clarke just called Boris Johnsons government “an elected dictatorship*

  4. yesindyref2 says:

    Conservative MPs shouldn’t normally screw the taxpayer, lack integrity and principles in general, unless they understandably want to earn a lot more money.

    There, that should do it, Vote: 297 to nil. Now then, Rees-Mogg is bored with all this and wants to sprawl his feet and legs all over the furniture (yes, you, Starmer. lie back), so move on, move on, nothing dodgy going on here, not normally anyway.

  5. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    ” Despite the fact that one of the key promises of the Better Together campaign in 2014 was that the powers of Holyrood would be protected and that no Westminster government would ever make changes to the devolution settlement without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament, this was hedged about with the weasel word “normally”,

    Also who can forget in 2014 David Cameron’s ” lead us don’t leave us”……as if that were even probable….and Hey Presto on the morning of the 19 September 2014…..the same David Cameron announced EVEL…..now that’s more like the Tories we all know…..and distrust….or words to that effect.

    Today in HOC two Tory MP’s from ‘the North’ ( of England) berating UK current PM Johnson and his broken promise on a part of what is termed The Northern powerhouse ….as in North England so called powerhouse…..and the areas they, the two Tory MP’s, represent in the North (England). As their areas are now NOT, as originally planned, going to get the supposed benefits of the much punted HS2……a project costing billions but when one looks at how few it will supposedly benefit it seems another waste of tax payers money that is being spaffed up the wall ( a term Boris J likes to use)……but everyone is in a frenzy about the North (in England) being betrayed while we in the North North aka Scotland are not even considered in this overrated and over priced project being offered as some kind of appeasement to those who are supposedly not traditional supporting Tory voters…..in the North (England)….carbon capture betrayal in the North North aka Scotland didn’t cause as much fury in the media or via some Unionist parties and their HQ leaders.

    New Tory MP’s in the North (of England) stated today they are being “short changed” a term used by one of them on the shortfall announced re HS2 as in literally falling short of where it will extend to….ah but compare and contrast this anger and fightback with the Scottish Tories from the North North aka Scotland where in the HOC for them it’s all Yes Sir, No Sir, three bags full Sir……you want to sh*ft(a) Scotland PM….you have our blessing and indeed our backing…..can we help you do it ?

    So devolved powers on a shoogly peg in the North North and in the other North more broken promises….just like the broken promises and manifesto pledges we all endure from the Tories and HIM i.e. Johnson (one of the worst PM’s among many) all just for them to gain undeserved power……cause Labour once again too useless to be considered worthy by both the North (England) and the South (England)….and not forgetting also the North North aka Scotland ( we in North North aka Scotland determined their uselessness a long time ago).

    Meanwhile Waspi women, pensioners, low income families watch as the Tory government under Boris Johnson waste money…billions….on failed Test & Trace in England, Vanity Royal yachts, a private luxury plane for his use with 900K spent to paint a Union jack onto it, PPE contracts awarded to Tory donors where PPE not fit for purpose etc…..but the daddy of them all is Brexit…in both preparation, planning and implementation and ongoing costs…..where it has been reported the UK has LOST MORE money on Brexit than it paid into the EU….and us lot have lost freedom of movement, free roaming charges on mobile phones, EHIC, freedom to live and work in EU without hassles, costs via custom charges to EU countries on postage, small companies losing business and money, fisherman and farmers well shaf*ed too etc etc etc……

    In UK cost of living via increased energy bills, food bills etc AND NI increasing next April, triple lock on pensions scrapped another abandoned manifesto pledge obvs…….are we not all supposed to be basking in the Brexit Tory sunlit uplands by now……or are we just all gradually smouldering and ready to combust due to the sheer shit*ery of it all thanks to Boris Buffoon Johnson and his Tory party……and yet those of us in Scotland wanting independence from both the UK and politicians like Boris Johnson and his party with all of this evidence of corruption, mismanagement , worse standard of life courtesy of WM reserved powers…… and so many many lies by ALL Unionist parties ….. BUT somehow tis peeps in Scotland that are somehow portrayed to be the mad ones for wanting to leave the UK…….yeh mad as in ANGRY in a sort of SANE way more like……sure many a person outwith UK would deem us, in Scotland, to be MAD to WANT to remain part of the UK now…..cause this is what they have done and are doing when they think Scotland wanted to stay with them via vote 2014…….God only knows what we will endure should some via a majority percentage decide again to stay part of the UK…..I for one to do not want that scenario to happen….still YES always YES..

    IndyRef2……Yes always no matter WHO is in power at WM..

    • What Not My Real Name says.

      Dross was on his pins at FMQ today blaming NS for the murder of a pensioner.

      Sarwar was on his pins today blaming NS for the death of one of her team because of the ventilation at the QEUH, that’s the Southern General to the republicans in the room.

      Of course Dross was missing at WM yesterday for PMQ, as was First Lieutenant (RN Failed) semi retired Andrew Bowie, New Zealand frozen lamb Mundell,and that guy Lamont presumably hiding out in Kelso or somewhere. while David Duguid, the man whose only hardship following England leaving the EU was that he was having a problem sourcing his favourite pasta shapes, and Alister Union Jack, were on the WM benches dutifully supporting that Fat Oaf Johnson.

      Duguid even got to his feet to receive the Great Clown’s assurance that his constituents up in Moray would someday, but not just yet, get money for carbon capture.

      The Governor General of the Jock Colony sat next to Johnson, his face a blank gammon pink, adding nothing, but taking up precious oxygen nevertheless.
      Two pointless men contributing absolutely nothing to our lives.

      Grant Shapps at last had to come clean today about the HS2 and Northern Powerhouse lies and broken promises.

      Of course, HS2 means nothing to us in the Northern Colony.

      What we do know is that Aberdeen and Dundee will lose hundreds of millions in business when England speeds up its trains…
      And we will be paying 8.4% of the cost.

      You may recall that Danny Alexander, Hong Kong Phooey, declared that HS2 would only cost £47 billion and that included contingencies, back in the Coalition Days when he sacked 500,000 civil servants, and they privatised the Post Office.
      IT was absolute nonsense then, but it got Danny Boy the Golden Invite to Finance post 2015.

      They can say anything the like, lie through their teeth, secure in the knowledge that they will be rewarded when they finally move out of politics.

      Douglas Ross may kill me next winter; me and tens of thousands of Scots pensioners.

      He voted to break the triple lock, which means that my state pension will buy 5% less than it did last year.

      Do I eat or heat, while Dross grabs an MSP wage, and MP Wage, ‘leads’the English Tory Branch Office in the Northern Colony, and pockets SFA fees?

      Sarwar was waving the bloody babygro again today.

      These are seriously evil little men, using the suffering of families as a political baseball bat to get the SNP.
      They are beneath contempt.

      Dross cannot be in two places at the same time, yet pockets a wage for not being where he should be?
      This little man is coining in £200,000 a year> I’ll leave that there.

      Sarwea and Ross and the Tailor’s Dummy Coal Scuttle are in place to destroy Scotland.

      There is no way back for their obscene Union.

    • grizebard says:

      You read my mind there. While all this media fusspotting was (rightly) going on about how BoJo’s false promises to “The North” (of England) were coming home to roost, not a peep from anybody anywhere that Scotland wasn’t getting even a measly rail spike out of this. Though I dare say we will be charged (as will appear in GERS) for “our” {ahem} 10% of the large costs.

      When, ridiculously, the only real point of a fast rail link (as the French have had for 40-odd years now) is to cover extended distances, at least Glasgow/Edinburgh to London (or past it and through the Chunnel even, as originally envisaged) than the piddly wee distance from the English Midlands. (Not “Northlands”, note.)

      • Dr Jim says:

        Apparently everyone will get to Scotland 20 minutes quicker for the cheap price of only £10 billion to us Jocky taxpayers

        • P Harvey says:

          😂
          They must think we button up the back!! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

        • The Whole exercise is designed to widen the commuter belt to feed London with a greater pool of workers, that’s all. The HS2 ‘re-imagining’ loops London, Birmingham and Nottingham, and feck the ‘Red Wall’.
          There is no benefit to Newcastle, Durham, or Leeds in this rethink, never mind the Northern Colony.

          Johnson is ‘circling the wagons’, extending the bloated SE England commuter catchment to include ‘the Midlands’, that’s all.
          In his HS2 piece David Porter on BBC Radio Jockland referred to ‘The North’ and ‘the Midlands’, yet he is supposed to be Our Man at WM?
          The tired old brainwashing doesn’t work any more.
          No matter the outcome of Indyref 2, the ‘Union’ is dead.

          Not long now before BBC Stockade in the Colony shuts its doors for good.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Indeed grizebard… pathetic is it not….but the usual.

        Have a nice day

  6. yesindyref2 says:

    I wonder if future historians will look back and say Clegg jumping into bed with Cameron and totally betraying any LibDem principles, the end of Blair and Brown, ushering in a Tory monopoloy at Westminster, was the end of the Union, just leaving it in its dying throes of crumbling Empire Biscuits?

    Remember those days of negotiation with Clegg looking so important as he prepared to throw the NHS and his student following under the bus and punch their tickets twice?

    • grizebard says:

      You could be right, since 2010 was perhaps the last hope for any kind of meaningful UK reform, and Clegg & Co. totally blew it, as you say. Though the end of the beginning might be marked by Cameron coming out of Downing St. and giving his EVEL speech. He thought he had just saved the Union, but in fact he had just stabbed it in the back and didn’t even realise.

      Everything thereafter, unremittingly, Smith Commission, The Error That Must Not Be Named, the BoJo Clown Circus, has been inexorable decline. It’s just taking some time for the significance of it all to sink in with sufficient ordinary people (both north and south of the border).

      • Luigi says:

        If Gordon Brown had been a half-decent PM then Cleg and Co would never have been near any position of power to do the damage that followed. Despite years of scheming and nasty business, when Mr Brown finally got the keys to No 10 he proved to be totally incompetent. There was no way he was going to win the 2010 election – the people had already seen him for what he really was. The complete shambles he made of the economy as CoE (remember the gold for paper giveaway?) was by then clear to see. The only reason he managed to become PM was because it was handed to him on a plate. And what a disaster that turned out to be. Tony Blair was all powerful at the start of his PM’ship – two big mistakes finished him off and trashed his reputation: 1) The Iraq War, and 2) Not firing Gordon Brown when he had the chance.

  7. exile says:

    Thank you Paul. This is your best article ever…..so far! Your points are to the point, and beautifully written. Keep safe, and keep enjoying your new home.

  8. It is with not a little satisfaction that I comment that the Dead Tree Scrolls show signs of being on their last legs.
    Their readership is down to the mere thousands, and any cursory glance at their online offerings and traffic study (‘Most Popular’, BTL desperate Yoon cries of woe) seems to suggest that the Blahs increasingly rely on the Sellik and Ranjurs knuckledraggers to buy their Dead Tree Scrolls to sell any of their papyrus ancient pamphlets at all.

    Steven Gerard has attained Princess Di immortality.
    He is gone, ‘dead to me’-ostracised by many of the True Blue Faithful, who are reportedly kicking three kinds of sh1t out of the life size cardboard cut-outs of their disgraced erstwhile saviour in their bedrooms.
    They have life size cut outs of another man in their bedroom?
    Mmmm.I’ll leave that there.
    But like Princess Di Gerrard’s face is everywhere, and it looks like the tired old Jock Hacks will be reporting his every bowel movement, his haircuts, and candid shots of him Christmas shopping in the Bull Ring.

    Not even the launch of the all Orange away kit to ‘honour’ their new Dutch Manager will dim the eternal Flame that is Gerrard.

    Over at Sellick Park, we are fed the usual nonsense about Boards, and the Green Brigade knuckledraggers’ campaign to stop an ex policeman joining their board because in his previous life he favoured locking up hooligans when they rampaged through our streets of a week end.

    Lots of pictures, and little else.

    There will be riots on Sunday. Rangers and Hibs clash at Hampden at 4.00 o’clock on Sunday.

    There will be plenty of copy on the bloodletting on Monday, and it will all have been Police Scotland and Sturgeon’s fault for not ‘learning lessons’ from the Spring ‘celebrations’, when True Blue Sons of William ‘celebrated’ twice, by rampaging through this Dear Green Place wreaking havoc, destruction and physical assault in their wake.
    Ross Sarwar and Coal-Scuttle will be pleased that the pubs will pour as much ‘profit’ down the throats of the Green and Blue Brigade this week end, I’m sure, as A&E departments creak to breaking point with the over zealous supporters of our Great Glasgpw clubs.

    Oh,t hat they would move to England, and give the rest of us, over million Scots, peace at last.
    An All Orange Away Kit; you heard it first on WGD.

    • ‘over 5 million Scots’. I need to edit more.

      • Dave tewart says:

        You missed out the joke of the week in fitba land.
        The poor performance by Nicola has cause the keltik to lose the ten in a row.
        Seems she’s had to sell off the boots as she can’t get a game anymore.

        Back page of the ‘Metro’ confirms.

        • There is a danger that you encourage them, Dave. WATP 8 times political failures, There’s Been A Murdo Fraser will have a nice little earner article in the Hootsman about it.
          Isn’t it amazing that Scotland’s stunning victory on Monday night has been shoved down the Blahs’ 1984 Memory Hole already.
          I had to wait until Wed night to access BBC i Player to catch the ‘highlights’ of the most important Scottish international in a quarter of a century.
          But I could watch English wee didy teams in a cup match live on BBC Scotland?
          They just laugh in our faces because they can.
          On the ve that the last helicopter takes off from the rooftop of Plantation Quay, with panic stricken stragglers clinging desperately and danglingly to the runners of the fleeing whirlybird, you know the rest.

  9. Alec Lomax says:

    I see that the Rev has resurrected himself on Wings. Alas for him and his acolytes the world has moved on.

    • scottish skier says:

      Ah yes, our English citizen of 30 years is so gloriously out of touch as result.

      Sturgeon, sturgeon, sturgeon, sturgeon…

      Lol. Long may unionists and right-wing English blogs relentlessly focus on her!

    • scottish skier says:

      Some stats.

      WoS readership monthly changes on March 2021 pre-election peak:
      -30% April (Holyrood election campaign)
      -50% May (Holyrood election)
      -78% June
      -77% July
      -74% Aug (announces retirement)
      -75% Sep
      -86% Oct

      https://www.similarweb.com/site/wingsoverscotland.com/#traffic

      Very much does support the notion that – as Paul has talked about – visitors to blogs are not influenced by bloggers, but just seek out blogs writing about what interests them. Wings had a pretty impressive 1.9 m visitors in March, but lost half over the course of the Holyrood election campaign. When 3/4 had departed by August – and that’s with iref2 now very much on the cards after a record Yes victory – the blog decided to call it quits. Attempts to influence the election just caused a massive loss of traffic with no impact on the outcome.

      It’s the same for Sturgeon, she has a small ‘fan club’ no doubt, but she’s not an ‘influencer’ in any measurable sense in terms of the indy debate as the graph above shows. She is an SNP influencer, but not really a Yes one. That’s way beyond any politician. As long was she was replaced with someone similarly competent, the SNP will continue to do well. If she was replaced by a complete idiot, you’d find the SNP vote would fall, but Yes would not, it would just start shifting to other yes parties, including emerging ones.

      But then why does UK government competence have such an effect you might ask? Because it’s not ours, we can’t change it, but we can get rid of it. By contrast, we can’t get rid of our own government, but we can change it! Simples really.

  10. Alec Lomax says:

    The Herald tells us this morning that the UK Home Office states that the right wing pose the biggest terroristt threat in Scotland.
    Cue lots of posts from rightwing nuts on the Herald btl.

  11. Dr Jim says:

    Scotland breathes a sigh of relief as England at last makes up its mind it doesn’t love Boris Johnson anymore
    So what’s wrong with that sentence? Well if you’re a British Nationalist living in Scotland you’re either praying that England won’t get rid of Johnson or you want England to hurry up and elect the next Boris Johnson
    If you’re a Labour British Nationalist living in Scotland you’re scrabbling around inventing reasons why this is Labours chance to pretend it’s all something to do with them by way of English leader Sir Kier Starmers sustained political pressure or some such utter guff that you can use to convince Scotland that Labour politics is wot dun it and Hooray and Yaay for us

    Probably nearer the truth though is that the unelected media party have at long last decided now’s the time to strike and bring Boris Johnson down in the wake of all these polls they’ve been conducting showing the growing support in England for getting rid of the clown prince of Tories

    So again, what’s wrong with these sentences Scotland? are you cheering, are you happy, are you just over the moon that the population of England has had enough of Boris Johnson?

    Or are you noticing that right from the start of all this British Nationalist Tory shit in the entire British Isles that Scotland voted for none of it, we didn’t want it, we hated the very sight of Johnson, we warned of what would happen and it has, did anyone in England pay the slightest teeny weeny bit of attention to what Scotland said? NO ! they bloody well didn’t, and why? because they don’t care what we think or want, they wanted Brexit and F**K whatever Scotland says

    So if you happen to be someone who voted against Scotlands Independence don’t go congratulating yourself or sighing with relief that Boris Johnson might be out or praying that the next Boris Johnson that England chooses won’t be as bad as the last, instead vote YES to Independence and it won’t happen again and England won’t have the complete and dominant say in how Scotland is run in the future, and don’t think that’ll be a sign from heaven that good old Labour will replace the nasty Tories and all will be well, England has shown itself to like and enjoy the very large Tory big mouth style of dictatorship and they’ll vote for it all over again no matter who it is in charge, except maybe Rishi Sunak because well they’re racists in England and voting in secret is a big help to hiding that fact when they look surprised and claim they voted for him when they didn’t, the Tories and the unelected media party already know that so it’s not likely to be that wee fella no matter how much they say like Tony the Tiger “He’s Ggrreat !”

    Get the finger out Scotland before England gives us the finger again……….and they will

  12. Clydebuilt says:

    O/T

    This deserves to be re posted

    Naina Tal says:
    November 17, 2021 at 12:14 pm
    Found this article on Al Jazeera.Funny I saw nothingabout it in uk press or wireless. Seems the vaccine developed in Livingston might be a game changer in the fight against Corona Virus.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/11/9/valneva-covid-19-vaccine-why-it-might-be-a-game-changer?

    Aye that’s the same vaccine that Johnson reneged on. Looks like a bit of a blunder. Wha wad hae thocht?

  13. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Firstly apology to all on here and to Paul Kavanagh for length of this post. As per please just scroll by if too long, drawn out as I will not know unless you highlight that to me on here…..I am so very sick, tired and disgusted that I must write this but it is heart felt and for me cathartic….to some it may seem self indulgent…hopefully random browsers to this political blog will, if they read it agree with some of what I write.

    The so called Union of the UK as a concept does not work.

    We have Scottish Unionist politicians at WM afraid to promote and fight for Scotland too much for fear of a backlash for their HQ parties with some English voters ,who via population size and allocated elected MP’s at WM are THE dominant country within the UK who gets to dictate who governs in the UK at WM .Within the UK parliament we have a position where reserved powers that impact ALL devolved governments are decided and voted on in the HOC. Currently the allocated representation is England 533 seats, Scotland 59 seats, Wales 40 seats and Northern Ireland 18 seats…..with new boundary changes England’s allocation will increase to 543, Scotland will lose 2 seats and be 57 seats, Wales will lose 8 seats and will be 32 seats and Northern Ireland will maintain same seats 18. How convenient for that one dominant nation to increase it’s already major allocation within THEIR UK in THEIR UK parliament aka the English parliament……

    We have devolved governments within the UK who have limited devolved powers and limited access to all money generated via their country but who are constantly treated and criticised as if they had all the powers, privileges and independence of a normal independent country……with Unionist politicians, Unionist media and rabid BritNat usual suspects denying that reality in order to perpetuate this myth in order to maintain THEIR dysfunctional and unequal (non) Union.

    We have Unionist politicians, Unionist media, Unionist BritNats , ordinary Scots and ordinary English people who either conflate via ignorance or duplicity the powers that are reserved by WM and the powers devolved to respective devolved governments…..indeed some people are oblivious to these powers very existence and thus assume they speak with authority on all things related to devolved governments actions, policies………..while demonising the devolved government for what they see as a lack of action while ignorant or wilfully misrepresenting the real reason being that they, as a government , do not have the power to rescind/reinforce have access to full financial powers to implement the appropriate action/policy to improve or rectify issues within their respective country…..and let’s not start on the Holyrood political Unionists mantra of ‘Mitigate’ where a reserved power’s action by the WM UK government is, by Unionist politicians, expected to be cancelled out via the devolved government expected to rob Peter to pay Paul…..to the detriment of those who are expected to suffer as a result.

    We have a televised media dominated by citizens from but one country within the UK where news re the ‘country’ usually equates to news in England…..while other countries within the UK are awarded a regional version of the news compatible to the same regional news programmes in England. Also where the various television channels actively work against the interests of both the citizens of that country and it’s devolved government….and where the printed media is dominated by companies predominantly owned in England and who are supportive of the preservation of THEIR Union and the continued dominance of their country i.e. England….also where most dramas/quiz shows/debate shows/comedy shows/soap operas etc. are dominated by citizens of but ONE nation within the UK…..an unfair representation given to but ONE nation within the UK…..almost as if one of THEIR historical citizens by birth invented the medium that is television……as now they OWN it via dominance within the UK while we Scots watch it with minimum allocated input.

    We also have a UK where in major sporting events e.g. football via UK respective national sides playing to get into major tournaments ALL games for only ONE nation are broadcast ‘Live’ on terrestrial television and their highlights are also broadcast for the SAME game/s on terrestrial TV……but where Scotland’s citizens must pay to view their national team’s game/s ‘Live’ via a contract signed for a satellite channel and where highlights of our national side is only broadcast LATE at night on terrestrial TV stations ….indeed the only time Scots get to see their national side ‘live’ on a terrestrial TV channel is when they play that ONE dominant nation or when Scotland qualify for a major tournament such as the Euros or the World cup.

    We also have a position where Scotland within the Union is presented as the poor relation, who for it’s own good, NEEDS to remain within this so called (non) Union while No one challenges the other dominant nation’s reason for wanting the Union to be maintained or what IT brings to the table as part of THEIR Union….. amusingly but ironically so far in Brexit the only trade I see being negotiated via food and drink is Scottish food and drink.

    We have suffered and are still suffering the onslaught of the Great British this and Great British that via television …whether it be Great British railways, bake off’s, Islands, castle, cities , walks etc.…..while the reality is the only thing GREAT about Britain is the tax concessions and exemptions offered to foreign individuals/businesses who buy up land, property and businesses and who rightly think yes Britain is Great…for ME……for mere mortals who reside here not so much….read a quote by anti mafia journalist Roberto Saviano where he said that “ the UK is THE most corrupt country in the world” with London cited as being the “HEART of financial corruption”……which ties in very much with what those foreign investors believe which is for some, the main reason they ‘INVEST’ nudge nudge so much within the UK.

    We also have a consistent campaign to suppress cultural distinction between nations within the Great but not really Great Britain……where we are being forced to accept an identity (British) as the uber compulsory form of identity ….where borders exist through signs stating they are the border of respective countries within the UK…however the Unionist want us to believe there are NO borders currently within the UK….yet when convenient for them they often refer to those very borders, which they say do NOT exist, i.e. when it helps them make a point that promotes Independence BAD and SNP BAD. However in doing this they are also denying English people an identity and this to Unionists might have an incidental negative consequence for them….but simultaneously tis also a necessity they deem worth risking to save THEIR Union.

    We have a minority of Scottish SNP MP’s within the UK’s parliament at WM who are ignored, chastised, ridiculed, demonised, disregarded and who are treated with contempt and whose presence at WM is treated as an unwanted political force…..even though they as a party were DEMOCRATICALLY elected by people who live in Scotland…..their motions/amendments /debates are NEVER usually accepted/supported by Unionists parties but they as a party are expected to support the Unionist parties motions/amendments/debates and if they do not they are called out….unfairly. Their presence for us though is, while we are still linked to the UK, essential in ensuring Scotland gets a fair hearing …without them we as a country would be , like them even more ignored, disregarded and treated with even more contempt etc. etc.

    We have a UK government that finances, implements and endorses new projects and policies to benefit but only one nation within the UK…..while all nations pay into their UK and help finance these projects that benefits/gives advantage usually to that ONE dominant nation only……and in doing so other nations are accredited as having generated that so called deficit/debt added to their net fiscal balance and current budget……In Scotland GERS equates to Greedy Elites Rob Scots the proviso to this obviously being VIA WM where having no borrowing powers are translated as being in debt courtesy of UK figures/rationale obvs…..…….but Unionist politicians and their parties….aided by pseudo Scottish Unionist MP’s who identify as Brits, while easily suppressing their Scottish identity , do this in order to uphold THEIR non Union….they all support and promote this Scotland is in debt fallacy as a fact and a reality.

    We also have a former PM and ex chancellor of The Exchequer…a Scot…allegedly or rather in name only….who preaches to the converted the same old same while offering changes/powers to other Scots that he has NO power to GIVE/OFFER but he does so solely to STOP independence…as in post 18 September 2014 he soon became a ‘Where’s Wally’ when Cameron backtracked on promises and introduced EVEL the morning after THE vote in 2014….and he is one who supports former and existing colleagues in his party who board , what is to them , the political gravy train at Holyrood, WM and then onto the ultimate lazy sleepy days and well paid ….king of the gravy trains ( money for nothing) THE HOL’s…….a BritNat establishment not recognised by SNP politicians BUT loved by Unionist ones…….where they are not just paid to attend but also are allowed positions/incomes outwith this so called Great British Institution…..most of the Tories and Brexit disciples recently promoted to there by Boris J only turn up to support / vote with Tory government…..and to get BREXIT done and the rest of us mere mortals are at the point of being well and truly done in/done over and done with the UK…both mentally and physically now with regards to Brexit, corrupt Tories and their current useless PM, Labour, Lib Dems, Think Tanks who advocate specific policies on behalf of specific political parties and right wing organisations/individuals while acting against others, political commentators who align themselves with specific political parties and act against others, biased TV stations who align themselves with political parties and act against others, newspapers who align themselves with specific political parties and act against others…the list is endless …..this is THE Unionist way of life in THEIR UK….on repeat…..and they’re doing it deliberately too…………

    There is probably more I could add (God forbid you may say) as to reasons WHY their so called (non)Union/UK does not work for us in Scotland but the best way to prove it is to vote for independence and thus the argument becomes obsolete as no longer appropriate/applicable for us in Scotland……independence HAS to be THE ONLY choice for us ….which is what I and god willing many others via a majority will decide is THE best way forward for Scotland……hopefully in the not too distant future…..any other choice will see the further decimation of Scotland’s culture, progress, unique identity, opportunities and indeed any chance for a happier way of life within a normal functioning INDEPENDENT country…..how long must it be and why should we need to justify THAT as being NORMAL and a DESIRABLE state to be in…..LOOK at where we are NOW and with WHOM and ask ourselves IS this the future we WANT or do we deserve so much BETTER than this…..seems a rhetorical question does it not.

    Once again apologies to Paul and other posters for length of this comment.

  14. Welsh_Siôn says:

    There was a bit of concern earlier that the Govester had been terribly quiet.

    Worry not, mes amis – here he is

    https://nation.cymru/news/of-course-wales-could-thrive-as-an-independent-nation-says-michael-gove/

    ‘Of course’ Wales could thrive as an independent nation says Michael Gove

    18 Nov 2021 2 minute Read

    and

    having a wide-ranging interview with Wales Online:

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/put-criticism-uk-governments-approach-22207271

    • Capella says:

      Lucky Wales! I thought the Wales Online article particularly apt:

      We also asked him about failing to meet demands to reclassify HS2 as an English-only scheme so that Wales received the benefits of a Barnett Formula consequential, which would provide around £5bn to spend on rail infrastructure in Wales.

      It’s absolutely outrageous that HS2 is classified as a UK project so that it doesn’t provide Barnett formula payments to the devolved governments. It will, in fact, siphon money out of Scotland and Wales on top of the taxpayers forking out to pay for a £95 billion vanity project to trim 20 minutes off the time to travel between London and Birmingham.

      • Clydebuilt says:

        It’s worse than that . . . . Not only are devolved nations not going to get barnet consequentials for HS2. Heard a Rail expert on Radio Scotland, beginning of week after 8.30am. . . . He said that due to project being curtailed freight trains to Scotland will be delayed and (possibley) fewer in number. Problem arises from running high speed trains on a mixed rail track.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        HS2 is actually classed as an England and Wales project, so Wales is the outright loser as, for some reason, those geographically challenged people in Westminster seem to think that Birmingham is in Wales – or at least, is a hub for Wales rail, so Wales ain’t getting any Barnett Consequentials (BC).

        Scotland is, and in theorys is getting 100% for the whole project, though allocations are made annually and who, after all, would trust the Treasury. ScotGov is looking over this very carefully, and my own MSP Gibson laid a question back in 2013, as at that time the project had been deemed as providing a partial benefit to Scotland so therefore about 5% BC not the full wack.

        However, to use the 2015 figures, the BC for Scotland for spending in England and Wales is 9.31%, whereas for England only is 9.85% so by cheating Wales out of any BC at all, the Treasury actuall cheats Scotland out of 0.54% BC even if it’s true that Scotland receives 100% BC.

        As for that, well, who would trust the Tories not to make up the rules as they go along? They refused Scotland and Wales a dispute procedure for the non-Barnett bribe money for DUP votes, this is “extra-Barnett” spending apparently, though in fairness, England which has no Government to represent it, also loses out on that Barnett.

        https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/479717/statement_of_funding_2015_print .pdf (remove space before .pdf)

        Best conclusion is that Scotland gets most BC, but not all.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        This is actually quite funny. Looking at “fullfact”

        https://fullfact.org/online/hs2-scotland/

        Our verdict

        Incorrect. There is no evidence for this claim. In effect, all money spent by Scotland on HS2 is returned through the Barnett formula.

        So for every £1 spent on HS2, Scotland receives 9.2p more funding (because HS2 is deemed to benefit England and Wales for the purpose of Barnett calculations and Scotland’s population as a percentage of England and Wales is about 9.2%).

        But if it actually WAS full fact, it would point out that if the spending was [correctly] attributed to England only, Scotland would receive 9.8p for every £1 spend on HS2, So we’re robbed 0.6p per £1 spend on HS2. Wales of course, is robbed of a lot more, and NI is robbed of a bit as well.

        ‘Twas ever so.

  15. Old Pete says:

    Andrew Marr leaving the BBC and moving to LBC.
    Wonder who will replace this pro Unionist lackey, Sarah Smith perhaps ?

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Possibly the one who is apparently now so full of contrition…..as in Andrew Neil…..Sarah Smith has been appointed as North American Editor for the BBC

      🙂

  16. scottish skier says:

    The ‘wrong to leave’ is getting pretty high across the UK now.

    Yougov for the Times:

    In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union?
    50% Wrong to leave
    37% Right to leave
    13% DK

    When something is not the really will of the people, it’s not going to go well. It’s the problem with brexit. You need to win with the truth so people make a decision they don’t later regret. Leave won on false pretenses, and now they may face what they dreamed of actually being undone down the line.

    Certainly, when Scotland leaves, N. Ireland will go to if it has not already, and then Wales will start looking seriously at the same. It’s hard not to see this ultimately resulting in England rejoining the EEA with its tail between its legs; something I continue to forecast. So years of economic ruin and the end of the UK, yet England back in Europe. Way to go brexiters!

    Hence I keep saying what we need is Yes as the settled will of Scots. Do that, and the iref is just a formality confirming what is already settled. 10 years of data and decades of slow political / constitutional / generational changes says we are almost there, but it’s been wise of the SNP to not jump the gun.

  17. Hamish100 says:

    The bbc management knows what’s happening. I have to say the so called watchdog/ user group in Scotland is so weak and ineffective that you forget most times of its existence.

  18. Hamish100 says:

    I’ve decided to do a poll.

    Naw, only kiddin!

    Let’s put out polls on the weekend of 1m National broadsheets are to be delivered.

    Could some be working against Independence and/ or are they just wee jealous seething souls? If it quacks……

    Postcard responses to bath, england or somewhere else. Lol

  19. Golfnut says:

    What makes the Tory party angry? Not 200 thousand dead citizens due to covid or their party’s shambolic handling of the pandemic, nor the chaos of brexit, no it’s bojos handling of the Owen Paterson case and leaving all those 2nd job MP’s having to answer awkward questions.

    • scottish skier says:

      Very much sums up the Tories.

      Decent folk spend their time worrying about and standing up for the rights of others.

      Tories spend their time worrying about and standing up for only themselves.

    • scottish skier says:

      Reminds me of this.

      • Capella says:

        Well that was exhilarating! and I’ve never seen it before. Sad too. Some real ghosts from the past resurrected to haunt us.
        Good to hear Dick Gaughan again.

        • scottish skier says:

          I was reminded by the thread of the 1974 Tory ‘I’m awright jack’ PPB scene in it.

          Think I first saw the whole thing nearly ten years ago now; a memento of 2014 for me, but still just as relevant. New labour has now morphed into new English nationalist labour, so Broon/Blair with tory flegs and anti-migrant mugs.

  20. Golfnut says:

    Recommended viewing for all, we’ll done SS.

  21. Hamish100 says:

    Really good. One aspect of miner leader Scargill his predictions for the sacking of miners was way off. He underestimated the numbers.
    Remember the police benefitted from huge over time claims working against the people, supplemented by the army/police agent provocateur as well as one well known haulage company who was well remunerated. So Blair was a Tory and a liar over Iraq and it seems the rump of labour is now maybe 60% unionist. Not in the workers United sense but in the Tory sense of 1 nation England lording over the Celtic countries.
    If only some of labour supporters remaining stopped the pretence that being run from 10 Downing st is in their best interests of the people of Scotland.

  22. Capella says:

    The National’s 8 page special is in today’s edition. Unionists queuing up at the newsagents to hide it beneath the pile of unread Daily Mails.
    https://archive.fo/Gzrp1

  23. Capella says:

    Billy Kay’s book “Scots: the Mither Tongue” is out on audible. I got mine yesterday as a subscriber. Like a lot of people I used to cringe when I heard people use Scots on radio. I was brought up to speak “proper English”, though, of course, I could speak and understand the Doric like all my relatives and friends. Now I love to hear Billy Kay reading Scots.

    “For most people it will be the first time they have heard the work of writers from Barbour’s Brus to RL Stevenson’s Thrawn Janet read out loud by someone steeped in that tradition, who has a deep knowledge of Scots as both a living and a literary language.

    “The combination is powerful with memorable moments from e.g. MacDiarmid and the Border Ballads, from Burns’s only letter in Scots and from rich examples of every Scots dialect.

    “Scots and Scottish literature enjoy a global following, but outwith Scotland few people know how the language sounds, so this will fill a big gap in those people’s knowledge and appreciation of a great tradition.”

    The audiobook is now available on Audible.

    https://archive.fo/jTQL1

    • scottish skier says:

      I’m testing French Mrs SS’s Scots with that article. 🙂

      Wonderful. Of course unionists say Scots isn’t a language and attack the Irish for speaking it in Donegal. Apart from the most unionist of proud British unionists; they say it’s as important as Irish and its use should be put in law alongside that.

      Confused lot.

  24. scottish skier says:

    Guid news.

    I guess folks are looking at Brengland and thinking ‘Ok, bad idea!’.

    https://archive.md/uJtww

    Support for populist sentiment falls across Europe, survey finds

    YouGov/Guardian poll finds ‘clear pattern of decreasing support for populism’ in European countries…

    Support for populist sentiment in Europe has fallen sharply over the past three years, according to a major YouGov survey, with markedly fewer people agreeing with key statements designed to measure it.

    The YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project’s annual populism tracker, produced with the Guardian, found populist beliefs in broadly sustained decline in 10 European countries, prompting its authors to suggest the wider electoral appeal of some may have peaked.

  25. Marc says:

    Off-topic but whats happened to Barnier? He seemed quite sensible during the Brexit negotiations, but now he seems like he had a lot in common with the Brexiters. On top of wanting to suspend immigration to France and saying that the ECJ & ECHR impacts Frances Soverenty he’s now saying the French colonial history was ‘great’!

    Goes to show never judge a book by its cover.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      This is probably playing to his ‘domestic’ audience.

      Don’t forget there is a Presidential Election next year in France and he is one of the candidates. Macron is allegedly losing support (hence his increased bellicosity and attacking of l’ennemi hereditaire in England/the UK, rightly or wrongly) and perhaps more to the point, the growing menace of the racist Front National (or whatever they call themselves these days) under Marine le Pen.

      I’m not saying Barnier was soft and cuddly over Brexit either – he was far more knowledgeable of his brief than his British counterparts (plural) during the so-called negotiations over Brexit. But, I think, he thinks he’s playing a winning hand here which will install him in the Elysee palace: see off the perfidious Brits, be a strong voice for France (on the domestic, European and world stages) and combat le Pen by stealing some of her clothes.

      Plus ca change, outre Manche aussi, mon ami …

    • Capella says:

      Probably the French Presidential elections in April next year have prompted a move to outmanoeuvre Marine le Pen by appearing more patriotic. (If indeed Michel Barnier is saying anythng about it at all – I haven’t come across it)

    • scottish skier says:

      He is a conservative, so enough said really. The French do have their own Tories!

      Mind you, with polling (and election results, e.g. the German right taking a fair hit) suggesting a big fall in the popularity of populism in France and Europe, going down that English/British route is maybe a dead end these days.

      • Marc says:

        Yea I get that he’s right-wing just didn’t realise how far right he was on immigration, I mean even the Brexiters /Trump didn’t have stopping cira 97% of the world’s population from immigrating to their country as a policy point!

        I think that (in the case of Frace) they seem to be coppying the English/British to be honest, introducing quotas on skilled immigrants etc as Boris and his Brexiters have done. Even copying their catchphrases!
        “We want to regain control over our immigration policy,” Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said

        Maybe that’s why support for populist parties is falling as per the poll you highlighted. The mainstream parties are just implementing some of their policies. Certainly in France, you don’t need Le Pen if you want to reduce immigration, centre-left Macron is already doing it for you.

        • Golfnut says:

          France like the UK have and always had control over imigration. France unlike the UK still has free movement of people within EU and no doubt they contribute, as they did in the UK, more than they got back. Germany has benefited greatly from immigration and no doubt so does France however it’s a useful tool in a propaganda as we no to our cost.

          • scottish skier says:

            Controls on non-EU immigration quite obviously a must. Free movement is only possible when the countries involved are part of a union such as the EU, where everyone is operating under the same rules on democracy trade, human rights etc. I’d love global free movement, but for that we’d need other unions to form and adopt the same rules as the EU. Then we could harmonize rules between these, allowing for free trade and movement between the two.

            Maybe one day the world can be like that, but unfortunately racists like their hard borders.

        • scottish skier says:

          Erm, sorry, but I don’t understand how record high support for full free movement / Remain is mirroring England/Brexit? This is up around 10% on 2013.

          https://whatukthinks.org/eu/eu-questions/if-there-was-a-referendum-on-frances-membership-of-the-eu-how-would-you-vote/?removed

          Latest poll is 65% Remain, continuing a trend of rising Remain from a low of 53% in 2013.

          It’s why I said below that some of their right-wing politicians have ‘missed the boat’ it seems. They’re completely out of touch with the electorate. I suppose there are similarities to the UK in that Brits regret Brexit, but many of their leaders are still trying to sell it to them.

          From a look a the latest date, this ties in with Remain/Leave.

          Macron has a solid first round lead and is building up big leads for R2 vs the right across the board. The more right the candidate, the bigger the lead.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2022_French_presidential_election#Macron_vs._Zemmour

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2022_French_presidential_election#Macron_vs._Le_Pen

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2022_French_presidential_election#Macron_vs._Bertrand

          A right vs right head to head would have the more moderate pro-EU right (so much less right than the UK right) win comfortably too.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2022_French_presidential_election#Bertrand_vs._Le_Pen

          So it’s fairly normal for France, albeit it with a much higher support for the EU and free movement than there was back in 2013 which was a concern to my family at the time.

          However, none of the candidates are shining. My French family are all looking to Macron again as he seems the best of not a great bunch. They think he’s ok.

          • Marc says:

            Yea it does very much seem that Macron’s strategy is working, if you are a centre/centre-left voter and want less immigration, stronger /harder borders and think there is a link between immigration and terrorism then there is no need to vote for le Pen, as liberal centralist Macron is implementing those policies.

            Anyhow better leave it there was moving away from the purpose of the blog.

            • scottish skier says:

              Macron is against full free movement?

            • scottish skier says:

              Erm, sorry, but France has completely open borders with the EEA bloc and Macron is absolutely not planning to change that as far as I’m aware. He plans no new restrictions on this and he couldn’t anyway as it’s an EU matter.

              If you have evidence otherwise, best link to that or people will think you are trying to mislead them like unionists try.

              The French people are very pro-free movement; the opposite of the Brits/English. Support for Remain there is at decadal record highs.

              Immigration from countries outside the EEA block which have not signed up to the same trade / democracy / human rights laws of course has to be limited in the interests of fairness and the economies of all countries concerned, both within and outwith the block. Free movement takes two (or more) parties to happen. It’s not possible for one country to implement that sort of thing unilaterally; you’d end up with something totally lop-sided and potentially highly damaging for all concerned. Brian drain in developing countries is a serious problem for example. At the same time, e.g. letting 10k doctors into your country when none are needed makes for 10k unemployed. Free movement eliminates the need for quotas by allowing supply to meet demand freely across bloc. It is also the great leveller (hence Tories hating it).

              Sadly, not all countries are willing to sign up to the same things as European countries, meaning open borders / free migration with them isn’t possible. That includes England/Britain sadly. As such, global free movement remains a pipe dream.

              When France votes for Frexit to end free movement with the EEA, then we can start saying they’ve gone down the same path as England/Britain.

              The evidence in hand is that they are going the opposite way. It’s only the likes of the Daily Express/Mail/Telegraph that tries pretend otherwise.

            • grizebard says:

              I couldn’t agree more!

              (Maybe skier could usefully employ his own blog for these industrial-scale O/T tangents of his, and you could cheerfully discuss them at leisure with him there).

              • scottish skier says:

                I’m hardly the king of long posts and I’d never think to start telling other commenters what they can and can’t write about, nor what’s acceptable to me in terms of post length. TBH, that’s impolite, and is a matter for Paul and the mods alone. It’s his blog and nobody else’s; we are just guests. I just skip a comment if it’s not of interest to me.

                Feel free to stop reading at any point; nobody is forcing you.

                As for the thread in hand, unionist arguments need countered IMO. The ‘But Europeans are just as racist as us’ is a classic one, especially when they’re all signed up to complete, uncontrolled, open border free movement with another 30 foreign countries with no intention to withdraw from that. Hardcore leavers are desperate to convince us that the EU is off down a hard right populist path; classic daily express stuff. The opposite is the case; the right are in retreat and support for the bloc is on the up. In France, Remain / support for full free movement is hitting record decadal highs.

                For non-EU immigration, upon independence, Scotland will need to control this. It may tighten or loosen controls depending on circumstances, as it can only have full free movement with other countries that have signed up to this. Of course we can expect our right to demand rules be very tight, but tightening doesn’t mean right nor loosing left. If we don’t need doctors, then not issuing visas for doctors is just common sense, and best for both parties.

                It is being against EU principles / free movement that causes migration problems. The crisis in Belarus is because Belarus isn’t signed up to EU laws on democracy, human rights and free movement. Instead, its exploiting people, breaching their human rights and breaking international laws. It’s the same in the UK, now it has gone all walls and barbed wire with an end to free movement, it has a mass uncontrolled emigration problem and a growing ‘illegal’ migrant problem as a direct result of brexit. As it is no longer party to the Dublin agreement in effect, so it can’t readily return migrants arriving on the south coast to the country they first entered the EU into. This is making migrants risk their lives to cross the channel because now they know they won’t be sent back.

                Free movement solves migration problems neatly, but sadly other countries don’t want it, including England / Britain, causing crises like we are witnessing.

                • Bob Lamont says:

                  “I’m hardly the king of long posts…” but 🙂

                • grizebard says:

                  (I guess self-awareness isn’t your forté.) But your (lengthy) response rather makes my point for me in more ways than one!

                  • scottish skier says:

                    I do hope you don’t take this attitude when out campaigning.

                    Others post long posts at times, so do I. I certainly don’t get the prize for the longest posts on this thread. I did take the time to read some of the longer ones. A long post generally means someone has taken the time to think about things, construct arguments etc. That’s something good in my mind. Often it’s worth reading because of this. One liner scoffs are very much a unionist forte.

                    There’s certainly no need to be rude to people. You’ve done this a few times with me, i.e. instead of having constructive discussion, presenting evidence, you just tell people their posts are too long and you can’t be bothered reading them (‘TLDR’ etc). This seems to be because you can’t counter what they are saying.

                    If you were genuinely not interested, you’d just swiftly move on and not bother commenting. Never once in my life have a commented on a comment or article I didn’t have an interest in. What kind of person does that? Apart from trolls that is.

                    Seems to me you are interested in my comments and are reading them through. You must be to know their contents as you clearly do. It seems you are just unable to debate at the same level?

                    Anyway, please stop talking to me if you have nothing constructive to offer that helps promote independence.

                    • grizebard says:

                      You’re the one who keeps on talking. And talking. And talking. That was actually part of my point, one which you keep on failing to see. Sometimes less really is more.

                • Not-My-Real-Name says:

                  @scottishskier @ 1.17pm on 21/11/21

                  Hi scottishskier, well compared to MY posts your ones are most concise Lol….I am actually the worst culprit on here, at least yours have facts and info mine are at times overlong drawn out sometimes blethering and bordering on nonsensical incoherent rants …the queen of long posts…..I do not do it to annoy people I just sometimes get carried away on a tangent…..but I will cut down on what I write as I do think that my posts in particular cheese people off and are probably left mostly unread (whose got that length of time to read them Lol)….plus it is a bit disrespectful to Paul of me to do this.

                  See I do have self awareness…..But I definitely take the crown as I am the worst offender by a mile on WGD at writing way way too long posts….so the crown is mine….BUT….I will stop doing it and start making , if I can, concise points I want to share/make……yours seem fine to me especially compared to my looooooooooooong way to loooooooooooooong posts.

                  Hope people notice how concise THIS post has been……..yours by comparison are almost abridged and not anywhere near as long as mine……and at least you can post links too…I can’t….praise the Lord for something I don’t do as well as write war and peace proportion comments…..

                  Have a nice evening

                  • scottish skier says:

                    Your excellent rants make me smile. Nothing wrong with a good rant!

                    You have good evening too, and keep on ranting for indy! 🙂

  26. scottish skier says:

    Yougov Eurotrack 22-25 Oct.

    If there was a referendum on French membership of the European Union, how would you vote?
    51% I would vote to remain in the European Union
    27% I would vote to leave the European Union
    9% I would not vote
    12% I don’t know
    1% Refused

    Ex DK etc:
    65% Remain
    35% Leave

    Support for remain has been pretty solidly on the up since 2012 or so.

    https://whatukthinks.org/eu/eu-questions/if-there-was-a-referendum-on-frances-membership-of-the-eu-how-would-you-vote/

    And France has always been one of the more Eurosceptic members.

    Seems he’s missed the boat here.

  27. Capella says:

    Anti-immigration was always a left wing policy because employers used immigrants to suppress wages. Keir Hardie stood on a platform of Home Rule, Votes for Women and Anti Immigration. Of course, legislation would be the better method of controlling perfidious employers.

    • scottish skier says:

      Yes, both extremes don’t like it. It’s moderates / liberals that don’t fear the ‘furriner!’

      Britain’s problem is of course not immigration, but mass, ‘uncontrolled’ emigration. Even tourists are no longer coming to avoid the racist abuse, empty shelves, fuel rationing and sewerage covered beaches.

      The only folk still arriving are the utterly desperate fleeing war etc. There really should be people out welcoming them ashore on the south cost, directing them to HGV driving course centres etc. Instead, Nigel Farage is looking for ways to drown them while complaining that his local forecourt is out of fuel. But then racist people are never very bright; take the PM for example.

      • Marc says:

        Historically yes, but not so much now. As per your link earlier although support for populist sentiment is falling it still is very high across Europe, so centralist/liberal parties are embracing populist policies to try and win votes; picking on foreigners/immigration is an easy way to do this hence you have centralists like Macron limiting the numbers of visas for foreigners / linking immigration to terror attacks. As Welsh_Siôn said earlier, throw in a bit of sabre-rattling against the English and maybe you get enough votes to win an election.

        • scottish skier says:

          The main question on the guardian article is an indicator of populism rather than a direct measure of it. France would the like least populist of all based on a direct measure!

          The ‘popular will’ is the very basis for democracy. Where that falls down is when the politicians no longer have a political goal that they think is a good idea and try to sell that, but instead just put forward policies that they think will win them elections even though these are impossible or damaging. They also chop and change, and are unwilling to make unpopular decisions even when the evidence says it’s the right thing to do.

          A good populist would jump on the rising support for the EU and suddenly start backing that!

          Of course the populists have been jumping on concerns over immigration in the past decade or so across Europe and so anti-immigration and populism have become synonymous when they’re not the same. I’m guilty somewhat of using terms interchangeably because of recent patterns.

          If we are interested in the rise racism / the right and anti-Europeanism, then Leave / Remain polling etc is the key. What voters say is more important than the words of individual politicans.

          I’m away for some Thai takeaway now, but I believe the trends are the same across the EU, i.e. the right is in retreat. Demographics are driving this too; the young are pro-EU just like in Scotland / the rUK. So far, it’s only in England that the hard right / anti-EU / anti-immigration parties have won. But that looks to be at the cost of UK break up.

  28. Capella says:

  29. yesindyref2 says:

    Jeez, 3 rugby matches like that, I’m knackered. Priestland, eh?

  30. Capella says:

    The Free Press has journalists. They’ve investigated who funds Douglas Ross and it’s not a pretty sight:

    So, the question is, why would the Director of an aerospace company, in the South of England, donate to a constituency 600 miles away in the North of Scotland? Whilst looking at Douglas Ross’s voting record we came across this… So, the question is, why would the Director of an aerospace company, in the South of England, donate to a constituency 600 miles away in the North of Scotland? Whilst looking at Douglas Ross’s voting record we came across this:

    Much more here:
    https://the-free-press.co.uk/2021/02/22/douglas-ross-britannias-snake-oil-salesman/

  31. Capella says:

    Oops double post – meant to post this:

    Between 2017 and December last year, Douglas Ross has submitted 15 written questions regarding Aircraft Safety and Procurement, as well as the Poseidon MRA MK1 aircraft, a fleet of which are now based at RAF Lossiemouth, in Moray. This question we’ve highlighted below, was submitted on the 16/01/18, in between the two donations Martin made to Ross’s constituency. The MK10A is a seat manufactured by Martin-Baker.

    https://the-free-press.co.uk/2021/02/22/douglas-ross-britannias-snake-oil-salesman/

  32. Capella says:

    Finally, a tweet from AuldMannyMearns:

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      So called Professor Ronald M(a)cDonald (Unionist Lackey) has suggested , yet again, Scotland would begin with a large deficit and have to pay a larger premium than if it remained in the UK …….though why anyone would listen to this clown I do not know…..he should stick to being a mascot for selling burgers….as opposed to being an (over used) mascot for Better Together.

      • James Mills says:

        How large is ”the premium ” we have to pay for REMAINING in the UK ?
        Has Big Mac worked this out yet ?

        • Capella says:

          AFAIK it’s about £30 billion. We raise approx £65 B which goes to Londinium. We get back a £35 B “grant” to pay for everything. I can live without Trident and HS2 so I think we could get by.
          Did we also pay our share of the Channel Tunnel, the Jubilee Line, Crossrail, London City Airport, upgrading London sewers, refurbishing London tube and rail stations, Tilbury Docks upgrade, the Olympics, the Barbican, the London Eye, the Barrage etc etc.? Just wondering.

          • Tatu3 says:

            The years when oil was discovered and Scottish cities in poverty. Someone clever should show photos of cities in Scotland side by side with these structures in London, along with dates.

          • grizebard says:

            Oh, just wait for the bill to pay for the long-overdue refurb of the quasi-derelict Victorian pile that is “our”{ahem} Palace of Westminster. I’m only hoping we get “out from under” before that one hits the GERS figures.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          Probably has worked it out….though worked it out via a unique only his side wins calculation a La Unionist method of calculation that equates to Union good Independence bad…..so many lies punted….that Big Mac may as well work for the other side….i.e. Burg(l)er King….as he tells so many Big whoppers ( and likes his Union to steal Scotland’s resources)….though he does it still under the guise of a clown though…..and he’s ….lovin it ….

  33. Capella says:

    Prof John Robertson once again asking whether journalists in Scotland are brain dead or just dead (metaphorically).
    The front page of The Herald this morning reports that Scottish fishermen and other “experts” are furious with the SNP for allowing fish to be plundered in the North Sea. He finds this:

    Marine Scotland works with the UK Government to negotiate fishing opportunities through a suite of international negotiations.

    The UK / EU Trade and Cooperation allows full reciprocal access to both Parties. This means that all EU-registered fishing vessels can access any part of UK waters, and vice versa with some limited exemptions, including within the 12 mile zone (with certain exceptions for historic fishing rights).

    Could The Herald reporter not do a little bit of research? Apparently not.
    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2021/11/21/something-fishy-about-this/

  34. grizebard says:

    I don’t believe the much-depleted Herald employs journalists any more. These days it seems only to employ copy writers who tweak whatever they’re sent by Unionist promoters, including the Friends of Jimmy Buchan, who are now busily engaged in a Brexit deflection exercise.

    Remember, it was going to be a new North Sea fishing bonanza, a veritable unrestricted EU-free cornucopia, according to the lunkheads who hadn’t actually bothered to read any of the pre-existing international agreements. Now they’re looking for someone else to carry the blame for their own lack of grip, and they don’t have much imagination, so there’s only ever a choice of one.

  35. scottish skier says:

    This is going to make a few rather unhappy.

    https://archive.md/IM5RW

    Majority of voters want Nicola Sturgeon to stay as FM

    MORE than half of voters want Nicola Sturgeon to stay as First Minister for the next five years, a poll has suggested.

    The Panelbase survey of 2038 voters found that 52% would prefer Sturgeon to remain in post for the rest of the parliamentary term until 2026.

    Around a third (34%) want the SNP leader to quit, while 14% are unsure, The Times newspaper reports.

    According to the survey, even among Labour supporters, 48% want Sturgeon to remain in Bute House, and 36% of LibDem voters feel the same.

    Surprisingly, one fifth (18%) of Tory voters want Sturgeon to stay as First Minister.

    • Dr Jim says:

      An odd survey that reads like an awful lot of non SNP folk still want the FM to protect Scotland from Westminster while not allowing her the full powers to make it permanent

      Has Scotland over 300 years gotten so used to complaining about governments in England that we’ve now become so institutionalised to it that we just want to keep the tradition up and complain about Holyrood not doing enough to protect us from England even more or are we just feart lazy wasters too afraid to take responsibility

      None of this applies to the folk on this website of course, we’re the folk trying to puzzle it out

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Dr. Jim,

        20% of Plaid Cymru supporters don’t want indy. Go figure!

        (My brain – and soul – hurts at the thought.)

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Not really. If that 20% like Plaid enough to vote for them, perhaps in time they’ll absorb their other policies, like Independence.

          It’s all hearts and minds.

  36. scottish skier says:

    Flag waving nationalists.

    https://archive.md/4lJZH

    Defence spending on Union flags doubles in two years

    The increased spending is understood to be an effort by the Government to shore up the Union as the SNP continues to push for independence

    Thing is, if people don’t like the union / union flag. Sticking the latter in their face is only gonnae make them dislike it more.

    It’s the flag of only 1/4 of folk in Scotland, i.e. those nationally identify in whole or part as British.

    Simply sticking up e.g. French flags all over the place isn’t going have everyone feeling more French now is it? At most, people will be slightly curious to somewhat perturbed.

    This is the problem. British people do see the flag as theirs, a symbol of their country, just as Scots see the saltire like that. But they need to understand that people who don’t nationally identify as British don’t see the union flag like that. They either feel no attachment to it, or even really dislike it. After all, for many British citizens, and the peoples of countries across the world, it is the ‘butcher’s apron’; the flag waved by the guys with machine guns who wiped out villages, set up concentration camps and pillaged valuable artefacts.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      To the flag itself I have no objections.

      To the way it’s being used, I do. Very strong ones.

      When it wasn’t stuck in my face, I scarcely noticed it. I see it as the flag of the UK for events when all 4 countries are represented (eg the Olympics). But it isn’t the flag of Scotland – nor, for that matter, of Wales, N Ireland or England.

      Now it’s everywhere, I really resent it.

  37. Capella says:

    On the devastation of the fish population – which is true globally if you believe Seaspiracy on Netflix – the fisherfolk of the North East failed to bring this up when they met Boris Johnston and Kwasi Kwarting in August this year.
    They seemed to be more concerned about a lack of foreign workers to man the decks.
    Strange that they would now lay this at the door of the SNP, who are conspicuously absent from the discussions..

    https://news.stv.tv/politics/pm-urged-to-stem-the-haemorrhage-of-foreign-fishing-workers?top

    • Dr Jim says:

      If the Tories set fire to the sea and told the fishermen they could only catch boiled mussels the fishermen would still vote Union party, any Union party

    • scottish skier says:

      I have no link to the company :-), but fishbox.co.uk (based in Fraserburgh) do a great box of fish delivered to your door. You can specify what you like / don’t want, how much and how often, but it’s always a surprise as you get what’s freshly caught.

      My folks had been getting one for a while, and recommended it to me.

      Seems to me a good way to make sure catches are not wasted, with less well know species which may be around getting eaten. So more sustainable, while supporting the industry.

    • grizebard says:

      If anything, it was even worse. They thought that unconstrained fishing was their rightful due, and they didn’t want any foreigners involved either. Both fish and local labour were infinite resources, assuming they actually bothered to consider those non-trivial matters. It’s all very well being a populist with superficially-attractive panaceas on offer to the easily-convinced, quite another to deliver anything substantive. As people are discovering about populists all over Europe these days. And as people throughout the UK are slowly coming to realise about the cataclysmic policy failure that is Brexit, despite the mainstream media omerta and fishy attempts at redirection.

  38. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    You would think if anyone would determine that something was ‘fishy’ it would be fishermen…..I mean to have Nigel Farage use (and abuse) YOUR profession to keep all of the Brexity people onboard with Brexit means Brexit or something CATCHY like that…slogan wise that is…… it might make you wonder, as a fisherman, what’s in it for Nigel….same Nigel Farage who has now taken a vow of silence on UK fishing outwith EU membership…..or rather the now LACK of fishing outwith EU membership.

    Plus lesson learned Never trust a Tory…..when Bertie Armstrong sCARPered after punting Brexit to fishermen with his Tory pals…..same fishermen should have thought ” Why’s he leaving this scampi happening , can it ?…seems a bit FISHY”.

    I’ll get me coat….

    • Dr Jim says:

      They’re all members of the Ruth Davidson sash glee club

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      They didn’t see it for the red herring it was, NMRN.

      I know this is not the plaice for such flippancy, and I’m sure I’ll be battered for most of the puns made on here. (I’m only trying ray-se a laugh after all, I’m not cod-ding you on that!)

      However, I will leave you with the thought that we have absolute trust in the sturgeon – and that’s enough for me.

      🙂

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Yeh they were fed CODSwallop….and took the BAIT…..HOOK, LINE and SINKER…now they have been CAST OFF……by the Faux FISHERMENS FRIENDS…. i.e. Tories and Brexit party mob…..but now I think that they, the fishermen, have been SCHOOLED………..on WHO to trust and WHO not to trust………..and how do they, the fishermen, feel about the fish now being happy that they are BRITISH fish as per Mr J R Mogg’s assertion in HOC….my guess their true reaction would be most colourful……

  39. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Nobody mentioning this?

    Northern Ireland to Scotland bridge plans scrapped

    Published 3 hours ago

    [BBC News item – not reproduced in full here]

    Plans to build a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland have been ruled out due to forecasted costs and engineering challenges.

    A study examining if such a project was possible is expected to advise against proceeding with any proposals when it is released next week.

    The BBC understands the government will agree with the report’s recommendation.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been a vocal supporter of a fixed link between Britain and Northern Ireland.

    […]

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yeh a Bridge too Far Welsh Sion……..

    • Hamish100 says:

      We – just another Johnson Tory lie as a diversion tactic pre Scottish parliamentary elections.

      I noticed the bbc didn’t say what monies will be available to upgrade the Stranraer/ Kilmarnock / Kilmarnock railway line or for duelling the A85 .

      Maybe the tories are just a tad confused of somewhere north of “the north”. Surely monies to lead ‘ Bradford will suffice for reneging on the high speed train to somewhere in the north south to the north at ‘Manchester.

      Tory liars- but mind you the mayor Andy Burnham is someone I would not trust. Nor should the current London based labour leader.

  40. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Final news story for tonight (I guess Liz Savile Roberts is on to this, too, but the MSM won’t mention Plaid Cymru – ever):

    https://uk.yahoo.com/news/cash-for-honours-met-police-threatened-legal-action-200943602.html

    Met Police threatened with legal action over refusal to investigate ‘cash for honours’ scandal

    The Met Police are being faced with legal action over its decision not to launch an investigation into the ‘cash for honours’ row.

    Critics called for police to investigate claims that the Tory party has systematically handed out peerages to major donors who gave more than £3m to the party.

    SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart wrote to the Met Police, calling for it to launch an investigation into Boris Johnson as well as previous Tory prime ministers and Conservative party officials but the force later said it did not have sufficient grounds to launch a probe.

    Wishart and the Good Law Project, which has brought several civil cases against the Conservative government, have now written to the Met Police threatening judicial review if they do not explain why they refused to investigate.

    […]

  41. scottish skier says:

    BBC actually noting the total farce the UK has become, but not actually making any attempt to say what needs done to fix this.

    The people arriving on the beaches should be immediately be given a visa and a job. There’s 1m unfilled roles with businesses being forced to close due to a lack of staff. The UK exit gates are crammed with fleeing skilled workers.

    In that situation, what kind of prize idiot doesn’t welcome with open arms those who actually do really want to come to live and work in the UK? Who want so much to be British they are willing to risk there lives for that?

    Racist idiots, that’s who.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59369179

    The UK migrant dilemma – it’s all about Brexit

    The almost daily sight of migrants jumping out of an inflatable onto a beach below Kent’s iconic white cliffs is now, we are told, the government’s number one priority. But why?

    Given Home Office plans to use Border Force vessels to push precarious dinghies back into French waters, it seems improbable that it is concern about the safety and welfare of the migrants.

    And given that the latest official figures suggest the UK currently has negative net migration – more people leaving than arriving – it is unlikely to be about numbers, especially for a country with more than a million job vacancies for the first time in its history…

    …When part of the EU’s ‘Dublin’ arrangements, Britain requested the return of approximately a quarter of asylum cases to our European neighbours.

    Now outside the European Union, the UK currently has no return arrangements with any EU country. The government proposed a post-Brexit replacement for the Dublin arrangement – but the EU turned it down.

    We actually now have the English/British locking up people desperate to take roles such as in hospitality, forcing Scots businesses to close, and simply because of racism.

    The UK has lost it’s mind to the fascist who only ever ruin countries, and rapidly.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/19731173.highland-hotels-forced-shut-due-lack-staff-post-brexit/

    Highland hotels forced to shut due to lack of staff post-Brexit

    • Clydebuilt says:

      Great post Scottish Skier. . . . .

      The Establishment and all it’s tentacles are facilitating the dark forces of Westminster to drive the final nail into the coffin of the UK.

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