Not building bridges with the UK : making connections with independence

It was reported today that the “Boris Bridge” has been definitively cancelled. Most of Scotland was about as shocked and surprised at this development as it was at the revelation that bright orange is not in fact the natural skin colour of the cast members of The Only Way Is Essex or that there’s been considerable and expensive cosmetic dentistry in the creation of Rylan’s impressively white and gleaming teeth, which ensure that he’ll never be stuck for a job because all he needs to do is to stand on a cliff and open his mouth so he can double up as a lighthouse.

Of course Johnson’s ludicrous plan was never going to be realised. Building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland would have to deal with the strong currents, frequent winter storms, and great depths of the North Channel, not to mention the thousands of tons of conventional munitions and chemical weapons that the Ministry of Defence has dumped in Beaufort’s Dyke, because as far as the British state is concerned Scotland is nothing more than a conveniently remote location for dumping the dangerously toxic and explosive implements of British imperialism that Westminster wants kept as far away as possible from places that it actually cares about.

Even if a bridge were built, poor weather would ensure it was frequently closed for days at a stretch during the winter months. A tunnel would be more feasible, even if ruinously expensive to construct, but it would still have to overcome some formidable engineering challenges and given the British state’s atrocious record in major civil engineering projects, which invariably come in very late and considerably over budget, there is no doubt that it would end up costing a great deal more than the £20 billion budget which Johnson and his supporters were bandying about.

Johnson has form for backing pie in the sky projects. He has a childish need to attach his name to massive infrastructure developments, in what is clearly a reflection of his narcissistic insecurity. Of course rather than getting therapy, Johnson expects the public to pay billions of pounds in order to assuage his fragile ego and ensure that he will be remembered for something other than his constant lies, his deceit, his corruption, and the way he has wrecked democracy.

There is of course the infamous Garden Bridge proposal for a pedestrian bridge over the Thames in central London which Johnson enthusiastically supported when he was the London Mayor. The failed project ate up £43 million in public money before being cancelled. Then there was the plan for “Boris Island”, a scheme to build a new six runway airport on an artificial island in the Thames estuary. The architect and urban planner Sir Terry Farrel likened the plan to the grandiose and unrealistic projects devised by Adolf Hitler and described it as “mad”.

The fixed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland was never going to be built. The political purpose of the equally mad, grandiose, and unrealistic proposal to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland was to throw a bone to the staunch mob in Scotland in the run up to the crucial Holyrood elections and to persuade the equally staunch mob in Northern Ireland that the British Government actually cared about them after throwing the DUP under the Brexit bus the moment that the Conservatives no longer relied on them for their majority in the House of Commons. In the exact same way, once the formerly Labour seats in the so-called Red Wall in the north of England were in the bag for Johnson and the Tories, the plan to build an eastern arm of High Speed Rail to Leeds was scrapped as was the proposal for a high speed rail connection between Leeds and Manchester, northern England’s largest cities.

While other countries get on with extending and developing the high speed rail networks that will be essential as a replacement for short haul flights in a carbon zero age, we can forget about the British Government ever prioritising a high speed rail connection between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Under Westminster, Scotland is forever condemned to the slow track, while the rest of Europe speeds by and wonders why a resource rich and highly educated nation like Scotland continues to tolerate the second rate status to which it is consigned by the British state.

The reality is that if Scotland wants meaningful connections, physical or otherwise, with other countries, it can only do so as an independent nation in charge of determining its own priorities. There is no doubt that other countries would be eager to have Scotland as a partner in a way that they are not with a UK which has become a by-word for perfidy, deceit and untrustworthiness.

In an article published over the weekend by Finland’s English language newspaper the Helsinki Times, professor of politics Anthony Heron argues that Scotland would be an ideal candidate for membership of the Nordic Council. This is a view shared by Finnish politician Mikko Kärnä, who represents Lapland in the Eduskunta, the Finnish Parliament. Kärnä congratulated Nicola Sturgeon on the SNP’s victory in May’s election and said that he was confident that Scotland will vote for independence once the pandemic is over.

In the meantime he announced an initiative to grant Scotland observer status of the Nordic Council. The Nordic Council is an interparliamentary organization comprising the five Nordic countries, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden, and the Nordic Region’s three autonomous territories, the Åland islands, The Faroe Islands and Greenland. Full membership of the Nordic Council is open to the independent nations of Scandinavia. The Åland islands, the Faroe Islands and Greenland have membership with limited rights. The Saami Council, the Sámiráđđi, a voluntary, non-governmental organization of the indigenous Saami people made up of nine Saami member organizations in Finland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden has formal observer status.

The choice for Scotland is clear, make our own connections and determine our own priorities, or forever keep on being fobbed off with Westminster’s pie in the sky lies.

Just to let you know, I am currently going through a phase of what my physiotherapist calls neurological hypersensitivity. Nerves and sensation are starting to reawaken on the left side of my body, however because my brain has had no input from the left for many months and because the relevant parts of the brain suffered damage in the stroke, the brain is interpreting these signals as pain.  It’s uncomfortable and exhausting but it is a sign of progress and therefore is good news.  Hopefully my brain will relearn what these signals really mean and the pain will diminish and I will have meaningful sensation.  However in the meantime it’s causing a lot of fatigue and exhaustion as well as pain, so I may not blog every day until symptoms settle down.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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103 comments on “Not building bridges with the UK : making connections with independence

  1. Good to hear you are making progress Paul, and I hope your therapy works quickly so that the pain you are experiencing diminishes.

  2. scottish skier says:

    Aye Paul, look aifter yersel big man.

    On the topic, I’m guessing this article was in mind.

    An independent Scotland would be a good fit for the Nordic Council

    With the SNP securing their 4th consecutive term in the Scottish government this year, an independence referendum is likely on the horizon. Scotland must start to seriously consider its place in the world, distinct from the UK.

    And as a general comment around this topic, the classic British unionist mantra of ‘But we are more like the English politically/culturally than we are the Scandinavians’ is actually completely true, at least for those saying it.

    What they mean is ‘We British in Scotland are more like our fellow English/British across the border that we are to the Scandinavian peoples. Of course this applies; they’re all British. British Scots vote much more like English / British people do in terms of parties and polices, i.e. mainly split between Tory and Labour with some opting for the lib dems. In fact if you tease out data on nationality vs VI, British Scots vote almost identically to people south of the Border, apart from ‘traitors’ who’ve gone native and vote SNP / Greens. 🙂

    It’s ‘Scottish (only) Scots’ that don’t vote in the same way as British people, but more social-democratically like the Scandinavian peoples. Hence the current constitution crisis and talk of the ‘democratic deficit’.

  3. P Harvey says:

    Listen to your body & take it easy, Paul
    Another excellent article

  4. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Great post Paul…as per….we can always rely on you to highlight the hypocrisy and the many “Pie in the sky” projects a La Johnson which are endorsed as somehow credible and thus loudly trumpeted by his Tory servants in the media……also by the wee Scottish Tory sycophants in his party at Holyrood and WM ………Brexit is another classic example….not thought through properly at inception hence resulting disasters on many levels…..

    What credibility, as the so called Scottish Secretary of State, does Alister Jack have now ? ( well none as always)…..he too played along with this ridiculous fantasy project which to those of us with even a limited intelligence defined it as a NON STARTER from the moment it was announced as a supposed feasible idea…….but like all bad Tory failed fantasy lists it will magically disappear from prominence in the media….as they, the media, only focus relentlessly on generating new and regurgitated SNPBAD stories to deflect away from the real villains many c*ck ups in politics (Unionist politics)……..I mean there’s a union to save don’t you know…..and that is factored into EVERY story by the media……

    Stay well………..and I endorse what Highland Tiger said at 11.49am today.

  5. Golfnut says:

    My first thoughts always are just how much money is going to splashed up the wall in consultancy fees and second just how close to the Tory party are they. Not that I’m cynical mind but it would make a change away from PPE contracts.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Exactly Golfnut…talking of consultancy fees…..

      How about…..Private Test and Trace system consultancy fees…..

      1 million pounds a day being spent on what ?…tax payers money being spaffed up the wall ?….yes very much…..on PRIVATE ‘consultancy’ fees via a failed Test and Trace system not fit for purpose in England……1 million pounds a day…with no breakdown on what they do to deserve such an eye watering amount of money…… accountability as per Tory corruption.

  6. Derek says:

    “the infamous Garden Bridge”

    We were to be making lights for that. There’s one prototype in existence…

  7. James Mills says:

    Another Boris Johnson ” Bridge too Far ! ”

    He really needs to concentrate on the basics – like being able to deliver a speech to the CBI today without forgetting his lines , getting in a muddle and repeatedly murmuring ”Forgive me ! Forgive me ! ”
    Sorry Johnson – no forgiveness here !

    And we are constantly asked to view Johnson as a great orator ? FFS !!!

  8. Dr Jim says:

    I bet they could’ve built a bridge or tunnel to Ireland in Peppa Pig world, that’s the trouble with us Philistines we just can’t see his Moses vision in his Ten Point Plan commandment tablet documents

    As we speak even actress Lorraine Kelly who plays Lorraine Kelly the presenter is so panicked by her leaders maniacal behaviour that it could lead to Nicola Sturgeon taking Scotland out of bondage she’s tweeting her disdain towards the Clown Prince of the Pharaohs to hold on to some sanity to keep Scotland British by not looking so stupid in front of everybody and not showing her up (the guy she voted for)

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Peppa pig !…..Cue Miss Piggy being used by Boris alexander de Pfeffel Johnson at some point in a fake Obesity campaign…..only BTW to be implemented at a tactical moment when yet ANOTHER deflection needed from yet ANOTHER Tory disaster …rinse and repeat…Lorraine Kelly is a Baroness Ruthie fan…..Lorraine likes to have the Baroness on her wee show as a guest where they both pretend the Baroness is a ‘different’ kind of Tory even when the evidence clearly shows she is NOT……Never trust a Tory or their media helpers

      • Derek says:

        He’s used Muppets in speeches already; not Miss Piggy tho’…

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          “He’s used Muppets in speeches already; not Miss Piggy tho’”

          Wait for it…bound to happen….Muppets being the limit of his (non) political acumen …surprised he didn’t use a Thomas the Tank Engine analogy when first talking about HS2 (prior to in England’s North obvs not….. episode)……mind you it could still happen…..with HIM being the Fat controller… in the Fat controller of the mess that is rampantly out of control in all that he touches in HIS UK……a WM so called official opposition, if it existed, could have said he’d gone off the rails a long time ago….

  9. yesindyref2 says:

    Herald: “SHE might be one of history’s most infamous monarchs, but a new survey reveals that more than half of Brits cannot identify Mary Queen of Scots from her portrait.


    The National: “MORE than half of people in Britain cannot identify Scotland’s most famous queen, research shows.


    But even the National gets it wrong with “Brits”. How many people in Scotland identify themselves as “Brits”?

    This is how indoctrination works, never-ending, insidious, small steps – and people being fooled by it as Hannah Carmichael has been, and repeating it.

    I’m one of the minority in Scotland that might identify as Scottish AND British, but call me a fecking “Brit” at your peril. Legs, knees, cut.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Thing is of course it implicitly alters history – revisionism – to use the word “Brit” when talking about Mary Queen of Scots. As perfectly illustrated by this comment in the Herald:

      Plotting to overthrow/kill the Monarch is about as ‘infamous’ an action you could undertake.

      Does anybody see the slight historical flaw with that comment …

      • says:

        Then it was Elizabeth the only of England who was “infamous” not only plotting but actually killing Scotland’s monarch.

    • scottish skier says:

      I’m one of the minority in Scotland that might identify as Scottish AND British

      I went to St. Andrews uni where it was spot the Scotsman. I first watched braveheart with a group of English friends (mainly from the N of England) friends from my course, who all loved it. We celebrated Labour’s win and the coming devo referendum on a beach on Skye; they were very pleased for me and Scotland. I’m not sure if I would have ever said I identified as British, but at that time I had high hopes for devolution and that it might lead at least to devo max etc, maybe even indy one day. Then it became very obvious that British parties had no interested in making it a success, and in fact were rapidly turning against it once they realised that Scots might not actually vote Labour/Lib all the time for it. The angry, hate filled reaction to the SNP win in 2007 pretty much snuffed out anything I might have felt British-wise. As I had voted SNP, any hate directed at them was being directed at me. Simply for being Scottish I was being subject to racist abuse, being called ‘anti-English and economically illiterate’ etc. Project fear post 2011 pretty much finished things, confirming I was right to back completely independence as a priority. I mean I was always yes in principle, but I didn’t really have a great dislike for the UK. It was unionists that battered that into me.

      Still, throughout that time the dislike was not enough for me to dump my British passport. It was just a document after all. Brexit did that for me though. I couldn’t face handing it over when visiting other European countries as I found myself desperately wanting to say I wasn’t British and didn’t vote to ‘keep their sort out!’. So I finally took up my Irish nationality which I could have done at any time in my life. Now when I go abroad, I’m Irish and will be until I have a nice Scottish passport.

    • grizebard says:

      Hmmm. Half of “Brits” where, exactly…?

      Oh, and the only “infamy” here that is reflected culturally outside the fading pages of that cringing apology of a shadow of its former self, is rather for England’s Elizabeth, who desecrated her own God-given authority – as she indeed felt it, to the peril of her own immortal soul – and betrayed her duty of hospitality, by ordering the execution of her regal cousin and arguably legitimate successor.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      Good point about possible indoctrination. Although, given comments I read about the ‘supposedly pro-Indy but isn’t’ Herald, I wondered if it was manufactured indignation designed to provoke outrage and division about how ‘we Scots’ are overlooked again without saying anything to put off either faction of their readership. Seems to me they’re fast becoming an arm of the BBC, with added dead trees.

      Suggesting a more positive spin, surely this emphasises the fact that ‘Britain’ isn’t a country, let alone one country.

      If it were, all “Brits” would recognise her as part of their history. And they obviously don’t.

      OTOH, this whole thing may well be due less to insularity and more to pure ignorance. Such ‘Brits’ probably couldn’t identify English monarchs such as Edward VI, Richard III or Henry VII either. As for Louis XIV…

      I try never to attribute to malice what can be explained by ignorance and/or stupidity!

  10. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, no surprise the brunnel was dropped, but you can be sure Alister Jack will have been well rehearsed on all the excuses to flounce on TV…

    I’m fairly certain these daft notions of “Bloody Stupid Johnson” are pure window dressing to justify “fees” to pals in the nod and a wink club, but at least on this one the feasibility study should be under 6 digits.

    On it’s own the fate of the Brunnel would raise no more than a nonchalant shrug from Scots, but together with all the rollbacks affecting “Up North”, it almost certainly signals another “we can’t afford it/Necessary Austerity Measures” pitch coming down the non-HS2 tracks from London… It won’t be a shrug northern England will be raising but a well directed heavy boot
    Brexit may have rekindled the infamous two fingers to european “foes” with the more vocal of England’s public, but it is most assuredly coming back to haunt London Tories both in Europe and at home.
    The mob they created will soon turn on the agitators, we need to be very very far away when it inevitably explodes.

    On the Nordic connections, it is worth noting these are the more open and vocal supporters in greater Europe of Scotland going it’s own way, the rest are supportive but keeping their powder dry for when it matters, and it will begin to matter very soon.

    Glad to hear your body and brain are finally in discussions, even if the pains are wearing, you clearly know why you have to go through this, and what potential lies on the other side.
    Who knew your recovery would become symbolic of Indy 😉

    • Derek says:

      “Bloody Stupid Johnson”

      Ha! I’d forgotten about him.. Quite apt, as he had trouble with his sense of proportion.

      • iusedtobeenglish says:

        Hey! she says, leaping to the defence of Bloody Stupid. At least he delivered his inventions – and they were some use. Just not always the exact use for which they were intended… 😀

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, the Nordic development is interesting. I’m maybe not quite so unreservedly gung-ho on this as (say) Lesley Riddoch, since other links matter too, but it’s an association that could well fit. So worth fostering, and the evident warmth the Nordics hold for us is such a tonic. (Several of whom have had to find their own way to independence in the not-so-distant past, so they surely understand.) It would be good to get some of that “bottled” and ready to be served up during the next indy campaign, so that ordinary folk can note the esteem that ithers have for us, and see the confidence they have in us that too many still struggle to feel for themselves.

      You are right, many other countries – maybe the more influential ones – are keeping their heads down, willing at least to allow us our due, but not wanting to be seen as interfering in a situation that still might fizzle out as in 2014 due to our own communal lack of sufficient self-confidence. I hope though that next time, even if governments continue to maintain a studious neutrality, individuals with some heft from amongst our neighbours will be willing to reach out and provide open support for us, since every little helps. Seeing how well we are regarded by them all might just be the extra impetus needed to cross the line.

  11. uno mas says:

    This will make you laugh. Possibly even out loud.

    Some of the btl comments are outstanding as well.

  12. scottish skier says:

    Credit to Welsh Labour for their deal with Plaid Cymru.

    They are really shaming North British / very very far north of England Labour by actually being Welsh and standing up for Wales against the English Tories.

    Nicola Sturgeon praises Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru co-operation deal

  13. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Plaid Cymru and Labour unveil three year cooperation agreement that promises ‘radical change’

    22 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read

    The First Minister and Leader of Plaid Cymru today revealed a three year cooperation agreement that included action on free school meals for all, strengthening the Welsh media, a north-south railway, the teaching of Welsh history, second homes, a larger Senedd and much more.

    Mark Drakeford and Adam Price revealed the joint policy programme covering 46 areas this afternoon. The two partners – the Welsh Government and the Plaid Cymru Senedd Group – will work together to jointly develop and oversee the delivery of the policies covered by the agreement, they said.



    This still needs approval by Plaid Cymru Members at Conference. Signs are encouraging – especially as the Welsh-British Right are spitting feathers below the line on the BBC stories on this.

  14. scottish skier says:

    Lovely. Somehow I suspect they were not people waving the anti-sectarian, anti-imperialist flag of white peace between catholic green and protestant orange.

    James Dornan claims Glasgow office sign was ripped down and urinated on

    AN SNP MSP has alleged his constituency office sign was pulled down and urinated on over the weekend.

    James Dornan, who represents Glasgow Cathcart, shared a picture of his office sign lying against a wall.

    “My new office is within a Church of Scotland premises. It’s a lovely building with lovely people in it,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the premises are located close to Hampden in Mount Florida.

    And aye, a CoS premises. It’s not about religion. Irish protestants and Catholics don’t urinate on each others churches.

  15. Capella says:

    Here’s Penny Mordaunt congratulating the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for “continuity in the territorial offices”.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I have some spare territory in my back garden where she can rest her head, next to the rest of her body

    • grizebard says:

      The only territory that “Union” Jack can vaguely aspire to call his own is that fancy office building in Edinburgh.

      Y’know, the one that will soon enough become the English Embassy. (Oops…)

    • scottish skier says:

      Shouldn’t this be ‘North British Whisky’. Are we not all one nation? Or is jack saying there is a border at Gretna and Scotland is it’s own country? That Scots are a distinct people with their own traditional foods and drinks? That would be anti-English surely?

      Tory ‘hypocrisy’ slammed as Alister Jack claims to promote Scotland’s food and drink

      This is the problem with these idiots, their positions are so contorted. It’s like Scots and English brits be all ‘Scots isn’t really a language’ while the most proudly British British of all are demanding Scots be carved into great British law stone as part of their ‘unionist culture’. Why ‘Proudly Scottish and British’ in Glasgow but not ‘Proudly Irish and British’ in Belfast? I suspect the truth comes out in N. Ireland about where the ‘pride’ really lies.

    • Statgeek says:

      Congrats Penny. That’s another 1% into “Don’t Know” and another 1% into Aye.

      We should get her tweeting about Scotland every day. Indy by 2022.

  16. scottish skier says:

    From the headlines, it does seem that the Tories are starting to sharpen the knives for nut job Eton racist gammon pig.

    Of course this would just mean an even more incompetent PM / Tory leader, continuing the long term trend of UK decline.

  17. Dr Jim says:

    Meanwhile here in Scotland Gerry Hassan tries his best to divide the YES movement by telling us we need to unite behind eh well maybe ah erm Nicola Sturgeon not being the FM and her allowing eh the erm oh people to eh do something or other that would include maybe some other YES party that he was too feart to say the 1% name of

    I personally fell hook line and brain dead for those words of infinite paid for drivel, he’s like an Alba version of Effie Deans or Brian Spanner

    • grizebard says:

      Personally I’m not convinced that Gerry Hassan actually is an independence supporter. He seems more like a further-left Henry McLeish. He flits around the issue but never quite commits; there’s always some difficulty, some reservation, some ambiguity.

      He (and people like him) would be far more effective if he put aside the exceptionalism and futile jockeying for position, visibly put his shoulder to the communal wheel where it actually counts, saved his differences of principle until independence is achieved, then he could take his chances in the new dispensation just like the rest of us.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Hassan is a blellum – always was.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:


        I couldn’t agree more – I could show you a series of email exchanged between him and me on his (? self-) appointment as Literary Critic at Bella Caledonia.

        Left me with rather a nasty taste in my mouth, to be honest – and here was me thinking we were both committed Yessers.

    • Statgeek says:

      He a Twitter opportunist. He calls himself an academic, but takes others’ material for his work and gives no credit (even when called out for it). Something real academics would never do.

  18. Hamish100 says:

    Hassan and his ilk , jumped the gun last May. They believed their own hype talking each other up into a frenzy on certain blogs ably assisted by some “deep throat” unionists.

    They forgot that the public decide by voting and they are happy with the SNP and the FM. Hassan we see what you and the 1% are doing. You are losing and you know it, but cannot say so.

    You work with the unionists parties in attacking the First Minister to justify your existence.
    The rest of us are delivering The National to local areas trying to persuade the undecided to support Independence.

    Can’t you see the different mindset?

  19. Capella says:

    Laura Kuenssberg reports ‘lots of concern’ for Boris Johnson in Downing Street

    Laura Kuenssberg, who is rumoured to be in talks to step down from the role after six years, posted a handful of tweets questioning the Prime Minister after he gave a bizarre speech to the CBI conference.

    Johnson’s address had been tipped to focus on green growth and to include policy announcements, but it was overshadowed as he lost his place, rambled about Peppa Pig and made car noises, among other strange behaviours.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      Those who are paid to defend the Union are working to get rid of Bojo.

    • scottish skier says:

      Aye, this among other stories promoted my comment above.

      Tories turning on bozo.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Pardon my dubiety, but this “Has Johnson lost his marbles ?” campaign stinks of a well rehearsed ploy to get him and the Tories off the hook, with Johnson having playing his part.

      How else could the Tories escape the post-mortems of the Covid fiasco and blatant corruption, by burying it all with Johnson with a “Sigh, he was quite mad you know…..poor chap…”

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        ‘Course he’s lost his marbles – aren’t the so-called Elgin ones going back home to Greece?

        (As a Classics ‘scholar’, taught by late father-in-law, he should be aware of the significance of this … )

        • iusedtobeenglish says:


        • Legerwood says:

          Actually I do not think he has lost his marbles. I think his performance yesterday, and there is no other word for it other than ‘performane’ was deliberate and a calculated piece of deflection.

          When I saw the clip of him losing the place in his speech and shuffling the sheets of paper I thought there was something wrong. I watched it again this time paying close attention to the papers and how they were being ‘shuffled’. The page he needed seemed to be uppermost in his hand all the time. It reminded me of the shell game – watch closely for the sleight of hand. That and the rest of the performance seemed perfectly calculated in advance.

          If so then it also clearly demonstrated his contempt for the CBI and by extension his contempt for the businesses and the people they employ. Getting himself out of a hole of his own making or deflecting people’s attention from sleaze etc was more important to him than anything else.

          • grizebard says:

            Either way really, it demonstrates insouciant contempt for the CBI and everyone whom, directly or indirectly, it represents.

            Yet yesterday in Holyrood, absent DRoss (another more important paying engagement perhaps?), we had another of his Scottish proxies, Gulhane, proudly wearing an NHS ribbon to flaunt his health credentials, quickly skating over health measures he could scarce credibly criticise and spending the rest of his time moaning about suffering business interests.

            Just how many mixed messages can these Tories come up with at any one time?

          • Clydebuilt says:

            Think you are on to something there Legerwood. . . . . The mecia have dropped Tory sleaze for Bojo’s speech. . . . . BBC Scotland John Beattie discussed speech at prime time for audience figures. . . . . He brought on two Tory supporters.

          • Not-My-Real-Name says:

            Spot on Legerwood….some have deducted this ‘performance’ that now dominates the media and public’s attention is deflecting from the Social care NOT LEVELLING UP bill that was voted on…..where the wealthier get to keep more of their money and less wealthier mugs do not……inheritance for YOUR children…..oh no not a chance……know your place….inheritance is for the wealthy to bestow upon their children………….Social care Bill in England….you vote Tory you GET Tory policies/Bills…..Blue wall…..should have went to Specsavers and read the small print…or at least remembered Thatcher’s legacy…..but Brexit means Brexit ……

            Imagine for a moment, though I know tis not plausible, if one DRoss was FM of Scotland via a Tory majority ( or with a coalition with Lib Dems) how many English policies and bills would be consistent for Scotland to those passed in WM by a Tory majority government.

            Yet Alba party think the SNP are NOT working for Scotland…..reality check please……

  20. scottish skier says:

    Och lol. Maybe another last remnant of the empire may be ready to dump the UK.

    British Virgin Islands denies reports that it is ‘laying the groundwork’ for an independence referendum

    The British Virgin Islands (BVI) have pushed back against reports that it is gearing up for a referendum to remove the Queen as head of state amid supposed corruption of the UK government.

    A move for independence would make the BVI a republic and allegedly comes as the UK Commission of Inquiry examines allegations that island officials cashed in on the British taxpayer following hurricane relief.

    A spokesperson for the BVI has told City A.M. this morning, the state is not actively laying groundwork for constitutional independence but rather was seeking “greater independence” in the most broad sense.

    You wonder if England/Britain will finally at some point maybe ask ‘What if it’s us and not them?’.

  21. yesindyref2 says:

    From elsewhere:

    W13. If a man is found innocent of …

    There is no such verdict in Scots Law as “innocent”, there is only guilty, not guilty or not proven.

    What’s the point of asking a question based on a non-existent finding?

    • Dr Jim says:

      The rewriting of court verdicts by defenders of a person in order to convince the general public of the position held by the defenders is in itself reason to distrust their reason for doing it

      The court of public opinion takes little heed of verdicts they don’t agree with no matter how much bleach is employed to erase the stain

      • yesindyref2 says:

        So basically speaking the logic of those people seems to be this.

        Imagine I’m standing at the bar minding my own business and buy myself a pint. Along comes a guy with an empty glass, puts that down in front of me and steals my full pint. Being unusually peaceful I call the barperson to point out that this guy has stolen my pint, he asks “Do you have any witnesses?”, I don’t, so the barman says “Right, for the false accusation you have to buy him a pint”.

        So I’m now out two pints because some thief stole my pint. A double victim.

        No wonder people just use our fists.

        • Dr Jim says:

          The difference between what people consider justice and the law can often be a wide chasm only filled by eager lawyers and justice seekers extracting all air from the vacuum, leaving behind the identical initial result or effect, but the air sucking lawyers make money and the seekers of justice move on to their next cause of complaint against the democracy or lack of, that without which retribution by the masses might include themselves

          In short, life sucks but what can you do

        • scottish skier says:

          It would need to be proven that your false accusation was false, and knowingly so, before you could be fined a pint. 🙂

  22. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Has anyone drawn the analogy of gammon Prime Ministers hamming it up and talking about Peppa Pig and telling porkies?

    Freud would have a field day! (Or maybe a ‘feast’ day.)

    Over to you, NMRN. 🙂

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Good reference WS…..talking of Freud…apparently there was a woman who called into the ‘Live’ phone in on Jeremy Vine show today….she said we should have …EMPATHY…for the Prime minister and she was angry at people laughing at him, via his speech , that he gave to the CBI yesterday….as, according to her, perhaps he has a problem ( singular one…nope…can think of many)…..what the show did not state apparently IMO was that she was actually on a day trip to Earth from the Twilight zone….. a zone where she normally inhabits…….I mean where do you start with these people….

      I mean if he has mental Health issues….which is what she was apparently inferring….well he’s only the PM …you know… worries….he’s ONLY the person in CHARGE who supposedly (but does not)………is expected as PM to RUN the country via HIS government….nothing to worry about…… did she think this through ?….nope…. I think she was a Tory and was the type of Tory who would vote Tory if the candidate was a monkey wearing a blue rosette……or perhaps more appropriate as an example(s) ….. a PIG or a green Frog wearing a blue rosette ……..she apparently also referenced his mother recently dying….which I think is sad for anyone…but obviously with her using THIS as an example…well where was HER empathy…was she also lacking the same EMPATHY she accused others of lacking when you consider the thousands of people who have lost loved ones via Covid….and pretty much because of the failure to act quickly enough by one Boris Johnson…….who as PM, according to eye test Cummings, was also quoted as saying ” Let the bodies pile high”…..

      Sociopath……perhaps that is his REAL “problem” that this caller FAILED to identify…….just a guess based on his actions and behaviour pre and post him becoming PM…….not forgetting as Foreign Secretary he managed , through sheer incompetence, to get a woman jailed in Iran and as yet this has NOT been resolved by either him or any of his Tory successors in that cabinet position………… what was his “problem” then I wonder ???

      As many state on here…they live among us………will sign off like Porky Pig ” Th-th-th-that’s all, folks”

      Have a nice day WS


    • Legerwood says:

      There is a very good, and very pointed, cartoon in today’s Herald. A couple of Tory types are approaching the entrance to Peppa Pig World and some Peppa Pigs are standing at the gates saying to them: ‘This way to the troughs’.

      • Dr Jim says:

        All around the coasts of Spain you can find little ceramic piggys in various Union Jack costumes with wee sunburned faces

        Those folk have known for a long time about who the the piggys are

    • scottish skier says:

      They should introduce a new character; ‘racist brexit voting gammon pig’. He’ll go around telling all the other types of animals ‘We don’t want your sort here – go back to where you came from’.

      Would be a very topical and timely addition to the show.

  23. scottish skier says:

    The UK has mass, uncontrolled emigration of skilled works. Anyone who can readily get out is getting out. The exit gates are packed. Why on earth would Nobel laureates want to come here for heavens sake? Maybe to be told ‘Go back to where you came from!’ on the train or something?

    Post-Brexit scheme to lure Nobel winners to UK fails to attract single applicant

    A post-Brexit scheme to draw the world’s most celebrated academics and other leading figures to the UK has failed to attract a single applicant in the six months since it opened, it has been reported.

    The visa route open to Nobel laureates and other prestigious global prize winners in the fields of science, engineering, humanities and medicine – among others – was described as a joke by experts after ministers admitted its failure to garner any interest.

    “Chances that a single Nobel or Turing laureate would move to the UK to work are zero for the next decade or so,” the Nobel prize winner Andre Geim told New Scientist magazine, which first reported the news.

  24. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Welsh Sion, Dr Jim, Legerwood and scottish skier….continuing the PIG theme from above :

    The problem with this PM is that he is so used to telling PORKIES that he’s becoming known as a bit of a SW*NE……and as he is so obviously a narcissist as he seems to love to HOG all of the attention….perhaps that is his downfall……considering that he usually makes such a PIG’S ear of everything he does and says….he is lucky that he has access to the Bank of England for a PIGGY bank to help enable many Tory donors who own private companies to feed from the public TROUGH……..and by God have they not ALL been PIGGIN out at our expense….

    It is no surprise he appeals to the GAMMON that live among us….as they’ll swallow anything, I mean they bought into his PIG in a poke project aka Brexit………meanwhile the rest of us are supposed to believe….believe….believe in Brexit as if all of the mess going down just now, courtesy of the Tories, is somehow a PIG-ment of our imagination….

    Like most of us I am PIG sick of it all……probably more sick of the PIG headed that live among us….who cannot or rather will not see the constant HOGwash that HE spouts……but more importantly the damage he and his party are forcing upon us all ……to the extent we are suffering from a form of SW*NE fever…….

    As to Starmer well he is PIGGY in the middle….between the public and the Tories…..and only takes sides when he thinks he, and his party, can benefit by attempting to SOW some division…..though most of the time he tends to PIGGYback onto particular Tory policies that are introduced to curry favour (PORK curry) with the Brexit loving public…..and he seems PIG ignorant on Scotland ….but like the Tories he too is happy to PIG out on our resources for HIS UK…..Labour’s so called solution is federalism, which for Scotland, is akin to them putting lipstick on a PIG…..Oh well…but don’t you know Labour will be different apparently….really ? ……….and PIGS might fly…

    Karma says you reap what you SOW apparently God willing…….well here’s hoping….for the lot of them…that is indeed true…..

    Welsh Sion… about a famous Animal Farm quote apt for Labour & Tory re PIGS “The creatures outside looked from PIG to man, and from man to PIG, and from PIG to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which”…..indeed.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Clever old sow-and-sow, aren’t you, NMRN? 🙂 So long as you don’t turn into a boar of the highest order, but making sure you sty in the limelight, I’d vote for you – you get my bacon’.

      Night night. 🙂

      • NMRN, is our proverbial ‘silk purse’, WS.
        I’m thoroughly enjoying the banter, Duggers, finding the events of the past few weeks to ridiculous for words.
        On the Martin and Dross Laugh-in on Sunday, Dross, mindful of St Peter’s thrice denial of Jesus, denied his support for Boris Bar-John twice, but admiited that he gave the Fat Fool his unequivical backing when asked a third time. The cock did not crow.

        (John 18:15-27 for the purists)

        The Hon. Sarah Smith was on the six o’clock English BBC lying that the oil was running out, and without it Scotland was too poor to be an independent country.

        But we are rich enough to bung Smith’s mother and sister, and Kezia Dudale and Baroness Ruth of Rape Clause money and wages to run their Be Polite to Politicians Think Tank?
        Huw Edwards told his Englissh audience that the English would not allow the Jocks to hold a rferrendum; so that’s it we are a militarily occupied colony of England.
        Our only escape route to take up arms and drive the English from our shores?
        Idiots with mics.
        It is all ‘too ridiculous for words’ now. NO more words..action time.

  25. Capella says:

    Dame Kate Bingham is not amused. Valneva may move production of its vaccine to Germany.
    From The National:

    THE UK Government may have “acted in bad faith” in the way it cancelled its deal for 100 million Valneva Covid-19 vaccines, the former chair of the UK’s vaccine taskforce has said.
    Dame Kate Bingham, who stood down from her role at the end of last year, criticised the decision to pull out of a deal with French pharmaceutical company Valneva before it had finished the clinical testing of its Covid-19 vaccine.
    The decision was not only a blow to international pandemic efforts, but will dampen the UK’s resilience to future disease outbreaks, she said.

    • grizebard says:

      Another sorry example of “The Union Dividend”. Whether casual indifference to Scottish vital interests or a deliberate move to prevent us acquiring expertise that England lacks, it is not the first such betrayal, and so long as we remain in the Union, be assured that it won’t be the last.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Scotland is in a disadvantaged position where not only, as a country, has it to compete with other countries OUTSIDE the UK to attract new business and initiatives to generate jobs, money, new talent etc

        It also has to compete with ,and loses out, to another country WITHIN the UK i.e. England…..e.g. Carbon capture, HS2…”The Union Dividend” ….well it is for England.

        Scotland is also in the unique position of not only losing out on these projects but having to contribute financially to them also…… someone’s having a laugh at our expense….where else would you help, as a country, PAY for something to benefit another country outwith say a charitable contribution ?

    • grizebard says:

      No doubt Sarwar will pop up soon and demand that the SG “do something about it”.

    • scottish skier says:

      This is an absolutely perfect example of how damaging the UK is for Scotland.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      The further twist in the Valneva story was Javid’s public statement that their vaccine would NOT get MHRA approval.
      That would have been the death knell of any lesser company in the market, and is widely suspected of being Javid’s sole motivation.

  26. scottish skier says:

    Would be nice if English Labour offered Scots the same courtesy, rather than seeing themselves as as members of a superior English/British race with a right to tell scots the best way to run Scotland.

    Labour should be neutral on Irish border poll, says party’s shadow NI secretary

    LABOUR’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary has said that if there is a referendum on a united Ireland, Labour “should remain neutral”.

  27. scottish skier says:

    From Panelbase. Thanks to WoS for the very pro-Sturgeon / SNP results. Good to have some cash spent on confirming that most Scots believe Sturgeon and co have made major achievements in office.

    Views on whether Sturgeon has made significant achievements:
    60% Made significant achievements: Things better than when she took over
    14% Neutral: Things the same as when she took over
    27% Negative: Things worse than when she took over

    60% thinking she’s made a real difference to life in Scotland is nothing short of miraculous for a politician, particularly way past honeymoon.

    Only 27% negative is just as remarkable, particularly with ~50% opposing indy ‘tomorrow’..

    Unsurprisingly, those saying she has made no significant achievements / things are worse than when she took over include:
    64% of Conservatives
    44% of No voters
    43% of Leave voters
    42% of 55yr+ males
    34% of Born in England

    Which tells us something about the politics of those that are obsessed in their dislike of her, English shire based bloggers included.

    • grizebard says:

      27% negative is par for the usual diehard Brittles. No change there then, and none ever likely. Nicola Sturgeon (or any SNP replacement) could singlehandedly discover a cure for cancer and solve the climate crisis and they would still be there claiming that things are worse.

      The other stats simply reveal under which stones these minority rejectionists reside.

      Interesting that even ~1/3 of Conservatives may be in play for indy!

    • Dr Jim says:

      WoS, is that that new gambling site where the blogger is taking political bets in the hope of encouraging viewers ?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      no significant achievements / things are worse than when she took over

      = 14% Neutral: Things the same as when she took over + 27% Negative: Things worse than when she took over = 41%.

      Which actually means proportionately, that those born in England are MORE in favour of her – by 66% to 34% who are neutral or against her. They are better than the average 🙂

      Whereas NO, Leave and 55yr+ males are average.

      It puts the lie to “English voters will lose us Independence” that some use to try to create division.

      • scottish skier says:

        Aye, for England born, the numbers were:

        51% Positive
        15% Neutral
        34% Negative

        As you note, simply being born in England is much less of a factor in terms of whether someone thinks Sturgeon is a decent FM. Being a Tory born and bred in Scotland is much more likely to have you adverse to her and the SNP!

        I more added the ‘English’ born in as it was a ‘new English’ anti-Sturgeon unionist party voting blogger from the shires that commissioned the poll. Seems to me the results were not quite as desired. 🙂

        Oh, and in the latest panelbase, English born are 32% Yes ex DK, so not far off Scotland as a whole in 2012. Remove them – including the 25% that say they are Scottish – and you go from 48.8% Yes to 50.6%. A tiny change, and while it might yield a narrow yes, this would have been on the back of denying 10% of the electorate, including over 100,000 Scots like Angus Robertson and my own MSP Christine Graham who just happened to enter the world on English soil.

        Nope, I would never support going down the racist British route that denied my wife a vote on whether people in England should be able to kick her out of her own Scottish home of 20 years.

        And that’s before we get to the fact we’d be denying European nationals in Scotland a vote before turning round brexiter style and asking them to accept our independence and offer us a seat at their table.

        Aye, copy brexit and expect a brexit style outcome for Scotland’s economy etc.

  28. Hamish100 says:

    If someone with influence on here please advise the Health Secretary not to go on Radio with GMS unless he has a good clear line. It sounded as if he was in an echo chamber or toilet.

    This is not the first time it has happened. Just gives the bbc an open goal.

    • Capella says:

      They have a creative SFX department. Could do Peppa Pig voice overs too although Pinky and Perky might be more the BBC’s era.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        OR…..a rerun of Andy Pandy ( replace the letter ‘P’ with another letter)… apparently the BBC out of the loop with Royal family according to gutter press…..Nicholas “I can’t bear that man. I mean, he’s so awful, he really is.” Witchell will be inconsolable………..the BBC Royal correspondent dissed by Prince Charles……as in sycophant gets telt…..know your place….commoner…..welcome to OUR world Nick……

    • Clydebuilt says:

      Good point H100. Sometimes when out in car it’s impossible to work out what Humza is saying . . . I think they have an operative who turns a knob on a filter.
      If the BBC were concerned about listeners being able to understand him they would ensure he was on a good line. . . . They never do! And have had many chances to do so.

  29. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Nadine “not very bright” Dorries has said that Channel 4’s future should be “brought into question” particularly when it’s in receipt of tax payers money……I could think of something else’s future that is “brought into question” when it’s in receipt of SCOTTISH tax payers money….no clues as I am sure everyone can guess what that is……no not the PM’s future but yes the UK’s…..Nadine does not do irony……

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      BTW Channel 4 is NOT in receipt of licence fee money…..and she, Nadine Dorries, is a ‘government’ minister i.e. so called CULTURE secretary in CHARGE of strategy and policy across the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport…… Channel 4 receives no public funding. It is funded entirely by its own commercial activities. Most of their income comes from advertising revenue……

      Boy Boris J knows who to pick does he not……a cabinet of incompetents……obviously to supposedly make him SHINE ( you can replace the ‘N’ in that word with another letter)…….the organ grinder picked the monkeys to dance to his tune……unfortunately none of them are in Key or in sync with the mood of da nation ( as in the one that matters to them)…….

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      This from Dorries yesterday when discussing S4C (Wales’s own Channel 4),

      “You know, it’s a small station but it’s very important in terms of its Welsh language speaking …”


      “… especially as S4C is being included in the negotiations for the first ever time.”


      You’d think a Crown Minister with responsibility for, inter alia, Communication, would be able to speak coherent English …

      But we are where we are, I guess.

      (W_S speaks (adequate) English as his first foreign language.)

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