A vote of no confidence in the Westminster system

There has certainly been no time in recent history when the need for Scottish independence has been so acute and pressing. We are now in a very different place from the independence campaign of the 2014 referendum. Back then it was still possible to believe that devolution was safe and that further powers could be granted to the devolved Scottish Parliament. Those opposed to independence could tout the line that support for independence was parochial and inward looking and that it was only thanks to the good graces of the UK that Scotland could enjoy membership of the EU and be respected and taken seriously by the rest of the world.

Now we know that devolution is gravely imperilled, the existence of a powerful Scottish Parliament is antithetical to the right wing Conservative vision of a centralised post-Brexit state in which the Scotland Secretary Alister Jack has no qualms about declaring that he dislikes acknowledging that Scotland is a nation in its own right, preferring to subsume it in a single “British nation” in which Scotland is reduced to nothing more than a quaint region with some dialect differences. The Conservatives have traduced their own promises made to the people of Scotland in 2014 when they vowed never to alter the powers of the Scottish Parliament without Holyrood’s consent and have set out to by-pass and undermine Holyrood, giving Westminster powers to intervene in Scotland on devolved issues without even pretending to seek a democratic mandate from the people of Scotland to do so.

However it’s not just the future of the devolution settlement which is at risk under the Westminster Conservatives, the very future of Scotland as a nation and a distinct polity is threatened by them. Alister Jack’s comments, which included the remark that he views the Scotland England border as nothing more than a sign by the side of the road, demonstrate that if the Tories had their way Scotland would be reduced to nothing more than a glorified county council, existing purely in order to allow Anglo-British nationalists like Jack to indulge themselves in the delusional fantasy that their nationalism isn’t really nationalist at all.

The only thing stopping them from a full throated assault on the devolution settlement is the possibility of another independence referendum.

It’s also now clear that it is British nationalism and the Brexit British state which is parochial, inward looking and xenophobic. Scottish independence represents by far the quickest and most secure route for Scotland to re-establish closer ties with Europe and the EU and to regain EU membership. Even if there was a significant change in the political climate in the UK, which is by no means certain, the member states of the EU would be highly reluctant to allow the UK back into the EU, and EFTA countries made it clear during the Brexit transitional period that they would not welcome a UK application for membership. Thanks to Brexit and the serial deceit of the Conservatives, the British state has destroyed any goodwill that it once had. The UK is now viewed as an untrustworthy partner, a troublesome state whose defining characteristic is a belief that it should magically be exempt from the norms and standards expected of other independent European states.

Scotland, on the other hand, would be welcomed with open arms, as was made clear by Jan Jambon, the Minister-President of Belgium’s Flemish community who said last week that Flemish ports should prepare for the possible independence of Scotland from the United Kingdom.

The way that Scotland has been treated by this duplicitous Conservative government would be bad enough if it were even semi-competent, but it cannot even aspire to the heady heights of adequacy. What we have is a shambolic and incompetent British government which lurches from one allegation of sleaze and corruption to another, whose senior figures have a relationship to the truth which is so distant that it’s not even on the same space-time continuum as any recognisable reality in this universe, and which has elevated a callous and cruel disregard for human life and decency into the closest thing it has got to a guiding principle. Following the appalling tragedy of dozens of people fleeing war and persecution losing their lives as they attempted to cross the English Channel, this fundamentally unserious government and Prime Minister used the disaster as an excuse to try and get into a Twitter spat with the French President.

As we brace for the spread of a new and concerning variant of the virus, we learned on Sunday that the Johnson Government has ignored a senior official’s plan to prepare the UK for the possible emergence of vaccine-resistant Covid variants.

Clive Dix, a leading figure in drug development who chaired the vaccine task force until April this year told the Observer newspaper :”I wrote a very specific proposal on what we should put in place right now for the emergence of any new virus that escaped the vaccine. That was written and handed into the vaccine task force at the end of April when I left. I haven’t seen a sign of any of those activities yet.” Johnson has already presided over a UK which has suffered a huge death toll and greater economic damage than any comparable state, but has learned absolutely nothing. Instead he devotes his time and energy into trying to neuter independent scrutiny of MPs’ activities while doing nothing about the scandal of his party’s hoovering up of dark money in donations, allegedly in return for peerages.

The SNP has announced that on Tuesday it will table a motion of no confidence in the Johnson government in the Commons. In the highly unlikely event that it passes, the Government will fall and there will have to be a General Election. However it will be defeated as the Conservatives possess a large majority in Parliament.

The question is whether Keir Starmer’s Labour party will support the motion or whether they will yet again put their tribal dislike of the SNP ahead of doing their job as the official opposition and actually opposing the Tories for a change, because if they do as they usually do, and find some spurious reason for abstaining, they will merely confirm that within the UK Scotland has no protection from the malignities of the Conservatives and the only possible option is independence. Then they will have shown Scotland that we need to pass a vote of no confidence in the entire Westminster system.

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 will be blogging less frequently 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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

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73 comments on “A vote of no confidence in the Westminster system

  1. Legerwood says:

    Thank you for that concise summation of where we are. The case for independence right there

  2. stewartb says:

    ‘… the Scotland Secretary Alister Jack has no qualms about declaring that he dislikes acknowledging that Scotland is a nation in its own right, preferring to subsume it in a single “British nation” ..’

    The same issue was raised by the Makar, Kathleen Jamie in a Herald newspaper article today headlined as the ‘politicisation’ of Scotland’s culture:

    She states: ‘There’s a rather sad development in unionism which would seek to deny that there’s such a thing as Scotland or Scottishness. Unionists in the past –think of Walter Scott – would never have done that. Even recently, Scottish Tory ministers would never have pretended there wasn’t a Scotland, only a United Kingdom. So these are being polarised. The very idea that there’s a Scottish nation and Scottish culture is deemed to be politicised which I think is a disaster.”

    We also learn that the Makar condemns attacks from unionists on a young poet who writes in Scots. “What’s going on there? Why’s there this massive overreaction? Not just to her – we’re having these massive tsunamis of reaction not just about language but anything. … .” She feels “fear” lies at the heart of so much political anger.’

    • Brenda Braithwaite says:

      The Westminster thugs are bad enough but it is difficult to understand those people who not only seem to hate their land of birth but demean themselves by grovelling at the dirty feet of those trying to deny Scotland’s right to be a self-ruling democratic country which is a normal state of affairs in every other country in the world. This is just despicable. They know no shame.

  3. Thank you Paul, for your great articulation of our situation.
    But, we have also put our faith in dozens of SNP MPs.
    It is time for them to step up, made it difficult for Commons business to progress.
    Ask questions, written questions as well. Until they are sick of you.
    Ask about everything under the sun.
    Why is BBC Scotland so impoverished in resources and ambition?
    Does Scotland get a fair deal where UK funding is allocated?
    Ask about Jack and his financial holdings ( now in his wife’s name).
    What do the security services get up to related to independence?
    What connection does the UK government or any agency they control, have with the media related to Scotland?
    Has Boris or Jack held any conversations with the press that operates in Scotland?
    What was discussed?
    Ask about Boris and his “over my dead body” holiday in Scotland comments.
    Ask about everything and anything of embarrassment to DRoss, Jack, Boris and his Tory chums.
    Get the dirt on them. Pass it on to the (colonial) media.
    Realise you are not there on holiday, or for life. You are there short term, until Scotland is independent.

  4. Hamish100 says:

    Their increasing fear is directly related to the truth that the best people to govern Scotland are the people of Scotland. Unionists are confused at this but also more dangerous as a result.

    • barpe says:

      Absolutely correct, Hamish100, but we are learning to strike back, I think.

    • grizebard says:

      You can’t be dangerous if you’re impotent. It’s that growing feeling of impotence that is driving them spare, and causing them to vehemently disown their own cultural heritage. Since England increasingly neither shares their Brittle sentiment nor respects their abject self-denigration, they are in a right old bind. In their (justified) fear that history is inexorably slipping away from them, they are betraying themselves. An implicitly self-defeating reaction if ever there was one.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Calling all cartoonists!

        Can you play around with the idea of them firing blanks?

        (I blame that grizebard. He gave me the idea by using ‘the i-word’: ‘Impotent’. He’s a bad influence and no mistake, that grizebard.)

  5. Tam the Bam says:

    Maybe I’m paranoid but did anyone else hear Jackboot Carsalesman say to Glenn (Rhinestone Islayboy) after FM’s questions last week ‘Scotland is going to change.’

    He was wearing a facemask mind you so I may have misheard but it made me think….he knows someting we dont.

    expect more/severe Unionification.

    Time to fix bayonets!

    • grizebard says:

      …or he’s just spouting wishful thinking in the hope that somebody somewhere actually believes something this pathetic has-been never-was utters. Even if it did portend further dastardly assaults on our precious right to self-determination, do the English Nationalists and their fearful proxies here have a strategy that is working, or ever likely to work, or is it not more likely to backfire, even? (Treading where London devils previously – and rightly – feared to tread… )

  6. yesindyref2 says:

    it will table a motion of no confidence

    I think it’s a “motion of censure”, which doesn’t lead to a new attempt to form a givernment or election.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Apologies for the BBC link, but I did find it via the SNP home page:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-59453488

      SNP to table motion to ‘censure’ Boris Johnson

      Published 4 hours ago

      The SNP is to table a motion of censure over the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Westminster.

      The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford told SNP conference delegates that Mr Johnson should be held to account for his “disastrous actions”.

      He said his party would act as the “real opposition” by tabling a motion rebuking the prime minister on Tuesday.

      […]

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yes. I thought it was a pure waste of time to start with and a VONC wouldn’t be very poopular in the Indy movement as BoJo is a gift and the last thing we need is a GE, even if that was possible. But to try to censure him is very good, publicity with no down side, as the media will have to explain what it actually is.

        An unusually good one for Blackford. Though apparently it might not get selected for debate, not sure about that,

  7. bringiton says:

    The Scottish cringers took refuge,initially,in the hope that British Labour would protect them from England’s Tories.
    When that didn’t work out,they next pinned their hopes on Holyrood doing that job.
    What they didn’t realise was that British Labour had setup Holyrood in such a way that Scots would still be subject to English Tory rule,should they wish.
    All British political parties are duplicitous when it comes to Scotland and the only protection from them is to get rid of them,permanently.
    Let’s hope the cringers have finally seen the light.

  8. Dr Jim says:

    They fear Nicola Sturgeon so they lie they smirk and lie again, they attempt to undermine her, they attempt to show her as a liar then they smirk again, Sturgeon must be brought low and they smirk again

    The smirk is fake because they fear and they fear who she’s spoken to and what she’s spoken about and how she’s going to bring about the thing they fear most and who’s going to help her do it

    They don’t know what’s going to happen so they fear, they use Salmond and his bunch of gullible fools, let’s face it who in their right mind could possibly ever think Alex Salmond is going to resurrect himself, it’s nonsense on George Galloways stilts , so they keep smirking because they fear

    At the moment they’re pushing trying to make Nicola Sturgeon do something, say something they can fault and pick at and she’s giving them nothing so what else can they do but invent stories, manipulate a sentence and keep smirking because they’ve got nothing else, well except for the Labour shadow foreign affairs spokesperson Lisa Nandy option *send in the army* to Scotland she said, arrest Nicola Sturgeon she said, just like Catalonia she said, and Westminster collectively went **Ssshh Wheesht for God sake shut up you’ll only make things worse**

    The Unionists, Salmond, nut case bloggers have got nothing except lies and when that isn’t working they smirk hoping we’ll all think they know something we don’t

    They don’t know shit and they can’t handle it and I’m enjoying watching them sweat

    • Rob Grant says:

      Jim, what is your problem with fellow yessers in ALBA? How exactly does besmirching Alba voters/members with childish insults help ensure a YES vote at the next indyref? FYI the SNP will not manage it on its own so please, for the sake of yes unity, wind yer neck in and show some respect to fellow yessers please!

      • grizebard says:

        Criticism can sting, Rob, and all the more so when justified. Have a look around the public sphere and you’ll readily find that it’s mostly your fellow Albanites who expend considerable effort bitterly attacking others in the independence movement, and have been doing so for some considerable time. So look to your own before complaining here, lest you be thought a hypocrite.

        And while you’re at it, ponder why it is that Alba supporters are frequently observed echoing Unionist memes without any evident embarassment.

        • Rob Grant says:

          Are you seriously trying to gaslight me with your false equivelance. Read my comment to Jim again please and educate me about my request, fairly put, to find some unity of purpose within the yes movement without the childish insults from either snp or alba sides. I was not complaining, as such. merely asking Jim to choose his words carefully lest he be considered a friend of the brit state fomenting wider division on their behalf, intentionally or otherwise.

          • grizebard says:

            The only one trying to gaslight here is you, pal. Your Albanista chums are very evidently the ones who need most correction, so you would be far better occupied addressing your high-minded concerns at them first. Get them to leave off their copious pernicious Unionist-serving calumnies against true indy supporters, and finally start facing the real enemy instead, before you come hypocritically whining on here. Only then might we take your concerns seriously.

      • scottish skier says:

        Rob, the leader of Alba stood shoulder to shoulder with unionists and falsely accused the SNP leader of serious breaches of the ministerial code which could have forced her out of office ahead of an election that was deciding iref2.

        Now if Salmond had reported these apparent breaches when they occurred years ago, then things would likely be a lot different. But to suddenly come and support the unionists by making them up just before he launched his own party?

        The electorate will never forgive him for that.

        It saddens me as I spent much of his trial defending him. Telling people to let justice take it’s course. That only the jury could decide. That he was innocent until proven otherwise. And I was pleased when he walked because I did wonder if the UK was out to get him. After all, he only ever attacked ‘London’s woman in Scotland’ Evans.

        So I could not believe this when he did it:

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56209521

        Alex Salmond says there is ‘no doubt’ Nicola Sturgeon broke ministerial code

        I could not understand why he did it. Why now when all the forces of the union were trying to stop a Yes party victory? If he was a decent man, and thought she’d breached the code, why not report it at the time? To suddenly made the accusations now could only be lying for political advantage? But what advantage?

        Then he launched Alba and it all made sense. I held my head in my hands.

        Scotland will never forgive him for that. He had retired with a fine legacy, having taken Scotland almost to indy. Then he walked free from the courts after the full force of the UK media had him a rapist. He could still hold his head high.

        Not now though. Scots just can’t help picture him shoulder to shoulder with the Tories lying about the FM in an attempt to take the SNP down and stop iref2.

        This is why Alba was destined to flop.

  9. Some of you may recall an episode of Yes Minister in which Jim Hacker discovers to his horror that there was a brand new hospital in his constituency that had no patients doctors or nurses, because of government cutbacks, but still had 500 Facilities Management staff to keep the white elephant ticking over
    Alister Jack’s White elephant, the 8 story office block next to Waverley with the giant butcher’s apron painted down one side was ‘opened’ with a fanfare and flourish to invited Brit Hacks in August ’20.
    It was reported that it would house 3000 UK civil servants from 11 WM Departments.
    What the Departments were, and what 3000 UK Civil Servants would be up to in Edinburgh, was not disclosed at the launch, the slew of Good News articles headed with a smug Viceroy Jack perched on the edge of a table in the ‘Conference Room’.

    I noted the other day that a BTL poster commented during the COP 26 energy debate ,that as a commuter into Waverley each day, he noted that all the lights were on in the offices of the inevitably named Queen Elizabeth II House, but that the desks were still unoccupied.

    So in 16 months, this mausoleum to the Brit Empire lies idle, and I have no doubt that Covid will be blamed for the delay.

    Perhaps the National can look into this for us Scots tax payers?

    After all the cost of this abomination will be part of the GERS deficit, surely?

    I assume that some off shore investment fund paid for the construction, and that Jack has signed a 25 year PFI contract for a private Facilities Management offshoot of Private Money to ‘manage’ the Colonial Outpost for the English Government?

    Are there hundreds of staff in situ ‘managing’ the upkeep of this affront to Scotland?
    How much is it costing us?

    A massive new Brit stockade in the heart of our capital is of course another step in their brutal attempt to re-colonise Scotland for the English Empire.

    The motorway from Carlisle to Stranraer, will never be built of course. There is no money. But the Jock Hacks and broadcasters go along with the English Government’s message..devolution is dead…back in your box, Jocks.

    They are too late of course ; Freedom comes, nothing will stop us now; not even beefed up barracks in Moray.

    Come on, Scoop of the National..give us the low down on Viceroy Union Jack’s Waverley folly.

    • Brenda Braithwaite says:

      Well there are plenty of homeless people including asylum-seekers who could populate this brightly-lit and probably well-heated accommodation.

  10. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, a fair synopsis of Scotland’s condition, but what Blackford tabled was a motion of censure, there’s a huge gulf between that, being selected for debate, and getting to a vote of no confidence let alone winning one.

    Since it was Europe who initiated the devolution process with a reluctant UK government, it is a combination of euro-hostility and desperation to restore London all strands of power which drives the WM process.
    They must nevertheless proceed slowly on dismantling devolution lest they stir the natives, and frankly, time is not on their side.
    There is more than just the Omicron variant imminent, the full impact of Brexit will land with a dull thud in the new year, and none are going to be amused no matter how the Tories or their media attempt to gaslight the public.
    Scots disenchantment with the status-quo will increase, and with Indyref2 inevitable, a YES majority seems almost unavoidable. All these Tory and Labour games will soon become redundant when Scots finally leave them to talk amongst themselves.

    OT – Delighted to read Tim Rideout’s motion for an accelerated Scottish currency was approved by SNP conference, there could not have been more timely and welcome news, even if Kevin Bridges’ Smackaroonie is not in contention.

    • grizebard says:

      I think people should very clearly understand what Paul reminded us of in a recent blog, that a second indyref must deliver a “yes” majority, since a “no” result won’t be a simple reaffirmation of some notional status quo, it will be seen by any regime in London as complete unrestrained carte blanche to destroy the devolution settlement. And no longer in salami slices either. It will be outright political suppression of our right to self-determination in the name of English hegemony dressed as democracy.

  11. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Kinda off topic, but yet …

    Please be ready to raise your glasses, drams etc. on the 30 November (and not just to St Andrew):

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/prince-charles-to-reaffirm-trusted-partnership-with-barbados-as-nation-prepares-to-cut-ties-with-queen/ar-AAReVMG?ocid=msedgntp

    The Prince of Wales [sic] will reaffirm the “myriad connections between the people of our countries” at a ceremony to remove the Queen as Barbados’ head of state and transition to a republic.

    […]

    Barbados’s decision to remove the Queen as head of state will be watched closely by other members of the Commonwealth, especially in the Caribbean region.

    Last month, the island elected its first-ever president to replace the Queen.

    Sandra Mason, the current governor general or Queen’s representative, will be sworn in as president just before Prince Charles makes his speech.

    On announcing the move to become a republic last year, Ms Mason said in a speech: “Having attained independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance.

    “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind.”

    ________

    Barbados? Too wee, too poor, too stupid to “go it alone”?

    As, Mr Collatin is wont to say, “Duggers, Discuss.”

  12. scottish skier says:

    As observed by others, the BBC et al., having failed to unseat Sturgeon with the assistance of Alex Salmond and southern English bloggers, continues to try and dream her away.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-59453148

    It is too early to assess the career of a first minister who has made clear she intends to be around for a lot longer [but let’s do that anyway as we want rid of her].

    That may be why when someone asked me to do that recently, I did not have a considered answer.

    The question was: “If Nicola Sturgeon quit tomorrow, what would her legacy be?”

    It’s amusing. Especially as the ‘unseating’ of Salmond after 2014 singularly failed to stop the slow, steady march of the Scottish nation. Because of course it people didn’t support indy ‘Cos Salmond’.

    Even if Sturgeon was hit by a bus tomorrow, it’s not going to save the union. The rise of the SNP – and more recently the Greens – is a symptom of the Scottish electorate moving towards indy generation by generation, not the cause of it. This tectonic shift has been ongoing since the end of the post-war baby boom, driven by the decline of Britain, the end of the post-war consensus, and the rise of Europe, amongst other things.

    But the British can’t understand this because they don’t understand Scotland / Scottish people, for reasons I’ve expanded on before. We are literally from two different ‘nations’.

    Just remember, if a ‘real independence supporter’ does nothing but relentlessly obsess about Sturgeon, probability is they’re not actually Scottish. If they were Scottish, they’d know that this is a totally dead end, as pretty much nobody in Scotland supports indy ‘Cos Sturgeon’.

    Maybe in Brengland it’s all about ‘dear leaders’, but not here in Scotland.

    The problem for unionists is that they cannot sell Britain, as face it, the UK is s**t. So they desperately look for a shiny leader to sell. But the SNP / Greens don’t need to do that, as Scotland has a bright future. The don’t need to sell themselves, only Scotland.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Well said!

    • It was Mark Twain he commented when he read of his death while touring Europe:-
      ‘Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated’.

      SS, what a sad little man, Campbell is.
      Seeking attention by association with the best politician to surface in Scotland in a generation, Glenn Campbell’s hacks together a Sturgeon ‘obituary’.

      The usual sneering mangle of brit Nat crapola, which bears no connection to reality.

      His summary, his not so subliminal message, is hidden in the small print, long after most sensate human beings will have given up reading this boring mournful dirge, which is just a a rehash of BBC Hacks’ ravings before him:

      “There is of course another possibility that looks more realistic right now – that it just doesn’t happen.”

      What a miserable little man he is.

      So that’s it.

      We might as well give up because Campbell, the Brit lickspittle, has declared that England will ‘refuse’ to allow another Referendum to be held?

      What Campbell is declaring is that he is a functionary of his colonial masters, that Scotland is a conquered territory of England, and that by inference, England has the ‘power’ to thwart the democratic will of his fellow Scots, by force of arms, if necessary.

      It is a terrible thing surely, to ally with a ‘foreign’ government to keep your fellow citizens in bondage.
      Some call it cowardice; some call it treachery; some call ir brainwashing from birth.
      Some, but not I; I couldn’t possibly comment.

      To follow Campbell’s argument through to its unavoidable conclusion, we will eventually take up arms and declare war on England.
      Whose side will Campbell be on?
      Will he fight with the English? No, this is getting to be as silly as his conclusion.

      We shall prevail. No other nation can thwart the enactment of our democratic choices.
      It’s called ‘the will of the people, stupid..

      Sturgeon is going nowhere, Campbell of Islay.. Scotland shall be free; and you’ll be out of a pointless job, within the term of this Parliament.

      • grizebard says:

        I’m looking forward to the day when Campbell is sent packing in ignominy. Though there won’t be room for him on that last helicopter from Plantation Quay either. He will be surplus to requirements all round.

        As to these constant re-assertions by a legion of BBC hacks that Boris can still “just say no”, why then are they so visibly desperate to wish Nicola into retirement? At some point before too long we will either have a referendum by agreement with London, or we’ll have an {ahem} “advisory” one of our own. And no amount of BBC whistling in the dark will make a blind bit of difference.

        In the meantime, I’m beginning to think that an eventual part of the evolving situation should if necessary be to deploy a campaign in England asking people there “how does it feel to be Scotland’s jailer?” Most ordinary people in England don’t care if we go, and like to think of themselves as benign, so their embarrassment could be a helpful political factor.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Indeed Jack….for me HE, Campbell, is a prime candidate for joining one GB News…..just as churnalists evolve around the circle of the published media and online publications of the Sun, the Telegraph and the Spectator the natural progression aka home for uber Unionists is to finally arrive within the confines of a predominantly English based biased moan fest channel such as GB news….

        Neil Oliver has burnt his bridges in joining this channel…..before naïve peeps thought he was a credible source to believe and seek opinions from….now they know, as we always did, he is a frothing conspiracy theorist with a weak and false recollection on the present and indeed also on past history….remember his take on the Highland clearances…..presented by him as a emigration campaign initiative welcomed and endorsed by those same people who lived in the highlands and who sought new ‘adventures’ and ‘lives’ on foreign shores……Oliver is nothing but a promoter of the uber Unionist fabricated reality of life within the (non) Union…..less factual more Unionist romanticist about the actual reality as is…as far as Scotland is concerned…obvs his ‘take’ is one driven and promoted with him being a renowned rabid Unionist…indeed his promoted and reported profession as a Historian, when he is actually a supposed archaeologist, is also fabricated and indeed ridiculed and denounced by REAL historians …..as is Glen Campbell’s reported and promoted profession as a journalist/political reporter also extremely questionable…..as he, Campbell, is also just a Unionist mouthpiece for Unionist politicians and their followers……

        • grizebard says:

          I could be wrong, but I believe that Campbell is part of the bitterly-frustrated Labourite media mafia in Scotland. Necessarily become a fellow-traveller of the right, thus, just like the collaborationalist Labour cooncillors o Aiberdeen, because their inherent right to be in charge has unaccountably been stolen from them, so any Faustian pact with the Tory devil is justified.

          Though only to them. The rest of us look on with disappointment and deep contempt.

          If the genuine Labour rank-and-file want to save their party from these dead-enders, they had better do something about it before long, or extinction awaits.

  13. grizebard says:

    On The Home Service News just now, Dr. Clive Dix, the former head of UKGov’s vaccine taskforce, was absolutely scathing about his former employer’s mistreatment of Valneva, because its Covid vaccine is at least as good as any of the others, and now further production is going from Scotland to East Germany.

    Yet another example of the Union Dividend. When are more people going to wake up to the constantly-repeated evidence that London, far from helping us out, will happily intervene to keep us suppressed, disadvantaged and hobbled?

  14. Dr Jim says:

    Scotland co operates, Wales co operates, Northern Ireland co operates, it’s not the UK that doesn’t co operate, it’s England that flatly refuses to co operate with anybody, 27 countries of the EU say so and three countries of the UK all agree that England is the problem

    Today Independent Barbados confirms that England and their pretendy commonwealth is a problem
    How many more countries does it take to point this stuff out ?

    Boris Johnson rejected Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakefords letter before he even received it

  15. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Just watched an inspiring and informative speech by FM at SNP Conference…and one where she signalled the start of the Indy campaign to begin in earnest post spring of next year.

    Cue the circus of the many indignant and enraged usual suspects …. where a mixed bunch of charlatans and non entities who protest with duplicitous intentions, uninformed opinions, sheer bias, double standards all being given a media platform to spout their uninformed and unwelcome opinions as if they are somehow credible, factual and the indeed the only opinions Scots should trust , listen to and believe….in other words the open mic season for Unionists will once again be offered, on steroids, to counter the arguments they see/feel/perceive as Unionists against independence for Scotland….as opposed to believing and trusting the democratically elected Scottish government the citizens of Scotland have elected time and time again.

    Those Unionists within and outwith Scotland who oppose Scotland’s citizens being given the democratic right to decide their own future will, once again, be given the most frequent opportunities, via the many media outlets, to argue against and thus deny Scots , and others who live in Scotland, the democratic right to decide if they want a choice to vote for independence while simultanously we who live in Scotland will be denied the same equal time and opportunities to hear OUR side’s argument for Indy …..all in the midst of a chaotic and unstable UK environment instigated and implemented by yet another UK government Scotland did not elect, …and indeed THEY will argue Now is NOT the time amidst a now evolving pandemic…..BUT as they do this they will blatantly ignore the other side (their side), the Unionists, actively working on THEIR argument/campaign for the Union via the Tories Union Unit…a project announced midst the pandemic and still existing as the virus has now evolved/mutated…..a la Michael Gove and indeed a Scottish (in name only) MP one Andrew Bowie (and t’others)….but that’s okay because that’s THEIR side and tis somehow to be seen as justified and reasonable….how convenient …for THEM…again

    Scotland , via a Unionist UK government and t’other Unionist politicians, will not be allowed to remove the straight jacket the Union has imposed upon it because unlike England and all other independent countries who have full control of their finances and resources….. Scotland ,courtesy of a Unionist UK government, is to be perceived by all as the ONLY country where the feasibility of it being able to be seen as a normal independent country is somehow an argument akin to a fantasy…..as in a fantasy created and related by a UK Unionist political fan club….and widely promoted and published via the Unionist media who are also members of this Uber Union political fan club.

    The unionists are in denial of the fact that their (non) argument is now greatly diminished via the Brexit factor and indeed one Boris Johnson as PM…..the impact for Scotland is detrimental and it WILL get worse…….so our choice is either one of survival as an independent, potentially thriving, country or a country chained to a Union which with each passing day, via bad choices, bad policies, bad attitudes, neglect, corrupt governments, favouring the wealthy over those poorer, unelected bureaucrats in HOL’s who get more recognition and ability to decide over politicians that we, in Scotland, elect and not forgetting the overall diminishing rights and standards of living we endure as part of this (non) Union….wow…should be an easy choice….but the Unionists argument is THE ONLY one presented as somehow being THE one that is THE MOST logical, easy and factually correct choice Scots should accept and endorse…..as in somehow the right way for us in Scotland…….but where countries and THEIR media outwith the UK are screaming out the opposite fact……who to believe….our democratically elected Scottish government, us who LIVE in Scotland and who support independence and who currently are forced to endure living within this Unionist hell hole under a Tory led government by one UBER Unionist buffoon Boris Johnson ….. all of the other countries and some of their media outwith the UK who say “Go for it Scotland, choose to be Free” …or a selfish dictatorship style Tory UK government with a vested interest for Scotland to stay a part of THEIR UK that imposed a little (poorer) Britain upon the world and dragged us down with it…. enabled very much by other so called opposition weak Unionist politicians ?

    BTW is it just a coincidence that on the day the FM makes her BIG speech at the SNP conference that speculation is rife via the media re the front bench shadow cabinet reshuffle is afoot….to deflect attention away from FM….call me cynical but Starmer as a Unionist perhaps thinks…every little bit helps…when it comes to defection on ALL things Independence and SNP related……

    Yes I know once again this is long….but if you are not feeling VERY angry and are willing to fight , with words at least, then what is the bl**dy point………….POWER to the people….a very much underestimated ( and deliberately too by the powers that be) tool that we, the people have , to use to invoke REAL change for the better….

    • Dr Jim says:

      Unionist Labour policy, anybody who mentions the word democracy, they’re out

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      “Yes I know once again this is long….but if you are not feeling VERY angry and are willing to fight , with words at least, then what is the bl**dy point”,

      Worth also mentioning in case the last paragraph of my above comment is misunderstood as sometimes I tend to forget that the written word, especially the badly constructed way I write, can be misinterpreted as a criticism when not meant as such when written badly ….tis not the length of anyone’s comment that matters as to their commitment and passion about independence…..the fact that they take the time and effort and indeed courage to make any comment on an Indy blog to both support the blog and indeed independence itself is the crucial factor….indeed some of the best comments I have read on here are the ones that are both concise and to the (well made) point….a skill I unfortunately do not possess……I do sometimes try though…sorry.

      However it is also a bonus and advantage to those who choose to read this blog but not comment as that too also helps the cause of independence in sharing and learning new information and facts which they can then relate onto some others who may NOT be as informed or convinced by the independence argument.

      Hope the above makes sense…more sense than my , too many, rambling over long comments. I never seek to annoy or offend anyone on here….sometimes I have done and was rightly corrected…..but I am only human and to err is human so they say….

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Ach don’t beat yourself up, we’re all rowing in the same direction, as far away from London et al control as we can…

      • JoMax says:

        I read all your posts, NMRN, and you’re only expressing what we all feel – anger, not only at ‘them down there’ and their attitude to their northern fiefdom which, actually we could laugh at and ignore just like the Europeans if we were an independent nation, but at those Scots among us who just can’t think outside their wee union box and are too feart to get off their backsides and wise up. These are the ones that really annoy me because they are the ones who could keep us back. It’s quite sad to have a nation that has people like that within its borders, so lacking in pride in and the abilities of their own nation that they’d rather have someone else telling them whit tae dae.

  16. Hamish100 says:

    …….. but on the tele the bbc quotes Jim Sillars..

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Yes I heard that. The BBC really must be desperate. Good! 🙂

    • Dr Jim says:

      Notice how they never say Jim Sillars ex Labour party

    • grizebard says:

      If he didn’t already exist, the BBC would have had to invent him. He’s just saved them the trouble. What a dummy.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Yes…in a previous comment I made today….. I failed to mention the few supposed Indy supporters who seem to be the media’s GO TO people for conflicting and also very much hoped for damaging views on the SNP and the FM from a supposed Indy perspective…..where THEIR take, as supposed indy supporters, take precedence over those others whose past and current political lives have never wavered in promoting independence and how best to achieve it and who is best placed to achieve it…..as in WHO currently the public in Scotland elect to control and steer Scotland as a nation now and in the future pre and perhaps post Indy…..as in the SNP.

        And indeed one recent convert post 2014, who like Sillars, was previously aligned with a Unionist party i.e. Labour….and who was noted as a very vocal individual pre 2014 Indy Ref against independence but who switched his allegiance to the SNP post Brexit…..this individual identifies as a Social justice campaigner & Solicitor Advocate…and on his Twitter profile also as a European…..and who has now reverted BACK to the Labour party as his party of choice…… where as a party, Labour under Keir Starmer, have made it clear that they do NOT back rejoining the EU…..and under the Scottish (in name only) party have as a leader a millionaire who it was alleged paid the workers in HIS firm below the national average in wages ……so not so much supporting or upholding social justice or being again a part of the European family then….hope you know to whom I refer…..also noted Labour no longer identify with left wing policies but more centre right…emphasis on the RIGHT…..

        Cue also Mr Salmond being the new messenger of doom and gloom on behalf of the Union……enemies within (but really outwith currently) is the oldest used trick in the book….and not one that the Unionists in their desperation will not stoop so low to use and exploit……….his message is it’s my way or the highway…..not diplomatic or statesman like…..more ego and pride over your country’s future and chance to achieve independence by uniting under a common and right cause…as in independence being THE only important goal here….not individuals with a personal grievance whose motive is to destroy the FM and the SNP in the eyes of everyone.

        God forbid as it would appear that to unite as a movement, is too much like a logical and coherent plan of action,…to unite for Indy……where as to dance to the tune that the Unionists dictate if it get’s you airtime for YOUR ambition Mr Salmond well that’s more important it seems…..you Mr Salmond had your chance but that’s not enough…you are clearly trying your best to blow any chance for someone else to achieve what YOU failed to achieve……move on please because yes you were an excellent politician and could, when you were at your best, get the better of many a Unionist, BUT now is NOT the time to divide our movement NOW is THE time to unite…against the many enemies to independence…..who like you Mr Salmond will be given far too many opportunities, by the media, to undermine and diminish our just cause and right to achieve independence…..better to get with Indy program or some others within Scotland might start thinking, like many of us, that your intentions are not all pure or honest.

        I loved Alex Salmond I thought he was great but now……God in my estimation , humble as it may be, he is not only yesterday’s man he is also but a sad shadow of the man I thought he once was.

  17. Arthur Thomson says:

    From around 12.15 until around 12.40 while driving around Bedford, I was very pleasantly surprised to hear Nicola’s dulcet tones on BBC Radio 5. It was a masterclass in what to say and how to say it. She is an absolute star. I am so glad that she is at the helm.

  18. Hamish100 says:

    I think she is pro independence.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Apparently Ms Sturgeon was accompanied by a bear with a stack of Andrex, and a man in a white gown wearing a hat which may have come out of a Christmas cracker, clutching a rosary, a crucifix around his neck, and himself intoning the Ave Maria.

      PS I got my St Andrew’s card from Nicola this morning!

    • Dr Jim says:

      I will take all the necessary steps to bring about and hold a referendum for the people of Scotland to have the choice whether to remain in this broken Union or to do what almost 100 countries have done since the 1960s and become Independent countries as is the normal way of other countries in the rest of the world, our near neighbours in Ireland Denmark Norway and elsewhere are more successful wealthy and equal in their societies than the UK, some of whom do not have the assets and possibilities that Scotland has

      I am not responsible for decisions the UK government may or may not make in respect to my announcement, I will do what is the best thing for Scotland on the mandate I and my party were elected to do just as with Covid I have a duty to put Scotland first

      What follows are the words the FM did not say

      Boris Johnson can either respect the democratic will of the people of Scotland or not, if he decides to disrespect that democracy and behave in a dictatorial forceful manner I will have no option but to bring all hell down upon him using the condemnation of the United Nations the European Union and much much more, Scotland would very much rather be a willing friend and co operative ally with the UK but that choice can only be extended by me but must be reciprocated by the UK, choose it not and the UK may see themselves isolated from the rest of the civilised community and far from Scotland suffering hardship it will be Boris Johnson and the Tory party who will have brought this upon themselves and the rest of the UK

      The current Prime Minister of the current UK has been warned

      This was made up, did you guess, but here’s its message to impress “We’ve had enough you daft Bastirt”

      (disclaimer) The FM of Scotland was not consulted on these words

    • scottish skier says:

      We’ll know if Sturgeon has gone unionist.

      She’ll be the darling of the BBC and English blogs will be telling us she’s our best bet for independence.

  19. yesindyref2 says:

    OT. You can get it from iPlayer, BBC. Greetings from Scotland 2021, 2 parts, I’ve seen part 1 so far. Incredibly good, enough to bring the tears to a glass e’e at times for the memories. True to life so far as well.

    Makes me realise I’m not fond of VisitScotland, but it’s because I liked STB so much – even though it cost their members a small fortune. Good to look back and understand current attitudes really.

  20. mack3212014 says:

    Thanks for doing what you are able to do Paul – nearly every piece shines new light or a different angle on the subject which I can carry forward. Wishing you well..

  21. Hamish100 says:

    Yes watched both programmes. Did remind me of meeting a girl in Aviemore on a ski trip. Still married! Apres-ski right enough.
    Scotland has so much to offer if done correctly.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Indeed it does. Yes, skied there too, before and in the days of the Centre. Plus hill-walking of course. Also took the kids in the mid 90s to Santa Land, can’t have been long before it was closed. Memories. Sad the Centre is changed, nearly unrecognisable when I looked in a few years back and had to drive out in an unnostalgic hurry, but hey, things evolve.

      Yeah, Happy St Andrews Day! Wife got the double jag so I might have to cook my own haggis 😦 Shocking, simply shocking.

      • Mince toasties washed down with stout at the Plough Inn Rosemarkie, YIR2.
        A ‘winter warmer’, even on dreich July days.
        I too am going back 3 decades..
        My Everlovin’ is to get her booster jag and ‘Flu shot tomorrow.
        On time, and by appointment.

        Haggis neeps and roasties today, for sure.
        I’m le chef du jour…

  22. Happy St Andrew’s Day, Duggers.

  23. jfngw says:

    Who would anyone let their next door neighbour have control over their bank account and only be allowed to spend what they had been allocated from their own earnings by them, whilst they only provide you with estimates of bills by merging them with their own costs.

    This would be highly abnormal for anyone and is abnormal for any country. Independence is normal, getting the government you voted for is normal, Scotland currently is not normal, it is more akin to being annexed for its resources, soon to have a Union Division occupying it to defend those resources.

  24. Hamish100 says:

    BBC Call Kaye has ex bbc colleague Elinor Bradford on the radio to explain how she returned an adoptive child back to the state.She was on the radio last week too and follow up interviews.

    This is an important and difficult issue but the 1 sided promotion of “her case” I would say is bordering on partiality.

  25. scottish skier says:

    Aye, happy St. Andrews Day to all in Scotland and beyond who respect that the people of Scotland have the sovereign right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs.

    You are Scotland’s friends, and are always welcome here.

    Slàinte Mhath!

    • Dr Jim says:

      Aye but will Prince Charles or King Charles turn up in Scotland and say the word *Country* when he apologises to Scots for 300 years of colonialisation, he couldn’t manage it for the Barbadians, he did tacitly admit his ancestors were slave owners so I guess that’s something

    • scottish skier says:

      Aye Jim. I was careful with my words.

      If Charlie respects the right of Scots to hold an iref and vote for indy if they want, then he’s welcome enough. Although crown lands belong to the people, not his family who have fattened themselves on these for too long.

      But anyone who doesn’t not respect the right of Scots to freely choose their own government is not Scotland’s friend, but her enemy, and is not welcome.

      It is the right of people to desire Scots to vote to stay in the union, but not to deny Scots that free choice.

  26. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I see Anas Sarwar is taking credit for SNP initiative of doubling child payment in Scotland…..as apparently , according to him, it is something the SNP have only done via ‘pressure’ from Scottish (in name only) Labour…..so he is STILL continuing with the ‘RAT’ theme then…first he was out looking for them in Glasgow and now he has become one of them…..though some would argue he should , as a Rat, go the full hog (Boris reference) and jump from the sinking ship that is HIS UK …….but as the current and latest Captain Splinter in the branch office he will apparently go down willingly with the sinking ship that is the HMS-UK……as opposed to most Rats whose natural instinct it is to flee from a ship prior to it sinking…..but then he is a Homo Rattus (Human Rat) a unique species of Rat…..found in Unionist politics mostly…..but whose pack mentality includes the Rattus Media too…….

    I believe stealing the credit for someone’s work well that’s a form of plagiarism and, in this instance, a political one……….perhaps with his other pastime of standing next to rubbish bins…..he should bin the idea of taking credit for someone’s else’s work/ideas as it as a rubbish way to try and convince the public to believe tis credible that somehow YOU and YOUR party are the source of all SNP policy when tis good ideas……… while also expecting the public to also see YOU and YOUR party as the main opposition to what YOU and YOUR party deem as those supposed bad ideas via the SNP……it’s almost as if you have adopted an infantile style of politics where you assume that the public are moronic…. and you are doing it deliberately too…….I would laugh but it’s beyond a joke…..indeed no one is laughing ….well they may be laughing AT Labour in Scotland but no more will they laugh WITH them as the JOKE is well and truly on THEM as a credible political party in Scotland ( and England too it seems)…………….and they , Labour, can always be relied on to serve up the punch lines…..as in to PUNCH themselves in the face…..time and time again.

    That BTW is the same Labour that has ONE MP in Scotland and is now , in Holyrood, NOT the so called official opposition but the one with MSP’s that represent the THIRD party at Holyrood….whose so called ‘socialist’ credentials with a small ‘s’ or as we like to say in Scotland are non existent as they have also referred/ennobled FIFTEEN Lords to the HOL’s…..who are unelected and paid to intermittently nap while on the job….the job being to keep Scotland in line and try to ensure it is kept under Tory rule for as long as possible….so far it’s working so they are doing something right (for the Union)…though tis not working or right for Scotland but hey that’s not their purpose in the HOL’s or indeed in the HOC’s or anywhere politically………….to appease Keir Starmer not so much Keir Hardie and his vision for Labour….Keir Hardie BTW also known as Keir HARDY ( no relation to Oliver) via Labour in Scotland as per Richard Leonard’s term as Captain Splinter at the branch office at a Labour conference in Scotland………well we laughed AT them then did we not…..a “fundilymundily” mistake was it not….another one…. it’s becoming a habit…a bad one obvs as tis Labour after all….or as Oliver Hardy said…”That’s another fine mess you’ve got me into”…….Labour & Mess go together like Labour & Tory…two peas same pod.

  27. scottish skier says:

    Hard border boom in action!

    Cannae wait for our turn..

    https://archive.md/6en06

    Brexit Protocol brings economic uplift to Northern Ireland –performance better than rest of UK

    Northern Ireland’s economic performance is showing signs of recovery, official figures have shown, suggesting an uplift resulting from the Northern Ireland Protocol.

    Analysis of the Office for National Statistics experimental figures for gross value added (GVA) from all UK regions showed Northern Ireland’s economic output in the three months to September was just 0.3% below the last quarter of 2019, before Covid-19 had struck.

    In contrast, the overall economic performance of the UK as a whole had fallen 2.1% in the same period, the Financial Times said..

  28. Dr Jim says:

    Strangely enough under Jeremy Corbyn leadership the Labour party got more votes than they ever got before and still couldn’t win in Scotland, now Sir Kier Hardie reckons that by moving further to the right wing nearer where the Tories used to be he can win in Scotland, the only thing he could win is some of the people who voted Tory because Labour went too far left wing so the result is the same, neither Tory nor Labour can win in Scotland ever again, they’ll just keep taking votes from each other for the main reason being they’re both British parties and Scotland found them both out to be the same thing just with different names

    If the whole of Scotlands electorate can figure that out it kinda proves the arrogance of the British English parties that they don’t care to listen or see what’s staring them right in the face, and we Scots worked that out too, just heaps and heaps of British nationalist arrogance and exceptionalism insisting that one day we’ll all understand what we’re too stupid at the moment to understand because we’re all blinded by this ridiculous democracy thing that we keep banging on about

    Scotland must accept that we’re all sheep and therefore need a shepherd, but of course a shepherd chosen by the voters of England, and any English political party will do

  29. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    “Strangely enough under Jeremy Corbyn leadership the Labour party got more votes than they ever got before and still couldn’t win in Scotland, now Sir Kier Hardie reckons that by moving further to the right wing nearer where the Tories used to be he can win in Scotland ”

    Even stranger on Scotland Tonight the other night… Andy Maciver said Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet reshuffle makes Labour look more electable……obviously Andy meant in England but oh so not the case in Scotland but he surprise surprise did not feel the need to highlight that very crucial point….almost as if Andy conceding unintentionally how critical to WIN over supporters in England actually is….that is if Labour wants to have any chance of winning next GE………I mean Yvette Cooper…Wes Streeting……Nandy demoted but still there …..and some of t’others…..the (Tony) Blair Witch project.

    Plus war criminal Tony Blair has advised SIR Keir Starmer to reject ‘wokeism’ and to continue his war against socialism…..in turn SIR Keir Starmer has urged Labour to embrace war criminal Blair’s legacy ..meanwhile Corbyn still out in the cold….and yes even Labour under him could not make any great impact in Scotland…..cause Corbyn adopted the party line of not supporting Scottish independence……while confusingly endorsing the idea of Irish reunification….mixed messages again…oh so Labour like.

    Plus we have the Brown intervention factor in the mix (up) too………Labour a tribute act to the Tory Eton mess both of them, as supposed political parties, currently destroying their own country …and by unwanted/unneeded association….ours too.

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