In Tory Britain you never know what will happen yesterday

To say that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s attitude to the laws, norms and standards that are expected of the rest of us is casual is a bit like saying that a distant cousin who turns up for your grandmother’s funeral naked except for a gimp mask and some glittery body paint on the cheeks of his arse spelling out the words “tradesman’s entrance” is a tad under-dressed.

There have been numerous instances of Johnson acting as though all laws and regulations have an additional caveat which says : Does not apply to Boris Johnson if he finds it inconvenient. We saw him wandering about a hospital in the north of England not wearing a face covering despite the rule that everyone who sets foot in a medical establishment must wear a face covering in order to protect any immuno-compromised patients or people with underlying medical conditions who may be at higher risk from covid. Of course none of this bothered a hair on Johnson’s artfully tousled head. It appears that to him any risk to other people paled into insignificance compared to the trauma he would suffer by having to put a piece of cloth over his lying mouth for a few minutes.

Just a few days later he again refused to wear a face covering while attending a London theatre for a performance of a Shakespearean play. I don’t think that the Bard of Stratford upon Avon ever wrote a play titled ‘Tis the Twelfth Night Thou Hast Forsaken the Masque upon Thy Visage, but if he did it would have been a tragedy about a Tyrant who willfully put his subjects at risk of infection during an outbreak of the Plague while the news pamphlets and town criers looked on indulgently.

The latest instance of blatant rule breaking is the furor over the Christmas party at Downing Street last year at a time when such gatherings were prohibited by law. Indeed the Home Secretary Priti Patel, whom no one has ever confused with a ray of sunshine, said when the regulations to curb the spread of the virus came into force that she would call the police if her neighbours were hosting a party that broke coronavirus restrictions. Patel has been notable for her silence now that we know that, despite Johnson’s increasingly implausible denials, a staff Christmas party took place at Downing Street. A video obtained by ITV News showed Number 10 staff joking about the party which they admitted was not socially distanced. The leak of the video comes after days of Johnson denying that a party had taken place.

Johnson has been forced to apologise, saying that he was “furious” when he saw the video. You bet he was, he was furious that he’d been found out.

Of course Priti Patel herself had no knowledge of the party at the time, you don’t invite Priti Patel to a party unless your idea of a party game includes stoning migrants or finding novel ways to make a refugee’s life more difficult. Mind you if they had invited her their denials that a party had taken place would have been more plausible. The mere presence of the Home Secretary is guaranteed to destroy anything approaching a party atmosphere.

Patel is not alone in going into hiding from the press. All government ministers have cancelled their scheduled press appearances and Scotland’s spineless Conservative MPs have all gone to ground, which given the fact that they’re all supine at least means they didn’t have far to go. Mind you it is entirely possible that Andrew Bowie has put in a media appearance, it’s just that no one recognises him with the smirk wiped off his face.

This latest unedifying episode in a string of unedifying episodes comes just after the news came out that Johnson is seeking to introduce a measure which would allow the government to retrospectively annul any court rulings which ministers disagreed with, for which read politically embarrassing or uncomfortable. Johnson wants to give himself a literal Get Out of Jail card and give himself the power to retroactively change laws that the government doesn’t like. As they used to say in the Soviet Union when recorded history was altered at the whim of the party and undesirable events were airbrushed out of existence, you never know what will happen yesterday. Johnson is determined to give himself the same power and to give himself an actual caveat in all laws and regulations which says that they don’t apply to Boris Johnson if he finds it inconvenient.

Plans have been drawn up by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab and Attorney General Suella Braverman at the behest of the Prime Minister. The plans will allow for a so-called “Interpretation Bill” to be passed by the Commons on an annual basis, allowing the Government to summarily dismiss any court rulings they did not like from that particular year.

It is no exaggeration to say that this is the road to tyranny and autocracy. Neither is this an isolated measure. The Conservatives are already intent on introducing voter suppression methods with their Elections Bill. These measures will disproportionately affect groups which tend not to support the Conservatives. Additionally the Johnson regime has made it clear that it intends to do away with the Human Rights Act.

Other anti-democratic measures from this government include severe restrictions on the right of protest. The Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill has been described as the most oppressive legislation tabled by a British government since the end of the second world war. The Bill potentially bans any effective protests, pickets or any other kind of action in places “such as” roads, railways, ports, airports, oil refineries and printing presses.

The Bill does not formally affect Scotland as crime and justice are devolved matters, however given Johnson’s willingness to intervene directly in Scotland and to by pass and undermine the devolution settlement, that is scant comfort. The UK is now at that critical point where it is about to slide into full blown authoritarianism, presided over by an entitled clown. There is nothing in what passes for a British constitution which is able to prevent an unprincipled and amoral Prime Minister who commands a large majority in the Commons from doing exactly as he pleases. It is now clear that democracy in Scotland can only be safe once this country regains its independence. Otherwise we’ll be stuck in a Brexit Britain where you never know what will happen yesterday.

I have been in a lot of pain and discomfort this past week, so much so that I am having difficulty walking and am experiencing a lot of fatigue and exhaustion. I have a physiotherapy appointment on Thursday and an occupational therapy appointment on Monday, so unfortunately I am not operating at full capacity and consequently won’t be able to get new blog pieces online as frequently as I would like to.  I have a physiotherapy appointment tomorrow so there will be no new blog tomorrow. I have also been told that it is unlikely that I will ever regain sufficient sensation and control in my left hand to be able to use it for tasks requiring fine motor control.  I’m going to have to learn how to write with my right hand. As someone who was very dominantly left handed before the stroke, that’s going to be a challenge. But needs must.


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249 comments on “In Tory Britain you never know what will happen yesterday

  1. Dr Jim says:

    For all the financial scams and scandals, the law breaking both domestic and international, the complete disregard for human rights and life, the assault on the devolution act both to Wales and Scotland, the elevation and ennoblement of cash for honours donors to the Tory party and what does England find unacceptable?, what does England become outraged about? what do the *British* media find to rant about? …….A party that took place a year ago (1 of 3) that was hidden from the public (which the media all knew about and failed to report)

    This is England and English values, financial scandal? nah we don’t care about that Law breaking? Nuh uh not interested, outright robbery of the taxpayer then? still nothing

    The people of Scotland should be looking at the values of the country of England and the government and man they voted for who rules Scotland and the values of the people whose votes count towards these events while our votes in Scotland don’t

    Why do the media report something they already knew about now? well plenty of time has passed and they know like we know Boris Johnson and his cabal will get away with this because in comparison to what he’s already done to the entire British isles this is chickenfeed and the media know it

    Remember to look at the wine glasses party hats and balloons folks so you won’t even remember the rest of what these Bastirts have done

  2. Legerwood says:

    Good one, Paul, but ‘artfully tousled hair’? May I respectfully suggest when you are next at the hospital you ask them to check your eyesight. There is nothing artful about that Dodger’s hair. The man is a walking midden inside and out.

    By the way anyone know who paid for the party? Not seen any mention of that and we all know Johnson does not like to pay for stuff if there is a Tory donor to hand or if he can pick the taxpayers’ pockets.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Artfully can also mean in a way that is deliberate and cunning. Johnson tousles his hair as part of a deliberate shtick, to create the myth that is his public persona.

      • Dave tewart says:

        He lacks hair folicles on top, he’s using the Hamlet comb over.

      • Legerwood says:

        I know Paul but I could not resist the connection of ‘artful Dodger’ and ‘picking [taxpayers’] pockets’ Not often that I am able to be creative in that way.

        Everything he does is deliberate and cunning. You just have to watch his face when he is being interviewed. The smirk that appears when he is saying something he thinks will mislead and get him off the hook.

        Please may I get off the naughty step now? I have to make the tea.

      • scottish skier says:

        Aye, he has created the persona of an incompetent, racist buffoon, who is entirely unfit for high office with considerable skill.

        It’s like it’s the real him!


        • grizebard says:

          We don’t really know. Racist? – not obviously. But behind the bumbling facade there does seem to lurk something more troubling.

          Vested interests in the not-too-distant past have misjudged dangerous individuals as mere clowns only installed to provide a convenient means by which to manipulate the public to suit. Brexit principally in the present case. Maybe this time the danger, not just coincidentally to the public weal, but particularly to their own interests, has been recognised.

          • Hamish100 says:

            Remember comments re women and post boxes? what he wrote about the scotch? I think he has shown and made enough comments to suggest he is.

            • grizebard says:

              Rubbish. Women aren’t a race, “the Scotch” are the same race as him, and he has appointed two people of South Asian heritage as very senior ministers. It doesn’t help to exaggerate, not least in potentially libellous ways, when there is already plenty of concrete evidence as to what he really is.

            • Alex Clark says:

              If you are referring to the “poem” published in the Spectator in 2004 about “The Scotch – what a verminous race!” well that wasn’t written by Johnson but published while he was its editor.

              • Pogmothon says:

                I am Scottish or Scotsman or JTB, Scotch is generally golden coloured and comes in bottles. However if you are in possession of the water of life I will definitely join you in a dram or two.

  3. Cameron says:

    Superb as always. Your excellent posts asides, really sorry to hear about the physical challenges – stay well and look after yourself as a priority. Selfishly, Scotland needs the wee ginger dug.

  4. I am so sorry to hear the news about your health & recovery, Paul. That said, this is one of the finest pieces you have written, and made me laugh, growl and rage in equal measure. Thank you! Please keep up the good work as much as you are able.

  5. UndeadShaun says:

    Dross has said johnson should resign if he knew about the party.

    Is the power ebbing from el presidente. Hopefully not as he is a good independence campaigner.

    • Arthur+Thomson says:

      Don’t worry mate, whoever the Tories eventually replace him with will be an equally good recruiting sergeant for Scotland’s independence. He is just the current leader of a gang of despicable spivs. Imagine Gove or Hunt eg fronting the Tories.

  6. jfngw says:

    Boris Johnson is furious finding out there’s been an empty in his house (although it appears he was actually in the house).

  7. Capella says:

    Well that’s Allega Stratton gone – one down:

    • Capella says:


      • Bob Lamont says:

        Ah, British Leyland, suspension technically superb but let down by chassis design…. As to Stratton this link should work instead of the 404 Error-

        • Alec Lomax says:

          Austin Allegro, the most problematic car I ever owned.
          Allegra should put the hankie away, she can get a job at the Spectator alongside her hubby.

          • Capella says:

            Didn’t it have a world beating square steering wheel?

            • It had a square steering wheel, Capella.
              I owned one in the 70’s. If I recall, it also featured a golf club gear stick protruding from the dash board.

              It was ok-ish for inner city journeys.
              Unremarkable, but must have been cheap enough because we didn’t have the two proverbial pennies to rub together back then.
              Mortgages at 14% plus, and three day weeks …See us Baby Boomers, we really have it made, haven’t we?

              No sign of Gove, Raab, Lord Snooty, Hancock, Truus, and the Jock Six at today’s PMQ.
              Johnson is toast.
              The plotters are away in room somewhere.
              ‘It must be by his death,
              But for my part, I know no personal cause to spurn at him, but for the general.’

              ‘Et,tu, Brute.’
              Which one of the Tory back stabbers is Brutus?
              My money’s on Stephen Barclay, who was also absent from the Chamber today.

        • Capella says:

          Oops – thx for correct link. 🙂

      • James Mills says:

        or Allegro … to cover her boss’s ass !

    • jfngw says:

      That’s the equivalent of getting rid of the school janitor because of the poor exam results. I don’t think this will quench the storm.

      Reminds me of the line in a song ‘Only blood will cancel my pain’, I think people who watched there loved ones die alone will want more heads to role than some underlings.

    • Iain says:

      I wonder if Ms Stratton requested “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” at the Downing Street bash.

  8. Dr Jim says:

    The PMs spokesperson hard bitten ex BBC journalist who has reported from war zones around the world conjures up a “my dog is dead moment” to get the tears flowing for a fulsome apology for “what she said” and “the way that she said it”

    Maybe the media owners have decided it’s time Blojo went, but because of what really? what’s the real truth? because it aint about no Christmas party that’s for sure, they’re using the public like ping pong balls to promote all this that they knew a year ago when it happened and they’ve sat on it and kept their mouths tightly shut till now, so what’s changed?

    Maybe Nicola will tell us tomorrow

  9. James Mills says:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes – the silence from several prominent newspapers and their political hacks on the ”Christmas partygate ” story may suggest that some of them were present at this non-party event !
    Given the free-hand that Johnson and his crew of ne’er do wells have been given by the London Press for actions which would have seen them crucify other political leaders persuades me to this view .

  10. Del G says:

    Right wing tyranny and autocracy. i.e. fascism. Unlike Mussolini, Johnson can’t make the trains run on time.

  11. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    100% there is NO ‘Get out of Jail card’ for DRoss or the Baroness….they as Tories are as culpable as the Tories at HQ and all other Tories throughout UK….no ifs or But’s……

    Too little too late and too fake…grandstanding via their combined supposed condemnation on ‘the infamous No 10 Xmas party’ while rubber stamping every other wrong policy, decision, fiascos and BREXIT too (the mother of all Tory screw ups) that the Tories have imposed upon us who did not vote for them as a government…….trying to distance themselves as if somehow to be seen as if THEY are distinctive from Tories at HQ…while Lamont, Jack, Bowie, Duguid and Mundell sided all the way with HQ……the lowest of the low.

    This day when overwhelming condemnation is being presented as somehow THE big scandal…when tis but one of many………..that has been ongoing for ages and ages….pre and post 2014…………

    I am seething that DRoss and the Baroness think they can escape and evade, via association, the blame in all of this……..they are very much part of the problem that is Tory politics …..DRoss for ages has used and abused his position to undermine the FM in this pandemic…..with particular condemnation on vaccine passports in Scotland…now today, as a distraction, Plan B which included vaccine passports , is to be announced and then introduced by Tory HQ in England as a measure re Covid new variant……….that in my opinion makes HIS, DRoss’s, position untenable in Scotland…………he should resign also as he , like Johnson, is a public Heath hazard to every Scot and others who live in Scotland….as are ALL other Tories everywhere…..especially ones like Stephen Kerr….a mere one example of another idiot holding an undeserved title of MSP.

    I am sick sick to death of him, his party and the BBC media and gutter press for who they are , what they represent and how they get away with it all time and time again.

    If you are not angry then by God check your pulse……… may need professional help.

    I do n t feel better after this rant as I am way too angry and by God am ready for them now and in the future………..Sarwar ….Cole-Hamilton…Murray….Brown etc also on my radar as the TRUE enemies within…..Scotland.

    • Hamish100 says:

      I wonder if there are any pictures of Douglas Ross and Baroness (I resigned to see my kid more often) Davidson maybe even with I will resign Mundell and one Boris Johnson?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, well, the anti-vaxers seem to me to be running around with their detached heads on straps dangling on their back below the nates with the mouth giving a running commentary on what the eyes see.

      mmm, I feel better for that.

  12. grizebard says:

    Re Paul’s most constitutionally-serious comment, there is a short but instructive commentary here:

    This is indeed another insidious step in undermining what little there already is in the UK’s supposed constitutional order. While we remain, we just aren’t safe. It’s that simple. It’s that serious.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Indeed it is grizebard……..yet “another insidious step in undermining what little there already is in the UK’s supposed constitutional order”.

      I am feeling guilty that I have allowed myself to be distracted by #PartyGate when this Tory totalitarian state is intending to try to introduce another badly concocted/constructed under cover power grab outwith their remit ………..and one they hope to soon unleash as a hoped for Fait Accompli to punish us all with yet another far more serious and devastating plan cooked up by them as a corrupt and contemptible Tory government……..Justice Tory style…equals no justice for us but justice for them…..very much like rules.

      Are DRoss and the Baroness angry at this ?………as if…..they are part of it.

      • grizebard says:

        Those two in particular are just desperately trying to save their own sorry public reputations from near-fatal embarrassment. A silence-bought ermine shunt-aside and a pathetic mini-me Johnson puppet without an ounce of principle.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          grizebard..SKY news was using DRoss as an example of a Tory coming out to express his opinion on #PartyGate and thus seeking answers…..Kieron Andrews on Twitter also used DRoss as an example and even cited DRoss resigning over Cummings eye test NOT eye test incident (aye keep touting THAT as a reality Kieron….I have a spaceship for sale…see my below comment Kieron)….that’s called……….DAMAGE LIMITATION via media………for the Scots Tories and the Union.

          Hubby just put some oil on the zip at the back of my head….sorry did I say hubby and back of MY head….meant oil being applied to OTHERS zips at back of THEIR heads as in those who believe DRoss being honest and honourable here……….churnalists what are they like……….we are REAL THINKING people you know….not cavemen still at the stage of being unable to light a fire…..though I suspect these churnalists are targeting the UGH UGHS that live among us…….and obvs also those converted to the Tory cause and the Union a fantasy state lived in by fantasists….while realists like us know better.

          • grizebard says:

            Yes, the media collaborators are pulling out all the stops now to try to limit the reputational damage caused by this to the Tory muppet in Scotland, who – as you very rightly say – has done everything he possibly could to sow confusion and mistrust about the SG’s admirably competent and evidence-based handling of the pandemic, in abject deference to London.

            This never should have been a political issue. As you have clearly been feeling – and you’re by no means alone – if you aren’t angry about all this, you haven’t been paying attention.

            As someone rightly mentioned the other day, I likewise hope that the eventual pandemic review will pay close attention to the “Scottish” {ahem} media’s malign influence in all of this. They also have seriously damaged reputations to protect.

  13. Janice Gale says:

    I am now scared! I came to Scotland to escape this megalomaniac and have found peace and a warm welcome. I can’t wait for independence but I am concerned now that the urgency is missing from the Scottish people because they are trusting the fascist neighbours too much. Please understand people don’t move 500 miles if there’s absolutely no threat to democracy in their home. A bit like refugees getting on leaky boats, but fortunately much more secure, but the Westminster government do not recognise that people with principles and ideals cannot tolerate their nazi politics. Please Holyrood smell the coffee and know that you could be abolished without notice if all the legislation in the pipeline in Westminster is waved through. Please. I love Scotland.

  14. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    DRoss on STV news talking about #PartyGate denting public confidence in PM’s Covid message.

    Alert…Alert….Alert for DRoss……….We in Scotland DO NOT FOLLOW PM’S MESSAGE ON COVID RULES that message on rules is directed at those members of the public who are in ENGLAND….though SOME of his, so called PM, measures DO impact Scots… travel, borders etc…and have thus been to the detriment of us living in Scotland as he, the so called PM, has dithered on applying some of these much needed measures…. as more concerned with public opinion as in those in the public who are opposed to further restrictions or indeed ANY restrictions…including some of his more vocal Tory MP’s who are the worse opposers of masks, lockdowns etc………

    However we may not follow HIS, the so called PM’s , Covid measures but we DO follow DRoss’s many many negative and politically motivated attacks disguised as a alternate message trying to dent the Scottish public’s confidence in the FM’s message week after week re masks, restrictions, vaccine passports …aided by his band of Tory squatters who also sit as a so called political party in Holyrood….now that is an exercise in DENTING public confidence in the Scottish government’s Covid measures ………..usually involves saying the opposite of what the FM announces or opposing current and new measures that is until ENGLAND via Tory HQ applies the very same rules/measures ….as in contrary for contrary’s sake to DENT public confidence in FM and always always at the forefront of his attacks is independence itself……and saving his so called (non) Union.

    They also had the Baroness on…she’s angry………that is angry this has come out, not been swept under the carpet like so many other fiascos via HQ and also angry at the knock on effect it has for Scottish Tories and the Union……see she can say what she likes she is not elected therefore is sitting pretty in the HOL’s… honour (not) bestowed on her by one………..BORIS JOHNSON.

    If anyone , with a functioning brain believes that both DRoss and the Baroness are sincere and truthful in their combined condemnation and anger then I have a spaceship for sale, kindly donated to me by an alien, that I bumped into in a field late one night, while out I was out taking in the stars… runs on Hot air thanks to the Alien adapting the fuel from space fuel to hot air ( may need to derive fuel required from a Tory politician)…..seats just over 5.454 million people…and a halfling ……offers received for this courtesy of Tory HQ office in Scotland…via Alister Jack (who may also kindly provide some of his Hot air to provide fuel for said spaceship)……you will find him hiding under a chair somewhere in the Union Unit…….holding onto his Teddy…called….Comfort ( from the many self generated Tory instigated Storm(s))…..he holds it a lot……more so than he (up)holds his current title……a title recognised as an oxymoron in Scotland.

    Those with a brain need not apply.

    I’ll get my straight jacket……..

  15. James Mills says:

    The Met Police Force ( Patel’s Poodles ! ) have just announced that , contrary to the PM’s statement that the results of the Cabinet Secretary’s investigation of the Party-that-never-was were to be passed on to the London Bobbies , that they WILL NOT investigate this Party-that-never-was because they have NO EVIDENCE of it taking place .

    ( Thinks to himself in a Neddy Seagoon type voice – ” How can you tell if there is evidence of a wrong-doing if you DON’T investigate ? ” )

    It would appear that Cressida has had a wee talking to from Patel and been given her instructions on how to proceed .

    ” Move along now , folks . Nothing to see here ! ”

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Are we living in ‘The Purge’…the difference being in that film you only get a limited time to commit a crime (murder) with no punishment….in the UK if you are a Tory politician you get an unlimited time to commit a crime with no punishment….that sounds normal….in a HORROR film that is.

      Dial 999 but only if you have a crime to report that does NOT involve a Tory politician….cause if it does then no point calling the Police as they only deal with crimes committed by ordinary people and ones that do not involve a tory politician…….sorry the MET police…..why was Cressida Dick made a Dame by the Tories when the rest of us call her Damn Cressida Dick…..

      I think if I was an individual fined for having a party that broke Covid rules and broken up by MET police I would be looking to challenge fine and would cite the party at No 10 as a example…….or make Boris Johnson pay my fine……..indeed I would impose a fine upon humanity upon him…..

      What a time to be alive…..when the Tories are making the case for independence for us and the rest of the establishment are helping them do it too………as in you Scots can keep this with us i.e. all that has and is happening within the (non) Union aka UK…… OR……… oh my what a quandary……NOT.

    • grizebard says:

      I aways thought the Met had a cold case unit, but maybe they didn’t. And “I see no crimes” seems a suitably cunning plan to massage the stats. You could even “eliminate” crime completely that way, in which case I suppose you wouldn’t need the police at all. Big budget savings! (don’t tell the Tories) But I guess protecting the position of political bigwigs is all par for the course, just another aspect of the “two rules” zeitgeist, so you can’t say that the Met aren’t “on message”.

      Though judging by today’s widespread public disgust, possibly getting well behind the curve as far as ordinary people are concerned now…

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        “I aways thought the Met had a cold case unit”…

        Yes grizebard, I believe they use it as a fridge.

  16. Dr Jim says:

    Boris Johnson’s total failure as a politician, leader and a man seems to have provoked Scottish Unionists, Rangers supporters and Alba party’ists into even more hatred of Scotland and Scotlands FM

    Odd that isn’t it

    • I don’t hate Scotland. I don’t hate you. I’m an Alba member.
      I’m happy to admit that some have gone way too far in comments between the sides in this schism, but your comment isn’t going to help bring any sort of unity. I can assure you that I want independence as soon as we can achieve it and I’ll work with anyone who shares that aim, even if we fundamentally disagree on other issues.
      Just for the record, I’m no fan of Rangers but I know many Rangers supporting Yes folk. I’m sure those people wouldn’t like being lumped in with unionists by someone generalising wildly. That’s what you did and it doesn’t help our shared cause one bit.

  17. yesindyref2 says:

    OT. This is the sort of thing that’s going on because of Brexit.

    Oh yes.

    • grizebard says:

      Ah, but as the writer latterly hinted, hardline Brexiteers in the UK don’t know and care less. If any UK citizens living in the EU voted for Brexit, they at least ought to know better by now (for all the good that might do).

      France24 showed a piece tonight mentioning that scallops there have now become very scarce, and the price has accordingly rocketed. We can easily guess where they used to come from, undoubtedly replaced by nothing more than lost livelihoods. Another example of the =ssssh!= Brexit Dividend, both in Scotland and over the way.

    • It is all too ridiculous for words, YI2.
      Classic example of English exceptionalism. We are leaving your EU Club, but demand to remain some sort of ‘special case’ when it comes to trade, housebuying, holidays and travel.
      After all, we are English, and you lot are a bunch of garlic eating spaghetti munchin’ Frankfurter eating furriners, inferior to us Anglos.
      ‘Now what you made me do!’ game playing at its most devious.
      Too ridiculous for words.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, the UK wasn’t ready for Brexit – and still isn’t. On top of that there was a 1st July change in the EU that removed the 22 euro threshold for paying their VAT on imports – and I don’t remember hearing much in the UK about that. Before that the EU probably waved through imports they couldn’t be bothered processing – not any more.

      Thing is countries that were outside the EU would have built up the knowledge at the same time as building the market. The UK had a large existing market which the Tories virtually destroyed, while for the EU, the UK was just another 3rd country. Hence why they managed to export to us with little change, but not vice versa.

      The UK is a laughing stock. A very sad one. And it won’t improve fast.

    • Iain says:

      The bureaucracy that the London government’s negotiators negotiated is incredible.

      But most amazing is that the person writing the piece seems aggrieved that communications from official bodies were in Portuguese. In Portugal.

      • My point above, Iain.
        I have witnessed ‘the English abroad’ many times while touring in Europe, which, incidentally, I can no longer do, because England’s Homeland Security and Priti Patel has surrounded the English Golden Goose Colony with warbed wire, and held us Scots under house arrest, despite our vote to remain in Europe, and de facto, leaving their precious UK.

        I have overheard English tourists in restaurants far from the Costas and Greek hot spots, moaning that the menu was in German, Italian, French…

        I like to think that there is a middle management NO 10 civil servant who has been ‘headhunted’ by a modern day Max Clifford( remember him?) Publicist, and that they have been secreted away in a SE coast boarding house with their Smart Phone Pictures taken at THAT party under armed guard in the en-suite, and the Mail, Sun, Express and Mirror hacks are milling about in the foyer, cheque books ready to make it worth the civil servant’s career and pension to sell the tell tale Selfies to the highest bidder.

        The Dumbest Fool and Christendom is about to be fed to the baying mob, like a dead fox thrown into the midst of rabid hounds..

  18. Alex Clark says:

    This isn’t the end of it all for Johnson, it is only just the beginning. We will have the Covid inquiry at some stage and the blunders made in not locking down early, in looking at a herd immunity strategy will all come out.

    So too will the names and companies who benefitted from 100 million+ PPE contracts through the VIP “I know a minister” route. He IS the fall guy and it will now all come down to timing as they work out the most opportune time to dump him and blame it all on the clown.

    In Scotland though they will not get away with that, we already have their measure and today are a bit closer to Independence than we have ever been. Tomorrow too we will be another wee bit closer. Johnson is a gift that I am grateful to have received.

  19. bringiton says:

    Not so much what they are doing,bad enough as it is,but the fact that they can do it.
    All that England has succeeded in doing over the centuries is to transfer the Devine Right of Kings to it’s PM.
    Progressive they ain’t.

  20. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Looks as if the press barons are out to get Johnson….perhaps they fear that he is risking the loss of support for the Tories or perhaps a fear that Brexit as a concept/vision could be in some way jeopardised….cause the press just now are so totally acting out of character…as in….attacking a Tory….and one that before all of this that they lauded….and who within the Tory party is leaking stories and info to the press ?????

    If all the flak is directed at Boris Johnson and Boris Johnson alone….does that mean via potential new leadership that they , the powers that be, i.e. Tories, media and wealthy Tory donors etc, assume that it will then become business as usual and they will then herald a new dawn in Tory politics….where all previous sins are absolved….because the ONLY sinner was Boris Johnson….and what now exists is True Conservatives with values….( as in price not morals).

    Are we to witness a rewriting of history with some of the main characters written out from the many recent and past events, decisions taken and agreed with (voted for in HOC) and indeed in their support of Johnson himself…… if like in that episode of Dallas where all events were but a dream for Bobby Ewing as he emerged from the shower…..and now we the public, must wash away all Tory history pre and post EU Referendum and indeed post Johnson, should he be ousted or stand down, from our collective minds and be brainwashed into feeling relieved and glad that things are back to normal……normal service will be resumed…..normal for a Tory but for all others not so much.

    Funny how there has been so very very very much changing of Unionist leaders in opposition parties over the years…..but for all they plot , invent, chastise, criticise, undermine, lie and generally try to sway public opinion on……the FM has outlasted them all………now what does that say ?

  21. Dr Jim says:

    Just remember folks when the press ping pong the public into angry rage into all these Tory goings on, the press knew about not only that party but the three parties that went on, one of them a leaving do that Boris Johnson made a speech at, why didn’t the press report it all at the time, can you guess?

    The press and TV media are as much to blame for their part in the cover up as the Tories and we have those same press and media right here in lil old Scotland doing the same thing to us

    They say never trust a Tory, well never trust their media either because half the Tories are or were journalists just like Ruth “I’ll resign if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister” Davidson Baroness of free moneyland and mouthshut face

    • Iain says:

      Spot on

    • Bob Lamont says:

      This more than anything galls the most – The media handwringing and faux-outrage over what they knew full well was going on and conspired to keep out of the limelight, is exposed for all to see. That the media owners have now rescinded Johnson’s protection means they have a replacement lined up to receive their blessing and protection, it’s not journalism but a circus.

      Whilst it became obvious the media were giving the Tories an easy time of it, the BBC in Scotland were actively promoting them and still are to this day –
      Beyond the ludicrously am-dram performance by Alister Jack and Douglas Ross to promote their “extremists” lie, with all the other news out there, who on earth is interested in the opinion of either Statler or Waldorf or deem it relevant to their lives ?
      The second GMS clip is where Patrick Harvie piece was alleged to have made the remark, yet provably did not, so the BBC in Scotland were knowingly platforming a lie.

      Whilst I agree that the media generally are as much to blame for covering up as the Tories for doing wrong, the BBC in Scotland actively promoting false information goes beyond covering up into blatant propaganda.

    • Old Pete says:

      Dr Jin you hit the nail on the head. The vast majority of the medi, televised or written are pure propaganda in support of the Union. Come the next referendum it will just get worse.

      • grizebard says:

        As the referendum increasingly looms, no doubt. But during, we had better have something in place this time to prevent (and if necessary, timely correct) breaches of purdah and skewed broadcast media coverage. Because the BBC Charter explicitly requires that particular organisation to support the Union, I believe it should be declared partisan, and all of its own referendum coverage replaced by equal access to the two competing sides, and all aspects of any publicly broadcast debates to be organised by some clearly neutral third party.

  22. Golfnut says:

    An LBC rant from someone who thinks we should stick with this union.

    • grizebard says:

      It was very powerful stuff, and he was asking his audience how do we cling to this, a question that surely has particular resonance among those here who somehow still can and do. Not least because we have a much easier way out than our neighbours, we only have to “open that door and walk”.

  23. Pogmothon says:

    How many of you remember “Don’t do as I do, Do as I say”.

    I would suggest that the alleged Christmas party (aye rite) being held, and revealed to have been held.

    Is in fact one of the last tests of a totalitarian dictatorship.

    The less actions they have to take to over come the supposed public out cry.

    The less chance of a return to elective dictatorship.

    Democracy is another ship over the horizon.

    By the way Paul do not be too concerned about the need to develop right hand writing.
    As my mother used to say everyone is born right handed, only the truly gifted over come this.
    By that logic you are simply returning to the original base line.

  24. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Did anyone notice at PM QT yesterday one Jacob Rees Mogg was NOT sitting on the Tory front benches…also ALL of those who were sitting on Tory front benches were wearing…MASKS.

    The same Jacob Rees Mogg who , on social media, was shown , via a video, joking and whose audience (Tories) at a private meeting were laughing at him when he said ” I see we are all here obeying the regulations I mean this party is not going to be investigated by the police in a year’s time ( laughter from Tories).You are all very carefully socially distanced ( more laughter from Tories in audience).”

    Then he goes on to refer to the metric imperial system ( to more laughter) that they were at least two inches ( more laughter) from what the regulations require (more laughter from Tories there) ….so what say DRoss and the Baroness ?

    How is THIS video any different from the Allegra Stratton video…HE is an MP , part of the government and is the supposed Leader f the House….he is also someone who makes the distinction that Tory MP’s in the HOC do not need to wear masks in the house due to their “convivial spirit”……another example of rules imposed upon the general public not being applicable to Tory MP’s…..but not considered worth condemning….so Stratton resigns her position but Mogg is allowed to do the same thing and what ?…..Do the families who lost loved ones not feel as much repulsion and distress at this privileged idiot making light of the so called party….while Tories in the audience laughing at his crass attempt at humour….same kind of laughter from Stratton’s audience at mock press conference.

    Don’t just blame Boris, he has just enabled and emboldened this toxic Tory culture that has generated Brexit and other policies akin to those of dictatorships……but it goes much much further and THAT is the truth……but many of us, myself included, are absorbed with but ONE incident, as in this party not a party at No 10, when all around us there is chaos via Brexit, bad policies and devolved powers being stolen by the Tories to shore up Tory seats and assert control away from our ELECTED government …………if we had a proper Scottish media they would be scrutinising these very things that impact us all now and in the future…………

    They are ALL culpable….every single Tory…who has voted for, supported and covered for Johnson including DRoss and his colleagues in the Scottish ( in name only) Tories…..Johnson should not die on the hill of a party being held at No 10……he should have be held to account for everything else he and his government and party have implemented and supported ……note BTW neither DRoss nor the Baroness in their faux outrage yesterday said that Johnson should resign…..funny that because that, if their anger was real, would be the logical and fitting conclusion they should have come to………….

    Never trust a Tory…….cause Tories are always gonna Tory………and let’s not forget while DRoss stated yesterday that we should wait to see outcome of the investigation on the party not a party…. he was less patient/tolerant on waiting for the outcome of the Committee re the Scottish government inquiry …so much so that he demanded the FM should resign BEFORE the outcome had concluded… THAT , to quote Johnson yesterday, WAS ” playing party politics”….Tory style.

  25. Dr Jim says:

    The one party that we thought was three parties has now turned into *seven* parties from the end of November till the big bash on the 18th December, it appears unlike the rest of us that the Christmas spirit and season of goodwill extended for the entire month secret Santa’s mistletoe and wine

    Why do the British media not report them all? can you guess?

    It also appears that a certain Toryboy journalist who regularly appears on SKY news to review the papers attended at least one of the happy Christmas ding dongs, and as if to confirm his panic over being questioned on it cancelled his regular slot with that channel, I forgot to mention he works for Tory house journal the Daily Mail, oh dear oh dear oh dear………if true of course

    The Met police have already stated they weren’t interested in investigating these year old *crimes* why then is the paymaster general insisting these matters would be referred to the police once the *alleged* breaches of rules are internally investigated?

    • grizebard says:

      Presumably they’ll be “referred” so they can be scrupulously ignored. “File WPB.” Simples, eh…?

  26. Dave tewart says:

    Well said.
    We are only capable of keeping 3 things in the short term memory it is said, we are being swamped by chaos.

    Can’t help but comment on the 3 clowns at the lecterns last night.
    I listened to 3 journalists ask verbal diarrhoea questions that allowed the big flounder to avoid the actual questions to be asked but he was assisted in the deflection by the two scientists. They volunteered to give a response to a list of questions NOT asked of them. The pm was just a visitor.
    Have we noted that it appeared that dross was in westmonster during pmqt but the Scottish media had a picture of dross at Hollyrood on the ‘Not A Party’ issue.

    Are these journalists mad?, they all do the same thing and expect a different response.

    Today we get the ‘I wasn’t there/in government/ not my department’ response by his cabinet, huge confidence in doris.

    The important thing is that the delay in action is the same old doris, too little too late.

  27. Hamish100 says:

    I see MSP Tory Stephen Kerr was apparently was “scolded” by the Presiding Officer for his behaviour at FMQ’s . This is not unusual for Tory MSP’s.
    I hope we shall see an apology from him.

    Maybe someone can download what happen so we can confirm one way or another?

    • Dr Jim says:

      MSP Tory Stephen Kerr is a man who publicly said he had no respect for the Scottish parliament and supported its abolition yet when he was voted out of his MP job at Westminster and replaced by the SNP he accepted a seat on the list in Holyrood to the parliament he says he doesn’t respect and wants abolished, what’s worse is what kind of people ever voted for this man in the first place who had no intention of ever representing them

      There are lots of definitions for this kind of behaviour but I suppose the main one is….. Tory !

      • Bob Lamont says:

        There’s always Juan…

        • There is no doubt now that Johnson is the Dumbest Fool in Christendom.
          Kerr is his Sancho Panza.
          An unelected WM and Holyrood most of the Jock Brits using up oxygen and millions of pounds of our money in Edinburgh.
          D’Hondt is an absolute failure.
          If you stand in a constituency, and the electorate reject you, there is no way that you should be allowed in the ‘back door’ on the Jobs For The Boys list.
          It is an immoral and criminal system which allows Dross not to bother his arse standing as a candidate, yet ends up with 3 jobs, MP, MSP, unelected, and ‘leader’ of his English Party in Scotland unopposed; oh, yes, and his wee SFA back hander.
          Some may say that Kerr appears to be ‘under the weather’ given his boorish uncivilised behaviour in parliament.
          Some may say that, but I couldn’t possibly comment, because it is too ridiculous for words.

          He was rejected twice, yet there he is, his generous frame squeezed behing his deak and lectern ‘Bah sucks’ over the FM at every opportunity.
          It is all too ridiculous for words..even pre-scripted words from Sarwar’s Budget opposition rant.

          • Not-My-Real-Name says:

            Indeed Jack….well said… is indeed all too ridiculous….

            Hope you are well…..

            • I’m making Scotch Broth in my sainted Mither’s big soup pot, NMRN.
              The tummy grumbling sweet aroma is wafting through from the kitchen to the dining room as I type.

              I challenge anyone not to be in a good mood when the prospect of a winter warmer bowl (probably two) of ‘Scots penicillin’ and thick slices of indecently buttered bread is only an hour away.
              I believe that the delicious smell of soup bubbling away on the stove turns a house into a home.

              I’m well, NMRN.

              The tree’s up, my Everlovin’ has finished the cards, and we have a lot to be thankful for, even in the midst of personal, and national sadness and tragedy.
              May you and yours look after each other and stay safe.
              God bless us one and all.
              Next year in Free Scotland.

              • Not-My-Real-Name says:

                My favourite is Lentil soup Jack…yum yum.

                I’m making Stovies tonight for my better half……also yum yum.

                Glad you are well and hope you enjoy your soup…also yum yum.

                Have a nice evening Jack…and may you and yours also look after each other and stay safe.

              • Welsh_Siôn says:

                Here’s my contribution to the pot, Jack.

                Bon appetit !

                52. (of 60.)

                Soup of the day?

                We at Scottish Grocers Today magazine have been testing soups for you, our customers. We have awarded the different soups a star rating, up to a maximum of five – just like the Michelin Guides. Write in or tell us which one you think is the best soup and if you agree with our tasters’ verdicts.

                The Editor, Scottish Grocers Today magazine.

                1. Sturgeon broth

                A meaty and hearty soup, the Sturgeon broth warms and comforts the whole body. It is nourishing soul food and is therefore welcome all over Scotland – especially when the climate is cold and harsh. Full of good, nourishing taste, it is a broth proven to keen undesirable Labconlib bugs at bay. Having no artificial additives or preservatives, the Sturgeon soup is guaranteed 100% Scottish. All in all, a very satisfying soup, it comes highly recommended.

                (5 stars)


                2. Murphy consomme

                The Murphy consomme is a soup which leaves a bad aftertaste in the mouth. As it is often served very hot, its heat and fieriness causes distress and harm to those who drink this soup. An attempt to add egg to the ingredients of the Murphy consomme has backfired spectacularly on its manufacturers. The current texture will remind you of elements of Irn-Bru, with additional hints of snake oil. We strongly suggest that the Murphy consomme is one best avoided.

                (0 stars)


                3. Dugdale soup

                A thin, watery, weak and still rather youthful soup. Decidedly, the Dugdale soup is not to everyone’s taste; indeed many of our tasters found it to be insipid. A soup which is served lukewarm.

                (2 stars – We’re feeling generous on account of the youthfulness of this soup.)


                4. Darling chowder

                A cold liquid. The Darling chowder has rather a bland taste. Whereas (as previously noted) the Sturgeon broth can be considered to be an authentic 100% Scotch food, the Darling chowder can only aspire to anything approaching this, manufactured as it is in London. It only makes the grade in our survey here of Scottish soups due to its distinctive tartan packaging (© Messrs Kyle Yard (Productions) Ltd.). It has been suggested that the addition of some Union Salt® would improve the taste of this rather insipid chowder. However, we consider that not even this can save the Darling chowder from its uniform blandness. A chowder therefore we suggest which is unpalatable to most soup lovers. Not recommended.

                (0 stars)


                5. Baillie pottage

                A full-bodied soup, manufactured in Dumbarton and containing a lot of stock. The Baillie pottage will appeal only to those who appreciate a more mature type of soup. Keep away from children.

                (1 star)


                6. Curran soup

                The Curran soup has pretensions of being a classic soup. In reality, it is however, a rather bitter soup to the taste – a flavour which it transmits readily to other foodstuffs which have either been already consumed or those eaten with it. A previously unknown chemical reaction when the Curran soup is served with Lamont croutons was observed by our tasters, which rendered the whole highly toxic. It is strongly suggested therefore that should any of our consumers wish to partake of the Curran soup, they do so avoiding Lamont croutons – and even then at their own risk. Previous experience had informed us that the Curran soup and Lamont croutons complemented and supplemented each other – but subsequent trials and tastings have demonstrated that this research was erroneous. That being the case, we strongly advise our consumers not to sample the Curran soup.

                (0 stars)

                And that completes our survey of the soups, consommes, chowders and pottages currently on the market. We will let you decide which one you will choose, and which one you consider will have the best effect on you and your family for the foreseeable future.

                Parables for the New Politics

  28. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Lib Dem Layla Moran on Iain Dale show yesterday on LBC speaking about Johnson and the party but not a party of you are a Tory.

    ” I think it is also true to say he is toxic for the Union. Boris Johnson is the SNP’s best friend and it’s interesting today that Douglas Ross and other Tory Scots have been out with their guns blazing against this today because they can see the damage that this is going to do in the spectre of a potential another referendum which obviously none of us want”

    Where to start……where to start on that….raging I am.

    Lib Dems … Scavenger party….THE most opportunistic party…..oh and the Lib Dems never ever in the history of politics in Scotland have never ever taken advantage of a moment when they could try to gain political advantage at a time when the SNP were promoted as being in a (contrived ) crisis.

    A) I am sure Layla Moran is offering such comfort to those who lost loved ones via Covid last Xmas in her warped summation that as a result of Tories breaking Covid rules with this party….the Union is at risk…..what a conclusion to come to or rather how very Unionist and LIb Dem of her to highlight this as a Lib Dem Unionist……does she know Alistair Carmichael is a LIb Dem and he has a history that is toxic for sure….and one incident that he was involved in re the FM was one to TRY and promote the….UNION ……to gain advantage via promoting a LIE.

    B) It is NOT just Johnson who is toxic for the Union indeed tis the Union itself and also very much Unionists such as YOU Layla.

    c) How is Boris Johnson the SNP’s best friend ?……how convenient you forget your own party’s association with the Tory’s in the coalition government ……indeed it seems to many that your party were actually BEST FRIENDS with the TORIES…..and how clever (too clever) that you should try to promote tis only Johnson that results in increased support for the SNP when reality is that tis all Unionist parties and the Union that makes the SNP’s case for independence.

    d) A Lib Dem promoting Scottish Tories…..and seeing this one incident and one PM as being the damage done to the Union and this incident and one PM are somehow unique , to Layla ( clue it’s not), as risking a potential referendum….Hi Layla have you heard about BREXIT, Tory corruption, Cash for Honours, PPE contracts going to Tory donors, Ministerial codes being broken by Tory ministers, devolution being destroyed via Tory power grab etc etc ………….or are YOU Layla , as a best friend of the Tories both English, Welsh and Scottish doing YOUR bit for the ….UNION in making the above stupid and inappropriate statement ‘Live’ on air.

    e) Yes we know YOU do not want another referendum because you know you will probably LOSE as there is NO case for the Union with or without Boris Johnson as leader of Tory party….but it is NOT up to you but the Scottish people to decide what THEY want…it’s you being illiberal and undemocratic here Layla…..not the SNP.

    See it is ALL ABOUT THE UNION….with…UNIONISTS like Layla…everything boils down to stopping independence and the SNP and saving her (non) Union…….Layla this incident has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SNP…it was done by the TORIES…so stop deflecting and party politicking cause it is crass but from a Lib Dem tis to be expected…they always go low….also we could name a huge amount of Tories as well Johnson that gives justification and substance to the Indy cause…….and when he goes we will STILL want Indy and STILL have good reasons…..unlike your weak case for the Union.

    PEOPLE DIED…..while….TORIES PARTIED….that is the issue…….BORIS LIED AGAIN…..that is also an issue…..HIS MINISTERS ALSO LIED IN HIS DEFENCE….also an issue…..perhaps politics is not your true vocation Layla if you feel that an opposition party other than yours has no right to highlight what happened re this incident or indeed any controversial and scandalous incidents……….if you do feel this is the case….you need to speak to your Scottish (in name only) leader as he does the very thing you accuse the SNP of doing…who knew…well obvs YOU DO….but when you are trying to save YOUR Union then straws need to be grasped…it’s all you have left ……………..

    • grizebard says:

      I know, I know. The world turned upside down by people who can see Nemesis looming and are “caught in the headlights” by it. For any sensitive soul with at least two functioning brain cells who happens to encounter their inane drivel, consequent negative consequences for blood pressure etc. (Better relieving it here than just shouting at the telly, I suppose! {grin} As I still occasionally do, I must admit.)

      The real pressure though is upon them, and in their increasing desperation, they are inadvertently revealing who they really are, and exposing their total lack of answers, more and more.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Shout at the Telly….used to be pastime of mine….now I relieve my rage on here with me scrolls….I do sometimes take a back seat and do not watch the News or political shows just to get some normality and respite from the mess that is…..been watching Benny Hill shows on channel 8…some good some not so good…but when he was good my God he was funny……without laughter I think a lot of people would self combust…… my next life I hope to live it in a independent Scotland, be a clone of Marilyn Monroe and have a REAL talent other than one as a semi professional blether………

        Have a nice evening grizebard…..chill out watching some comedy it cleanses the body from the toxicity of all Union politics……….aye they are fair desperate the now so they are …..Karma…what goes around comes around….and for the Unionists it’s a constant….and they are doing it deliberately too……what a time to be alive !!!!

  29. Dr Jim says:

    The Budget summed up:

    Retired sums teacher Tory MSP Liz Smith without an ounce of irony says “The Scottish Conservatives have been calling for the £20 per week child payment”

    Labours spokesgit Daniel (same suit as Sarwar) Johnson says “The child payment should be £40 per week and £15 per hour should be paid to, well everybody”

    Ex Jackson tailoring suit boy Lib Dem MSP Alex (there’s snow on the bridge) Cole Scuttle says “everybody’s mental in Scotland because of Covid I demand all the money” (slightly paraphrased)

    The BBC and the Fraser of Allander says there’s loads of UK money and the SNP aren’t spending it

    SNP Finance Minister Kate Forbes short answer in her head to all of this was *Bollox* but using her mouth she said much more normal words followed by a charming smile

    • Golfnut says:

      As an ex Jackson the Tailor manager I can’t begin to tell you how upset I am at the association made between Jackson ‘a and ACS, unless of course you mean he was a former tailors dummy, the kind you stick pins.

      • Dr Jim says:

        My first job leaving school was Burtons, the Jackson’s shop was right next door

        • Golfnut says:

          I started in the brand new Princes Street store, ground floor all made to measure, used to be packed on a Saturday. Where did all that business go.

          • To all gentlemen of a certain age, who visited one of the ubiquitous tailor shops in their High street in ‘fifties, ‘sixties and ;seventies, the discreet enquiry from the tailor during the initial fitting:- ‘To which side to you dress, sir?’ recollection of which still turns my wizened old face red with embarrassment.
            I leave it to you professionals on here to explain further, and describe the the ritual of inside leg measurements.

            In Clydebank we had Burtons’ Claude Alexander, John Collier, Weaver to Wearer and the big Coop store within yards of each other, back in the days of shipbuilding, and Singers.
            Young Turks got dressed up to go on a date. Nowadays, its denims, T shirt and gutties. from what I’ve seen, young women still get ‘dolled up’, looking a million dollars, while their male companions look like the cat dragged them up.
            Standards have slipped…<ay I invite old Duggers to cower around the pot bellied stove, spit on the hot plate and silently watch it sizzle and evaporate?

  30. Indeed, NMRN.
    On QT last week, Theo the Dragon’s Den chappie, was incandescent about thye Blue Tory Government not doping enough for businesses forced out of business to explain the decline of
    shops and retail in the high streets of Old England
    Wendy Chamberlain, Lib Dem MP for NE Fife, was invited to suggest ways in which Johnson’s lot could help high street traders.
    Theo Dragon had argued that the rates and rents in England were too high, and demanded that business rates be scrapped, at least for a year during the Brexit bounce back.
    Now, Oor Wendy knows that the Scottish Government has suspended business rates Up Here, and Fiona Bruce knows this also.
    But then true blue Lib Dem Yoon failed to mention that the Bad SNP was supporting retail and shops Up Here.
    It wouldn’t do to say anything positive about Scotland, would it, Greenock born Wendy?

    Lie by omission, yet again.
    Scotland must always be talked down when on English telly.

    It is evil Fifth Column stuff.

    It’s almost too ridiculous for words.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Considering the drugs issues at Westminster, I really enjoyed this ‘typo’ (or was it?) from you, Jack:

      “Blue Tory Government not doping enough for businesses …”

      • My ususal stream of consciousness clacking, WS. A paraxis maybe..
        I need to read before I send, maybe.
        It takes a special kind of hatred of the country of your birth, not to congratulate the Scottish Govt help to shops and retail on English telly.
        It’s all too ridiculous for words.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Aye Jack but the business’s know the Scottish government has suspended business rates and that’s more important….as do a lot of the Scottish people know who is doing what and who is not.

      They also recognise what is being constructed by the media in presenting DRoss, the Tory who formerly was often seen with one Boris Johnson, when in Scotland, on very friendly terms and supportive of him as Tory HQ leader via media footage during election campaigns….and DRoss very happy for him, Johnson, to come to Scotland to represent the Tory HQ party and the branch office, and DRoss who now is laughingly being presented as somehow a honest, honourable and different kind of Tory from one Boris Johnson… the same media…..each is a Tory politician full stop…. no distinction can be made…..and there’s a Union to save for God’s sake….get with the programme Jocks.

      Dross ……a Tory public Health hazard to Scots during this pandemic and warrior for Scottish hospitality (not)…..BBC promoting one of those in Scottish hospitality as angry at SNP, same hospitality representative seen cosying up to the Mundell’s outside his establishment…..but nothing political in HIS opinion pure coincidence that Mr voice of the hospitality sector just so happens to be a …………TORY….and thus is dissing the SNP….of course Brexit has not affected Scottish hospitality …said no one in hospitality other than those aligned to the Tory party.

      Like Robert Kilgour Mr voice of the Care sector…another Tory….dissing the SNP.

      And that ancient professor Hugh Pennington Mr voice of the Scientists…..a Better Together disciple aka a Unionist …not sure of his political allegiance re Labour, Tory or scavenger party….also dissing the SNP.

      Spot the pattern…..objectivity via media never allowed….subjective and skewed opinion only….all welcome on BBC et al who are willing to diss the SNP and independence.

      But no matter how they try to pull the wool over our eyes the evidence is always out there…not on MSM but on social media…..pretty much why they, the MSM, constantly try to undermine it and try to convince people not to trust it………as they cannot compete with a lot of the honesty and truth found on social media when they, the MSM, are so focused on serving up lies and obscuring the truth as is.

      We just need to keep keeping on Jack….and we will.

  31. scottish skier says:

    you don’t invite Priti Patel to a party unless your idea of a party game includes stoning migrants

    I loved this line. :-). This beats one of my more colourful metaphors by a country mile! So apt. While of course we say such things tongue in cheek, the attitudes and actions of this British government are emboldening the unpleasant people in our society that normally hide in the shadows. Now they feel brave enough to e.g. try and stop lifeboats going to sea to help migrant boats in trouble.

    Other anti-democratic measures from this government include severe restrictions on the right of protest. The Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill has been described as the most oppressive legislation tabled by a British government since the end of the second world war.

    Don’t forget the newly planned ‘concentration / internment’ camps for ‘alien’ migrants. That and the plans to strip people of their citizenship and/or passport; the latter effectively making British people unable to escape the UK. Watch out for exit visas; talk of these is probably not that long away. After all, it seems Scots are to be prisoners, unable to leave.

    I have watched this develop since the Brown days. When Labour dispensed with the red / yellow of socialism / liberalism and started to have conferences lit in true blue adorned with the Tory nationalist union flag whilst handing out ‘anti-Mrs SS’ (migrant) mugs, it was clear to me the road the UK was on, with brexit pretty much a dead cert. You must mind this Tory conference?

    Corrupt, declining states are fertile ground for the hard right and that’s what’s happening now in the UK, just as you describe Paul.

  32. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    DRoss is self isolating as member of staff has Covid….if only WE could all isolate from him and his party…….still he will be available I am sure via Zoom to answer question from the media (heard they were all clambering to speak to him….sorry I meant to get a pre recoded statement from him) …as if he asks questions of FM via Zoom at Holyrood…..he is still surely available during this crisis for HIS party to ZOOM into , via telly, a room where YOU are.

    BTW hope someone is keeping a tally of all that has been done pre and post 2016 by the Tory party… must be akin to a template for ‘What NOT to do as the Government of a country’….if listed on a spreadsheet(s) it will likely be at the point of reaching a place Far Far Away……..perhaps a government Health warning should be added …NO not THAT government but a warning via a proper government as in the Scottish one…. prior to reading list…….a rollcall of bad decisions, bad policies, broken rules, corrupt practices etc etc

    Someone above mentioned Stephen Kerr……and his ‘performance’ in Holyrood …add word unseemly before performance….way to go Stephen….come out fighting defending your party’s (lack of) honour…..that’s sure to win over the public you showing aggression amidst the scandals YOUR party is involved in….read the public room Stephen…….as if….Stephen too busy playing politics which is a pastime to be tolerated via Unionist opposition parties ONLY…..I mean when have we all ever heard Unionist political opponents EVER criticise and highlight their grievances against the SNP…….usually they are so subdued at the mere sniff of a CONTRIVED SNPBAD story…..

    I think they are on the run just now……it’s every man for himself……most Tory constituency MP’s in England testing the water with their constituents…..if too hot to handle and risks their seat…then Johnson is Toast……no birth of another new baby can rescue him now as gutter press are no longer playing that gushing game …….that particular page has been turned…now they are gearing up to perhaps write on his downfall……with no happily ever after for him one hopes.

    BTW where IS Gove… he still on this planet…..he needs watching that one…as I feel his lack of public appearances are ominous….as is he.

    Andrew Bowie for PM……surely…..I mean his grovelling to be elevated to a higher station is making me nauseous …….will no one hear him, acknowledge him at Tory HQ……such an obedient servant where nothing but nothing is too beneath him in his quest to reach the top…..he could have been a contender you know…..if only he had not chosen to imitate the Patel sneer……..the are like a pair of bookends that you keep in the loft because to display them would raise questions on your taste …..mind you I believe voting for them also raises questions on your taste too….

    I am now one word away from being demented and yet strangely I also have such hope that given our opposition I really feel that Independence for our country is NOT as improbable as some would like to hope it is……….it’s a coming……for sure.

  33. Dave tewart says:

    MSP, lister,kerr, is a christian, a mormon, now called LDS, wonder how his behavior today matches up to his belief model.
    Time to start behaving like an adult mr kerr, threatening aggression against another person is an assault.
    Time for the presiding officer to eject anyone who acts in this manner, standards!!!!!

  34. Ellie Fiddes says:

    I really enjoyed this post, the humourous images had me in stiches from the start. Really sorry to hear about your recovery projection, training your non dominant hand to take on the lead role is a challenge at any time.

  35. James Mills says:

    Just caught the end of BBC Question Time :
    They were asked how to encourage people who were not vaccinated to take their jabs/jags .

    The Labour Party rep on the panel , Scot Anneliese Dodds , pointed to what the Labour Government of Wales was doing which had resulted in high uptake .

    This Scottish woman did not mention that her own country , Scotland (in case she had forgotten ) , had the best record of vaccinations in the whole UK for numbers of jags , second doses , and boosters and was quicker in almost every age group at getting jags into arms .

    But this wee toe-rag of a Labour arse-licker ignored all of that in order to try to make a Party Political point about the Labour Party in Wales .

    No wonder they are trailing in the polls all over Scotland – a party comprising people who appear to either hate their own country or who are so ignorant that they don’t know what is happening in their own backyard .
    I believe it to be the former !

    • Dr Jim says:

      It would indicate that the SNP Scottish government were handling things better and those representing *Britishness* can’t be seen to be advertising that, Scotland must only be mentioned if we can be made to look bad

  36. yesindyref2 says:

    Okey-doke. I did say a few weeks back that budget time was a bit of a cruncher for Indy Ref 2, and that there should probably be amounts in it for that. Well, according the National which thinks there’s a nod to it in the budget:

    Of the Constitution department’s budget for the next parliamentary term, £176.6m has been allocated to culture and events, £30.6m to external affairs, £55.9m to Historic Environment Scotland, £63.3m to National Records of Scotland, and £23.1m for Covid-19 funding.

    THAT, however, is the budget for THIS financial year 2021-22, NOT next year. It’s an easy mistake to make by the way, even though I do my own accounts online at HMRC I still get confused and occasionally a bit panicky until I realise that the accounts go back to last April, not this coming one.

    Look at Table 11.01, it has last year, this year and next year. This year – 2021-22 – includes that £23.1m for Covid, but 2022-23 has a value of precisely “-“. So taking totals for last year, this year and next year, you get:

    “Total Constitution External Affairs and Culture 317.9, 349.5, 370.5 ”

    but if you removed Covid completely you’d get:

    £317.9m, £326.4m (+8.5m), £370.5m (+£44.7m).

    That puts a very different picture on the figures and, it seems to me, leaves plenty wiggle room for IR2 spending – unless Covid strikes back and needs to go back into that budget.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      As the articles says, in the preamble

      Chapter 11 Constitution, External Affairs & Culture Portfolio

      Portfolio Responsibilities

      it specifically states:

      We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to EU values, our alignment with EU policy priorities, and make the necessary preparations for a Scottish referendum and subsequently for re-joining the EU as an independent member state.

      So the article analysis was good, it just quoted the wrong supporting figures.

      Those figures for next year might have to change of course if Covid strikes back ro reinclude a figure of say, £25m for Covid. Which could just as easily go to IR2 preparation spending. Ironically this puts financial flesh on the SNP manifesto commitment to IR2 depending on Covid. I doubt if the financially illiterate critics will see it this way.

      And that’s all I have to say about THAT.

  37. gullaneno4 says:

    Beautifully written as usual, thank you

    Independence supporters must continue to support Boris Johnson, he is doing a fantastic job for us.

  38. scottish skier says:

    On the topic of GDP, as per my past comments on the subject, this is entirely expected.

    There is no way in the world the UK can see good economic growth while it is experiencing severe population decline, particularly of younger skilled workers, as is occurring.

    Of course it has been bouncing back from covid – which has made it difficult to see the brexit effect – but it cannot get back to pre-covid GDP levels due to such a large, ongoing key workforce loss.

    UK growth virtually stalled in October, even before Omicron

    Britain’s economic recovery had almost come to a halt even before the onset of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, official figures have shown.

    The Office for National Statistics said that in October, the first month after the end of the government’s furlough scheme, output grew by only 0.1%.

    The slight monthly rise in gross domestic product was weaker than had been anticipated, with a poll of economists having expected growth of 0.4%. In September the economy grew by 0.6%.

    While I have not added the latest point*, it fits this trend, which correlates with net emigration beginning in 2020. Workforce / population and GDP peaking together:

    The UK is becoming Scotland in the 1980s, where 1 in 10 left in search of a better life.

    ‘Mass, uncontrolled’ emigration, as brexit voters voted for, is bringing about the UK’s decline.

    *ONS data here:

  39. jfngw says:

    Just caught a bit of Newsnight last night, ended up switching to Seinfeld after hearing from Nicholas Watts, he is possibly the worst summariser of events I have ever seen, just watching him gives me the impression he is solid Tory.

    His summation was that Britain had given Johnson a vote of confidence in 2019, true if you ignore the votes of Scotland (SNP), Wales (Labour) and NI (none of them). It’s this quality of reporting (you can’t call it journalism if the content is basically mince) which betrays the myopic view in the BBC.

    Quite clear now why BBC News picked the red top for it’s web news service, it’s the equivalent of the Sun, you just need to look at the over-egged headlines it uses (it’s even worse at the BBC Scotland pages) to see the poor quality of its output.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Indeed …everything is based in the context of ‘British’ ……..reality is of course the opposite….but they know that BUT it is a vulgar and obvious tactic to try to unite that which has been disunited for a long long time.

      Did anyone see or hear about the debate in HOL’s on Scotland and the UK…where the Baroness gave a speech which was pretty much a rerun of David Cameron’s tactics pre 2014 Indy Ref…as in treating Scotland like an equal and not as separate from UK……to say they are desperate is an understatement……….as to Foulkes well he wants his pals the Tories to cut funding to the Scottish government…..obviously he would also like, I am sure, to INCREASE funding on saving the Union…and his place in the HOL’s……

      EVEL announced on the morning after the 2014 Indy Ref made it CRYSTAL clear to Scots that Tory faux sentiments were not worth believing then and are still NOT worth believing NOW…..YOU and your party blew it Baroness as we all knew you would and you will blow it again…..but next time I am sure you and your party will have a plan to ensure that Scots will never ever be given a chance to decide again if , as YOU hope, Scots vote NO next time…..and that is the reality…..Scotland will not only NOT be treated as an equal but will be forbidden ANY democratic future choice again and for YOU, Davidson and your fellow Tories , there will be NO so called equal Union among the different nations within UK…but England will reign supreme……..and your little helpers the Labour and Lib Dems will do your bidding willingly once again…….

      What is at STAKE for Scots if they vote NO again…..EVERYTHING….now that IS the reality that the Baroness et al know is true but Unionist’s, like the Baroness, are creating a smokescreen to obscure their REAL intentions in presenting same fantasy of Scotland having equal relevance to England in a future UK when the REAL plan is for us to be treated , as per, as second class citizens to English citizens in THEIR UK if we are once again, via a majority percentage, are foolish enough to believe and trust those who should NOT be believed or trusted EVER again ……

      Foulkes on the other hand is just plain stupid, vindictive and a waste of oxygen and he much prefers the Iron fist approach …after all his current income comes before Scotland , a country that gave him the undeserved political position he first gained in politics ,( he was born in England hence his allegiance to them) and he prefers his own birth country as it bestows upon him that very income which is his raison d’etre for supporting this non Union ……plus HIS country of birth , England, is to him by far THE more important country in HIS UK……aka failed state…..pretty much thanks to politicians like him who are in it for themselves and themselves alone……..the rest of us well he cares not a jot as do none of the others either…..their embracing of the status quo that leads eventually, for them as Unionist politicians, a chance to climb onto and progress upon the greasy lucrative pole via politics is what drives them all to be the rogues they truly all are.

      Sit doon Baroness and Foulkes nobody is listening to you NOW or in the future…..unelected bureaucrats……..feeding from the political trough that is the HOL’s.

  40. scottish skier says:

    I watched the new James Bond the other day. Good film, but sorry, the British government is so inept it’s just not credible. Cinema audiences the world over are just not going to be sold the idea that the Brits are a slick, professional outfit; not with brexit and Bozo at the helm.

  41. douglasclark says:

    Paul, can I just say say that I am very grateful for the posts that you do make? Please, take it as easy as you need to and don’t feel you owe us anything. It is t’other way around. 🙂

  42. scottish skier says:

    This would be back to the days of the troubles. It’s not possible to have checks for one type of person FHS BBC and you know it. Only the British/English government apparently think you can tell if someone is British, Irish or foreign by looking at them e.g. in their car from a distance. And then what if just one person in the car looks ‘foreign’, just ask them for id? It’s ridiculous.

    One of the major causes of tension in the troubles was Irish people being stopped by English troops / officials while they went peacefully about their business on their own island; the English having built a wall dividing this. There is supposed to be an open border now, like it’s not even there, under the GFA.

    Would these rules e.g. mean an Irish northern Irish national living inside N. Ireland has to ask England permission to bring his Polish girlfriend home from an Irish pub one night when he maybe lives just half a mile up the road from that? If they are stopped, will she be forcibly deported by some sort of ‘jackboot’ force? Remember, the Irishman in question may live on a farm that’s been in his family for generations going back way beyond partition, and would be 100% Irish were it not for the English ‘occupiers’. Half might even be on one side of the border. He also might live in e.g. Foyle where 76% voted republican in 2019. Aye, most border states are overwhelmingly pro-reunification (see 2019 results) and shouldn’t even be in N. Ireland.

    This will not go down well at all; it would be a clear breach of the GFA.

    Will be interesting to see what the UN, EU and USA have to say.

    Brexit: Non-Irish EU citizens could face Irish border travel checks

    Non-Irish EU citizens living in the Republic of Ireland will have to apply online for pre-travel clearance to cross the Irish border under proposed new legislation.

    The bill, now working its way through Westminster and due to come into effect in 2025, has been criticised by Sinn Féin, the SDLP and Alliance.

    Good to see the neutral Alliance attacking the move.

    The English brexiters are really the biggest threat to the union of all. They are a massive wrecking ball. The only good thing about them is that they are generating a lot of sympathy internationally for the Scottish indy cause.

  43. Golfnut says:

    In all the false outrage from the media regards Johnson’s party, why hasn’t anyone highlighted or indeed mentioned the fact that for the party to have taken place it would have required the Met to have been involved in facilitating this event taking place, in other words they were complicit in this illegal act
    It’s taken a Baroness in the HOL to expose this.

  44. yesindyref2 says:

    Mixed views from me. Tradition is important, but for iScotland keeping costs down is also important, and seems to me the way it’s going is more cost-effective.

  45. Golfnut says:

    I think you’ve gone hook, line and sinker for the trope that Scotland should somehow share its defence capabilities with what is likely to be in reality the greatest risk to Scotland’s security, England. Westminster is unlikely to change its current contempt of Scotland and the Scots. In fact
    I envisage its attitude to harden considerably, viewing Scotland as a threat to the English state, a view which is not unreasonable from both an economic and strategic ponot of view. Westminster will demand without doubt unfettered access to Scottish airspace, bases, territorial waters and undoubtably the continuation of Faslane and Coulport as England’s Submarine base. All of which are a direct threat to the integrity of the Scottish state and a significant threat to the population of Scotland.
    Scotland doesn’t need protecting by England rather we need to build sufficient and credible defence capabilities which would encourage confidence from our future EU partners and the Nordic States which share Scotland’s strategic position.
    Defence is just one of the areas being targeted by westminster, our renewable sector, oil and gas, farming and fishing are all currently being undermined deliberately in my opinion in an attempt to weaken a future independent Scotland.
    Westminster is not and never has been a friend to Scotland, it will be even less so once we dissolve this union.

    • What Golfnut says.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Eh? Who said anything about sharing an army with England? Not me that’s for sure.

      What I’m saying is that if the reorganisation is done before Independence it makes it easier and cheaper for us to have our own army fit for purpose, sleek, streamlined, going into the future not the past. Remember back when the SNP first became the minority government, the outcry over loss of regiments and baracks, and a similar outcry a few years back – and now? The British Army can’t afford that structure – and nor can we.

      If that old legacy is left behind it will make it very hard to streamline our own army, because all the complaints and campaigns would start. But if it’s done already, then there’s no going back.

      Simple efficient structure fit for the modern world, not past empire glories.

      • Golfnut says:

        Your past comments have made it pretty clear you believe, like many, that Scotland’s defence structure should be linked to those of England, more like technical support rather than a shared army, where did you get that from my comment?. Scotland’s futures was shite, based on the assumption that Scotland would be unable financially to either create or maintain a modern military capability without the help of our neighbour and it’s a narrative that will be used repeatedly during the coming year. A narrative that if widely accepted will see Scotland little better defended than it is now.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Aye, and smaller than the Scotland Future figures, but well equipped, mobile and well paid. There’s been recruitment problems in Scotland for years apparently, and yet Indy papers on defence insist on sticking to large armies.


      • Capella says:

        That is a very sad article. People join the army for a lot of reasons but one of them is because of our history, culture and tradition. Maybe recruitment is poor because young people have no incentive to join a faceless, pointless, amorphous “British” army which, let’s face it, hasn’t got a great reputation around the world.

        Young people in Switzerland, for example, have to serve for 2 years in the military and do it with some pride in the knowledge that they are protecting their own country. They and the population in general support that. They are independent of course.

        • Golfnut says:

          Well said Capella, Scotland does have a proud martial tradition, a reputation hard won in many conflicts, whether we should have been anywhere near the conflict is another matter.
          Scotland may need to focus on the creation of a naval and air arm and all the assets and tech required to make our new SDF function but the rock/ foundation of that force will be what’s left of Scotland’s regiments.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Your Swiss comparison is an interesting one, National Service has enjoyed widespread support for many decades, but there is considerable logic to the policy.
          What is not often appreciated is that many Swiss households have not only had military training but maintain an armoury, yet despite this, public shooting incidents are extremely rare.
          The Swiss can draw on vast reserves in a heartbeat should the need arise, any invading force would have to contend with an instant guerilla war, they are not just defending their country but their neighbourhoods, a military and logistical nightmare to any potential invader.

          • Capella says:

            Yes indeed. I’ve been in a Swiss supermarket as a young soldier in fatigues, rifle slung over his shoulder, chooses his yoghurt. Nobody takes any notice. I’ve also driven along a Swiss motorway past a mountain with huge doors in its side as a jet is taxiing out. When they need to take off they close the motorway and use it as a runway.

            All Swiss men have to maintain arms at home and turn up every so often for training. But Switzerland is neutral. Even if central government did want to get involved in a war they would probably hold a referendum in every Canton to see if the people agree.

          • grizebard says:

            Yes, there’s a great deal to admire there. However Switzerland is also an extremely special geo-political entity (which would need a book to pursue), one that enabled it to survive as a small neutral even throughout WW2. (Not always for admirable reasons, incidentally.) Scotland isn’t in the same position. Historically we have always engaged fully with our neighbours, and distance by itself has long since been incapable of offering any protection. The North Atlantic is our back yard. So as a renewed small independent state, we will again have to depend on alliances for our mutual security just like every other small European state. However, that necessary engagement will be far wider than merely England. The possible relationship with our land neighbour in particular is an especially sensitive one at the moment, as the current exchanges reveal, but we needn’t let ourselves be fooled by Unionist propaganda that we will have to depend in any way (eg.) on The British Army (as it seems the Tories would like to keep calling it). The Irish don’t.

            As for military careers at any level, I can’t see that serving in a shrunken backward-looking baggage-laden outfit run by a quasi-pariah state would be more attractive than a modern engaged one run by ourselves under our own foreign and defence policies.

          • Capella says:

            Also IIRC all Swiss house builds have to include a nuclear bunker. And, of course a balcony with potted geraniums.

            • Bob Lamont says:

              Not so sure about the geranium infested balconies but can attest to nuclear bunkers having been a “thing” at the height of the cold war, yet uncertain if that remains part of their new build requirements now that battlefield nuclear weapons have become the latest evolution.

          • grizebard says:

            In fact, taking this a wee bit further, Switzerland has in effect an exemplary “well-regulated militia”. The very thing that the US Constitution envisaged, but which has since been perverted by a kind of mad wild-west frontier mania there into virtual weaponised anarchy.

            All of which only emphasises that it’s not easy getting a constitution right. Unintended consequences…

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Capella, the recruitment problems for Scottish regiments go back to last century. As better jobs are more available joining the army, travelling to far off places, meeting interesting people – and killing them – or being killed by them for a poor pension – becomes somewhat less attractive.

          • Capella says:

            Of course. But also “Where are our brave Highlanders?”, asked Queen Victoria when they failed to recruit for the Crimean War. The Highlanders refused to join up because when they came back from a foreign adventure they found their wives and children turfed out of their homes to make way for sheep.
            If the British government preferred sheep to men they could hire sheep to defend them they said.

            There’s also a factor called “esprit de corps” which means that these men do not fight for the British government. They fight to defend their comrades and their homeland. Take that away and there’s no point – unless you pay them a shedload of money so they can retire and buy a croft.

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Absolutely Capella, absolutely. Totally on the same wavelength.

              But it’s Scottish esprit de corps we want, not historic British Empire..

            • Golfnut says:

              I see you’ve read John Prebble Capella.

              • Capella says:

                Long time ago but I loved reading John Prebble. Was a real eye opener into the Clearances, Culloden and the sad aftermath. Why did an English journalist, living in Nova Scotia, delve into the history of that era which few home grown historians would touch? I think his imagination was lit up by listening to the emigre Scots in Canada.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Incidentally, the tradition unfortunately, of the regiments as they were, was all about the British Empire “glory” days. Yes, there were common interests in the likes of the 2nd World War.

          But Scotland needs to look forward into our Nation’s future, NOT the glory days gone by that had little to do with the needs of our people. Think Clearances, which didn’t stop till something like 1902 (I can’t be bothered looking it up). An alternative of course was to become cannon fodder for that glorious Empire.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Sorry I should have taken the time to put together a joined-up comment, but I’m between busy.

          How many youngsters of recruitment age, wander around school or college campus saying to each other:

          “Remember the glory days of Balaclava, Mafeking, Alamein, Saratoga, Singapore, Monte Cassino, The Somme, Dunkirk, Normandy? Oh how I wish I’d been there. I know, I’ll join the Army”.

          • Golfnut says:

            Well, when you get time perhaps you could enlighten us on your vision of what a future Scottish military should look like. My own is based on defence, a focus which is essential for at least the first 10 yrs of the SDF existence, rather than the expeditionary type structure Wallace is planning. I’ve already given my thoughts on why that should be considered necessary.

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Yes, defence, but as the Icelandic Institute pointed out, Scotland would need an umbrella, shelter. Let’s say for the sake of argument there was a mutual Nordic defence pact and iScotland was part of that. That’s Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands.

              And Phil Hammond’s Aliens – the PHA – but let’s just call them the Borg – invades Norway and is surprised at the fierce defence in the fiords.

              So Scotland sits here and says: “we’re only interested in defence, good luck with that, the Borg will love us and not attack us”? Good luck with that.

              No. I think Scotland would send the 1st Scots Rangers Regiment, complete with amphibs, anti-spaceship defence missiles, helicopters plus fully equipped and well-trained soldiers (all part of the 1st Scots), using our own transports to still-defended air strips in Norway, plus transports from the Nordic common transport pool, plus air defence and attack plus whatever naval assets we had including my F35-B capable reasonably sized LDA / LPH, and throw the Borg off planet before they could subdue the brave Norweigans and then turn to us and assimilate us next.

              What do you think?


              Scotland as an Independent Small State: Where would it seek shelter?

              Alyson JK Bailes, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, University of
              Iceland, Baldur Thorhallsson, Professor of Political Science, University of
              Iceland and Rachael Lorna Johnstone, Senior Lecturer in Law, University
              of Akureyri

            • yesindyref2 says:

              I missed out Sweden for goodness sake, where I’d like to get the Gripens from in time. Anyways, it does give me the chance to point out that I’ve been pushing this since around 2012 when I first started posting about defence for an independent Scotland in the Grun:


    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Jings! They will need to be very quick getting the last of the oil out to pay the UK bills, as Sir Ian has repeatedly stated that the oil is nearly finished and will be of no use to an independent Scotland, or perhaps he meant to say that his dividends are reducing.

      Aye that might be it.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Sir Ian bloody Wood: Tory conoil man

        The day before the 2014 referendum there was no oil, next day following the referendum there was 50 years of oil then in 2016 Sir Ian Wood said it was running out again because Nicola Sturgeon mentioned the word Independence, now that the cat’s right out of the oil basin Sir Ian Wood who’s been scamming Scotland ever since he grew up a Tory is panicking about his long term £squillions and that’s even after being part of the group who were involved in making sure Scotland didn’t get the Acorn carbon capture project but was publicly so sad to see it go to England where his company wanted it to go in the first place for fear of Scottish Independence and him having to deal with a Scottish government who might deny him the right to get himself up to his con man armpits in “Scottish money” again

        Sir Ian bloody Wood Tory no different to Bertie (I’m an ordinary fisherman) Armstrong or the current version Jimmy (where’s ma sash) Buchan, all great pals of Ruth (Baroness Bullshit of Buffalo) Davidson

        • JoMax says:

          The Baroness it was who said the other day during her ‘outburst’ of faux rage at her boss in No 10, that “As a Tory, I was brought up to believe in playing with a straight bat.” Aye right. Bats so straight that the wealth of Scotland gets hit over the boundary and into the stand at Lords for a six, never to be seen again. All that comes back is a battered old tennis ball you might give the dog to play with.

    • Golfnut says:

      Excellent find Capella. Glad your sojourn in the wilderness was brief.

      • Capella says:

        I’m still catching up. What a mountain of laundry piles up when the washing machine is hors de combat for a week. 🙂

  46. Marc says:

    Here is what a Tsunami of Covid looks like in graphical form:

    I believe that there is severity of Omicron data being released next week, but with these sort of numbers you only need a tiny percentage of people who catch Covid ending up in the hospital and the NHS starts not being able to cope very quickly.

    Unless numbers start rapidly falling and/or the risk of hospitalisation percentage is tiny would not be surprised to see hospitality shut down by this time next week.

    • grizebard says:

      Not in England under the Tories, I fear. Too many rightwing Covid-denier MP nutters like Redwood, and BoJo afraid of the base. Currently their best advice, as Prof Susan Michie (I think) derided it in the indie SAGE webcast of last Fri (still available on their YouTube channel): “work at home but party, party, party in your local hostelry” (I paraphrase).

      Prof Steven Reicher wisely says “If you want to still have Christmas, don’t party beforehand.” And properly support those who have to go into self-isolation.

      Whereas here we have the BBC echoing DRoss that the SG is behaving excessively by just asking people to behave responsibly. You couldn’t make this whole farce up. (But it’s killing people.)

  47. Dr Jim says:

    Not just the NHS but all services, like Medical Police Fire Transport, virtually everything you can think of, as staff go down sick unable to function with shortages of people to cope and deal with the overwhelming mess

  48. yesindyref2 says:

    Another step along the road. One short step more for the CWU and it’ll be another jump for Indykind.

  49. Statgeek says:

    Electoral Calculus map, showing a hint of what the polls look like right now:

    Lab 308 (+105)
    Con 250 (-115)
    SNP 59 (+11)
    Lib 8 (-3)
    PC 5 (+1)
    Grn 1 (-)
    NI 18
    Speaker 1

    Looks pretty good to me. Just polls. Pinch of salt ect. but still. 🙂

    • Capella says:

      I see the NI border constituencies have gone Green. Commendable. 🙂

    • scottish skier says:

      In terms of vote shares 2019, pro-British partition parties won >50% of the vote in just 8/18 seats in N. Ireland, while ​reunification parties also won >50% in 8/18, on an average 63% of the vote, including in all border constituencies. The SF + SDLP + Aontú vote was 82% in Foyle.

      This is why the border issue is very, very sensitive; It’s in the wrong place.

      The border doesn’t separate Brits from Irish, it separates Irish from Irish. To harden it is like repartitioning. It is unthinkable; hence serious international concerns, including from the USA.

    • Just look at the SIZE of Scotland when not seen through the warped Brit prism of BBC Scotland.
      There are 5.4 million of us Scots in the big yellow bit, and over 60 million in the southern tie dye shirt bit.

      Yet we are all crammed into claustrophobic towns and cities while a few hundred filthy rich and landed gentry run their wee fiefdoms unbridled by laws or political pressure, even from the SNP and Greens.

      Come the revolution….

      Let them eat ‘cheese and wine’, but not at a party?

  50. Capella says:

    More on that Communication Workers Union move to distance themselves from the Labour Party from the National. :

    The Communications Workers Union (CWU) also appears to be uneasy about aligning itself to Labour after a motion was passed at its conference last month urging its national executive committee (NEC) to support the Scottish Government’s “democratic right” to hold indyref2, “as Conference notes it is the democratic right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future”.

    The motion went on: “The mandate for this request was reinforced in the Manifesto of the Scottish National Party, who won 48 seats and 45% of the vote in the Westminster 2019 election … the Conservative Party stood on the opposite principle and lost eight Scottish seats in that election.

    “Furthermore in the 2021 Scottish elections pro-independence parties won a majority of 72 MSPs and the Conservatives, who campaigned exclusively on ‘No to indy ref’ were soundly defeated.”

    • Thanks for the links, L.
      ‘News Where We Are’.
      But not in the Dead Tree Scrolls…

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Excellent article on gas from Newsnet, had to chuckle at the the UK’s “commercial sensitivity” smokescreen, but so far as I was aware gas imports thus far have solely been from Norway despite inferences in the media.
      The recent price hike is due to the Tory policy of wholesale market price, which the “free market supplier” companies are now struggling with and even closing up shop.

      On UK gas consumption, it has long been a hobby-horse of mine that London policy has been so obstinate in doing the maths over increased insulation, simultaneously attacking fuel poverty, emissions, and extending reserve lifespans, in preference to maintaining THEIR revenue streams.

    • Capella says:

      Excellent article from Newsnet on gas production. so refreshing to see a few facts enter the debate.

  51. scottish skier says:

    In terms of who might replace Bozo, even Sunak is into negative territory these days across the UK. He’s been on a downward trajectory since March 2020:

    In Scotland, based on the subsample, only Tory voters rate him:
    27% Favourable
    45% Unfavourable
    =-18% NET

    And I imagine if he did become PM, the ‘unfavourable’ would shoot up quick. He’s just as corrupt and pocket lining as Bozo, hence happy to be in the latter’s cabinet. He’s just more slick with it.

    Personally, I don’t think there’s a cat’s chance in hell of the Tory party making him their leader, even though he’s probably the least incompetent option they have. You can probably guess why; not erm ‘English’ enough.

    Either way, the UK will end up with a worse PM if Bozo is toppled. It is on a downward spiral that it’s very difficult to escape from now that – to quote former PM Cameron – the ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’ have taken over.

    • Stephen Barclay is today’s John Major.
      When there is a ‘leadership challenge, Truss or Javid will be the stalking horse, and Barclay will ‘rise without trace’, just like Major.
      The Tories have done what they set out to do in the past 12 years.
      Enriched the Ruling Class, sold off the remaining public institutions, taken us out of the EU, and completely destroyed the Welfare Service, Law and Order, and reduced the Underclass to levels of poverty penury, and early death last seen in Victorian Times. They will dismanlte HRA, there is no such thing as Legal Aid, Health and Safety, and Employment Rights.
      Food Banks, Red Nose Day, and Comic Relief have replaced social democracy, and basic human rights to heat, food, and a roof over our heads to a charity free for all.

      WE are are held under House Arrest, our shores and border encasing us in Patel’s barbed wire fence, we are to have our passports confiscated by the state as punishment for mass assembly, and we’re to pay for ‘Letters of Transit’ (q.v., Peter Lorre Casablanca) to leave the UK to go on holiday in Europe.
      The Tories will gladly ‘lose’ the next UK GE, retire with their Cayman Isles billions, and sit back ‘laughing at’ Starmer and Co getting the blame for Brexit, poverty, and England’s eventual decline into a third world country dung heap.
      The Red Wall Brexit Xenophobe Leavers will never elect Sunak led Tories…’the fruitcakes, loonies, racists’ wouldn’t like Sunak playing cricket for their County apparently.

      Johnson served his purpose..keep them all laughing while we empty their coat pockets in the cloak room.

      You may recall that Dross backed Johnson live on Geissler just two short weeks ago.
      I look forward to Geissler’s interview with Alister Union Jack on Sunday morning.

  52. Dave tewart says:

    These are great reading material from our own people.

    The Gas article is particularly of interest in the planning of our transition to home heating systems that are sustainable.
    The majority of central belt homes are likely to by using gas for heating, an early warning of the need to plan for their replacement.
    Wondering if the injection of green hydrogen into the gas supply would extend the life of gas boilers.
    Well done Newsnet.

    Thoughs in the light of the ongoing mess of westmonster and their isolationist policies on borders and free trade.

    We continue to show that we do have the talent to run our own country.

  53. UndeadShaun says:

    Appologies, if anyone has already posted this, but its a great piece of satire, over the party last december.

  54. scottish skier says:

    The ‘mass, uncontrolled’ emigration that leave voters voted for in 2016 was always going to come at a price:

    Analysis shows Brexit caused £12 billion of lost trade in October

    …The Centre for European Reform (CER) has modelled the trading performance of a UK that did not leave the EU, using trade data from countries – like the US, Germany, Greece, New Zealand and Sweden – whose performance was similar to the UK’s before Brexit.

    It then compared this “doppelgänger” with the actual performance of UK imports and exports since January…

  55. yesindyref2 says:

    OK. Thing is about Defence, it can’t really be separated from International Relations. And one of Scotland’s best known on that, as a profefsor of history at Glasgow Uni, is Dr Phillips O’Brien whose articles were interesting if at times annoying during Indy Ref 1, oin both IR and defence.

    Considering defence and IR are reserved to Westminster, we are lucky to have I think, 8 Universities offering degree courses in International Relations, one of them is according to them: “International relations at St Andrews was ranked first in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2022 and first in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2022.” and had a woman who was ranked very high in the world let alone the UK, I think she retired but hope we can kidnap her back after the YES vote.

    IR really dictates what you need to do for defence rather than the other way around, or should do.

    I personally don’t hate Westminster, don’t hate the UK, don’t hate Britain. I have supported Indy since the mid-70s, pushed Devo to the SNP who were reluctant and trade union reps in 78 and even 79. And since 1999 – that’s 22 year ago – have considered the Scottish Government to be my Government, the Scottish Parliament to be my Parliament.

    And hence I have considered Westminster to be a foreign Parliament and Government, and a foreign power that we would have some sort of International Relations with not just after Independence, but after the YES vote in 2023.

    Hence though shared defence might move onto being more Nordic, it is possible and maybe probable that in the short transitional term it might be more of a UK nature.

    And THAT is a job for our Foreign Minister, our Defence Minister and Ministries, and our Permanent Ambassador to London, who might even get called into Downing street to explain his or herself, get offered canapes, or even expelled.

    And finally, “that’s plenty”.

    • Golfnut says:

      So you haven’t a clue what your ideal ‘ defence ‘ structure should look like other than it should have F35’s, with an oven ready assault force to expel aliens in Norway.


      • grizebard says:

        Nobody knows, really. The necessary preparatory work likely hasn’t been done. By anyone. There not being the obvious immediate need by institutions that are probably seperatist-phobic. Whatever, it will predictably be weaponised anyway by a desperate BT Mk.2, eager to convince us that we will be bare naked vulnerable without the “protection” of the UK. (With its Grand Fleet of admirals, y’know.)

        The precise nature of our international defence relations will ultimately depend on who gets elected as our early government(s). But whoever and whatever these are, it will involve committments of joint security with those we trust, you can be sure of that.

        Meanwhile, we have to be honest both with ourselves and with the public, since to be convinced they will need to hear a plausible story, this time warts and all. Disentangling well-established arrangements may take some considerable time and effort. That’s not what matters. Resolute intent to get ourselves to a different and better place does.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Well, grizebard, there’s a little bit being done. One is the start of the Institute for Peacekeeping, a role which would probably appeal to many. For instance:

          As a global citizen, Scotland aims to contribute to peace efforts through conflict resolution with others. That is why we are committing to establishing a peace institute by the end of 2022. Discussions on the role and remit of the peace institute are at an early stage. I look forward to updating Parliament once we have developed our thinking further. I would welcome Mr Rennie’s contribution in the development of the peace institute.”.

          It doesn’t attract media publicity so it’s only defence oiks like me know something about it. Then there’s this:

          The University of Glasgow is part of a pan-Scotland consortium working to create a Scottish Council on Global Affairs. Working with partner institutions the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh, our aim is to create a global affairs think-tank with international reach and reputation.

          Academic Scotland is not going to want to be left behind after a YES vote. Won’t be long before we have our own RUSI, whatever it wants to call itself.

          • grizebard says:

            I can’t comment further because I’ve reached the limit of my knowledge and understanding here, but I hope you’re right about home institutions “smelling the coffee” and beginning to pick up the slack. I get the impression that our intellectual establishments, which should really be leading the way, instead too often seem shockingly behind the curve on most aspects of autonomous capability. (Academics not wanting to risk their UK-oriented careers? Or just another example of media omerta?)

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I forgot to say that Angus Robertson, the Constitutional secretary, was the defence spokesperson when there were only the 6 MPs. He asked a lot of written questions about defence.

          Things move in mysterious ways.

        • Golfnut says:

          Well said grisebard particularly your last paragraph.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        So you haven’t a clue

        • Golfnut says:

          I have an opinion as to its structure, preferences regards equipment and hardwear, realistic expectations of where we will be in 5 yrs time, aiming for a fully functioning and equipped SDF within 10 yrs. That’s taking into account recruitment, training, procurement( ships, planes, weapons and munitions, missile defence systems) bases, ports, naval yards, maintenance facilities. The expertise required to maintain all of these functions.
          What alliances do we need to make to maintain the integrity of our borders, airspace and maritime boundaries.
          Yes , I have a clue.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          That’s great Golfnut, I look forward to your positive contribution to the debate, and your ideas.

          • Golfnut says:

            You haven’t got to grips with identifying just where the immediate threat to Scotland’s security will come from, let me know when you do. You can discount the aliens.

  56. Hamish100 says:

    I wonder if we just look at other nations as well as Nordic for a steer. For our seas should we not have a coastguard arrangement similar to USA with a wider remit than current. All boats armed – but running alongside traditional frigates and mine sweepers. Should we have nuclear powered subs but no nuclear weapons?

    As for airforce army strictly speaking we have already got forces we just take a cut of what is there and amend as a neutral nation such as Ireland or consider our contribution if part of NATO. Can’t see nato kicking us out due to our strategic location but it is for us to decide what we want.

  57. Dave tewart says:

    I have no clue to the armed forces.
    Maybe as Hamish says we start with a look at Ireland, Norway and Denmark.
    We could start with doing away with the toy soldiers in expensive uniforms to guard empty palaces.
    An army that has a role in the response to exceptional weather conditions to protect the people and their property.
    An airforce that has a combined operations role with a coastguard to protect life at sea.
    An expansion of facilities in the outer islands sensibly manned.
    The facilities at Faslane could be the main training source for the West and Rosyth for the East.
    We have no need for 2 huge aircraft carriers that haven’t enough protection, we do need fishery monitoring equipment and all weather ability aircraft, fixed and rotary.

    We can make a start with the planning of all sorts of needs.
    A Scottish DVLA, a CAA, medical and food agency, an energy provider and a roads planner.

    There are plenty more agencies to be created especially a Bank of Scotland to control our own requirements.

  58. jfngw says:

    I used to eat out a fair amount in restaurants, rarely now though. Why would I want to frequent venues which would be quite happy that I contracted Covid in their establishment as long as they turn a few quid off me first.

    As with all things the only way to get the message over to them is to remove your custom. The ones I have been in have little interest in the Covid regs, next to no interest logging who was in the venue or even informing you where the QR code is located.

    • Capella says:

      • grizebard says:

        Amen to that sentiment. Fake news from the media hypocrites.

        The sad thing is, without governmental backing, hospitality will in any event be hit badly by people voting with their feet. Not least if they get the distinct impression, via media or direct experience, that their wallets are more important to venues than their health. The good, the bad and the ugly together.

        As Steven Reicher says, official support must be available to do this effectively and fairly to all. Unfortunately, financially hamstrung as the Scottish Government currently is by UK fiat, it doesn’t have the necessary financial independence to go it alone. Our own funds are being withheld in London by a doctrinally-purblind minority clique celebrating in a special privilege of its own that isn’t available to the rest of us.

        Which doesn’t stop morally-repugnant opportunists like Sarwar Jr. – joined in pantomime chorus now by the spectacularly shameless DRoss – from making ever more outrageous demands that the Scottish Government support everyone from its own limited and Covid-nonconsequential resources. “Mitigation in Wonderland” at your imaginary Covid-free local theatre.

        • Quite frankly, Sarwar, Ross, and Coll-Hamilton, and their WM Jock equivalents, are a morally repugnant Fifth Column, vile men and women, who are using the Covid crisis to undermine Scotland’s government, in its efforts to fight the greatest health challenge this planet has ever faced.
          They don’t care that the ‘bodies pile high’.
          They don’t care that by placing the profits of night club owners above the health and welfare of our citizens, by their quite deliberate attempts to engender fear and revolt in equal measure, heavily endorsed and financially backed by the Anglo Jock Elite Up Here and English owned media’s blanket exposure, they undermine the SNP/Green Government, to preserve Scotland as a colony, for their English bosses.
          I can imagine that, rising infection rates and deaths are greeted with high five glee in some quarters.

          They don’t care that Scots are dying, as long as it is on Sturgeon’s watch.
          It is clear that BBC has a calculated Rolodex of hand picked Yoons, ready to call on when they need a ‘grass roots’ go-to SNP BAD source on everything from Schools to hospitals, drugs to the rats in Sturgeon’s Govanhill.

          They are the enemy within, destroying crops and poisoning wells, for England.
          I’ll just leave that there.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        I cannot recall where, but remember reading an excellent exposee on Stephen Montgomery and the “Scottish Hospitality Group”, albeit more questions than answers.

        Much as Hugh Pennington was the the BBC in Scotland’s “balanced” representative scientist from a wealth of scientific expertise in Scotland (who were not chief scriveners for SiU), or Gordon Dewar was their go-to expert on all matters travel, thus from the multitude of bodies representing the hospitality and entertainment industry, they plucked this one man band from Lockerbie from relative obscurity.
        Despite dubious expertise he has been presented as a “balanced” authority on all matters hospitality in Scotland, perhaps his “compared Nicola Sturgeon to Hitler” tweet was the clincher for Pacific Quay.

        If the worst fears over Omicron become reality, it will be a lean christmas and new year not just for the hospitality industry, but doubtless Stephen’s Twitter account will be hacked again to praise SG’s handling of the problems….

        • Legerwood says:

          Possibly it was Talking up Scotland that did the forensic analysis of Mr Montgomery’s rise to obscurity from total invisibility.

          More generally I cannot get my head round the fact that these so-called business people think it is a good idea to pursue a business model that endangers the health of their customer base to the point of death. Who do they think will frequent their clubs, restaurants, bars and shops when large sections of the public are at best incapacitated by Long Covid or at worst dead?

          • Bob Lamont says:

            I’d caution on the perspective projected by the media as representative, we are encouraged to accept theirs as reflects the broader industry, yet in reality an illusory – eg I recall a rare interview with a nightclub owner who was all in favour of the vaccine passport strategy as were his customers. That was stark contrast to the BBC in Scotland platforming negativity over it from such as Montgomery etc..
            By way of extending the example to another field-
            Stewartb over on TuS examined in detail the background to the A&E saga as presented by the BBC in Scotland and SG Opposition politicians – The highlighted distortions have been knowingly broadcast with the sole intent of misinforming the public.

  59. P Harvey says:

    FFS. – let’s get Independence before we start fighting over armed services!

  60. grizebard says:

    Getting back to Paul’s article, maybe this is a good time to point out to indy-waverers: “if you are righteously scunnered by the UKGov’s behaviour over Covid party special privileges, since your vote is always over-ruled within the UK, what else can you perhaps usefully do about it…?”

  61. Hamish100 says:

    Ot /mScottish Government paying private employers to allow their staff to get booster jags.

    Is it just me but is the fact the private employers are being paid by us so they will allow health care workers time off to get their jags just not rediculoud

    If anything we should pay the employees direct. I can understand to a points some issue with small healthcare provides but they should be mandated that their employees need their jags.

    No more support to private health care with free PPe etc while they pay their profits to their shareholders and continue to pay their employees a pittance is my view.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      It may indeed be ridiculous, but what is the alternative when there is no statutory obligation to vaccinate (and various contractual arrangements) and your objective is to maximise vaccination numbers particularly among the more vulnerable in care ?
      These organisations may be penny pinching bar-stewards blinded to the dangers of not having personnel vaccinated, but the saving grace is that compensation will be for the same “pittance”, and will in the vast majority of cases be compensation for lost time to the “employee” rather than profit to the “employer”.

      • Eilidh says:

        They don’t need to get their vaccine on a day they are working that is what I and I think most eligible people have done at times .Most vaccine centres have quite opening times I got my booster last Sunday morning for example however I got time off work without losing pay to get my first covid vaccine and I work for a charity. I really don’t think the tax payer should be subsidising these private companies

  62. I am warming to the view that those who refuse to be vaccinated should be asked to sign an undertaking that if and when they catch Covid, they will pay privately for hospital care.

    I’ll just leave that there.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      Unless there’s a valid and certificated reason they can’t have it (eg immune response)

      I think the same should be applied to mask wearing. If you don’t have a valid medical certificate, you wear a mask. Including children who “Won’t wear them because they don’t like them”. If they happen to be one of the children who get Covid really badly, they’ll like ventilation a heck of a sight less…


    • jfngw says:

      Not sure this is a can of worms you want to open, once you’ve introduced it for one ailment then it will expand, no cancer treatment for smokers, no treatment for alcoholics, no drug treatment for addicts, where does it stop?

      Elsewhere I read D.Ross is trying to claim they have no connection with Boris Johnson, in the same way I suppose a linesman has no connection to a referee. D.Ross is Boris Johnson’s Scottish linesman (poor old D.Ross will never make it to referee status). Although looking at him now it looks like he must roll the line rather than run it, this sitting on your arse all the time isn’t healthy it seems.

      • Not the same thing at all, jfngw; but you know that.

        • jfngw says:

          It is the same thing just different aspects of refusal to give treatment. Once you start limiting treatment because you won’t take the recommended advice then you have unlocked the door to expand this. I could accept limiting what those who refuse vaccination can do in employment terms but I would draw the line at refusing treatment.

          If you don’t believe governments will do stuff like this, especially when near an election and behind in the polls and they feel a tax cut might help them. Who would have thought the current UK government disfranchising of those born in the UK would happen, the ability to make them effectively stateless. You never know the consequences of unlocking a door, I seem to remember someone being dragged out of a Labour party conference under terrorism laws merely for hectoring.

          • ‘The same but different’?


            Och, I can’t be bothered even discussing this jag, no NHS.

            That I am expected to indulge stupidity and risk infection, and our doctors and nurses expected to administer to idiots is beyond the pale.

            I’m done here.

            • iusedtobeenglish says:

              I think you’ve both got a point.

              Like you, it sticks in my craw that people can “take the risk” of infecting me and mine by not getting an injection/wearing a mask or whatever, but will still expect the people they’re burdening to treat them. It’s grossly unfair.

              Hpwever, as jfngw says, unscrupulous types – not there are any in HMG of course, perish the thought – could and probably would use it to set a precedent. Tempting such, shall we say, extra triage may be. And doctors take an oath to treat all sick and injured, regardless of any other consideration.

              Maybe the problem is that the scenario envisaged by jfngw is one that right-minded folk wouldn’t even consider. He’s just pointing out that not all folk are right-minded.

              Except left-handers, who are the only people who are always in their right mind! LOL

  63. scottish skier says:

    Worth a read.

    UK’s indyref architect says Scots face choice of indy or ‘muscular Unionism’

    SCOTLAND is facing a choice between independence or staying in “very nationalistic” British state, according to one of the architects of the 2014 referendum.

    Professor Ciaran Martin, who was previously a senior UK Government official, said much less attention is being given to what staying in the Union would mean, compared to what an independent Scotland would look like.

    Writing in the journal Political Insight*, he said there has been an “aggressive strategy” to curb devolution and compete with the devolved governments as a way of shoring up the Union. This pursuit of “muscular Unionism” by the UK Government poses a risk to the Union itself, he argues.

    I pick out this comment as it on one of my favourite topics

    He noted the 45% recorded for Yes in the 2014 referendum could have turned out to be a ceiling of support, but instead it has “proved to be a floor”.

    This is my ‘baseline’, and I noted that we’ve not had a 45% Yes ex DK or lower since, erm December 2019, so 2 years ago. The very lowest we’ve had this year are 46-47%, with the upper end 55% (as high as 57% last year), consistent with our flooring being more 50%.

    We should keep in mind that ‘floor’ support could be 50% and we can still get a run of 10 polls showing 47% and a couple at 46%. They’d all be within +/-3% error with a couple with a bigger error as will happen ever so often (the 3% applies to say 9/10; their will be a small number with a bigger error). It is like tossing a coin. Each time you toss, it’s 50/50, but the coin doesn’t know what happened in the last toss, so you could toss 10 heads in a row quite readily. Doesn’t matter, it’s still 50/50. It’s just if you toss enough times, it should tend towards this number.

    Which is why I take care with polls of polls using ‘the latest numbers from each pollster’, certainly well out from voting day. It’s better to focus on he bigger picture which has our ‘floor’ at 50.2% this year on a retreat from 2020’s apparent ‘ceiling’. The floor and ceiling are both rising at over 1% per year and have been since 2011.


    *Actual journal article:

  64. jfngw says:

    Rumours Renee and Renato are making a comeback!

  65. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Boris is bad very bad…. unscrupulous and selfish Tory MP’s , who are thinking only of their own precarious positions, are trying to distance themselves from him …..because he is now fast becoming a toxic brand to be associated with…..tis worth remembering these are the SAME Tories who DEFENDED him, SUPPORTED him and VOTED for bills he introduced into the HOC’s …the same bills that are detrimental to us all…….so what is the distinction between them and Boris ?

    There is no get out of jail card for ANY of them……he may have been the organ grinder but the monkeys were only to happy for him to orchestrate and implement ALL of the mess we are currently in…….

    Irrespective of who leads the Tories in the future it will make no difference to us in Scotland as it will be same old same……….as it would be under any Labour or any Lib Dem involvement in Govt.

    One only has to look at the supposed rebellion predicted on Tuesday of Tory MP’s who will vote against new Covid measures to see what their priority is….not public Health but instead they look to the self interests of business……an endorsement of ‘Let the bodies pile high’…….while money keeps rolling in for company bosses….who mostly support and donate to the Tories.

    If this so called UK Govt. were really interested in public health and the adherence to Covid rules (as if) they would be calling out so called news channels such as GB News for undermining their supposed various Covid messages in the denying of the severity of the pandemic and indeed in the very existence of Covid itself……instead of individual Tory MP’s APPEARING on this channel…indeed one of their 2019 elected MP’s (Brexit), Dehenna Davison, hosts a programme on that channel …..unbelievable …an elected politician with a sideline (nice little additional earner) as a presenter on a TV channel that has Covid deniers, anti maskers and anti Vax conspiracy theorists presenting and as guests on their in Neil Oliver, Dan Wooten etc

    For Scotland the only problem we always have is ALL Unionist political parties……no matter who leads them we will always suffer and be simultanously considered a subsidised people while also a part of the UK they say is important to keep within their UK…to what….continue to subsidise ……two opposing and conflicting positions……have English people not yet reasoned out the improbable position of their Unionist political parties irrational mixed message….that one cannot, as a country, be considered needing to be subsidised and yet also considered so very important to YOUR country that it needs to be retained within the (non) Union…..and millions of pounds are being spent to stop a supposed subsidised country from leaving the Union…..did the Tories and others not put a message on a bus in 2016 that highlighted the madness of supposedly funding something when something else closer to home could be funded…perhaps our English friends should be thinking now on these terms…cause surely you cannot have both being right ?

    Note ALL Unionist parties specify we are subsidised in Scotland yet fight to keep us within their Union…….obviously UK Public Finance is not their strong point ……funnily enough neither is Scotland their STRONG point….or indeed in their consideration in the great scheme of things via all things UK related……as in especially when, they assume, Scotland is considered to be NOT focusing on independence.

    Confucius says ‘Both cannot be correct…so one has to be a LIE’.

  66. Capella says:

    This looks good but i don’t have any more details as yet:

  67. Bob Lamont says:

    Chuckled at this…

  68. Hamish100 says:

    Looks good but we shall await more info.

    Just wondered re Johnson getting his picture taken at a quiz night at Downing st. was t he photographer one Dominic Cummings perchance?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I suspect his and Dominic Rabb’s dilemma is the “were not aware of…” defence now destroyed.
      Those who actually hold the power in London are reminding Tories who pulls the strings.

      It’s been interesting seeing snippets appear just as Johnson et al think they have it all “sorted” to their liking, and serves to remind us HMG are in reality a front.
      Rather as Hancock was somewhat brutally reminded his half hour was up, Tories must be suctioned to their seats of late who is next for the naught step…

  69. Hamish100 says:

    On Westminster hour on bbc R4 tonight the announcer tells us that the participants will be the usual labour person, Tory, no 2nd largest party representative and the deputy political editor of the Spectator.
    The spectator is popular with the bbc -their Reps are on the tele, Marr show, radio, news reviews. Andrew Neil is involved. Boris Johnson was Editor.
    His recently resigned PR guru is married to the current editor I believe.
    From wiki it adds “ During Johnson’s editorship, Mary Wakefield began working at the magazine: she is now the magazine’s commissioning editor and is married to Johnson’s former political advisor Dominic Cummings.[52][53]”

    Is the bbc just having a chat with their pals?

  70. Dr Jim says:

    The British media must really be enjoying this manipulation of the public with their drip drip drip of year old bad news for the Tories that they keep pretending to have just learned about as time goes by, oh how shocked and surprised they’re making us

    The National newspaper is selling out every day now with the English turning on the English, or British depending on your point of view, either way, bad for them good for us

  71. James Mills says:

    Boris Johnson speaking to ”The Nation” tonight .
    Which one as all his booster target info was directed at England ?

    But the news channels glibly repeated his address was to ”The Nation” – no differentiation about the devolved ”nations” !

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Oh bring back the days when the BBC used to announce when something worth watching was coming up.. “Except for viewers in Scotland”

    • grizebard says:

      But of course, “The Nation” is England. Just England. The rest of us are mere appendages of no account.

      (I found it interesting though that earlier in the evening Sky (I think, I wasn’t choosing!) was carefully examining what Scotland was currently doing re Covid, probably to get some inkling of what “The Nation” might later be offered by The Party Clown.)

    • scottish skier says:

      Came across this on the topic of ‘nations’.

      ‘Brits’ doesn’t just exclude people from N. Ireland, but large numbers of Scots, Welsh, Cornish… anyone who doesn’t self-identify as British. Even Scotland isn’t geographically British, it’s Great British!

      The irony is that the ‘British’ in N. Ireland who are not British (geographically, but Irish, hence the accents) desperately want to be called that.

      British Council advises staff to avoid term ‘Brits’ because it ‘excludes people from NI’

      The British Council has advised staff not to use the terms “Brits” because the term excludes people from Northern Ireland…

      …The use of terms such as “British English” or “Queen’s English” is also deemed “problematic as it implies that these varieties of English are more correct or of greater importance than others”.

      What on earth is ‘British English’? I’m assuming ‘English Standard English’? I certainly wasn’t taught British English at school.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        ‘British English’ has generally been the term used (interchangeably with ‘BBC English’ [sic.], ‘Southern Standard England English’ (SSE) and ‘the Queen’s English’ (which itself has changed since the Monarch acceded the throne) as being the standard whereby most foreign students of English in Europe have been taught English as a Foreign Language, (EFL). The term Received Pronunciation (RP) is also used and indicates the usual speech of the middle classes and above of the South East of England and the royal (English) court. Thus, maybe 2% of the UK speak RP. This accent of English features noteworthy examples of, e.g. ‘the long a’ in words like ‘castle’ (KAHsl) and ‘bath’ (BAAHth), Similarly, ‘bus’ is BUHS not BOOSS as it would be in, Yorkshire, say.

        This was the model I worked from when I taught English as a Foreign Language to other nationalities in Paris (1997-2001) and Poland (2006-2008). All the EFL textbooks follow RP models (unless of course you’re teaching and are a native American English, Australian English etc speaker). Now you have to remember that I’m not a native of any form of English, least of all RP, so any English students of mine would probably come out speaking some form of internationally-flavoured Cymro-RP mixture of English. And that would be fine – if people understood them, and they understood English speakers – what harm?

        Now, ‘British English’ is still the term bandied about by (English/British) Teachers of EFL for their version of English.

        However, and as you may know, I also moonlight as a Celticist (MA University of Wales, if you must know), where there is a growing tendency for us in that sector to promote the term ‘English English’ for RP and/or the English dialects and accents of England. The Celtic Englishes (Welsh English, Scottish English etc.) fall into their own compartments and have distinct features which set them apart from RP and from each other. (That said, the Celtic English also show similarities to each other syntactically as they are influenced by the native Celtic language – Welsh, Scottish Gaelic etc., below the surface – what we call a ‘substrate’.) English too has a substrate of Celtic to some of its syntax – possessing elements and vocabulary of a ‘Celtic’ and not Germanic nor French nature, but which do exist in Celtic. It’s only latterly that Anglicists are waking up to these facts – whereas Celticists have been arguing these points for decades.

        So, yes, I guess at school in Scotland your teachers would (mostly) be teaching their students using a form of Scottish English. Doubtless there a variations here, too. English on Skye is going to be different from English in the Gorbals. However, and I’ve heard and read enough stories to know it’s true, there will have been teachers who have tried to knock ‘improper English’ (including Scots and Scottish Gaelic) out of their pupils mouths – often physically, often psychologically. The way forward to advancement is ‘good and correct’ English is through the RP model – and that alone. All else is inferior.

        I hope this helps.

        • scottish skier says:

          Aye. Mrs SS learned ‘British’ English at school / uni in France, only to discover when she came to Scotland that nobody spoke like that here. As a result, she had to re-learn Scottish English, with its different pronunciation / words / scottishisms etc, to avoid people finding great amusement at some of the Famous 5 type stuff she came out with, complete with French accent. 🙂

  72. barpe says:

    Well, it seems the Boris ‘distraction’ worked at the BBC – not one mention can I find , this morning of the ‘party scandals’.
    Same as, same as……………!!

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Apparently there’s a story in the Express about why the Met police won’t investigate these ‘Schrodinger Parties’. I thought it best not to sully my hands by reading it and attaching it here. (But you can find a link to it via MSN).

  73. scottish skier says:

    Latest on the Brexit boom.

    Interesting, as it shows a shift to load on load off (lo lo) rather than roll on roll off.

    Rosslare to Dunkirk is of course further than Rosyth to e.g. Rotterdam!

    Dublin’s Lo-Lo port boom reveals shift in Ireland’s trade after Brexit

    More freight is bypassing the UK and heading straight for the EU…

    …Ireland is betting on such trade growing. Last month, it opened a new goods terminal in Dunkirk as a gateway to the continent, to be served from the southern port of Rosslare, the main rival to Dublin.

  74. yesindyref2 says:

    Trade union changes could help secure our independence

    letter from James Cassidy – Trade Unionists for Independence

    No, that isn’t me and I have no connection, but I’ve been watching over the STUC and unions since 2012.

    • grizebard says:

      Now that’s a very interesting article, and

      … it now seems that the GMB as a union lost control of what was going on locally and that the activists on the ground were calling the shots

      which was pretty much how I read it as it was unfolding.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        It’s been brewing up for some time. First the central decision to support a NO vote without consulation, despite probably half the members supporting YES already. Then the betrayal on the Clyde which makes life difficult for a union that also has members at competitive shipyards Like H&W and Cammell Laird.

        Basically speaking 13 Type 26 hulls (8 anti-sub and 5 general purpose) became 8, with a different and cheaper hull design sought and being built by Babcock for the other 5. and people trying to say that the Clyde was getting 5 OPVs instead. But first off an OPV at 2,000 tonnes does not compare with a frigate at 6,900 tonnes – and a shipyard is a lot about steel. Second, 3 of the OPVs were already ordered back in 2013, so in reality 16 ships / hulls had been promised.

        As a result there was no frigate factory as promised, workers had to go down to Barrow working on Astute as not enough work for them just on OPVs, and no apprentices were taken on – the lifeblood of the industry. GMB actually complained bitterly (Cook), and Fallon said “hey what’s the problem get back in your box”. No seriously, that’s exactly what he said. Some people tried to pass off 5 OPVs as being the same as 5 frigates, possibly why when at some stage not long after this article I corrected UKDJ (politely but firmly I daresay) I had a posting or two deleted and then have been blocked ever since. Ho hum.

        There are others if you search – gmb bae frigates

        Note in the article – Unite as well as GMB. It’s slow but steady, and the more the “Precious Union” fights against Scotland, the more the Unions have to make their choice – UK and the end of Devolution, or Scotland.

        • Statgeek says:

          UKDJ have always deleted comments those of a ‘different’ disposition to theirs. Move on, and ignore etc.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Some of the comments are good, by which I mean bad. “We shouldn’t give any defence contracts to Scotland, they’re ungrateful”. Which annoyed a NO voter who posted there (don’t think he does now), who pointed out that we contribute plenty to the UK finances and he voted to stay part of the UK, as did 55% of people in Scotland.

            I hope the undecideds and soft NOes read these comments on these blogs to see how much their “Precious Union” is really worth – nothing at all.

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