‘Tis the season

 Christmas and the New Year are almost upon us. I hope that in 2022 the independence movement can put the arguments and disputes of the past couple of years behind us and focus on the momentous task ahead – building a solid majority for an independent Scotland.  As we move into next year the campaign for independence will be ramping up a gear and later in 2022 Holyrood will start to make preparations for a referendum in 2023.  The most important thing that we can do as ordinary punters is to work to ensure that when the Scottish Parliament makes moves towards a referendum that it is backed up by the support of a clear majority of the population.  That means taking the fight to where it really belongs, showing up the hollow nature of the positions of Labour and the Lib Dems, and the immense threat that the corrupt Conservatives pose to our civil liberties, the very future of the Scottish Parliament, and to democracy itself.  That is going to be the priority of this blog in the coming months.

However in the short term, things are quietening down as we enter the holiday period. As regular readers know, my health has not been great of late.  Sadly recovery from a major stroke is not all onwards and upwards. In order to be ready for next year, I’m going to take the next couple of weeks off to enjoy the holidays, and to rest and recuperate at home. I hope that you all have a wonderful time over Christmas and the New Year and that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.  I’ll be back, recharged and ready for the year ahead, in the New Year.  See you all then!

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651 comments on “‘Tis the season

  1. Capella says:

    Have a good rest Paul and a peaceful festive season. I think we can all do with a bit of down time after the roller coaster few months and with a pandemic still raging. Of course, we never know what’s round the corner with this appallingly chaotic Tory government in Westminster. So there will be plenty to talk abut btl I’m sure.

  2. Fergus Green says:

    Happy holidays Paul. Take care and stay well.

    AS an occasional poster, I want you to know that your blog has become, in my view, the most influential over the last couple of years and long may it continue.

    Looking forward to your next insightful instalments in 2022.

  3. Val Honeyman says:

    Wishing you well and hope you regain your strength for the campaign. Merry Christmas and a happy new year when it comes

  4. John Muir says:

    Take it easy, Paul. Really take it easy this Christmas a New Year. No cheating now!

    All the points you make above are entirely true. Right now is time for bygones and coming back together. There’s one thing we want, and together we’ll do it.

  5. P Harvey says:

    Paul
    The clarity with which you write is laser sharp.
    We must unite for Independence
    Take it easy & as much time as your require
    Then, an extra bit of time, to be sure
    Have a peaceful festive season with family
    All the best!

  6. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, it’s going to be interesting…. Have a good break Paul, we’ll hear from you in the New Year.

  7. Mhairi Mackinnon says:

    Many thanks for your emails throughout the year, I have loved reading them. I have laughed out loud (quite rare) at some of your descriptions. I wish you well and look forward to next year. Stay safe and healing wishes to you. Mhairi xx

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  8. Paul,

    Thank you for all the effort you have put into your blog over the past year(s). It is a big task for anyone, never mind someone who is recovering from a major stroke. That makes your contribution to the independence cause even more impressive.

    You deserve a break, and I hope you both have a good Christmas and New Year and that your recovery continues in 2022.

    All the Best

    HT

  9. solpurpose says:

    Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Paul. All the best for 2022 and keep up the great writing. Lang may yer lum reek!

  10. Stuart MacKay says:

    I think a lot of people are starting to realise that looking past the rancour and focussing on the only important thing, independence, is the only sensible path forward. Throwing stones all day is the easiest thing in the world but it only leaves you with dirty hands.

    It’s time to dissolve the Union, by any means necessary, and avoid the wreckage of the UK as it comes off the rails.

    Hope you have a good break, and return fitter, stronger and more determined. Merry Christmas and all the best for 22.

  11. John Rutherford says:

    Have a Kool Yule Pal and a’ the best tae you & yours.

  12. Hamish100 says:

    Best wishes to all. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  13. Roderick Skinner says:

    Enjoy your festive season break. You deserve it. We think you’re wonderful, having worked so hard to keep going, after your stroke. May the New Year bring you better health. A’ ra best from the Skinners in Kilrenny.

  14. wm says:

    All the best for next year Paul, look after yourself, looking forward to next years posts. A good New Year to the rest of you commentators, especially Jack C.

    • wm, an Irish toast:-

      “May your glass be ever full.
      May the roof over your head be always strong.
      And may you be in heaven
      half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead”

      A Scots toast:
      ‘Some hae meat, but cannae eat,
      Some hae nane but want it.
      We hae meat, and we can eat,
      So let the Lord be thankit.’

      My family’s toast over the Hogmaney steak pie diinner:-

      ‘Here;s tae us,
      Wha’s like us,
      Gie few, and;
      They’re a’ deid.’

      Happy Christmas and Better New year, Duggers.

  15. CageyBee says:

    All the best to you and yours Pauk hope your break from this helps your ongoing recovery see you next year

  16. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Enjoy your break…..you deserve it.

  17. Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ùr, Paul. Make the most of the festive season, relax and rest, and return to us refreshed and reinvigorated in the New Year.

  18. scottish skier says:

    Aye, happy Christmas hodilays Paul, and the same to all, yesser and noer alike, even my old mate IfS. 🙂

    So long as you recognise that the people of Scotland have the sovereign right to freely determine the form of government best suited to their needs, and the right to do that without undesired outside interference, then seasons greetings to you.

    As for those who don’t respect Scotland and her people (that’s you Bozo et al.)… who would overrule their freely expressed democratic will… I’ll leave you in the hands of Karma, which already seems to be coming back to bite the party clown in his behind.

  19. Tam the Bam says:

    Seasons Greetings to you and yours Paul and many..many thanks for the Herculean efforts you have made to continue the blog during the most trying of times for yourself.A Herculean effort indeed.Well done!
    A wee thought….
    At this time of year..the RSPCA tell the public ” a dog is for longer than Christmas”…and sound advice too.A respectful period of grace has lapsed since the passing of ‘the auld yin’ (WGD) and mibeez the time is right to consider welcoming ‘a young yin’?
    I understand the physical demands of training a pup are considerable and they have a bad habit of eating your home!…but on the plus side they always open a new chapter and fill a void.
    Anyway…food for thought.

    Merry Christmas and a Guid Ne’er tae ane an aw!.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I am very keen to get another dug, another rescued mutt, but I’m still not fit enough for it. I couldn’t give a dug the walks it needs, and I’d have to be careful that it didn’t pull me off my feet. Eventually there will be another dug, and it may even be wee and ginger, but I’m not there yet. Hopefully by this time next year!

      • Golfnut says:

        Just bought mine( 10 soon to be 11 year old French Bulldog ) a set of wheels for his back end. It’s an inherent problem for Frenchies, not sure I’m going to be fit enough to keep up him once he gets used to them. Anyway, have good Christmas and Hogmany.

      • scottish skier says:

        After two rescued cats in a row, We’ve now two King Charles spaniels. Really lovely wee dugs. Most dogs were originally bred for some form of hunting / farm work. Not these; they were bred for cuddling up on your lab whenever they can!

  20. Skintybroko says:

    Have a relaxing recuperative time over the Festive break we can only go onwards and upwards on our quest to become independent. Hope the two of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  21. Izzie says:

    Take care of yourself Paul have a relaxing break. The movement for independence needs bonnie fechters like you. All the best to you and yours for 2022.

  22. Marion Scott says:

    Have a well earned, restful break and come back refreshed. Merry Christmas and a healthy and safe new year to both of you.

  23. alastair says:

    Wishing you a Happy Festive Season
    and a well earned rest.

  24. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Nadolig Lawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda / Christmas greetings and a Happy New Year to thee and thine from part of the Welsh contingent.

    Easy does it over the Festive Season – we all need you fighting fit!

  25. bringiton says:

    Take it easy over the next few weeks Paul,we are going to need you.

  26. G HARDY says:

    You have a wonderful restful break with your lovely man and come back to us in as we need you. Wishing you both a very merry Christmas and an amazing New Year 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿❤️—— Original Message —— On Thursday, 16 Dec, 21 At 11:11, Wee Ginger

  27. Mrs Sheryl Hepworth says:

    Wishing you & Peter a peaceful and merry Christmas and wishing you a happier and healthier 2022! All us ”duggers” wish the best fr you pal and hope that your recovery carries on being positive so we’re all ready for the fray!! Xmas hugs!!

  28. Legerwood says:

    Have a good, and well deserved, rest over the holiday period.

    Merry Christmas and Happy and healthier New Year to you and yours.

  29. yesindyref2 says:

    to be jolly
    Fa la la la la, la la la la
    Don we now our gay apparel
    Fa la la la la, la la la la
    Troll the ancient Yuletide carol
    Fa la la la la, la la la la

    mmm, I’ve opened an early Christmas present that is green outside and red inside, originates in Australia, is a real corker and I call it Grimes as that’s random.

    Prosit! Frohe Weihnachten!

  30. Arthur+Thomson says:

    Have a lovely Christmas and I hope the new year ahead is your best year yet. Thank you for all you are doing to help us realise our dream.

  31. Melb Don says:

    Paul, please rest well as I and many others in the antipodes need you to continue to keep us so well informed. This from Robert Burns to you and also to the leader of the ALBA party, with different meaning to both of you. “O wad some pow’r the giftie gie us; To see oursels as ithers see us!”. You are truly a gifted sgriobhadair poileataigeach.

  32. Och, Paul look after yourself…Indyref2 is The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, and the assembled Better Together Red Yellow and Tories are quivering in heart thumping terror in anticipation of the the spectre’s nocturnal visit.

    Like Dickens’ dark portend the Yes movement need merely point at the disasters which have been visited upon Scotland by English Rule since ’14, and even more so since June ’16, to set out the hell that is yet to come, if we ‘bow down to our Imperial Masters’ again.

    The best form of defence is attack.

    We are on the edge of two alternative ‘Yet To Comes’; either the enlightenment of liberty or eternal darkness as conquered slaves.

    WE expose the liars, cheats, bullies and carpetbaggers hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly from now on in.
    Rest up, Free Citizen of Scotland…and Peter too, who merits our thanks for being at your side through all of this.

    You are needed more than ever, as we ‘see the front of battle low’r.

    Wha would be a traitor knave?

    Keep safe and well, both of you.
    Adeste,fideles.
    The Jacobite Carol’s cry to the people.

  33. Hazel+Smith says:

    Paul, I hope you and Peter have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope the good rest helps with your recovery. You’ve done so much for the independence movement even with all your health problems. I’m sure we all are in awe of how much you’ve done this past year. Enjoy a nice peaceful time and we look forward to all your blogs in the New Year.💙🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  34. jfngw says:

    Is it time for some 1965 Christmas kitsch (when I was 11 and life was still full of possibilities).

  35. ScotsCanuck says:

    Merry Christmas & a Guid New Year, Paul …. many wise words have you spoken (& written ) … and many more will you … but now it’s “recharge battery” time …. the final push to our goal of Scottish Independence begins in 2022 and we need “all hands on deck” … get your strength back and you’ll return tae the fray.

  36. Janet says:

    Get better! Get your strength back!

    Never underestimate your importance to our movement!

  37. Golfnut says:

    Excellent commentary by George Monibot.

    https://fb.watch/9X_FwVL3QZ/

    Johnson and co, include the media, have lot to answer for.

  38. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye well, the Tories lose North Shropshire seat they had held for nearly 200 years….

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yep, the Tories lose to the Tory stand by party (Liberal Democrats) and you wouldn’t mind that so much except that they rabbit on about how they’re going to change the face of a new politics because of *the wonderful things they does* like they’re the Wizard of Oz party instead of the stand by protest vote party, and everybody knows next time around that same seat will revert to type and be Tory A party again, protest over

      It’s the Willie Rennie effect, even if they hadn’t spent a penny more than usual they’d still have won because they knew like we know the result was a warning vote against the Tories and not for the Liberal Democrats, if the people of Shropshire were really that angry they’d have voted Labour but they were never going to commit such a dastardly low crime against themselves for fear of folk thinking them common ordinary socialisty people and that would never do, perish the thought

    • scottish skier says:

      Aye, when I said earlier that karma would bring comeuppance to the likes of Boris, I wisnae expecting such a great example the next morning.

      What a whopping hit. Blue knives will really be out now.

      One Tory party for another, but still.

  39. deelsdugs says:

    All the best Paul…

  40. barpe says:

    I’ll miss your bit of morning uplift each day over the Season, but you’ve more than earned this break – so take it and refresh!!
    When you return Boris may be a ‘thing’ of the past!!
    Take care, and thanks for all you’ve done over the years.

  41. Capella says:

    Losing a seat you’ve held for 200 years really is spectacularly careless. That’s since before the Reform Act. But Wikipedia thinks the Liberals won the seat in an Oswestry by election in 1904. So perhaps it’s not so rock solid. Only 117 year tenure.
    They had a 60% LEAVE vote in the EU referendum too so BREXIT can’t be disappointing them. I wonder what the reason is for their sudden enchantment with the Lib Dems.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_North_Shropshire_by-election

  42. Capella says:

    Two good news stories from The National about the possibility of returning our Scottish land to a more natural state after two hundred years of grouse moors and plantations.

    First, the persistent Chris Packham meets with the Crown Estate to persuade them to rewild some of the vast acreage the Royal family hold.

    The royal family is the UK’s biggest landowner, with more than 615,000 acres of land and British foreshore from the Crown Estate alone.

    https://archive.fo/GU0eb

    Second, Woodland Trust Scotland and local charity Arkaig Community Forest bought a 2500 acre site in Lochaber in 2016. It was previously a plantation of Sitka spruce and lodgepole pine and it is a mammoth task to clear that. But they have made a start. They want to save remnants of the ancient Caledonian Pine forest.
    https://archive.fo/jmZQd

  43. Marybel Tracey says:

    Rest is so important but not easy to do especially at this time of year. After my big operation I had no choice and on some days following chemo rest is all I can do. As 2022 moves ever closer I hope for a happier and healthier New Year for myself, you and everyone else too. When illness conspires against us and life becomes fragile it also becomes the more precious and makes me certainly count my blessings. It helps to keep positive and enjoy each day.

  44. Dr Jim says:

    According to the Express and Daily Mail Nicola Sturgeon was the Christmas Grinch with all her Omicron warnings then the Queen cancelled her special do’s but she’s setting an example for the *nation*

    • jfngw says:

      I see Mike Blackely (English Daily Mail) had ‘cul sur une assiette’ for lunch, served by the FM, a dish best served cold. It’s still stinging a little I believe, going by his twitter wobbly lips response.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Aye, courtesy of Indyref Two preserved for posterity… Ouch…

      • Dr Jim says:

        He reached out to his Unionist support to give his ego a wee rub following his own pathetic attempt at political snidyness towards the FM, she saw through it took him down and he deserved it and all his supporters can say is *he was polite* the FMs bad and there’s Indyref money so she should spend that on Covid

        The problem with the Indyref money is it’s mine and everybody else’s who pays their subs to the political party we support, not England’s money, not borrowing, not loans, our hard earned cash that Scots pay to work towards ridding ourselves of asswipes like the Daily Mail the Express and the Sun and the BBC

  45. Capella says:

    Some black humour from Tim Spector. The Christmas Covid Handicap Hurdle.

  46. Valkyrie says:

    Wishing you all the best for christmas and new year! 🙂

    Also…
    https://borisjohnson.info/
    Hoping for this! 😉

  47. scottish skier says:

    French folk saying Bozo needs to ‘prenez un grip’ after the Shropshire result.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Ha ha.

      I thought it was La Davidson who had that line:

      “She said MPs were “looking for a bit of bloody grip to be exerted.””

  48. Hamish100 says:

    Aren’t the Lib Dem’s the party that assisted the tories to foist Austerity onto us?

    Asking for a friend!

  49. Tatu3 says:

    I hope you and Peter have a lovely christmas.
    Thank you for the great posts and I look forward to many more once you get your strength back

  50. Janeymac says:

    Enjoy your well deserved break Paul. Looking forward to more of your truly insightful posts in the new year. Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and best wishes for 2022.

  51. Alex Clark says:

    So the man Johnson put in charge of the investigation into the partying at No 10 last December at the height of lockdown has been accused of enjoying some partying himself last year at the cabinet office.

    Simon Case, the head civil servant who runs the cabinet office for No 10 was supposed to conduct an investigation into breaches of the lockdown regulations and instead finds himself accused of doing exactly the same himself. The latest news tonight is that he is to be replaced as the chief of the investigation. You couldn’t make it up but with this lot in charge, you don’t need to!

    All the best for Xmas Paul and have a good New Year.

    • Alex Clark says:

      From the Guardian:

      The UK’s cabinet secretary Simon Case has “recused himself” from leading an investigation into lockdown-breaking parties across Whitehall following allegations of gatherings in his own department.

      He had been tasked by the prime minister to investigate parties reported to have been held in Downing Street and the Department for Education in November and December 2020.

      And it was confirmed the scope could be widened to other alleged parties if Case thought it necessary.

      But following reports there were two parties held in the Cabinet Office in December 2020, a No 10 spokesperson said: “To ensure the ongoing investigation retains public confidence the Cabinet Secretary has recused himself for the remainder of the process.”

      “The work will be concluded by Sue Gray, second permanent secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

      “She will ascertain the facts and present her findings to the Prime Minister.”

      Who police’s the police? Themselves! We can expect another whitewash, nothing to see here.

  52. Capella says:

    And – it turns out Chancellor Rishi Sunak in California couldn’t participate in talks with the UK hospitality sector because he was on a scheduled call with US healthcare bosses. Why?

  53. Hamish100 says:

    Because the unionists can’t be trusted full stop. Doesn’t the cabinet have a another cabinet member to deal with investments? If not them surely Mundell could have nipped over from NZ with a rack of lamb?

    Ot – I see bbc Question Time is heading to St Andrews in January- again.

    Unionist central in Scotland.

    Remind me bbc when did you last have QT in Castlemilk, Pollok, Leith, Torry, etcetera?

    Not the right type of “Scotch people ” I presume?

    • barpe says:

      Even if they went to Castlemilk,etc, the BBC would still select their audience from a more ‘acceptable’ area and bus them in!! They have ‘form’ for that, I seem to recall.

  54. Capella says:

    Ben Wallace in an outrageous slur to Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish People. Let’s stop funding these arrogant overblown boy scouts and fund our own defence after independence.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Of course. Remember it took a couple of days to send a RN tug boat to fend of the ruskies near Moray.
      We could argue is not the job of the nhs or police to deal with the aftermath of the armed forces bullying, shootings and police investigations caused by the military.
      I wonder if the ex ex ex leader of the Tories in Scotland will defend Scotland.
      Probably not, as her boss is the defence minister and she as a failed politician and sits in the Lords.

      Remember her?

      Dame Annabel Goldie.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      At least he’s consistent:

      https://nation.cymru/news/defence-secretary-warns-he-might-not-help-welsh-health-service-again-in-future/

      Defence Secretary warns he might not help Welsh health service again in future

      17 Dec 2021 2 minute Read

      The UK Government’s Defence Secretary has warned that he might not help the Welsh NHS again in the future.

      Tory MP Ben Wallace, has recently made 98 personnel from the British Army available to support the Covid-19 vaccine booster programme in Wales.

      But he said it was only there as a “last resort” and suggested that military might not necessarily assist in the future if he received a request from the Welsh Government to do so.

      […]

      ___________

      Makes you proud to be a member of ‘the family of nations’, eh? You know, the one one whose ‘broad shoulders’ we can all rely.

      Aye, right.

    • grizebard says:

      We could agree with Wallace if we had a sovereign government of our own, able to freely marshal its own military and make its own decisions on health funding without having his clown circus continually getting in our way.

      Scratch any of these arrogant neo-colonialists and the cognitive dissonance shows. It’s getting ever more visible. Always trying to argue two opposites simultaneously. They’re permanently put-out, irritated that we keep wanting to do our own thing, yet simultaneously so very anxious to stop us from leaving. Underneath the self-entitled arrogance lurks something desperately needy.

    • scottish skier says:

      Well, I guess this means we can deduct the cost of the UK military from our GERS bill. They are not protecting Scotland from outside attacks on our democracy by aggressive neighbours, allowing Scotland to be subjugated by a foreign power (it appears), now they say they’re not here to help scotland in domestic emergencies. What exactly are we forking out for?

      Seems to me its an English army, not a British one.

      • Golfnut says:

        The army were involved from almost the start of covid, not exactly advertised I know, at least not in the way it was used as a club to beat both the Scottish and Welsh govs. It’s anecdotal I know, but at least one Scots medic was sent South and didn’t get home for nigh on a year. I don’t know when the army became involved in Scotland but probably some way behind England. Wallace is a disgrace, perhaps Wales and Scotland should ask for a refund on GERS contributions.

      • grizebard says:

        True, that last comment. Like most everything else, the “British” part is really only a paper-thin fig-leaf.

        For long the casual assumption wasn’t even hidden. 50 years ago, the Beatles even sung it out loud. What that actually means though is steadily becoming more obvious now. The more we assert ourselves, the more the reality is revealed by the nasty reactions such self-assertion invokes.

        There’s no point looking back, I suppose, but a clean break back in ’14 would have been far better. Now we’re likely to see a lot more of this kind of bitterness and antagonism creeping in on both sides, accentuated as it inevitably will be by any crisis. Possibly building to the point that most people, even the more reluctant who would rather have left things alone, can see that it’s going to be a whole lot easier to just get it over with than to try to unwind.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I’d just commented on this in the National article
      “It was Ben Wallace who stated that the army contingent first sent to Scotland had been assisting in the same capacity across Eastern England since the previous May….

      So is he now saying his ministerial colleague for Health had been incapable of running the NHS in England for many months because he was too busy fumbling with his zipper ?

      An utterly preposterous and pompous man is Wallace, trying to score cheap political points to avoid the more serious question of why England’s NHS staffing levels are so low….”

    • Statgeek says:

      Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish recruitment will drop even further after things like this. The military types have their own grapevine. Already pared to the bone nationally, and with Scottish regiments under-strength, I imagine there will be less than 5,000 fighting men and less than half of that willing to be in a future Scottish army when Indy comes.

      Fully expect UK Gov to offer existing service people to continue with them etc.

      People should have recognised this was the end objective of UK Gov back when the regiments were dropped, or when the cuts came, it was always more to the units not based in London and the South.

      Said it before. One day there will be an Admiral, a Field Marshall, and an Air Marshall, and they will be arguing over who presses the big red button for the deterrent, as they’ll never cut funding for that.

      • grizebard says:

        No, that latter para is misguided, I think. In the first place, the nuclear deterrent is in the hands of the Navy alone. The RAF essentially lost that role after the V-bombers became obsolete due to ICBMs, and the Army never had it. You’re surely right inasmuch as all mainstream English politicians (Labour included despite all their “noises off”) won’t readily give it up purely for reasons of prestige, but as for all the military chiefs, among themselves it may well have long been seen as a veritable “cuckoo in the nest”, much more than we realise, purely because it distorts defence budgets so enormously.

      • Golfnut says:

        ” fully expect UK gov to offer existing service people to continue with them act ”

        I agree, and they will be under enormous pressure to do so. Painting a picture of what the SDF will look like and their roll within its structure is going to be very important.

  55. Clydebuilt says:

    Great clip

  56. Naina Tal says:

    Cross making more sense than usual!!! Funny though.
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/295961897774070/permalink/907598726610381/

  57. Naina Tal says:

    That would have been Dross but for the autocorrect!

  58. Dr Jim says:

    The UK of England are so possessive about *their* armed forces that Scottish taxpayers fund but seem quite happy to deploy them to foreign countries in other parts of the world to *help* for free yet are reluctant to deploy them within their own borders to the countries of the Union they claim to want to continue to rule seems to me to be a Union that does the opposite to what it says on the tin

    Not only does Generalissimo Ben Wallace appear to resent what he feels is his personal guard being deployed to Scotland he positively appears to dislike the people of Scotland for choosing a political party and government that he doesn’t approve of, perhaps Generalissimo Ben Wallace is of the Labour Minister Lisa Nandy opinion that the UK English military should only be deployed to Scotland to use force of arms to prevent any democratic processes we might like to vote for

    This is not the 1970s nor is Scotland Northern Ireland much as many Unionists would like it to be when the UK English British Empire became terrorists within the borders of Britain posing as defenders of democracy when their real mission was *defenders of the faith* and prosecutors of those who failed to comply with their ideological doctrine

    There are no straw and grass roofs in Scotland anymore for the UK English British to burn like they did before and like they did in Ireland, the Irish have gone and are the better for it, Scotland will go and be the better for it too

    Can Generalissimo Ben Wallace name one country in the world now Independent from UK English British Union that wants to rejoin the UK English British Union? well Scotland doesn’t wonder why not

  59. Welsh_Siôn says:

    The UK of England are so possessive about *their* armed forces that Scottish and Welsh taxpayers fund and die for …

  60. James Mills says:

    What would Scotland do without the 0.001% of aid that the English/British army provides for driving ambulances and inoculating.

    Thank you, Ben Wallace, for your forbearance in dealing with us Scots who are so badly led by our Government that we have only managed to be the best at 1st, 2nd and booster jags (jabs to you!) in the UK and have reduced our hospital admissions for Covid and reduced numbers in ICU as well … but thanks for your help!
    We salute you!!!

  61. Eilidh says:

    Great article Paul have a nice Christmas and New Year and a nice rest. I will miss your insight re the dire situation we are in and your humour. I look forward to your next article

  62. Legerwood says:

    Breaking news:
    Lord Frost is resigning from Johnson’s Gov.

    Interesting.

    Does not seem to like Plan B esp Covid passes and dislikes high tax/high spend policies. I thought the high taxes were on the ‘little people’s not the likes of him and high spend was on Tory donors/cronies in the form of outrageous PPE contracts.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Scooped by Legerwood:

      https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/brexit-minister-s-shock-resignation-leaves-boris-johnson-reeling/ar-AARX6Lx?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531

      The Guardian

      Brexit minister’s shock resignation leaves Boris Johnson reeling

      Michael Savage and Toby Helm 20 mins ago

    • Capella says:

      It must be BREXIT. He was against it before he was ennobled to negotiate it. Quite a steep fall.

      • Legerwood says:

        It does not appear to be the quoted reason but who knows with that shower.

      • grizebard says:

        You could well be right. According to the Graun, besides his Covid-denial wish for a “free Britain, or at least merry England”, there’s this:

        Whitehall insiders said Frost approached Johnson recently about leaving the government, as he felt Brexit talks were not progressing.

        So maybe he doesn’t want to be associated with an unresolved impasse, another NI bog.

        Oh, and the direct link is:

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/18/brexit-ministers-shock-resignation-leaves-boris-johnson-reeling

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          “So maybe he doesn’t want to be associated with an unresolved impasse”

          grizebard….once more you are on the money……

          He knows it’s the impossible unresolvable problem via a ‘normal’ deal and one that was never considered during the EU Referendum campaign…….but post referendum could only be solved by WTO option aka no deal……as in solved for THEM but NOT for NI…but like all the others he prefers to run away from the unfixable problem and not be linked to a failure to resolve the unresolvable problem..aka…the catastrophe that is Brexit.

          Another example of the Unionists doing what is best for THEM but not for the people who have to live with the consequences…..Northern Irish people who are in business are currently, via having access to single market, are having the best of both worlds, the Unionists however want to act like Turkey’s voting for Xmas to stay in a Union with a country whose political leaders care not a jot for them…….pretty much like the rabid Unionists here……

          Frost pre referendum wrote an article where he stated that he ” supported the case for remaining in the EU’s Single Market and said that leaving it would be “fraught with economic risk”……THIS speaks volumes as to how corrupt the Tories really are…they KNOW the consequences are dire but they all put party before country…..just like the Baroness who spoke about the economic risks for Scotland (token gesture) in leaving the EU…she too bowed down to the party and embraced the party line…..no principles and no clear vision to fight for what was right or indeed continue the fight post Brexit….to what she supposedly believed was the best way for her UK i.e. staying in the EU …..that falls by the wayside when the Conservative and Unionist party morphs into the Brexit party…….now they and the media are all hiding behind Covid to shroud Brexit’s disastrous consequences …….

          You won’t get the favoured anti SNP guest of the BBC aka one uber BritNat Stephen Montgomery, Tory and Unionist supporter, mention the dire Brexit consequential for Hospitality because he, like the Tories and the Scottish media , deliberately obscure, as in fail to mention/highlight the reality and consequence of Brexit on the Scottish economy and very much for the hospitality sector to which he, Montgomery, is very much a minor employer within…..no he like the rest of them needs to blame Covid and Covid alone because they all then think they can then apportion undeserved blame upon the SG while blatantly ignoring the UK Govt’s ineptitude in failing to act time and time again during the pandemic, breaking rules, failing to continue to financially support businesses like those within the Hospitality sector unless those sections within England rebels ….but you see they can’t blame Brexit and the resulting economic dire consequences on the SG nope that is all down to the UK Govt as tis THEIR policy instigated and implemented by THEM and yet still unresolved….hence the silence from them all on Brexit……an orchestrated Omerta Union style.

          Funny how when an MP from the SNP asked a question on Brexit in HOC earlier this year they were told by a Tory minister in response that “Brexit was done” and yet we have the Brexit negotiator, another one, resigning as Brexit secretary…..I mean if Brexit is, as the Tories say, DONE….then what is left to negotiate for a Brexit Secretary ?

          Sick to death of them all…….as should ALL people who live in Scotland be at this point.

      • Alex Clark says:

        I’d think too that a fallout with Johnson over Brexit has to be favourite for why he left. So much talk of implementing article 16 of the NI protocol which Frost kept threatening to use, then it all went quiet when the EU warned that the retaliation would be swift if they carried out the threat.

        • scottish skier says:

          I imagine the USA has had words with No. 10 too.

          It won’t help that the protocol is really popular in NI either; it’s only the ‘fruitcakes’, ‘loonies, ‘closet racists’ and associated British terrorists groups that are moaning about it. It’s really boosting the province economically compared to the UK.

          The best thing about it, is that it’s causing the economy of NI to rapidly reorientate towards the republic / EU, resulting in economic ‘reunification’, which is perfect ahead of final political unity.

          Also neatly demonstrates why Scotland being outside the England’s Trump wall would do far better than within it, even with a ‘hard border’ at Gretna.

  63. Alex Clark says:

    This is the full text of Frost’s resignation letter according to GB news.

    Dear Boris,

    I have led our EU exit process for the two and half years since you became Prime Minister.

    In those years we have restored the UK’s freedom and independence as a country and begun the process of building a new relationship with the EU.

    That will be a long-term task. That is why we agreed earlier this month that I would move on in January and hand over the baton to others to manage our future relationship with the EU.

    It is disappointing that this plan has become public this evening and in the circumstances I think it is right for me to write to step down with immediate effect.

    It has been a huge honour and privilege to work with you over the last five years, first in the Foreign Office and then in No.10.

    You have been an outstanding leader at a moment of grave constitutional crisis for this country.

    Many said that it would be impossible to deliver what we did: an end to political turbulence by implementing the referendum result, a stunning election victory, an exit from the EU which gave us full freedom about our future choices as a country, and finally putting in place the world’s broadest and indeed only zero-tariff free trade deal.

    You and I have always shared the same approach on Brexit and I do not think we would have achieved so much without that close common understanding of our aims.

    Brexit is now secure. The challenge for the Government now is to deliver on the opportunities it gives us.

    You know my concerns about the current direction of travel. I hope we will move as fast as possible to where we need to get to: a lightly regulated, low-tax, entrepreneurial economy, at the cutting edge of modern science and economic change.

    Three hundred years of history show that countries which take that route grow and prosper, and I am confident we will too.

    We also need to learn to live with Covid and I know that is your instinct too.

    You took a brave decision in July, against considerable opposition, to open up the country again.

    Sadly it did not prove to be irreversible, as I wished, and believe you did too. I hope we can get back on track soon and not be tempted by the kind of coercive measures we have seen elsewhere.

    Together we have put this country onto a new path. I am confident that under your leadership this newly free Britain can succeed and prosper hugely.

    I wish you and the Government every success in that.

    David

    https://archive.ph/wip/sjXY3

    • Golfnut says:

      Hells teeth, just how delusional is the author of that letter. To be honest it looks more like a job reference for Johnson than a resignation. Is that it’s purpose then, an endorsement of Johnson and brexit.

    • scottish skier says:

      The words ‘rat’ and ‘sinking ship’ come to mind.

      Will be interesting to see if Johnson exceeds May’s 3 years. He needs to hold on to the end of July.

      The normal pattern would be for him to hold office for less time than his predecessor. Then who comes next falls within even less time and so forth.

      As the UK descends into further economic and constitutional chaos.

      A leader at the (democratic) helm for a long time is a sign of decent governance and stability.

      • Statgeek says:

        The days to pass the recent-ish ones:

        7th June – Brown
        3rd Aug – May
        20th Aug – Callaghan

        That’s some list with which to be associated.

      • scottish skier says:

        Aye. Could be tight!

        https://archive.md/KK7jH

        Tories give Boris Johnson months to improve … or go

        Senior party figures think cost of living increases next spring, if combined with poor local election results in May, will doom the PM

        I see this happening quicker possibly, given the massive mess the country is in,

  64. Golfnut says:

    Murray Foote and the Army web site, interesting detail.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/1012881142776089/

  65. Hamish100 says:

    I like this quote. “ Many said that it would be impossible to deliver what we did: an end to political turbulence by implementing the referendum result, ” Delusional? lying ? Both?

    The New Years honours are coming up.

    I will need to turn down the offer of a peerage as I have no wish to be associated which such a band of rogues and traitorous knaves.

  66. jfngw says:

    I see Roddy Dunlop has been tweeting again, just waiting for him to team up with Donald Finlay to form The Righteous Unionist Brothers with their new version of ‘Chained Melody’.

  67. scottish skier says:

    It’s not really possible to disagree with this guy given the complete lack of any economic basis for current UK immigration policy. Introducing tough new immigration rules in the face of mass net emigration of skilled workers can only be driven by one thing.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-59685256

    Turmoil for firms over shortage of labour and goods

    Simon Howie has built his butcher’s business into a Scottish success story over four decades but now there is a problem.

    He started in 1986, at the age of 19, opening a small farm shop at the foot of the Ochil Hills before building a firm with a £19m turnover, supplying supermarkets with sausages and a range of other products.

    But expansion has stalled and Mr Howie blames the UK’s “racist” immigration rules after leaving the European Union.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Intrigued why the BBC would even mention Brexit let alone host criticism of it, went to read the article and was stopped in my tracks seeing the author was none other than James “we’ve seen the emails FM” Cook… Yes, that bast-ion of honest journalism.

      Indeed the opening salvo from Simon Howie is typical straight-talking from the man, but from that point on the entire article descends into a crochet of think tank and trade body input to moderate the criticism, what some might call “BBC balance”, most everyone else calls it propaganda.

      But who on earth would seek out the opinion of CEBR or CEPR for that matter ? Josie Dent’s first contribution of “We’ve seen significant frictions with the world reopening and demand increasing and supply not being able to match. A lot of countries are experiencing these kinds of issues completely unrelated to Brexit” ? is the biggest load of crap beyond Shieldhall’s Sludge Treatment Hub –
      NOWHERE is experiencing the scale of shortages the United Queendom is facing, absolutely nowhere.

      That Cook should seek out the opinion of a “UK government…spokesperson” for the tailpiece speaks volumes, “We’ve seen the emails Mr Cook” might be a fitting response…

      • Capella says:

        Josie Dent has been busy today. I’m sure it was she who was on the radio with the same message – everyone else is having problems, it’s not BREXIT. No numbers to back up there assertions of course, just sweeping generalisations designed to send us all back to sleep.

      • scottish skier says:

        I’m certainly not aware of any other large European economy which is currently seeing mass net emigration of skilled workers, which is one of the primary causes of the UK’s problems.

        I did have a look at data for France and Germany and this is not happening there as you’d expect. But then they didn’t tell people from other EU countries ‘Your sort are not wanted here – go back to where you came from!’.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          I understand your slant on net emigration and racism, but suggest you rather miss the point.

          Yes, people are leaving the UQ in their droves, but they are NOT the truck drivers, butchers, hospitality staff, forklift drivers, etc., absent which core industries at home are now struggling to survive with manpower shortages – they are the potential Nobel prize winners the UQ have been trying and failing to attract inward, now adding to the UQ’s future calamities.

          Did you never realise why so much butchery was suddenly subcontracted to NI firms, or reason where the massive increase in manpower required came from ? 😉 They took the ferry to mid-EU (Norn-Iron) or Ireland itself. NI is thriving, which is why London and the UDP are completely pissed off about it.

          I agree England has a mountain to climb to gain any redemption from the latent xenophobia Brexit tapped into, and it will take generations to de-programme the populace, but let’s not be blinded to them not already suffering the consequence.

          The UQ’s current difficulties are solely and directly related to Brexit, which is why James “emails” Cook’s attempts to paint it otherwise is so grossly offensive.

          • Capella says:

            Didn’t some Norn Irish “Mr Big” get the contract for slaughterhouses after Thatcher deregulated resulting in carcasses being mashed up and sold back as animal feed – for herbivores – which caused Mad Cow Disease, first recorded in 1986?

            • Bob Lamont says:

              It wouldn’t surprise me but frankly no idea…
              HOWEVER, they didn’t develop a trainload of butchers in NI overnight which could handle the sheer volume of carcasses now sent there from the UQ for butchery and return, which was my point…
              It also explains why HMRC have suspended full implementation of the rules from January next ONLY for NI…

        • scottish skier says:

          Got you on the NI thing. I agree – it’s booming by being outside the wall and that’s interesting about the meat industry, on which I’m no expert.

          Sorry for expanding a bit, and this is a more general comment, but I think it is important people do understand what’s happened. And unless they know a lot of European folks well, they maybe don’t..

          The UK is losing skilled workers of all types, from profs to fruit pickers to bankers. The tougher visas are not stopping people coming; they don’t want to come so are not taking these up. That’s an important difference. Meanwhile, those here are leaving.

          These are EU people with settled status / permanent leave to remain, many of whom could get a British passport tomorrow. They could live out the rest of their lives here. There is no shortage of jobs, and many are being offered large salary rises. Yet they are leaving in their hundreds of thousands. Selling up and taking their skills and young families (aka future workforce) with them. Something else is causing them to leave.

          The problem they face is walking down the road in England, they know half the voting electorate can hear their accents and voted for them to go home / their families to be stopped from coming etc. That is a horrible feeling. They feel like aliens where once they felt at home. They thought the ‘go home furriners’ were a minority group, then Labour made ‘anti-them’ mugs before 52% of Brits voted that way. They could get a British passport for ~£2k, but now the Brits are now saying this can be taken off them without notice.

          It is all having profound psychological effect on the resident EU population. I know this from being married to one, friends with lots, and working with many (university and energy industry). Also, the papers have enough stories to confirm. My wife and I may yet leave, if simply to go look after my aging mother-in-law. She of course needs a visa now, which may be refused as she’s not on a priority list! If we were in England, we’d have already left; no way Mrs SS would accept to live there now. Who wants to live where you / your family are not wanted? Scotland didn’t reject her so it’s different, although if Scotland doesn’t go for indy it will be hard to defend staying here.

          While other EU countries have concerns with ‘immigration’, this is about large numbers of arrivals from countries outside the bloc that don’t share the same democratic / secular / human rights / trade rules, as needed for free movement. But free movement / other Europeans are not considered a concern, and that’s how EU citizens thought they were seen as in the UK, i.e. we were all Europeans and not foreign to each other.

          Until Brits told them otherwise in clear terms. Nope, they were ‘furriners’ here to ‘steal British jobs’, ‘undercut wages’ and ‘put pressure on the NHS’ etc. They were not human beings, but ‘cheap labour’. And these are words not coming from knuckleheads in a pub, but from the UK government. It’s awful. It’s like Le Pen or the AfD won.

          Ironically, it is the end of free movement that is doing the most economic and social damage to the UK; much more than tariffs and customs forms. But that’s karma for you.

          • grizebard says:

            I fear this situation is not easily summarised. The Scottish Government has tried to reassure EU residents within its evidently-limited powers, but those reassurances, while welcomed, aren’t very strong foundations to keep the readily-mobile in place, so we have also suffered inevitable losses. (Maybe some among them who didn’t have any long-term intention anyway. “Fair-weather friends”, dare I suggest?) Individual circumstances and attitudes may also play a part. My mrs has a long-established circle of acquaintances (one or two of whom, for all I know, may be closet Brexiteers now confronted in person with one small reality of what they voted for) who have offered her nothing but warm and unstinting support, and even one or more apologies on behalf of a UKGov they never voted for in the first place. Having paid her dues through the years both fiscally and socially, she is highly offended by what has happened, but knows exactly what needs and can be done to put that right. (Which is not to fondly hope for a more understanding UKGov in some never-never wishful future. When the opportunity presents – and may it be soon enough! – her revenge will be served cold. I’m sure she will be far from alone.)

            Bob though is touching on another reality, and one that is essentially the longstanding curse of the Union, escalated as it now has been by Brexit. If our young ones see no hope of personal advancement at home, trapped in a UK increasingly disengaged from the world and suffering under growing Brexit collateral damage, they will increasingly vote with their feet and take their precious talents elsewhere. Just as they have throughout the preceding centuries, but even more so. With detrimental consequences for the future wellbeing of everyone who they leave behind.

            Never mind what temporary difficulties or uncertainties we may have to face to get free. Just as our predecessors had the courage and resolution to do for us in the shattered aftermath of the War, we in turn owe our descendents the best possible future, here at home and in their own hands.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Will you please STOP with your racism perspective, however personally you may feel it, what has happened re England runs more complex than the classic “Brexit” view of being accosted in public for being visibly foreign. It is almost unknown even in England.

            Whereas I recognise the Daily Mail etc. dominate the newsstands, perhaps we might attribute English readers with more sense than the likes of Paul Dacre or Michael Blackley ?

            The european fruitpickers already left, those who now leave were NOT the main breadwinners, so let’s put some perspective to your rhetoric, the entire family moved out..
            I have two immediate neighbours – One “unskilled” who was involved in harvesting, abandoned the UQ in 2018 through perceptions of racism but realised ultimately they were being ripped off. They resettled in Belgium, now they are in Switzerland.
            The second experienced no racism whatsoever but realised it was pointless continuing his job and their business in London so quit before the UQ destroyed itself.
            The exodus from the UQ has less to do with racism than it has to do with end of Empire, and the City of London fighting for it’s survival.

            • grizebard says:

              Spot on.

            • scottish skier says:

              Sorry Bob, but but I merely commented on what is well reported in English/British newspapers and has been directly said to me by many European people I am very good friends with. Yes, there is a personal aspect, but my wife and I (both victims of racism / xenophobia) are just one of many Europeans resident here with similar feelings.

              The UK government is pursing a ‘wall’ based immigration policy because this was the No 1 reason for brexit given by leave voters; a desire unique to the UK electorate within the bloc.

              http://csi.nuff.ox.ac.uk/?p=1153

              There was no economic rational for this, as Paul has talked about extensively, either directly or indirectly, in articles here on the national.

              But this is going over old ground, so I will leave it there.

    • jfngw says:

      Reaction of BBC Scotland News Dept editors to any mention of Brexit.

  68. jfngw says:

    I see Liz Truss has replaced Frost, difficult not to laugh. I suppose it’s good news for the cheesemakers ‘blessed are the cheesemakers’.

  69. Capella says:

    Liz Truss is multi-tasking. Foreign Sec, Equalities Minister and now chief BREXIT negotiator. Wonder what she does in the afternoons?

    • dakk says:

      Wonder what they are up to appointing the incumbent Foreign Secretary as chief Brexit negotiator?

      • Alex Clark says:

        Utterly ridiculous, as if being Foreign secretary wasn’t a full time job but that anyone could squeeze in enough time to negotiate with the EU over NI and the future relationship between the EU/UK. They’re just taking the piss now.

  70. Welsh_Siôn says:

    She attends cheese and wine parties … erm … I mean ‘business meetings’ with the Prime Minister:

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/no-10-defends-photo-of-pm-and-staff-in-downing-street-garden-at-time-of-tough-social-restrictions/ar-AARYh0j?ocid=msedgntp

    Sky News

    No 10 defends photo of PM and staff in Downing Street garden at time of tough social restrictions

    Andy Hayes, news reporter 2 hrs ago

    Number 10 has defended a photo which appears to show Boris Johnson and staff relaxing and drinking in the Downing Street garden at a time of tough social restrictions in May 2020.

    The picture, published by The Guardian, shows the prime minister, his wife Carrie, and colleagues with wine and cheese.

    Nineteen people were present and there were “spirits and pizza inside and outside the building”, the newspaper reported.

    It happened at a time when people were still being asked to remain two metres apart, even outdoors, and being urged to “stay at home as much as is possible”.

    […]

  71. Stephen McKenzie says:

    It seems that Boris and Rishi could not make the Cobra meeting with the “devolved administrations” tonight and that Larry the cat from No.10 had to chair the meeting. No cream was served.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-skips-cobra-meeting-25739780

    • grizebard says:

      Ach, the BoJo Clown Circus can duck and dive politically as much as they like (including increasingly from themselves), the virus won’t give a damn. It will just keep on comin’. What they choose to ignore now they won’t be able to avoid later.

      And it will be exponentially worse later.

      (At current Omicron doubling rate, 100 cases becomes a few million after a month. And the UK is well past 100 already. At that rate it can outrun vaccination, so as long as people are mixing, the virus is gaining.)

      How do they imagine the afflicted businesses will survive their wilful neglect then, for all the distractional cover the BCC may get in the meantime from the BBC?

      • dakk says:

        Which is why indyref2 must be held BEFORE the Covid crisis is over.

        Not after.

        Unless there is another way out of Covid,never mind the union.

        • grizebard says:

          You would think, technically speaking. But this is politics. Nothing is straightforward. It all depends on popular reaction, as it always has. People remain distracted by the crisis, any premature move will backfire and fail like a damp squib. People get completely contemptuous of UKGov confusion, incompetence and splits – all of which clearly exist – and an obvious tipping point is within reach, we should be willing to move with it.

          But we’re talking about the Scottish people here. 300+ years of institutionalisation continually reinforced by Unionist media. They have always needed lots of time, much reflection and a steady accumulation of trust before being ready to take every big step. This one-way leap all the more so.

          • Clydebuilt says:

            Excellent post grizebard. . .

            There’s a lot of “Trojan Horses” wanting the campaign started too early!

  72. Capella says:

    Time to post a link to my favourite lecture on exponential growth! Prof Al Bartlett of the University of Colorado, Boulder, explains how it works. If the idiots in Westminster and the BBC could get a grip on this they wouldn’t be whining on about the hospitality industry.
    1 hr 15 mins but entertaining 🙂
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZA9Hnp3aV4

  73. scottish skier says:

    Sorry, but whit?

    I think Salmond doesn’t understand Scotland at all. This isn’t about Sturgeon and it isn’t about Bozo either. I won’t matter if bozo is replaced. The march of the Scottish nation is driven by far more fundamental forces. Baseline Yes has been rising at the same rate whether it was Camerclegg, May or Bozo at the helm. Same for Salmond and Sturgeon.

    And how could Yes even do this? SNP support Johnson in a confidence vote?

    https://archive.md/rTy94

    Alex Salmond says keeping Boris Johnson in power ‘Scotland’s democratic opportunity’

    FORMER first minister Alex Salmond has called on pro-independence supporters to keep the PM firmly inside Downing Street – labelling the chaotic string of events engulfing Boris Johnson as “Scotland’s democratic opportunity”.

    It doesn’t matter which idiot is in No 10. The damage will be the same. English is smashing the UK apart and there’s nothing I can see that will stop this.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yeah because the whole of Scotland would thank Nicola Sturgeon big time for lifting a finger to keep Johnson in power so that Salmond and his mob of zoomers could immediately claim the SNP weren’t genuine about Independence and were in league with the Tories

      Nicola Sturgeon isn’t the one who’s best buds with David (I’m a friend of Alex Salmond) Davis Tory MP

      • Clydebuilt says:

        Salmond is less popular than Bo Jo. . . . . .

        There is no longer anything about him that is a plus for independence

    • grizebard says:

      I think you’re right, that there is a kind of tectonic shift happening as more and more people are intuitively sensing that Scotland’s and England’s vital interests are steadily diverging. And despite the rather pathetic tribalists desperately trying to cling on to the past, this change isn’t essentially party political, it’s much deeper rooted than that.

      So this other stuff like the antagonism of the Brenglish Establishment for us daring to challenge their {ahem} right to rule over us, The Madness of King BoJo, and suchlike, are all symptoms in a way rather than causes. But they can make the situation more visible and they can hasten the realisation of change, and thus (oh, the irony!) even accelerate it.

      Not with us who have already recognised and embraced the change, but that’s not the point. Far more importantly, among those who are still on the journey of self-realisation. So we shouldn’t discount any inadvertent help we can get from BoJo the Clown, even though his malign workings behind the scenes are insidious and anything but funny.

  74. Ellie Fiddes says:

    Enjoy the break, have a good rest. Thank you for “the way you tell them”! You really do exemplify the old jewish proverb that if a thing is worth saying, it is worth saying beautifully!

  75. It is all getting too ridiculous for words.
    Tomorrow, the 21st of December is the winter solstice, the day which marks the sun’s furthest from us folk in the north, when shadows are longest, and ‘bleak December winds ensuin;, baith snell and keen’ rattle through our homes, as we huddle or starve, because Alex Salmond and his Alba party support Johnson and his Band of Idiots remaining in power,which he argues will prompt more scots citizens to rush to The Alba cause, and their peculiar brand of ‘independence’.
    Muriel Gray, pal of Kirsty Wark, bastion of the Elite Jock Brit ‘establishment’, is to join the BBC…Of course she is..she is ‘connected’, and even survived the Glasgow School of Art Bonfire of the Vanities.
    Liz Truss is the new Norn Irn/Brexit Guru..I’ll leave that there.
    Like many Duggers, I wonder why I didn’t have a bottle of booze at my desk or workbench, and nibbles, when I beavered through my daily grind.
    According to a steady stream of Tory Ministers on the telly, the Whitehall Gang work really really hard, and can be excused staying on sfter hours and getting pissed together, despite writing the rules which consign the plebs to lockdown quarantine.

    Johnson even brought his latest wife and child No 6, or is it 7, to work with him, and that’s ok, cos it was outside in the back garden…too ridiculous for words.
    Marr stood down after 17 years as England’s obedient Uncle Tam, and his team put together highlights of his 16 year Marr Fest.
    All the PMs, a president, Putin, but no Farage, no Salmond, no Sturgeon.
    Sept 18th 2014 did not happen, in this ProudScotBut Jock English ‘faithful retainer’s’ Yoon World.
    Nor Brexit, which is now completely vanished from the airwaves and columns of the Brit Dead Tree Scrolls.

    Good riddance ,Marr, and Kuennsberg.

    Guissler was at great pains to tell his Sunday Morning Faithful that Nicola and Humza had refused to appear on in wee show….really?
    Instead he served up a guy called called Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, who is apparently one of two ‘Under secretaries of State at the Scottish Office, along with the Cash Lord Malcolm Offal.

    No I didn’t recognise him either.
    Alister ‘Union’ Jack was obviously not available either, but Geissler, failed to mention this.
    All Geissler and his mate Gary R want to know is will they be allowed to queue at the bar if Matron Killjoy Sturgeon spanks ‘the Hospitality Sector’ even more severely and spoil Christmas for the BBC Jockland Gang.
    Jason Leitch put Martin in his place, though,but, mind, dealing in facts, and medicine, and reality.

    It was all too ridiculous for words.
    Where is Dross hiding?
    Has Millionaire dentist Sarwar got nothing to say for himself all of a sudden?

    On the longest darkest night of the year, we can bud cowrie doon, wrap up, and comfort ourselves with the knowledge that daylight will gradually return, and Mother Earth promises Spring soon.

    It is all too ridiculous for words.

    • Arthur+Thomson says:

      👍 Well said Jack.

    • barpe says:

      Another ‘cracker’ there, Jack! Well said.
      The hope of all the ‘Drossers and Anals’ will be that the holiday will allow the memories of things to fade – but not, I suspect, any of us. We must not let go of this, or the fascists will win.

  76. Tatu3 says:

    Trevor Phillips on Sunday called Nicola Sturgeon the Prime Minister!
    Right at the end of his interview with Sajid Javid. Zoom along to approx 19.20

    • Capella says:

      Good for Trevor. He’s quite right of course. Prime does mean “first”. Prime is the Latin form which English public schoolboys will all be familiar with. First is the Germanic form so is Anglo Saxon which their Norman overlords would have considered infra dig.

      Old English fyr(e)st ; of Germanic origin, related to Old Norse fyrstr and German Fürst ‘prince’, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit prathama, Latin primus, and Greek prōtos

      .

      Welsh Sion will be along shortly to explain 🙂

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        No need for me to explain – Capella has already done a first (!) rate job. She’s in her prime …

        Note that Mark Drakeford has changed his Twitter handle from ‘First Minister’ to ‘Prif Weinidog’ (which is Welsh for both …). This ‘Prif’ of course derives from the Latin, as Capella so eloquently has put it – in the same way we call ‘university’ by the Welsh word ‘prifysgol’ , i.e. literally ‘first school’ (or if you will, ‘primary school’ (!).

        Initially of course our Leader in the National Assembly was a mere ‘First Secretary’ (the story goes that Blair vetoed ‘First Minister’ has some local babu told him that it could be so translated as ‘Prif Weinidog’ – making a colony’s leader the equivalent of himself.

        Now – over to the Gaels: Is Nicola Sturgeon both ‘First Minister’ and ‘Prime Minister’ in your language? (I don’t know the answer – and would be happy to learn!)

    • grizebard says:

      I note that Javid just can’t help responding with “British people”, as if we here (or the Welsh and Irish) are in any way interested in what his Clown Circus may be swithering to advise the English alone.

  77. Bob Lamont says:

    A fuller version of the recent commentary from Ireland

    • Capella says:

      Brilliant. Trust the Irish to get it and nail it. “Track and Trace still running…” Oh dear.

  78. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Just a little word about Frosty’s resignation.

    Two stories side by side on my news feed – not sure how to upload the picture but here are the headlines for both:

    1 Lord Frost says he quit as Brexit Minister due to ‘coercive’ COVID policies
    – Story from Sky News

    2 Frost refused to deliver Brexit betrayal as key reason he quit was £80bn broken EU promise
    – Story from the Daily Express

    Side by side on my feed, I tell ye!

    🙂

  79. Alex Clark says:

    Johnson had a meeting with his cabinet this afternoon to discuss the latest situation about Covid.

    After the meeting he had this to say:

    “We have got cases of Omicron surging across the country now. We have got hospital admissions rising quite steeply in London…

    So what are the Prime Minister and his cabinet of clowns going to do about the “Omicron surge” and the steep rise in hospital admissions in London?

    “In view of the balance of risks and uncertainties, particularly around the infection, hospitalisation rate of Omicron – how many people does Omicron put in hospital – and some other uncertainties to do with the severity, the effectiveness and so on we agreed that we should keep the data from now on under constant review.

    What a shower, undoubtedly the most useless government ever elected. I doubt anyone would be surprised if It was to be all change in a matter of days.

    https://archive.ph/eiiBv ( warning GB News)

    • Capella says:

      If he brings in restrictions he has to provide compensation. So no restrictions.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      The Clash’s “London calling” springs to mind

    • Dr Jim says:

      Sky presenter Trevor Philips summed it up well when he said Johnson and his government are now so afraid of the English public not complying with new restrictions plus Tory back bench opposition to everything he does he’s now in the position of needing the help of the Labour party to run England

      The Tory back bench tail is now wagging the dog making Johnson an embarrassing impotent idiot instead of just an embarrassing idiot

    • James Mills says:

      I think his earlier comment on seeing ”the bodies piling high in the streets ” before he would contemplate another lockdown may now be on the cards !

    • grizebard says:

      The experts have made it crystal clear, a “wait an see” policy right now is equivalent to fiddling while Rome burns. Just one result being that businesses will suffer far more damage in the end, because the virus doesn’t suffer from wishful thinking, whether in the Tory party in England or among anti-vaxxers on the streets whinging.

      A government is supposed to lead, not hide. This cowardly directionless circus can’t even command the support of its own MPs.

      So we’re back in May land once again.

  80. dakk says:

    OT
    Made a post at 1.26 am today.

    It was badly worded using ‘must’.

    Meant we have to consider the possibility we may have to hold indyref before covid crisis is over if this continues past 2023 and still being governed by England is seen to be a hindrance.

    Like it isn’t already, laughs

    • grizebard says:

      I think we can still hope that although Covid in one shape or other will alas be with us from now on, if it’s no longer by definition a “crisis” as such, with hospitals filling up alarmingly, etc. – roughly in fact where we were heading before Omicron came along – albeit it’s still a pest* of some kind, people will be ready and willing to engage with indy, and for exactly the reason you give.

      An optimal recovery will only be possible if we are doing it for-and-by ourselves. That’s the message we need to get out there, that this continual dependence on English-exclusive borrowing powers isn’t some kind of “broad-shoulders assistance” it’s actually a dead weight upon our own shoulders.

      *(pest – an old word for plague, so the pun is deliberate.)

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        this continual dependence on English-exclusive borrowing powers isn’t some kind of “broad-shoulders assistance” it’s actually a dead weight upon our own shoulders.

        __________

        And then we learn we may well have to pay them back – with our own money. (Scotland, too?)

        Welsh Government may have to pay back new money to fight Omicron says Treasury

        20 Dec 2021 3 minute Read

        https://nation.cymru/news/welsh-government-may-have-to-pay-back-new-money-to-fight-omicron-says-treasury/

        The Welsh Government may have to repay the additional money it has received by the Treasury to fight Omicron if the UK Government decides it wasn’t needed.

        The Treasury announced yesterday it would give the Welsh Government an additional £270 million to fight the new variant of the virus after criticism by First Minister Mark Drakeford.

        The First Minister had said on Friday that Wales’ ability to tackle Omicron was “severely constrained” by the Treasury’s refusal to help out the semi-autonomous nations unless England also imposed restrictions.

        They will now receive an additional £270 million, UK officials said. But they said that if the amount given end up higher than the share of the money Wales would have received anyway, they will have it pay it back.

        “If the amount of funding provided up front to each Devolved Administration is more than the Barnett consequentials confirmed at Supplementary Estimates then the difference will be repaid in 2022-23, or over the Spending Review period if necessary,” the Treasury said.

        […]

        • dakk says:

          Indeed.

          It could be held during a summer ‘window’ if it comes to that.

        • Capella says:

          Utterly hopeless way of dealing with a health emergency. Borrowing powers must be devolved. Scotland and Wales (and also NI?) have no way of planning our response to deal with the pandemic.

          • grizebard says:

            As you well know, devolution can’t be fixed.

            (Not that any Unionists even want to, funnily enough!)

            As long as independence awaits, welcome to Mitigation Hell.

  81. Alex Clark says:

    I haven’t always cared much for Prof Chris Whittey but he does appear to be finding a backbone.

  82. dakk says:

    Indeed.

    It could be held during a summer ‘window’if it comes to that.

  83. Dr Jim says:

    How thick are Unionists?

    Scotlands taxes go into a big box in Holyrood

    • grizebard says:

      Their “misunderstandings”, eg. our homegrown “money tree” and those many UK-reserved powers we “have”, are all deliberate, alas. And they hope they’ll infect and spread among the innocent and the ignorant.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Indeed, the deliberately ignorant and innocent spreading their nonsense to the actual ignorant and innocent, how much the media has taught the masses to do what they do, and I would bet how much they regret doing that knowing one day all sides could eventually turn on them

  84. Golfnut says:

    OT, I haven’t seen this before. H M coastguard director may be charged with involuntary manslaughter

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1081934212006008/permalink/1757484217784334/

  85. Capella says:

    OTOH Gordon McIntyre Kemp’s Facebook page is pubic. He interviewed Mike Russell on Sunday.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      OTOH Gordon McIntyre Kemp’s Facebook page is pubic.

      __________

      Hairy, Capella?

      This has to be one of the most hilarious typos on WGD, yet!

      😀 🙂 🙂 😀

      • Capella says:

        Not the first time either! Must learn to check cos it’s obviously not picked up by spell check. There’s nothing wrong with the spelling!
        However, I did misspell Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s name. 😡

  86. Tam the Bam says:

    The IFS and Fraser of Allander Institute have just announced they are IN FAVOUR of limited borrowing powers being extended to the devolved governments.

    I stress LIMITED but is this the first wedge in the door?….Interesting to see what Wastemonsters response is.

    • grizebard says:

      Nah, London won’t give away any of that preciousss economic power. For “spendthrift” devo administrations which could influence the position of “their” pound sterling?

      The current circus don’t even like devolution.

    • scottish skier says:

      There’s no way on earth Westminster would allow us the use of our own visa card. They like buying themselves stuff with it and adding it to our GERS bill way too much.

      Johnson wants to build a new Jerusalem in England with our money. He’s been clear enough in the past that a Scottish pound in tax spent in London is far better than one spent in Glasgow for his country. It’s why the English Tories oppose devo max / indy; they don’t want to stand on their own too feet. Too lazy and feckless.

    • Capella says:

      It’s a good wedge and the Scottish Government will make the most of it. Independence is the only real solution but spelling out the glaring reasons on the way to Indyref2 will add more votes.

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, Nicola (with the backup of entirely different administrations in Wales and NI) is putting this issue across very cogently. It’s absolutely unacceptable that our own health measures are shackled like this to English-only health decisions through funding.

        And on that topic, DRoss is still trying today to “muddy the waters” by insinuating that we’re getting “new” money. So far England is, but because there’s no lockdown of any kind down there, the rest of us don’t get a red cent. It’s intolerable.

  87. Hamish100 says:

    So the bbc are now saying the new money for Scotland isn’t really new money .it is or it isn’t.

    Isn’t is the term.

  88. scottish skier says:

    This of course applies to Mrs SS, who, out of genuine fear of being stopped at the border (as is happening to lots of Europeans with jobs, family etc here), deported…and/or maybe lose 20 years worth of pension payments…very reluctantly paid 2k in total for a crappy black (in many lighting aspects) British passport*. A lovely wee ‘brexit bonus’ for my family to welcome to the riches of the English sunlit uplands. Or rather the lazy English freeloading Tory government milking a Scots couple of yet more of their hard earned cash.

    Of course now she could have that stripped from her overnight by the people in the country next door; second class citizen as they plan to make her.

    And folks wonder when there is mass net emigration going on.

    https://archive.md/LUNMY

    ‘The most racist legislation in my lifetime’: Protest at Nationality and Borders Bill reaches Downing Street

    Tens of thousands of people have called for the Nationality and Borders Bill to be scrapped. On Sunday, organisations including Media Diversified, the Muslim Association of Britain, South Asian solidarity group, Stand up to Racism, the Association of Muslim Lawyers, Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and Windrush Lives will come together in a mass demonstration outside 10 Downing Street.

    This will only accelerate the flood. I work with a number of Iranians who spend tens of k trying to get a British passport. It’s not actually because they want to be British per se. They just want to live a normal life and be able to go on hols, business travel etc. That’s impossible with an Iranian passport. They speak English very well, so the UK was and obvious place to come to study or work, as is the USA. These are highly educated people# with PhDs working at our universities etc. The UK is much less attractive now as it doesn’t give out EU passports. The fact they could soon be just stripped at a whim of a British passport they worked for years for, and paid out eyewatering sums for in visa fees etc, is not going to encourage them to come and fill the skills gap.

    The UK has lost it’s mind. It would make Trump blush. And he lost in the States. In England, he won.


    *The only possible good thing is that will not too long from now give her Scots one.
    #The Iranian education system / universities are very good

    • Capella says:

      There are so many of these insidious bills slipping through parliament without a whimper from the media, or even the Labour “opposition”. It took Ken Clarke to point out that the Tory Party is now the English Nationalist Party blocking moves to make people wear face masks but ushering through illiberal bills like the Police and Crime Bill.

      I expect it will end up in the ECHR, which the Tories are trying to neuter which would mean the UK being out of the Council of Europe next.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Seems opposition is being led by the nationalist parties – NOT by Labour.

        Quoi de neuf, pussycat?

        https://nation.cymru/news/amending-human-rights-act-is-for-the-uk-gov-not-the-senedd-says-tory-minister/

        ‘Amending’ Human Rights Act is for the UK Gov, not the Senedd, says Tory Minister

        21 Dec 2021 3 minute Read

        A Tory minister has said that amending the Human Rights Act “is for the UK Government”, not the Senedd.

        The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, has launched a consultation on overhauling the Act and replacing it with a Bill of Rights.

        He said “Human Rights Act is UK-wide legislation”. The UK Government has said it would “consult” the devolved governments, but Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has suggested that it “means a tick-box exercise”.

        She said that Wales has “developed a distinct body of law” in the area as a result of the Government of Wales Act, which gave the Senedd responsibility for observing “obligations under the Human Rights Convention” and asked the Conservative minister how the consultation would not “undermine the Senedd’s ability to protect and promote human rights in Wales.”

        […]

        • Capella says:

          Ditto Scotland. All legislation must comply with ECHR law. The fight over incorporating the rights of children is still to be decided. Are we really going to accept the denial of Human Rights?

  89. Legerwood says:

    John Swinney was interviewed on Channel 4 News tonight by Jon Snow. It was a very good interview not least because Jon Snow did not interrupt Mr Swinney but allowed him to fully answer the questions asked. Here is the link:

    https://www.channel4.com/news/covid-sunak-should-go-further-on-business-support-says-swinney

  90. Dr Jim says:

    Hogmanay is a bigger deal in Scotland for one simple reason, we wish hope and pray for others and ourselves to have a better year in the future than the last because Scotland is ruled by another country that has constantly made us unhappy and poorer than the country that rules us, and why do they do that?………… The must take from Scotland to garner votes from the people in the other country

    It’s just simple sums, and over 60 countries having left the Bringlish Empire are evidence of those practices, because if Bringland really was great they’d never have left, or at least they’d have wanted to return, but they don’t do they

  91. It’s just gone 212121212112,, can the numerologists among us tell us if this is significant?
    Can the IT nerds translate this in to binary?
    Is it a hidden message?
    Are we doomed?

  92. Hamish100 says:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-59748581

    Wasn’t the recent fishing deal being promoted as a great “British” deal without question?
    The fisheries minister https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Prentis can’t even view the sea never mind the North Sea from her house. Jokers all around.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Recalls Sarah Palin (remember her?) who was eminently qualified to be US Vice-President and deal with Foreign Affairs … coz she could see Russia from her bedroom window in Alaska.

      Mind you – in that case, she could actually see Russia. As Hamish100 says, the fisheries minister can’t even see the bloody sea!

  93. Golfnut says:

    OT again, I hope some at least can view this. An answer to how Scotland will pay for itself without the ‘ non existent ‘ broad shoulders of the UK. Nicola, over the last couple of days has highlighted just what a hindrance relying on the treasury has been regards finance to fight Covid.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      ?

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        I think Golfnut wants us to see this:

        https://www.mammothwhale.com/post/how-will-you-pay-for-it

        • Bob Lamont says:

          👍

        • scottish skier says:

          What a contrast to the likes of Johnson. It’s a great example of why she’s so hated by the usual suspects.

          Makes some complex concepts much more accessible to the listener in a clear and polite manner, never rising to the bait.

          • Alex Clark says:

            The “interview” only exists in Mammothwhales imagination, though you have a point.

            • Golfnut says:

              More a venting of frustration Alex that SNP politicians aren’t using these arguments when they are being interviewed. Hopefully that will change in time for the next referendum.

          • scottish skier says:

            Ok, bit of beamer. I blame tiredness in the hectic few days before the hols.

            I read quickly through it after going all the way into the lab at the end of the day on a dark afternoon to just spend 1 hour waiting for Bill gates to install all his updates at an excruciatingly slow pace so he wouldn’t attempt that mid experiment over Christmas, screwing everything up. Unfortunately, while it’s all set up to be controlled remotely now, there’s a couple of key devices that just refuse to communicate properly after a restart unless you unplug and replug. Uni refuse to let us have full control of updates as if we did, everyone turns these fully off!

            The thing is, the fact I started reading it and my brain saw it as plausible from the FM says a lot. If it had been Johnson, I’d have been ‘WFT, this can’t be real’ within the first few lines.

            Anyway, an excellent impersonation and my second line remains completely true.

            I remain suitably embarrassed.

        • Golfnut says:

          Thanks WS, Not sure whats going on with my Kindle, post showing in its entirety on my page.
          Not allowing comments now so this from my phone.

  94. scottish skier says:

    Full figures for Q3 confirm the trend that GDP is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels. As noted in other posts, that’s impossible based on the massive workforce emigration the UK is suffering from. Net emigration can only shrink an economy, especially when it’s young skilled workers leaving.

    https://archive.md/NZaog

    UK economy grew more slowly than expected before Omicron hit

    GDP at 1.1% between July and September compared with the 1.3% initial estimate, says ONS

    ONS data:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/timeseries/abmi/qna

    • scottish skier says:

      Related. A good summary from Bloomberg.

      https://archive.md/vXTdP

      Just a Year of Brexit Has Thumped U.K.’s Economy and Businesses

      In the months after Boris Johnson signed his post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union, the coronavirus masked the economic damage of leaving the bloc. As the pandemic drags on, the cost is becoming clearer — and voters are noticing.

      Below that is a figure for net migration.

      The effect on business investment is as stark as net migration. As immigration of key skilled workers halted, so did business investment. As emigration began, so did the investment flight.

      Workers and business capital stuffing the UK exit gates as they flee the advance of the hard right nationalist conservatives.

      Dublin has taken 25% of emigrating bank businesses. So much better to be outside the wall with a ‘hard border’ with your ‘nearest neighbour and important trading partner’.

  95. Alex Clark says:

    The Met will investigate allegations of rule breaking parties at No 10 last Xmas but only if the current investigation by the government finds that rules were broken. I thought the police were supposed to uphold the law and investigation of allegations of law breaking are for them to investigate.

    Why won’t they act unless the government investigates itself and finds itself guilty?

    • Capella says:

      According to The National, Downing Street is panicking about new tapes of Allegra Stratton emerging. Someone hates them with a vengeance.
      https://archive.fo/hWlty

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/21/met-refers-itself-to-police-watchdog-over-downing-street-party-claims-15807253/

      Met refers itself to police watchdog over Downing Street party allegations

      Emma Brazell
      Tuesday 21 Dec 2021 9:45 pm

      The Metropolitan Police has referred itself to the police watchdog after a complaint over its handling of an alleged Downing Street Christmas party.

      Up to eight parties were hosted by the Government as millions were banned from seeing loved ones last year, it’s claimed.

      Boris Johnson has denied a social event occurred on December 18, 2020, saying he stuck to the coronavirus rules he set at all times.

      The referral comes after the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) received a complaint lodged by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, a Green Party peer.

      The IOPC will now make a determination as to whether the complaint needs to be investigated and if so, how.’

      The complaint has been split into two parts, with the second alleging that Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick ‘refused to investigate allegations of an unlawful gathering’.

      This has been referred to the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime as the Metropolitan Police Service is ‘not the appropriate authority to handle complaints about the commissioner’.

  96. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Are we allowed a little ‘lighter’ story outside the usual grind of politics?

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/barrister-who-sued-after-colleague-asked-him-to-stop-farting-loses-case/ar-AAS1O0J?ocid=msedgntp

    Make up your own jokes.

  97. Capella says:

    From The National: UK resorting to ‘Soviet-style’ tactics to hide Brexit damage, professor warns

    THE UK Government has used “Soviet-style propaganda” to try to hide the damage being caused by Brexit, according to a European law expert.
    Professor Michael Dougan, from the University of Liverpool, also warned the only way Boris Johnson can make a success of leaving the EU is to “poison minds” into thinking ­Europeans are the enemy.

    I don’t know why they feel compelled to accuse the Tory Government of “Soviet style” tactics. Surely “Soviet style” tactics would more likely involve a few rounds from a Kalashnikov or the famous Katyusha aka the “Stalin organ”. The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 – 30 years ago.

    The tactics he describes are those of Putin’s spin doctor Vladislav Surkov as described by Adam Curtis in his TV documentary “Hypernormalisation” IIRC .
    see Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladislav_Surkov

    Very bad whatever.

    https://archive.fo/kyTBK

    • Golfnut says:

      Not sure either why they blame the Soviets, the black is actually white style of propaganda was invented by the brits, Goebbles was in awe of the bbc.

  98. Dr Jim says:

    The deliberate Unionist argument against Covid restrictions seems to boil down to the implication that one might not die from the Omicron variant so what’s the point of restrictions
    This level of deliberate misunderstanding by the UK Bringlish government and the passing on of it to their supporters is the lowest form of propaganda right wing politicking and Trumpist in the extreme and plays to the “I’m all right Jack” selfishness of those types of voters

    If one compares even a low level health impact of Covid Omicron to say a broken ankle and you’ll be OK soon then it all sounds lovely except for the part where you can’t get an ambulance to A&E because the paramedics are all off work with broken ankles, the nurses the transport the taxi drivers and so on are all absent from work and even if you do manage to sit yourself down in A&E you’ll be sitting there for a very long time surrounded by hundreds more folk with broken ankles waiting and hoping for some medical help from someone who hasn’t yet broken theirs

    So the argument isn’t mortality, it’s societal breakdown of services due to misleading propaganda to save spending money on the ordinary taxpayer from Boris Johnson and his inability to make a decision due to a paralysis of right wing fascist government in England

    Boris Johnson can afford to not work

    • scottish skier says:

      We’ve seen pics of what Johnson considers ‘work’…

      Fine cheese and wine parties in ‘pleb’ taxpayer funded luxury while the rest of us are locked in our homes wondering when we’ll next see our family again, or if we’ll still have a job in the weeks ahead.

  99. Capella says:

    Dear oh dear – proportion of salary covered by sick pay in UK is abysmal. What a dump.

    • P Harvey says:

      And where does all this money, plus that saved on state pensions GO?
      Straight into the pockets of the wealthy

  100. Capella says:

    Excellent article by Wee Ginger Dug in The National on the appointment of Muriel Grey to the Board of BBC Scotland.
    https://www.thenational.scot/politics/19802620.muriel-gray-board-sums-bbcs-scotland-problem/

    • A taxi driver tells me that red fire buckets filled with Seton Sands will be positioned on every landing in the Plantation Quay stairwell, and a big yellow ‘H’ on the rooftop, as a makeshift helipad is cobbled together for a quick getaway when we vote to end thic vile ‘Union’.
      The furniture in the office space is to be replaced by Rennie-Mackintosh replica, bought at knock down prices at a fire sale at the Barras.

      The trimmed down staff, sorry, ‘rightsized, downsized efficiency savings’ will all huddle in a wee corner of one floor, and one new smoke alarm bought on Amazon no doubt ,to achieve even more ‘savings’, and stay within the letter of the of Holyrood’s new fire and heat laws which take effect from Feb; 2022.

      Already Sarwar is moaning that the implementation of the new Fire regulations should be deferred because his Labour ‘constituents’ don’t know about the changes.
      What exactly is his job? Is he not there to serve his community?
      Is he not there to alert the public he serves of new life saving measures?
      Like wise, Dross, and the tailor’s 3 piece dummy Coal-Scuttle?
      Too ridiculous for words.
      Gray was ‘appointed’, to smother news in Scotland, and pour sand over the hopes and ambitions of the Scottish Nation.
      This disgusting Jock Brit Elite will carry on regardless, until the inevitable happens and we drive their Brit Collaborators from Scottish institutions on I-Day.

      England is closed this week.
      It’s CHRISTMAS!!! until January 2nd.

      The ‘science’ we are told states that the Omicron variant doubles every 2 daays. 106,000 cases reported today..so that there will be a further 212,000 by Christmas Eve, and a further 424,000 by Boxing day.
      Another 848,000 by Wed 28th, Another 1,696,000 by the 30th, and another 2,392,000 cases to welcome in the New Year on Jan 1st 2022.
      That’s an expected 5, 678,000 infections as the bells toll out the Auld Year.
      I’ll just leave that there.

      Scotland Wales and N Ireland are making ready for the crisis.
      England, not so much.
      As I point out above, ‘England’ has shut for the rest of the year.
      By that I mean the usual Establishment Elite, among whom the British Broadcasting Corporation is right up there.
      The mainstay news and current affairs A Team are all off on their hols, and the juniors and Old retainers are manging the pumps, hopelessly failing to convince the viewer that their Aunty Beeb is taking this terrible plague seriously. Out of curiosity, bordering on morbidity I dipped in to the BBC News channel earlier.
      Good News! a Health expert tells the wide-eyed viewer.
      The Omicron version of the plague is less severe that the strains which ravaged the globe already.
      Symptoms are milder, and few people will have to be treated in hospital….and the wee magic bullet tablet will lessen the danger to shielded groups.

      Deck the Halls!

      Or maybe not. The same expert pointed out that the speed spread of Omicron, which I briefly numerate bove, will have cataclysmic consequences…Hospital staff, ambulance drivers, shop workers, bus and train crews will be decimated by the disease.
      With cases in the millions, hospitals will soon be overrun with cases,,,
      But Worry not, Boris Johnson is looking at the figures on a daily basis, and sees no reason to panic yet…so let the A30 be jammed with twenty mile tailbacks from Exeter to Cornwall as the Brits trust in the Great Leader and carry on as normal…and let the bodies pile high.

      I scanned the Jock Dead Tree Scrolls headlines.
      Apparently the SFA will ‘face the wrath of Rangers’ if we close down sporting events to save thousands of lives Up Here.

      They’re backing Boris…
      Muriel’ss Backing Boris too.
      It is all too ridiculous for words.

      The Collatin Clan and In-laws and all our neighbours have chosen..Christmas and New Year are cancelled.

      Stay safe, Duggers.
      On Tuesday morning Johnson will declare martial law, and Dross will back him.

      • jfngw says:

        There is an issue with the smoke/heat/carbon monoxide alarms, it’s not about knowing about them but being able to source any. I ordered a set on 8th Oct, only received half of them and the rest are on back order but now with no delivery date after the first two dates past without any sign of them. As these wireless system are not interchangeable between manufacturers I would need to scrap the three items i currently have (£150) if I order different ones and there is no guarantee other manufacturers will be any quicker.

        • jfngw says:

          Just to add the I suspect ScotGov will not worry if you are a bit late having them installed but the insurance industry more than likely will claim your property doesn’t meet regulations if you do have a fire. The report I read an insurance industry person was quoted as saying it would vary between insurance suppliers and to check your policy (although from my experience the wording of policies is not always completely clear).

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Well said Jack.

        Stay safe…..keep keeping on.

        To all on here have a safe and enjoyable time on Xmas day…..and beyond.

  101. Old Pete says:

    Muriel Gray, it would make you boke.

  102. Golfnut says:

    I dont know if the word ‘ ironic ‘ can be used to describe the appointment of the individual,tasked with overseeing the restoration of one of Glasgows iconic buildings but instead managed to watch it burn down twice, to now help chart the way forward for the bbc in Scotland. One can only hope she has similar success rate.

    • grizebard says:

      I can only heartily concur! {grin}

      Stuffing the organisation with trusted place(wo)men is one sure sign the End Phase is now upon them.

      Manning the barricades against their own licence payers – imagine that!

  103. Hamish100 says:

    Did I miss the job advert?

    I’ve never overseen buildings burning down as management skill. Surely a public appointee has to follow an open and clear process? FOI rules apply?

    • Capella says:

      Well they had a wide range of candidates Hamish100. There was Neil Oliver, Andrew Neil, Jackie Bird,Glen Campbell and Lesley Riddoch.
      I just made that last name up BTW. For “balance”.

  104. Capella says:

    A handy summary of the current Tory attacks on democracy from Peter Geoghegan at Open Democracy.

    There’s the Policing Bill that criminalises protest, and could lead to protesters being sentenced to 51 weeks in prison. An Elections Bill that will give the prime minister control over the elections regulator and force voters to carry ID to exercise their franchise. A Nationality and Borders Bill that could strip British citizenship from people at the flick of a pen.

    That’s not all. An extension of the Official Secrets Act will place legal constraints on journalism and whistleblowing. The Human Rights Act is to be ripped up. Ministers will be given the right to throw out judgements made under judicial review.

    Channel 4 is to be sold off by a culture secretary who is on record misleading the public about the finances of a broadcaster that has long been a thorn in Johnson’s side. Meanwhile, a cabal of anti-lockdown Tory MPs – with longstanding ties to the dark money-funded American Right – increasingly dictate the government’s pandemic policy.

    This is what democracy dying suddenly looks like. And we need to act now before it’s too late.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/british-democracy-is-under-attack-we-must-fight-to-protect-it/

  105. Hamish100 says:

    Still other things happen in life that makes you wonder what the hells going on in folks heads.
    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/alex-salmond-spotted-shopping-600-25768548

    Feed the poor, feed the poor!

    • Dr Jim says:

      I’m sure Tasmina could’ve obtained a good sturdy pair of Russian walking shoes quite easily through maybe a donation to her cause?

    • scottish skier says:

      £600 on a pair of shoes? Some folk are daein alright for themselves.

      Anyway, this is a good example of what is driving climate change. All the energy that went into producing (hence the price tag) a pair shoes than nobody really needs is why the wealthy have such huge carbon footprints. All that stuff they have came with a lot of emissions.

      If you do a carbon footprint anayalsis of yourself, you’ll get a shock at home much of that comes from ‘stuff’, i.e. the luxuries that we don’t really need. I’m not a big stuff person, but it was still a large component of my footprint. It would be most of it if I spent £600 on shoes.

  106. Capella says:

    Carole Cadwalladr is just as concerned about creeping fascism in the USA. She links to a Guardian article laying out the process underway:

    The history of racism in the US is fertile ground for fascism. Attacks on the courts, education, the right to vote and women’s rights are further steps on the path to toppling democracy

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/22/america-fascism-legal-phase

  107. scottish skier says:

    I missed this from earlier in the month but it makes me very proud of Scotland and her people.

    Ties in with what I talked about in a post above re my own experiences of family and close friends from the EU, why they are leaving England in their hundreds of thousands, but not Scotland.

    https://archive.md/Bl4iE

    More migrants from EU live in Scotland than before Brexit

    The latest statistics from National Records of Scotland show the number of foreigners living in Scotland rose in 2020-21, the first full financial year after Britain left the EU on January 31, 2020.
    The number of EU citizens rose year on year, from 256,000 to 258,000, levelling off after a 25 per cent rise in the preceding five years.

    • scottish skier says:

      Ok, hard to prove, but Scotland not directly suffering from mass emigration of skilled workers might have something to do with this:

      https://www.insider.co.uk/news/scottish-gdp-nudges-up-02-25762952

      Scotland’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.2% in October, as the Finance Secretary warned of the Omicron variant’s impact on the economy.

      The latest Chief Statistician figures show Scotland’s economic output was 0.4% lower than pre-pandemic levels.

      https://archive.md/XgWSA

      …But it said the UK economy has recovered more ground towards where it was before the pandemic struck thanks to a stronger rebound than first thought in 2020, and is now 1.5% below where it was at the end of 2019.

      Of course we are suffering indirectly due to a reliance on rUK supply networks. Also, while we’ve not lost our long term EU residents who feel more welcome here* – and in fact have gained a few, probably in the form of ‘refugees’ from England given the end of EU free movement – we are still being hit in terms of new arrivals, including key seasonal workers. Only indy can solve this.

      As for goods, in the meantime, best copy Ireland / N. Ireland in rapidly switching to EU suppliers as much as possible. We need to develop our own ports to bypass England asap.

      —-
      *
      https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/eu-families-feel-more-welcome-in-scotland-than-they-do-in-the-rest-of-the-uk/

  108. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Some red meat for my fellow Duggers:

    Glasgow nightclub owner says he agrees with Boris and attacks Scottish Govt on Covid restrictions.

    • Capella says:

      I heard that. Scurrilous interview. He’s going to eat his two turkeys and beef wellington himself. He could have donated them to hungry people in homeless shelters. Selfish git.
      He’s on again now on the 6 o’clock news but at least we have Jason Leitch on afterwards to explain the reasons for closing nightclubs i.e the younger unvaccinated age group.

    • Dr Jim says:

      He says the damage was done three weeks ago by Public Health Scotland announcements, perhaps this twit might consider for a Nano second that his customers listened and digested the information and made their informed decision not to turn up and contract a still life threatening disease that he wouldn’t have mentioned to anybody had he the choice

      Maybe he’ll get a Turkey bone stuck in his throat over Christmas with no nurse available to extract it from his very own big uninformed Tory mouth because of this sniffs and coughs mild Covid

    • Are we surprised, Duggers? See my previous comments. The Boris Broadcasting Corporation at its Fourth Reich best.
      That idiot Dross was on his feet at FMQ spouting the same capitalism and greed garbage today…why can’t Scotland give up its resistance to their Fascist racist colonial masters, England, and follow the lead of a serial adulterer and liar?
      This ‘spokesman’ for the night clubs a admits that one of his family has omicron, but that its just ‘sniffles’, and churns out the greed is good, let the bodies pile high, Kneel Oliver Covid conspiracy crap, and the English anchor sits dutifully silent and presents this disgusting selfish Big Lie, as The Truth, rubber stamped by the authority of the good old Corporation, which of course,as we all know, never lies or tries to fool people.
      Any comment from Muriel Firefighter Gray?
      Anas Sarwar’s contribution to the fight against Omicron today?
      Will Nicola Sturgeon guarantee that every homeless person will be housed before Christmas Day, he bellows, in his mad world where ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ must take responsibility over every issue in Scotland, from pot holes, to Aberdeen Council’s obscene drinks bill.
      There has neve been a time in the history of Scotland that a trio of men, who have melded into one insane alliance, have their origins in the scrapings at the bottom of the Brit barrel.
      Not that I’m complaining; they’ll be found out big time during IndyRef 2 campaigning.

      BBC Distorting Scotland keeps showing stock footage of half naked wee lassies jigging aimlessly in one of these poor nightclubs, presumably to whip up sympathy for the dilemma of this poor man stuck with two turkeys and a Beef Welly Boot, aye right.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      All you need Google is his name. He is no stranger to publicity against SG, his last effort was in Aug, he’s not only become a focus for BBC but it’s bastard child in Scotland, Pacific Quay…

      At least another hyena is exposed outside of Lockerbie…

  109. Hamish100 says:

    Yeh follow bori Johnston . Caught covid, walks about hospitals without a mask, never had Xmas parties.
    Such hospitality owners appear to show no concern for customers well-being. Hasn’t this guy been on the radio before? Who selected him? Ironic is it not that he mentions a family member with covid. He doesn’t seem to comprehend too well.
    I’ll visit premises where I think the safety of my family and for that matter staff are paramount.

  110. Dr Jim says:

    It seems right at this moment the whole Bringlish Unionist loyalty media is focused on insisting that the Scottish Welsh and Northern Irish medical advisors are useless and only the English ones know what they’re talking about, and the stupidity of their argument falls totally down on this because the English experts are saying exactly the same thing as the other three nations medics are saying but of course in England they have no political leader to point that out as he’s feart of being replaced by his own party if he does, so he’s hiding with his fingers crossed and his eyes closed while the media do his job for him

    Just how long can the Bringlish media keep Boris Johnson in his job? will it be long enough to prove Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland wrong ? and if not what do they do then?

    Well they blame him for the three other countries being right when they shouldn’t have been because we’re all inferior to the great Bringland and such a thing should never be allowed to happen, so they’ll sack him for that……….not the bad Covid judgement or the mishandling of it, just the part that makes England look like the Arse it is

  111. Through the wonders of internet, I’ve just caught the openings of BBC English News bulletin, then, po-faced Sally Magnusson(contemporary of Muriel Spark..sorry Gray) peddling the lie that because you are 50-to-70% less likely to require hospitalisation if you contract omicron, its ok for daft wee boys and lassies to gyrate drunkenly in nightclubs, ‘sniffling’ away, and Scots Welsh and Irish Wet Blankets are enemies of business and scaremongers.
    Sally featured their hero Dross lambasting the FM, the usual interview with a nightclub owner, and then slip in the real ‘headline of the day, the Covid stats.

    6,215 new cases of COVID-19 reported*
    54,863 new tests for COVID-19 that reported results*
    12.7% of these were positive
    11 new reported death(s) of people who have tested positive
    38 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
    540 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
    4,377,002 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, 4,003,377 have received their second dose, and 2,782,462 have received a third dose or booster.
    11 people died overnight, Sally. All for the need to feed teenagers alcopos in crowded dance halls.

    In England, another 120,00 cases overnight.
    That’s a quarter million in 48 hours. I’ll leave that there.
    The Jock bulletin was 10 minutes..because IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!
    A man died tragically, maulled by a dog, 100,000’s of Community Service orders were written off because of Covid, and the Scots Curling Team are representing ‘Team GB’ in Japan next February.
    By the weather forecast, Sally is grinning widely, and wishing us all a pleasant evening.
    Job done, SNP/Scotland continues to be shite.

    • Dr Jim says:

      When you check the Twitter accounts of all these enraged so called Scottish football fans bad mouthing Scotland and Wales FMs (and it takes a while) amazingly half of them are from England and half the rest of them are from overseas countries like America Australia and Canada, on further research you find they’re either Trump supporters Alba ists or just out and out right wing mentals who hate everybody except themselves

      And that’s not even counting the anti vax freedom screamers

      • P Harvey says:

        Not to mention the exceptionalism of football
        Never mind people dying
        As long as football keeps getting played!
        Aye – that’ll be right!

    • Capella says:

      And with a doubling time of 2 days, on Xmas Day there’ll be 240,000 cases then on 27th it’ll be 480,000 infections and on 29th 960,000. So by New Year’s Day we could see 2 million infections and so on and so on.
      Wear a mask. Stay at home.
      Merry Xmas 🙂

      • See my post 11.41p.m., 22/12/21 above Capella.
        I reckoned on 5,678,000 by New Year’s Day.
        There were 106,000 cases in England yesterday, another 120,000 today. Omicron does not take a day off, only infecting idiots abroad every other day.
        A quarter million in two days….I’ll leave that there..
        But Sally heads the 10 minute Christmas Special Jock Broadcast tonight with Dross’ demand that we ‘follow England’, and bow at the feet of The Linesman ‘attribute-less ‘the serial adulterer Johnson, who is in all probability in his country retreat Chequers, right now, away from the stench of plague in London scoffing brie, and slurping EU wine.
        My Everlovin’ and I have just taken ‘the test’, as we like to cry it.

        We don’t have the bug, despite boogying ’til three in the morning at the disco like Michael Gove, and rat arsed, spewing up on the back seat of the taxi on the way home…

        It is all too ridiculous for words.

  112. fergusgreen says:

    December 24. Always a good day to be vigilant and keep an eye on what news gets buried amongst the festivities.

    Happy holidays everyone.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Happy holidays to you too – Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

      Look out for the New Year’s Honours list too – which loyal weasels get bumped up to the House of Lords, which incompetents become Sirs and Dames and Members of a defunct (outwith the Celtic nations) English Empire and whether Jeanine MacReady of Auchtermuchty Central (spinster, late of this parish) gets her well-deserved BEM for services to the lollipop lady industry having served in that capacity for gazillions of years! [Cont. on p.92]

      Doubles all round 🙂

  113. Dr Jim says:

    Christmas eve and after all Boris Johnson and his cabal have inflicted on the whole of the British isles let alone Scotland, today of all days he declares his Christmas Christianity

    I know I must be dreaming but I can’t seem to wake up

  114. Dr Jim says:

    Scotlands shoppers continue to subsidise England by paying £45 million in excess delivery charges, apparently a mile in Scotland is longer than a mile in England

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye, odd that electricity transmission charges similarly penalise the deliverer…. You’d almost think it was deliberate… 🙄

  115. scottish skier says:

    Scotgov take note. This is called sensible oil and gas policy from one of the worlds greenest nations.

    Even in a net zero world we will still need quite a lot of oil and gas. In fact we can’t realistically achieve a net zero world without it. What are we going to use to bond wind turbine blades with for example? What about the plastic sheathing on the wires bringing us renewable electricity? What about the polymers in solar cells? And I’m all ears for what people propose we surface roads with in the absence of oil? Don’t say concrete; it’s not flexible enough and has a huge CO2 footprint.

    And clearly it’s best to source locally what we will continue to need for decades…centuries to come.

    https://archive.ph/U07f5

    Equinor Wants the World’s Last Drop of Oil to Come from Norway

    Equinor ASA will drill about 25 exploration wells off Norway’s coast next year in a bet that it will be among the last companies still producing oil and gas when the world has achieved net-zero emissions.

    All scenarios, including the International Energy Agency’s vision of a net-zero world, include the continued use of oil and gas decades from now, albeit in smaller quantities than today, said Jez Averty, Equinor’s senior vice president for subsurface in the company’s Norwegian exploration and production department.

    In the short term, I still cannae believe people are demanding we stop drilling in the North Sea and instead rely on Putin with his 50% price hikes for gas.

    Deal with the problem – which is the burning of hydrocarbons – and naturally that will reduce demand and so new drilling.

    • scottish skier says:

      Pants. Clearly messed up by bold tags there!

    • Golfnut says:

      Totally agree, note the Cambo field has been suspended but I suspect that would change if Scotlands fails again at the next referendum. Oil and gas will be one of the major weapons used against a Yes vote.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “In the short term, I still cannae believe people are demanding we stop drilling in the North Sea and instead rely on Putin with his 50% price hikes for gas.”

      I was not aware ANY gas comes to the UK from Russia.
      UK gas pricing by Tory policy is tied to the wholesale price, THAT could be decoupled tomorrow at the stroke of a pen, but there are too many vested interest involved in screwing the consumer.

      Gas consumption can and should be reduced, my old hobbyhorse of insulation could halve it in a year but there is no political will to push it as the Chancellor’s revenue stream from energy is jealously guarded.
      It will be decades before a switch to say hydrogen is a viable proposition, a mammoth national exercise in itself much as was the switch to natural gas.

      However, long before that day Scotland will have been following it’s own energy policy, which I suspect will be a lot bolder than London…

      • scottish skier says:

        I was speaking figuratively of course. Europe is highly reliant on imports, with Russia being a major supplier. The UK imports from Europe (mainly Norway due to production proximity) and beyond so is indirectly reliant on Putin. He can push the prices up by restricting supply to Europe. It is a real problem for security of supply and prices that affects the UK.

        Scotland of course is not reliant on gas/oil imports at all; it is a net exporter. Laggan-Tormore alone provides for us.

        On the other points, yes I agree.

    • scottish skier says:

      No doubt golfnut.

      Cha-ching for the ‘subsidy junkies’ in their palace on the Thames. This will fund a few more lockdown cheese and wine knees ups!

      https://archive.md/bcpUo

      UK North Sea operators eye ‘near-record’ profits in 2022

      North Sea operators will deliver ‘near-record’ cash margins in 2022, according to Wood Mackenzie, amid higher oil and gas prices and following ‘brutal’ cuts of previous downturns.

    • scottish skier says:

      I’ll just add this wee footnote for Patrick Harvie. 😉

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Norway#Current_cabinet

      In the 2021 election, the incumbent Solberg cabinet lost its majority. Jonas Gahr Støre of the Labour Party formed a minority coalition government with the Centre Party. The government relies on the support of the Socialist Left Party in order to secure a majority. On 14 October 2021, Jonas Gahr Støre, the leader of Norway’s center-left Labor Party, was sworn in as new Prime Minister of Norway. His center-left minority government included 10 women and nine men.

      #Hardright

  116. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    If any idiot starts mouthing off about the Scottish Govt considering potentially diverting money from Health funds towards Covid support ……just remember Michael Gove diverted money meant for Covid to do a poll on support for the Union………a poll he has NOT released…….and in NOT releasing the results of that poll it is obvious it does NOT look good for the Union……but just how bad is it …….well must be bad (for the Union) if he will not release the results.

    Meanwhile George Foulkes and others are doing their best to focus negative attention on the Scottish Govt as if their measures are somehow distinctive/unique from all other devolved governments where as the reality is tis the English government that is out of step with the devolved governments…..and everyone and their dug knows tis because he , one Boris Johnson, is being held ransom by the party within his party who demand no further restrictions…indeed they want it all to end thus endorsing herd immunity……..for us plebs…… who let’s be honest will be the ones who suffer……as we are suffering and will continue to suffer for their other pet project aka Brexit.

    The BBC in Scotland are doing their bit in supporting the Union by giving a platform to anyone who is willing to criticise the SG and the FM via opposition politicians and certain individuals whose allegiance to the Union via historical contributions made on twitter, Facebook and indeed attachments to specific Unionist political parties and organisations make clear they are NOT objective commentators giving an honest opinion but instead are biased Unionists whose opinion is tainted and driven to maintain the status quo within the UK……but more importantly their TRUE position is NOT highlighted as to their uber Unionist credentials hence why Indy supporters online need to promote this information that MSM fails to advise the public about……almost akin to a form of fake news being promoted by the BBC in Scotland i.e. asking a Unionist to endorse anything the SG and FM do. …as if.

    Fortunately more Scots are becoming aware of what is going on and know exactly WHICH government within the UK is out of step with Covid measures……BBC Scotland may try to spin a specific line on this and indeed on the overall performance of our NHS but unfortunately what they cannot control is the fact that ALL Scots see the National (English) news and it shows just how bad NHS England is via the Tories, how bad the Tories are, how the Tories at HQ break rules and how incompetent and unsuited Boris Johnson is as a PM, how unwilling Boris Johnson is to be held to account by the media and how much he has lied …..so where BBC Scotland fail to give a comparison their colleagues in the South make it clear that the Tories are NOT doing a good job in England via news reports on the frontline of the NHS…..and thus BBC Scotland news is left exposed…………but STILL they continue.

    As for DRoss well Scots can see that all he does is forcefully oppose everything the FM and her government do while he and his colleagues are somewhat more reticent and less forceful in opining the many many failures and the many many mistakes and rule breaking his colleagues at HQ are doing and have done……Sarwar is somewhat neutered as the Labour FM in Wales is very much in line with our FM so he is acutely aware that as he, Sarwar, criticises our FM for specific actions he will also be seen to be criticising Labour in Wales for taking same action……pretty much the same for DRoss but he has an advantage in that BBC Scotland protects him at critical times as in when HQ screw up…. thus shielding Dross’s duplicity on specific issues…………

    Merry Xmas to all …..be safe and to all Indy peeps online keep on keeping on because we all know the REAL news and information where WE are is actually the news we get via online news and info (and the one Indy paper in Scotland The National) and not the so called news via the MSM mini so called relegated ‘regional’ news reports which consists of mostly SNPBAD and Scotland is sh*te offerings……

    • Capella says:

      England is out of step with the rest of Europe too – but monitoring the situation by the hour.

      The British government has so far resisted imposing new restrictions ahead of the holidays even as it continues to battle a major rise in COVID-19 cases, driven by the more transmissible Omicron variant.

      Prime minister Boris Johnson said the government could take “further action” to protect public health, adding that they were following the situation “hour by hour”.

      On Thursday (December 23) the country registered a record 106,122 cases, with more than 100,000 cases also reported the day before.
      https://www.euronews.com/2021/12/24/covid-19-spike-felt-across-europe-as-vaccination-remains-stagnant

      • grizebard says:

        If they’re “following it”, they’re not leading on it. Behind the curve, instead of ahead of it as expert advice insists. With negative consequences all too predictable.

        This is “herd immunity” again, but by political cowardice as much as by deliberate intent.

  117. Welsh_Siôn says:

    One for Capella – Typo from today’s Daily Express:

    “France-UK relations to ‘thaw’ if Zemmmour takes over – ‘see something he likes’ in Boris.”

    Mmmmmmm! Can’t you just taste that Brie and Chardonnay?

    – All the best folks. May see you before 2022 (or not!)

    • Capella says:

      I think we should appoint you as Proof Reader in Chief! Well spotted. 🙂

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Much appreciated – but … ahem … that’s actually what I do for a living (and get paid for it, too, when I don’t translate, and that in three languages.

        Don’t worry, I won’t charge anyone here, but if anyone wants to join me in the profession, know that I charge £25.00 per hour. (Standard rate.)

    • scottish skier says:

      While Zemmour is Eurosceptic and wants less EU control, he is against Frexit supports France remaining in the EU with full free movement. He doesn’t consider other Europeans as ‘le furriners’.

      That shows you how far to the right the UK is.

      • Marc says:

        No he just thinks that unaccompanied child immigrants are:
        “thieves, killers, they’re rapists. That’s all they are. We should send them back.”

        He openly promotes the “Great Replacement” theory – a racist belief, popular on the far-right in Europe, the US and the UK, that white people will soon be “replaced” by non-white, non-European immigrants.

        Also this:

        During the program “C à vous” broadcast on September 6, 2016 on France 5, Eric Zemmour said that Muslims must be given “the choice between Islam and France”. According to him, France has been experiencing “for thirty years an invasion”, and adds that, “in countless French suburbs where many young girls are veiled”, there would be a “struggle to Islamize a territory”, “a jihad”.

        and this :
        Eric Zemmour had already been convicted in 2011 for provoking hatred, after declaring on television that “most traffickers are black and Arab, that’s how it is, it’s a fact”.

        So no he doesn’t see Europeans as Le furriners’ but seems to have a problem with everyone else especially if they are brown/black

      • scottish skier says:

        Sorry, but ‘No’ to what?

        Thoroughly nasty piece of work that he is – A less extreme French Farage -, Zemmour doesn’t support Frexit and, as you noted, doesn’t see other Europeans as a problem either. So I don’t see anything in my statement that’s incorrect.

        That contrasts the UK government which backed Brexit and does sees my wife and her family as ‘cheap labour here to take British jobs / undercut British wages’ rather than human beings just like the rest of us. Hence Zemmour thinking he and the Tory led UK government would get on well; two peas in a pod.

        While they don’t have the latest for the French presidential election, we can see that Le Pen is +9 on the authoritarian (‘fascist’) scale (2017); the same as UKIP and not far from the Tories on +7. Arguably the UK Tories have become more authoritarian since then:

        https://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2019
        https://www.politicalcompass.org/france2017

        Le Pen is actually very centre-ground economically; the Tories are ‘hard right’ both socially and economically. The worst of both worlds in brave new brexit Britain.

        • Marc says:

          Not having free movement with a large block of countries is not a hard-right immigration policy. It is the normal immigration policy used in the overwhelming majority of countries in the world. It clearly can’t be racist to treat everyone the same no matter what country they come from.

          Nor is the UK hard right in its social policy. It has liberal laws regarding social issues such as abortion, homosexuality etc. It also has a relatively lenient criminal justice system. Your Iranian work colleagues don’t have to worry about being executed if they want to fall in love with and have sexual relations with someone with there own sex for example like they do in their socially hard-right home country. Nor do we have political prisoners like in Spain.

          The UK is not even hard-right economically, you don’t have the highest corporation tax in Europe if you are running a hard right economy.

          I’m no fan of the Conservatives, but trying to make out the UK is hard right is just silly.

          • scottish skier says:

            Och you are always very quick to defend the UK and the Tories Marc. 😉

            It is the direction of travel that matters*. Name me one other developed country which has ended free movement with a large bloc of similar neighbouring countries simply because it ‘doesn’t want their sort here’. Most countries are moving towards freer movement with others which follow the same basic rules on human rights, democracy etc as part of free trade deals. In Europe, free movement is the norm. It’s e.g. Belarus and now Britain that are the exceptions. Scotland is normal in supporting it. France too overwhelmingly.

            The UK doesn’t want to treat everyone the same. My wife was excluded from the EU vote and UK elections for no reason other than England didn’t want her voting because she was foreign. Scotland by contrast treated her equally. The nationality and borders bill is creating second class citizens who can be arbitrarily stripped of their citizenship for not being ‘blood and soil’ British. This will apply to Mrs SS because she’s a ‘French turd’ to quote the UK PM and a ‘problem immigrant’ according to Labour coffee mugs.

            You need to take your complaints to the political compass. All parties were ranked by the same process. Good luck trying to sell the idea that the Tories are anything other than neoliberal authoritarian. Hell, they pride themselves on their free market Thatcherism and creating a ‘hostile environment’ for migrants!

            *The shift to right and authoritarian is quite clear. We’ve never had such an ‘extreme’ UK government in terms of being away from the centre and authoritarian / neoliberal.

            2019: +9.5R, +7.0A, T = +16.5
            2017: +8.5R, +7.5A, T = +16.0
            2015: +9.0R, +6.5A, T = +15.5
            2010: +7.0R, +6.0A, T = +13.0

            Anyway, I don’t plan to spend xmas eve having silly arguments with you as you try to defend the Tories and brexit. Tis the season to be jolly after all. 🙂

            So I wish you and family a pleasant evening and Christmas. Bonne soirée!

            • Marc says:

              I’m not defending anything I don’t vote Tory and did not vote for Brexit. I’m just pointing out that the UK is not hard right either socially or economically.

              It’s not all about immigration; in actual fact, in recent history, it’s the far left that implements the most draconian imitation policies – USSR, China (although they are relaxing their immigration policies slowly as they move more to the economic right). North Korea, probably has the most hardline immigration laws around currently and are they about as far left economically and socially as you can get.

              Europe is a small fraction of the world. As I correctly said most countries and people in the world do not have free movement with large blocks of countries – not having free movement is completely normal and not in the slightest bit racist.

              I agree with you that the UK is neoliberal authoritarian – hence my posts about it not being hard right; neoliberal authoritarianism is not hard right either socially or economically, glad you agree with me on this.

              Enjoy your Christmas too!

              • Marc says:

                Oh and I’m sure as an Irish citizen you are equally as concerned and will be as condemning of the Irish Goverment for not allowing your wife to vote in Irish General elections just as ‘England’ will not allow her to in UK ones?

                Happy Xmas all:)

            • scottish skier says:

              Och lol. Telling an Irishman that the UK doesn’t do political prisoners. Releasing these was a key part of the United Nations GFA.

              https://tinyurl.com/49shx49w

              Irish Political Prisoners and Post Hunger Strike Resistance to Criminalisation

              Political prisoners in the North of Ireland have a well-documented capacity to influence events
              inside and outside of prison…

              As an EU citizen, if resident in Ireland, my wife could vote in 67% of elections compared to 0% in England I understand. If I was in Ireland, I’d support extending the franchise to all legally resident, like Scotland.

              As for right-authoritarian governments… when these take power, free movement is brought to an end, borders are tightened and foreign citizens invariably start fleeing in response to persecution (e.g. disenfranchisement, threats of removal of citizenship that doesn’t apply to ‘natives’), resulting in mass net emigration. People don’t give up their jobs, homes, friends…take their kids out of school and leave a country in their hundreds of thousands to millions unless they feel very unwelcome and fear for the future.

  118. scottish skier says:

    Another kicking for the Tories here. Labour too.

    Tories will be wondering if this is further straw in the wind for the local elections.

  119. Dr Jim says:

    Naw naw naw, it’s Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland that’s out of step with the UK, England has almost ceased to exist as a part of the UK now and should be furthermore referred to as the centre of the universe

    On Covid we find out today that less than 40% of Bradford has had any jag at all let alone a booster
    maybe those folks there aren’t listening to Johnson and Starmers messages of Christianity, whatever their faith is in it’s not in the English government

  120. jfngw says:

    BBC Website now attacking Scottish Ambulance service contingency plans if the new covid strain causes large absences. These ‘journalists’ must spend all day trolling twitter to find someone with a grievance. They have done well this time as they have found an Air Cadet Officer (and paramedic) who is unhappy, it’s quite a find as a quick look through his twitter feed I could only find this about the ambulance service as everything else seemed to be about the Air Cadets (are you thinking what I’m thinking). And of course the GMB have arrived on the scene, expect Labour to turn up soon.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye spotted that on their main page, in parallel with the “Scotland ‘too cautious’ on self-isolation, says Tory leader” still in prime slot over on the Politics page, and BBC Scotland promoting the Forres Gump perspective at every opportunity, BBC Grinch and the Tories are determined to steal Christmas…

      There was an excellent comparative on Indyref Two this morning between BBC Grinch and BBC Wales on the exact same topic, it really is scandalous for a “public service” broadcaster.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Well we certainly wouldn’t want the governments of Scotland and Wales to be cautious over our health and lives, who knew that taking risks with human life is something the BBC thought was sound policy for a government, maybe our FMs should be more like the English PM and snort some cocaine while having illegal Covid parties

        C’mon Nicola make some laws then just break them, the BBC seems to applaud that kind of behaviour, take a risk have a drink mess up your hair and leave your shirt tail out, the BBC says it’s grand

  121. Capella says:

    Put down that sherry!
    Here’s what is sneaking through on Xmas Eve.
    Tories set to make banker with links to the Treasury next NHS England chair

    A BANKER is set to become the new chairman of NHS England in a bid to make it more “accountable” for its funding.
    The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed former TSB chairman Richard Meddings is the Government’s preferred candidate for the role….Meddings is also a non-executive director at HM Treasury and Credit Suisse and is the former group finance director for Standard Chartered bank.

    How can HM Treasury have a non-executive director? It’s a department of state?

    https://archive.fo/TCWOc

  122. Arthur+Thomson says:

    A merry Christmas to Paul and all who connect with Wee Ginger Dug. I hope Santa is good to you.

  123. Capella says:

    One last look a the perfidy of the BBC before I tune into Peace on Earth and goodwill towards all men – even Tories – no that’s going too far.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      See my post above on the actual TV broadcasts….

      Since then there is the most curious case of the BBC in Scotland presenter inverting DRoss’s argument that a “negative” test was “positive”.
      Have the propagandists finally played the double-think card ?
      Is there any better way for DRoss to gain max publicity for a stance which despite PQ’s prominent promotion utterly failed to gain any public attention, and when the BBC PR Office was closed until Boxing Day ?

      It stinks of a setup IMHO….

      • Capella says:

        Well I looked at Tory twitter 🤮

        Last night, @BBCScotlandNews claimed that @ScotTories wanted people who are Covid POSITIVE to exit self-isolation.
        This is inaccurate. We are seeking changes so that people who are Covid NEGATIVE can exit self-isolation earlier.
        The BBC have refused to issue a correction.

        Oh dear. That’s put me of my sherry.

        Merry Xmas everyone – nil carborundum illigitimi (with apologies to illigitimi and Latin scholars everywhere)
        Reminds me of Life of Brian

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3gNdGHsEIk

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Precisely, is it only me who smells a deliberately contrived fraud ?

          My Latin is rusty but I read that as it won’t work without an abrasive, who knew the Romans knew Douglas and Juan ?

          Merry Christmas when it comes to you and yours in Deeside, now some words from the Apostle, no saint, just plain Paul 😉 https://www.thenational.scot/politics/19808755.wont-watching-queens-speech-christmas-day/

          • Capella says:

            Merry Xmas to you too. This is a very different Xmas in these high pastures. Old habits and traditions are falling away like Greenland icebergs. Paul is spot on as ever with a positive message for our fellow independinistas. I never listen to the Queens speech either and even the Anglican Carols are beginning to sound tired and routine.
            Peace on Earth would be good though 😂

  124. scottish skier says:

    This is the dress Tasmina was wearing when shopping for the £600 heels with Salmond in Christian Louboutin, London.

    Anyone recognise the local? Please tell me it’s not a message from England FHS. Looks a hell of a lot like a park at the edge of Mayfair.

    https://bit.ly/3yUwVvS

  125. Hamish100 says:

    Weird things going on there.

    Still nice of a previous Tory wanting independence.
    May next year will be make or break for ALBA with the elections.

    No doubt they will side with the unionist parties to attack the SNP and Greens.

    • Dr Jim says:

      She’ll have joined the Lib Dems by then, especially if there are any older chaps who need a bit of eh, assistance

  126. Bob Lamont says:

    Merry christmas all from 2 hours away…

  127. Capella says:

    Well Merry Xmas everybody. I’ve just watched the most untraditional Xmas movie ever. “Don’t Look Up”, Netflix’s top rated. Brilliant! It’s about the destruction of planet earth. It’s an allegory of our climate destroying times and the complete paralysis of the political class.

    Hope you all have a peaceful and joyful Xmas and that Santa is good to you all. 🙂

    • Tatu3 says:

      We’ve just watched that, and agree it was brilliant.
      Merry Christmas

    • Golfnut says:

      Thanks for the heads up, brill film and you are so, so right about its purpose. Loved the bit at the end where the rich and powerful having escaped earth ended up travelling through space for 2 thousand years and then get eaten 5 minutes after leaving the survival pods. Long film but never boring..

      😂😂😂😂

  128. jfngw says:

    Looks like the Herald have gone with “Only five years of wind left in Scotland before it runs out’ type story, they’ve not been consulting Ian Wood again have they. I used to get more accurate predictions from the palm reader in the Portobello arcade (1960’s).

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Looks like the Herald have gone with “Only five years of wind left in Scotland before it runs out’ type story …

      ___________

      Patently untrue.

      You’ve still got the Turdo, haven’t you? That should keep Scotland in hot air for a good many years to come.

  129. dakk says:

    Merry Christmas Paul.

    And same to all Duggers.

    Thanks be to all for helping keep the flame burning.

    Off to try some of what Capella was/is on 😊

  130. Hamish100 says:

    Used to enjoy the Herald but it is just a poor mimic of the Torygraph. Imagine being a journalist working there who is independent minded.

  131. Paul, thank you on behalf of me and my nearest for your incredible workonce more this year. May you,and Peter, and your family, have a warm peaceful, and healthy Christmas.
    Scotland shall be free…soon.
    To all Duggers, Merry Christmas.
    Stay safe and warm and ready for the struggle ahead.
    May your god be with you all.

  132. Golfnut says:

    What Jack says with jingle bells set to malky. Have a good one and take care.

    Merry Christmas to you all.

  133. barpe says:

    Best wishes for the Season, Paul, stay safe and get some rest!!

  134. Legerwood says:

    Merry Christmas to one and all.

  135. scottish skier says:

    Aye. Merry Xmas to all. Hope santa wis guid tae ye!

  136. iusedtobeenglish says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS, one and all. Hope Santa was good to you.

    Paul, thanks for everything you write and do. Take care of yourself and hope your health improves.
    Speaking as a strong ‘leftie’ I know how frustrating it may become trying to learn to use the wrong hand in a back-to-front world. So my thoughts and sympathy (aot pity!) are with you.

  137. millssandra says:

    Poor Xmas for many as Santa was refused permission to enter the country by Priti Patel – he’s a furriner , y’know !

  138. Hamish100 says:

    Morning. I see the Ulster man Montgomery ( pally with the Mundell’s?) of the Scottish Hospitality group was on bbc tv news. Thanks to the nhs and then the army— no one else. I assume he was ex-armed forces so I can see why he is biased that way. Trying to appear conciliatory over the monies the Scottish government has provided. Neither bbc, nor him, mentioned the elephant in the room ie the government in England hold the purse strings and are refusing to provide proper support.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Montgomery has been their go to spokesperson for some time, his “one-man band” operation as “Scottish Hospitality Group” never once highlighted in the early days.
      I cannot recall where I read a resume of his history and recent history of Tory activism, but he is indeed ex-miltary, and with a vivid imagination, claiming his Twitter had been hacked when his tweet associating Sturgeon with Hitler was exposed…

      As to the BBC in Scotland, their connivance with the Tories has become increasingly blatant, the “positive” versus “negative” row being deliberately contrived to maximise publicity IMHO.
      Behind it (and still in prime promotion spot on their Politics web page) is DRoss’s “Too cautious…” gambit which the had to that point few played the blindest bit of attention to.

      With NI and Wales equally annoyed about funding, I doubt this issue will go away unless your sole news is the BBC in Scotland…

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Bob,

        I gave fellow Duggers his LinkedIN details (me being a Member ‘over there’, too), some time ago.

        Here it is again with the main highlights.

        https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottish-hospitality-group-shg-170902ab/?originalSubdomain=uk

        Experience

        Scottish Hospitality Group
        Company NameScottish Hospitality Group
        Total Duration1 yr 4 mos
        TitleSpokesperson
        Full-time
        Dates Employed Sep 2020 – Present
        Employment Duration1 yr 4 mos
        Location Scotland, United Kingdom

        Hotelier
        Company Name Townhead Hotel
        Dates Employed Oct 2010 – Present
        Employment Duration11 yrs 3 mos
        Location Lockerbie

        The Springboard Charity & Springboard UK
        Springboard Ambassador
        Company Name The Springboard Charity & Springboard UK Freelance
        Dates Employed Jan 2016 – Present
        Employment Duration 6 yrs
        Location Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, United Kingdom

        Scottish Licensed Trade Association
        President
        Company Name Scottish Licensed Trade Association
        Dates Employed Mar 2020 – Present
        Employment Duration1 yr 10 mos

        British Army
        Soldier
        Company Name British Army
        Dates Employed Sep 1985 – Dec 1991
        Employment Duration 6 yrs 4 mos

        ****

        Education
        Enniskillen High School
        Dates attended or expected graduation 1980 – 1985

        So … straight from school in Northern Ireland (Enniskillen) in 1985 to becoming a squaddie until 1991.

        Resurfaces as Hotel Owner in Lockerbie, Scotland in 2010 (to present).

        Quite a big gap in that CV between 1991 and 2020, dontchathink?

        🙂

        • Hamish100 says:

          Thanks WS,

          More to him than is provided.
          It seems the licensed/ whisky industry provides support? It seems to me that certain so called “independent” organisations are supported in the main by unionists backers. Their Twitter account seems to be viewed by anti snp, types. With a smattering of certain football club supporters and royal watchers.
          They could be looked on as cranks but they actively try and change Holyrood policy so worth a watch.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Indeed WS, 6 years as a squaddie doesn’t give you the capital the capital to become a hotelier.
          Whatever he was doing for 19 years appears to have been lucrative, but strangely he’d rather it disappear, rather like himself.
          You’d have thought local boy made good would have been the toast of Enniskillen, perhaps he WAS toast in Enniskillen, hence Lockerbie being the choice.

          However, it was not Linked-IN that I was recalling, but a potted history of his anti SG activities pre and post the “Hospitality Scotland Group” creation… For some reason MSM_Monitor comes to mind but I’ve been unable to find it.
          Specifically the article highlighted SHG was a creation which was instantly featured by BBC Scotland. The point was, how can a “one man band” suddenly feature as a representative of an entire industry without any due diligence performed ?

  139. Capella says:

    Boxing Day. A look at the English newspapers. The Telegraph has turned on Dr Jenny Harries who was appointed to lead the renamed Public Health England, now known grandly as the UK Health Security Agency. Tories hate restrictions whatever the reason (on them, not on everyone). “Boris is right to defy the scientists”.
    Try to imagine such a headline about Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish press. The Scottish front pages are not yet available to the BBC as usual.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-59792080

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Here you go, Capella et al.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-59794111

      PS Archbishop Desmond Tutu has passed away at 90.

    • Legerwood says:

      Have the Scottish papers been printed today. We usually get the Sunday National but no sign of it.

      It used to be that the Scottish papers were produced at Christmas time but not at the New Year while in England it was the opposite.

      • Capella says:

        The Scottish papers appeared about half an hour after my post – WS has linked thx. But The National is not among them. I had a look at the National digital site and it doesn’t look as though they have a Boxing Day edition. I think last year they missed out Xmas and New Year. The website is still updating though.
        https://www.thenational.scot

        • Legerwood says:

          Thanks. I shall have another look. Ruth Wishart was Tweeting today about her article on the honours system in the Sunday National but as I said it has not been delivered so may just exist in cyberspace.

  140. scottish skier says:

    Scottish poll from the Sunday Mail.

    Would see the Tories and Alba lose all their seats.

    https://archive.ph/EwNtd

    New poll reveals Scottish Tory MPs would be wiped out in general election amid anger over Downing Street Christmas parties

    Fury over Downing Street Christmas parties would see Scottish Tory MPs wiped out in a general election, an exclusive Sunday Mail opinion poll reveals.

    The survey by Opinium suggests the Tories would lose all six seats and be overtaken by Labour as the second-biggest party by vote share.

    VI:
    48% SNP
    22% Labour
    17% Conservatives
    7% Liberal Democrats

    • Capella says:

      IIRC 17% was their default rating in the Scottish polls until their massive boost in the media after Labour collapsed. They have returned to being nobodies again. Labour have a 8% lead in the English polls according to the Sunday Times.

  141. Capella says:

    First brilliant tweet image post Xmas.
    pbs.twimg.com/media/FHf1rsWXsAEMhJw?format=jpg&name=900×900

  142. scottish skier says:

    40k care workers… 80k HGV drivers… There are major shortages in every sector.

    People are fleeing in their hundreds of thousands. Temporary visa schemes won’t solve this; they just say ‘We don’t want your sort here, but we are desperate so will tolerate you for as short a period as possible while you help us out of the pickle we created for ourselves by not wanting your sort here!’.

    For visas to work, people need to actually want to come to the UK and see a long-term future in the country. Predictably, since brexit, they don’t and those here are leaving en masse or planning to, including half the populations of Scotland and N. Ireland. It’s only a few desperate souls fleeing bombs / the Taliban etc that still want to come.

    Until the UK government understands that it has made England/Britain a very unattractive place to live/work and ends the ‘hostile environment’ policy for non-brits (and many brits, such as the windrushers), the exit gates will continue to be packed and the economy will continue to spiral down the plughole.

    https://archive.ph/7MJLx

    Care crisis: Immigration rules eased for care workers to help pressured sector

    IMMIGRATION rules are to be eased for care workers in a bid to fill vital gaps.

    Social care workers, care assistants and home care workers will be added to the shortage occupation, the UK Government has announced.

    It’s madness to watch this. All sense has gone out of UK governance, deluded as it has become by right-wing fantasy. This cannot end well.

    Re-introducing full free movement would be the quickest solution to the problem. Allowing all EU citizens freedom to live and work in the UK again does not require EU membership. If Labour and the Lib dems had any guts, they’d stand on such a ‘compromise’ ticket.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      woops

    • Clydebuilt says:

      “Until the UK government understands that it has made England/Britain a very unattractive place to live/work and ends the ‘hostile environment’ policy for non-brits (and many brits, such as the windrushers), the exit gates will continue to be packed and the economy will continue to spiral down the plughole.

      England a country to rush through on your way to somewhere nice!!

  143. Welsh_Siôn says:

    You’ll all be delighted to know that England have left ‘the Union’:

    The Independent

    Covid news – live: New restrictions in force in UK nations as top doctor urges ‘stragglers’ to get booster jab

    Andy Gregory,Alisha Rahaman Sarkar and Zoe Tidman 1 hour ago

    LIVE – Updated at 10:59

    New coronavirus restrictions are being introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from today, while Boris Johnson has not ruled out further rules in England.

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/covid-news-live-new-restrictions-in-force-in-uk-nations-as-top-doctor-urges-stragglers-to-get-booster-jab/ar-AAS9iCI?ocid=msedgntp

  144. Hamish100 says:

    Scot goes pop , provides an article to an anti-snp, anti-FM rant. You could be forgiven you are reading the Mail.

  145. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    @ scottish skier @ 11.56am on Dec 26th

    “It’s madness to watch this. All sense has gone out of UK governance, deluded as it has become by right-wing fantasy. This cannot end well.”

    Yes Scottish Skier……but if your motivation for Brexit was driven by pure greed, self interest and an opportunity to gain a financial advantage at some point via dubious companies/individuals investing in the UK via the private sector…… then as a Tory Brexit MP the rewards for you outweigh the pain and disadvantages for others……..the fact that the true impact of Brexit is being hidden from the public by the media and politicians and it’s consequences are being blamed on Covid alone tells you how rotten the UK under an English dominated government and media is….though with or without Brexit the Tories and other unionist parties would , for Scotland, be the worse possible governments to rule over us .

    The Unionist opposition parties and indeed the former Remain Tory MP’s who now have converted to the cause of Brexit must also be blamed as they are as complicit in this deceit as those Tory uber Brexiteers….the fact that Keir Starmer is trying to present a fanciful notion that Brexit under Labour would be better is as ridiculous and deceitful as the Tory Brexit currently being implemented badly by Boris Johnson and his party within the Tory party aka the ERG……..

    The fact that so many sectors/industries and indeed NI (a square they cannot circle) are now greatly impacted and for some devastated/destroyed is , under a Tory government, of no surprise because they were never initially considered and their relevance never deemed important in comparison to private enterprise ( via Tory clandestine lobbying/negotiations).

    Think of how many trips Owen Paterson made to the USA long before he was ‘caught out’ and had to resign…..long before his scandal was exposed it was reported that he made a multitude of trips to USA which were funded by a private Think Tank in order to campaign for a HARD Brexit…. WTF have those individuals/companies in USA to do with a major constitutional change for the UK (self interest and financial gain obvs)…….then think of how the ultimate Brexit sleaze ball Farage is also so closely aligned to certain individuals within the USA….and both of them are NOT unique in this……who is going to join all of the dots and when will it all finally be exposed ?

    Brexit is a con and those ordinary people who bought into it did so for a superficial reason as it was presented under a false campaign of taking back control, sovereignty and controlling ‘our’ (England’s) borders…..where currently for the Brits among us both here and elsewhere in the UK it has failed to materialise in the way presented by the uber charlatans of Brexit.

    Scotland and those who live here have an opt out from all of this madness and corrupt practices currently being implemented via Unionist individuals……….vote for independence……it’s the ONLY way for us now…….make or break……we don’t need to make a case for independence….the Tories with their Brexit policy have now added another reason to the now mounting list for us…….which I think is why they refuse to ‘allow us’ ( another reason for Indy when it appears we need permission from them in a supposed Union of equals) to have another Indy Ref…………cause chances are THEY will lose….and what they will lose is the golden goose that for years has sustained them and presented them as a so called ‘country’ of worth within the world…….remember Tony Benn, when energy secretary, he knew that without the discovery of North sea oil (so called) Britain would be on it’s knees…..and also the quote from Denis Healey re undervaluing the worth of oil to prevent a surge in support for independence……and they, Labour as a party, were ALL still playing that card pre 2014 Indy Ref ……as were the Tories and Lib Dems.

    So many reasons why independence is THE only option for Scotland…always has been pre and post Brexit vote……but as usual we, as a country, have been dragged along by Unionist parties to suffer the same consequences and pain as those who are a part of and support the Union……

    I for one will never ever stop fighting for and supporting Scotland’s right to be independent and there is no person or no reason that could be given by anyone or indeed any thing presented by way of an opposing argument that will dissuade me from that just and right cause….as the UK as a country is a spent force, extremely corrupt and considered by many outwith the UK as a failed state.

    IndyRef2 and then win Independence……simples.

    Hope everyone had a nice Xmas day ….

  146. scottish skier says:

    Another side effect of the ‘hostile environment’ policy. Of course, no matter how wonderful a job the Scotgov has done making EU and other international migrants to Scotland welcome, we can’t escape this.

    https://archive.ph/0hagA

    ‘Almost unsaleable’: slump in school trips to UK blamed on Brexit

    Post-Brexit changes to Britain’s immigration rules have triggered an unprecedented collapse in bookings for school trips from the continent, organisers say, with countries such as Ireland and the Netherlands now more popular than the UK.

    While the pandemic has depressed European school travel in general, the number of short-stay educational visits planned in 2022 to alternative EU destinations where English is widely spoken is significantly higher than inquiries for UK visits.

    Operators say that while Britain’s day two Covid test requirement is a factor, by far the most significant is the UK’s decision not to accept EU group passports or identity cards from 1 October, instead requiring full passports – plus expensive individual visas for non-EU pupils.

    Similar is happening for tourism in general. Many EU citizens don’t have a passport but just an ID card, which allows free movement across the whole EEA. Why bother with the UK if you need a passport and have to buy a visa? If you want to go to an English speaking country to learn some of the language, Ireland has it’s arms wide open to welcome you while the UK has barbed wire and border guards.

    [Holds head in hands].

  147. Alex Clark says:

    The Scottish Hospitality Group is not just a one man band, it claims to have a number of fairly large businesses as members but it’s clear that PR is their number one goal and an obliging anti-independence Scottish media fits their purpose perfectly.

    With the day to day running of the group being done by Stephen, along with a small steering group, SHG appointed communications experts BIG to drive a PR campaign to highlight the issues and safeguard their collective interests at both a local and government level. And it wanted a seat at the table when it came to government. Since then, the group has, through its public relations campaign seen 1,600 pieces of coverage. There have been 1.7bn opportunities to see their views giving it the highest share of voice of media compared to other trade bodies – secured 39% of voice in Scotland, the 2nd highest in the UK.

    https://archive.md/qTsOZ

  148. Alex Clark says:

    Also, see this Newsnet article from October this year.

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

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

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Cheers Alex, the pieces of the jigsaw are indeed confused regarding Montgomery.
      According to his Linked-IN CV which WS short-formed above, he remains President of SLTA since March 2020.
      Yet according to the DRAM piece he “resigned” only four months later in September 2020 ?
      If you dig a little further you find this “More so because his tenure as President of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, a voluntary role, was brought to an abrupt end when he was asked to resign at the beginning of August.” – Asked ?
      Yet what makes it all the more curious is in the https://dramscotland.co.uk/2020/09/01/spiderman-not-just-a-comic-book-hero-susan-young-interviews-stephen-montgomery/ piece there is not the slightest mention of it.
      The State Broadcaster BBC has access to resources far beyond Google to assess whether what they are broadcasting to the nation is to the best of their knowledge verifiably honest.

      They didn’t even try…

      • Alex Clark says:

        Bob, you must have missed this in that article you linked to:

        This is what sets Stephen apart – his advice was for everyone. So much so that having been asked by the SLTA to resign because of an article that appeared in the Evening Times in which he believes he was misquoted, he has decided to found a new organisation to continue the work needed.

        I had a look at the Evening Times to try and find the offending article, looks to be only 2 articles there pre-August 2020 when he was still President of the SLTA, neither seem very offensive to me but the more likely of the two could be this one.

        https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18534530.lifting-glasgows-booze-ban-encourage-buckfast-brigade-says-licensing-boss/

        • Bob Lamont says:

          You are correct, I didn’t, well spotted….
          So essentially Montgomery was not someone who weedled his way into favour with Pacific Quay but a known quantity before SHG were even formed and actively invited…

          • Alex Clark says:

            That’s exactly what I’m thinking, after all, someone had to be there to attack Scottish Government policy decisions on Covid, he fitted the bill and since then the SHG has had media attention beyond any start up organisations wildest dreams.

            Funny that.

          • Alex Clark says:

            Unusual I think for a start up group to employ a PR company right from the get go in order to garner publicity and to make their voice heard. Something they have been mightily successful at.

  149. scottish skier says:

    25k sample UK wide study shows a notable lack of blue in Scotland too. I suspect it’s overestimating red, but the lack of blue ties in with the Scottish opinium poll above.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Eek! 1 Plaid Cymru MP. 😦

    • scottish skier says:

      I’d not read too much into results for the Celtic nations as the samples will not be properly weighted to the electorate of these. Only ever rely on actual W/S/NI polls for this. It was just interesting as it also showed in Scotland that the Tories look to be in trouble, having potentially fallen back to ‘baseline’ as Capella noted.

      • Alex Clark says:

        The map on the Times website appears to show the Tories and Lib Dems with no seats but in the text it says SNP would win 48 out of the 59 seats so presumably, this means Labour would win 11 seats which is too daft for words. As far as Scotland is concerned I think this poll at constituency level can be safely ignored.

        • grizebard says:

          It’s apparently a different methodology, so arguably it could uncover localised shifts of opinion in some places here that are caused by a general feeling that Labour down south is getting back in the game. Somehow I’m also sceptical, but we should recognise that there are some Labour-inclined folk here – the Gerry Hassan contingent, if you like {grin} – who might be persuaded to give the party yet one more {ahem} last chance if they thought a revival was stirring in England. Totally futile on any realistic timescale, though. They might as well depend on a LibDem revival. Or a so-called “progressive alliance” {cough} that is never going to happen. But never underestimate the power of self-delusion.

          About the only way Labour could get that number more seats in Scotland, I guess, would be to emulate Ian “Plastic Tory” Murray or Tailor Dummy and collar every possible Unionist vote available where otherwise it’s a 3-way split. And what good would that kind of wider BT revival do for its reputation? If it’s “Union über alles”, the Tories surely have the better play anyway…?

      • Alex Clark says:

        The Times article https://archive.ph/O4pYT

        • Statgeek says:

          The Times, like the pollster, have a responsibility to not publish crap data.

          However, we know both are more interested in their bottom line and/or their own political agendas. As per scottish skier’s post, the GB-wide weighting is way off the mark.

          It’s proof, if it were needed, that a newspaper will go to print on crap data for the headlines, rather than tell the source to go and get better data.

  150. scottish skier says:

    Ok, this I understand is the Y/N result for a plan-free indy snap referendum held tomorrow during the omicron outbreak:

    50(-1)% Yes
    50(+1)% No

    No change within error on September’s opinium basically. Looks like Yes will, on average, be above 50% again for 2021, making that two years in a row. My PoP remains at 50.2%.

    If baseline Yes has now surpassed the 50% mark after a steady 10+ year march there, there’s no saving the union now short of using Belarusian/Chinese/N. Korean tactics.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Lisa Nandy Labour MP wants the *British* army sent in to Scotland to prevent democracy breaking out

      Other polls appear to show if there were to be a snap GE by the English government to attempt to save itself only Orkney and Shetland for Scotland would return representatives of the English government in the shape of Liberal Democrats, maybe they’d rather not have free prescriptions and all the rest of the stuff the majority of us subsidise for the minority, maybe they’d prefer we didn’t have the social policies in Scotland that we do have

  151. scottish skier says:

    Ok, here’s the bigger picture including DK. Over the past 10 years, Yes has risen steadily, gaining from both no and dk. Crossover occurred last year.

    Ignore the ‘latest’ poll to poll noise / errors. This is where we stand as we end 2021 and enter 2022.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I’ve always felt there are a lot of dinnae cares who think no matter what happens nothing changes so never vote anyway, leaving us with a near enough mirror image of the 2014 vote

      The hardline Scottish Unionist voter will still vote NO even if Boris Johnson ordered the slaughtering of all Scottish firstborn, he is their defender of the Pharoic faithful and they dimly don’t believe they are considered the same as the rest of us, the best we can hope for with them is that some of them won’t be able to bring themselves to vote at all hoping for an English government miracle or violent intervention to arrest and quell us fanatical heretics to deport us all to other colonies far away, do they have any of those left?

      • Bob Lamont says:

        This I’m afraid is democracy’s Achilles heel, and the Tories have mastered it, Red Wall etc.. You don’t need to win an election, you just need to ensure the opposition lose…

        There will be a fair few folk needing a swift kick to the shins directly…

    • scottish skier says:

      Some thoughts on the trends…

      In 2012-13, Yes lost a lot to DK as people got nervous. That gave us the dark days of 12/13 and Cameron the confidence to agree to the vote. However, the fearties turned brave and came back on board in 2014 as the big day approached. At the same time, some Nos slowly moved to Yes (net) over the course of the campaign. Most of these have never went back. No did start on 52% of the whole electorate, but fell below that and has never managed to go above the 50% mark since; max was 49.9% in the 2017 peak. Only a minority of people you see on the street support the union and this has been the case since 2013.

      By 2015, abstainers remorse (?) has the DKs down to less than 10% first and foremost to Yes. They’ve never gone back, in part I imagine driven by what happened after, i.e. lack of any devo max then Brexit. Hence DK has been unchanged at ~8% since. We’ve taken what we can from DK. The rest are more ‘don’t cares’.

      However, while the 10% or so gain from DK was welcome, it was not enough to put Yes over the line, not even in the 2015 surge which saw yet further additional small gains from No. In all probability any referendum 2015-2019 would have given an endorsement of Tory brexit.

      The Brexit vote just did not have the effect expected by the SNP. It actually caused quite a lot of Yes to move to No. I don’t think this was more ‘Lets get one constitutional upheaval sorted before we have another’. This is supported by the fact that, net at least, those Yes who said No after the Brexit vote have steadily moved back to Yes since, as shown in the plot; Yes started regaining from 2017 to date after the 15/17 retreat.

      There was an additional wave in 2020 during covid which I attribute to a desire to ‘take control’ in a situation that felt very out of control; a feeling that waned as we started to live with covid. But all the while, No has been losing steadily to yes, if simply in a large part down to demographics, and it seems we have now crossed the line.

      By 2023 incidentally, trends suggest an absolute majority of the whole electorate, dk included, may support indy by 2023. This looks quite certain by the next election based on linear projection of 10 years of good data.

      Which is why the UK government are now starting to think about Chinese / Belarusian tactics; they can’t win democratically anymore.


      *Polls show much less support for being outside the EU/EEA under independence.

  152. Golfnut says:

    An interesting video by Mike Small ‘re the return of the Stone of Destiiny.

  153. Hamish100 says:

    Thanks golfnut.
    Such a great story to tell. Remember my old man talking about it when I was wee- long before the books and tv production. The act sparked something although the radical side of Scotland thought the way forward was singing the red flag once a year at labour conferences.
    A bit of radicalism with the snp in this upcoming year would be welcomed, as well as needed.
    Let’s have proper land reform.
    Are you listening snp/green MSP’s? Get off your bum’s.

  154. Hamish100 says:

    I see the anti democratic tories are at it again. Deliberately undermining the Scottish Parliament and its elected government.
    A few cabal tories in fishing will grab the financial baubles.

    I wonder what behind the scenes discussions have taken place with the tory grandees and councillors in moray and Aberdeenshire. I hope the auditors are watching.

    The local fisher folk on the west coast will lose out.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-59795857

  155. scottish skier says:

    Couple more snippets from the opinium poll.

    Do you think the Scottish Government or the Westminster Government have done a better job of dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, or do you think they have both done the same?
    58% Scottish government has done better
    24% Both done the same
    10% Westminster government has done better
    8% DK

    Do you think Nicola Sturgeon is or is not capable of leading Scotland to independence?
    53% She is
    35% She is not
    12% DK

  156. Capella says:

    I just thought of a good slogan for the next Indyref:

    VOTE AS IF YOUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT

  157. Hamish100 says:

    Capella,

    Surely

    Vote, as your future and your children’s children depends on it

    I think Capella you have started something!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  158. Capella says:

    Echoes Alasdair Gray – Work as if you are live in the early days of a better country 🙂

  159. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Just a reminder to one and all, and thanks to the Rt Hon Member for The Cotswolds for helping out:

    – We are NOT principalities
    – We are NOT territories
    – We are NOT regions

    https://nation.cymru/news/principalities-are-out-of-step-with-england-on-covid-restrictions-says-tory-mp/

    ‘Principalities are out of step with England’ on Covid restrictions says Tory MP

    27 Dec 2021 2 minute Read

    • Hamish100 says:

      Nor are we devolved nations. We are nations.

    • Dr Jim says:

      And there it is in all its finery, England elevates itself above the rest of mankind in the eyes of itself as a cover of its gross incompetence greed and self righteous exceptionalism

      “Only God may judge them” is the unspoken sentence left unsaid because modern times and all that, “Cry havoc and let slip the Covid variant” because I might lose my job thinks Prime Minister of England Boris De Privileged Johnson

      The Westminster government, the only political administration in the western world to completely disregard the medical expertise of the entire world and make the ridiculous statement that “We’ll keep it under review” What will it take? a Covid arrow in the eye? the threat of a new emerging variant? people ringing bells and wheeling their relatives through the streets to unstaffed A&E ? perhaps the people of England are expected to throw their hands into the air shouting *Go away nasty virus* and their will be done as the chosen children of Boris

      Scotland is a promised land, we’re living in it, but under the control of a country that believes our promised land is theirs but annoyingly occupied by lesser creatures that either must be removed or crushed by English *persuasion*

  160. jfngw says:

    One of the funniest reports on the BBC News ‘Boris Johnson is currently poring over the data’, this is a man that couldn’t even remember to bring the correct speech with him recently. You are more likely to find him pouring over the spirits before deciding he can manage by just winging it and hope nobody notices.

    The level of sycophancy at the BBC for the Tories (only one notch down from their royalty nausea reports) is truly astounding. I remember recently Newsight claimed Johnson ‘always managed to pull something out the bag’, the only thing coming out of any Johnson bag is incoherence, bullshit and death (unless they were talking about body bags of course).

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yes according to Channel 4 news Boris Johnson has said he thinks the devolved governments have acted too early……England meanwhile is NOT going to impose any new restrictions before New Year.

      Nothing to do with much publicised parties last Xmas by Tory party of course ………that is not THE defining factor in NOT imposing further restrictions to stop the public from having New Year parties in England…..said no one who has a brain……i.e. as in rules for them etc etc…Boris J boxed in a corner of his own making.

      Or indeed the fact that Boris J’s party within a party aka the ERG are opposed to further restrictions…or indeed ANY restrictions at all.

      It’s all being set up to BLAME the English public should cases increases……as happened before…public urged to exercise caution and common sense….of course people celebrating New Year who traditionally indulge in alcohol aka getting drunk are of course lacking in common sense or caution and one does not need a scientist to verify that fact….. BUT that will not stop the Tories from shifting blame and responsibility upon the public should cases dramatically increase and the impact via extra pressure is felt on the English NHS .

      We have also had DRoss vocalise that the SG are being too cautious….today it was announced cases have gone up in Scotland……so that is a cue for DRoss to go under cover which of course means that the BBC in Scotland will NOT seek him out to challenge him on this…. as in NOT holding him to account on his call for less caution to be adopted by SG …..unfortunately his statements have been given much publicity on this and now the public can see that he and Boris J are indeed cut from the same useless cloth………..and that their criticism of the SG on Covid is purely politically motivated and NOT ever driven by Public Health concerns….or facts and reality.

      Pray where is Keir Starmer and why is he NOT shouting from the rooftops that further restrictions should be announced in England…..why ?…………because like Boris J he is a politician who strives to pander to the worst kind of people and thus he, like Boris J, does not want to be seen as the one who the public ( as in a specific section of the public) blame for spoiling their seasonal celebrations………….so NEW YEAR and certain sections of the public will party with others and get drunk but that is NOT a reason apparently to impose further restrictions or for the opposition to call for them…….cause tis, in England, the season to be at risk during a pandemic and then also be BLAMED for it post the season……..God help those people in England who WILL be sensible as they will be at risk too from the idiots and also very much from their English government and the weak official political opposition.

      Has anyone noticed how much Starmer gets Angela Raynor to lead many of the attacks on the Tories while he distances himself…..that’s tactical that is.

  161. Capella says:

    I’ve just heard a Tory MP tell a blatant lie and not be corrected by the R4 news presenter. He says Boris Johnston is right not to lockdown any further in England. Scotland has to do it because we have soaring cases because our vaccination programme is behind England’s.
    Nations First Second Third
    Scotland 80.1% 73.3% 52.0%
    Wales 78.5% 72.4% 48.6%
    England 76.7% 70.1% 48.0%
    NI 73.7% 68.3% 41.2%

    Hope the formatting posts OK. If not, see the tables in Travelling Tabby.
    https://www.travellingtabby.com/uk-coronavirus-tracker/

    • Alex Clark says:

      The presenter could also have pointed out that as of 19th Dec almost twice as many people were infected with Covid in England than in Scotland and more than 3 times as many infected in London than in Scotland according to the ONS infection survey.

      Today, we have published new interim data that show between 13 December 2021 and 19 December 2021:

      In England, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) was 2.83%; we estimate that 1,544,600 people in England had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 1,477,900 to 1,615,800), equating to around 1 in 35 people.

      In Wales, the percentage of people testing positive was 2.30%; we estimate that 70,000 people in Wales had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 57,100 to 83,800), equating to around 1 in 45 people.

      In Northern Ireland, the percentage of people testing positive was 2.45%; we estimate that 44,900 people in Northern Ireland had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 34,900 to 56,100), equating to around 1 in 40 people.

      In Scotland, the percentage of people testing positive was 1.50%; we estimate that 79,200 people in Scotland had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 65,600 to 94,000), equating to around 1 in 65 people.

      In England, COVID-19 infections have increased in all age groups.

      In England, COVID-19 infections have increased in all regions except the South West in the latest week; the highest rates are in London where around 1 in 20 people had COVID-19 and lowest in the North East where around 1 in 55 people had COVID-19.

      COVID-19 infections compatible with the Omicron variant have increased in all regions in England with substantial regional variation; the highest rates are in London and the lowest in the North East.

      https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/24december2021

      • Capella says:

        It’s outrageous that the national broadcaster allows this level of deception in the middle of a pandemic. Maybe he corrected it later on but there were no other MPs there for “balance”. I switched off after that item. At least in Scotland we know that they lie on an industrial scale and have other sources of information.

        • jfngw says:

          There is no thing as ‘balance’ in this context, there is only the factual data. The BBC is merely broadcasting lies under the guise of diverse opinion. If the numbers had been reversed and a SNP MP had made the same claim you can be 100% certain the BBC would have contradicted the SNP MP.

  162. Dr Jim says:

    Gerry Hassan writes again in the National describing how “WE” defeated Margaret Thatcher, very nice indeed except for one glaring fact, “WE” didn’t defeat Margaret Thatcher, the English voters did that because Scotland never have had the votes to change the government in England and haven’t had the slightest effect on UK FTP voting ever, the fact that Scotland votes against something and it happens is complete and total coincidence, because England outvotes Scotland ten to one and if England voted for screaming lord Sutch and the banana party as the government of the UK that’s what we’d have irrespective of what Scotland votes

    Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland don’t count in the *UK* and never have

  163. Hamish100 says:

    Mr Hassan wears English red rose spectacles at times. His socialist left wing academia blocks reality.thatcher got kicked out by the Tory grandees bringing Major in post.

    It was a few years before Hassan blue eyed boy came along gave us the Iraq War and Browns financial crash due to his light touch economic policies.
    I await for his argument for federalism.

  164. Golfnut says:

    A story lifted by the express from a Manchester newspaper has Nicola banned from pubs by the owner of a Manchester based pub chain. I haven’t posted a link, it’s the express, any apparently her ‘ new ‘ restrictions are unnecessary as well as unclear. Many pubs will have to close down, blaa blaa and on it goes. Welsh FM also banned.

  165. Old Pete says:

    Media as expected supporting Bo Jo not increasing restrictions. Apparently Sturgeon being shown up by the Tories in Westminster ? You couldn’t write it, but unfortunately they have.

  166. Hamish100 says:

    With another poll showing the SNP with the lead in Scotland the bbc – who always state they don’t report on 1 poll- ( not true incidentally) continue to have a new blackout on the matter.50%+ support independence but we get 90% pro -unionist propaganda.

    Maybe Muriel Gray will speak up for Sco……….;;.; No, maybe not.

    Time for the Scots parliament to investigate.

  167. Hamish100 says:

    I see WGD is attacked by a well known “I don’t like the SNP or FM” commentator in The National.

    What, attack the leader who won Mays election – would they have preferred a labour or Tory win to justify their point?

    It must be terrible to see that the public- (the folk who vote) disagree with them. With others the attack on the FM has been dreadful. She is still there for now ( all leaders stand down eventually) but it seems that a small cabal priority remains to “defeat” the FM rather than unionism and win independence. They are devoid of ideas and understanding of the political reality that we need to attract more YES supporters.

    If they got their wish the Public would turn away from independence as they would see years of internecine fighting. Still the cabal can then blame the FM for not getting independence.

    Other blogs following this line of thought have a small coterie of disgruntled individuals. They give succour to the unionist.

    • jfngw says:

      Yes they turn on each other when someone doesn’t fall into line, one that used to be part of the group but seems to persona non grata now, sort of excommunicated in an funny way when you consider the background. Strangely an another who has taken the same stand is to be tolerated (not by all I suspect) because of the hero status. They are a fickle bunch of malcontents.

      It’s highly amusing looking at their twitter feeds, the intellectual superiority, the delusion that their party is on the cusp of relevance, the veneration of an old has been. What strikes you most is the venom and hatred of anything SNP emanating from them. They seem to think throwing carrots is the pinnacle of sophistication, although I see one has photographed himself holding two carrots, one for each orifice spoken out of I presume.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Bell drops clanger ?

  168. scottish skier says:

    Ok, maybe a late Christmas pressie here, but something appears wrong with the opinium tables.

    Prof C is reporting the 44/44/12 (50/50) on WST from the tables which are now up here:

    https://www.opinium.com/polling-tables-archive/

    However, the %’s don’t match based on the respondent numbers vs weighted sample. I have recalculated. They give 47% Y / 43% N which is 52(+1)% Yes on september.

    I’ll maybe send a wee email to opinium. Maybe there’s a vote certaintly thing or something missing, but as it stands, 623/138*100 = 46.9 etc.

    • scottish skier says:

      TBH, this isn’t the only sheet that doesn’t add up.

      Trust in sturgeon should surely be:
      57% Trust*
      41% Don’t trust

      Not 53/43

      Either wall it’s impressive. Only 17% Trust bozo vs 80% who don’t.

      —-
      *431+323 = 754, 754/1328*100 = 57

    • Capella says:

      Where does the 138 come from?

    • scottish skier says:

      If you meant the 1328, it is the total weighted sample that is used throughout the poll, and all the black respondent numbers answering Y/N/WNV/DK do add up to that. It’s just the %’s that are wrong.

      Even before you do the calc, 623 is obviously notably bigger than 576 which is what caught my eye. How could the boy be 44%? 🙂

      FIELD DATES | 15 – 22 December 2021
      SAMPLE | 1328 Scottish Adults
      WEIGHTING | Demographic and political

      • scottish skier says:

        How could they both be 44% D-oh. My typing skills are clearly not as fast as they once were!

      • Capella says:

        OK thx. Odd that Opinium should make such an obvious mistake and John Curtice not point it out?

      • scottish skier says:

        Curtice probably just reported the main numbers given in a press release. The tables just appeared this morning; he had his numbers up yesterday / possibly on Sunday.

        I’ve emailed opinium to check.

        I was just interested to see if if was 50/50…49.9%…or actually 50.4% Yes or something, which you can check from respondent numbers without the rounding.

    • scottish skier says:

      Ok, I was right, but sadly it was actually 50/50!

      Hi Ross,

      The numbers are the non-weighted numbers rather than the weighted numbers – so the %s are correct, numbers are wrong.

      I’ll get those fixed when I get a chance.

      Cheers – and thanks for spotting!

      C

      Chris Curtis

      Head of Political Polling

      • Capella says:

        Seems like quite a cavalier approach to numbers from a polling agency. It’s not as if they do this in their spare time 🙂

      • scottish skier says:

        It will be interesting to see corrected tables. It’s a really weird mistake to have made as you’d think the blue numbers would have been actually calculated from the respondent numbers they’re tabulated with with.

        Also, he says 1328 is the ‘unweighted base’, yet in the same row, this supposedly unweighted base gives 45% Yes / 55% No on an 85% turnout in 2014. ~Likewise 62% Remain. Not only that, but women are against indy on the supposedly correct %’s with men for it; the opposite way around to the current normal pattern. If you actually use the respondent numbers, then women become more pro-indy than men.

        Anyway, when looking back at their September poll – where the numbers do add up – this was interesting:

        Q:sep21_new2. And thinking about a referendum on Scottish independence in the next few years, which of these statements best describes what you’d do?
        53(+2)% Yes
        47(-2)% No

        Where the changes are on what the same respondents said they’d so in a snap referendum held tomorrow.

        While it is hardly concrete, it doesn’t go against my warning that the standard ‘tomorrow’ question doesn’t tell us 2023 intention; the two answers may not be the same. Here they are not here. Yes gains by the SNP approach of taking time to see out the worst of covid etc. It would be nice to see more polling around a 2023 date.

        • Alex Clark says:

          Looks to me like a complete cock up by Opiniumm I’m with you in that it is very strange to state that these are unweighted numbers when the referendum figures work out at precisely 45/55.

          You also pointed out that the figures for trust in Nicola Sturgeon were wrong and it should be 57% but take a look at the table dr0Summary where her “Trust a lot” number has gone down from 431 to 98 and “Don’t trust much” has gone up from 160 in the detailed table to 359 in the summary!

          These numbers look very very suspicious, a reputable polling company wouldn’t issue dodgy figures would they? That was a rhetorical question 🙂

    • Statgeek says:

      Their weightings for Indyref VI will be based on Indyref 2014 most likely, so always likely to pull it back to the 55/45 direction.

      That would also explain why some polls favour Naw so suddenly if the MoE shifts to 51% Naw unweighted.

      It’s one of those odd things of polling. Got to weight the numbers to reality, but which reality?

  169. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    As we on here have noticed a pattern of behaviour then so too must others.

    It has definitely not gone unnoticed that throughout the pandemic the various news channels on TV have chosen to give UK figures only which in the circumstances is unhelpful and for us the people who live in these individual nations it makes no sense.

    We, as separate nations (tied to a non Union), have four different NHS sectors that at times have had different measures and restrictions applicable to the specific nation (though England has been the one usually out of sync with the other nations due to political reasons)…..we also have a situation where we, in Scotland and in Wales , have been subjected to Boris J’s and his colleagues televised ramblings in their English daily Covid updates/briefings as well as our own…….hence the confusion that some people mention in not knowing what to do ….God forbid in a digital age they should go onto t’internet and look up current guidance via SG on Covid….too much trouble for some it seems….but will concede it does serve up mixed messages.

    We also have the ridiculous situation where not only is the FM interrogated by journalists, who let’s be honest , many a time they have strayed from the remit of asking questions related only to Covid and at times have ventured down an unrelated issue……then……….the BBC via pressure from Unionist politicians adopted a counter productive NEW part to their programme post FM daily updates where opposition politicians were given a platform to contradict, criticise and deflect from the message given by the FM…….this in itself promotes a lack of trust, confidence and generates confusion with the public…..which let’s be honest was the purpose of this additional non required input…..playing politics pure and simple courtesy of Unionist politicians and a Unionist TV channel.

    Did this happen when Boris J or his colleagues gave THEIR updates/daily briefings…..NOPE…..not sure if it happens in Wales too…….or indeed in NI….where English opposition politicians given platform to challenge and generate doubt in Boris J’s government’s handling of pandemic via his decisions / measures and overall performance post his or his colleagues daily updates.

    This is another thing the Scottish inquiry into SG and Covid should include……and is another case why the UK does not work……where all nations have been subjected to the English daily updates while also being given their own respective update/message on rules and restrictions……a recipe for confusion and MIXED messages….AND where in Scotland there has been a constant onslaught of negativity and confusion generated via Unionist politicians against the SG and the FM courtesy of the BBC platforming an unnecessary input from opposition political parties .

    I am sure this is why the Unionist parties , via current polls, are tanking in Scotland because people can see that they have constantly politicised the pandemic via their never ending opposing statements which has been pretty much a case of saying the SG should do the opposite of what they are doing throughout this pandemic…….and the fact that the BBC here have also had a succession of idiots like Stephen Montgomery, Robert Kilgour and one Hugh Pennington ( who as defected to GB News now) giving but ONE perspective as in one that is against the SG measures speaks volumes as to their true agenda……….the public can see how blatantly biased the BBC have been during this pandemic…….sick of hospitality Joe moaning about his lot when people have lost loved ones……he wants to stay open as it would seem HIS staff are immune to Covid and pose no risk to the public …that is….. in his Fantasy world…..in reality anyone is at risk and as we the public must adopt the rules so should hospitality Joe and his staff do via HIS business.

    If NHS staff are going off sick because of Covid and thus a lack of staff in NHS greatly impacts the overall service that they can provide to public……surely hospitality staff and their respective establishments must also be impacted via Covid to the service they can provide safely to the public.

    Does hospitality Joe aka Stephen Montgomery intend to remain open if some of his staff have Covid or have come into contact with someone who has Covid thus they need to self isolate …….will this itself not impact the running of his business ?………this is another thing the public are sickened by …..the self interest of people like him during a pandemic……..I am sure those who have lost those close to them will be crying their eyes out for him…..NOT….somehow I do not think the economy over health resonates with people who have lost loved ones during this pandemic….but the BBC here thinks…every little bit helps….. when it targets the FM and Health secretary in the SG in their handling of Covid in Scotland.

    The reality is Boris J and his government have been atrocious throughout this pandemic…..Tories taking credit for a vaccine roll out…..a vaccine created by scientists then castigating scientists when it does not suit their, the Tories, preferred option of herd immunity because Tories only pander to the the various large corporations whose only interest is in making money and tis they who get to decide what happens as tis they who support and donate to the Tory party. ……there is your economy argument…….Health in the Tory world is a very distant relation to wealth…..always.

  170. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I see Andrew Bowie, via a tweet, is stating that “personal responsibility” via the public is the appropriate strategy in his endorsement of the English government NOT imposing new restrictions in England …where was the “personal responsibility” last Xmas of those individuals within the Tory party holding various Xmas parties during a time where parties were NOT allowed…….he knows this of course….but this, via him, is a POLITICAL message not a HEALTH one……this is how he and his colleagues have chosen to act throughout this pandemic……..and it is never ever to serve the public interest first but always only to serve the Tory party and the Union…..party and Union over the country (Scotland) and it’s citizens ( for Bowie Scotland ,via his constituency, tis only the country that elected him but not the country he has any allegiance with nope the country he aligns with is the one where HQ is based) …….same goes for his colleagues….sure English people will be glad of a Scottish (in name only) politician’s input into their respective country’s policy on Covid measures…….herd immunity seems to be so very popular with Tory politicians……is it popular with the English public too….I suspect not so much…… apart from the idiots that roam among them.

    He as a politician, in name only, has badly served Scotland and I for one will be glad to see the back of him as his blatant personal ambition to progress within the Tory party takes precedence over his responsibilities to his constituents and his country (Scotland)……he , like other Scottish (in name only) Tories prefers his adopted country, England, and see their only chance to progress up the greasy political pole is to maintain the Union…………absolute sneering and despicable charlatan that he is…….tick tock for him and his colleagues.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      There is a special place in Hades reserved for the failed seaman Bowie.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      My comment to the National article on this –
      Sub Lt Bowie (failed) was deemed incapable of advancement in the RN hence was ‘let go’..
      He has only been afforded the opportunity to “lead” in the public domain due to convincing the electorate he had the qualities required.
      It’s taken a lot longer for the electorate to realise what the RN knew, that he’s incapable of leadership and they’ve been duped, time to “let him go”.

      Three parts of the UQ’s four have taken pre-emptive action to prevent disastrous consequence, yet Sub Lt (failed) opines that the three are wrong.
      To quote from a RN officer review, “He would be out of his depth in a puddle”.

  171. Dr Jim says:

    If you think of Nicola Sturgeon as a woman in a mens football team the explanation of misogyny is easier to make, the other players don’t want her in the team because A they claim she’s not good enough or B she might score a goal, for both reasons they want her out

    Politicking is still the mens team who don’t mind a bit of window dressing or keep the peace political correctness but certainly not something women should be successful at, it embarrasses them

  172. scottish skier says:

    Meanwhile, in developments across the Irish sea.

    This would undoubtedly have major impacts for NI, the UK, and so Scotland (if we were still part of the union).

    A SF government in Dublin would have a veto over EU-UK relations. At the same time, the unionists no longer are in majority in NI; the neutral pro-EU Alliance hold the balance. The next election could find SF coming first. We might even see SF + SDLP larger than the unionist bloc. This would mean a republican FM of NI.

    https://archive.is/quTu6

    ‘Not if … but when’: Sinn Féin on path to power in Ireland

    The party is riding high in polls and could complete a seismic shift in Irish politics in three years’ time.

    SF of course did actually get the largest share of the vote in 2020 in Eire, just not the most seats as they didn’t expect it so didn’t stand enough candidates.

  173. Dr Jim says:

    “Thousands to flock over the border to England for Hogmanay to escape Sturgeons Scotland restrictions”
    “Sturgeon dooms Scotland to more restrictions”
    “Sturgeon out of step with England”
    “Drunk with power Sturgeon restricts Scotland”

    While every country in Europe and many around the world are doing exactly the same as Scotlands FM these are the depths the English owned press and media sink to in order to protect their failed state including their missing in action absent Prime Minister who’s so paralysed with fear of losing his job he can do nothing but hide from his own cabinet and the public he’s supposed to serve

    The first job of government is to protect the people and the economy, Boris Johnson is doing neither

    England is now a super spreader state that other countries reject as ungoverned, it’s no wonder the leaders of the governments of Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland are sickened and embarrassed by this 52 week a year pantomime dame dressing up as a leader who’s constantly looking behind him

  174. Hamish100 says:

    Ever been in England at Hogmanay? A wake with is more fun.

  175. scottish skier says:

    Sturgeon’s been banned from a string of English pubs with only 3 star reviews based on a quick google search. I can’t see her losing sleep over this.

    https://archive.is/tW3gB

    If I was William Lees-Jones, I’d be looking into why my business acumen could only get me 3 stars.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Those are just the very pubs in England she wanted to go to as well, or could it be

      Pub owner in England needs publicity

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Yes Dr Jim….a Pub owner in England who owns pubs…..apparently neither our FM or the Welsh FM are welcome….beautiful….keep it coming he makes the case that proves we are not indeed a UNITED Kingdom but in reality have so much more that divides us than unites us…..basically due pretty much to divisive comments as per this one generated by morons like him……..but if nothing else he gets, as you say, some publicity for firing a oh so obvious cheap shot……..

        Do we also get to ban him from the whole of Scotland ? …..he could though sneak over the border at Dumfries of course….I believe there is a taxi service in Dumfries, as reported tonight via BBC Rep Scotland, that crosses the border between Dumfries and Carlisle to contaminate both areas with Covid during the pandemic ………..sure he, the taxi guy, would pick him up in Carlisle and bring him over the border to Dumfries…………he could bring some cheap booze from his English pubs for Unionists Scots who apparently are too poor to afford to pay for CERTAIN alcohol types in Scotland due to price increases via SG Health policy as in Health before Wealth…………Covid and cheap booze in one trip…….what a winning combination for morons.

      • scottish skier says:

        Does seem to be consistent with the ‘hostile environment’ for visitors to England/Britain policy being pursued by the UK government, including from Scotland*.

        After all, Scotgov polices have no effect on England.


        *EU citizens living in Scotland would lose all voting rights if they move to England I understand, even if they have settled status.

  176. Hamish100 says:

    I see that ALBA claim that they will stand candidates in all local authority areas next year.

    Not clear as to how many per local authority but it must be assumed they will try and take votes from the snp and greens and leave the unionists smirking at their antics.
    Still they don’t appear to hold onto their candidates for long. https://www.irvinetimes.com/news/19739577.ellen-mcmaster-councillor-leaves-alex-salmonds-alba-party/

    What does success look like for ALBA in the Scottish local elections?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Success for Alba is *damage* to the confidence of Independence, it’s all they exist to do, anti vaxers, anti SNP, anti health precautions, anti whatever you’ve got except strangely enough Unionists who they never seem to have a problem with

      • Hamish100 says:

        SGP seems to think ALBA can achieve’5-10% vote share to force the snp./ greens to do something!

      • scottish skier says:

        As a scientist, I’m definitely one to defer to experts when it comes to policy making, particularly on complex / sensitive medical issues and the ethics around that. As per recent polling, the bulk of Scots are similar, either agreeing with medical experts or saying they’ll defer to these on matters close to Alba’s heart. I was glad in September that the BMA clarified what their expert opinion actually was so the public could know this and take it on board.

        For the coming spring ​local elections, as a general rule, I will be avoiding any party that tries to mislead me that these are anything to do with Holyrood or union matters. Naturally, as a Scottish person, I will only vote for (pro-) Scottish parties*, but that’s the limit of any independence angle to my voting choice.

        I will certainly be wary of any party suggesting council elections are about independence, as that would be a trick straight out of the unionist handbook. Sure a good showing for pro-indy parties would be nice, but it should have zero impact on Holyrood and the plans for independence. It’s about roads, schools, bin collections etc, not the future of the country nor human rights / equality issues etc. And we all know the large vote for local independent candidates means all the main parties will get less of a share. It’s just not about indy, end of.


        *You can spot Scottish parties as e.g. their Christmas messages are not filmed in upmarket areas of London, England. 😉

  177. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Reporting Scotland had a numpty on from Dumfries…yes he was from hospitality sector (not Stephen Montgomery he had a night off from the BBC and a different Tory took over)….big surprise NOT….. he stated a relative of his with a taxi was FULLY BOOKED at New Year to take peeps from Dumfries to Carlisle….fully booked ?…………how many like……reminds me of that fairy tale of loadsa peeps supposedly going to England for cheap booze post increase of some types of alcohol by SG.

    Sure the Mundells will try to put a stop to this for Health reasons……as if…nope…. for political reasons they will either condone or ignore this while condemning the FM and SG for being too cautious as opposed to the lack of action taken by his party who prefer being deliberately reckless via English PM Johnson ……they , the Mundells, only represent the Tory party and the Union………peeps in their constituency are dispensable, more so by their party as far as this pandemic is concerned and Brexit, come another election though they will give it all ‘Only we the Tories can save the Union and topple the SNP’……..meanwhile during the pandemic and Brexit they as a party have badly let people down…….BTW as we all know they have also, in the past, NEVER toppled the SNP and will not in the future….. and I doubt they can save the Union NOW as a) Not a Union b) the public tend to only want to save something worth saving which is NOT this NON Union of unequals within the UK….all things considered post 2014.

    Hope people who live in Dumfries and who are abiding by the rules set by SG give laldy to those supposedly doing this and also those , via say a supposed certain Taxi service who are enabling these idiots , well I hope they get their just reward too and not forgetting the numpty on telly tonight communicating this garbage….I would give his establishment a wide berth also…..he does not seem like a responsible person in a Health crisis…..profit before people type I think.

    Taxi service aka #VirusMobiles

    How pathetic are some people……..and how irresponsible are the BBC in giving another moron a platform to spout an irresponsible communication in the midst of this new variant of Covid……both the moron and BBC playing politics against the SG…………as per.

    Taxi for Covid…..wealth before health….the Tory way.

    • JoMax says:

      It looks as if the UK is being run by a PR outfit. I wonder which one these days. PR/Marketing Companies use psychological tricks and, frequently, downright lies to ‘sell’ to the public that which they want the public to consume. Their clients pay them vast amounts of money to come up with the goods and in the end, we the consumers pay. In this case, it’s we the citizens. They know that, unfortunately, many fall for their deception and misrepresentation. This is exactly what the Tories (and the rest of the Unionists at WM and Holyrood) are doing now in all areas of politics, but for us in Scotland it’s particularly noticeable because of how much is aimed specifically at the Scottish Govt and our country each and every day. A constant drip, drip, drip. Only yesterday, Capella mentioned a deliberate lie about Scottish vaccinations spouted by an MP on Radio 4 which was not challenged by the interviewer. They can lie to their heart’s content and get away with it. They are past masters. That’s how they acquired their Empire. But in the end, of course, it all backfired and their Empire is no more.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Hi JoMax well said…yes PR is a system being used, by Unionist charlatans, to con the public….and they are doing it deliberately too !

        It was PR that gave us the Tory power stance……stand tall…legs spread wide at a slight angle….the fact that they all complied with this (as pictures will testify) shows you their commitment to style over substance…………..it’s PR that comes up with slogans….remember Theresa May’s ” Strong and stable”…..one reason that failed was because on EVERY programme a Tory MP was on they ALL said that slogan….even on BBC QT they managed to include that slogan when answering a question from the audience pre the GE where Theresa May won with a REDUCED majority hence why she could NOT , unlike Boris, get her Brexit withdrawal deal through the HOC so many times (she also had to bung the DUP 1 billion to shore up her party and get their support in votes in HOC…how strong did that make her) ……….the public got sick of hearing it said by all Tory MP’s when they were on TV……it was then recognised as just a blatant crass slogan to win votes and NOT an actual fact or future reality i.e. that they were indeed NOT perceived by the public as strong and stable under Theresa May………it was so very pathetic and embarrassing…indeed a member of the QT audience stated he did not want to hear a Tory politician say it again…as way way too much….I believe Philip Hammond was the Tory on the panel that night….and YES he did say that slogan hence the audience member putting Philip in his place…….the Guinness Book of Records should and could have recorded it as THE most over used slogan said by ANY political party in the run up to a GE in the UK ….it was said so very many times by ALL Tories when on TV……pathetic and cringe worthy.

        People saw it for what is was …a meaningless tactical PR generated slogan being used to try and brainwash the public ……..ironically everything that happened to the Tories post this GE win by them, with a reduced majority, turned out to be the OPPOSITE of strong and stable….indeed the country was being run by a weakened Tory party, with a reduced majority, who generated a lot of instability for the citizens of the UK thanks to Brexit…….they, the Tories, even had to unsuspend Tory MP Charlie Elphicke’s suspension from the party to vote with them in supporting Theresa May in the No confidence vote against her in the HOC , he was then, months later, convicted and jailed for sexual assaults ( at time of his suspension from the Tory party he was being investigated by the police for these sexual assaults)…….. BTW his suspension was restored by the Tories post that vote against Theresa May in the HOC’s………..how corrupt of them….again…and under the premiership of one Theresa May too.

        Perhaps we now live in a world where there are just too many members of the public who are more sophisticated, better informed and way too sceptical for political parties to be able to con continuously with crass slogans that are only generated to win elections by PR types…..and the mainstream media spinning on behalf of the Tories has become way too obvious and distasteful too for many of us in the public……only those members of the public who are cut from the same cloth as the Tories now support them………since 2016 but especially since 2019 post GE many many people have had their eyes opened re the Tories and no amount of PR can now salvage the mess they have made….it’s become impossible for them to continue to sustain credibility amidst so much incompetence, corruption and lies instigated and implemented by them as a political party…….

        In the words of Theresa May….”Now is not the time”… for slogans to be used to try to convince (con) people to vote for your party……as Now is the time for honesty and transparency alas these virtues are deficient within the Tory party hence why now predicted, in Scotland, a wipe out for Tories come next GE…..and some in England are also switching to another party….alas the English people sadly lack a credible option to the Tories ……….the English people have THE actual Tories, the wannabe Tories ( Lib Dems) and the Tory Lite (Labour)………or the various NEW so called parties formed by castoffs from the dying ashes of both UKIP and the Brexit party and also many failed attempts by pseudo politicians from both of these parties who could NOT get elected as MP’s under either UKIP or the Brexit party (also we have the desperate George Galloway who will stand anywhere in UK to eventually get onto the WM gravy train……he does not suit his Hat transplant BTW he would have been better with a hair one to cover his baldness…..he could have grown his hair transplant to cover his brass neck)………

        Better Together with that lot……………..NO THANKS……….perhaps they need some new PR…or perhaps NOT …………..YES is the best slogan as simple and easy to understand and only seeks agreement from the public in it being said by them and then acted upon by them come next Indy Ref…..no con or PR needed in such a transparent and to the point message…….YES ?

    • Hamish100 says:

      Are taxis not licensed? Are they allowed to cross boundaries or borders? How do they charge? Who checks their safety?

      Sounds like more disinformation from MSM.

      • Stephen McKenzie says:

        Fear not Hamish100 and good Citizens of Scotlandshire, for Alexander Geoffrey Cole-Hamilton has fearlessly issued another FOI request on that very subject.

        In response and leaving no stone unturned, BBC Scotland, in hushed tones, will be ordering Taxi’s to determine the extent of this trade for one of their upcoming Disclosure Specials entitled “Prohibition had nothing on this, Sturgeon is finished”

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye, neither Ian Jardine (the bar owner) nor Mis-Reporting Scotland looked much beyond foolish over this contrived exodus from Dumfries to Carlisle story.

      The reality is Taxis do a roaring trade around New Year and frequently get booked solid into the wee small hours weeks in advance, it was been going on long before Covid loomed on the horizon let alone the recent restrictions.

      As to the Carlisle angle, are the Clients booked to Lochmaben, Lockerbie, Dalbeattie, Castle-Douglas or Newton-Stewart etc to be ignored because it does not suit Mr Jardine or the BBC Scotland agenda ? It would certainly appear so…

      Preposterous nonsense….

  178. Hamish100 says:

    So now the tories want us to follow the United States on how to deal with covid. Is this country not the world leader in deaths ?

    Centre for disease control deals with disease says the business. I would never have thought. Listen to them. By default don’t listen to our experts. They are small pot.

    Should we listen to a small pot business man or see what the Germans, French and others are doing.

    So Tory business hospitality people are on bleating again. Basically the spokesperson is saying visit us we are safe. Really?

    One local shop owner I know understands. Why would I want more covid shoppers walking into my premises.

    BBC promoting English views on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has also been the same.

    7 days, 5 days -why not 3 days. Idiot.

  179. Capella says:

    I hear the call-in on BBC R Scotland was pretty vile this morning with that selfish nightclub owner (Mr Two Turkeys and a Beef Wellington) on as today’s immunology expert. Best protection against Covid is to go out nightclubbing and getting drunk apparently.

    However, an earlier discussion on GMS was at least interesting. Keiran Andrews of The Times and Prof Sir John Curtice review the political year now passing into history. Some insights after we get past the Nicola-Sturgeon-is-very-bad intro.
    from 2:36 to 2:50

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0012qjk

    • James Mills says:

      ”Nightclubbing ” is also seen as a cure for the ‘mental issues” around Covid . You die from Covid after a night out – so no more mental problems – Simples !

  180. Capella says:

    Public Health England is no more. It is rebranded “UK Health Security Agency and Office or Health Improvement and Disparities”. That’s some title, specially as there is a Public Health Scotland. So what is the UK Health Security Agency for?

    That’s like the Americans holding the “World Series” baseball competition amongst themselves.

    They failed to provide timely PCR tests this week but the BBC news website implies that was somehow Jason Leitch’s fault. Usual blurring of responsibilities and functions to confuse the public.

    Public Health England was replaced by UK Health Security Agency and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

  181. scottish skier says:

    Wasn’t getting rid of ‘cheap foreign labour taking work from brits and undermining wages’ like my wife supposed to give us all great jobs and higher salaries?

    https://archive.is/uUT6Y

    Shrinking real incomes could prove a new year nightmare for Rishi Sunak

    There’s little cheer for the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, as he looks to spin a positive narrative about the UK economy in the year ahead.

    Wage growth is expected to stay below inflation throughout 2022, according to a forecast from the Resolution Foundation, an economic think tank that examines living standards. In its words: “The medium-term outlook for wages is uncertain but far from rosy.”

    The upshot: families can expect an extremely painful £1,200 hit from next April on average, as taxes and energy prices rise…

    https://archive.is/b6r8d

    UK households warned of ‘year of the squeeze’ as cost of living soars

    Stalling wages and rising tax and energy bills could cause catastrophe without government intervention, thinktank warns

    • scottish skier says:

      You can see here how the end of free movement (31 Dec 2020) sees the end of real wage growth. After rising 2014-2020, this has now stalled and is expected to fall going forward as GDP shrinks and inflation bites due to brexit.

  182. Capella says:

    The First Minister will give a statement and Covid update in Holyrood at 2.00 pm today. Those of us not convinced by Mr Two Turkeys and a Beef Wellington’s advice, tune in here:
    https://www.scottishparliament.tv

  183. Capella says:

    I know this is hard to believe but I just heard Boris Johnston lie on BBC R4 WatO and his lie was not corrected by the presenter, indeed it was magnified by being broadcast.
    Boris Johnston has said that the reason England has fewer restrictions than other countries is because their vaccine programme is better than in other countries. This is a lie. Scotland has a higher vaccine rate in all cases. So has Wales.

    • Capella says:

      Sorry – comment link not working. Here’s the table:

      Nations First Second Third
      Scotland 80.1% 73.3% 52.0%
      Wales 78.5% 72.4% 48.6%
      England 76.7% 70.1% 48.0%
      NI 73.7% 68.3% 41.2%

      see the tables in Travelling Tabby.
      https://www.travellingtabby.com/uk-coronavirus-tracker/

      • Dr Jim says:

        The propaganda from Boris Johnson and the English government has reached screechingly high levels now with the BBC simply repeating every lie the Prime Minister utters irrespective of how ridiculously unbelievable it sounds, every chance the media can manufacture to misinform containing the word Scotland is seized upon with determined purpose to mischaracterize and unfavourably compare to the greatness of England when the only achievement England can actually congratulate itself upon in this moment is how enormous the lies they can tell and continue to get away with

        Right now the English government is pulling off 1940s levels of propaganda so much so I expect leaflets to be dropped from the skies featuring pictures of the enemy of freedom Scotlands FM Nicola Sturgeon with suitable accompanying anti Scottish Nationalist text informing the faithful of her evil

        No doubt Wales will be experiencing the same drivel on their tellys and radio

        Boris Johnson has become the complete English Lord Haw Haw and Tokyo Rose rolled into one

    • grizebard says:

      I didn’t hear this one, but you have to remember that the Home Service is essentially an English-only station, so BoJo would likely be comparing England with other sovereign states such as France, Germany, etc. Home countries such as Scotland and Wales simply don’t register, neither with the current shifty resident of 10 Downing St. nor with the servile BEBC that fears him.

      We are effectively invisible, and it won’t ever be any different until we have our own country back together with our own home- facing and -regulated broadcasters.

  184. scottish skier says:

    Even emptier shelves, rampant inflation and continued mass emigration of workers / businesses. Here come the sunlit uplands!

    https://archive.is/Fi3E6

    Brexit red tape: More disruption to food supplies looming as EU is ‘not prepared’ for new UK import rules that take effect on 1 January

    The food industry is warning of more disruption to food supplies when new UK import rules take effect this Saturday.

    From 1 January, importers must make a full customs declaration on goods entering the UK from the EU or other countries.

    Traders will no longer be able to delay completing full import customs declarations for up to 175 days, a measure that was introduced to cope with the disruption of Brexit.

    The UK imports five times the amount of food than it exports to the EU, so, the potential for massive delays and food supply issues in January is high.

  185. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Brought to you by ACH productions (or should that be ACH predictions?)

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/my-2022-predictions-nicola-sturgeon-boris-johnson-and-joe-biden-will-all-announce-they-re-quitting-and-scotland-will-score-some-lovely-goals-at-world-cup-alex-cole-hamilton-msp/ar-AASczfp?ocid=msedgntp

    My 2022 predictions: Nicola Sturgeon, Boris Johnson and Joe Biden will all announce they’re quitting (and Scotland will score some lovely goals at World Cup) – Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

    Been at the post-Christmas sherry too much, Alex?

    🙂

    • grizebard says:

      My prediction is that Tailor’s Dummy will sink even further into well-deserved obscurity during the coming year. And nobody much will notice or care.

  186. Hamish100 says:

    Dr Naburro, WHO special envoy in Geneva has just stated on CNN that their position is 10 days isolation is still the preferred option.

    To decrease to 5 days as in USA or 7 is a trade off to get staff back to work but the chance to infect more people is the result.

    CNN, Aljerzeera put the BBC and ITV to shame. ITV news yesterday led at their tea time broadcast with cricket.

    Crazy.

    • stewartb says:

      ‘.. 10 days isolation is still the preferred option.’

      Due to the Omicron threat, New Zealand has recently (23 December) strengthened its Managed Isolation & Quarantine (MIQ) regulations for international travellers coming into the country.

      “.. making a temporary change to MIQ that INCREASES the length of stay from 7 to 10 days. Currently returnees do their final 3 days of isolation at home. Bringing those final three days back into MIQ reduces the risk of the virus entering the community.’ (my emphasis)

      (https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/omicron-government’s-plan-minimise-risk)

  187. Welsh_Siôn says:

    For all you coin collectors out there.

    There will be a special £2.00 coin next year to celebrate Dame Vera Lynn as well as one (in a nod to you, Scots, I s’pose) one to commemorate Alexander Graham Bell.

    I’ll skirt all the Her Maj stuff regarding her Platinum Anniversary ([cont. on p.92] but to also forewarn you that apparently there’s going to be a special 50p for the 100 years of the BBC.

    According to the blurb:

    “Highly regarded for its award-winning creative output, trusted and impartial news services and innovative use of technology, the BBC has established itself as a distinguished broadcaster in the United Kingdom and across the world since its inception in 1922. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022, the BBC has a prominent global presence across all forms of media and we will be releasing a special coin to mark this milestone anniversary. Keep up to date with the latest news on the coin by registering your interest.”

    Brought to you by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant – the hole with the mint.

    • Capella says:

      😂😂😂

    • grizebard says:

      Hmm, equally commemorating an English singer of nostalgic WW2 songs and a Scottish inventor of one of the most transformatory technologies of the last century – that just about neatly sums up the current value systems of their respective native lands.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I remember some years ago a poll being done on the worlds media

      The BBC came in at 28th

  188. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Sky News have now turned on Wales……a report on their channel a few minutes ago stating Welsh people going to go over the border to England at New Year…….they talked of leaders in Scotland and Wales IMPOSING restrictions…..said in such a way that almost seems as if both FM’s were BAD………………..

    Seems to me if true….then for Scotland and Wales…..England bordering both of our countries is once again proven to be a major factor in not being able to totally control the virus in our respective countries……cross border contamination …….so potentially you either take Covid into their area or you bring it back into your own area…..a great way to impose Tory herd immunity ……also currently there is a shortage of PCR and lateral flow tests in England so potentially people could be working in hospitality and customers going into establishments of hospitality WITHOUT being able to test first to check if negative re Covid …………seems like a recipe for………another failed Tory initiative in this pandemic………

    Be interesting to see how much ” personal responsibility” and “caution” drunk people will take at New Year celebrations in England…….I suspect not much……but apparently there is a Covid competition between all four nations according to the media and Unionist politicians….not officially obvs….but it seems to be presented that way in this ‘No new restrictions IMPOSED’ in England and ‘More restrictions IMPOSED’ in devolved countries………..the winners will be announced when both the media and Unionist politicians find ways to spin it in the English government’s favour…..so far they are all trying quite hard to present a Scrooge mentality upon the FM’s of devolved governments……and have Boris J leading in the competition as they report Omicron does not seem to be as bad as first reported so perhaps he, Boris J (their champion), is right in NOT adding more restrictions……basically they are gambling with people’s lives but all worth it to save the Tories surely…….cause that is the bottom line is it not…..goodies and baddies .

    So Wealth AND power retained……… over Health………what a time to be alive…or NOT rather…. if Tories have their way…..and media too.

  189. Hamish100 says:

    Oh dear. SgP has lost the plot. It seems the fixation over carrots and orifices has taken its toll. Still his groupie indepedista for Albania is cock-a-hoop. Lol

  190. Bob Lamont says:

    Evidence appears to be mounting that not only is Omicron squeezing out the more dangerous Delta variant, but lower severity of illness, hospitalisations and deaths are falling particularly among the vaccinated.

    Unlike Gulhane, who is being actively promoted by BBC in Scotland to preach the gospel according to St Boris, most experts are supporting the cautious approach until more evidence is accumulated by those without a political axe to grind.

    Interesting update from Prof John Campbell, predominantly in regard to England, but indeed encouraging news https://youtu.be/OM2VgBm9pTI

    • ArtyHetty says:

      I used to subscribe to Dr. Campbell he has covered the pandemic really well and seriously criticised the English government for their slow response and incompetent manner in dealing with the situation. However according to the Dr. there is almost no difference in approach, or policy, or outcome
      between Scotland and England, if he bothers to mention Scotland at all. I noticed yesterday that his data paper on the screen was specific to ‘England’ yet he kept saying ‘uk’ UK and very quickly scrolled past maps showing data across the UK which clearly showed (what I could see in about second on screen) that England has far more badly infected areas than the rest of the UK.
      I found his optimistic message a bit worrying given that new year is tomorrow, he wasn’t being cautious and seemed to be going with the English governments’ stance but then he did stop any criticism of them some time back, almost as if someone had had a word in his ear. His channel does get a lot of views including internationally, and he’s well respected, so I find it concerning that he has stopped what was some very justified criticism of the Johnson cabal. I don’t think he has a positive view of Scotland, (UK is all one country, especially when England’s situation is catastrophic) and that’s been the case throughout, but to stop being critical of the English government, when it’s clear that they are making an absolute hash of the crisis, is a worry.

      • Legerwood says:

        I watched part of his recent spiel mainly because someone on this thread had linked to it. He was saying UK for data such as the 183,000 odd cases when this data does not contain the Scottish figures or those for NI. He was way off with his figures for hospitalisations quoting 8,000 odd when it is now just over 10,000 – see Travelling Tabby. When talking about the number of deaths he failed to mention that Registrar’s offices would be closed over the holidays.

        I stopped watching about half-way through which is further than I usually get on the few occasions I have watched any of his broadcasts. Not a fan.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Frankly I’m only interested in the evidence he accumulates, his politics or geographic myopia is something I ignore.
        It was the way in which “incidental Covid” (broken arm but tested positive on arrival) v Covid specific cases in hospital having switched so dramatically which drew my attention…

      • Perhaps Dr Campbell took the hypocritic oath, rather than the Hippocratic oath?
        Enjoying the craic on here, Duggers.

      • grizebard says:

        I recommend the indie SAGE website and their weekly YouTube programme every Friday (holiday period excepted). While they sometimes use English-only stats for illustrative purposes to reveal underlying trends, when so they make that quite clear, and their deliberations are informed, fair and comprehensive. They are not in the least afraid to criticise UKGov when necessary.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Nightingale hospitals are to be reopened across England to provide beds for the thousands expected due to the extremely harmless causes no threat or worry whatsoever Omicron variant of Covid 19

      Don’t panic Pike, stiff upper lip and all that, remember you’re British

      • Stephen McKenzie says:

        It would be interesting to know where the extra staff will be sourced from to man the new Nightingale Hospitals given the pressure the English NHS is under due to increasing workload and the Covid infections to their own staff?

        Maybe the reference to Pike and the Home Guard is not too far off the mark!

        • Bob Lamont says:

          THIS is indeed an almighty puzzle….
          The NHS in England is really struggling now, despite the media trying to mute the information, they have plenty of beds but bed capacity is calculated on staff resources…

          • Tam the Bam says:

            Thanks for mentioning this Bob….I’ve had the distinct feeling the true stats’ down south are not being released.
            Maybe time for Cole-Scuttle to demand an FOI?

            • Bob Lamont says:

              Let me put it this way…What do you know of the effect of the decant of hospitals to care homes in England at the start of the pandemic and the number of people who died as a result ?
              The rest flows from that.
              As to Mr Armani and his FOIs, he is part of the UQ problem, it’s all just politics innit…

              • Tam the Bam says:

                Well never mind….the inquiry into all that sort of stuff should clear things up eh?
                Wont it?
                Innit?……

  191. scottish skier says:

    OMG. This is nuts.

    https://archive.is/pVapG

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/anti-vax-protest-milton-keynes-corbyn-b1984158.html

    Anti-vaxxers storm Covid testing centre and trash equipment in ‘disgraceful’ protest

    Prominent anti-lockdown figure Piers Corbyn helped lead ‘freedom rally’ through Milton Keynes

  192. Hamish100 says:

    For the multitudes heading to England ( maybe 2 or 3 of the Tory coterie in the borders) please ensure you don’t bring back covid to Scotland. Remain in “the North” for 10 days or even better don’t come back.

    The undermining of the public health message by English tories and some Scottish branch officers has been nothing short of disgraceful.

    The business owners who claim their premises are “safe” are just as culpable.

    Should I be silly enough to attend an event where the hand sanitisers are caked in dirt or empty, windows all shut, no mask wearing, failure to test daily etcetera please be assured if I caught covid I would sue for breaches of health and safety. If I did not survive my family would in my place.

    I am sure insurers are already considering this.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Englands free prescription spongers who live on the Scottish side of the border in the Dumfries and Galloway corridor will cross the border into England at Hogmanay bring Covid back and up will go the figures in that area once again, they never fail to be predictable

    • scottish skier says:

      I’ve always wondered why those that complain about ‘free’ prescriptions don’t donate the cost of their own to their local NHS.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Because it’s paid for by English taxpayers of course, like everything in Scotland comes by way of the *block grant*

        I bet no Scots were involved in the inventing of that name for the return of a portion of our own taxes, well maybe the Labour party Scots

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          Yep, we [Celts] are all subsidy junkies now:

          https://nation.cymru/news/i-subsidise-wales-says-english-tory-mp-in-attack-on-welsh-covid-rules/

          ‘I subsidise Wales’ says English Tory MP in attack on Welsh Covid rules

          29 Dec 2021 3 minute Read

          • Not-My-Real-Name says:

            Michael Fabricant is an idiot…..looks idiotic with that….’hair’…..and to confirm his idiocy he says idiotic statements……..defect deflect…..operation deflect……he , like so many others, is a prime example in what , by definition, is the opposite of everything that is good and right in public life………a wee nyaff …..he did a stint on Channel Four’s programme ‘celebrity’ First Dates…and his date asked him if he was wearing a wig…..Ha Ha………..he was not a happy chappy…..I believe he needed a dose of ‘syrup of figs’ to settle his wee tummy after that appearance….

            Mind you they , English Tory MP’s, are all coming out of the woodwork now….speaking up against Scotland and Wales and their TRUE feelings on some of the countries in this supposed UNITED Kingdom and obvious NON Union ( as they only believe that England is the ONLY one that should be recognised as an actual true country)…reality obvs for them is that England rules always via English governments……come Scottish Indy Ref2 the muzzles will be back on and what they say NOW will not be spoken THEN….as silence is GOLDEN…..towards the REAL GOLDEN Goose…….Scotland…..the country.

            I am sure someone is keeping a tally of all of these Tories insults to utilise when Indy Ref 2 campaign begins in earnest………..and Labour via peeps like George Foulkes will NOT be allowed to go unscathed either via HIS anti Scotland comments and too his extravagant expenses undeservedly awarded via the feeding trough of fake unelected bureaucrats aka HOL’s.

  193. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Any friend of yours, Duggers? 😉

    https://nation.cymru/news/ex-tory-msp-suggests-wales-shouldnt-have-been-allowed-to-set-its-own-covid-rules/

    Ex-Tory MSP suggests Wales shouldn’t have been allowed to set its own Covid rules

    30 Dec 2021 2 minute Read

  194. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Labour’s Lucy Powell on telly news a few moments ago talking about the misinformation online re Covid………….need to do something about it she said……….however she does not mention the misinformation transmitted via GB News….perhaps because some politicians in HER party go onto that programme as guests………..say like one Emily Thornberry who was on GB News last week for a cosy wee chat with her former Labour colleague Gloria De Piero who now works for GB News as a presenter……….

    I mean look how much anti mask….Covid denial……anti vax information is transmitted via some of the presenters on GB News…………..but will politicians like Lucy Powell highlight this…..NOPE….not as long as it allows Labour another avenue of communication to spew out their supposed alternate message to the Tories………..they will sink as low as they need to just to get any air time on ANY channel or indeed newspaper publication…..remember how they condemned RT News while some of them appeared as guests on that channel…..how we all laughed at them…well not laughed but identified them as the hypocrites that they truly are…Labour’s Chris Bryant I remember called for RT News to be shut down and lose it’s licence…yet prior to him stating that he himself was a guest on one of their programmes via the RT News programme ‘Going Underground’…………

    I do not watch GB News regularly but dip in to see who is on ( spot the hypocrite/s exercise)…..saw Vince Cable once having wee friendly chat with one Nigel Farage aka Mr Brexit on Farage’s show…..also saw Alistair Carmichael, another Lib Dem, from the supposed most Remainer party in the UK…………the double standards aka NO standards of the Lib Dems is breathtaking……….and tis not surprising that traditional Tories choose the Lib Dems as their party of choice when they seek , in by elections, to vote for them over the Tories as a supposed protest vote against the Tories……cut from the same cloth so easy for traditional and new Tories to lend their vote to Tory wannabees the Lib Dems.

    BTW BBC reporting PCR tests still available in Scotland , Wales and NI but NONE in England…so Happy New Year in a English Nightingale hospital Unit near you in England( now being once again set up in anticipation for surge of hospitalisations soon in England) ….. post, that is, your permitted, via English Govt., New Year celebrations in England…………while they, the Tories, also condone the crossing over of the border, from Wales and Scotland, those citizens who wish to join in the New Year Covid Festival of transmission in England…….as according to Tories we are all ONE country apparently….and YES they have actually said that as a NEW version of NO BORDERS in UK……until Indy Ref 2 that is…….. then they will weaponize the Border between England and Scotland as one of their pro Union arguments…..they are way too predictable are they not…..borders only exist for Unionists when it suits them….when it does not they argue that they, as in borders, are non existent in THEIR UK……UNITED in name only not in reality……..with clearly defined borders….e.g. sign stating Welcome to Scotland etc

    I wonder what new variant post Omicron will emerge due to this reckless Tory government’s inaction on suppressing Covid infection transmissions and also those individuals refusing vaccinations, not wearing masks and denying Covid’s existence…..apparently Viruses can mutate…who knew…well actually those Scientists who are the actual experts and not as the BBC would have us believe….people who run Hospitality establishments or the Spectator editor……..and also NOT some Tory MP’s who as well as being so very BAD as those who supposedly represent their constituents as elected politicians but who also have absolutely NO expertise or knowledge on medicine or science but are given a platform to speak as if they are right and Scientists are wrong ….who knew….well any Idiot who has a functioning brain that they choose to actually USE……..perhaps we should let the Tory politicians come up with NEW vaccination that they create themselves ,should the virus mutate again….. as they seem to be so vocal on the subject and the media seem to want to promote THEIR, Tory MP’s, opinions and solutions over that of Science…… agenda much ?

    Hope everyone has a safe and guid New Year………

  195. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Yep, know your place Jocks and Taffies – keep tugging that forelock.

    https://nation.cymru/news/know-your-place-unionism-threatening-the-future-of-the-uk-says-former-senior-civil-servant/

    ‘Know-your-place unionism’ threatening the future of the UK says former senior civil servant

    30 Dec 2021 3 minute Read

    A “know-your-place” unionism that treats Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as “possessions” is threatening the future of the UK, a former civil servant in the Cabinet Office has said.

    Ciaran Martin, now a professor at the University of Oxford, said that adherents of “muscular unionism” – including the Prime Minister Boris Johnson – were now working towards a “single, British nationalist vision of the future” that only required “an English electoral majority to deliver it”.

    Even though a kind of British nationalism, “muscular unionism is emphatically (though not exclusively) Anglocentric,” he said.

    […]

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yep WS well currently the place we, in Scotland and Wales, are in just now is a better place than England will soon be due to the correct strategy being implemented in our countries as they , the English Govt , fails to implement appropriate measures……yet again…it seems THAT has been a common theme throughout pandemic does it not.

      Apparently Tory English Health Sec Sajid Javid is, via Daily Torygraph , stating due to huge surge in DEMAND for testing the system is now in tatters…that is the SAME DEMAND that HE and HIS Govt. have caused in their non action via NOT imposing new restrictions before New Year IF people take ……wait for it…..TESTS…prior to socialising at New Year in nightclubs etc……………so you need, in England, to take a test if going out to celebrate New Year but in being instructed to do so then you, Joe Public, are then to blame for causing a shortage…if unclear visit #ToryConfusedDotCom

      Apparently two weeks ago the same Tory English Health Secretary stated when asked about the capacity of testing kits that there was NO SHORTAGE of tests held by UKHSA indeed there was tens of millions in stock and millions arriving each week………..fast forward to now and SAME Tory English Health Secretary is NOW saying there is a world shortage of test kits in his feeble excuse that he is using for people in England currently unable to access tests….also via HIS advice of testing prior to socialising YOU Joe Public have caused a shortage of test kits…….so pretty much Do as I say and then I can blame YOU Joe public (another common theme via Tory Govt) if and when Covid cases increase rapidly post New Year in England……. the Tories can then also blame Joe Public for not being “cautious” enough or taking ” personal responsibility” which are two things one does not usually equate with drunk people……as opposite is usually the case…….can the English people NOT see they are being played by the Tories………….

      So which one is true and which one is a lie……or are both fabricated to cover up TRUTH and gross ineptitude of Tories during this pandemic……loadsa test kits….millions….no shortage….then look what you have done public you have caused a shortage via demanding test kits…..and the world is also suffering a shortage so don’t blame us Tories…….blame everyone BUT us.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        As an aside to the test kit “shortage” and PCR testing capability having hit a glitch, and the media of late readily conflating the two completely different tests, let me throw you a puzzle ?

        One of the principal drivers for the CDC decision to reduce isolation in the USA was availability of test kits…
        The UK media and particularly the Tories and BBC Scotland are all over the US’s 5 day isolation as informed medical opinion, when it is considerably more complex. Ignoring the USA, England and Johnson are ploughing a lone furrow to every nation on the planet.

        England is awash with Covid and Omicron rapidly spreading, one helluva coincidence to run out of test-kits which were in surplus stock and a glitch in PCR testing doncha think ?

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          Indeed Bob it is……..

        • Capella says:

          The LFTs are made in the Peoples Republic of China. Perhaps parking a massive aircraft carrier in the South China Seas has caused a traffic jam to interrupt in the supply of test kits. Then, once they finally land at Portsmouth (big enough for giant container ships from China) there are no lorry drivers to get them to the distribution points because of BREXIT?

    • Alex Clark says:

      The complete paper written by Ciaran Martin and linked to by Nation Cymru is well worth reading, here’s another section not covered by NC.

      Muscular unionism eschews all this. Britain, in this reading, is a single nation and a unitary state. The sub-British national identities within the Union should amount to no more than mere cultural pageantry. They are certainly not a basis for challenging Westminster’s unfettered authority. The devolved institutions are to be tolerated because of the present political climate, but their powers are to be checked and contested, and, should the opportunity arise, clipped.

      If muscular unionism changes the basis of British government in the way it intends, where is the political home for those outside England who are comfortable with complex and multiple identities, and prefer a strong degree of national autonomy within a multi-national state?

      The main reason for muscular unionism’s intellectual coherence is simple. It is nationalism. It is just British nationalism, rather than that of the Scottish, Welsh or Irish variety. It is sometimes portrayed as English nationalism. But this is entirely incorrect for two reasons. The first is philosophical: the national unit for this nationalism is the UK (or Britain, as some muscular unionists prefer to call it). The second is practical: no serious English nationalist would countenance the huge fiscal subsidies to the other parts of the United Kingdom, or particularly care if Scotland (or Northern Ireland, or Wales, left).

      All the same, muscular unionism is emphatically (though not exclusively) Anglocentric. Because it sees the UK as a unitary state, and because of the dominance of England within it, a simple majority in England is usually enough to win a UK-wide majority. This means the entire UK can – and should – be governed entirely on the basis of that majority. Fiscal transfers are a price worth paying to keep the territory of the UK intact and avoid the national humiliation of its break up.

      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20419058211066522

      He at least appears to be paying attention and knows the risks the current government is taking with their version of “muscular unionism”. Those most desperate to cling to the Union while stamping all over democratic choice in Scotland will be the ones totally responsible for its demise.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        “The second is practical : no serious English nationalist would countenance the huge fiscal subsidies to the other parts of the United Kingdom, or particularly care if Scotland (or Northern Ireland, or Wales, left)”
        “intellectual coherence” for “British Nationalism” ?
        Ciaran Martin clearly hasn’t heard of “subsidy spongers” etc. over the last twenty odd years…

      • grizebard says:

        While Martin gets a lot right, I believe that as an NI “peripheral”, like his counterparts in Scotland (and Wales?), he fails to realise that his rosy inclusive view of this particular nationalism isn’t in fact shared by his English counterparts, who may have learned in the last few years to dress themselves in “British” clothes, but are in essence, and always have been, English nationalists. (“England expects” and all that. History is littered with such giveaway utterances.)

        If his fond belief in “Britishness” was widely shared among the English Establishment (which is what we are talking about here, not yer ordinary plebs who hear different messages) devolution would have been the “process, not an event” proudly proclaimed by Donald Dewar. Instead it’s stalling, struggling with inherent contradictions, constrained by an backward-looking and intransigent English polity, and now even being challenged by envious English power retrenchment whose danger he evidently recognises. All of which starkly contradicts his notion of a truly “British” project. It’s time these people took off their rose-tinted specs and saw the big fat red+white flag that’s on proud display every time some UKGov type struts on a podium.

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Paragraph 1 was sufficient to blow the mercury ‘right oot the tap o’ ma napper!’ Alex.

        Presently lying down in a dark room to compose myself.

    • grizebard says:

      I have always felt that English “national humiliation” is the last hurdle to Scottish independence. Oddly enough, I have some respect for John Major, because he was the first (and maybe only so far) British PM to recognise and accept that Irish reunification was a matter for the people of NI alone, and he made clear that he was entirely relaxed about the prospect were it to arise.

      And yet what alternative is there to muscular unionism? Unionists have no self-confidence in the Union they supposedly love, so devolution scares the bejasus out of them because they see that as the slippery slope to eventual separation anyway. So muscular unionism is headless-chicken reality denial hiding behind a shallow facade of omnipotence that will become steadily more absurd and implausible as it is tested by “events”.

      Unionism is rapidly running out of road, and there’s nothing that insightful onlookers like Martin can do about it. The Smith Commission truly was the Last Chance Saloon, and now it’s an abandoned ruin in the midst of a dusty desert.

      I found that comment in the BTL particularly revealing about how the reactionary Tory shires effectively fostered Irish independence. Looks like that lesson wasn’t learnt, and the same blinkered failure of comprehension is about to be repeated.

  196. Capella says:

    “huge fiscal subsidies to the other parts of the United Kingdom”
    😂😂😂
    …and breathe

    • Alex Clark says:

      An English Nationalist though would undoubtedly believe in the “subsidy junkie” myth that has been perpetuated at every oppertunity for decades in Scotlands case.

      He should have used “perceived huge fiscal subsidies” as that is no doubt the majority opinion in England.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Now … remind me.

      Who subsidises who?

      https://nation.cymru/news/wales-to-loan-four-million-lft-tests-to-england-amid-shortage-mark-drakeford-says/

      Wales to loan four million LFT tests to England amid shortage, Mark Drakeford says

      30 Dec 2021 2 minute Read

      Wales will loan four million Lateral Flow Tests to England amid a shortage there, Mark Drakeford has said.

      It comes after UK pharmacies and scientists warned that the lack of LFT tests in England was becoming a “huge” problem, as they were being requested every five minutes to deal with the Omicron surge in cases.

      In a statement, Mark Drakeford said that “demand for PCR tests and for lateral flow devices continues to rise and has reached new record levels”.

      “Wales has a significant stock of lateral flow tests, sufficient to meet our needs over the weeks ahead,” he said.

      “The Health Minister has agreed today to loan a further four million such tests to the English NHS, bringing that mutual aid to 10 million lateral flow tests.

      […]

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Don’t tell Michael fabricant he’ll be ragin……so much so …..the phrase ‘Keep yir wig on’ may need to be used to placate him.

        I love it when a Tory makes a controversial statement as if fact…..then along comes reality and the contentious statement made by said Tory is blown apart……..pretty much a pattern now.

        Here’s an irony…..peeps who voted for Brexit and who are also Covid deniers…..we are told they, Brexit voters, voted for Brexit to regain sovereignty for THEIR parliament at WM….thus allowing the party they chose to be elected as government to make the rules via UK reserved powers on policies/bills as opposed to the EU ……..

        These same Brexiteer voters, many who are now also Covid deniers , are now rebelling against the very Government they chose to make the rules post Brexit ( presented as a big benefit of Brexit ) re Covid rules by now stating they, as Brexiteers AND Covid deniers, will NOT adhere to rules/restrictions pertaining to Covid as advised/imposed by their Tory Brexit government who instigated and implemented Brexit to regain sovereignty for THEIR parliament………….so much for sovereignty….are the “peasants now rebelling” ?…………egged on by the Tory ERG members who it seems are once again also rebelling against their own Brexit Government………..but then the ERG’s agenda is far darker than that of the peasants who voted for Brexit……….their real motive for Brexit and in sanctioning a form of Herd immunity re Covid is still to be fully exposed to the peasants…..do we have a UK version of Woodward & Bernstein who could expose it all or is that a type of journalism consigned to history and never to be repeated especially in the failed and corrupt state i.e. the UK………..

        .#ConfusedDotCom

        Did they only want parliament to regain sovereignty over things they, the Brexit voters and Covid deniers, specifically wanted as Brexiteers……like say no furriners allowed…..unless needed in certain sectors…and even then only on a temporary basis until they thought the UK would get Brit workers (perhaps those on benefits made to take jobs) to fill the many vacancies….. as in those vacancies that now exist because of Brexit that were never ever mentioned as a possible result of Brexit in the dubious Leave campaign………

        Has anyone told them they did not actually LOSE sovereignty at all while in the EU….but now via voting for Brexit and electing Tories as UK Govt. they have actually handed everything over, as in all powers, to the Tories via giving them total power to dictate anything they want…..which has resulted in those with power and wealth now being in a hugely financial beneficial position, while us mere mortals who both voted Remain and Leave are at the bottom of the pecking order via the Tory Brexit party, a party who sits in government at WM and thus we peasants must suffer the REAL damaging consequences….Brexit Tory politicians together with the unelected Bureaucrats that sit in the HOL’s……bureaucrats unelected yet who are taking money that could go to say…the NHS.

        What a mess……..and what a con……no coincidence the Tories are also known as the CONservatives…..fits them to perfection.

  197. Capella says:

    No COVID update till 19:30 because of delay in getting data for deaths in England, says th BBC,
    https://tinyurl.com/tbu2ye3u

    They do mention the 4 m test kits donated by Wales though WS

  198. Robert Maxwell was Czech born, his wife, Ghislaine Maxwell’s mother, French born, as was her daughter, yet BBC News describes Ghislaine is a ‘British ‘socialite, which rather confirms Martin’s observation that Brexit England is caught in the ‘Britain/UK/England’ split personality dilemma.

    Rather like Lewis Hamilton who squirrels his billions away in Monaco and Switzerland, yet is knighted by Andrew’s nephew, and drapes himself in the butcher’s apron every time he wins a Scalextrics For Grown Ups car race, our English neighbours are a very confused nation indeed.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Could 2022 prove a distinctly uncomfortable year for Andrew Windsor?

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Aye Jack ‘British’……to get the Brits who live among us to rally against a foreign legal system that DARES to convict a Brit…………..and one who is a CLOSE friend of Prince Andrew too.

      Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel Johnson stated ” it is hard not to feel pity ” for Maxwell……talk about NOT reading the room……or rather is she setting the scene to garner undeserved sympathy/empathy via Maxwell’s guilty verdict and inevitable long prison sentence as a ‘Brit’ in a USA Jail… and also perhaps laying the (very shaky) groundwork for the yet perhaps undisclosed involvement in all of this of some very high profile Tory politicians……….Hmm

      Did you hear the journalist who defended the Queen re prince Andrew….she said that the Queen was only doing what ANY mum would do in protecting her son….where do you start with that….

      a) Who, in the public, would condone a mother protecting her son against an allegation that he sexually abused a young girl but somehow should not undergo same scrutiny and treatment as a so called ordinary person ?……if it were an ordinary person that was the accused would the length of time that has lapsed since being accused have occurred in not being forced to give his account/statement via a police interrogation (or in this case respond to many requests via American legal representatives and authorities) ?….such protection this Prince has had to the extent that she, as Queen, feels that perhaps his Royal status means that he is above the law and thus no judgement or punishment should be made or given …and the normal course of action, in such a accusation, should not apply to him

      b) Unlike ordinary mothers the Queen has status, power and money….an ordinary mother would NOT be in a position, nor would her son, to have the status/power/money to delay her son being held to account via the police or the courts………and indeed also NOT have access to the best legal advise that is actively seeking to get the civil case thrown out on a technicality…….all those who are accused deny their guilt but only the privileged elite in the royal family are allowed to do so via their comfort of their own palaces as opposed to being taken into custody, interrogated and either bailed or put into the cells….then have to face their day in court………..rules for them and rules for us indeed………want it to be different in an independent Scotland for sure.

      Hope you are well Jack……have a guid and safe New Year you and yours.

      • WS, NMRN, at least we now haave a legal definition for a ‘British Socialite’; No not a sell out Labour Lord, like McConnell, Robertson, or For F..Foulkes Sake.

        British Socialite:- sex trafficker of underage girls to the filthy Rich and alleged nobility.
        A Guid New Year, tae yin an’ a’.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Not forgetting that Radecanu the Japanese-Romanian-Whatever is tipped for an MBE or some such bauble in the New Year’s Honours list …

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        (This was a response to Jack Collatin @ 5.28pm)

      • scottish skier says:

        Does she have a British passport? If so, she’d better watch out as it ‘would be a shame if anything happened to it’.

        After all, if she’s a dual national she’s not ‘real British’. Real British don’t have / can’t have other ‘furrin’ nationalities. They could commit terrorism offences in the name of the UK and they still wouldn’t have their British citizenship stripped from them. Nope, not the real brits. Only the second class ‘migrant origin’ brits need fear the loss of citizenship.

  199. Capella says:

    I wonder which nation?

  200. Legerwood says:

    Lateral Flow Tests. Earlier this year – February- the UKGov signed a contract with Omega Diagnostics based in Alva for 200 million Lateral Flow Test kits.

    The contract was in 2 phases. The first involved the company upgrading and expanding their facilities. Finance for this came from the UKGov. The company scaled up and created the extra jobs etc.

    Then it came to Phase 2 which involved the UKGov providing the company with the licence to produce the kits. At which point in Nov 2021 the UKGov pulled out. Asked for some of the money it had advanced to be returned. The company’s share price took a big hit.

  201. Capella says:

    BBC now trying to politicise the resignation of the Chair and Depute Chair of the Scottish Government’s Drugs Task force. Unfortunately for them, they interviewed Peter Krykant who clearly thinks the glacial pace of the Task Force merits a good shot of adrenaline itself.
    Interview here on Drive Time at 17:35:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_scotland_fm

  202. Dr Jim says:

    Meanwhile DRoss Sarwar and Cole Scuttle complain there’s not enough people dying in Scotland so lift the restrictions to justify the not dying quick enough to the more Liberal English version of the more dying the merrier, especially at this festive time of year

    Step right up we’re caring for you say the Unionists

    Take your pick of whom you’d like to die and how soon they can do it as long as it’s not them for just £2 per ticket in the Liberal Democrat and Unionist Covid sweepstake, all profits go direct into the Willie Rennie foundation to be funneled straight back to Alex Cole ( there’s snow on the bridge) Hamilton

  203. Welsh_Siôn says:

    UK Stats on Covid courtesy of Sky.

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/covid-related-deaths-highest-since-march-as-record-189-213-daily-cases-reported/ar-AAShW7R?ocid=msedgntp

    UK reports another record daily number of COVID cases – 189,213 in latest 24-hour period

    The UK has reported 189,213 new COVID-19 cases in the latest 24-hour period – a fresh record high, according to government data.

    […]

    • Legerwood says:

      The numbers in hospital have also jumped in the past 24 hours. In Scotland the numbers in hospital increased by 131 to 810. In the UK as a whole the numbers in hospital increased by just over 1,000 and in total is almost 12,000. A few days ago it was under 8,000.

      At the moment the stay in hospital may be relatively short and not require the agressive interventions required with previous variants. This is down mainly to the vaccine and importantly the younger age groups that seems to make up the majority of new hospitalisations. However Omicron is progressing through into older age groups. When that gathers pace then the nature and duration of hospital stays is likely to change and be even more of a challenge to the ability of the NHS to cope.

      Unstaffed/understaffed ‘Nightingale’ tents in hospital car parks will make little or no difference to the NHS’ ability to cope especially in England where these temporary wards seem to be on the cards.

      There is also growing evidence that PCR testing capacity may have reached its limits especially in England and in NI. If that is the case then we will essentially be flying blind.

      • Capella says:

        It’s not certain that children will be unaffected by the Omicron variant. This advisory alert from new York State warns of a rise in hospitalisations for young children.

        In New York City, the Department identified four-fold increases in COVID-19 hospital admissions for children 18 and under beginning the week of Dec. 5 through the current week, based on data reported to the Department through the Health Electronic Response Data System(HERDS). For the most recent week of reporting (Dec. 19, 2021) statewide, no 5 – 11-year-old who was admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 was fully vaccinated. Over that same time, only one-fourth of 12 – 17-year-olds who were admitted to the hospital were fully vaccinated. These startling trends underscore the critical importance of protecting our children from COVID-19. The Department urges parents and guardians of all children five years and older to get their kids fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

        https://www.health.ny.gov/press/releases/2021/2021-12-24_health_advisory.htm?fbclid=IwAR2BGMrItLiixJ1S53E5kMcrYAMj_xTiJSma38RCiSxzV4y8-rrThwlDsqE

      • Statgeek says:

        “There is also growing evidence that PCR testing capacity may have reached its limits”

        Too many people out and about and using them. If they only travelled on absolutely necessary journeys, and not out and about pubbing and clubbing, there wouldn’t be the demand.

        Not got a test? Stay at home. Tough [bleep]. Should have planned ahead, or saved em for when important. What part of pandemic don’t you understand? What part of “people can die from this, so act responsibly” did you miss?

        (aimed at the generic unknown numpty; not at Legerwood)

        Whoever encouraged people to not stay at home can be blamed. Medical. Political. Social. They did not consider the domino effect. They are not fit for purpose in their job of ‘informing the public’.

  204. Hamish100 says:

    I noticed a picture of some guy from the USA and his girlfriend— surname Maxwell, staying in a lodge at Balmoral.
    Tried various holiday firms to book a long week-end there but with no luck.

    Anybody know how you can book or being a poor Scot am I barred?

  205. Capella says:

    Travelling Tabby has at last been able to update the UK corona virus figures.
    Cases + 189,213 Deaths + 332 Hospital + 1,028 ICU + 17

    https://www.travellingtabby.com/uk-coronavirus-tracker/

  206. scottish skier says:

    It’s not just skilled workers that are fleeing brexit Brengland en masse.

    https://archive.is/Ib7Xf

    Only half of EU financial firms apply for license to stay in Brexit Britain

    EU financial companies appear uninterested in staying in the UK post-Brexit, as only half of European firms who had temporary licenses to operate in London have applied for full authorisation, it has emerged.

    It comes as EU firms were given the temporary licenses immediately after Brexit by the Financial Conduct Authority, to encourage them to continue their activity during final negotiations.

    But according to Financial News findings, only half of the licence-holders applied for full authorisation since then, suggesting firms are widely uninterested in staying in the UK.

  207. Capella says:

    Had to go to some effort to hear the First Minister’s New Year message. Couldn’t find it on the BBC Scotland website nor through Google until I got a link from the Strathspey & Badenoch Herald. Even then, I had to copy and paste the lengthy URL, which wasn’t live, into the browser. The video wouldn’t play so I then had to download it to the desktop then play.
    It’s like being back in the 90s finding workarounds to every PC glitch.
    Thanks Strathspey & Badenoch Herald
    https://www.strathspey-herald.co.uk/news/first-ministers-message-for-2022-261655/

    It wasn’t controversial either.

  208. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Boris Johnson’s advice is to “take a lateral flow test before you go out tonight to celebrate New Year”……..BBC and SKY report this while also reporting in separate report shortages of lateral flow tests….

    SKY News also had a pub landlady from Berwick Upon Tweed and a pub landlord from Wales on this morning…she said would be better if we all had same rules on Covid……………..obvs means we should all follow England’s rules ONLY….following these interviews we then had the the Sports news, via lady presenter, who said before giving the Sports News “She ( landlady from Berwick upon Tweed) spoke a lot of sense”…..

    Yes we should all have followed same rules as in England’s rules…..

    England’s rules where Tory ministers, MP’s, PM’s former advisor have broken rules and MP’s and Govt. ministers made lame excuses for these various rule breaking incidents ……and also via last year’s Xmas parties incidents Tory staff/members have broken their own Covid rules and tried to concoct a way to cover up via mock press conference rehearsal, previous Health minister had affair with his aide during pandemic, PPE contracts given to wealthy Tory donors with NO expertise on PPE equipment and thus some of PPE proved useless and thus unable to use and was so VERY expensive, 37 billion failed Test and Trace system with no breakdown given of what money was spent on ,where Tories via English PM and his Govt. has delayed and dithered so much in making a decision which has caused MORE Covid deaths than should have been had they taken action sooner e.g. at airports allowing people from other countries to enter UK without testing them on Covid, delays in lockdowns, pandering to anti Covid restrictions backbench Tory MP’s demands etc

    Once again English media speaking of how Welsh and Scots going to England to celebrate tonight……promoting a selfish and irresponsible message to transmit via televised news channels…..all to save Johnson and the Tories and to condemn both FM’s in Wales and Scotland as having got it wrong on the further restrictions…which media emphasises are IMPOSED by them i.e. both FM’s..

    BBC News had a Welsh guy who has travelled to London to celebrate New Year…hoping to see some fireworks…while in separate report they said NO fireworks display in London as been cancelled….

    Their agenda is so blatant it’s embarrassing ……..and confusing actually….almost a form of mixed messaging really.

    Also was reported on both channels the emphasis on Omicron not as bad as expected…..however the setting up once again of Nightingale units in England seems to contradict that…..but the so called less serious variant messaging via media is to undermine what Scottish and Welsh Govt’s are doing and to make assumption English Govt have got it right…..not much on NI as they are pretty much disregarded by English media in this Covid competition being played out by both media and Unionist politicians….

    In separate news the Queen is apparently in dismay over Prince ….HARRY…..yes Prince HARRY….the media royal scapegoat …..is there no other Prince in royal family that is causing her to not just feel dismay but sheer blind panic…….one cannot tarnish one’s image ……’image’ being the operative word obvs where royals concerned…..and media.

    Just think all of this English propaganda aka anti Scottish/Welsh messaging via media could all stop when we, in Scotland, become independent and hopefully also a majority of Welsh people will also see the light eventually too…….what absolute bliss that would be for us all ……now that would be worth a celebration at New Year…. post pandemic obvs.

  209. Capella says:

  210. Hamish100 says:

    Anecdotal but 4 families I know posted as positive today.
    3 individuals work in hospitality, 1 attended a bistro on Monday.

    Huckle down. First Minister, Scottish Government. Keep doing the right thing.

    Oh Happy 2022 to WGD, posters and readers.

    Independence is the only way out of this mess.

  211. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I’m looking forward to the English news channels post New Year when cases dramatically rise in England….and supposedly all those Scots and Welsh people who went there to celebrate New Year are blamed by the media for the increase by bringing with them the new Covid variant into England…….obvs there will be blame also put on both FM’s from Wales and Scotland who, according to media , if they had not imposed further restrictions then Scots and Welsh peeps would have stayed in their respective countries at New Year…………I mean we know that is a feasible scenario the media will try…….to save the English Govt.

    The media have been actively promoting the idea for Scots and Welsh to go to England to celebrate New Year…..in order to set them up post New Year as the culprits and obvs to share the blame with both of their country’s Governments………….the media should have been telling people from both Wales and Scotland NOT to go to England but instead have colluded with the idiots who have decided to do it and those non experts in the Hospitality sector…………unfortunately for the media ALL Scots and Welsh who watched their news programmes over the last few days can see what they are doing………..so if post New Year they try to cry over spilt milk (fake tears) then they only expose their hypocrisy and lack of responsibility to those if us who saw through what they were doing pre New Year celebrations and possibly will try to do after New Year celebrations when Covid figures are compiled to reflect that particular period…..

    Pubs in Edinburgh are open well past midnight tonight…..one venue in Carlisle stated today on news that he had taken bookings from Glaswegians for New Year…..BUT…he said his venue will close at MIDNIGHT……..Happy New Year now go to your bed…..Ha Ha…..so train fare, hotel expenses, possible charge at some venues, money for drink…..for ONE NIGHT’s celebration in a country with the highest cases of Omicron in UK that also has a huge shortage of Lateral flow tests where both customers AND hospitality staff may be unable to check if negative for Covid as cannot access test kit prior to attending various hospitality venues……that sounds like a recipe for a New Year Covid contamination party as opposed to a New Year celebration party…..

    Hmm perhaps THAT is the sensible and appropriate take the media should have been emphasising and connecting rather than reporting both as separate reports i.e. one report on Scots/Welsh travelling to England to celebrate NY and then a separate report on lateral flow tests shortages……

    • Eilidh says:

      The propaganda continues BBC news just broadcast that many people travelled to England from Scotland and Wales to celebrate the New Year as nothing happening re New Year in Scotland/ Wales. How did they know it was many did the BBC stop every car at the border and ask. It also mentioned Londons fireworks were spectacular but Edinburghs celebrations were totally cancelled so were the fireworks from Edinburgh Castle last night a repeat never heard them mention that.
      I have to say last night’s BBC Hogmanay show was the worst ever. I lasted 10 minutes watching it and only switched back over for the bells
      Happy New Year everyone

  212. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Maxwell’s brother interviewed on News channel giving HIS impartial not impartial take as the BROTHER of his now CONVICTED sister found GUILTY as one who enabled, participated and colluded in sexual assault cases against under age girls with Epstein………..groomed them before sexual abuse too.

    His take is she was innocent, not a fair trial, sister unable to testify as spent last 18 months in prison so exhausted…..mentioned victims had money from Epstein estate as if somehow THAT was their only motive and NOT justice…….pass the sick bucket please.

    Shows you how different things are for the wealthy elite compared to Joe public where they, the wealthy elite, are given a public platform to challenge a jury’s verdict on behalf of a ….RELATIVE….you see they are so used to getting away with everything and not being held to account that unable to accept this form of treatment…an alien concept to elites….punishment is for the peasants not us……

    Who will speak up for Prince Andrew……sure some Tory MP’s will be forming an orderly queue no doubt….as they always seem to want to do the opposite of what is right, decent and good…..

    The question now is……..will she spill the beans on who else was involved to get a deal i.e. reduced sentence ?….

  213. Capella says:

    Scotland’s target of 100% electricity generated from renewables missed.

    What a miserable headline BBC Scotland uses to tell us that the target was that 100% should be generated from renewables but in fact only 98.6% was so generated or 99% with rounding up. Miserable failure, eh?

    Anyone know what percentage of England’s electricity is generated from renewables?
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-59837782

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Still working on it, Capella.

      But here are some of the UK figures:

      35.9 per cent

      Renewables share of electricity generation was 35.9 per cent in Quarter 3 2021, falling under fossil fuels’ generation share.23 Dec 2021

      Source: Energy Trends December 2021 – GOV.UK https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk › uploads › file PDF

      With THEIR 100% target for 2035 – considerably later than Scotland.

      Source: https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/energy-transition/100421-uk-targets-power-from-100-renewable-sources-by-2035

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye, spotted that article and puzzled over what “Official figures show gross consumption from renewables – minus net exports – was 98.6%”.
      There is no England figure that I found in a cursory search, but did find “UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said 100% of the country’s electricity could come from renewables by 2035”- Oct 2021….
      Yep, its the alternative England, the UQ…
      Assuming we’re free of these elitist bampots by 2025, their renewables target may suddenly become blind to imported v generated…
      I’d bet those cables being laid up the East coast to pilfer power have a bonus for early completion…

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Everywhere I look for “Renewables UK” I see adverts for Goldman Sachs, “… [the] American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City.”

        Interesting.

        🙂

      • Capella says:

        I wondered what that meant too. Some sneaky way of knocking 1.4% off the target probably!

  214. scottish skier says:

    On the topic of electricity and England the ‘subsidy junkie’.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20211231074118/https://www.thenational.scot/news/19816730.scots-unfairly-penalised-westminsters-transmission-charges/

    Scots ‘unfairly penalised’ by Westminster’s transmission charges

    SCOTLAND’S energy producers are being unfairly penalised by the Westminster government’s transmission charge system – which sees them pay the highest amounts in Great Britain despite having more efficient grid systems.

  215. Dr Jim says:

    The British news media works in not mysterious ways as it reports on London being the stabbing murder capital of Europe and how terrible it all is as they blame it on the culture of *young people*

    Meanwhile in Scotland the same news media reports all drug deaths recorded since time began are the fault of the SNP Scottish government and Nicola Sturgeon in particular, what?! no *young people* blaming? no culture blaming?

    Is it misogyny? is it blame yer mammy cause she’s the ane that’s supposed tae fix stuff? is it anti Scottish Independence? is it simply just anti Scottish? or is it just England must always be considered superior and no matter what happens in that country it’s just never the fault of the government because it’s the people who’ve let the country down, never the upper class Tory or Royal leaders that the people there aspire to be the same as, whereas in Scotland we’re so rubbish we don’t have any class so we don’t respect the leaders we vote for unless they’re like the really upper classy lot the English have

    Maybe that’s why England votes for the same type of people over and over again who let even them down over and over again

    My definition of class and what it is is somewhat different to the Bringlish media’s version

  216. Old Pete says:

    ‘A Gude New Year to ane an’ A’
    Hope to God Independence comes very, very soon.

  217. Alex Clark says:

    Happy New Year to all Independence supporters everywhere 🙂

  218. yesindyref2 says:

    Happy New Year to everyone, even if you don’t (yet) support Independence.

    You will, you will 🙂

  219. Capella says:

    Happy New Year everyone. I hope you enjoyed Hogmanay in spite of the restrictions in place. I must say I was not disappointed not to be able to go out clubbing and boozing all night. The entertainment on offer from the BBC, which I as a non licence payer couldn’t access, looked truly dismal. So I watched Paul Anderson’s Hogmanay blog Live from the Lounge – his own lounge – where he and his wife provided a better evening’s entertainment than the combined forces of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
    Here’s his farewell to the old year from the top of Pressendye – there’s some great fiddle music on his Youtube channel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DwUqmxM-Fc

    All the best in 2022 and may the freedom we all want be with us.

  220. scottish skier says:

    Happy new year all. Hope it’s a good one for all.

    I see Blair has got himself a knighthood for turning Labour Tory and having a good wee illegal war.

    https://www.itv.com/news/2021-12-31/knighthood-for-tony-blair-as-medical-experts-recognised-in-2022-honours-list

    Tony Blair, who was prime minister between 1997 and 2007, described being made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry, as an “immense honour”.

  221. Hamish100 says:

    Arise Sir Capella and indyref2……what you didn’t get anything? Not even one of those empire biscuit type things?

    More grovelling required I believe. In the new Scotland maybe a citizen award is the ultimate goal recognised by your peers.
    Not grovelling and soaking up to your “betters”.

  222. Hamish100 says:

    Scottish skier -you were never getting one ! Well maybe a lollipop

    • scottish skier says:

      Need tae up my attacks on ‘Sturgeons SNP/Scotland!’ if I want a groveling bauble of some sort.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      But lollipop men/women DO get one don’t they. Hamish100 – as a rule.

      Like Mags McFearty of Ecclefechan who has been on lollypop duty outside St Fluffy’s Primary School for gazillions of years.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Excuse me, School crossing patroller! Dangerous job. I covered at one time.

        It was great. Always took the opportunity to stop a Tory councillor in their car with the grand kids.
        Childish I know but the satisfaction was just too great looking at his grumbled face. I then waved to the kids. Wasn’t their fault their grandad was a “Brexit means Brexit” person.

    • scottish skier says:

      Strange that Sturgeon hasnae got an honor for being a good wee closet unionist.

  223. exile says:

    Paul, Happy New Year to you and yours, and thanks for all your work. Take good care of yourself.

  224. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i bob Dugger! 🙂

  225. dakk says:

    Happy 2022 to all.

    And all the best for the challenges it may hold.

    Off out to blow away the cobwebs on this bright and breezy new years day 😊

  226. Golfnut says:

    Train leaving from Glasgow to Carlisle.

  227. Bob Lamont says:

    A belated happy new year to all Duggers…

  228. Capella says:

    BBC R Scotland schedule today. Sunday Morning with Cathy Macdonald at the moment followed by Ricky Ross talking to a musician. Then 2 hours of The Euros Breakfast Show i.e. football, followed from 1.00 pm till 6.00 pm by Sportsound i.e. football. Then all evening it’s guys and a gal playing records. I can do that myself.
    This has to be rock bottom cheap radio. National broadcaster?
    If I paid the TV licence I’d want my money back.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/schedules/bbc_radio_scotland_fm#on-air

  229. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Sir Lindsay Hoyle the Tory sycophant speaker of HOC has said ALL former PM’s should get a knighthood….what……even David Cameron ?….The same David Cameron caught up in a lobbying scandal……..and what exactly is it about Gordon ‘Save the Union interventionist’ Brown that makes HIM so exceptional in that no one is putting his name forward for a knighthood…..Thank God…..but it does seem strange his constant exclusion from such a corrupt system……

    We all know Boris Johnson will get one……as Tories always like to reward failure.

    Happy New Year everyone……….

    • Bob Lamont says:

      On Broon, I recall reading somewhere it had something to do with protocol, Blair’s unpopularity caused a logjam, which they were hoping to clear with his recent knighthood.
      Unfortunately for them, there is a petition building to have the honour revoked, over 150,000 in less than 24 hours…
      Oops….

  230. scottish skier says:

    The law of unintended xenophobic consequences. Really, when you put the ‘swivel eyed loonies and (coming out of the) closet racists’ in charge, they never think things through.

    Because you see the DUP etc are, like me, not ‘true British’ as they are also entitled to Irish citizenship, born as they were in the land of two automatic passports.

    Surely being a member of a proscribed terrorist organization such as the UVF should get you your British citizenship stripped right? It’s a ‘privilege’ after all right? A gift from the England that we should be so grateful for? Or will stripping of citizenship just be reserved for e.g. ‘brown’ terrorists who are not members of proud British terrorist groups?*

    https://archive.is/5KLhi

    Farry blasts bill on British citizenship

    Almost all Northern Irish-born people can be stripped of their British citizenship without prior notice under a clause in a new nationality bill passed by the House of Commons.

    And the reason is because they are immediately eligible for Irish citizenship.

    North Down Alliance MP Stephen Farry has described the bill as “an appalling piece of legislation”.

    Anyone eligible for a second passport ceases to be ‘true British’ and becomes second class by this bill, my wife and I included.

    That does, unquestionably, make a group of second class citizens based on ‘blood and soil’ rules. The British/English are telling me I am not really one of them due to my ‘blood’ being impure (Irish gran). Same for my wife (too much garlic in hers). My daughter is relegated too, having one of those ‘cheap labour job British stealing migrants’ as a mum. Any Brit with foreign parentage watch out; your blood may not be pure enough to make you true British/English.

    How can anyone seriously ask me to support the union? You could put every other issue aside; this alone justifies independence for me. Not only will my whole family have some sort of mark put on us as ‘second class’, allowing England to legally strip me of my Scottishness, I’m told that voting my way out of this would be illegal in true Belarusian style.

    Maybe they can send me and Mrs SS a couple of red mugs with ‘immigrant’ and a red rose on these? The UK disgusts me. I agree with Farry; this is an appalling piece of legislation with very dark implications.


    *I was going to say religious, but then I thought orange…

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      “I was going to say religious, but then I thought orange”

      I remember post the 1 billion bung to DUP when Theresa May was the PM….one Ian Paisley said ” The future is Orange”……not so much now looking at the recent polls in NI …..also how DUP gloated about their entitlement to having an Irish passport (EU) (that entitled them the same privileges as EU citizens re freedom of movement) while still having (UK) British passport…….Ian Paisley advised NI people to get an Irish passport and there was a picture of him …..with a big grin on his face…. holding both (UK) British passport and Irish (EU) one post the Brexit that he campaigned for and endorsed….not forgetting the now shocking, but yet ignored by the media, DUP ‘Dark Money’ incident that also had a connection with Scottish Tories via senior Scottish Tory Richard Cook.

      “Surely being a member of a proscribed terrorist organization such as the UVF should get you your British citizenship stripped right “?

      Well it would seem that the English Govt. ignores that fact and also the connection to paramilitary Terrorist organisations as they are pro Unionists and DEFEND the (non) Union…………indeed both Ian Paisley and one Nigel Dodds (who has now been made a Life peer and sits in HOL) attended a wake for Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) leader John Bingham………and also not forgetting how Baron Nigel Dodds and Arlene Foster ( now a GB News presenter ) met with a representative group from a Loyalist paramilitary group in February of last year……..

      Not forgetting also via DUP when Ian paisley and Sammy Wilson were pictured at HOC having lunch with uber Brexiteers Aaron Banks and Andy Wigham (spivs)………and when one Jacob Rees Mogg attended and addressed a DUP fundraiser in NI……there is so much corruption within both parties yet to be fully exposed by a weak compliant media controlled by corrupt owners who themselves are complicit in all of this…… the UK via it’s political and media supporters is nowt but a cesspit drowning in corruption, greed and lies…….and not forgetting the Heads of the large corporations who donate and support the Tories to ensure that they continue to flourish with the most beneficial, for them, political party…….so as you say scottish skier ” Anyone eligible for a second passport ceases to be ‘true British’ and becomes second class by this bill”………..not really surprising given how they, Tories and Brexiteers, have operated and are still operating post Brexit…….

      Brexit it seems is a licence to do anything they want, to anyone.

      Yes scottish skier this IS indeed an appalling piece of legislation but tis just another testimony to what the UK truly represents via their English Government …………where tis not the people like you or I that they care about but only themselves and t’others like them……..”this alone justifies independence for me”…….for me it joins a long list of reasons for independence.

      Have a nice day

    • scottish skier says:

      This also applies to my mother, sister and brother who are all Irish too via her / gran. My Scots dad is the only one that appears to be safe from England in terms of keeping his legal ‘Scottish’ (British) citizenship. Except in reality, we are to understand, they want to strip all Scots of that by making a referendum illegal, forcing their English/Britishness on the Scottish people to create a ‘monoethnic British’ state. ‘One nation, one British people!’ etc.

      Brengland has already stripped me of my European citizenship against my will and the will of the Scottish people; it was only thanks to gran I could hold onto this.

      Now they are saying in response that they can take my ‘Scottish’ (British) citizenship away at the drop of hat because of my ‘part Irish blood’? And there is no question that this is what the bill would do. The only way you can be sure your citizenship won’t be stripped is if your bloodline is ‘pure’ back a couple of generations depending on the state your parents / grandparents may have come from originally.

      And TBH, if we have a situation were ‘second class’ British are being forcibly deported based on their family ethnicity, when that doesn’t / can’t happen to ‘pure British’…well, there’s a word for this. It was used extensively in the Balkan war.

      This bill is being slipped through quite quietly yet is very scary indeed. Another step along the road to fascism. The pace seems to be speeding up quickly.

    • Pogmothon says:

      “My daughter is relegated too, having one of those ‘cheap labour job British stealing migrants’ as a mum. Any Brit with foreign parentage watch out; your blood may not be pure enough to make you true British/English.”

      OK Sooooo

      where does that leave the Furriner born in The Big Apple L.B.J. & Ugly Platelet, and the chainsawer, and Knotso Cleverly, add infinitum.

  231. Hamish100 says:

    Looks like the true ulstermen and women are being tee’d up for a United ireland.

    • scottish skier says:

      I imagine there are a lot of Orangemen in Scotland with a parent or grandparent born on the isle of Ireland. Most of them have probably already got themselves a shiny new Irish EU passport so they don’t need a visa to go to Benidorm.

    • dakk says:

      And perhaps an attempt at increasing ulsterisation of Scotland to boot.

      Where would be the natural first port of call for many ‘true’ ulstermen/women/non binary in order to retain their british citizenry?

      • scottish skier says:

        There are no ‘true Ulstermen’ under this bill. Anyone born in Northern Ireland is entitled to Irish citizenship, flute band marchers included. As is anyone with an Irish parent (at the time of their birth) or at least one grandparent born anywhere on the island, North or republic.

      • scottish skier says:

        To add… I didn’t have to apply for Irish citizenship, I was Irish from birth. All I had to do was register my ‘foreign’ birth so they knew I existed and that was it. Irish birth certificate came through the post and passport next. All I needed was birth / marriage certificates relating to my parents and gran.

  232. Golfnut says:

    There can’t be many better examples of Brengland nationalist double think than this new farce of a bill. British citizenship has always been available for those with money, you can even become a Lord with a suitable contribution to party funds. What’s ultra strange regards this bill is just how many of the establishment, parliamentarians, wouldn’t pass brit/ engurlund blood and soil criteria. Boris Johnson was born in America and poor Priti and her her whole family could be booted back to Uganda, I know silver clouds and all that, so we can only assume that this bill is intended for selective use only. The loss of British citizenship, remember your family in England becoming foreigners if you vote for independence, was used extensively by better together, perhaps this will feature once again during Indy 2. There may be other ramifications regards pension rights etc.

    • scottish skier says:

      It’s for use on the plebs. The wealthy elite, as usual, will have nothing to fear.

  233. Capella says:

    This is a blast – literally – celebrating 727 year sof the Auld Alliance at Amiens Cathedral. 500 pipers.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Ok, so I’m a non-Scot and would say I enjoyed that … But …

      … Capella, I raise you an Andre Rieu:

      • Capella says:

        I love that Andre Rieu performance too. Nothing like a blast from the massed pipes and drums to raise the spirits.
        BTW Paul has a new article up which doesn’t take ages to load 😊

    • Capella says:

      The original has been moved and retitled. So here’s the link again:

      • Pogmothon says:

        Wait a cotton picking moment there,

        “The 45 Rising”,

        has chust reminded me that many French Presidents over the years have insisted the “the Auld Alliance still continues and is the longest unbroken alliance in the world.

        and if memory serves me correctly the jist of it states that all Scots are free citizens of France, and all French are free citizens of Scotland.

        That being the case, how and where do I surrender my British passport in exchange for a French one (Tout suite).
        (It will obviously be a dual nationality, when independence arrives anyway)

        cc President E. Macron
        Élysée Palace,
        Paris

  234. yesindyref2 says:

    What we really need is a YES flashdance, something like this:

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