The cost of Brexit just got higher

It’s been a full year since the UK formally exited the Brexit transition period, which ended on 1 January 2021and so fully left the European Single Market and Customs Union. We have had a full year to experience those much touted sunlit uplands that Brexit supporters insisted that leaving the EU was going to deliver. Many businesses, particularly smaller businesses have effectively given up on trying to deal with the additional paperwork and delays that exporting to EU countries entails, the shellfish industry in Scotland has been particularly badly hit. Jamie McMillan, managing director of Loch Fyne Seafarms, has told The National newspaper that his company has lost 60% of his market after soaring costs forced him to stop selling premium shellfish to Europe.

It’s on a much smaller scale of course, but I have likewise had to stop sending copies of my Gaelic map to buyers in the EU. Not only have postal costs to EU destinations skyrocketed, but I was finding that the maps were taking weeks or months to arrive, and when they did buyers were faced with paying a customs surcharge plus additional fees which were greater than the original cost of the map. When I mentioned this to the woman in our local post office she said that several local small businesses have also stopped sending their products to EU destinations.

I’m certainly not claiming that my inability to sell Gaelic maps to EU customers because of Brexit is comparable to the loss of revenues and jobs suffered by companies like Loch Fyne Seafarms, but my experience must shared by countless small businesses and home based producers across the UK, just as it is shared by other small producers in this part of South Ayrshire. For every story of a business in trouble because of Brexit that we hear about because it results in job losses and losses in income large enough to attract the attention of the press, there must be hundreds and thousands of small producers who have quietly given up on trying to sell to Europe because transactions which were once as straightforward as selling to a person in the next town are now made expenisive and time consuming nightmares of additional costs and extra paperwork.

And now this month, producers in the EU will start to experience similar difficulties in sending their goods to the UK. From 1 January 2022, EU businesses sending goods to Britain will need to supply full customs declarations while traders will also have to prove that goods are allowed to enter tariff-free under rules of origin requirements as of now, importers must make a full customs declaration on goods entering the UK from the EU or other countries and are no longer able to delay completing full import customs declarations for up to 175 days as they had been able to do before the new regulations came into force as the bells heralded the arrival of the New Year.

It is highly likely that many small and specialist producers, for example producers of artisanal foodstuffs, will simply decide that exporting to the UK is no longer worth the effort. Research carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that a third of small business importers in the UK were unaware of the changes, while among those who did know this was coming, only one in four was prepared for them.

Martin McTague, vice-chair of the FSB told Reuters news agency that the switch to import checks was likely to cause significant disruption at a time when trade is already being hit by covid supply chain problems and labour shortages.

A survey by the British Chambers of Commerce in October 2021 showed that 45% of companies were finding it very or relatively difficult to trade goods with the EU, up from 30% in January 2021 when the Brexit deal came into effect. Far from getting used to the changes, many businesses in the UK are simply giving up on trying to do business with customers in the EU. And it’s not finished yet, additional veterinary checks will come in for food imports in July next year.

When something is attained at great cost, like the immense burden Brexit has imposed upon businesses and individuals, there have to be great commensurate gains in order for the cost to have been worth it. Yet the best that this misbegotten Conservative Government of chancers, cheats and charlatans can manage to cite as benefits of Brexit are blue passports, crown symbols on pint glasses, and imperial measurements. Those trade deals on favourable terms that the rest of the world was supposedly queuing up to offer the UK are notable mostly for their absence. Instead we have exports falling of a cliff and since British citizens no longer enjoy freedom of movement, as part of it measures to slow the spread of covid, France has banned British citizens from entering France, even those who have residence in another EU country and who merely wish to travel through France in order to get home. But hey! Blue passports.

Brexit is what defines this Conservative government, “Getting Brexit done” is what the Conservatives proudly insisted that they were elected to do when Boris Johnson won a majority of 80 seats in the Commons on the back of 43.6% of the popular vote, thanks to the unfair first past the post voting system so beloved of Westminster politicians. Yet Brexit has delivered so many obvious downsides and so few – many would say no – advantages – that the Johnson regime recently banned civil servants from mentioning Brexit, Brexit has become a taboo word, an unmentionable unpleasantness, like Michael Gove, or the state of Will ‘n’ Kate’s marriage. If Brexit had been a resounding and unqualified success, Johnson, Gove, and the rest of them would be instructing civil servants to shout about it from the rooftops and shoehorn the B word into every government press release.

Scotland never wanted any of this. This country voted to remain in the EU, as the Better Together parties promised in 2014. At every election since the EU referendum, Scotlanfd has voted for parties opposed to Brexit and has rejected the Tories and their Brextrenism, but zero allowances have been made for Scotland by Johnson and his party. Instead the Tories have used the Brexit Scotland rejected as an excuse to attack the devolution settlement that Scotland did vote for. The UK can no longer meet the basic democratic will of the people of Scotland, we are paying the price in the hollowing out of our democracy, in our freedoms and in our jobs. This will figure large in the case for independence to be made this coming year.

Johnson is yet to learn the true cost of Brexit. It’s going to spell the end of the UK and an independent Scotland that determines its own relationship with the nations of Europe and the rest of the world.

I hope you all had a great and relaxing Christmas and New Year. As we move into 2022 we can expect to see the independence campaign ramp up a gear as the Scottish Government moves to lay the groundwork for a second referendum. Making that vital case for independence and attacking the Conservatives and apologists for British nationalism is going to remain the focus of this blog, not attacking other independence supporters for “doing it wrong” or getting sidetracked into divisive issues which are not directly related to independence.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank the blog moderators for keeping things going while I took some much needed time off. I have now started on new medication which is helping to relieve the muscle pains and spasms I’ve been experiencing and which is helping me to get a more restful sleep at night. I am coming to terms with the fact that the stroke has left me with permanent disabilities and limitations, but within those limitations I’m determined to do all I can to help bring about an independent Scotland where we can safely file the antics of Johnson, Rees-Mogg, and Gove under “somebody else’s problem”.

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

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

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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81 comments on “The cost of Brexit just got higher

  1. brianmlucey says:

    He didn’t vote in the brexferendum. Let that sink in when you hear him complain about the results of a decision in which he chose not to have his voice heard

    • grizebard says:

      If you say so, but I guess we have to firmly resist the sorely tempting “told you so” finger-wagging to any such mistakes, recognise that people can at times lack the necessary 360-degree vision or just be plumb misled, and instead sympathetically get them on board now for the big step forward we absolutely must make to avoid such historically disastrous errors being perpetrated upon us ever again by others entirely outwith our control.

    • Mary Murray says:

      When I read his story, I wondered how he had voted. Not voting was the same as voting for Brexit.
      Happy New Year to you and yours Paul.

      • JP58 says:

        Not true – this is spurious nonsense spouted by Scottish Brexiteers to try and prove Scotland supported Brexit. Primarily not voting means you do not wish your opinion to be registered. If anything not voting is tacit approval for status quo (remember 1979 Devolution Referendum). Interestingly 37% of total electorate voted for Devolution in 1979, Independence in 2014 & Brexit in 2016.

        • grizebard says:

          As the Brexit “chiels that winna ding” make themselves increasingly well known, if only via people’s pockets, despite cowardly broadcast media omerta and continual isolationist propagandising by the rightwing dead tree scrolls, I don’t believe that anything like the same proportion of people here would still vote for Brexit now, if given the chance. (Nor in England either, according to recent polls. Even they are beginning to rumble the freedom fetishists.)

    • JP58 says:

      Do not attack people who change their mind – if you want to win independence you need to encourage people to switch from No to Yes – attacking them in such a way will discourage them to switch. Similarly when discussing issue with someone of opposite opinion put over your view in a positive, non confrontational point of view- they are far more likely to appreciate your view. The louder, more aggressive you are the less likely they are to switch opinion.

      • Hamish100 says:

        You are right about we need No and Leave voters to see the error of their ways. It’s hard for us who have been convinced for 50 years to accept that.

  2. Simon T says:

    My company brings around 80% of our goods in from Germany. We are a lighting specialist. One of our largest customers, one if the major whisky companies here , required 10 clips for fastening louvers to light housing. Total Value 20 – 30 €. They were despatched in a small cardboard box on 16th November. They had not been received by end of November. I approached Parcel Force who could not track the box as it was ” awaiting customs clearance “. This was a cardboard box of sheet steel clips. A week later I chased Parcel Force again and was advised that the box had been returned to Germany. No correspondence from HMRC. No indication of where or why it was returned. Brexit is an fxxxxxg shambles. It is going to get worse. No-one who supports Brexit, not the Conservatives or British Nationalist or Unionists can tell me that Scotland is better in this God forsaken Union…. rant over !

  3. Dr Jim says:

    Independence for Scotland is as sure as the next day dawning now when we hear that the Tories in Scotland now want Independence from their own party in London, there’s a big word for that standpoint and we all know what that is with a capital H, of course we also all know it’s a smokescreen excuse to distance themselves from the horror that is Boris Johnson in the hope of fooling the electorate of Scotland into believing the Scottish lot are nowhere as bad as the English lot, until their voting record is checked and we see that yes they are a bit different to the English MPs and lo and behold, they’re actually worse, these Tories are prepared to do anything they’re instructed to do just for a promotion, money or a boost in party ranking, the country and welfare of Scotland means absolutely nothing, nada, zilch to these people, it appears there is no stone they can’t slide underneath, no depth they cannot sink to

    All this added to the confidence in the government in Scotland adds up to the end of the Union
    Northern Ireland is on the edge of reunification right now because even the DUP recognise England wants rid of the bother of it, Wales I have no doubt will gather momentum as the turning of events demonstrates to them that England has become a failed state that the world increasingly doesn’t want to know so what’s the point of hanging around with crossed fingers waiting for them to change their ways when they just ideologically can’t, they are who they are and will vote for what they want, nothing wrong in that for themselves but it certainly is a long long way from resulting in democracy in Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland who don’t want what England wants

    The end is nigh for the Tory Labour Lib Dem one nation whose leaders in England behave as though they’re God over the rest of us worshiping at the graven image of a fake monarchy to boost the comfort ratings of the plebeians, sooner or later most folk will work out that you can’t have a democracy and a monarchy simultaneously, it’s not constitutional so one of them is a fake, take your pick I’ll guarantee neither choice will make anybody feel any better, if England can fake democracy is there anything they won’t fake

    • If the Scottish Tories want independence from Westminster Tories then what, exactly, is their argument against Scottish independence?

      • Pogmothon says:

        Hello GMR
        Slightly OT
        When will Holyrood pass into law a bill that makes it illegal for political organisations to accept donations which are not, publicly announced, and or, originate out with Scotland.

  4. Capella says:

    Good to see you back and to hear about some progress with your health issues.
    This is definitely going to be a year dominated by the nightmare of BREXIT. With the media determined to bury as much bad news as possible our alt media must make the case for exiting the union and rejoining Europe. Scotland voted to remain. We do have a distinctly European culture. Time to celebrate it.

  5. Ronald McGill says:

    My son has your map in Dumbarton in his flat.
    You see it as you go in.
    Go easy laddie
    Cheers Fae Orkney

  6. bringiton says:

    Happy New Year Paul and wishing you all the best for 2022.
    Brexit was a 100% political project by English right wingers to free themselves from rules that constrained their ideological ambitions.
    Their figurehead is on record as saying “f*** business” so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that busines and the economy is very much in the back seat in this process.
    A relatively small number of wealthy individuals managed to convince a large number of idiots that it was a good idea.
    Well…..they ken noo.

    • grizebard says:

      True all that, and bitterly ironic really that the same ideological zoomers are now hypocritically moaning about how business must be given priority over the pandemic.

      (As if Covid can be bluffed as easily.)

  7. Bob Lamont says:

    Welcome back, and a happy new year to you and Peter….

    There will be many more Loch Fyne Seafoods horror stories appearing in honest media outlets.
    However, as has become all too apparent, mainstream media has been manipulated into reporting only that which pleases political overlords.

    Recriminations over who voted how over Brexit helps none – Some were conned 6 years ago, some are still being conned to this day by those continuing the con.
    Brexit is a symptom of a much greater problem, it has a giant Union flag sticker on it with “Made in London” on it in bold print.

    All we need is the boldness and confidence to replace it.

  8. astytaylor says:

    All the best for 2022 Paul.
    Thank you for the wonderful blog.
    Will be sending 22 quid for a Gaelic map shortly.

  9. Tatu3 says:

    Happy New Year to you and Peter. Glad you had a good rest and on better medication. Welcome back

  10. Capella says:

    A preview of what to expect in 2022 from Abbi Garton-Crosbie in The National. Not an exhaustive list I would guess. Occasionally, she refers to “next year” by which she means “this year” which is a little unnerving.
    https://archive.fo/oEYau

  11. Hamish100 says:

    I just watched Chris McEleny giving his London based broadcast ( likewise Salmond and Ahmed-Sheikh) that the FM will be constrained by Johnson announcing that the pandemic may keep going until 2025.

    Can I suggest to McEleny that to tout that as a theory and to deduce therefore that there will be no referendum is just childish.
    First and foremost it is the World Health Organisation that declares such issues not Johnson.

    Secondly as a party that has no MSP’s or MP’s that stood for election under the ALBA party banner how will they force the issue?

    Answer – the can’t. With 1-2% possible voters they will not win a seat never mind a majority.

    I do find it interesting that the first thing ALBA MP’s do is to continue in office.

    Test the the water guys.

    Stand down this year and force by-elections and demonstrate your persuasive powers. I think we know how persuasive you will be.

  12. J Galt says:

    Roll on the tins of Empire Sherry as opposed to that muck from Spain!

  13. Iain says:

    I live in Ireland and after watching Paul Murton’s programme where he ended up in Ayr, I went online to see if I could buy a jar of Blackthorn Sea Salt which featured in the programme. The website said the company don’t export and I wonder if that’s because of the Brexit shambles. I also looked to see if I could order butteries (Aberdeen rolls) online. I could, but the export costs were more than the price of the rolls.
    Global Britain!

  14. We crusty old footslogging members were tasked with delivering an SNP newspaper in November/ December; if anything was designed to be ignored in its sheer vacuousness and lack of ambition, this was it. It’s almost like the party is punting anodyne, pointless words to just about remind what they used to stand for. The SNP has become the office managers they used to decry the unionist parties with. Life is short: too short to spend hours per day delivering such nonsense.

    • Capella says:

      That was a joint effort by The National, the SNP and Believe in Scotland. It wasn’t an SNP newspaper. The aim was to inform soft NOs and get them thinking about the issues. Banging them over the head with hard ideology would probably send most middle of the roaders veering off to a lay-by.
      https://www.thenational.scot/news/19714920.scottish-independence-project-see-one-million-pro-yes-papers-printed/

      • Regardless, it was a waste of paper, ink , activists’ time and shoe leather.

        • Hamish100 says:

          Maybe some read the paper and you have changed their mind and they are now pro independence. Well done!
          On the other hand- see my post above.

          I could spout my concerns from the heart of London and blame the FM.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Aw diddums never mind, the less than 1% party will have an easy solution, sack Nicola Sturgeon so Salmond can retire happy, the Union continues happily, job done then Tasmina can join yet another party, who knows maybe George Galloway next

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Then don’t bother next time ?
      Well over 5,000 volunteers were involved in this first attempt to distribute a million copies, a mammoth task of itself, but how many of those many volunteers thought it was all over ” anodyne, pointless words” ? 1.
      “Life is short” as you say, but I’m fairly certain someone will be available to save your wasted effort for the next…

    • grizebard says:

      You are one of those who evidently haven’t yet learnt from the mistake that lost us the vote last time. Your enthusiasm doesn’t directly translate into votes. In your self-righteousness and conviction you overlook the many people who don’t share it but who will nevertheless decide the result next time, like it or not. It is them who need to be won over, not enthusiasts like you, and it is language designed to get through to them that necessarily must be used, not soul-stirring Braveheart rabblerousing just to keep you happy.

      So that you – like the rest of us – are spared from wondering, the day after the next time, where all those much-needed votes went.

    • grizebard says:

      Francis, if we are to win, you need to pause thinking like you think and start thinking like the people we still need to win over. Put yourself in their shoes, see what they see, and talk to them in their terms. That’s the only way we can prevail.

  15. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    My son is studying and living in Dublin and when we have sent him parcels he has had to pay a custom charge before he can get the parcel delivered, I say HE has had to pay but really we have had to pay as we compensate him by putting the money, via an International Money transfer, into his Irish bank account …plus we also have the additional postal charge for delivery…..small cost I know compared to someone who has a small business and who pre Brexit did not have these same obstacles that they now face….but to me tis still totally a unnecessary and an additional expense solely BECAUSE of Brexit.

    The list of broken assurances, promises and indeed the expectations that the Leave side said would occur post Brexit during their campaign is reminiscent of what Scotland’s citizens were conned with during the 2014 Indy referendum via the No side….so the fact that the outcome is the opposite of what was advertised is of no surprise or shock to many of us.

    Lower food , clothing and energy prices were apparently to occur because of Brexit for everyone who lived in the UK….well we can see THAT was a con as the cost of living is soaring. People from the EU who prior to Brexit worked in our Care, Health, Hospitality, Fishing and Farming sectors are no longer here in the numbers they previously were hence all these sectors have suffered and the consequences felt by us all…..to our detriment.

    The Tories are trying to blame many of the negatives being experienced by us all as solely consequences of Covid…….and yes Covid has impacted the UK but tis not an impact that has uniquely happened to the UK alone…..BUT what people suffer currently in the UK IS however unique to what other countries are experiencing….we have a double whammy via Covid AND Brexit and that has brought an almighty mess via disruption to business, individuals and many sectors who pre Brexit did not suffer or experience the costs, hassle and obstacles that THEY highlight is down to Brexit and Brexit alone .

    Leave side sunny uplands promises with assumption that no obstacles to ensure this would be the actual future…like say a pandemic occurring or indeed that they were overstating the reality as in saying/promising what they thought would SELL their campaign to the gullible among us and also those ordinary folk who post Brexit seemed to have developed a passion for Sovereignty and taking back control when prior to EU Referendum it never seemed to be a publicised passion for these same people……they had to be CONVINCED (conned) by con men and women to convert to the cause that is Brexit :

    More money for the NHS..
    More money for farmers….
    More money for scientists…
    More money in your pocket…“Wages will be higher for working people outside the EU… because pay will no longer be undercut by uncontrolled migration.” – via Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Gisela Stuart.
    Scrapping VAT on fuel bills…
    No EU beneficiaries left worse-off….
    And no short-term economic disruption…
    We’ll get brand new trade deals all over the world…
    There’ll be no damage to trade with the EU…
    Also no damage to our cooperation with the EU….
    We’ll cut immigration
    And stronger border controls
    But no controls on the Northern Irish land border with the EU
    Take back control of our waters…promise made to fishermen.
    And the union with Scotland will be stronger than ever (“If we vote to leave then I think the union will be stronger… I think when we vote to leave it will be clear that having voted to leave one union the last thing people in Scotland wanted to do is to break up another.” – Michael Gove).

    More classic quotes via Vote Leave charlatans :

    “To repeat, absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the single market”…..”absolutely nobody is suggesting we would give up our position in the free market in Europe”.
    Tory MEP Daniel Hannen in 2015 ( now in HOL courtesy of Boris Johnson).

    “There will be no downside to Brexit, only a considerable upside”
    David Davis, 14 July 2016.

    “The free trade agreement that we will do with the European Union should be one of the easiest in human history”
    Liam Fox, 20 July 2017

    “The UK will regain control over our domestic fisheries management rules and access to our waters”.
    Theresa May, 3 March 2017

    “There will be no change to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic”.
    Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, 1st June 2016

    Also remember this quote below from Ruth Davidson via NO Campaign pre 2014 Independence Referendum with absolutely NO proviso added by her or anyone that this of course may change should the UK (via England dominated vote) hold a referendum and vote to leave the EU.

    “No means we stay in, we are members of the European Union”.
    Ruth Davidson, 2 September 2014

    *************************************************************************************

    Below is info via SNP’s website on Broken Tory Brexit promises via Scottish Tories.

    Jackson Carlaw, former leader of the Scottish Tories, promised that the UK government was “fighting to ensure that Erasmus+ continues” and slammed the SNP for “grandstanding” when we repeatedly raised concerns about post-Brexit access to the scheme.

    In 2018, Douglas Ross said it would be easier to get someone to “drink a pint of cold sick” than to back a fishing deal that allowed two years of access to waters for EU vessels. He then pledged to support Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal that’s far worse than that – giving EU fishing vessels access to UK waters for at least five years, and probably more.

    John Lamont is another Scottish Tory who made promises to Scotland’s fishing community by pledging he would vote down any deal that did not deliver “total control of fish stocks and vessel access”. All of the 13 Scottish Tory MPs, including Douglas Ross and John Lamont, even signed a letter in 2018 saying they “could not support an agreement with the EU that would prevent the UK from independently negotiating access and quota shares“, claiming that it would be a “betrayal of Scotland” if they voted for that. Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal didn’t even come close to delivering that – but the remaining six Scottish Tory MPs have emphatically backed what they themselves called a “betrayal of Scotland“.

    David Duguid claimed access to waters was his “red line” and said it should not be tied to any Brexit deal. Even though Boris Johnson’s trade deal gives EU vessels access to UK waters for several years, Duguid’s red line has mysteriously vanished – proving yet again that Scottish Tories will always roll over to their Westminster bosses.

    In 2018, BBC reported that Baroness Ruth Davidson and David Mundell could not support any Brexit deal that introduces different arrangements for Northern Ireland, suggesting they would be prepared to resign if Northern Ireland was given special arrangements which differ from Scotland.

    Now, Boris Johnson’s Brexit claims to give Northern Ireland “the best of both worlds” – with extra benefits and special access to the EU’s single market – while dragging Scotland out of the EU with the hardest Brexit, despite Scotland voting to remain in the EU by the highest margin.

    And instead of staying true to their word and resigning, David Mundell marched through the Westminster lobbies to back the Brexit deal that is fundamentally unfair for Scotland, while Ruth Davidson has been rewarded with a life peerage and an ermine cloak.

    ****************************************************************

    So re above points we also need to be clear that Brexit has truly damaged Scotland and also proves how we cannot trust either Tory HQ or the Scottish (in name only) Tories.

    Indeed all Unionist political parties promised much pre Brexit and as we expected post Brexit have delivered, for Scotland……….NOWT….other than the over used old chestnut of ” It was a UK vote”…..translated as ” Shut up Scotland you don’t get to decide England does”.

    Only independence can save us all now from further damage and suffering that we are forced to endure as part of THEIR UK via ALL Unionist political parties……..

    Indy Ref 2…….YES.

    Sorry for length of post……

    Welcome back Paul and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

  16. Dr Jim says:

    The new propaganda is the wilful ignorance of fact fed to the disaffected as truth

    Recent examples are

    The entire world knows face coverings work or the medical profession wouldn’t have been using them for infection control for a very long time, yet somehow that’s slipped the minds of the British Unionists because they’re not sure now
    In the 2022 political climate in Scotland a party with less than one percent of the vote and the most unpopular leader in history can change the world

    You’d laugh if it weren’t so mind numbingly stupid

  17. scottish skier says:

    Good to have you back Paul; we were really getting into contention for the most BTL comments ever on the last article I think!

    Hope you and all have had a nice festive break, and here’s to baseline yes being permanently over 50% from now on. Came in at 50.2% last year at a low point. I have the feeling that the average this year will be clearly over the mark and that will change things immensely by reversing the whole position ahead of 2023.

    Note I say this from the banks of the River Dulnain, in the valley of my birth, just in case you were wondering which river I was posting near from.

  18. cjmasta says:

    The BBC in Scotland just did a piece on cop 26. Bojo and a number of UK minister’s were featured. Not once did Nicola Sturgeon feature. Absolutely shameless! There’s obviously no point in complaining. The one and only thing I suppose we can do is continue to highlight their behaviour and encourage people to stop paying for their nonsense.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Embarrass them on social media or on National comments or here, it IS getting traction with the public.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Anna Soubry of all people not only defended Nicola Sturgeon but expressed her high opinion and praise for what she called “A real leader” on the Sky press preview

  19. scottish skier says:

    I don’t understand this. Surely all they have to do is ‘be more positive and realise the opportunities of brexit’ and they’ll boom?

    https://archive.is/EmPiA

    Strict new Brexit transport rules make UK businesses ‘give up’ on EU imports: ‘Simply not worth the hassle’

    Many British businesses may “give up importing” as a result of new strict rules that have come into force yesterday, on 1 January, a former senior civil servant in charge of Brexit planning has warned.

    Philip Rycroft, who was permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) between 2017 and 2019, said the changes that came into play on January 1 will cause “teething problems”, with some sectors hit harder than others.

    With the introduction of new barriers to trade with the bloc, Rycroft said businesses may decide it “is simply not worth the hassle”.

    And to be honest, the UK is heading this way at a faster pace than the US. The British Trump is still at the helm after Farage won.

    https://archive.is/gq5vb

    US could be under rightwing dictator by 2030, Canadian professor warns

    The US could be under a rightwing dictatorship by 2030, a Canadian political science professor has warned, urging his country to protect itself against the “collapse of American democracy”.

  20. […] had to stop exporting because the taxes on their products have priced them out of the market. (Read Wee Ginger Dog’s comments […]

  21. Dr Jim says:

    Since 2016 Britain is poorer and getting even poorer by the day but we’re free, prices are skyrocketing in Britain but we’re free, trade in Britain has virtually collapsed but we’re free, Britain has an ideological lunatic Prime Minister but we’re free

    In 2014 Scotland was offered the opportunity to be free without all of the above, but chose not to be because the British told us we’d be poorer and promised wealth and prosperity if we remained with them, the so called British chose Brexit the Scots did not

    In 2023 Scotland will be asked again but this time the question will include how happy are you with what England considers freedom and are you going to believe a word they say on the subject now

    In 2015 FM Nicola Sturgeon predicted every move the so called British would make, every British political party called her a liar, every British media organisation called her a liar, fear mongering they called it

    Every move predicted has come true

  22. Alex Clark says:

    The Scottish Parliament will be recalled on Wednesday for a virtual meeting as the FM provides an update on Covid. I had a look at the hospitalisation numbers and in Scotland patients with Covid have doubled from 527 on Xmas day to 1031 today. it’s the same in England with numbers of Covid patients increasing from 7166 to 14210 today.

    The additional restrictions that were introduced in Scotland from Boxing Day will not have influenced these numbers as the people that are in hospital now would have become infected before their introduction.

    It’s hard to guess if Wednesday’s statement will mean tougher restrictions for Scotland but it might do though I doubt it will come to another lockdown and more likely toughening up what is currently guidance, such as the rule of 6 meeting indoors could definitely happen.

    In England, Johnson will also announce their update on the same day, reading today’s news then he is once again going to do absolutely nothing. A decison he very much might regret very quickly the way things are going with the case numbers.

  23. Dr Jim says:

    Here’s a couple of laughs from this mornings telly and radio

    Apparently we’re all going to have to decide on whether to eat or heat our homes, as I quite like my home I’ve decided on not eating it this year,

    Or how about this one, Nicola Sturgeon’s success with Covid in Scotland has been a coincidence

  24. scottish skier says:

    So much for the British/English saying we Irish are ‘stupid’ (and we Scots are ‘tight-fisted’).

    https://archive.is/6m997

    The Irish State has had unimaginable success in its first century

    Yes, we have problems, but the UN ranks our quality of life as the second highest on Earth…

    …Today, the United Nations ranks our quality of life as the second highest on the planet. We have a healthier, wealthier and better educated population than practically anywhere else.

    Not only have we taken our place among the nations of the world, but we have taken our place among the leading nations of the world. Ireland has risen up the UN Human Development rankings faster than any other developed country since their tracking started in 1990.

    In advance of the State’s independence, the Democratic Programme adopted by the first Dáil laid out an agenda for national improvement. The first duty of the Irish government was identified as ensuring that no child should suffer from a lack of food, clothing, or shelter.

    • Dr Jim says:

      You’re not a “home nation” or even a devolved entity anymore therefore less than insignificant foreigners with an agenda driven hatred of England and all things British, and anybody who is a patriotic British/English person would agree with that or they’re not British/ English people

      See how that works or watch the Jeremy Vine show for thirty seconds for definitive proof of how the world is wrong and England is right even when they know it isn’t

      • scottish skier says:

        I liked that the article was opened with an honest admission of problems before turning to what could be taken pride in.

        • grizebard says:

          An honest admission of problems is what we could really do with here as well, instead of this infernal media-promoted politically-inspired deprecation of everything and anything, in which real issues get drowned in a sea of indiscriminate dross. (Pun intended.)

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye it was a good article.
      Even in 2000 when I finally gave up to start from scratch in Ireland, nothing prepared me for the contrast to the UQ, articles in newspapers, radio and TV were a revelation, far removed from the UK’s propaganda and tits on page 3, it was informative and varied.

      The Irish were avid readers and would engage in discussions knowledgably as a result, yet it was in their relationship with government/authority where the differences shone, they had “a healthy disrespect” for both.
      This was most memorably demonstrated in the “derv tax” crisis which simultaneously erupted in the UK and Ireland, both wanted to increase government tax take.
      Orchestrated motorway running blockades happened in both, yet in Ireland the Garda had “a quiet word with the lads” to keep things moving along smoothly.
      The outcome ?
      Bertie Ahern delayed the tax increase to keep the peace, Tony Blair stated he would not be dictated to by third party agitators, or somesuch.

      Both governments fear their populations, only the UK batters them into submission as their divine right.

  25. Capella says:

    The National today reminds us that 2022 marks the Queen’s platinum jubilee. There will be flypasts. Gerry Hassan suggests that this would be a good time to question whether the monarchy meets our needs. He thinks not.

    The UK is not a fully-fledged political democracy. The political elite know this, and know that this indefensible situation works to maintain their place. The institution that is the Crown knows this and uses it to sustain their privilege.
    Monarchy itself is a relic from feudal times whose survival has consequences in the present. It has gone from being the embodiment of pre-democratic absolutist times and “the divine right of kings” to validating the post-democratic elite of neo-feudalism and the new emperors of the age of absolutist capitalism.

    https://archive.fo/bQOWB

  26. Hamish100 says:

    Well done Chris McEleny of ALBA. You just gave Tom Gordon in the Herald the news headlines they want.
    If only ALBA attacked the tories and labour with the same energy. Some publicity Mr McEleny is bad publicity. You may discover this in May.

  27. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Funny not funny how Prince Andrew claims he is innocent…..and wants to prove it by trying to get case thrown out via a succession of technicalities as opposed to having HIS day in court…..NOT normal if he was REALLY innocent is it.

    Perhaps tis because should this Civil case go to trial he would be asked to provide names of witnesses who attended Birthday party at Pizza Express in order for them to verify his alibi…..and perjury is punishable, should any of those brave enough so called ‘witnesses’ , agree to substantiate his alibi….yet Prince Andrew has now stated he cannot provide any witnesses to back up his alibi of him being in Pizza Express that particular night…….how plausible that sounds …as in plausible if you are an idiot or want to buy a bridge that I have to sell ( details available via Alex Cole Hamilton the renowned bridge expert) .

    Pizza Express as a named venue is so random…but then again perfect because it is so random…perhaps those who advise him knew he would be unwise to use friends or indeed members of the Royal family as an alibi to prove where he was on that particular night as that would mean dragging in the ‘elite and usually untouchable’ members of HIGH society……

    Whatever the conclusion of this his reputation is now in tatters for the foreseeable future…perhaps in time , when they , the Royals, assume sufficient time has lapsed he will gradually be reintroduced to public life and I am sure the media will willingly portray him as a victim……

    Once we get independence in Scotland, and not before, we can…. once things have settled down…. address the Royal problem…….because they are not and never have been our Royal family and have through their whole existence never acted as ones who live a way of life that represents morality and decency……indeed their decadence, extravagance and questionable morals have been on display throughout their existence while their so called ‘people’ aka ordinary folk have endured much suffering and whose lives are so very distinctly different from the privileged lives enjoyed by the royals….. royalty who are supposed to be held , by us, in such high regard……the Prince Andrew scandal is but yet another sleazy incident involving a royal member of family….previous scandals have been forgiven ( and I am sure many remain hidden) by the gullible and subservient members of the ‘British’ ordinary society who seem to endorse the idea that royalty is indeed above the law……and thus should not suffer the same punishment, shame and standards that is expected to be adhered to by mere mortals like us …..we pay for them to live as they will …….how corrupt is that.

    Since Queen Mary’s brother, Prince Francis of Teck, who was known for womanising and gambling, left prized family jewels, known as the Cambridge Emeralds, to a mistress, Ellen Constance, the Countess of Kilmore…since that time ALL royal wills have now been sealed and are thus kept secret……..how very convenient…indeed Prince Francis of Teck’s will set a legal precedent when it was sealed, to avoid potential scandal ( it was Queen Mary who had his will sealed by a court). . The document remains unpublished, and subsequent royal wills have followed this tradition……..I rest my case….for now.

  28. grizebard says:

    I see that Starmer has now outbid Federal Broon and swapped Broon’s British mug for an unashamed pontification in front of a Union Rag. Obviously been taking a hint from all the recent Tory appearances likewise. Showing his “love of country”, according to some apparatchik on the Home Service news. (What country?, you might ask.) That should do his party a huge boost {cough} here in Scotland.

    But if we never took the hint before from his appointment of Ian “Plastic Tory” Murray, at least no-one can still harbour any illusion as to where his true intentions lie in regard to Scotland. His fine democratic principles end at Gretna.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      We once had six chips Bowie…… now we have got Two Flags Starmer……TWO Butcher’s aprons behind him …not either side of him …but side by side…guess what was the DOMINANT colours on display……obvs RED and WHITE…..the blue colour in it made up the corner creases obvs.

      I think we all know what HIS game is ……to out Brit and out Brexit the Tories……he said “make Brexit work”…just to please Scotland NOT….it was a UK vote Jocks….he also said “stronger together” when currently the opposite is the case thanks very much now to the Tory Brexit policy that he, Starmer, embraces…..though to be honest we all know it was just as bad for Scotland pre Brexit too…….the onion aka so called Union with many layers…most people throw away the top layer though….if only.

      No style and no substance pretty much sums up his speech today and also too Labour as a political party………I suspect the content today was NOT for our benefit in Scotland aka the North North more for those from South and the lost seats in the North of THE country (England) as opposed to troublesome Jocks in North North (Scotland) that have only elected but ONE wee (literally in stature and political acumen) Labour MP thanks to Tories in that Scottish constituency…..and only done to keep SNP from winning the seat ( tactical voting is all the Unionists have……not reliable always though…and it does lose a seat for your preferred Tory party too so hardly a win for those Tory voters is it ?) .

      What a world…….how much sand is there left for those peeps to keep burying their heads in.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Two flags, double love

  29. Tatu3 says:

    There’s a few photos about showing Prince Charles with Jimmy Savile and Thomas Hamilton.
    No one seems to query how a nobody from Stirling, a man who had a very dubious history around young boys, should be mixing with members of the royal family. Or why the future King was friendly with Mr Savile and Thomas Hamilton?

  30. JoMax says:

    grizebard above @ 10.42 “…. indiscriminate dross” is a good description of what passes for UK unionist politics these days. A lot of choking dust flying about but little substance. Dross is very good for keeping an otherwise dead fire going through the night, though, so explains how the unionist machine just about stays alight. No flame, just a load of smoke up the lum. Very polluting. Scotland needs something new and sustainable and soon.

  31. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I believe the Sir Keir Starmer speech today was received by many as akin to that of a prolonged announcement made by a Women’s Institute member advising members of the next date for an Arts & Craft class….

    The guy is insipid and has nothing to offer…the content of his speech was the same old same old framed as a ‘Contract with the British people’…well you know what they say about contracts…always read the small print as the devil is in the detail…or lack of in Labour’s case…..

    God give me strength as I know not how much more of this I can take…..

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Broon’s favoured line over the Vow, “read the small print”, wisnae me…
      Sir Keir is soon be joined by Sir Tony which clears the way for St sorry Sir Gordon to finally join the club and rest his soda…

  32. jfngw says:

    Starmer rules out any working relationship with the SNP but doesn’t rule out still working hand in hand with the Tories in councils around Scotland. I think that’s all I need to know about his ‘socialist’ values, how many socialist knights are there?

    If I had to compare him to anyone it would be John Major (drab and uninspiring, quintessentially English) I wonder if he us the Major shirt tuck system and if he has an inkling for the odd Currie as well?

    Does he sway me, ‘not likely governor’ (use Cockney accent when reading).

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Has to be me, I guess, who picks this up – but amongst friends, that’s ok.

      Rightly, you comment on Starmer’s ‘insipid’ (I believe the Scots vernacular is ‘piss-poor’) speech and ‘vision thing’ for this Disunited Kingdumb.

      However much he referred to Scotland (and the need to keep the Jockos in this non-union, ‘union’), did he mention my country? Nope – not once. And this is where his Party – Starmer’s own Party – is actually in Government.

      C’mon, Mark Drakeford! You can only take so much from your ‘boss’ at Westminster. Time you joined the independence movement for your country and Scotland!

      • Hamish100 says:

        WS-
        The English elite wear blinkers intentionally. The did it with Ireland with disastrous results and their contempt for their “partners” is built around their arrogance that they are right and have right on their side. Yip they even think a lying PM Johnson is an asset. They want to be hated by Europe and further afield as they think this is the same as fear built on centuries of gun boat diplomacy.
        Labour are part of the problem. They believe being propped up by the Lib Dem’s and siding with the tories in Scottish local authorities is a solution. It isn’t even a prop.
        The decline of England is there for all to see and yet they need Wales and Scotland to keep the pretence up. They are losing.

  33. scottish skier says:

    Sorry for diverging over the Irish Sea again, but what is happening there is intimately tied to what is happening here (and even in Wales), and if one goes, so all the last dominos will start toppling.

    The thing is, Stormont can’t be collapsed, only the power sharing agreement part of it. The misleading headline reveals the hidden truth in the first few lines. And if the unionists refused power, then the republicans and neutrals (pro-EU and NI protocol) take over.

    As the unionists no longer command a majority of the vote, it is really time to bring the power sharing agreement to an end and let the people choose their own government as per Scotland and Wales. Alliance support this.

    From polling and long term trends, the next election outcome is looking like a Sinn Fien (biggest party in polling) led minority government with support from the SDLP, both of which back the protocol and a border poll. Alliance also back the protocol and are neutral on reunification so….

    And if the British terrorists threaten violence (as they are), then, well, all the more reason not to have their political wing in automatically in power and let the people speak. If the Scottish Tories threatened violence should that mean they get to have one of them as DFM and have a veto?

    https://archive.is/LxKSZ

    Brexit: Stormont collapse ‘inevitable’ in EU row over Northern Ireland protocol

    Boris Johnson has been told it is “inevitable” that Northern Ireland’s fragile power-sharing government will collapse if he fails to solve the dispute with the EU over the implementation of the border protocol.

    No chance the EU, USA and UN will allow the UK to let Stormont fall. Nope, they will say ‘just end the power sharing part and let voters decide for themselves’. Minority unionist should not be able to end democracy simply because they’ve been so crap at selling the union/governing that they’ve lost the support of the electorate.

    But watch this as it’s very important, not just in that one pillar collapsing can bring down the whole edifice, but if Northern Ireland can have iref2, why not Scotland etc….

    • grizebard says:

      You’re quite right, the NI situation has relevance for Scotland, in general at least if not in the specifics. As NI Unionists themselves well realised, as revealed by their background interference (dark money, etc.) during IR1 here. One leaves the Union, the other is likely to follow.

      Well, provided we go first. If the other way round, we are likely to see a significant influx of diehard Unionists on top of a hyperallergic reaction from their badly-frightened staunch pals here, plus waverers unsettled by the event, which could be a problem when it comes to a vote. So by all means let there be a positive realignment in Stormont – not our affair, of course – but we had better get out before that all comes to a head.

      (Or have two referendums simultaneously, I suppose. That might keep the NI lot distracted! But I don’t see a reunification referendum happening soon enough for us.)

  34. scottish skier says:

    Wait, haud oan, Hanlon was the guy who was close to the Alba defectors right?

    https://archive.is/yJajv#selection-1479.3-1491.262

    Now along comes this…

    Chris Hanlon backs three option referendum to break ‘logjam’

    https://archive.is/Jd2Mr

    Which is basically hoping to get Scots to endorse Tory Brexit like the unelected Kenny MacAskill did in the summer?

    https://archive.is/FhO2d

    Home Rule can heal divided nation, says Kenny MacAskill

    Go and stuff your home rule Broon, sorry MacAskill.

    The ‘real independence supporter’ festive greetings vids fae the park outside MI5 are making a whole lot more sense each passing day!

    • grizebard says:

      A 3-option referendum is a deliberate poison pill à la 1979, no matter who proposes it. If the notion is somehow to entice BoJo into agreeing a S.30 order, it’s terminally naive. It may have worked for Salmond back in 2013 or whenever, but it’s a transparent ruse at best now. There is no way a properly worked-out “devo max” option could be presented to the electorate – who would prepare it, and with what assurances of implementation? – and the English Nationalists hate devo max as much as they hate indy anyway.

    • scottish skier says:

      I totally agree grizebard; devo more/max/whatever died with brexit.

      ‘Brexit means brexit’; doesn’t matter what scraps from the table powers-wise Holyrood gets.

      ..Or rather are being taken away.

      In 2011 I probably would have agreed that short of indy, devo max was a good idea. Now it’s just poison as you say.

  35. Dr Jim says:

    The Devo Max third option was Salmonds idea and Cameron gambled on YES/ NO convinced he would win, thus shafting Salmond and his long term plan with the Labour party, Salmond spun the story the opposite way round but Labour spin doctor at that time Alistair Campbell has since written about what went on and how it was to work with Salmond being offered a ministerial position within a Labour government

    That was also the beginnings of the fallout between Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond because she did not approve of how he handled it hence the famous phrase in 2015 when she became SNP leader and FM “I don’t want to just hold a referendum I want to win one” , Salmond chucked a wobbly seeing it as a biting personal criticism of him, because it was, she was right then and she’s right now you can’t do deals with Unionists they will shaft Scotland every time

    The proposers of “options” are Unionists nothing more nor less, they just wrap it up in the notion of getting closer until one day never Scotland will be Independent honest it will we promise, but it’s never been their intention and isn’t now, and every time it is people like Kenny MacAskill jump up and down with excitement at the prospect of the “Home rule” fantasy because it’s an easy sell not to lose

    The mere mention of this must send the Unionists into paroxysms of laughter and joy at the once again on display weakness of some of Scotland’s pretend Independence supporters as they attack the FM who’s currently trying to deliver on the manifesto promise she made and not trying the same slippery deal as the last guy so she can hang around British politics forever, Nicola Sturgeon is the most popular and successful politician we’ve ever had and if all she wanted was a high paying job she could’ve left well before now, she’s still here

    The SNP manifesto promised an Independence referendum not a Devo Max Home Rule Better together still a wee bit Uniony referendum, if anybody can do it Nicola Sturgeon will do it, the rest are just frauds, and the closer we get the more fraudulently obvious they become

    • scottish skier says:

      I very much remember Salmond and his talk of a three way vote. A google search reveals lots of articles from 2012 when Yes had retreated to new lows, e.g.

      https://archive.is/CnqCz

      Salmond: Scots have a right to second question on devo max

      He was of course the man that got the SNP to back devo over outright independence. I agreed with this myself as I didn’t think Scots were anywhere near ready to vote for full indy, but it does now make you wonder now his right hand man Macaskill is openly calling for devo max now indy is the preferred option:.

      https://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/how-should-scotland-be-governed-five-options-5/

      And is actually in majority for 2 years running on average.

      And of course:

      https://archive.is/tld3y

      Independence: Majority of Scots don’t want third ‘devo-max’ option on ballot

      • Capella says:

        I too agreed with Alex Salmond in 2014. It looked then as if Independence would never win a majority. He said he wanted “all or something” and I thought that was a good way of putting it. There was some confusion over who had been the fly one, Cameron or Salmond. But I think he, Salmond, was genuine at the time.

        I’m not convinced that Kenny McAskill is genuine. I was surprised when I heard he was standing again for Westminster in 2019. I’m not surprised that he has now defected to Alba and appears to be undermining the SNP.

        • Dr Jim says:

          At that time everybody hated the much loathed BBCs Jackie Bird even more for looking like she put the phrase Devo Max in Alistair Darlings mouth, but of course she didn’t invent it it was all part of the pretend co operation capitulation plan to get Scotland even more of the nothing it already had, remember if David Cameron had accepted the third option then it’s highly likely that Alex Salmond would have remained FM for years to come and that Labour as a result of it might have won a GE in England with Salmond as a Minister in that government because the position of sec of state for Scotland wouldn’t need to exist, and of course Nicola Sturgeon would never have become or would become FM probably ever because Salmond would’ve gotten rid of her or she might have left in disagreement anyway

          • Capella says:

            A friend who is well aware of the black arts of politics said at the time that his greatest concern was that the unionists would spring a last minute offer which would derail the vote. And so it came to pass with The Vow.
            We must make sure that everyone realises that rabbits pulled out of hats at the last minute are a mirage, a con trick, a nest of vipers.

            • Dr Jim says:

              Ex Daily Record editor Murray Foote set the record straight on the use of the VOW confidence trick of the Unionists, Alex Salmond had sewed the seed of doubt in the minds of the voters that total Independence might not be possible because of the third option, the Unionists using the media placed Devo Max front and centre on the table in what appeared to be panic mode according to Salmond ( this was a lie), but the VOW was no such thing as panic mode as they knew such a promise would never have to be kept because they’d removed it from the ballot paper beforehand

              Every politician knows you can verbalise whatever you like just as long as you don’t put it in print within the existing parliamentary term then it’s meaningless

              Baron Boris De liar Harkonnen PM does it all the time, Jacob Rees Mogg takes delight in reminding people that saying something means nothing and even putting it in writing only lasts as long as one parliamentary term (however short or long that turns out to be)

  36. Hamish100 says:

    Devo -max, the vow? Another term for unionist rule. MacCaskill haslost the plot. This still allows foreign policy and by default nuclear weapons on our soil. Defence would remain. Hasn’t he heard of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? We would be attached to Brexit England. EU and Northern Ireland will flourish and we lose out.

    ALBA is this your policy? Gordon Brown will be pleased.

  37. Capella says:

    The First Minister will give a Covid update today at 2.00 pm in a virtual Holyrood meeting. I would advise watching it live from Holyrood rather than depend on the BBC to broadcast it fully.
    https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/first-minister-statement-covid-19-update-virtual-january-5-2022

  38. Capella says:

    The National says that Scotland generates almost a quarter of all UK renewable energy. Power over policy is reserved to Westminster so the Department of Business and Energy is publishing the figures.

    …it’s welcome to see such a significant percentage of the UK’s renewable energy being generated in Scotland on our pathway to net zero.

    “Yet, while this progress is to be celebrated, Scotland faces the highest charges in the UK to connect to the energy grid – while the south of England are paid to connect.

    says the SNP’s energy spokesperson at Westminster, Kilmarnock and Loudoun MP Alan Brown.
    https://archive.fo/goeYI#selection-1513.37-1521.1

    More thieving from Westminster which a good leader/Head of State would prevent.

  39. Capella says:

    The National have a poll on whether you want a third option “Devo Max” on the ballot paper:
    https://www.thenational.scot/news/19824814.devo-max-think-three-option-independence-referendum/

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