Keeping it simple

A proposal has been made by Chris Hanlon, formerly the chief of SNP policy, to have a three way referendum with the option of “Devo Max” being included on the ballot paper in the next referendum alongside the options of independence or the status quo. Chris was making the proposal in a personal capacity, it is most definitely not the preference of the Scottish Government or the SNP.

What he has proposed is very similar to the suggestion made a few weeks ago by the Alba party MP Kenny Macaskill that the next referendum should include the choice of what Macaskill called “Home Rule” alongside the binary choice of yes or no to independence.

It’s fair to say that Macaskill’s idea was not well received. Even many Alba party supporters on social media were aghast at the suggestion, and it was rejected outright by senior figures in the SNP just as Chris Hanlon’s proposal has been given short shrift by senior people in the SNP such as the SNP President and former constitutional affairs secretary Michael Russell and SNP MSP Kevin Stewart,the Scottish Government minister for mental well-being and social care, who derided the idea as “idiotic, foolish, nonsensical.” Why don’t you tell us what you really think, eh Kevin?

The suggestion was likewise soundly rejected by a large majority of readers of the independence supporting newspaper The National, in an online poll, 91% of respondents disagreed with the idea that there should be a third devo-max option on the independence referendum ballot paper with just 9% supporting it. When Kenny Macaskill aired the idea he suggested it might be a a way around what he claimed was the “constitutional impasse ” of a “deeply divided” nation. Well he was certainly right about it being a way to unite people on Scotland’s constitutional question, because just about everyone thinks that his idea was rubbish.

There are many reasons why Hanlon and Macaskill’s suggestion is a non starter. It is indeed idiotic, foolish, and nonsensical. First of all there is the problem that no one knows what devo max /home rule actually means. Supporters of the idea of a third option on the ballot can’t even agree on what to call it. Far less can anyone agree on what it would mean in practice. For some it would mean a status similar to that of the Faroe Islands or Greenland within Denmark, which are independent in all important aspects except defence and foreign affairs. Greenland is even outwith the European Union even though it retains its constitutional ties to EU member state Denmark.

Others see devo max as some sort of federal or quasi-federal arrangement where Scotland would still send MPs to a Westminster which only dealt with issues defined as federal. Under this arrangement Scotland would have greater taxation and revenue raising powers but would remain a part of the UK and remain outside the European Single Market and Customs Union. We’d also still be stuck with Trident missiles on the Clyde.

The original understanding of Home Rule when the phrase first entered the vocabulary of the Scottish constitutional debate back in the late 19th century was for Scotland to become a dominion of the crown like other self-governing parts of the British Empire such as Australia or Canada. Essentially it meant full independence but with Scotland retaining the British monarch as its head of state and remaining militarily allied to the British Empire. A modern version of this conception of home rule would allow Scotland to rejoin the EU if it chose, but it would not in any practical sense be different from full independence and therefore there would be no need to have it as a separate option on the ballot in a future independence referendum.

There are yet other ideas about what devo max or Home rule might mean. During the final days of the 2014 independence referendum campaign, Better Together supporters insisted that Gordon Brown’s infamous vow amounted to “devo max”, an assessment that was enthusiastically taken up by BBC Scotland. As we all know, it was later proven to be no such thing.

In order for it to appear on the ballot paper as an option in a future referendum devo max / home rule would have to be precisely defined and agreed upon by both the pro and anti-independence sides in a future referendum campaign. We cannot have devo max or home rule or whatever you want to call it on the ballot paper unless we know exactly what it means and we have no doubts about what we are voting for.

That’s going to be no easy matter when dealing with Anglo-British nationalist parties like the Conservatives or the avowedly “British patriotic” Labour party of Keir Starmer who define devo max as the absolute minimum that they can get away with in order to placate those in Scotland who want greater powers for the Scottish Parliament but who are not entirely sold on the idea of full independence.

This means there can be no place for Westminster’s weasel words and get out clauses in the definition of devo max. We saw what happened with the promise that no Westminster government would ever tamper with the powers of Holyrood without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. This became a clause in the new Scotland Act saying Westminster would not “normally” change the powers of Holyrood, and the Conservative Government went on to define “not normally” as “whenever we feel like it”. It also obtained a ruling from the UK Supreme court that the clause was effectively meaningless.

However even if a cast iron wriggle room free definition of devo max could be agreed upon by all parties, that leaves us with the fundamental problem that should this devo max prove to be the winning option in a future referendum we would still have to trust a Conservative dominated Westminster to implement it. There is absolutely no chance of the aggressively Anglo-British nationalist Conservatives agreeing to the restrictions and reductions of the powers of the Westminster Parliament that meaningful devo max would entail.

They had no problem reneging on their agreements with the EU, they would not hesitate for a second to renege on their agreements with the Scottish Government about the definition of devo max. They have proven time and time again that they are a bad faith actor, the inclusion of a devo max option would merely give them yet another opportunity to demonstrate their perfidy all over again. It’s not even like they are ashamed of it, as Dominic Cummings recently admitted “cheating the foreigners” is a part and parcel of the job description of a British prime minister.

The Tories would announce that the referendum result was merely “advisory” and kick it into the long grass with a royal commission which would then eventually deliver a report recommending something which it would insist on calling “devo max” but which had been eviscerated and watered down out of all recognition. This report would then in turn be watered down even further in committees in the Commons and in the Lords. Eventually a bill would be passed giving the Scottish Parliament the power to slightly alter the timing in the red-amber-green sequence of traffic lights and Westminster would triumphantly announce that devo max had been delivered.

The next referendum must be a simple binary choice – independence yes or no? It’s only by keeping it simple that we can avoid being cheated yet again by a deceitful, lying, and untrustworthy Conservative party.

Please note there won’t be a blog tomorrow as I have my physiotherapy appointment and as usual will be wiped out afterwards. I will try and do something on Friday if I have recovered sufficient energy.

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158 comments on “Keeping it simple

  1. Alice says:

    No to devo max. Trident would remain in our waters threatening our folk, our childrens lives. We would remain out of Europe and be stuck with versions of Tory ideology. Dystopian nightmare would continue.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      As an outsider, I see this as a totally impractical idea. (Does anyone know that I’m for independence, anyway?)

      But think of it this way. Even as Paul says there is unanimity in agreeing what Devo Max actually means, even if that is carried and even if that is carried at all stages in the legislative processes leading to a ‘bells and whistles, all-singing, all-dancing Scotland Act’ – all of these being big asks, then the question arises as to what happens to the die-hard independista and the never, no-way to indy gammon who will be resentful of the result.

      Independistas want a full-indepenmdent state where everything for Scotland is decided in Scotland by the sovereign Scottish electorate. (I trust my fellow Welsh independistas want the same for our country.) Nothing else will ever be good enough – nor should it be.

      Gammons, yoons, Westminster-worshippers will not want to relinquish any attachment to their beloved London. The majority of them will be wishing for an all or nothing game, too. Once the Jocks have said no, then that should be it. Escort them back into their shortbread tins, tell them to eat their cereal and then shut up – all the while whilst we asset strip their country (again).

      No – Devo Max is a dead end, and indeed, a Pythonesque parrot.

      We go into this independence campaign for independence – nothing else will do. And in so doing we inspire others (notably my home country) of what we can do and how our freedom to decide things for ourselves and not be at the mercy of rapacious outside forces which care not one whit about us or our country – only to seize our assets – is the only option.


  2. John Muir says:

    I sincerely hope it’s just some guff Mr. Hanlon has dreamt up on his own accord. Because it reads much too much like this:

    Skip to the bit about devo max.

    I know neither Nicola Sturgeon nor Craig Murray, so I haven’t an informed opinion on the matter. The faster this is squashed by her, the better for all of us who seek Scotland to be free (which I like to think includes both of them, and Chris Hanlon).

    • scottish skier says:

      To support devo max these days, you need to be a brexiter, as devo of any form = British brexit.

      Wasn’t so long ago Sturgeon and co were constantly berated by ‘real independence supporters’ for ‘spending too much time trying to stop Brexit’. Now I’m supposed to believe they are planning to spend lots of time promoting it for Scotland through devo max?

      I’m also supposed to believe they are ‘populists just trying to stay in office using carrots on sticks that people want with no intention of delivering’? Well, nobody wants brexit (devo) max – it’s the least popular option on the table – so how on earth does that work? It’s like the SNP trying to temp voters with a proposed coalition with the Tories.

      Maybe they plan to get us to vote for devo only to betray us by implementing indy? 🙂

      If the SNP have gone all UK party ‘weather vane’ politics, then supporting brexit by backing devo max will have them out of office even quicker than failing to hold iref2 this term. An endorsement of devo is an endorsement of Tory brexit.

      Right now, if you were a ‘populist’ in Scotland ‘primarily trying to keep themselves office to enjoy the trappings of that’, then indy is the obvious policy to pursue as that’s what most want. ‘Pretending to support indy while being secretly unionist’ only works when a minority back independence and you can safely be the nationalist hero knowing it’s not going to come about. That no longer applies like it did in 2014.

      Everyone saw what pretending to support more devo / devo max did to the unionists post 2014 right? It was what most Scots wanted in 2014 and the carrot and stick offered by unionists destroyed them utterly.

      This is where the ‘SNP have gone unionist’ logic also falls totally flat to me.

      • John Muir says:

        I hope that proves to be the case, and this was just an ill conceived cunning plan by one man acting alone.

        Whatever the case, we will find out when the referendum question comes before Holyrood again.

      • Stuart MacKay says:

        Excellent point about Brexit. As the UK government is finding out, having a very large neighbour to the south means you still lie in their influence and have to deal with them on their terms. There’s no way a devomax solution would allow Scotland to rejoin the EU as it would fundamentally change the balance of power in the relationship. To be honest I doubt the EU would fancy that it either because everything the EU offered would have England looking over their shoulders and crying foul.

    • grizebard says:

      Frankly, I trust Craig “Loose Cannon” Murray’s judgement on anything about as much as Chris Hanlon’s or Kenny Macaskill’s.

      Well, considerably less, actually.

      • It is all getting too ridiculous for words.

        Of course, the devil’s greatest trick was to convince everyone that he didn’t exist.

        Hanlon MacAskill and Murray are right wing Establishment Brits…
        hence this Devo Max/ evil Sturgeon crapola.

        It may be argued by some that they are the devil’s spawn.

        It was LBJ who observed of J Edgar Hoover that it was probably better having him inside the tent pissing out, rather than outside the tent pissing in.
        These guys are outside the Independence tent pissing in.

        They will not rest until they have destroyed the Independence Movement.

        Macaskill is a political coward. He must resign his seat and fight a byelection as one of Salmond’s boozing..ooops..bosom buddies.

        It is Twelfth Night,and the decorations are back in their boxes.
        There is a sense of Back To Normal, akin to that strange relief on returning from a cracking two week holiday, but glad to be back sleeping in your own bed again.

        A lot happened over the two weeks ‘festivities’.

        A great time to get bad news out there.

        Lords Darling McConnell Reid Robertson and For F..Foulkes sake, pocket a million plus expenses over 14 months last year. Gove gave one of his Duke Pals £330,000 of my money to fill in the potholes in his driveway, Prince Andrew is in a sweat over a Florida judge’s ruling that he must appear before him, over one million English Party Goers caught Omicron in two weeks, NHS England is ‘on war footing’ according to the bumbling serial monogamous adulterer and Father of Many, but despite being 100,000 staff short, including 40,000 nurses, and Care Homes in England, desperately short of staff because of Brexit and Covid, the Bumbling Fool with the Poundland mop head, appears on telly flanked by two Yes Men and thinly disguised St George Flags, declaring that everything is OK and that England will ‘ride it out’.
        100’s of thousands are seen at footie matches in England, and we are to prepare our streets to bow down to Her Royal Maj in June when she celebrates 70 years of being on Social Security.
        Brexit bites now, and we are about to hit 6% inflation, fuel bills through the roof, 1.25% NI hike, and Sir Geoffrey Cox is still on £1 million a year working for tax haven clients but has not resigned his seat.

        I am at last back in my comfy bed, ready for the year ahead. We are taking our country back. there is no such beast as Devo Max.
        These chancers know this of course. Free in ’23.

        • J Galt says:

          That’s right, Murray the “right wing establishment Brit” spent 4 months in jail just for the fun of it.

          Paul, man, you do seem to have surrounded yourself with a shower of eejits.

          • The devil’s greatest trick is to convince people that he doesn’t exist.
            From the ‘eejit’ in the tent, being pissed on..

            • WT says:

              Actually the devil’s greatest trick was to convince people that God doesn’t exist. hat any of that has to do with independence is beyond me.

              I don’t often post here due to the negative feedback my calls for unity get, but because this is the start of the year I will try again. ALBA are not the enemy. You might not like them but they are not unionists. As Paul says “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” …” Yet here we are again with attacks on MacAskill and the SNP’s own Chris Hanlon. I know neither of these men and I don’t think any of you do either, but I know the press often mis-quote or take things out of context so I leave those things aside and follow my own judgement that full independence is the only way forward for Scotland.

              As I always say on here our job is to convince NO voters to turn to YES. So, perhaps we could – please – stop carping on about “independence supporters for “doing it wrong””. Can’t you try and make 2022 the year of a united front? I still vote SNP but it gets harder every month to think of doing so. I know that on here many of you feel that Nicola is okay but I am afraid I no longer do so, there are so many policies I find hard to take that making my vote go to the SNP is becoming a dishonesty to myself. However, the prize of independence keeps pushing me to do so and indeed it is likely I will do so for one more election if there is progress on independence but after that I don’t know if I can. There comes a time when normal everyday politics takes precedence particularly [but not solely] when they affect human rights and the proposed removal of jury trials is becoming a difficult one for me to contemplate offering my vote in support.

              I want independence – always have – but it seems to be taking a hell of a long time for them to get their act together. I work with the elderly and that’s five poor friends now who will not see it happen. Many do not have much longer to wait.

              • grizebard says:

                Yup, your yearly one-sided peace mission to those you disagree with without troubling to do the same among those with whom you agree. It’s becoming something of a tradition, like the greatly-missed Rev. I.M. Jolly on the telly.

                Then you discard the bonhomie for another familiar wee moan at the SNP. Like your fellow thinkers, your self-centred impatience to have something happen instantaneously (or sooner) outruns your understanding that it’s the people of Scotland (and events) that are setting the pace, not Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP.

                One might have supposed that the intervening election results since your last appearance would have given you at least some pause for thought, but there’s just no pleasing some people, I suppose. If you think that voting for some other party will deliver independence faster, good luck to you with that. You’ll surely need it.

              • I can’t understand why you are at your WiT’s end. I am ‘elderly’. I know that ‘Sturgeon’, does not walk on water.
                But I know a troll when I read one.

                Hot news, ‘WT’. Post Independence, ‘the SNP’ will be one of many parties for whom you can vote…
                Until then, they and the Greens represent the only political entity taking us towards that day, following on from which, you can vote for the WT’s Jury Trial Party in the first truly Scottish GE.

                LIke Jackie Baillie and the Tailor’s Dummy Coal Scuttle, you exist to gum up the works, and persistently attempt to drag us down Unionist garden paths, to obfuscate, filibuster, and waste precious time and oxygen on any old topic that pops into vogue.
                I am 74, but by the cringe, I shall see Scotland free from this bloody union.

                The ‘devil’ quote is from the excellent ‘The Usual Suspects’.

                Roger “Verbal” Kint: “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

                WT, I’d venture that by your aimless little dig at the SNP, you rather confirm Verbal’s observation.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          “I am at last back in my comfy bed”

          Aye Jack and it’s time we, in Scotland, had some CLEAN sheets…..the current ones are a tad too dirty for our liking……


          Hope you are well….great comment BTW… per….Stay safe you and yours.

          Have a great evening….

          • I note that Jackie Baillie, that picture of rude health, if not an example to us all, a dire warning of what an unbaslanced diet can do, is banging on pointlessly about Swinney’s true statement that Scotland is managing Covid more capably than her precious Masterland England, and The Taylor Dummy Coal-Scuttle is on Sally Magnusson’s Distorting Scotland following yet another time consuming pointless FOI on children born with addiction is the past 5 years, which of course is Sturgeon’s and the SNP’s fault.
            What a pointless little piece of SNP BAD drivel, even for BBC Jockland.

            Muriel Sparks Gray’s BBC Scotland heading in the right direction..into oblivion by ’23.
            Abacus Baillie, Cash and Carry Millionaire Sarwar, Coal-Scuttle, and the Linesman Dross…the Back Four of the Better Together Team come ’23?

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Murray does spout a lot of nonsense.

  3. scottish skier says:

    As per my comments at the tail end of recent threads, I could not agree more.

    I feel the waters are being tested by unionists here.

    As for a ‘healing divided nation’… that is classic unionist. However, they have dug themselves a hole here. The argument was that if most still supported the union, then indy supporters should ‘accept the will of the people and move on’. However, polling suggests we on the brink – or already have entered – permanent Yes majority. In that case, only independence can ‘heal the nation’ according to unionist logic. Unionists need to accept indy is the will of the people and move on… 😉

  4. Capella says:

    Posted on previous thread but more appropriate here.
    Newly elected SNP Policy Development Convener Toni Giugliano – rules out Devo Max

    • keaton says:

      Very encouraging. Less encouraging is that the SNP’s Policy Development Convener is the guy who doesn’t know how STV works, but oh well

  5. Brenda Braithwaite says:

    Just trying to save their bacon.

  6. Capella says:

    Actually, have we not already got Devo Max? Was that not what Broon promised upon a NO vote – the most devo maxxed nation on earth? Was that not the remit of the Smith Commission? We must be already living in the Devo max dreamland.
    Enjoying it already?

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, I’m positively basking in it. (It must have been something I drank, though.)

      Come IR2, though, we’ll just kindly remind everyone of it, won’t we…?! {grin}

  7. yesindyref2 says:

    The problem is that everyone just about, has totally ignored this bit – the triple lock. As Hanlon puts it in his article:

    A guarantee the permanence of the Scottish Parliament. Holyrood cannot be closed, overruled, or have its powers reduced without the consent of a supermajority of the Scottish People in a referendum.

    A guarantee of the supremacy of the Scottish Parliament on devolved matters. The UK Parliament may not pass laws that affect Scotland in devolved areas without a legislative consent motion. Ever.

    A guarantee of the voice of the people of Scotland. Holyrood can call a referendum by simple majority to amend the Scotland Act that is implemented based on a simple majority of the Scottish people approving it.

    However Devo-Max is defined is actually irrelevant with that in place.

    • Legerwood says:

      Would that be like the triple lock on pensions then? We all know what happened to that promise by the Tories.

      Punting Devo-Max is a classic way to kick the whole thing into the long grass. It would lead to years, possibly decades, of negotiations/debate about what it means. This would provide plenty of opportunity to renege on any ‘promises’ made as to its shape or form.

      Independence Yes or No is the only clear option for the ballot.

      This proposal at this time must be seen as highly suspect.

      • jfngw says:

        Westminster would just define whatever they wanted as Devo-Max, a bit like how they renamed the Minimum Wage as the Living Wage and claim they have delivered. Then there is the ultimate get out of a previous government not tying the hands of new governments, any agreement which is not legislation can just be thrown out and negotiation started again from scratch. It would end up like Labour’s commitment to abolish the House of Lords, still a objective 100 years down the line (not sure it is even an objective now, these Labour types seem awfully fond of the place.

    • scottish skier says:

      I don’t think anyone is really attacking the desirability of what’s in italics in principle, just pointing out that it is utter fantasy to believe such things would ever come to pass in the UK. It would also put indy in danger to have a 3-way ballot as Paul says here / in the National. All the above does endorse Scotland going with brexit with some sort or ‘nat friendly get out clause’.

      My own thoughts are that anyone suggesting such things are either hopelessly naïve or desperately trying to work out how to stop the all but guaranteed Yes vote they now face. I am damn sure Bozo et al. are looking at how to convince Scotland devo super ultra uber tartan and shortbread max is on the cards now even though it’s all to late. I would be sowing the seeds for this if I were them. It’s the last throw of the dice short of Chinese / Belarusian tactics as noted in other posts.

      In the meantime, when it comes to Hanlon, a wee trip back to what I thought at the time:

      Aye, as a general rule, I thought it was better to stay and push for reform if people were unhappy rather than walk away in a huff.

      I have SNP membership for now, but am not involved in any internal party stuff short of voting for candidates when asked. I really am just a pro-Yes third party observer, and my views evolve as I learn more in response to events.

    • grizebard says:

      This is a reprise from the previous thread, but the reply is still the same:

      And you think that the current BoJo English Nationalist regime would happily cede that significant degree of their preciousss sovereignty with the near-certainty of a win for it in an STV vote…?

      That is a good leg-pull by somebody, for sure! {grin}

      I suggest though that Paul did cover the issue rather thoroughly in his article.

      A non binary referendum, whatever the “third option” is called, is the pig that just won’t fly. Nobody believes in it except Federal Brood Broon (and maybe Old Henery).

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Well, I did say in the last thread that it’s giving me a good laugh, and still is. The thing is with the Broon and some in the LibDems and Labour waffling on about Devomax without any detail, with even Starmer apparently possibly ready to support that question on the ballot paper, none of them have defined what Devomax actually means. As Curtice said accord the National:

        The question that has to be answered by the people backing this idea is what further devolution powers do you think can be delivered within the framework of the United Kingdom.

        And that brings us to this – such an option would need an official campaign. The SNP, Greens and Alba support Indy, and aren’t going to campaign for Devomax. Incredibly unlikely the Tories are. So an official campaign would have to come from such as Broon and Labour and maybe the LibDems. But Hanlon has already defined Devo -MIN- max, and that official campaign would have to explain why it didn’t endorse such minimalistic extra powers to justify the term “MAX” – unless it actually did.

        Putting it politely, Devomax is snookered before the cue ball has even been placed on the table. So is VOW2, as it would probably have to embrace the already defined DevoMinMax.

        Laugh? I’m hysterical 🙂

  8. Hamish100 says:

    Devo max was to be delivered after 2014. The tories labour and Lib Dem’s claimed it had. Liars.
    To propose another view is a diversionary tactic.

    Anyone I know says No. Independence is the mandate.

  9. Hamish100 says:

    Reading elsewhere (if true) that Hanlin has been pushing for devo-plus for a while the FM should suggest he rethinks his position in the SNP. Maybe he believes MacCaskill ‘s ALBA?
    Independence is the way forward 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿No logjam in my thoughts

  10. Derek says:

    No way. Any devolution is Westminster’s gift and we’d still be under the cosh.

    Plus- – there would still be nuclear submarines close to Glasgow. They can totally get tae.

  11. daveytee19 says:

    Guarantees by Westminster are useless. Under the unwritten British constitution, Parliament is sovereign and can do what it likes. It is bound by nothing. If it doesn’t like laws it can change them. If it doesn’t like treaties it can ignore them. A guarantee can be given by one government but in the absence of a written constitution it can just as well be taken away by the next one, or indeed by the one that gave it in the first place. There is no one to stop it. Anyone who believes that a Westminster guarantee can be relied on, even if put into statute, is hoodwinking himself.


  12. JoMax says:

    No one ever mentions Devo-Max for England which makes me suspicious. What is the UK Parliament after all? Is the UK Parliament, in effect, the Devo-Max Parliament of England which gets to make its own rules and co-incidentally gets to impose its will upon us at the same time. There could be no Devo-Max for Scotland, or Wales for that matter, without a complete restructuring of the whole UK system. It could not be allowed to continue in its present form with England posing as the ‘UK’ and acting as overlord. In other words, it wouldn’t work.

    • John Muir says:

      Devo Max, aka the Federalism Fairy, is something only we Scots ever hear about. That’s because it’s a bunch of soothing nonsense, just for us, with no substance or meaning outside Scotland. It’s Gordon Brown’s pet project but nothing more than that. It can’t be. Westminster is sovereign. Its only limit is that it can’t restrict its future self. Devo Max, like the Sewell convention, is pillow talk.

  13. dakk says:

    The british state and people as a collective are toxic imo.

    Not interested in them having any say in governing my country.

    It would need reform on a gatgantuan scale and that just ain’t going to happen.

    I mean Sir Keir Starmer and Sir Ed Davey Ffs.

    Circling the wagons is all they are doing.

  14. James Mills says:

    Sam Goldwyn had it correct when he described a verbal agreement as not worth the paper it’s written on .
    Exactly my thoughts on ANY ”deal” with the London Government .

    • grizebard says:

      Nice one! {laugh} And conclusion very true.

      Whatever new referendum agreement (and eventual independence settlement!) we may possibly make with London had better be ironclad underwritten and monitored by the international community. Hence Nicola’s assiduous background networking. A very necessary insurance policy. (Something that the shortsighted amongst us haven’t yet noticed, alas.)

  15. Free in ’23,
    They know it, yet still peddle this Devo crap. It fills the Dead Tree Scrolls, along with the latest Rajurs and Sellick ‘stars’ ‘ farts and burps.
    Christ, we don’t even have a newspaper any more!
    Up the Revolution. All we need is Love.
    Paul, look after yourself. You are need more tha ever.
    No pressure.

  16. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, that needed said…

    I’d read the original Hanlon article then the follow-up in the National and was tempted to comment, but others had more eloquently explained my own perspective, not just no, but hell no.

    It is not just Brown’s “Vow”, on which he later and infamously quipped “read the small print”, or as you highlighted “Home Rule” over a century before, the London power bubble has no intention of relinquishing control of anything, never has and never will.

    Even devolution was forced on Whitehall – for 20 years they fought tooth and claw to prevent it, only giving way once it gained public support in a referendum, then ensured such assembly was hobbled.

    I suggest watching John Drummond’s discussion with Phillipa Whitford – Phillipa’s insights on what was happening in Westminster were horrifying, her response to Hanlon’s Devomax was spot on.

    Bluntly, London does not want to share it’s toys, if Scotland is to get it’s own, independence is the only way to achieve it.

  17. Capella says:

    Mike Russell is against a Devo Max option, so is Kevin Stewart:

    Russell wrote: “I do not support including a third option. The normality of independence works as does constructive EU membership.
    “More #Brexit accepting imposed fudge (as described by [Keir] Starmer yesterday) is about saving Westminster not securing the best future for the people of Scotland.”

    Scottish Government minister for mental well-being and social care Kevin Stewart blasted the three way referendum idea.
    Retweeting The National’s front page, which carried the story, he wrote: “Idiotic, foolish, nonsensical…..”

    • John Muir says:

      Calling someone an idiot isn’t exactly a good look for the “minister for mental well-being”, but apart from that I quite agree.

      Glad to see Russell’s shot this down. Next up: a policy on indy Scotland’s currency please!

  18. scottish skier says:

    Two imperial Tory flags now. Beats Tony and Ed who went for just the one.

    • John Muir says:

      No lapel pin, though. Must be a Britain-hating socialist.

    • scottish skier says:

      One Brenglish nation Labour is back, and this time with two flags. If Johnson uses 3, Starmer will use 4!

      And all the ‘immigrants’ like my wife will get a free mug to remind them just what they are…

      • gullaneno4 says:

        How hard/sad must it be to position the union flag in such a way that the St Dods Cross is totally overpowering the other flags.
        Says a lot about better together,

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          How hard/sad must it be to fly the union flag … when the fourth nation in this ‘union’ is not featured on it.

  19. Dr Jim says:

    Would you like water with your Devo Max cocktail sir ? we have the special Westminster Thames opaque water, a firm favourite with the Unionists, fizzy Russian water officially transported from a bench in a London park, all your exes will love this variety, how about letting the house decide which flavour of water you’d like as a surprise sir? would sir like to take a seat at the end of the table and we’ll bring your order right out in no time at all

    Sorry to keep you waiting sir but all our waiters are changing because new owners have taken over, you can still have water but the Devo Max cocktail you wanted has been taken off the menu, we will reintroduce it at some point in the future but now is not the time

    No need to wait to see what Nicola Sturgeon thinks of Devo Max, she made her feelings on that matter very clear a long time ago, the difference is she can laugh at it publicly now and the people/person who got somebody else to propose it again this time

  20. Not-My-Real-Name says:


    Weird thing happened when I did a google search today…..

    I typed in ‘GB news presenters’ into Google search engine…..know thy enemy exercise.

    List of names / faces came up with arrow at end to scroll to right….which I did….and the name/face of Laura Kuenssberg came up as one of the GB presenters , second from last name/face noted !!!

    Is this fake news via Google or is there something I have missed !…..I know she leaves her role at BBC in April of this year as Political Editor……But ……..have I missed the announcement of her joining GB News ……..if so , then My God how perfect that Boris has his own PR person planted inside this English Nationalist right wing station as well as some of his Tory MP’s that currently present programmes via this channel and other Tories who are regular guests on it………..

    Mind you the amount of previous MSM presenters from BBC and SKY (and not forgetting ITV’s Alistair Stewart) that have joined this English Nationalist right wing station it is no wonder the aggression and disdain they showed towards SNP politicians when they interviewed them while in their previous employment via MSM…. and indeed their dismissive and negative attitude towards independence for Scotland……one would be forgiven for thinking that Adam Boulton could also be perhaps joining this station too upon his exit from SKY News…. given his recent Twitter outburst about how Tony Blair ‘GAVE’ Scotland back it’s parliament…with the operative word for him being the word ‘GAVE’ obvs…they cannot help themselves can they…. hence why they totally do not understand our position aka refuse to understand….and they are doing it deliberately too.

    Seems believable re Laura K google search via GB News…..but come on, if not, that is some mistake is it not !

    • JoMax says:

      I read that the man from Northern Ireland who used to do a morning programme on ITV with his wifie and always looked permanently bored is there too now. He must have got fed up filling up his time and bank balance doing adverts on TV for ‘old folk stuff’.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Yes JoMax….his wife sells a clothing line on a well known shopping channel…same one as Michelle Mone and the former Brexit MEP Lance Forman sell their STUFF on…..and Dyson too.

        Perhaps they, GB News, could get Anthea Turner on (she apparently voted Remain but now believes in Brexit Ha Ha ) to co host with him as I believe he LOVED co hosting with her on GMB breakfast show back in the day…..Ha Ha……only a matter of time….they all seem to be joining GB News …Anne Diamond now a new presenter with them too….God they are all coming out of the woodwork now those peeps who in their previous lives as MSM contributors were supposed to be ( for the gullible who walk among us) impartial …..I believe to be truly impartial one needs to have no so called ” skin in the game”…..which hardly fitted their previous roles did it based on who employed them and what those former employers represented

        GB News even now has a radio station….who is granting them the licence for this and why is it so easy for them to do this ?……MONEY……see this is the reality of their UK …where right wing journalists and individuals have a safe home thanks to rich people with an agenda who finance these channels….. where they are able to freely condemn those they seek to destroy…..and Scotland is very much their target via independence but not just that alone…..always has been via MSM and now a new ‘kid on the block(head)’ is also added to the unfair advantage of the English nationalist side…..

        Funny how the guests on GB News programmes are also afforded a platform via SKY and BBC paper reviews and also are asked as guests on the pointless Jeremy Vine show……as if no distinction between the channels exist….as if.

        Union monopoly of the media…..that’s the reality…..yet still they cannot win the argument.

  21. Bob Lamont says:

    Interesting, not second from last but last now…
    Perhaps off the payroll as opposed to employed, as with the first, Brillo… ?

  22. grizebard says:

    On further reflection, I think that yir2 upthread (and previously) touches on an interesting point. We all know that “Devo Max” is the pig that will never fly, but the very notion does demand that one or other Unionist parties – not least Labour – defend it. With two alternative consequences, neither of which is comfortable for the Unionist cause. Either Labour gets behind it properly so it’s way more than Federal Brood’s pathetic lone fairytale, in which case it drives a wedge right into the heart of Bitter Together, or (much more likely) Labour under “two-flags” Starmer won’t touch the notion with a bargepole because it’s fatal to the party’s vital interests in England, in which case the whole Vow2 notion is visibly stillborn before a referendum is even announced.

    There is always a slim outside chance that someone tries to fly with the pig – the FibDems had some “commission” {cough} of their own at one time under Ming, but quelle surprise! that has long since fizzled out with nothing to show – and Labour Northern Twig-not-Branch under its latest serial caretaker has no more evident interest in it than his English master. So this latest revival (by Hanlon at least) is perhaps nothing more than naughty political mischief-making to expose the vacuity of any putative “Vowists” and thwart them before they even get started.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      If you look at the USA, the biggest state by population is California with 12%. Yes, you know where I’m going with this. Germany – North Rhine-Westphalia with 22%. Canada – Ontario with 38%. They’re all relatively stable as one state can’t totally rule it over all the rest.

      UK has 4 nations, England with 85% of the population. So if votes are divided by population England rules the roost. If each of the 4 nations gets 1 vote it’s unfair on England, similarly if any one nation gets a veto. It’s inherently unstable with any sort ot devolved responsibilities and can’t last. The only way it could be stable if if England was split into a few devolved regions – and there’s not the slightest interest of that happening apart maybe from Cornwall which is a story in itself. If England was devolved and had its own accounting it would prolong the Union a bit, as what we have at the moment, asymmetrical devolution is – yes you guessed what I’m about to say – unstable!

      It was discussions like this below the line on McWhirter’s articles during Indy Ref 1 that helped move him from a DevoMax supporter, to an Indy supporter though he’s gone a bit weird since.

      In 78 / 79 I had to convince some SNP members to support Devolution. They said it wasn’t Independence, I said it made Independence inevitable. I never changed my mind. Devomax – FFA – would make the inevitability far faster which is why I have no fear of it at all. Specially with Hanlon’s triple lock if properly lawyered up.

      Anyways, still nearly 4 hours left of (Little) Women’s Christmas.

  23. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Here’s a wee thing NOT being publicised but very much worth mentioning given how the Lib Dems are always focusing and obsessing (tactically) on Mental Health issues…..and thus weaponize as an issue to try and berate the Scottish Government…..

    The former CEO of Scot Lib Dems tweeted this on 3 January 2022 :

    ” I was CEO of Scot Lib Dems and Mental Health spokesperson. The final straw wasn’t being assaulted or being bullied , or being used by Alex Cole Hamilton as he mounted a coup against a woman MP. I left when I saw the party’s response to suggestions of paedophilia in the party”

    She tweeted this with another tweet by her :

    ” I left the Scottish Lib Dems because of a growing concern about paedophiles in the party. I told @agcolehamilton on Friday 12 March 2021. He made me “promises” for when he was a leader. I texted him the first Monday morning of his leadership. He said he was on it. He unfollowed me”.


    So everyone behold the so called supposed champions of Mental Health and the so called ‘different’ type of leadership of the Scottish (in name only) leader of Lib Dems one Alex Cole Hamilton….we have from the mouth of one who was formerly a Lib Dem … in their CEO in Scotland…..who has now seen the light, the duplicity, the blatant talking the talk but not walking the walk type of party that they, the Lib Dems, truly are (always were)…..via a supposed leader who promised something and then, post his leadership election, did not only NOT follow up this real major concern, legitimately raised , but instead chose to ignore it and then also chose to unfollow on Twitter this person who raised this major concern/issue……a clear message is it not on what both he, Cole Hamilton, and his party represent is it not.

    Cole Hamilton supposed leader of Scottish Lib Dems is making it crystal clear both she, the person who has this major concern, and it, as a major concern, is to be shut down…….THIS is so very Lib Dem…..hence why they are always to be considered, as the party , NOT to ever be trusted as either sincere in their intention or via their fake messaging……..

    I assume they will, based on the above tweets, fail to register an opinion on Prince Andrew….though hypocrisy is rife with them so who knows… they are another party who survives on the hope that amnesia is rife within certain sections of the population……

    ” Mounted a coup against a woman MP”…….

    ” Promised” then ” Unfollowed me”…..I rest my case….for now…sure more to follow to add to the mounting case against anyone who considers the Lib Dems as their choice of party to vote for…..


    Re Devo Max…..well if some Scottish pro Union Journalists are keen on this….that PROVES not worth considering surely together with all of the other MANY reasons why not to consider as an option…..

    David Clark ( former advisor to Robin Cook) tweeted this :

    ” It always surprise me that Devo Max is routinely discussed in Scotland as if England doesn’t have a say. Believe me anything radical to satisfy Scottish aspirations will be rejected by voters in England who already think Scotland gets too much special treatment ”

    Derek Bateman’s response to this tweet of David Clark’s via twitter was :

    ” I hope they send Gordon Brown South to explain it to them”

    So yes ….did those who voted for Brexit to take back control etc etc etc Yada Yada Yada …. all vote Leave in order for for what THEY, the Brexit voters, will see as even MORE powers ( Ha Ha ) being ‘given’ (yes that term again as in GIVEN) to Scotland ……hardly feasible it is.

    Funny not funny how England via Unionists politicians always ignore England’s position , in the equation of constitutional reforms against the threat of Independence for Scotland, via both the Tory’s Union Unit and Labour’s Union review (also known as Unionist propaganda)….yet actually the reality is England is NOT really ignored as assumption in ALL of these save the Union initiatives is that England will still RULE OVER all other countries within UK via WM dominant government …..and that is NOT a so called Union UNIT or Union REVIEW at all then is it…’s the status quo with fake promises a La 2014 Indy Ref NO campaign re run ……………perhaps need to ask Gordon Brown about the small print to be included….as WGD poster Bob Lamont mentioned in previous thread on previous post …Brown referred to ” small print” when challenged on more powers via last Indy ref promise having not been fulfilled…….though he failed to highlight this ” small print” content at time of making his initial propaganda speech pre 2014 Indy Ref campaign………” small print” being the last resort of con men in order for them to be able to con others.

    One only has to see WHO is taking up the baton for the so called Devo Max proposition not a proposition to then KNOW 100% it is yet but another desperate last attempt by Unionists to sell us yet another PUP……time they let it go…they reek of desperation…almost as if they actually NEED us more than we NEED them……….sound familiar ?

    • grizebard says:

      Y’know, as far as yer actual regular Unionists are concerned, I reckon none of them apart from The Lone Brooder really want to pick up that hot baton right now. Because they would have quite a lot of explaining to do, and many awkward questions to answer with the ensuing scrutiny. The Vow was just a last-minute empty dummy, and that’s how they would like to keep it for the next time if they only could.

      But what Alba are doing with Devo Max is a mystery to me.

  24. UndeadShaun says:

    Michelle Mone in news again second guardian article today..

    “Tory peer Michelle Mone secretly involved in PPE firm she referred to government”

    • scottish skier says:

      I’m clearly not suitable for a great British honour. I’d need to start e.g. racially abusing people, fiddling with kids or starting illegal bloody wars if I wanted one.

    • scottish skier says:

      Oops, I saw the name Mone and immediately remembered this breaking story.

      Met investigating Tory peer Michelle Mone over ‘racist message’

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Hence her announcement that she would not longer be presenting, as a guest, HER line of jewellery on a certain shopping channel…..excuse she used was supposedly , I think the excuse she used was, to spend more time with her family and to enjoy life ( which I assume she was already doing anyway given her elevated and privileged position) ….so a coincidence yet not a coincidence I am sure…… no longer want to be seen as the FACE associated with your product……does she think people are daft….obviously she hopes they are…………..

        These two stories keep resurfacing about her….but not new news…….I hold little hope for punishment if it is the MET police investigating…..Tory politician plus MET police usually results in ” Not enough evidence” or no punishment dished out………thus go forth and continue as before….a licence to do as they will.

        BTW did anyone watch the BBC ‘Four Lives’ drama over last three nights….shocking behaviour by the MET police force….the families, whose sons were murdered, stated the MET police officers involved in this, whose lack of action was driven, the families think, by Homophobia and thus that prolonged the families involved agony in their, the police’s, failure to do their duty….NONE of the officers involved were punished post inquiry on these cases that were shockingly mishandled by the police’s incompetence and lack of action/interest……. indeed 4 of the officers involved have since been promoted… was the families themselves who raised concerns and voiced their suspicions to the similarities of their respective son’s deaths that forced the conclusion that these boys were murdered and did not commit suicide or take an overdose…..pretty much a common theme for the MET police where they expect OTHERS to investigate concerns while they themselves do nothing………….

        The establishment is indeed corrupt and those involved in it are not fit for purpose…..perhaps time to stop awarding Police commissioners with undeserved honours considering both Dame Cressida Dick and her predecessor, who was made a Baron, oversaw so many failures under their respective watch of the MET police force…….shocking and yet not unique.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          *she would not longer be presenting….should obvs be * she would no longer be presenting.

          BTW she said someone else would take her place via her jewellery line……as God forbid any scandal should STOP it’s promotion on that shopping channel via the Lady NOT a Lady.

        • grizebard says:

          (Can’t see what relevance the possible failings of the Met Police have to do with Scottish independence, mind you…)

          • Not-My-Real-Name says:

            Fair enough grizebard……..but the MET police are under the remit of the Tory Home Secretary and the leniency and lack of accountability is not one that is afforded to their Scottish counterparts via Police and indeed our Justice Secretary…………… since examples concerning the law and justice is regularly used as a weapon by Scottish Tories here.

            Also the stories of these families touched me….but I take your point .


            • grizebard says:

              You have a good heart, NMRN and it shows. It’s hard to be human and ignore the bad stuff going around. And so it will always be, I suppose.

              Wouldn’t it just be great though to finally be able to say we’ve at least got a proper grip on what happens in oor ain back yard…?

              • Not-My-Real-Name says:

                That’s a lovely reply to me so thank you grizebard……my above response to you, I hope, was as nice and I hope I didn’t come over as too forceful…as was not my intention….since the point you correctly made was very valid in the context of this site’s purpose….i.e. Scottish Independence…

                You and others have probably noticed I frequently get carried away…an understatement Ha Ha………..but I do care for others (irrespective of their nationality etc) as I always think how I would feel if I was in their position and how terrible it must be when you are up against some form of authority and feel so terribly powerless whilst also having to deal with the overwhelming grief of losing a child.

                You obviously have a nice heart too …..and yes it would be “great indeed to get a proper grip in oor ain back yard”.

                Have a nice evening…what’s left of it.


  25. Hamish100 says:

    I think Isle of Man or jersey business man or women types should have their own passports and be refused entry into Scotland or England unless they pay up full tax. Applies to Rees-mogg and other folk I don’t like!!

    • scottish skier says:

      On this topic… I think anyone who opposes legal recognition of Scottish nationality – e.g. through distinct Scottish passports or similar internationally recognised legal documentation – can’t seriously claim to be Scottish in nationality. That’s just ridiculous.

      And Scottish nationality / passports are perfectly possible within the UK union; see European passports. It would just be a Scottish & UK union passport. If you oppose that, you are obviously not Scottish FHS.

  26. Welsh_Siôn says:

    This, from him, we are pleased to call R2D2:

    Andrew RT Davies backs call for public broadcasters to play God Save the Queen every day

    06 Jan 2022 3 minute Read

    Andrew RT Davies has backed a call for public broadcasters to play God Save the Queen every day.

    The Leader of the Tories in the Senedd has welcomed a suggestion that likes of the BBC, Channel 4 and S4C should be encouraged to play the tribute to the British monarch, which is also the anthem for England’s sports teams.



    Desperation, methinks.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Aye WS…where any HQ member commands , in this case via English Brexit Tory MP Andrew Rosindell in the HOC, then branch office members and managers will follow………… sure as night follows day……….

    • scottish skier says:

      I’m totally up for that.

      English national anthem that it is, it should be on the hour every hour IMO.

      Before ‘Reporting Scottish Principality’ starts etc.

      Bozo should pass a law to make it replace flower of Scotland for all Scottish international team events!


  27. JP58 says:

    Question 1 – does this Devolution format allow Scotland to rejoin EU in line with all Scottish regions who voted to Remain – No therefore needs no further discussion.
    Question 2 – do Scottish Labour agree with Keir Starmer policy of Making Brexit Work? – appears Yes.
    Question 3 – are Labour trying to reduce their support even lower than nadir of recent elections – appears Yes.

  28. Hamish100 says:

    Not quite my cup of tea but watching the Musical Hamilton. So many aspects of the War of independence in 1776 have echos today. Corrupt royalty, foreign power dictating terms of taxes, rights etc.England telling everyone how they are right.

    • grizebard says:

      Interesting that. The current age – Brexit and all – is an ongoing historical bungle of the same magnitude as American Independence, I reckon. Purblind self-harm on a major scale.

      At the time of the Suez Crisis, public opinion was divided roughly 50-50 on the adventure, but these days you will hardly find a soul who thinks it was advisable. It was the final nail in the coffin of the British Empire. The same is going to be said after we are all gone, that Brexit was the final nail in the coffin of the United Kingdom (aka the English Home Empire).

  29. Dr Jim says:

    Devo Max the slimy back door Unionist version of control but still imprisonment only with day release and a tag with an English Prime Ministers finger on the recall to jail button

    Aye, Scotland the electronically tagged, could be a song, we’ll sing it at the football and rugby perhaps, makes ye huv a proud chest eh

  30. Hamish100 says:

    I see Scotland will have to import massively fossil fuels, according to bbc scotchland as the nuclear power station Hunterston B closes at noon. Looks like we will have no electricity!

    The fact it isn’t working properly is neither here or there and of course the repository for some of the lower grade nuclear waste will last for many generations. Who will pay for that? The high grade waste is dumped at windscale. … sorry Sellarfield in Cumbria as a special present to Northern England. Still it takes the rest of the uk’s waste and some bits from the U.K. nuclear Arsenal.

    Renewables are the way forward.mScotland is best placed.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye, noticed the “increased reliance in the short-term on fossil fuel or imported energy sources” on their webpage article, with observation Torness would for similar reasons close in 5 or six years.
      They are obviously pushing the notion Scotland will struggle for electricity, despite it being England which has struggled and now facing Hunterston type failures in England to add to their woes.

      Hunterston etc have done well and lasted a lot longer than expected, but the era of nuclear and gas/oil burner dominance in power generation is over, hence two new power cables up our east coast to syphon off more…

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Aye Bob talking of “struggle” and “electricity”…get with Labour’s programme and believe that we are ” Stronger Together” a La Starmer speech….translated by them as Scotland needs England…………as does Wales and NI apparently……England apparently needs no one as it is never presented as POWERless…… we other nations within UK are presented as a drain on their economy all they want to do is to continue to drain all of our resources…..first they took our oil now they want to exploit our renewable capacity ( they take water from Wales and recently accepted 4 million lateral flow tests from them also)……aye Starmer is right England is “stronger together” with us as without us their strength and resources diminishes……….as does their energy capacity.

        Why not warm ourselves with a rendition of “God Save the Queen” the latest deflection tactic being used by the Tory who has been nominated as the next Tory MUG to introduce this NEW variant of Tory trivia at a time when the English NHS , via many authorities in England, is in a critical condition and Omicron runs rampant…AND at a time when one of the Royal family aka Queens supposed ‘favourite’ is sweating it out and hoping he will not be made to answer or rather PAY for his sexual abuse of a young girl via his pal Epstein the now deceased paedophile……all perfectly normal……..and at a perfect time too via the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year apparently….perhaps “Now is not the time” as per Prince Andrew’s predicament to focus on anything royal ya eejits….mind you the Tory in question is also called Andrew….a bit of an inconvenient coincidence is it not…..they should have picked another Tory to introduce this trivia with a non royal first name….nudge nudge etc etc

        Aye England is going nuclear in more ways than just energy …….

        I watched a part of GMB this morning where the Tory nominated mug Andrew Rosindell was a guest harping on about his (Tories) God save The Queen nonsense… opposition was some young English former athlete who mentioned should only be played at special events like Sporting events….say like at Wembley she said….they, GMB, then showed a picture of English supporters via last Euros, which was perfect considering the Tory nominated mug’s idea for this was based on a sense of Britishness being instilled………no mention of different National anthems within UK…obvs….which pleases me as tis yet another example of the total contempt and disregard via English dominated media on display to Scots and Welsh citizens of this non Union…….ho hum another day in Britistannia……a fantasy island that exists to support England and it’s aspirations to be seen as Great but tis only in name as in reality it is regarded by many as a failed state aka Little Britain thanks to English parliament i.e. WM…indeed it’s in a right state so it is………..

        BBC in Scotland is an antithesis…… perhaps more Scots need to get with the real ‘programme’ and wake up and smell the…………stink that they produce and create on behalf of their masters as in the Unionist political parties of different colours aka Tory, Labour and Lib Dems.

        Why is it only England who does not have their own national anthem……cause they do not need to as they use the one they think is theirs and they can keep it as we other countries do not need it…what are we like us rebellious Scots ……perhaps they will try to crush us…say try…they are actually doing it NOW via Brexit…..

  31. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s been some good articles about this newly sparked Devomax, including this one by WGD, his article in the National and today, Joanna Cherry’s one. But as far as I can see all of them miss one absolutely vital point. The Independence debate shouldn’t be about us, the Indy movement, what we want, which it increasingly has become, it should be about those we want to persuade to vote YES next Indy Ref, and aimed at them.

    And that includes those who actually still support Devomax, to put it how they put it, a very powerful Scottish Parliament with the comfort and security of the Union. What someone needs to do in an article, is address it to them, to show them how DevoMax just won’t work – much as I did above with the figure for England of 85% of the UK’s population, and comparitive figures for federal countries where federalism actually works. Curtice had the figures:

    He said a YouGov poll in March had given it 21% support, versus 38% for independence and 28% for the current Union [13% Don’t Know]. A Panelbase poll in January 2021 had devo-max on 17%, with independence on 43%, and the current Union on 32% [8% Don’t Know].

    That gives a minimum of 17%, a YES majority-making and Independence-winning 17%, who still support devomax after all these years, don’t accept the status quo, want more powers for Holyrood, and are open to persuasion to vote YES – if they can be convinced that Devomax won’t work. Note: it’s not good enough to say Westminster won’t go for it, Westminster could indeed pretend to go for it in VOW2 to capture their votes – again. Some Unionists already understand this vital point – but WE don’t. We’re too stuck in pointless incestuous blaming and shaming, and wacko finger-pointing.

    But the Devomax voters need to be wooed, not called traitors, yoons, idiots, stupid, stooges, puppets, sleepers or Bojo-lovers!

    Who will write that article and get the National to publish it – Mike Small perhaps? Is he or someone like GMK, up to the challenge?

    • Dr Jim says:

      There are no Devo Max voters because there can’t be, it’s never been on a ballot paper and never will be, there are only those trying to sell it to people to persuade them not to support the real thing, Independence

      • Indeed, Dr J.
        John Curtice is a dyed in the wool unionists, yet YesIndyref2 is on here peddling Devo Max that never was nor ever will be.
        The choices are: Yes or No.
        We need do nothing to woo the phantasm that is teh Devo Max Movement The choice will be Yes or No.
        So if the John Curtice 17% or 21% of non existent Devo Max Voters have a binary choice to make, then so what?
        I for one am not taken in with this nonsense.
        When we get down to the wire, people will vote based on their experience of the past 9 years (by ’23).
        They won’t need me to buy them a candle light dinner and the taxi fare home to ‘woo them’ to please please pretty please vote Yes..
        They will be able to judge for themselves. Slavery of freedom.
        As per, Yindyref2, John Curtice and their ilk would have us stop in our tracks and spend precious time ‘debating’ this Devo Max pile of fluff and nonsense, while Boris Johnson gets away with Wallpaper bungs for Great Exhibition billions to Tory Lords, corruption and Jackie Baillie lies about NHS beds.
        Last comment on anything John Curtice has to say about my country.
        Devo Max is a fucking joke.
        Sorry for the language.

    • scottish skier says:

      Aye, I posted that article / data the other day when the topic first popped up, and joked the 3-way could use the ‘mother of all parliaments’ FPTP approach. 🙂

      Devo max is undefined in those polls, so the results are meaningless. Different people will be imagining different devo maxes (including some within the EEA/EU) – which is schoolboy polling error 101 – so really there’s nothing to read into them other than what is the most popular option and what’s not.

      Devo max was attractive when a majority of Scots didn’t want indy but more powers, and within the EU. Brexit killed that. If you look into the what brexit did more deeply, you can see it:

      Everyone was surprised that the vote itself didn’t suddenly have folk backing Yes; in fact Yes retreated after the briefest of flirtations with majority just after the brexit referendum. That’s because voters were waiting to see how it turned out IMO.

      But what the brexit vote did do was hole devo min/more below the waterline as you can see. It had long been the most preferred option by a country mile, but the false promises of the vow were eating away at this post 2014. Then along came brexit and in one fell swoop indy caught up with devo most/max. The final hard brexit finished off devo completely.

      There is a reason the SNP constantly talk about how brexit and the Tories are destroying devo (which is true); it’s because that’s what the electorate are thinking. They are telling voters what voters are already feeling.

      Most importantly though, for 2 years running, Yes is in majority on average, even in on a retreat to baseline cycle (2021). Devo is a dead duck as a result.

      A majority of Scots now back indy so devo max ceases to have meaning. There is no deadlock. The country is not divided. It backs indy.

      By the end of this year baseline yes should have – if just simply because of ongoing generational national identity changes – gone clear of No enough for all to see that the result will be a foregone conclusion. This is why London is flirting with Chinese / Belarusian ‘referendums are illegal’ approaches.

      In fact if you ask people what they’ll vote in the planned 2023 referendum rather than a surprise one pushed on them by the SNP ‘tomorrow’, yes gains a good few points as you’d suspect. That will be those that took Yes to a peak in 2020 saying they still back Yes, just not tomorrow, but when the pandemic has calmed etc.

      Of course unionists be all like ‘Help me devo max – your my only hope’ now.

      But muscular unionism is a total disaster here, hence the Scottish Tories starting to turn on Boris and talking about their own independence etc. 🙂

      As an aside, it is interesting how Albaists on other sites are trying to suggest devo max is the SNP’s idea according to ‘their Tory sources’* when it was Alba’s MacAskill that first proposed the idea last summer in the English Times.

      *Who work in an office overlooking Lambeth bridge maybe?

      • Dr Jim says:

        The current FM Nicola Sturgeon made her views very plain on Devo Max years ago when she was deputy and they are the same now, Alba and their bloggers are rewriting the history of their own leaders preferences just like Trump is rewriting his fabrications to suit a narrative

    • grizebard says:

      This is an eminently relevant point, though I don’t think anyone is calling devomax-believers any names, it’s the notion we are all deprecating (and its propagators). Which is what is needed, as you yourself realise. But however it can be done, it’s crucial, as you say, to convince the disturbing number who are still clinging on to the comfort blanket of devomax that it’s the empty cheat we all here well recognise. What’s staringly obvious to us though is not necessarily obvious to everyone yet, it seems, and these folk are vulnerable to a cynical Vow Mk.2. Even if it’s only 10%, that could be enough to make the difference between winning and losing.

      • yesindyref2 says:


      • Bob Lamont says:

        I understand the points made, but here’s a thought, are we allowing our own history and experience to obscure perspectives ?

        I understood Hanlon’s intellectual argument and rejected it, but found myself questioning why now when Indy support is on an upward trajectory, and SNP policy has been validated as a repeat of the Yes/No question ?
        The vast majority of those fooled by Vow1 last time round are looking for revenge for being conned, the minority from that group would still cling to Vow2 no matter how untrustworthy London have proven themselves to be, and nothing you say would budge them an inch.

        My sneaking suspicion is this was aimed at the younger demographic, not so politically aware in 2014 and with no direct experience of the Vow but now 70-80% pro-Indy.

        To play devil’s advocate, what if Hanlon was tasked with taking the public temperature for such a move with bells and whistles attached before inevitably the BT lot launched their own, since un-BT were caught on the hop last time ?
        The drubbing the proposal received and how quickly the great and good were out of their blocks to condemn it once the results came in resoundingly condemning it suggests a very clever ploy.

  32. Hamish100 says:

    I suppose the criticism is for those in the independence movement who seem to think devolution is the preferred option. We are living it currently- it doesn’t work.

    I know one elected snp councillor who voted No during the referendum because (we) (she/he/) felt we weren’t ready. Yes surprised that the person was even selected but then local politics can be a strange thing.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Whoever that was should’ve been slung out of the party, you don’t become an SNP rep unless you’ve signed up to support Independence
      Of course post 2014 when the ranks of the SNP swelled to gigantic proportions many of the “professional” ex Labour activist types jumped the Labour sunk ship just because the SNP were a winning party to hook up with so they saw a future for themselves in the ranks, thankfully many of them have either drifted away because they couldn’t manage to do to the SNP what they did to Labour and have been weeded out, or they joined the other load of rabble rousers in the 1% party to create merry hell there

      They confuse the meaning of the word democracy with the word *gang* and seem to think imposition by tyrannical majority is the same thing as democracy and it makes them no different to Baron Boris Johnson or Trump

  33. JoMax says:

    DevoMax is just another delaying tactic thought up to split votes and to ensure that Scots get so bored with the whole debate that in the end they say, “Oh, forget it”. WM wins again, Holyrood ceases to exist and everyone gets back into their shortbread tin or, for some of us here, move on to the next life, having waited patiently for nearly 50 years for ‘something’ to happen.

    Trying to second guess what voters may or may not do given various options is a mug’s game and then hoping that somehow these voters for DevoMax will realise it isn’t going to work so now “we’ll definitely vote for independence – the next time” (*) when you’re dealing with a treacherous WM is a dangerous way for any country to try to plan its future.

    (*) The next time being when??? A generation away??

  34. Bob Lamont says:

    One of the more interesting observations over DevoMax/Vow2 was where is the public clamour for it’s consideration ? Would those who swallowed the original “Vow” and waited patiently to see nothing arrive give “Vow2” with even a triple lock agreement a moment’s credence when the Tories are busy dismantling devolution itself ?

    Much has changed since 2014, Brexit, Covid, the increasingly mendacious Tory regime thinking re-imposition of the National Anthem is a dashed good idea, England and Westminster politics has finally lost the plot.
    Scotland and England have diverged too far for any form of Union arrangement to be considered a potential let alone viable proposition, all eyes are on the nearest fire exit.

  35. Hamish100 says:

    Has the people who touted this in the past week or so said Sorry? Misread the runes.
    Ps Here is my resignation

  36. yesindyref2 says:

    With YouGov at 21% for Devomax and Panelbase at 17%, and an electorate of 4.1 million, that’s let’s just call it, 800,000 people who it seems still support Devomax, in spite of the 7 years since the Indy Ref, Smith, Scotland Act 2016, EU Ref and Brexit, BoJo and Gove, AND the Infernal Market Act.

    That’s 800,000 people who, according to some posters, are bought and paid for by Alister Jack and are sleepers who are awakening, which will be a bit of a surprise for Bobbin’ Jack when he presents his bill to Sunak for all their 30 pieces of silver at 2022 prices. Oh dear, the UK national debt just doubled. Again.

    Or those 800,000 people are all activists and members for Alba which will be a totally delightful and welcome surprise for its actual members, led by Chris Hanlon who in his article said he’d vote for Independence and is in fact a member of the SNP, and apparently also by me though actually a member of no political party thanks be to eff, who has presented 3 postings in this thread alone pointing out precisely why Devomax wouldn’t work. Welcome to the Follies of ’22.

    Welcome to the
    Follies of ’22
    Do you get the feeling
    We have only changed the name

    Welcome to the
    Follies of ’22
    The fantasies are different
    But the formula’s the same

    You know
    Nothing really changes
    Nothing really changes
    Nothing really changes
    In the Follies

    Mind you. Follies of ’77 is just as appropriate according to some conspiracy nutters.

    Bit of a shame about those 800,000 who could be persuaded to vote YES, oh well, never mind, what a shame, another 315 years to go to Independence. It’s back to my vault for me.

    • grizebard says:

      As I said, you have a point, but nobody is denigrating the devomax believers, they are attacking the devomax promoters. As so they should. But your wider point about more actively revealing what an utter sham the insidious notion is to those who are still clinging fondly to it, that is very valid. I’m shocked, actually, that it’s as high a proportion as those polls reveal. These are the very people we have to win over.

    • scottish skier says:

      Yes, nobody is attacking voters who would have or still maybe would like devo max. Just those misleading them that it’s in any way possible.

      Only devo min is possible with brexit, with less devolution than we have now. That is why current devo is being undermined; because London can’t make brexit work without doing that in the face of devolved parliaments refusing legislative consent.

      Devo was designed for the EU. Scotland could make laws in a host of areas as long as these were not incompatible with EU law. As other EU members had no interest in ruling Scotland / harming it / milking it for all they could, so EU laws did not target Scotland, and were fair on it as they applied equally to all members. Scotland could not refuse consent and didn’t need to as well, that could mean having to leave the EU somehow if it did not consent to mutually agreed laws.

      Brexit changed all that. Now, England makes most of the laws the EU used to, and it is very interested in harming Scotland (so harming the nats in it’s mind) and milking Scotland for what it can resources-wise. Trade laws are made entirely in England’s interests now, as e.g. Scots fishermen are learning.

      When it comes to trade deals, the UK government must have full control over all aspects to that when it strike a deal, this covers the whole UK. It can’t strike deals which don’t fully apply across every nation and cannot be undone by devolved parliaments. This cannot work with devolution unless (1) all members of the UK union have vetos like in the EU, or (2) the devolved parliaments are simply overruled by England. England has chosen the latter approach.

      In this situation, it is impossible to increase the level of devolution, only reduce it, as is happening. Devo max would need the ability for the devolved parliaments to become equals to England, and that is never going to happen.

      Brexit killed devo stone dead. We now have devo min and can never have even the level of devolution we had before brexit never mind devo max.

      This was all predicted:

      • scottish skier says:

        ‘It can’t strike deals which don’t fully apply across every nation and can be undone by devolved parliaments.’

  37. scottish skier says:

    On the topic of 2014 and devo max, Cherry Remembers it like me, i.e. Salmond did propose a 3 way vote over a binary question. However, some might debate what he really wanted.

    In 2012 Alex Salmond put forward the idea of a multi-option referendum as a negotiating tool. His tactic was to present the Tories with a less palatable option so that they would capitulate and give him the Section 30 order he wanted. It worked.

    If Salmond really did prefer to lose the referendum, ending his frontline career, then it worked. In 2012 Yes had fallen to new lows and in reality we were never going to win. I expect internal polling data would have shown Salmond that a Yes was really a forlorn hope and he had only a few years left leading the party most likely if a binary iref was to happen.

    Devo max would have definitely won by comparison. But then he was a gambling man?

    Who knows, but current devo is now being rolled back and devo max is impossible. This is why the SNP constantly point out the attacks on devo to the electorate.

    But then Scots now back indy in majority so it really doesn’t matter.

    Devo is in the past now, and in the past it must remain.

  38. Clydebuilt says:

    Devo Max a Third option on the Ballot paper. Westminster’s last desperate bid to save their precious Union.

    put forward by Kenny MacAskill, and Chris Hanlon, formerly the chief of SNP policy.

  39. Hamish100 says:

    With the issue of god crushing the Scots anthem can I ask any self respecting Scot who may be successful in the forthcoming Olympics to turn their back as the union flag is raised and the dirge is played or is an OBE, CBE or CDM* too much of an enticement?

    *Cadbury Dairy Milk

  40. Hamish100 says:

    * I have a sweet tooth🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  41. Hamish100 says:

    Is it not the case that athletes can fly under the flag of the United Nations should they choose?

    Maybe all athletes should? It is the taking part that matters don’t you know!

    • Marc says:

      Only if they cannot be part of their national NOC. The most recent example would be Russian athletes at the last Olympics who, as the Russian NOC was suspended, were ‘neutral’ athletes.

      Post indy it is possible that Scottish Athletes would be neutral for a period if the Scottish NOC was not ready in time for a games.

  42. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Off topic, but knowing how we value your support, Scotland (and we trust, you ours …) we ask you to sign the petition.

    Transfer control of the £500m Crown Estate to Wales like in Scotland

  43. Capella says:

    Bella Caledonia’s take on Devo Max, the “Brigdoon of Scottish Politics” phenomenon. Bit muted for Mike Small I thought but, sigh, what can you say about Devo Max.
    Paul sums it up perfectly.

    • grizebard says:

      I’m not a regular reader of his, so I can’t comment, but I thought his effort wasn’t at all bad, and had a few nifty soundbites along the way. “…all of it [the broken promises] just drifts away into the Memory Hole”, “Cool Britannia without the Spice Girls”, etc… {grin}

      And he’s right, Starmer has effectively abandoned Scotland for Anglobrexitannia. Whatever Labourites might still try to claim in public, Starmer knows fine that he will sink or swim by English votes alone, and that’s what he’s focussing upon. (Why wouldn’t he? “Solidarity” was always a one-way concept in his world.)

      The only arguably contentious point is the question that yir2 has addressed here: exactly what degree of popular support remains for “DevoMax”? Is he (and we) too complacent in thinking the whole con trick is totally transparent to everyone? Or is it a drug that too many of the hesitant still can’t kick? Is it a cynical fiction that in any event, if left unchallenged now, can still – since the internet at least never forgets – be easily exposed at referendum time?

      Ah, well. If one likes a bit of cheap entertainment, there is at least one person in the BTL over there trying to breathe life into the rotting corpse. Even delving into process arrangements – ‘sakes! And wants the scope of the “Max” part set by citizens’ assemblies. {roll eyes} Meanwhile, back in the real world and in real time, some of us actually remember the enormous effort represented by the proverbial deluge of earnest submissions to the Smith Commission, and how it was all effortlessly rolled-up and binned by a self-congratulatory triumvirate of Unionist politicians, and not least by the representative of Gordon Broon’s own Labour party.

      • Dr Jim says:

        If you organised a poll asking people should Scotland have 24 caramel flavoured aircraft carriers with chocolate powered typhoon helihovers firing marshmallows at enemies across the world post Independence or should we only have 12 Willie Wonka such boats people would select an option and vote, a number of answers on a poll that’s never going to happen is still a number and that’s all the Unionist pushers are trying to do, create numbers to create division where there wasn’t any before

        Very typical blogger Union supporting tactics, people want it and I’ll bet you £££££ of money they do, prove me wrong and give me more publicity to make even more noise about the nonsense I can keep inventing

        I’ve read the QAnon playbook for dummies too

        • grizebard says:

          I dunno about polls, but there are plenty of gullible suckers in the world, and Scotland is no exception, alas. If there’s a DevoMax straw floating around to tempt any fearty into clinging to it rather than {ahem} drowning (as they would see it) in the dreaded indy ocean, then we had better find them a trusty lifejacket instead before they ever have to choose.

          (If that isn’t too obscure a parable. {grin})

      • scottish skier says:

        Aye. If a majority now back indy – as polls two years in a row now show on average – then that’s what the majority want.

        Some form of new devo when the majority want indy is the opposite of democracy.

        The unionists had an opportunity to deliver devo more/max and they decided not to, instead they are undoing current devo to allow England to negotiate trade deals to benefit itself.

        Questions for the unionist citizens assembly:

        – How can fisheries be devolved if Westminster makes trade deals involving these?
        – How can agriculture be devolved if Westminster makes trade deals involving this?
        – How can food standards be devolved if Westminster makes trade deals involving this?
        – How can energy be devolved if Westminster makes trade deals involving this?
        – How can taxes be fully devolved if Westminster makes trade deals involving these?
        – How can the NHS be devolved if Westminster makes trade deals involving this?

        As noted above, for the UK government to make trade deals, it needs ultimate power over the whole UK. This either comes from giving all the home nations an equal say / veto, giving collective agreement ahead of trade negotiations, or England just overrules everyone else as it sees fit.

        England has chosen the second option and so we are on our way to devo min.

        • grizebard says:

          Yes, those awkward questions just keep on a comin’… {grin}

          The thing is though, with Unionist avoidance of the issue – no serious party patronage for DevoMax available or ever likely, and MSM omerta – if very effective questions like these are the “vaccine” against Vow2, how can we effectively inoculate the unsuspecting general public against a likely eventual outbreak of it…?

  44. dakk says:

    I would also urge all Duggers to sign the Welsh Crown Estate petion as per Welsh Sion @ 9.34.

    After Mark Drakeford’s magnificent speech today yae cannae no’!

  45. John Muir says:

    Provocative opinion piece on this devo mini max stooshie at the National:

    Stumbles in the same pratfalls as already discussed. Our pals in Westminster are trustworthy, generous, and always stand by their word, eh? Labour won’t “give” us a referendum any more than the Tories will. In fact, it’s more damaging to Labour’s cringeing brand. (Starmer’s flags are all there for a highly self conscious reason.) Indy must be forced. It’s on us, and our Scottish government, not waiting for ever more for them.

    Then the bit aimed at you and me.

    Yessers are sleeping, are we? Have been since 2014? Were those almighty, confident and peaceful marches of ours through Glasgow and Edinburgh and most every other town in the land the years between mere sleepwalking? You know: the ones every one of us and his dug were at, besides of course for the First Minister!

    We’re ready when you are. There’s only one of us who can fire the starting gun. The one who’s rightly managing Scotland through the pandemic first. So, please, enough “wakey wakey” pish! Give us the date and we’ll give you the ground campaign.

    • grizebard says:

      This is the part that particularly got me:

      However, we seem to be in much the same position as Scotland in the middle 1990s. Waiting impatiently for England to come to its senses, and turn to the Labour Party, as the less bad of the available options. Waiting for a Labour government to recognise the legitimacy of Scottish demands for independence, and to allow some form of referendum.

      If the author thinks that’s as far as Scotland has got, he’s surely been asleep himself since the middle 90s. England isn’t turning to Labour any time soon, and it’s clear that under Starmer nothing would improve for us even if it were. This is simply inane. And we don’t need anyone to “allow” us an eventual referendum either.

      Where do these cringing Rip van Winkle characters come from?

  46. Tatu3 says:

    I thought THE question had already been agreed by the Electoral Commission to be the same as last time? So as to save time?

  47. Capella says:

    SNP figures ‘show Westminster short-changes Scotland by billions’ says The National. Some sums.

    SCOTLAND has been “short-changed” by Westminster to the tune of more than £5 billion, according to new figures released by the SNP.
    The party published a “litany” of examples of the London government promising funding that never arrived, or Scotland being forced to pay to cover Tory cuts and their “Brexit obsession”.

    Of course Westminster denies it. I hope The National will do a fact check.

  48. Capella says:

    Phillipa Whitford talks sense. Shock..
    Philippa Whitford explains why the SNP MPs won’t just walk out of Westminster. I’ll leave the live link so that the video will play. It’s a clip from her TNT interview with John Drummond on Independence Live.

  49. Hamish100 says:

    looks like if you wish to travel the world don’t get vaccinated, catch COVID then you can jet into countries as you like. Oh, to be wealthy and self important.

  50. scottish skier says:

    Latest covid fatalities per 100k population from the UK government, with % difference relative to the worst affected England:

    2.3(NA) England
    2.1(-9%) Wales
    1.8(-21%) Scotland
    1.6(-31%) Northern Ireland

    The presence of a hard border down the Irish sea is really benefiting Northern Ireland, and not just economically.

    To put things into perspective…if the UK government had managed things to the same extent as Scotland, there’s be 26,000 less ‘bodies piled high’ south of the border. Just let that sink in. And Scotland managed 21% less with all the pandemic control powers of a parish council.

    I had a look after reading this:

    Covid in Scotland: Data shows Scots didn’t ‘flock’ to England for New Year celebrations

    …new data published by the Scotsman found that there is no evidence to support claims that Scots flocked south for New Year.

    The main train operators – LNER, Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express – and coach services did not report any increase in numbers of passengers travelling.

    Meanwhile traffic flow at the M6 and A1 crossing sites matched data for the 2019/20 pre-lockdown New Year.

    Quelle surprise.

    Why on earth would you rush to covid central for New Year? And that’s before we remember people are fleeing England en masse due to its ‘hostile environment’ policy for foreign nationals.

  51. Golfnut says:

    Watched a video yesterday, I think it was the clinical director Fife, talking about the SNHS being stretched, considering the suspension of some services ( non urgent ), interesting comment, majority of covid patients in hospital aren’t vaccinated including pregnant women.

  52. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I think the so called Devo Max is perceived, by some duplicitous Unionists, to be one of the desperate ‘carrot on a stick’ options to try to entice and thus prevent soft No’s from making, especially with the present unbearable situation we are all in thanks to the current UK Tory Govt, the obvious, logical and ultimate YES to INDY option decision.

    A half way house……but… per post 2014….whatever Scotland is ‘GIVEN’ ( that word again) or rather not really ‘GIVEN’ then we can be sure, post vote, MORE will ensue for England……and THEY as the dominant nation will both still rule over us and control us via WM…..perhaps even eventually diminish what we already have via the Holyrood parliament….as they appear to be doing so now via Brexit.

    Throughout events in history we have all been told to remember what ‘History has taught us’.

    Past events in our history should enable us to learn not to repeat the same mistakes we made before……..and one of the lessons soft NO voters learnt post 2014 Indy ref was that many of the promises and assertions that were made by the NO side were not fulfilled ( we and other like us knew that would be the case anyway) ….. but the Tories being Tories could NOT ‘allow’ us, in Scotland, to have something that England did not benefit MORE from (even though what we ‘GOT’ fell way short of what was promised and promoted) ….

    The announcement and timing of the EVEL policy post 2014 Indy Ref was the Tories way of reasserting the message to the English people of their importance to the Tory party and indeed to the UK ………to keep the English people onside for the Tory party in subsequent votes in future GE’s.

    English Votes for English Laws addresses the so-called ‘West Lothian Question’ via a Labour MP- the position where English MPs cannot vote on matters which have been devolved to other parts of the UK, but Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland MPs can vote on those same matters when the UK Parliament is legislating solely for England…tis my understanding that SNP MP’s did NOT do that anyway……….however talking of Scotland tis a pity then that so called Scottish Questions in HOC to the so called Scottish Secretary of State includes more English MP’s so called ‘questions not questions’ than actual Scots MP’s ,representing Scottish constituencies, real questions/concerns being ‘allowed’ and being heard is it not….

    The current so called Scottish Affairs Committee at WM scrutinises the expenditure, administration and policies of the Scotland Office, and its associated bodies. The Committee also examines the wider UK Government, to assess policies and legislation that lead to direct impacts on Scotland. It is chaired by Pete Wishart MP…but it also includes currently 4 MP’s who represent English constituencies……..for balance ?…for who ?…the largest elected party in Scotland via last GE , the SNP, has 3 MP’s on it, the Tories 5 MP’s (majority on it), Labour has 2 MP’s on it (though Scotland only elected 1 Labour MP in last GE) and Lib Dems have 1 MP on it….what a joke that is for Scotland is it not….but typical balance considered for the benefit of the (non) Union.

    How many English constituencies are represented in HOC pre and post 2014 ?……far more than Scottish , Welsh and Northern Irish…….and which nation is it that will still have majority of seats via proposed future election boundary changes in HOC……England formerly 533 seats will be 532, Scotland formerly 59 seats will be 57, Wales formerly 40 will be 39 and Northern Ireland 18 and will remain same…….so was EVEL really a necessity or was it just a way to appear to offer the English people a sense of their significance and importance as in Scotland can NOT be seen to be pandered to without also taking England and the English people into consideration…when clearly that was already the case in the political majority representation they had in HOC….the reserved powers of a UK Govt decides for all of us within the UK and any bill voted on is voted on by those MP’s, who by a majority , represent English constituencies….was and is WM not always been seen as just a English dominated parliament (indeed Boris Johnson referred many years ago , when he was just an MP, that England already had a parliament as in WM) .

    It also raises the question that the very distinction of EVEL as a constitutional condition dispels the myth that we are all just one country…one nation…when clearly politically we are defined via policy and legislation as separate entities…..or rather they want us to appear to believe we are all one nation when it suits them and when it does not it is they themselves that make the distinctions, rules and barriers to that false notion………….

    Labour and Lib Dems enable the Tories to be and act as they do as far as Scotland is concerned…they back up the Tory message that Scotland needs England and thus will not be ‘allowed’ a second democratic vote to decide their future post Brexit…..they enable the Tory party to be the party they now are and have always been and they will unite in message with the Tories once again to stop Scotland leaving THEIR (non) Union.

    Independence for Scotland is the only way we get to control everything and be a normal country as in the status other countries throughout the world currently are in….simples.

    Sorry for length of comment…….

    • Bob Lamont says:

      As I posited earlier, what if Hanlon was testing the waters and simultaneously pulling the rug out from under a future DevoMax proposition ?
      Judging by the reception it got, I can’t see Gordosaurus or anyone else floating the notion any time soon 😉

  53. Golfnut says:

    That hoary old chestnut ‘ who will speak for England ‘ rears it’s ugly head more often than acid reflux.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      John Redwood actually said that very thing in a speech he once made in the HOC…he said “Who speaks for England”…with NO sense of irony in that the majority of MP’s within WM represented English constituencies …..well if THEY were not currently speaking for England then whose fault is that if not THEIRS ?……

      John Redwood and t’other English Nationalist MP’s like him will be muzzled during the next Indy Ref campaign just as they were during the first one (no anti Scots rhetoric allowed) as one cannot rock the boat… WILL have one’s say post the vote though irrespective of the conclusion/vote (as in those English nationalist Tory MP’s)………and then, if Scots via a majority once again vote NO, tis Scots that will be muzzled or rather contained within the confines that England via WM dictates….if Scots vote Yes to independence then the nasty party aka the Tory party will play , as per, very dirty and will treat us, as foreigners, in the same way that they have treated the EU………

      What is it they say about the so called ‘British sense of fair play’ again ?……….a myth together with ‘It’s just not cricket old boy’…apparently both held up as examples of the supposed British (English) sense of decency and fairness in all things that THEY want from others……….. but not so much of how they want to behave towards those others that they deem to be lesser than them (as in non British aka English nationalists)…………….. ‘othering’ being a big thing with them obvs to promote the other myth of them being GREAT or GREATER than other countries and their respective citizens….a delusion they perpetuate to keep the gullible who walk among us onboard

  54. scottish skier says:


    I personally do look to buy locally sourced products in season, with the flag of origin helping a lot. And that includes buying wensleydale, which I’ve found with we English flag in the past.

    The union flag is offensive to the people of many countries due to it’s imperial nature and the brutality it represents / represented. As far as I know, nobody finds the Scottish flag offensive apart from some British people.

    Saltire on food and drink products much preferred by Scots, poll finds

    SCOTS much prefer to see the Saltire on their food and drink than the Union flag, results from a new survey have shown.

    The Edinburgh-based research firm 56 Degree Insight asked 700 people about how they like to see products presented and what it means to them.

    The majority of respondents (65%) preferred to see the national flag of Scotland on their food while just 10% said they like to see the Union flag more. Some 25% said they did not mind either way.

    • JoMax says:

      It seems that some meat products won’t even have a union flag on the packaging since ASDA (other retailers are available) has reneged on its promise to sell only British meat and support British farmers. Prices are supposed to be the reason. Farmers are not happy. Watch out for any old cheap stuff from goodness knows where being on the shelves of supermarkets soon. Brexiteers with their ‘international’ trade deals will be delighted.

      • Legerwood says:

        I think the cheap stuff is already here and has been for several months. I noticed a marked decline in the quality of the bacon I buy from the supermarket some months ago. Ditto the venison sausages.

        I but chicken breasts from our local butcher and have done for some time because he sourced them locally. They were far before the supermarket ones in terms of quality. Two to three months ago I noticed a difference in size and quality of preparation.

        There have been a few other non-meat foodstuffs that seem to have declined in quality and/or quantity but not in price needless to say.

        I think it is only going to get worse.

    • Ahem, this has been a cause celebre for us veteran Duggers for several years now, chaps.
      ‘If it’s got a Jack put it back’.
      It is clear, as we have observed continually over the Johnson Years, that the major supermarkets are in collusion with the Brexit Regime to plaster the Butcher’s Apron on every product possible from punnets of strawberries to transistor radios.
      I was in my local Aldi today, as the snow melted and the opportunity of getting this month’s Big Shop in an empty (-ish) store too good to pass up.

      It is plain that the Saltire is winning. Meat, potatoes, bread crisps and such, are being gobbled up, whereas products bearing the Jack lie glaringly unwanted on the shelves.
      It is most noticeable in bags of flour, almost all bread products, meats, vegetables and trifles and the like.
      The most alarming aspect of this stark Brit Nat jingoism is that commercial concerns, which in any democracy should be apolitical, have collaborated with the most fascist regime England has ever experienced, to ram Brexit and England Uber Alles down their customers’ throats, no matter how much it costs them in sales and/or profits.
      This is the Iron Heel Oligarchy at its most sinister.

      I have observed many times before that the Jack is now Johnson’s Fourth Reich Swastika.

      Even Starmer has taken to draping himself in the Jack and demanding that we be a ‘patriotic’ team, like our nation’s football team, England.

      I bought nothing with Johnson’s Bloody Butcher’s Apron stamp on it today. I never shall, and by the evidence of the shelves, many more arer joining us.

      My local butcher still has local produce..he has been there through thick and thin for 5 decades.

      Our meal tonight? A Kilmarnock pie (sublime), Scottish roasties (the Bag wrapped in the Saltire, and peas…

      Devo Max is the desperate last gasp of the dying fly that is the Jock Brit Collaborator.
      Indyref 2 is ‘All or nothing’ and ‘nothing’ is not an option.

      If it bears a Jack put it back.

      I cut and paste my BTL comment on Mike Small’s Devo Max Bella C article below:-

      “Ironically, it is 100 years ago this June since Ireland was plunged in to Civil War, over the Anglo Irish Agreement concluded by Devalera and the Brits in London.
      Independence, like pregnancy, does not have gradients. As you cannot be a ‘little bit’ pregnant, you are either independent, or a vanquished militarily occupied colony of a foreign power.
      The ‘|Irish Free State’ was nothing of the sort. It was England’s ‘Devo Max’ con which led to the usual Brit Empire End Game; let the natives slaughter each other, and weaken their status as an emerging rival nation to England.
      Partition; Eire and the Six Counties. Palestine, Cyprus, India Pakistan….the Brit Empire ensured that havoc would spread among the former colonial slaves when they upped sticks and headed back to England.

      Devo Max is the precursor to a Scottish Free State proposal.
      Well, we are having none of it.
      We are taking our country back. We are dissolving the Union.
      The obliging Brit Uncle Tams/Winston Smiths who still peddle this fluff and nonsense do it for money…
      There is no Memory Hole on the ethernet.
      Scot will not turn on Scot. By the ballot box, this time, we shall prevail.”

      They have lost, and they know it.
      It must have cost the supermarkets bigly to plaster their stores in Jacks.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Sorry to have to disagree with your “the major supermarkets are in collusion with the Brexit Regime” observation, think more along the lines of coercion.

        This started up 5 years or more when Scotland the brand was showing massive success, the signature Saltire recognised across Europe as a quality product and exports were accelerating.

        If you think back, Union flags on products were a rarity in supermarket aisles. Their proliferation to the present is a direct consequence of a propaganda war by the Tories to erase the Saltire branding and the Scotland origin of produce.
        eg – My only source of “Mature Scottish Cheddar” has been Lidl.
        Originally it was made by a Scottish dairy which was eventually adorned with a Saltire.
        Within a couple of years it had a Union flag and was made in NI.
        Today it has no flag on it and is made in Cheshire.

        It was the Tories who embarked on a campaign to destroy Scotland the brand, but what seems clear is there is a sub-plot to destroy Scots dairies having their own product lines, and ship raw product southward for packaging and onward sale, something we’re all too familiar with.

        Bowie RN-failed is no doubt rather pleased with himself.

        • Golfnut says:

          I suggest you are both correct, but whether the suppliers and supermarkets are colluding or coerced, what should be abundantly clear is that Scotland is subject too, and suffering from, a war of attrition aimed at nearly all of our services, food suppliers and growers, oil, gas and renewable sectors, even the very sense of ourselves as a people. On the up side, they’re losing and they know it. Their efforts will become even more frantic if not more absurd in the lead up to spring when Nicola steps ups the pressure on the union.

      • Golfnut says:

        Proof of the pudding Jack.

  55. Capella says:

    Brexit: Success on island of Ireland shows what Scotland is missing, says The National:

    The Northern Ireland economy was outperforming the rest of the UK, according to figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in November.

    Economic output in Northern ­Ireland in the third quarter of last year was only 0.3% below that of the final quarter of 2019, before the ­pandemic, performing better than any other in the UK.

    It was ahead of the UK’s overall economic recovery, which fell 2.1% over the same period…

    Meanwhile, the country was ranked second in the world for quality of life in 2020, according to the ­United Nations’ Human ­Development Index.
    Ireland moved up one place from the 2019 Index, overtaking Switzerland and second only to Norway.

    They don’t have oil.

  56. Pogmothon says:

    My sincere condolences to the people of St Andrews and surrounding areas.
    Who by the magic of the EBC Royal Suck Up Center.
    Have this morning all been relocated to now become a city in england were a certain hinger on who is now 40 has lived.
    How privileged they must all feel now.

    Not sure how much heat that will put in your home, or food on your table. But hey ho a hinger on once lived near you and as a result you can all be comfortable knowing you have been moved to greater england

  57. Capella says:

    NEIL MACKAY’S BIG READ: ‘SNP nationalism is destroying education’ – the devastating assessment of Sturgeon and schools by leading Scottish educationalist

    Just in case you were beginning to develop some self-confidence, Neil Mackay finds an expert to take you down a peg or two:

    There’s a real risk of Scottish exceptionalism – of thinking you’re greater than thou, holier than thou, better than thou”. The idea that Scotland once had the best education system in the world is “typical of the current Caledonian zeitgeist”…
    The same faulty sense of “self-belief” about standards of Scottish education holds true today as it did in the past.

    I was hoping for an article on this from Prof Robertson but no comment yet.

  58. scottish skier says:

    Sir Keir proposes England take a huge windfall tax from Scotland’s resources to subsidise itself.

    Also a good example of why devo max / FFA will never happen.

    Labour proposes windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas to reduce bills

    Party says measure could ease cost of living squeeze by reducing average household energy bill by £200

    2022 GERS figures will be interesting at current oil and gas prices!

    • Golfnut says:

      Looking forward to the explanation on how you can extract a ‘ windfall tax ‘ from a resource that is worth nothing. Scotland already subsidises England’s energy costs with massive connection charges and I’ve yet to see anything like a coherent explanation on a producer which is larger in geographical territory ( includes Scotland’s territorial waters ) than England gets just 8.7% of geographical share of oil and gas revenues but produced about 90% of UK production.

  59. Legerwood says:

    O/T slightly but it is a good read esp if you do not do Twitter where Alexandra Hall Hall’s tweet about why she resigned as a top diplomat has kicked up a storm

  60. Hamish100 says:

    I see Clegg ex record is on bbc scotchland with his luv in with Starmer. He seems to think that by appointed Brown to review the future political structure of the yooKay is a winner. Clegg attacks Milliband, Corbyn. Starmer is more sure footed… really? Sarwar moving forward

    Labour does not get it. A failed politician like Brown does not dictate to Scotland it’s future.

    It will be the Scottish people.

    Ps bbc 50%+ of Scots supported independence. Why do you give 80% of time to unionism and of that 60% to Labour?

  61. scottish skier says:

    But, but, but… bloggers with trusted ‘Tory contacts close to the No .10 chief of staff’ say we should believe these when they say that what the SNP really want is MacAskill’s devo max?

    SNP to equip activists with tools to bring undecided voters to Yes

    THE SNP is to equip activists with the messaging tools required to woo undecided voters to independence as it prepares to step up its push for independence in new Yes campaign.

    A programme of seminars on key issues relating to Scotland’s constitutional future will launch later this month with a new prospectus for independence likely to be published by the party later this year.


  62. Peter Campbell says:

    “The Tories would announce that the referendum result was merely “advisory” and kick it into the long grass with a royal commission which would then eventually deliver a report recommending something which it would insist on calling “devo max” but which had been eviscerated and watered down out of all recognition. This report would then in turn be watered down even further in committees in the Commons and in the Lords. Eventually a bill would be passed giving the Scottish Parliament the power to slightly alter the timing in the red-amber-green sequence of traffic lights and Westminster would triumphantly announce that devo max had been delivered.”

    Sounds a bit like The Smith Commission.

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