Trapped between a rock and a party place

We are now at the point where it would be easier for Boris Johnson, the leader of the Let’s have a party party, to list the days when there wasn’t a booze up in Downing Street, rather than grudgingly admitting when there was. It’s now clear that Johnson presides over a booze fueled Downing Street which takes its cue from his personal sense of entitlement and his deep seated belief that the rules do not apply to him. This is a government which is corrupt to its very core, which repeatedly trashes the rules, conventions, and customs which pass for a British constitution, and which seeks to neuter and by pass any of the weak and inadequate means which the Westminster system provides for holding the powerful to account.

It’s safe to say that it’s been a dismal week for the British establishment, the Andrew formerly known as Prince is to face a civil trial in the USA following allegations, which he continues to deny, that he sexually abused Virginia Giuffre, who as a teenager was forced to provide sex to the rich and powerful by his friends, the convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, and her boyfriend the paedophile and serial sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein.

In an effort to protect the reputation of the Windsor clan, Andrew Windsor has been stripped of his royal and military patronages and the HRH title that no one with even a five year old’s grasp of morality and ethics would ever use for this sleazy and disreputable individual anyway. Andrew, who continues to enjoy a lavish lifestyle despite having no obvious means of supporting it, can count on the protection offered by his mother’s wealth, money which ultimately comes from you and me, the taxpayers of the UK. That wealth will undoubtedly be used to allow him to buy his way out of the consequences that arise from his sleazebaggery while the British media force feeds us a nausea-fest of sycophancy as we are commanded to celebrate 70 years on the throne of the monarch that many in Scotland choose to refer to as Elizabeth the Last.

Protected as it is by the instinctive deference and obsequious toadying of the British media and establishment, the monarchy will no doubt survive this latest scandal, just as it is likely to survive the other scandals about the entitlement, bad behaviour and hypocrisy of other senior members of the family which are bubbling away beneath the surface but which the royals, aided and abetted by a supine press, are desperately trying to suppress.

However it’s the Conservatives, and particularly the Scottish Conservatives, who face a far greater threat to their survival. Faced with overwhelming evidence of Johnson’s repeated and habitual contempt for lock down rules, Scottish Conservative branch office manager Douglas Ross called on Johnson to resign, only to be slapped down by Johnson’s fellow old Etonian Jacob Rees Mogg, who dismissed Ross as a disloyal lightweight. In doing so, Rees Mogg gave Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tory MSPs who backed him a big helping of the same arrogant patrician contempt that the Westminster Conservatives regularly pour on Scotland, the other Scottish parties, the Scottish Government and Parliament, and the devolution settlement itself, to applause and cheering from those same Scottish Tories who now find themselves on the receiving end of it.

They deserve no sympathy, helpless obedience to Westminster is what they signed up for. They were happy to “back Boris” when he was winning them elections in England, they never cared that he and his British nationalist Brexit remain anathema to a substantial majority in Scotland. His entitlement and obvious unsuitability for high office was something they were happy to go along with, no matter what damage it did to Scotland and the rest of the UK. They only developed a “conscience” when Johnson’s repeated misbehaviour started to damage the electoral prospects of the Conservative party and even the useless Labour party of Keir Starmer started to develop a lead over the Tories in UK wide political polling. Their sudden discovery of morality is entirely self-interested.

The Scottish Tories are now in uncharted political waters. They have disavowed the Prime Minister whom they insist should rule over Scotland, and have very publicly declared that they believe the leader of their own party to be unfit for office. The Scottish Tories have made it known that the Prime Minister of the UK is not welcome at the conference in March of the most vehemently British nationalist political party in Scotland, which leaves them in the deeply uncomfortable position of having to argue that Scotland is best served by remaining under the control of a Westminster which allows such an evidently corrupt individual into the highest office, and which then has no effective means of holding him to account.

Ross and the Scottish Tories will be praying that the Sue Gray report will bring about Johnson’s resignation. Never before in British political history has a Prime Minister been forced to resign because of a report from a civil servant who is answerable to the Prime Minister who is judge and jury in any civil service investigation into the behaviour of the Prime Minister. It’s unlikely to happen this time either. Johnson has spent his entire life refusing to acknowledge the consequences of his behaviour, he’s not about to start now. His allies have already been briefing the press that the Gray report will not find that any laws have been broken, and he will do his utmost to cling on to power, He will try to brazen it out, aided by a Conservative party in England desperate to put this episode behind them.

This will put the Scottish Conservatives in an impossible position, not that Johnson and his cronies care. They will be the party of British nationalism in Scotland which wants the British Prime Minister to be sacked. They will have to try and defend the indefensible position that they want Scotland to remain under the governance of a man that they believe to be unfit for office and to have to explain why they want Scotland to remain powerless in a position which they themselves believe to be intolerable. Johnson might wriggle out of his current political problems but the Scottish Tories can’t wriggle out of theirs, they are trapped between a rock and a party place.

Update:  Many thanks for all the kind messages of support. My mother in law – who is fully vaccinated – has only experienced mild symptoms of covid, so it looks as though she will be OK.  It just shows how important it is to get vaccinated.

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140 comments on “Trapped between a rock and a party place

  1. Capella says:

    Not a single Scottish Tory was available to talk to Martin Geissler on Good Morning Scotland today. He was forced to speak to former Tory MSP and republican at large, Prof Adam Tompkins. Prof Tompkins spun a garbled fable of how the Scottish Tories should become independent of Westminster, because their leader there is unfit for office, yet still somehow represent Scottish constituencies in Westminster – not like the Northern Irish Ulster Unionists – no more like ummmm errrr something else.
    I hope that’s clear.

    • grizebard says:

      …as mud. I haven’t a clue what he is trying to achieve, except that he is caught in a classic “cake-ist” dilemma that even his cleverness apparently can’t resolve. Maybe he should have a chat with Federal Brood. Two lost souls who just can’t keep up.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Will there be a Ruthtervention attempting to clear this up?

      Anyone feeling sorry for Dross? No, thought not.

  2. Dr Jim says:

    And it’s all not Nicola Sturgeons fault

    At least that’s something new ………well for today, tomorrow? eagh ?

  3. Aye, an excellent summation. It really is some pickle that the North British Tories are in. As I’ve noted before, we have a battle going on between the British Tories (reluctant British devolutionists and remainers) and the English Tories (greater Englandshirers / English nationalists and leavers).

    While Douglas Ross probably ticked Scottish and British in the census and voted Remain, Mogg likely just ticked English, voted leave and sees Scotland as an English possession. The Tory party is badly split along these lines, and the worse brexit gets / the more devolution – therefore the North British Tories – is undermined, the greater the hostility.

    I struggle to believe that Ross and Davidson are acting alone though. Nope, this must be part of a coordinated effort with the British remainer Tory wing in England, who have a leadership candidate in mind. We could see a civil war break out in the Tories over brexit. Again. This is the one thing that has always divided them and it’s not settled.

    In this war, the SNP, somewhat ironically, should take the side of the British Tories, and try to help take down Bozo. Anything that provokes the English nats is a good thing IMO.

    • grizebard says:

      I think it would be interesting to see inside the head of DRoss or any of his co-MPs after Moggy’s dismissive put-down, if they had even a glimmer that the derision for other Scottish MPs they have always happily shared with their English colleagues might also have implicitly included themselves. But self-denigration is nothing new – recall Ruth Davidson’s humiliating abasement of Scots at a Tory party conference a few years back just to beg for acceptance, so maybe nothing has changed. Your long-standing point is surely right that the worst victims of Unionism are Unionist Scots like DRoss, those who still believe in it yet are most cheated by it.

      “This [Brexit] is the one thing that has always divided them and it’s not settled.” Interesting observation, which has some truth in it, since it is a struggle that has been going on since John Major’s time at least. And there is no doubt that it has wrought a serious lasting rift in the party. But party “civil war”? – hardly. More like mutual loathing. But Brexit is an irreversible done deal for the UK that Labour and the LibDems have themselves fully accepted, and since 2019 the English Tories are in the grip of a significant majority of Brexiteer MPs, so the fact they are so paranoid and nervous is probably because even they have a nagging sinking feeling that the wheels are slowly coming off their electoral panjandrum, not merely because of BoJo’s offensive recklessness in steering it, but also because its road ahead is strewn with inconvenient facts.

    • Fair enough on ‘civil war’ being a bit of an embellishment :-), but brexit isn’t over, it has only just begun. The problem faced is that it’s not the settled will of the people, but increasingly regretted. Regret can only grow as the damage grows, which it will. Much of the red tape has even been put in place yet. For now the English parties are all backing it because they obsessed by populism, but when Brexit ceases to be remotely popular, what then?

      This is why I have highlighted the need for Yes to also be the settled will when it comes, as that’s the key to its success. Hence my continuous focus on ‘baseline Yes’, which is now at the ~50% mark after a decade.

      I still think England will re-join the EEA in some tail between the legs way having finally lost Britain.

  4. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Surely DRoss’s position as leader of branch office would be untenable or rather if he had any principles he himself would resign ( as he supposedly did (didn’t) for Cummings incident) should Boris Johnson survive and thus remain as PM and leader of Tory HQ…….or has the spin already been created if that very situation does indeed unfold.

    If Boris J does go then the London Toxic Tories at HQ and the Scottish (in name only) Tory branch office are still in a precarious and hypocritical position as most of the Tory candidates being presented as prospective new leaders of Tory HQ have all been seen to hide behind Civil Servant Sue Gray’s ” wait until report published” party line just now….thus deliberately denying what many of us see as an open and shut case as to Boris J’s culpability in this charade over PartyGate.

    It may need to be ‘Operation hand over’ by the Tories to the subservient Tory hand maidens aka Labour come next Indy Ref to finally seal the deal on their, Labour’s, total obliteration in Scottish politics…….though post Indy ref. result Labour may find Scotland and it’s politics may be a distinctly different world in a Independent Scotland to that of their current favoured option via the UK aka the (non) Union…and they then get to decide whether to remain as a party here in Scotland or flee to join their masters at HQ….as to the Lib Dems and the Tories well no bets on where they may consider is the best option for THEM politically, as in country, post Scottish Independence..

    Funny how some of the dodgy media seem more focused and concerned on what options there could be for Randy Andy and also the impact and effect all of this scandal may have on both him and the Queen over the REAL impact and effect upon the actual REAL victim(s) and her family……

    Just as they are similarly so very focused on Boris Johnson’s chances of survival as PM via current scandal #PartyGate and also the potential impact and subsequent effect it may have on both him and his political party over the REAL victims and the REAL impact and effect upon the thousands of victims of Covid and their families……how very British of them all.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Surely DRoss’s position as leader of branch office would be untenable or rather if he had any principles he himself would resign ( as he supposedly did (didn’t) for Cummings incident) ” –
      I believe you may be mixing up your two-faced Scottish Conservatives there, the one who resigned “on principle” to multiple choruses of “For he’s a jolly good fellow and you should vote for him” from the massed choirs of the BBC in Scotland, was none other than the “out of his depth in a puddle” Sub Lt Andrew Bowie RN failed but proud of it.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Hi Bob

        It was reported in May 2020 Junior minister from the Scottish Office, Douglas Ross , has resigned after Dominic Cummings’ defence of his trip to County Durham during the coronavirus lockdown……..

        James O’Brien actually stated on Twitter something like ” at last a Tory with principles”… if…..not long after Jackson Carlaw stood down as leader and DRoss got leader’s job of the Scottish Tories…uncontested…almost as if it was all planned…and that his resignation was a sham ….which it was obvs….like his current position.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          Oops sorry Bob meant to say as in add onto my above response to you that you were right about Andrew Bowie as he too did resign months after DRoss i.e. Bowie resigned in Nov 2021 when he quit as a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, saying he wanted to focus on his constituency.

          The move came after a week of much turmoil at Westminster over the government’s handling of a row over MPs having second jobs.

          But Bowie – one of a number of Tory vice-chairs – said he had been considering his position for months.

          He said he would remain in the post until a successor is found.

          Also when DRoss WAS a junior Minister at Scottish office before he resigned because of Cummngs supposedly but not really…I remember at Scottish Questions in HOC once when he was sitting on the front bench behind the despatch box….looking all important…he even got to answer some MP’s questions……well that position didn’t last long did it…..convenient though that Jackson Carlaw ( after six weeks as leader) decided to ‘stand down’ as Tory leader in Scotland…..he was pushed deffo….and DRoss slotted in….well that was a mistake was it not thinking DRoss would improve SNOT’s fortunes in Scotland.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Ah, quite forgot about that.
            I frankly believe neither has an ounce of principle and all is carefully choreographed posturing, much as this latest “spat”.
            Tory support is crumbling in Scotland and they are getting desperate.

  5. Jim McLean says:

    Andrew’s surname is Mountbatten-Windsor

  6. Welsh_Siôn says:

    From today’s Observer.

    Scotland’s a conservative country. But Scottish Tories are held back by London HQ
    Neal Ascherson

    As support for the union wanes, the party north of the border is at odds with its southern peers

    Scottish Tories standing up and reviling their English leader? The gundog snarling and refusing to go fetch the rabbit? Astonishment at this sudden outburst of rage against Boris Johnson is understandable.

    At Holyrood and Westminster, Scottish Conservatives have been notorious for dumbly following their party bosses. But now they want Boris out. Douglas Ross, the Scottish leader, demands it. So, her face clenched with fury, does Ruth Davidson, a predecessor. So do almost all the 31 Tory MSPs in Edinburgh and most of the six MPs at Westminster. And – something unheard of – a prime minister has been refused leave to speak at his own party’s Scottish conference.


    • Bob Lamont says:

      Priceless nonsense from Neil Ascherson as Prof John Robertson elucidates

    • rongorongo says:

      I don’t agree at all with Ascherson’s premise about Scotland being a “Conservative country” – but he does say something interesting about the way that the notion of the unionism it promotes: originally it was all about unionism between Britain and Northern Ireland – nothing to do with the Scotland England 1707 act. I wonder how many in Westminster government – or amongst recent conservative voters – are aware of that?

      These days the Scottish Conservatives seem to be supported mainly by those who are anti-independence. However, the party has been getting pulled along behind a government with and an English nationalist agenda, fixation with Brexit and under the leadership of a locally unpopular toxic buffoon: none of which are going to be big vote winners even amongst traditional Tory voters in Scotland.

      Right now, with terrible polling and a poor prognosis for the prospect of winning an IndyRef2 – and also with so many MSPs and MPs publicly declaring against Johnson – I don’t find it impossible the Scottish Conservatives could go their own way as a party. A sort of Scottish DUP. That would allow them to distance themselves from Johnson and his cabinet – and it would also better prepare them to operate in the parliament of an independent Scotland. Their manifesto might still push British unionism – but maybe not as their defining feature

    • Both WoS and Alba have tried strategies aimed at targeting imagined conservatism in Scottish voters without success.

      Scotland just isn’t conservative, it’s very middle of the road, both economically and socially. Just left of centre on average based on historic voting patterns, and just into the liberal side too on that scale, much like its most popular political party, unsurprisingly.

      And by that I mean the actual middle, not the ‘UK middle’ which the British media talk about and is quite well to the economic right & authoritarian.

  7. Lib Dems have tabled a motion of no confidence in Johnson.

    It would be interesting to know if ‘real independence supporters’ think the SNP should vote to say they have confidence in Bozo? Just think of the headlines! ‘Sturgeon saves Boris!’ ‘SNP back Brexit Bozo!’.

    Alex? You thought the SNP should try to keep him in office right? If you were still an MP, would you vote to declare your confidence in him, possibly helping save the gammon, sorry, his bacon?

    Aye, ‘real indy supporters’ back a vote of no confidence in Sturgeon and a vote of confidence in Johnson. It really does make me smile the how amateur those we are up against are.

    Slight divergence, but really worth a read and related to the above and the previous article:

    Digging into the real-world impact of disinformation and conspiracy in Scotland

    But disinformation is no joke. In fact, SNP defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald says: “We don’t take it seriously enough.”

    Disinformation (a deliberate lie) and its close ­cousin misinformation (an accidental one) are ­ubiquitous in Scottish politics, feeding into a whirlwind of conspiracies affecting everyone across the political spectrum.

    Far from being confined to obscure online ­forums, these have begun to have real-world impacts…

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Plaid Cymru are supporting this vote of no confidence – a party not campaigning for Welsh independence, obviously .. 😉

      Any questions Albanistas?

      Plaid MPs back Lib Dem motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson

      16 Jan 2022 3 minute Read

      Two Plaid Cymru MPs have added their support to a motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson, tabled by the Liberal Democrats.

      Liz Saville Roberts and Hywel Williams have backed the motion along with all 13 Liberal Democrat MPs, Paula Barker and Mick Whitley from Labour and Stephen Garry from the Alliance Party.

      Together they are calling on Conservative MPs to vote for the motion in order to force the prime minister to step down.

      The motion reads “That this House has no confidence in the Prime Minister because he has broken the Covid lockdown laws his Government introduced, misled both Parliament and the public about it, and disastrously undermined public confidence in the midst of a pandemic.”


      As many will be aware Liz is a good friend of the SNP – Why, I’ve even shared a table with her at a Burns Night Supper in London before today. 🙂

      • Capella says:

        The Tories have a 77 majority. I don’t see any way they will support a no confidence motion from the Lib Dems. It will be down to the 1922 committee to trigger a leadership contest and they’ll only do that if it looks like BJ is no longer an election winner. This warm weekend in the shires may have convinced them of that 🙂

        Just listening to the Westminster hour on R4. A very uncomfortable Andrew Bowie putting on a brave face but not defending Johnston. Sounds as though Johnston is toast in spite of all his “Red Meat” policies.
        It’s veganuary!

    • Yes, I don’t see this amounting to anything, but I thought it perfectly highlighted the idiotic idea that the SNP should somehow try to keep Bozo in No .10, and what this would mean in practice.

      To do this in the case of a VoNC, they’d either need to vote to say they have confidence in him, or opt for the utterly pathetic Labour option of abstaining, which would show everyone they wanted Johnson in office but were too chickenpoo to admit it.

      Of course if you are not an MP anymore, it’s easy to make silly suggestions out of self-interest rather than the national interest.

      Anyway, I guess the AUOB ‘get rid of Boris’ march will be one which certain ‘real indy supporters’ won’t be trying to convince us they religiously attended as a mark of their realness. 😉

  8. James Mills says:

    The Scottish Tories ( MSPs and MPs ) may be agin’ Boris but they are trumped by the Scottish Secretary , Alister Jack -according to another Tory Toff , Jacob Rees-Mogg .

    Clearly a privately educated toff like Alister carries far more weight than a ”lightweight ” minor , state-educated , party branch chairman such as Murray Ross ( or Douglas Ross as some appear to call him ) and his assorted clutch of failed sailors ( sub Lt Bowie ) , failed MPs ( Stephen Kerr ) and failed human beings ( Murdo Fraser ) .

    It will be interesting to see how Murray Ross is viewed at Westminster – if he can fit in a visit with his busy schedule as an assistant referee, media personality ( without the personality ) and part-time MSP – and soon to be full-time supporter of Truthie Davidson as she makes her bid for the top job – well , the Queen won’t live forever !

    Will Ross be welcomed by his fellow Tory MPs in the time-honoured fashion during this pandemic with a drinks party at No 10 – but without Boris knowing what is going on under his roof ?

    Or , more likely , will Sue Gray find that he and Nicola Sturgeon were the sole persons culpable in this obvious plot by the SNP to discredit the greatest PM this country has seen since a new drinks’ cabinet was installed in Downing Street .

    Watch this space .

  9. Capella says:

    Now that Nadine Dorries has threatened to defund the BBC we may find that the corporation swings behind Labour from now till the next Westminster election. After all, what can Keir Starmer offer?

  10. Capella says:

    Interesting twitter thread from Richard Murphy on the state of the Tories.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Noises coming out of Westminster are that the so called Scottish Tory MSPs may not be given the chance to decide whether to become separate or not, there are murmurs that they could be cut loose altogether to be replaced solely by guess what? Sec of State Alister Jack and *a team*

      How that would work is anybody’s guess, Viceroy? Chancellor? Ambassador? Governor General?
      Dictator in Chief? How do they invent a voting system to rig that deal?

      • Golfnut says:

        How do they rig the voting sytem? They don’t they make him a peer, maybe Lord Dunlop would fancy the job though they necessarily have to appoint a Scot. Basically there would be no elected Tory MPs representing the uk gov in Scotland but they would pick up a salary paid for by Scotland. On to a winner with this.

      • davetewart says:

        Since the majority of the MSPs are ‘Listers’, they could just swap them for more johnsonities.

      • Any source for this Jim?

        It’s just it would be wonderful news if true, i.e. somehow Scots Tory MSPs were ‘cast out’ from the English Tories, who attempt to usurp them in a way such as you say.

        It would be the natural culmination for ‘muscular unionism’ within the Tory party itself, and set the actual ‘Scottish’ (and British) Tories on a path to independence.

  11. Capella says:

    The National reports on a successful bidding round for off shore wind farms. Now that the Crown Estate income goes straight to the Scottish Government instead of Westminster the funds can be used for our benefit.
    ScotWind: Big day for renewables as wind auction results are revealed

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today was a big day, tweeting: “Crown Estates Scotland will confirm the outcome of the ScotWind auction. It holds massive opportunities for our renewable energy capacity and transition to net zero, and for our economy.”…
    The auction could net the Scottish Government as much as £860 million.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Witness the comparison with Cymru where Crown Estate income is STILL sent to Westminster – and the Tory Minister for Western Colonies call this ‘fair’ and Really-Smug considers that this is a ‘union of equals.’

      I think not.

      (Readers will have signed the petition to get CE monies invested in Wales and we thank you for that.)

      • Capella says:

        Certainly did WS 🙂
        Side note – before Westminster transferred the Crown Estate revenue to Holyrood, they sold off a big shopping development Kinnaird Fort, which represented the biggest revenue stream, and transferred the proceeds to build a similar development in Cheltenham.

        Andy Wightman posted the detail in his series of articles on the Crown Estate

        Always count the spoons before they leave!

        • grizebard says:

          Yes, another salient example of the “Union Dividend”, the only divi in the whole world that’s negative.

          Just imagine that England tried to surcharge France for supplying it with the electricity that it can’t provide for itself, yet that’s exactly what it does to us.

          • davetewart says:

            The DC link from Norway into Hull is not charged any connection to grid charge I’m told.

            • Bob Lamont says:

              Hardly surprising really Dave, but I do wonder if the original Norway-Peterhead link they gazumped had the same arrangement, do you happen to know ?

              It also piqued my curiosity whether the east and west (under construction) coast HVDC lines have grid connection charges applied ?

              • davetewart says:

                Peterhrad had the grid charge applied.
                The Hunterston station I’ll try to find out.
                Norway got £1.9billion from the oil companies last year, westmonster gave the a tax holiday.
                They are taking the oil and gas at discount rates and selling to us at the market rates, go figure.

  12. Capella says:

    Abbi Garton-Crosbie in The National doesn’t think a Johnston resignation will save the Union.
    Boris Johnson’s resignation won’t ‘save the Union’

    Tory peer Lord Dunlop has suggested that keeping the Union together requires a leadership quality that the PM doesn’t possess.

    But Johnson is indicative of what the Tory party has become, populist and leaning further to the right, and many of those waiting in the wings to start their own leadership bid, like Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, will bring nothing new to the table.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      The view in Cymru:

      Boris Johnson should resign to save the union, a Tory grandee has suggested.

      Lord Dunlop, who authored a UK Government report on devolution, argued that the “shambolic” UK Prime Minister’s “authority” has been “weakened” by reports of boozy lockdown parties being held in Downing Street.

      He suggested that Johnson does not have the necessary skills to work effectively with the devolved governments to make devolution work.

      The intervention by Dunlop, who played a central role in the UK Government’s efforts to prevent Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum, comes after Jacob Rees-Mogg branded the Scottish Conservative leader, Douglas Ross, “lightweight” for calling for Jonson to resign.

      It also follows the Eton-educated politician being unable to name the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, when he was asked if he could do so by a Labour MP.


  13. Hamish100 says:

    All of Scotland’s resources, sea, land air should be nationally owned when independent then we can decided how it is managed — at a price

  14. Capella says:

    Meant to post this yesterday which was the 315th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Union on 16th January 1707.
    Hamish MacPherson in The National says:

    It is very instructive for anyone who believes in Scotland regaining its independence to look at what happened in the days and weeks leading up to the final vote, and to learn about what happened on that fateful day. For it is in that history that I believe Scotland may have a method of exiting this current absurd union…

    It is axiomatic that the Union was achieved through methods we would not consider democratic. Universal suffrage was more than two centuries away, and both Parliaments were simply not representative of the peoples of Scotland and England.

  15. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Remember one of the ‘contenders’ noted as possible Tory leader is Rishi Sunak

    The same one who it was reported …..

    Who “pushed” officials to find alternative ways to help a financial services firm David Cameron was lobbying for, text messages released by the chancellor reveal.

    Had been granted planning permission for a swimming pool, gym and tennis court at his North Yorkshire home.

    Wife is a billionaire yet she claimed up to £100,000 taxpayer’s cash to pay furloughed staff at her gym business.

    Where fraudsters stole 6.5 billion from taxpayers in Covid support but Rishi Sunak said the government was set to only recover ‘£1bn to £2bn’ of the public’s cash that was lost to fraud from that fraudulent Covid support

    The same Rishi Sunak who insisted that the £20 Universal credit uplift being removed was because it was always considered to be “temporary”.

    Whose scheme ‘Eat out to help out’ was determined to have generated between 8% and 17% of newly detected infection clusters linked to the scheme. According to the University of Warwick, the sharp increase in COVID-19 infection clusters emerged a week after the scheme began.

    Announced tax cuts on banks in his budget to keep the city (London) competitive BUT in same budget he announced an increase in NI contributions from this April where many low-paid workers will be hit by this increase in National Insurance from 12% to 13.25%, which will affect employees earning more than £9,564 a year.

    Who it was reported was “proud” to have backed Brexit, in spite of warnings before the 2016 referendum it could end his political career and insisted that despite “challenges”, Brexit would foster a “culture of enterprise” and help the UK adapt to the modern world.

    Above is not an exhaustive list on his failings…..but reinforces the point that tis not only Boris Johnson that is the current problem….where for many of us in Scotland we see the problem being not just with the Tory party alone but indeed with ALL Unionist political parties….as in all those who deny us the right to decide our future, expect us to accept a UK Govt we , via a majority, did not vote for but must be controlled by and obey , who constantly ignore us, patronise us with platitudes , at times demean us and our country’s contribution to THEIR UK and also disregard our votes against damaging policies such as Brexit…a Tory Brexit policy which all Unionists parties now seem to accept and where some previous supposed remaining supporting parties have stopped fighting against it because it was supposedly “democratically ” won via a majority vote…by who though ?

    Perhaps some others on here could research the ‘other’ great Tory candidate hopefuls who are also being touted as potential candidates for the leadership of the Tory party…a party soon to be reborn again and to be reinvented as the new different kind of Tory party while simultanously obliterating all the past damage, corruption and immoral actions voted for and supported by the SAME Tory MP’s and ministers we have currently (not forgetting the now supposed former uber HQ fans i.e. Tory MSP’s) ……the same party together with all other Unionists parties that will fight against Scotland being independent and promoting the ridiculous ,empty and devoid of reality propaganda that somehow THEY and THEIR Union is the best option for us here in Scotland……past and recent history contradicts that and presents it as but a myth generated by them to serve only them and THEIR UK (England) but most definitely NOT ever to serve us here in Scotland.

    Independence is THE only option best for Scotland….

  16. Dear dear.

    • grizebard says:

      Are these Scottish figures? Or are we all being lumped together as good UK citizens again?

      Frankly, I don’t give a damn what the English think of BoJo, that’s their business, all I care about is how his premiership is affecting the swell of opinion here towards independence. One could easily argue that the best way of assisting would be an increasingly visible divergence of opinion on that matter between the two countries, not increasing consensus. After all, that divergence in general is what is evidently driving the tectonic rise of support for independence you keep mentioning.

    • Sorry, should have said. It’s a UK poll.

      Figures for the Scotland subsample are:
      16% Should remain as leader
      79% Should resign

      • grizebard says:

        Interesting, thanks. So while there is a deal of shared majority public dissatisfaction, there is some divergence as well.

        16% is likely not even all Tories (fervent anti-vaxxers? {grin}), so it represents a plummet baseline that might well give DRoss and Co cause to worry. Oh dear…

    • I might add that, based on those Scottish figures, anyone suggesting the SNP should try to help Bozo stay in power somehow clearly could not be more out of touch with the Scottish electorate. It’s only a rump of Tories backing him.

      Would make you wonder if they even lived in Scotland.

      • grizebard says:

        With the current Tory majority in the HoC, the only way that BoJo can be made to go is if enough Tory MPs turn against him. Nobody else gets a shout. Many of the Remainer Tories have already been culled from the parliamentary contingent, and the current lot is still weighing-up Ben Franklin’s old adage about “hanging together or hanging separately”, electorally speaking.

        So the SNP can easily take a principled stance on BoJo’s abysmal and dangerous leadership, and that might have a useful effect on public opinion here at home, but the SNP sojourners in London very likely won’t actually have any opportunity to do anything about the issue in practice.

        So fundamentally the SNP view on BoJo’s tenure is political posturing for public consumption, and nothing to get all worked up about either way.

  17. Hamish100 says:

    Sc Skier,
    I see you are upsetting people. You are referred to as a “Mad Irish liar Skier thinks that Alba are a bunch of amateurs” in one post.
    I thought racial profiling was against the law?
    I remember the old jokes from ( northern ) English clubs. There was an Irishman, Scotsman and Welshman- I know mysoginist too.

    I do hope other blogs up their game to promote independence.

  18. Excellent news for the Emerald Isle. Really shows how being outside the British Trump wall partly or wholly give a real economic boost.

    Upon indy, our own economy would rapidly reorientate towards Europe. A hard border at Gretna should increase our exports to England too, as is happening with Ireland.

    Building a trade wall limits your exports while making you more dependent on imports. And you pay through the nose to build and run the wall.

    But less furriners etc, if you don’t like their sort.

    Imports from Britain slump in 2021 as trade with Northern Ireland booms – CSO report

    Goods imports from mainland Britain fell by almost a fifth in the first 11 months of last year, compared to 2020, as imports from Northern Ireland surged by over two-thirds.

    The surge in exports to Northern Ireland was driven largely by an increase in food and live animal sales, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

    The data confirm how trade patterns have shifted since the EU-UK trade deal came into force in January 2021, confirming recent research from the Economic and Social Research Institute.

    Hauliers and Dublin Port officials have also reported an increase in goods coming into the country via Northern Irish ports because of less onerous customs rules there.

    Despite the fall in imports from England, Scotland and Wales, exports of Irish goods to Britain were up 16pc from January to November last year.

    Exports to Northern Ireland surged by almost half, although from a much lower level.

    • grizebard says:

      Excellent news for the Emerald Isle. Really shows how being outside the British Trump wall partly or wholly give a real economic boost.

      My reaction also. Steady Irish re-orientation away from short-straw UK dependence towards equal-status EU/eurozone membership is doing the country a very visible steadily-increasing power of good, and is an excellent real-life example for convincing doubters here of the similar benefits that would accrue from independence after a relatively-short adjustment period.

    • Aye, Ireland is a great example right on our doorstep. But it’s not just Ireland having a Brexit boom.

      UK exports to EU may drop by another 8 per cent as Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Greece benefit from Brexit

      Brexit could reduce the UK’s exports to the EU by -7.73 per cent by 2025, according to new analysis shared with City A.M. this morning.

      This is largely because smaller EU countries are benefitting from Britain’s departure from the European Union, according to the report by City broker IG Group, which evaluated export data to determine the impact of Brexit on international trade and to show areas of potential growth.

      The top three countries that benefitted from Brexit were Finland, Luxembourg, and Portugal.
      Other countries that benefited from the vacuum left by the UK after Brexit included Ireland, Croatia, Greece, Lithuania, and Cyprus. The highest proportional increases occur in locations where trade was smaller to begin with, the firm found.

      • grizebard says:

        Also interesting, but much less convincing to our native indy-hesitant than an example of a nearby and similar country emerging successfully “out from under” England’s shadow. Which is exactly the path we would also be treading post-indy. An exemplary case study with a direct carry-over to our situation.

  19. dakk says:

    Yes, britain will have to be seen to be failing financially before some Scots will give it up.

    The british have exposed their soft underbelly.

    • grizebard says:

      Probably true, but thankfully we won’t have to wait for them. It’s just those much nearer their tipping point that we need. And the Irish example gives them the necessary encouragement. Hence its particular importance.

  20. dakk says:

    How it will be ‘ripped out’ is the issue.

  21. Capella says:


  22. yesindyref2 says:

    Interesting up-thread to see the discussion of “Scotland’s a conservative country. But Scottish Tories are held back by London HQ” by Neal Ascherson – and its rebuttal by John Robertson.

    It’s a theme I’ve been taking more seriously recently – that people often read what they expect to read, rather than what is actually in an article. Which of course, for a newspaper desperate for readers, is the whole point of a headline.

    An example would be the imaginary headline “Boris Johnson stuffs himself” which might attract a lot of interest until it turned out that he’d eaten all the cake.

    The normal non-political meaning of the word conservative (small c as both Ascherson and Robertson use), is: “averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values” and that in itself is definitely true for a lot of Scots, perhaps the majority and perhaps a large majority at that.

    Ascherson describes this here: “The tantalising fact is that Scotland is in many ways a “conservative” – with a small c – society. The SNP’s faith that the Scots are naturally social-democratic is questioned by widespread values that are often repressive rather than liberal. “Who d’ye think you are – the queen of Sheba?” In an independent Scotland, or at least as an independent organisation cut loose from London, a centre-right conservative party could expect a very healthy future.

    I’d not put it that way, I’d say that the word “progressive” used by the SNP, Greens and Labour at times, really doesn’t impress Scots a lot. Resistance to change means “How will it affect me?” – and that was a big problem in Indy Ref 1 – same as in centuries of Scottish history.

    Back to the Tories and political parties, what he says about a centre-right party is quite possibly true – and something that will be giving the Scottish Conservatives pause for thought, even including Tomkins as a bit of a bellwether. For a little flavour of what could happen – see the large swing away from the SNP and towards the Conservatives in 2017, with Labour gaining just a little,

    And that is indeed, fertile ground for Indy Ref 2.

    • Capella says:

      Was it not the case that voters didn’t swing away from SNP to Tory but that many SNP voters just didn’t vote for some reason e.g. that there was no mention of an independence referendum in the manifesto so people sat tight?

      I would be wary of accepting the label “conservative” even with a small c. Being preserved in aspic inside a suffocating union could just as easily explain any perceived lack of innovation. Indeed it has explained it in many situations. It isn’t a character fault, it’s a political reality which we can change.

    • I’m a ‘conservative’, Yesindyref2.
      At the moment I am conserving electricity and gas since my ‘provider’ Scottish Power is demanding another £70 a month.
      Comparison sites are working in tandem. My fuel bill is to double.

      I am conserving my weekly food bill by buying less since Brexit has bumped up fresh food by 3% in January alone, and my overall shop has increased by 50% in the first year of Taking Back Control.

      I am conserving what little money I have each week since Douglas Ross and Alister Jack broke the triple lock Tory Manifesto commitment, and I am to receive a 3.1% Price Index ‘increase’ this year, not the rate of inflation, 7%, or the wage rises average. My State pension is to reduce by 3.9%…

      I am conserving my passport in the dresser drawer, because despite 62%, all 32 Scottish LA constituencies, voting to Remain in the EU, and the SNP January 2017 Paper, Scotland in Europe, which proposed that we adopt an ‘Norway style’ FTA post Brexit being tossed into David Davis bin the minute it hit his desk, I refuse to accept that I am being held under House Arrest by England, and my freedom of movement through 27 countries in my continent Europe has not been conserved by Priti Patel and her English Homeland Border ‘Force’.

      I conserve my right to attend rallies, call out the cant, hypocrisy, lies, and corruption, of the Scottish Unionist collaborators, who act as a buffer to protect the status quo, in politics, the media, religion, and Establishment Institutions, like Higher Education, Finance, industry, aquaculture, agiculture,the Robber Barons whos slaughtered our kin and still hold the land they took by force, , and Filthy Rich Folk, a Brit Jock elite, holding our country fast as a militarily occupied conquest of the English Empire.
      I demand that we conserve the dignity and rights of all Scotland’s citizens, their health, welfare, income, housing, and fuel and a roof over their heads.
      No foodbanks, no humiliating Third Sector Begging bowl charities.

      I tire of the pointless ‘discussions’ over semantics.

      I am taking my country back. I am millions.
      I don’t give a fuck about the future of the Jock Tories, of whichever hue; red blue, or vomit yellow.
      May they rot in political hell.
      They are the cancer.

    • Of course Scotland has some more conservative voters; to be just left of centre social democratic and moderate liberal means you need say 55% left / 45% right and similar for liberal / authoritarian.

      Overall though, Scotland doesn’t vote in a conservative way, but votes for progressive change, and quite radical change at times, from pro-EEC/EU with full free movement (1975, 2016), to backing devo in majority (1979) then epically in 1997. Likewise in less than a decade of devo, electing a pro-indy government, first in minority, then consistent majority. And that’s been with the conservative British unionist press trying everything to stop this.

      A steady pace of change most of the time, rather than say fast/radical, but interspersed with pretty radical votes. Overall, definitely looking / moving forward, taking big steps into the unknown rather than holding onto the past ‘conservatively’.

      As I noted, Wings and Alba have definitely tried to seek out a social conservatism in Yes voters to find this was not there. It’s present in Scotland, but our conservatives are pro-union, more anti-EU, and less socially liberal (historically more opposed to same sex rights, GRA reform etc), conservative as such views are.

      • SS, we Scots citizens live on one of the most resource rich pieces of real estate on the planet, yet we have food banks, 18% of our land mass laid waste to gorse land so that the rich and Lairds and the queen and her spongers can shoot animals for sadistic pleasure, while our population of 5.4 million is herded into tight conurbations, cramped and suffocating because a few hundred of the Elite ‘own’ 4.5ths of the available land.

        We are powerless, not by choice, but by force, subjugated to deliberate penury privation and decline, by a Jock Elite, who hold the nation fast on behalf of the English Overlord.

        In a land mass similar to England with its 57 million souls clambering over each other to breathe, we Scots, 5.4 million of us, are expected to let this obscenity continue, because the Lords and the Rich can afford better lawyers.
        By ‘English’ I mean the Anglo counterparts to the Scottish Privileged set, not Eric Hardcastle, Blackburn plumber.

        There is a Great Divide between Oi Polloi and the Elite. England has never ‘won’ the class war.
        It is a lost land. Leaving the EU was the biggest mistake they have ever allowed.
        Merrie England is now returned to Victorian Times..

        We Up Here have our fair share of right wing Brit conservatives..about 25%, say, who don’t mind being at the top of the pile, while 1 million Scots live in London engineered ‘austerity’, and poverty.

        The Few go to church and incant the ‘there but for the grace of god’ mantra, while their religious clerics pass ’round the collection plate.
        They are made in the image of their god. One of the ‘professional’ class, Rotary, Lions, Masons, Knights, golf club, rugby club, tennis club diehards.
        That’s the ‘conservatives in Scotland.
        Johnson, by any civilised measure, is an evil, corrupt individual, who has no respect for society or morality.
        Yet he is PM of England and can defile the nation at will?

        We are on the brink of revolution.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Sure, we’re the ones who aren’t small c conservative, we’re prepared and willing to change. We don’t need persuading.

      Currently around 50% want to change, and 50% don’t. It doesn’t mean they’re deliriously happy with the status quo. They do need persuading.

      Kind of like a job really, where the management is shit, the toilets are only cleaned once a week, the food is rancid, if you bring your own you have to eat it out in the street, the building is damp, the owner lives in the Cayman Islands and doesn’t care, if you’re 1 minute late you’re fined 2 hours so you have to take the bus or train an hour earlier because the best one is 15 mins late 5% of the time, But hey, that gives you time to get a bacon roll and coffee and it pays the bills, ain’t life great? No no, I’m not going to apply for that better job just in case it’s WORSE.

      Well, we were offski, but the conservative small c 50% aren’t prepared to take a chance take a chance.

      • There you go again, Indyref 2, selling the nonsense that it is I who am obliged to debase myself by begging to ‘persuade’ others to see the light.

        You regularly peddle the ‘50% still say No’ meme..If Scots citizens vote to starve, freeze, see their children poorer than they are and are content to be held fast behind a barbed wire fence erected by a foreign government, banned from roaming freely throughout the lands of their own continent, and exult in bowing and scraping, cow towing, forelock tugging and doffing their caps at queens lairds and the filthy rich, hell slap it up them, as my Belfast lady would say.
        They are brainwashed beyond redemption, IMHO.
        If we are indeed in dead lock, then civil war it is.?

        Check out the question mark.

        Again, you lay the onus on me to persuade fools who would rather be slaves and prisoners of a foreign power.?
        When the Middle starts to starve, go without, feel imprisoned, they shall need no persuading.

        If they are happy to be servile lap dogs for the rest of their lives, and the lives of their children and their children, I couldn’t give a toss.

        That any Scot can declare in public that an English Government will forbid my right to self determination is treasonable in my eyes.
        So enough of your not so subtle 50-50 Scotland divided loop.
        It has gone too far. The Union is dead.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Unlike you Jack, I want Indy Ref 2 to give a majority for YES, rather than play the angry victim for the rest of my days. Which I hope are long and Independent.

          And I campaign for it, rather than splutter foam.

          • My anger is righteous, my foam effulgent.
            I am no ‘victim’ I am a freeman of Scotland.
            I bow to no man or woman.
            I am millions.

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Unfortunately, 1.6 millions voting YES but 2 millions voting NO didn’t cut the mustard in 2014, nor would it in 2023.

              I want to be a happy winner, not an angry loser.

              • yesindyref2 says:

                Jack, all you have to do is stop making silly and insulting replies to my comments, as in the nonsensical and aggressive “There you go again, Indyref 2”.

                Whenever I comment on this blog, you attack me personally…

                I’m completely happy to leave you totally alone to your “righteous” and unproductive anger. Please do the same.

  23. Capella says:

    From The National – David Linden accuses the Tories of failing to tackle the cost of living crisis.

    The findings were revealed in the annual Joseph Rowntree Foundation report, which predicts the rise of energy costs from April.

    “Under Boris Johnson, the UK has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north-west Europe, and in-work poverty is at record levels this century,” Linden continued.

    Elsewhere, while the HoL eviscerates the Police Bill, the HoC passes the vote suppressing Elections Bill, a “brazen attack on democracy”.

    Not only will this bill allow the Government to disenfranchise vulnerable groups to tackle a problem that doesn’t exist, but it also allows them to ban their critics from campaigning and gives them an iron grip over the currently independent elections watchdog.
    “Make no mistake, the true aim of this bill is to silence opposition and stack the deck for future elections. It is a brazen attack on our democracy.”

    Isn’t it grand being in the UK.

    • barpe says:

      I’m beginning to think that “partygate” may just be a cover for some of the most draconian steps towards a fascist state that these Tories are taking.
      If we don’t get some reactions then we are just being led by the nose into eternal captivity by England. Wake up!!

  24. Have to say I won’t shed a tear for the BBC when the Tories privatise it. Although we’ll likely be gone by then anyway, making it nice timing.

    For all those advocating a license fee; nobody will stop you using your £159 to subscribe to the BBC. Stop forcing the rest of us to subsidise the Great British rubbish you want to watch. I don’t make you part fund netflix for me against your will.

    • Marc says:

      I don’t think the BBC will ever be privatised TBH. For a start, despite talking about it for years the Conservatives have never got around to Privatising Channel 4 let alone the BBC!

      But more than that even though the core BBC programming (back catalogues programme IPs etc) are profitable and would spark a lot of interest in the private sector, large amounts of the BBC (news, local radio, world service etc etc) are not. So if privatised the Government would lose the profitable bit but be left with, and still have to fund, the unprofitable bits.

      All Conservatives have hinted at is that they are going to scrap the licence fee. Can see that happening, it’s unpopular even with people who support the BBC. It will probably end up still in public hands, receiving some money directly from the Government mixed with relaxation advertising to generate the rest of its revenue; basically, the model used in a number of other countries.

      Although in a way it’s a redundant conversation because the chances of the Conservatives being
      in power in 2027 look slimmer by the day!

    • Yes, I’d broadly agree. This seems to be some of the ‘red meat’ that the cabinet is throwing to the even more rabid Tory backbenches in the hope of propping up support.

      A someone who’s not British, the BBC isn’t my national broadcaster, and from what I have watched, I find it of pretty low quality, and way too parochial / inward looking, particularly in recent years. It’s journalism standards are particularly low, and, interestingly, I find that my friends and colleagues from overseas are increasingly voicing similar views. Mind you, this is not unique to the British press, which is has very low trust ratings as a result.

      Certainly, forcing people to pay for it just plain wrong. £159 is quite a lot of money. It could buy kids a lot of Christmas presents… help pay the gas bill… fund a wee holiday…prevent the humiliation of a visit to the food bank… or even just pay for a Sky subscription so a Scots family can actually watch their national team play. And threatening pensioners with fines or jail if they want to pay for heating rather than the BBC? It’s really not a good look, particularly if they are not British.

  25. So much for us all getting better paid jobs after kicking out the likes of Mrs SS and friends.

    U.K. Real Wages Are Falling Even Before Inflation Truly Bites

    U.K. workers were already seeing all of their wages swallowed up by inflation late last year, putting them on the back foot heading into a more severe cost of living crisis in 2022.

    Average earnings rose 3.5% in November, below the rate of increase for consumer prices for the first time since July 2020, data from the Office for National Statistics shows. That left real average weekly earnings, a measure that captures the difference between pay and wages, down 0.9%.

    Real wages have been falling basically since Brexit kicked in. The downward trend began within a few months of official leaving day.

    • Capella says:

      And yet – strangely – billionaires’ wealth has doubled. What a coincidence.

      The 10 richest men in the world have seen their global wealth double to $1.5tn (£1.01tn) since the start of the global pandemic following a surge in share and property prices that has widened the gap between rich and poor, according to a report from Oxfam…

      Oxfam projects that by 2030, 3.3 billion people will be living on less than $5.50 per day.
      The charity said the incomes of 99% of the world’s population had reduced from March 2020 to October 2021, when Elon Musk, the founder of the electric car company Tesla, and the other nine richest billionaires had been collectively growing wealthier by $1.3bn a day.

      • Och, Capella, you need to get on message; BBC Scotland ‘message.
        These dirt poor billions are referred to as ‘the least well off’, or ‘less affluent’.
        Douglas Fraser and david porter use these euphemisms all the time.

        The world is about to erupt.
        It is reported that we the plebs will be £1200 poorer this year. Alister Union Jack may need Field Bosses to guard his potato carrot and turnip fields soon.
        We are way beyond tipping point now.

  26. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Ruth Davidson joins Times radio as a regular presenter…… yet another job for the person who abandoned Scottish politics to supposedly spend MORE time with her family…and since abandoning Scottish politics….she has acquired a multitude of lucrative JOBS which surely will result in her spending LESS time with her family…..

    However it WILL afford her the opportunity to earn much more now than she was able or allowed to earn in her previous position in the Scottish parliament…….

    Yeh so let’s all believe her reason for abandoning Scottish politics was genuine and not the actual fact that in abandoning Scottish politics she would be free to earn, via a multitude of positions , so much more money as well as her earnings in the HOL’s…..

    Yet in doing this she is STILL , not surprisingly , presented via the media and herself too as a credible ,decent and honourable force to be both listened to and reckoned with …….reality suggests that lie is in both her mind and the media’s……to honest and fair people she is yet but another one in a long line who have sold out for English Gold (mostly acquired via Scottish resources)…or as JR Mogg put ” ‘If you take the King’s shilling you are beholden to the crown”…………indeed Jacob Indeed.

  27. Hamish100 says:

    In fairness to her— last time you will he are that, she has played a neat game. Got herself into the Lords so even Johnson can’t get rid of her. Allowing her to do a foulness and McConnell by bleating in the sidelines. With all her work down south has she moved?
    Still the nonsense that she was ALL popular by the MSM is clear to see. She would still be sitting at Holyrood on 20% with no chance of becoming FM. She is an opportunist and greedy with it. Sums up tories.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yes indeed she is sitting pretty in the HOL’s… an unelected bureaucrat….where the VOTERS cannot vote her out….but where she , like the other spongers there, get to opine on political matters and are regularly platformed via the media, in guest slots on news programmes and debate shows, on their opinions as if somehow they should be given more prominence and are somehow more relevant over actual politicians that we in Scotland elect democratically via a majority.

      And yes she knew that her time was up in Holyrood and she also always knew that she would never be FM but then, like DRoss and t’others before him , that was not the mission at Holyrood, the mission was always to deflect from the mess being generated and implemented via HQ and present it, to the public, as if the Scottish government were the ones who were always wrong and who were always the true culprits of all of this mess that we have to suffer……….and they, the Tories, , via the actions of the media, have always been confident that they, as a media ,will promote the same message too against the Scottish Government while simultanously protecting the Tories from scrutiny and culpability as a branch office of HQ.

      BBC Rep Scotland are currently , via their political editor, in the ridiculous position of defending and promoting Scottish Tories via DRoss while HQ is currently trying to destroy it, the BBC, as an institution….this fact will only make sense to those ardent Unionists who live among us and indeed to those who choose NOT to think outside the box…no pun intended.

  28. Dr Jim says:

    But, but she insisted she desperately wanted to be home to be a full time loving caring *Mommy* to her little baby Tory, don’t tell me that was all a big fib and a ruse to acquire sympathy from real people, how could she do such a diabolical thing as to use a child for political and financial gain

    Because she’s a fuffing scheming lying piece of sh sh sh Tory

  29. Hamish100 says:

    If you want to remove the House of Lords, vote Independence;
    If you want to remove nuclear weapons from our country, vote Independence;
    If you don’t want another Iraq / Afghanistan war, vote Independence;
    If you want land reform vote Independence;
    If you wish to rejoin the EU/efta vote Independence

    Please add…..

    • yesindyref2 says:

      If you want policies on all issues that meet the needs of Scotland, vote Independence.

      If you want political parties that have policies on all issues that meet the needs of Scotland, vote Independence.

      If you want politicians that vote for issues that meet the needs of Scotland, vote Independence.


      If you want politics that reflect the needs of Scotland, vote Independence.

    • Capella says:

      If you don’t want our troops sent off to fight in illegal wars against people we have no quarrel with, then we need independence, our own foreign policy and defence force.

      OT – I came across the Sceptical Scot blog which looks interesting. This article on the Ukraine stand off sums up my own thoughts on what is going on. It may seem off topic. But if we get dragged into yet another degrading turf war with Russia we will all be sent the bill for a policy we didn’t sign up for. I didn’t see this on the side of a bus.

      The US wants regime change in Russia. That does not mean democracy, talk of which is just camouflage for the true strategic objective of a permanently weakened Russia. All that matters is Russia be weakened, and the well-being of Russians is truly of no consequence in Washington.

      • grizebard says:

        That article is complete bollocks. Undigested pro-Russian propaganda. As Scotland deserves retrieving its independence, so Ukraine deserves to retain its. The parallel shouldn’t be hard to see for any true independence supporter.

        There’s a world of difference between engaging in unjustified neo-colonial wars and supporting your friends & neighbours in time of need. Otherwise we’re back in 1938 all over again, everyone for themselves, vulnerable to rampant predators, with the same dire consequences of the same shameful moral turpitude.

        • Capella says:

          Chomsky disagrees with you. I agree with Chomsky on this one.

          Noam Chomsky: There’s more to add, of course. What happened in 2014, whatever one thinks of it, amounted to a coup with U.S. support that replaced the Russia-oriented government by a Western-oriented one. That led Russia to annex Crimea, mainly to protect its sole warm water port and naval base, and apparently with the agreement of a considerable majority of the Crimean population. There’s extensive scholarship on the complexities, particularly Richard Sakwa’s Frontline Ukraine and more recent work.

          There’s an excellent discussion of the current situation in a recent article in The Nation by Anatol Lieven. Lieven argues realistically that Ukraine is “the most dangerous [immediate] problem in the world,” and “also in principle the most easily solved.” The solution has already been proposed and accepted — in principle: the Minsk II agreement, adopted by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in 2015, and endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council. The agreement tacitly presupposes withdrawal of George W. Bush’s invitation to Ukraine to join NATO, reaffirmed by Barack Obama, vetoed by France and Germany, an outcome that no Russian leader is likely to accept.

          • grizebard says:

            Oh, Chomsky. That’s all right then. {roll eyes} Let Russia walk in yet another country uninvited, just like, oh, let’s see, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, more recently Georgia, Crimea. But Noam Chomsky says it’s all right. So we don’t need the evidence of our own eyes, then, we’ll just turn our backs and let another lot of innocents who were foolish to believe they possessed their own country be trampled over uninvited yet again. Because “ooh, America’s bad”, or something equally inane and vapid.

            Independence is like justice, it’s indivisible. And that’s supposed to be the purpose of this website, not distractional geo-political rabbit-holing on behalf of an authoritarian mafia state. Or so I thought.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          That article is seriously crap, could have been lifted from RT. Thomas Palley should have stuck to Post-Keynesian macroeconomics, and views on MMT.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Sceptical Scot has been around since 2014 and has made very little contribution to the Independence debate anytime since and I’m surprised it is even still in existence considering its insignificance after such a time. This is not a blog by an individual but it comprises “a board” who write the articles.

        Worth reading then with a healthy dose of sceticism I’d think.

        • grizebard says:

          Yes, true heroes for independence. Or maybe not. With dubious motives and funding, popping up again like a mushroom at just the right time for…? Well, not Nicola, anyway. Somehow I don’t think their meaning of “sceptic” is the same as the normal one the rest of us use. Which already tells us all we need to know about what their real business is about…

        • yesindyref2 says:

          There’s some guest articles from notables, like Fraser of Allander Institute people. But also from the likes of our old friend John McLaren who co-starred during Indy Ref 1 in the likes of Scotsman and Herlad reports from “Independent” economists. Well, here they are, and during 2012 I found out about them and CPPR myself, so can back up Bella on this.

          (By Joan McAlpine) – and note also this from Sceptical Scot:

          It doesn’t mean the articles aren’t interesting, but it can explain the flavour od those articles. Note also Ciaran Martin has some articles, hailed by indy supporters for some reason but I haed ma doots.

          CPPR (defunct) shouldn’t be confused with IPPR, which has a Scotland office and was / is (I have no idea if it’s ‘still on the go) based around Newcastle and did some sensible reports about Scotland. Russell Gunson perhaps for the Scotland ones?

          • yesindyref2 says:

            “who co-starred ..” – with Jo Armstrong.

          • Alex Clark says:

            That was a very interesting article by Joan McAlpine on Bella and I hadn’t heard of John McLaren but have just read his latest article on sceptical scot from 8th Jan. All I can say is I don’t think he likes the current Scottish government much.


            • yesindyref2 says:

              He seemed to claim in another article that Ben Wray said he wasn’t a unionist. But even if he isn’t actually biased, he views everything from a UK-centric point of view – which gives a bias all of its own. Only the UK can borrow and run a currency and have defence and have a public broadcaster and …

              It was the same with Chalmers over defence – if you couldn’t afford nuclear subs and aircraft carriers you couldn’t have a defence. Never mind Denmark, Norway, NZ etc. Chalmers did get the hang of it by 2014.

              McLaren still hasn’t got the hang of Scotland, he thinks in terms of his previous employer – the HM Treasury. QE of £100 billion is OK, Scotland couldn’t QE S£8.4 billion. The UK Treasury can borrow, Scotland can’t. Eh? Run that past me again?

  30. Latest UK unemployment rates:
    4.2% England
    3.6% Scotland
    3.4% Wales
    3.1% N. Ireland

    I thought we celts were the ‘lazy subsidy junkies’ who ‘needed to go get a job’?

    That silliness aside, rock on N. Ireland and still being part in the EU!

    My guess is our own advantage (and that of NI, possibly wales) is that we’re not seeing mass emigration like England is, with Europeans and other foreign citizens feeling welcome here, so dampening the effects of the brexit labour crisis.

  31. davetewart says:

    According to Raab today you’ve got the figures wrong, there is virtually no unemployment in the country,
    Nobody told the flounder that the party was against the rules, aye right.

  32. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Tonight Cathy Newman on Channel Four news missed an open goal while interviewing Conor Burns Tory NI secretary re this never ending circus re #PartyGate where he stated he believed his PM over Dominic Cummings…where she highlighted what Dominic Cummings has stated re PM was aware of party planned that he attended…..Conor Burns then highlighted to her how when same Dominic Cummings drove to Barnard Castle she was part of same media that was ( I paraphrase but meaning of words he used is same) castigating him and therefore questioning his credibility…..the open goal she missed was that she should have then stated to him, Burns, that most of his colleagues, including cabinet ministers AND the PM defended Cummings over that incident and the same PM DID NOT at that time ask for his resignation or sack him……so why then was he considered credible by the Tories and now seemingly NOT….how very convenient for them.

    Does anyone think that the “wait for Sue Gray’s report ” being repeated consistently by every MP subservient to the PM is fast becoming like Theresa May’s failed slogan ‘”Strong and stable” pre 2017 GE…….I fear their over use of this phrase is making it worse and not better as it appears so calculated and tactical and is clearly a party line strategy adopted by many of them to avoid giving a definitive answer when asked whether PM should resign……

    Peter Bone Tory MP stated tonight on news while defending his PM that Cummings drove to Barnard castle while having Covid….did he…well that was not publicised at the time…if that WAS the case then why is he, Cummings, like Margaret Ferrier is now, not facing a trial ……indeed if that was the case…..the PM had defended and allowed him to stay in his position without any retribution……until Cummings decided to eventually go when it was way past that incident and not because of it …as in go on his own terms in his own time.

    Those Tory MP’s who are asking for Johnson to resign and calling him out are doing so NOT because they think what he ,Johnson or indeed their party, have done something wrong but because public opinion via polls are showing support for the Tories and Johnson too is going down and thus their, the Tory MP’s, are more concerned about the fallout for themselves and their respective seats….as in potentially losing them should Boris Johnson remain as leader and the PM of their party where more scandals , corruption and incompetence may enfold …..which potentially could seal their fate in the next General election…..I suspect that is why a new leader of Tory party before the next GE will occur……and Boris Johnson as leader of the Tories and the former PM of their UK will be written out of their political history and thus, they hope , the public’s memories …..however he will more than likely potentially get an honour bestowed upon him where it will be promoted as being awarded for getting Brexit done while currently Brexit is anything but done…….

    The member of the public who was on a BBC Breakfast video report who stated ” Everyone makes mistakes” re Boris Johnson, her PM in her UK, via #PartyGate many incidents…..well the fact that she used the plural of ‘mistake’ was the only thing she got right in her response and also ‘mistakes’ not just with #PartyGate either…indeed the word mistake itself was incorrect to explain all that has been done since both the Tories and Johnson have both been in power and not forgetting BEFORE Boris Johnson was PM too …..but as to her exempting him from blame well let’s just say she has been added to an ever growing list of people I would not want to be stuck in a lift with……

    Is there anything more pathetic, immoral and corrupt than the Tory party just now….if there is then those subjected to suffer them ….well my prayers are with them…..but who is praying for us ?

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      You might like this – I did.

      And found them completely by chance:

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Aye it , as an overused excuse, is certainly catching on but as wee ditty can also be very catchy too WS…Ha Ha

    • Legerwood says:

      It was known and publicised at the time that Dominic Cummings left London for his parents’ house house in Durham when he was showing signs of Covid-19. He had been self-isolating prior to his departure. He tried to make out he had left because of security concerns.

      And yes Kathy Newman did miss an open goal but easy to do just watch the interview with Sunak and wonder why he was not asked why he had written off £4.5 billion fraudulently claimed in furlough payments. Have any reporters asked him to account for that?

      The Tories eg DRoss are always criticising the SG for the slow roll-out of payments to business. Maybe they are ‘slow’ because the SG are doing due diligence in order to weed out fraudulent claims.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Yes you are right Legerwood ….it was reported that Cummings drove his family to Durham to stay at his father’s farm on the evening of 27 March, after his wife fell ill and suspecting that he might soon fall ill. The next day he developed coronavirus symptoms and was self-isolating…how convenient it was the next day he developed ‘symptoms’……Peter Bone said he had Covid which was clearly true but according to Cummings he only developed symptoms after travelling to see his family….and the Barnard castle incident excuse was used in order, according to him, for him to test his eye sight before making the long drive back to London…which Michael Gove, Cummings ex boss when Gove was Education Sec, defended it as a feasible excuse.

        See so many incidents that facts become skewed but also punishments become selective dependent on who it is and who they represent.

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          “Well, if you don’t the facts, I have others.”

          – Adapted from Groucho Marx.

          (I guess these are known by now as, “alternative facts”.

      • Golfnut says:

        ‘why he had written off £4.5 billion fraudulently claimed ‘

        Well this might have something to do with it.

  33. Capella says:

    There was an interesting ministerial statement in Holyrood today by Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport. He announced the outcome of the bidding round for offshore wind licences as part of the ScotWind project.

    Critics had naturally published their complaints before the statement was made, notably Robin McAlpine and Kenny McAskill. The ministerial statement seemed to me to put all their fears at rest. (not very likely)
    Andy Wightman, also critical, is still to publish a blog article on it so I will read that with interest.

    Meantime, if you are curious, here is the video of the statement and questions. approx 30 mins.
    Ministerial Statement: ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Round.

  34. Capella says:

    Last call! Powerful video by “Led By Donkeys” condemning Boris Johnston’s lies and mendacity.

  35. Kirsty Wark introducing an item on the fuel bill crisis referred to the poor and oppressed who are having to choose between heating and eating as ‘the less well off’,
    See my earlier post on BBC;s 1984 Newspeak.
    The dam’s about to burst.
    NHS waiting list of 6 million in England? Bedseekers?.
    Queues at food banks? Grubseekers?

    What degree of ‘well offishnes in starving or freezing to apianful slow death?
    But still Johnson is being touted on Wark’s watch as a great leader, when in reality England is crumbling to dust in his podgy hands.

  36. jfngw says:

    Read some think Johnson looked like a broken man today in the Sky interview. This is bollocks, he was giving his contrite performance the same way a five year old would when caught out. He’s going for the poor me performance in the hope the sympathy will swing in his favour. He is incapable of being broken, he thinks he’s Zeus, king of the gods, there are few egos bigger than Johnson’s.

    • grizebard says:

      Right enough there. Apparently after his last “contrite” appearance before the HoC, he did the rounds of the tearooms there directly after telling Tory MPs that “it wisnae me”. I’m still guessing Sue Gray will serve him up a couple of sacrificial lambs from within the civil service and on he will unrepentently stagger till May at least. If the local elections go badly for the Tories then, the self-serving worms might just finally turn.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yes indeed…..ego and a sense of (undeserved) entitlement.

  37. Bring on the hard border at Gretna. What a boom it would create!

    This is what an indy Scotland will look like. The harder the border, the bigger the boom.

    Brexit boosts international banks’ Irish balance sheets to over €500bn

    The Irish balance sheets of large systemically important banks with international operations run from Ireland have grown by as much as €200bn since the UK voted to leave the EU six years ago, a study has found.

    The transfers put Ireland in only second place behind Germany when it comes to the value of assets that were moved from UK to EU banks after Brexit.

    The shift in funds and expansion of operations mean Ireland had the eighth largest international banking sector in the EU by the end of 2020, up from ninth a year earlier.

    While globally, the financial movements pushed Ireland’s international banking sector up two places to the 17th biggest.

  38. Capella says:

    Confirmation from a BBC employee who wants to remain anonymous –
    BBC accused of ‘forgetting’ Scotland from its history in 100 objects list

    SCOTLAND is being underrepresented in an official history of the BBC, according to a former employee of the corporation.

    Only four out of 100 objects chosen to represent the history of the BBC as it marks its 100th birthday this year were linked in some way to Scotland and only one related directly to Scottish programming.

    • JoMax says:

      My issue with programmes which include stuff ‘about Scotland’ is that they will always focus on bits and pieces that portray us as fundamentally drunks or layabouts (Scottish comedians and writers don’t exactly help in this respect, think ‘Rab C Nesbitt’ for example) or sweary folk (think Connolly) and is usually overwhelmingly Glaazgow concentrated which is bad for the image of a city full of lovely people and at the same time ignores the rest of the country.

      When they do venture forth it’s usually “Oh, look a mountain, a loch, an island” and mostly they send an English actress north to have a look round. I’ve seen the late Victoria Wood, Penelope Keith, and Julie Walters. And then, of course, the weather. “Oh, look it isn’t raining today” complete with the image of a bleak heather moor in a winter storm. “Isn’t it cold and it’s February already?” If you want to train for a venture into Antarctica, go to the Cairngorms. Brrrrr. If you’re lucky enough to hear from some ‘locals’ you might get the odd Scottish accent from the Highlands and Islands, but mostly it’s from elsewhere because, of course, we speak funny and no one understands us. Whatever happened to the man with the bagpipes from ‘a glen near you’ who used to introduce every little snippet of Scottish news being broadcast from ‘where they are’.

      Compare all that with the massive number of programmes they make in and around England which portray the place in a completely different and mostly very positive light.

      Am I being very cynical? Yes. Years of experience and frustration.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      What of Lord Reith? And John Logie Baird?

      Without the latter and the first Director General (the former) – there would be no BBC.

      (I haven’t seen the list, nor do I consider these men to be ‘objects’, but surely to goodness these are basic to the history of the BBC. And even I, a non-Scot, know of both men.)

  39. Capella says:

    Kevin McKenna on the shifting sands of Labour unionism
    The days of waiting for the other side to falter are coming to a close

    In some Scottish Labour circles it’s known that Starmer and Gordon Brown have been collaborating on how best to maintain the Union. It’s more or less accepted that some form of devo-max will be a major part of the Labour offering to Scotland in the run-up to the 2024 Westminster election and in the months immediately afterwards. A lot of work is being conducted off-camera by Scottish Unionist organisations – especially those within Labour’s orbit – in readiness for a Keir Starmer administration.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Or Kevin McKenna on *please wait for Labour Scotland*
      I wonder if Kevin wears his flat cap when he writes his article then rewrites it over and over again staring at a picture of his long dead favourite racing pigeon

      • Capella says:

        They’re working on VOW 2.0 as we speak. Get ready for the umpteenth launch 🙂

      • jfngw says:

        He wears a flat cap when writing for the National, a deerstalker when writing for the Herald and a bowler when writing for the Observer. He is the old Frost Report class sketch contained within a single body.

  40. Tam the Bam says:

    Christian Wakeford MP (Bury) has defected to the Labour Party and will reputedly be sitting behind Keir Starmer at PMQ’s.

  41. Alex Clark says:

  42. Dr Jim says:

    Now that Boris Johnsons replies to every question asked of him is vaccine vaccine vaccine and the world should be grateful for without him inventing it we would all be dead, is he henceforth to be known as *Vaccine man* or *First Lord of the vaccines* to accompany his defence of lying which is *I am Boris and I am stupid* let me try again

  43. Alex Clark says:

    Today’s PMQ’s was fun for many but certainly not for Johnson with even his own turning on him.

  44. Tam the Bam says:

    ” In the name of God .. GO! ” …..David Davis MP.

    Wow!….just WOW!!!

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