A very British non-event

The long awaited Sue Gray report investigating the multiple allegations that Boris Johnson attended numerous parties in Downing Street during lock down looks like it’s going to be even longer awaited. Although earlier this week it was reported that the report was imminent, as of Thursday there is still no sign of it and there are signals from government sources that its findings may not be made public until next week. There are also signs that the government may not publish the full report, but only a summary of its findings, giving Johnson and his supporters the opportunity to cherry pick the findings that suit their agenda and to assist Johnson in wriggling off the hook. The longer this process goes on, the more opportunities Johnson’s party machine has in order to browbeat, intimidate, blackmail, and bribe Conservative MPs into supporting him and as public attention starts to move elsewhere, the steam will begin to come out of the Conservative revolt and the better Johnson’s chances become of surviving a vote of confidence.

It is notable that despite the gum bumping of some of his Conservative critics, and claims that they already have “almost” the 54 signatures needed in order to trigger a vote of no- confidence, no overt move has been made against Johnson yet. That can only mean that Johnson’s opponents realise that not only do they not have enough signatures yet in order to start a formal vote against Johnson, there is still no one in the talentless and charisma free void that is the modern Conservative party who comes close to having sufficient support both amongst MPs and amongst the party membership to be able to replace him. For the most part the Tories are doing a Mundell and keeping a low profile until they see what way the land lies. Although if Scottish Tory MPs had any lower of a profile they’d be a pit at the entrance gate to Hades, which not coincidentally is where Andrew Bowie has his constituency office.

It looks like we are headed for that very typically British non-event, similar to the long running investigation into Tony Blair’s blatantly illegal war-mongering, fabrication of false evidence, and lies to Parliament which led to UK involvement in the invasion of Iraq and the disastrous and lethal consequences which ensued. Despite considerable hype and expectation, the report arrived with a “meh”, and Blair was able to escape any meaningful consequences. From the point of view of the British establishment the Iraq report achieved exactly what it was supposed to achieve – to create the impression that those in power in the UK can be held to account, without actually holding them to account.

The Sue Gray investigation smells very strongly of being the same kind of trick. Supporters of Johnson are loudly insisting that it is an independent investigation. In fact it is no such thing. It is an internal Downing Street investigation in which Sue Gray is looking into allegations levied against her boss’s boss. She has not been tasked with coming to any conclusions or recommending any actions to be taken, that is left to Johnson, who is to be his own judge and jury.

Boris Johnson is a thoroughly despicable individual, even by the standards of the modern Conservative party, and that in itself is a remarkable achievement. He is dishonest, corrupt, entitled and narcissistic. You know that he is lying because his mouth is moving. Attending parties during lock down counts amongst the least of his failures. His incompetence and chaotic callousness directly led to the unnecessary deaths of many thousands of people during the early part of the pandemic, but far from learning from his mistakes he doubled down on them and repeated them, even yelling that the bodies could pile high in their thousands before he’d agree to another lock down.

In any properly functioning democracy, a lying chancer like Johnson would never have got close to the highest office in the land. He would not merely have long ago been removed from office, he would be facing a court on charges of criminal negligence. But this is not a properly functioning democracy, this is the UK, which bears the same relationship to a proper democracy as Ye Olde Britishe Pubbe in Disneyland does to an authentic night out in a real village pub. It’s a carefully contrived facsimile of the real thing, without any of its substance.

Much as Johnson is to be despised, and for all the havoc he will continue to wreak in office, part of me hopes that he will after all survive a leadership challenge, because his survival will only assist in the longer term destruction of the Conservative party. Whoever does replace him will be equally cruel, equally jingoistic in their opportunistic Anglo-British nationalism, and equally hell bent on the destruction of public services and any remaining checks and balances which allow the Prime Minister to be held to account. It will provide the false reassurance that the UK is a properly functioning democracy while reinforcing the Conservatives’ grip on power. Nothing of substance would change. It would be left to the Conservatives to choose a new Prime Minister. The British Prime Minister already has presidential powers with few effective constitutional checks and balances. For the Tories to select a new Prime Minister for nothing more than their own selfish party political interests would be a travesty of democracy.

Johnson’s survival will place Douglas Ross and the Scottish Conservatives in the impossible situation of being an anti-independence party which has condemned the British Prime Minister and their own party leader as being unfit for office while at the same time denying Scotland the ability to do anything about it. Ross will either have to resign, or he will simply give credence to Rees Mogg’s jibe that he is a lightweight. The Scottish Tories will then be forced to defend the indefensible as they go into the local elections in May, and you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh.

As we await what is most likely to prove to be the very British non-event of the Gray report, it is worth remembering that whether Johnson survives or falls this unedifying episode only serves as a valuable lesson that the Westminster system is rotten to the very core and is incapable of being reformed. As supporters of Scottish independence that only strengthens even further one of the strongest arguments or independence. It is only with independence that the people of Scotland can get the government that they elect and which is accountable to them and them alone.

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86 comments on “A very British non-event

  1. Dr Jim says:

    Tories like always will wait to see if the big dog is fatally wounded before they wade in and tear him to pieces like a pack of hyenas because if they mistime their opportunity and go too early retributions upon themselves will be financially dire and career ending (DRoss) They’ve always operated this way and it’s likely they always will
    Johnson continues to display his authority with no sign of blood yet, if he weakens they’re on him, if he pulls through they had complete confidence in his leadership and supported him to the hilt blah blah blah and his demise was never in doubt

    Wee see no sign of a new silverback or bigger dog in the bushes yet ready to take the job on that if they’re wise they won’t want right at this moment

  2. ArtyHetty says:

    Well said Paul. Somehow the Mafia springs to mind, gangs and bullies. It’s what you get in a country which has no written constitution, the rich and powerful are answerable only to themselves. With BREXIT, it’s even more dodgy.
    Scotland’s at the mercy of these people, and looking at the British nationalist braying troughers in the English parliament yesterday, they will play dirty to keep Scotland shackled. The UK so called, is dysfunctional and backward looking, it’s not a country, not federal, and yet one part of it gets to make most of the political decisions, and to choose the cabal making those decisions.
    It’s heading towards being dystopian as well, Scotland needs to escape, or be collateral in the British states’ involvement in any upcoming war.

  3. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Jacob Rees Mogg has stated that if Boris Johnson is voted out and a new leader is elected then a GE should be called, in his opinion, as this is not party policy.

    Clearly this was a threat to those MP’s who are calling for Johnson to be removed…not I suspect because they are condemning him, Johnson, for breaking any rules but solely because they fear this could jeopardise their seats in a future GE….prompted by public’s response.

    Jonathan Gullis is one of the NEW so called Red wall Tories who won his seat in 2019 for Stoke on Trent North………

    I knew nothing about this MP before yesterday…….BUT….. there is a video of him on Twitter via many accounts showing him baying at yesterday’s PM Questions and there are other videos of him too ….indeed he is so bad someone has set up a parody Twitter account on him…..he, of course, is one of the Tory MP’s who is supporting Boris Johnson….I suggest some on here look at his entry under his name on Wikipedia …the information on him there is emblematic of the what the Tories now represent under Boris Johnson….however prior to this they, as a party, were more guarded of how they were perceived publicly……now they are not afraid to show us what they truly represent and who they truly are.

    Of course ……in contrast what we have in Scotland with the Tories is a more sleekit form of Tory….ones who, thanks to the media , are able to to into hiding when the going gets tough…..and where we have to endure the bravado of one Andrew Bowie who works on the assumption that we in Scotland are oblivious to all that is going down via HQ and thus he constantly tweets the same old same old ‘UK is great just because it is the UK’ ……. where his fiction becomes his facts ….

    Duguid and Mundell seem to have disappeared into oblivion and both are in the same boat as having been discharged from their duties….Mundell as former Sec of State for Scotland and Duguid as a junior unpaid lackey in Scottish office…..if only the Tories had listened to us we could have told them how useless they were…….

    Lamont is the new parliamentary private Sec of Liz Truss….in a position political correspondents call as tantamount to being but a ” bag carrier” so he is off the radar too….

    Alister jack has pledged his allegiance to Boris Johnson in opposition to the so called leader DRoss in Holyrood ……… something NOT being promoted or well publicised in the news where you are as dictated by those down south ( HQ always down south whether politically or via media)……

    As to the Tories in Holyrood well they are torn between aligning with the branch office manager and HQ………and in their desperation they simultanously promote what they see as good with HQ policy while also , via needs must, backing DRoss in his so called opposition to HQ’s current leader…….a branch office manager and his MSP’s who choose to ignore all of the other corruption and chaos that has ensued via those other colleagues within his party at HQ……so he and they are not really opposing HQ are they………….window dressing for dummies …..

    DRoss and the Baroness have been assigned the task of damage limitation for Scottish ( in name only) Tories as correct assumption is that in Scotland we have no allegiance to either the Tories or indeed to Boris Johnson so they are both supposed to APPEAR to represent the more moral side of Conservatism…..Ha Ha……while behind the scenes they have been complicit and responsible for the position we in Scotland currently find ourselves in…….and of course the Union is a huge factor in their current position in opposing Boris Johnson…..as to publicly support Johnson would be not just political suicide but also be another nail in the coffin of their Union……a coffin with so many nails in it now that it should have been buried long ago……

    I am way past demented, angry, frustrated and yet never ever beaten because I cannot see , via a majority, how anyone who has been witness to all that has gone down post 2014 could think THIS is THE best way forward for Scotland…….firstly with THIS current party and their current leader that represents the government in the UK, secondly the Unionist opposition parties that SAY they oppose this current party and their current leader that represents the government in the UK politically……yet they ALL are united as political parties in keeping Scotland within THEIR Union to suffer all of the consequences that have proven to be detrimental to us in Scotland and indeed all culpable for Johnson as PM and the Tories as the current UK Government ….Brexit was the defining policy that should prove to Scots that our votes do not count ever within THEIR UK, our voices are ignored constantly within THEIR UK and the future of our country within their Union is not dictated by us but by others outwith our country for THEIR benefit not ours……..where on this planet would that be seen as acceptable and considered just or even a normal situation for any functioning and democratic country to be in………….but somehow we are just supposed to accept it as a reality in Scotland !!!!

    There is no logic or rationale to support the Union in the UK…..I assume that using logic and rationale a majority of scots will support independence in the next Indy referendum as opposed to suffering and enduring more of what they are currently…and likely also to suffer in the future too……via remaining within this non Union UK that serves only those who support it’s survival.

    Indy Ref 2 then independence…….it’s the ONLY sensible option and the ONLY way we, in Scotland , can hope to prosper and try to be a better country than the fake one we are currently being forced to remain a part of via propaganda and lies….and also where thugs like one Jonathan Gullis seem to be emerging as the face of the NEW Tory party ……..

    Sorry for the length of my comment………….if you have taken the time and had to suffer reading it.

  4. Alice says:

    Excellent piece Paul ….your writing skills untouched by what has physically happened to you ….thank goodness…you are so spot on as to your analysis of the creeps in Westminster.

    They do not care if the eyes of the world are watching them …they do whatever they want to like a bunch of sociopathic gangsters planning their next heist.

    Johnson is such a corrupter of people and democratic institutions and processes. He is ably assisted by his gangster friends.

    Let’s go forward to at least attempt a better way for our children and grandchildren.

  5. Lovely take on the situation, Paul.
    No matter the outcome, Dross and Jack and the Jock Tories a holed below the water.
    Where are New Zealand trade envot Mundell Duguid (Pasta Shapes) and the invisible man Lamont hiding?

    I note that Johnson blurted out in Wales that the leaked FCDO e-mails were ‘rhubarb’ !
    He’ll be demanding that an official enquiry will be instigated to weed out the lying ‘whistleblower’, who shall face criminal charges for forgery?
    Johnson hates liars as we all know.

    If only I had the artistic skills to create a cartoon of Priti Patel and Nigel Farage on the Dover shoreline welcoming inflatable rafts packed with cats and dogs.

    They’d be found new homes in hours.

    That a privately funded flight into Kabul was even permitted seems to have passed everybody by.

    Dogs and cats took priority over human beings, and Ben Wallace’s army and RAF personnel were sidetracked from human evacuation duties to allow this farce to take place.
    Our soldiers were guarding cats and dogs while children suffered and died.
    Rhubarb indeed.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Indeed Jack…I forgot that Boris Johnson had appointed Mundell as the UK’s trade envoy to New Zealand whose mission is to to destroy livelihoods of Sheep farming farmers in Scotland…..what IS he doing over there….counting sheep ?

      No doubt he will do his usual routine of talking Baa Humbug……

      • He’s been trying to pull the wool over the eyes of border farmers since Brexit, while fleecing us all by taking a wage as an English MP (‘No such country as Scotland) under false pretences for years.
        He is due the (lamb) chop any day now.

        I’ll get my sheepskin coat.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          Ha Ha……….

          Mundell a wolf (with no teeth) in sheep’s clothing………but he does have vast experience in trying to constantly pull the wool over Scot’s eyes…..there’s the link to him being appointed the Trade Envoy for the UK with New Zealand…………

      • stewartb says:

        Mundell has clearly been appointed to an important job regarding trade with New Zealand.

        The National Audit Office (NAO) recently assessed the Westminster government’s progress in concluding Free Trade Agreements post-Brexit. The NAO report tells us that the UK Dept of International Trade’s own estimate is that the new FTA deal with New Zealand will add 0% (£0) to UK GDP even after 15 years! Yes, that is correct, zero!

        See https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Progress-with-trade-negotiations.pdf

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          Zero !…..well Mundell IS the right man for the job then…..as he also added Zero 0% via his previous position as Secretary of State for Scotland…..so a natural career progression for him then.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      On the subject of FCDO Jack, cast an eye over this tweet from FCDO, the background reality to which you will which you are doubtless well acquainted, https://twitter.com/FCDOGovUK/status/1486338073864585224 – Now can you tell me which Ministry since the time of Josef Goebels has had the audacity to publish such blatant propaganda in total breach of the code of civil services worldwide ? Forget North Korea.
      I refuse to believe a civil servant would have published this even if instructed to do so, it goes beyond nuance to straight out lying for political reasons which in a previous life would have been career ending for any civil servant, breaching as it does the CS code of being apolitical.
      I’ve no idea which political operative did this, but it’s quite clear the Tories don’t give a damn about civil servants either, let their bodies pile high as well….

      • Capella says:

        Quite a thread of UKGov tweets. They look like parody accounts. Liz Truss is “demented” as Paul Keating says.

      • Yes, Bob, the civil service has been run by ‘brought in’ expertise from the private sector since Thatcher.
        It does not surprise that they would issue such blatantly political propaganda.
        England is on constant war footing with everybody now.Just like the Good Old Days of Empire.
        Northern Ireland is thriving in its present state of limbo.
        Even Ian Paisley Junior has got himself an Irish passport, Proud to be British, but can wander Europe freely, unlike the Mainland Brits.
        Do as I say, not as I do, doesn’t just apply to the Posh Eton Tory Boys in London.
        Nice touch on Holocaust Remembrance Day too lying that that NI Jews can’t get kosher food because of Johnny Foreigner expecting the English to stick to the trade agreement which they signed.
        Each passing day, the totalitarian Elite Black Hand tightens its grip on the freedoms and rights of its citizens.
        The English CS is controlled by an Elite now.

        Johnson believes that he has a Trump like grip on the popular vote and that he could shoot somebody dead in Trafalgar Square in broad daylight and that the Great Unwashed Thickos would still rally to his cause.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Aye Jack, the antisemitic crap I found particularly telling of just how far these chancers are willing to stick their necks out on a fiction. Not a single one.

    • Tatu3 says:

      The dogs and cats were in the hold. There were people in the plane too

  6. yesindyref2 says:

    Articles like this really are a drip drip drip on the soft underbelly of the Westminster antidisestablishmentarianismists, and indeed, a death by a thousand cuts for the Union. No, that said “cuts”, should have gone to Specsavers not Castle Barnard.

    Anyways, Unionist agitpropogators are losing fluids from all orifices as £700,000 worth of civil servants do what civil servants are supposed to do:

    … The Civil Service delivers public services and supports the government of the day to develop and implement its policies.

    And then of course we have it seems the totally coincidental and incredibly unusual spectacle of David Phillips of IFS apparently having good words to say about Independent Scotland in economic terms:

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/19879773.ifs-economist-says-independent-scotlands-growth-outweigh-losses-uk/

    Isn’t life hellish!

    But not for you, Scotland.

    • Aye, and here was me thinking the SNP were not working on indyref plans. Remind me not to trust those that told me that!

      https://archive.is/5Ggqt

      Scottish independence: FoI reveals the number of civil servants working on referendum plans

      THE Scottish Government has revealed that 11 civil servants have now been tasked with overseeing indyref2 plans.

      Planning for a second independence referendum was paused when the coronavirus pandemic hit but as cases ease and the impact of the Omicron variant lessens across the country, the Scottish Government has now assigned civil servants to the task once again.

      A Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed the pay grades of the 11 staff, which amounts to around £750,000 per year.

  7. Here’s your CO2 problem, and it’s not us plebs.

    And £42,000 of Scots cash taken out of our back pockets just like that. It’s pretty obvious who the subsidy junkies are.

    https://archive.is/UwrcJ

    Liz Truss takes private plane to Australia ‘blowing £500k of taxpayer cash’

    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss faces fury after splashing “at least £500,000” of taxpayers money on a private plane to Australia, it has been claimed…

    …If she had travelled via business class on a Qantas Airways flight, the Foreign Secretary could have arrived in Australia five hours earlier.

    And she would not have spent as many carbon emissions because the flight from London would have taken her straight from London Heathrow to Adelaide, Australia.

    An aviation source told the Independent the cost of operating Ms Truss’s trip would have been “at least £500,000”, while the most expensive business-class tickets which also offers lie-flat beds would have cost just over £7,700.

  8. grizebard says:

    Yes, as events (fail to) unfold, it’s beginning to look as if the Tories in WM are cravenly capitulating to BoJo’s insouciance, and the delay in Sue Gray’s report may well be due to civil service resistance to some of its minions being thrown under a bus to save the Great Leader Liar’s scrawny neck. (Note how he now dismisses the revelations about his warped priorities during Afghanistan withdrawal by use of a well-chosen weasel word that carefully avoids any real meaning.) Now I'm wondering if he will even succeed in staying put beyond the (partial English) local elections in May. If Lightweight DRoss's divided little band suffers setbacks in May, what does he care anyway?

    All of which does indeed signify a corrupted Brenglish political system staggering along "on a wing and a prayer", entirely bereft of visible principle. Meanwhile, the insidiously accumulating damage of Brexit continues to impose itself silently upon us all, not least here in Scotland which voted decisively against this egregious historical error, and does so largely unremarked by the media, engaged as it conveniently is by the various distractional circuses which are now its staple.

  9. Dr Jim says:

    Well there’s a turn up for the books, it looks like the much awaited Sue Gray report is to be squashed by the empires chancellor Velorum Boris Johnsons tame storm troopers led by Dame Darth Cressida Dick, Sue Gray apparently has been instructed by the Met that her report must not contain incriminating criminal evidence that may be the the subject of Darth Cressida Dicks tame pet police enquiry thereby nullifying basically anything that Sue Gray actually uncovers creating a situation where the Met enquiry could in fact go on for who the blazes knows how long and if you look back at PMQs it’s kinda no wonder the imperial chancellor Boris was so smirky and confident about any forthcoming outcomes because he knew there very well may not be any at all, or at least not for the usual governmental very long time has passed to give the furore plenty of time to die down and what was all the fuss about a cake anyway, let’s move on and rule

    If this is indeed true then it without doubt presents the Westminster government as the most corrupt dictatorship of all time who will break any law any rule cover up any wrongdoings and use the police to work for them and them alone, what’s next? the military?

    And all the while the media will smile at us with a *well what did you expect* smirk

    Are the Tory party now *above the law*

  10. barpe says:

    Well said , Dr Jim, my concern is that if all this kicking into the long grass does succeed (and I reckon it will, with the connivance of Starmer) then any hope of Scots being allowed to leave this toxic union are nil.
    They know full well that England would be in serious trouble without Scotland’s wealth of assets – if they have control of even the police enquiry, then what hope is there of any ‘enquiry’ at all?
    The Met are ‘involved’ with No 10, in that their officers presumably may have allowed passage of people and goods into the ‘possible scene of crime’ – why are the Met being allowed to investigate themselves?? Surely an outside force, at least should have been called in?

  11. Much as Johnson is to be despised, and for all the havoc he will continue to wreak in office, part of me hopes that he will after all survive a leadership challenge, because his survival will only assist in the longer term destruction of the Conservative party.

    Wanting Johnson as leader of the conservatives for the reasons you state makes some sense. Wanting him as PM / hoping the Tories stay in power as other ‘real indy supporters’ seem to wish is not. However, these are of course two quite different things.

    If there was a snap GE, right now I would not mind at all if it was Bozo leading the Tories into it, as it should be a total whipping for them. But I want him out of No. 10, and any Tory PM that follows him. At the same time, a leadership contest could descend into a British (Remainer) vs English (leaver) civil war, which could be lots of fund and equally ensure electoral defeat for them. It is important to remember that any new PM lacks a mandate and that will make governing their own party and the country difficult.

    As we’ve all discussed, there isn’t any evidence that Bozo’s helping the indy cause (other than being an excellent example of the UKs sickness), but he is causing a lot of damage to Scotland and her people. There is evidence that he’s doing real damage to the Tories internally, particularly in terms of North British-English Tory relations.

    Anyway, we should all want the Tories out of office. To want them there for some imagined self-interest in terms of Yes votes will turn voters away from you in their droves. The moment a pro-indy party / blogger / group starts saying they want the Tories in office is the moment voters / supporters / readers / funders vanish like snaw aff a dyke. If they start attacking the SNP and advocating a vote for unionists, then the nails go in the coffin. Votes hate the Tories for their narrow self-interest after all.

    Sure if Bozo/the Tories passed a new law that every second Scots-born child should be rounded up and shot that would boost yes, what price are people willing to pay here? Each day the Tories are in office, the more damage is done to Scotland and the peoples of the rUK. For as long as we remain in this s**thole state, we should want them out and do whatever we can to achieve that whilst continuing to persuade our fellow countryfolks of the benefits of indy.

    • Exactly, SS. Those so called independence supporters who promote the warped logic that we let johnson and the most evil political regime in two centuries to get on with it, argguing that the more of our citizens they kill the better, tells all about Salmond Mac Askill and the bloggers who worship at the feet of Alba.
      It may be argued that they are self promoting cold hearted bastards by some.
      I couldn’t possibly comment.

      The Tory philosophy is dog eat dog, clamber over the man or women ahead of you, and is succinctly summed up by Johnson’s ‘capitalism and greed’ remark re Covid jags procurement.

      I have never voted Tory, and never will. They are the anti-Christ in my eyes.

    • Aye. One of the reasons the Tories don’t want Johnson to resign is that a new leader will lack a mandate without a GE.

      Sure they can plough on, but the way the UK has increasingly pushed a dear leader presidential type role for the PM, making it all about them, so the above becomes more of a must.

      The other parties could relentlessly attack an ‘unelected PM without a mandate’ if there is no GE.

      And I don’t think there are any Tory candidates capable of winning a UKGE. At least not with the type of majority Bozo got. The party is seen as corrupt, not just him. Also economically inept, with brexit a total mess. The Tories are losing the ‘red wall’ leavers, but have lost the blue wall remainers to Sir Keir’s New Brexit Labour.

      It’s a real problem for the Tories now that brexit is ‘done’. If they revert back to their old selves, the lose the red wall but won’t gain back the blue unless they get the economy back on track which means starting to reverse brexit, including increasing immigration if they can.

      This is why Bozo has been trying to stretch out the brexit fight with the EU, because without that, he doesn’t have a strategy for holding onto those that gave him his win.

      Anyway, this is another reason I want him kicked out. It’s not just how narcissistic, evil and damaging he is, but because it will throw the Tories into crisis and trigger a GE that there’s little doubt would see them taken down many pegs. And what’s the worst that could happen? We end up in the same position with slightly less of a w**nker in charge?

      And if they are too chicken for a GE, we end up with a weak Tory leader facing constant rebellions, struggling to get policy through, so having to moderate this by crawling to the opposition as Bozo had to recently.

  12. Capella says:

    What a shambles – evergreen description of Westminster rule.

    Sue Gray report: Met Police ask for ‘minimal reference’ to events they’re investigating

    In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report.

    “The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed, but we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office, including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation.”

    The statement indicates that Gray will either have to make significant changes to her report before publication or delay it until after the police inquiry concludes.

    Sources close to the inquiry have previously indicated that she was concerned about the prospect of releasing a report that was shorn of some of its key findings.

    Officers have not confirmed how many events they are investigating, but reports have suggested it could be as high as eight.

    https://archive.fo/xFij3

  13. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    if people ask how did we get into this mess they need look no further than the media…

    A great example of this would be to look at programmes like BBC QT and their ‘choice’ of guests on their panel…..

    This week apparently they had ANOTHER GB News presenter on…a couple of weeks ago Isabel Oakeshott was on and she also presents a show on GB News and is the partner of Richard Tice (who also has appeared on this programme)…..

    BBC QT also now and in the past have had a string of right wing journalists on……..who ALSO appear on GB News…..between 2000 and 2019 Nige Farage appeared 35 times on this programme….he also has a programme on GB News……

    The BBC and SKY in their paper reviews use the same stable of people where many of them also appear on …..GB News…..Olivia Utley, Carole Malone, isabel Oakeshott, Ella Whelan, Ali Miraj and many others…..

    We then have trash TV The Jeremy Vine show which also has many of the above SAME stable of people as guests on their panel…….

    We have and are being swamped with a narrative that is infiltrating the minds of those whose minds are weak and susceptible to propaganda…..this also happened pre Brexit where if you turned on SKY ‘ All out Politics’ then you would have thought it was The Mark Francois show as he was never off it………promoting Brexit…as was Farage…..

    In Scotland we once had to suffer on our so called news programmes via BBC Rep Scotland a constant ‘some critics say’ with no reference to who those ‘critics’ were…now most of the attacks are identified as being from opposition parties to the SNP…..and their Debate Night seems NOT to reflect, via audience members, the political position in Scotland as in the support for both the SNP and independence being a majority…and is now missing in (in)action coincidentally when the Tories are on the ropes…. hence those same audience members, supportive of the Union and the Tories, would currently appear ridiculous in both their support of the Tories and the Union as is …… always were if truthful…..

    You know there really was NO NEED for GB News as a supposed NEW right wing channel as the current MSM were and are doing all of the heavy lifting for the Union , right wing narratives and the Tory party in their choice of platforming and promoting right wing opinions via their guests, spinning news to protect the Tories and omitting news that would be seen as negative for the Tories….and let’s also NOT forget how some of both the BBC and SKY’s presenters are now with………….GB NEWS as presenters……….and who can forget Andrew Neil…formerly BBC…. then who promoted launch of GB NEWS…had a show on it…then left it….and who NOW is to make a programme for Channel 4…….the circle is complete…….basically we are drowning in misinformation and lies NOT as the mainstream media say is via all Social media but VIA the mainstream media themselves…………

    Their UK is truly one of the worst countries in the world for both politics and media……

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Meant to add let’s not forget one Neil Oliver….who had a …(ahem) History series, more at times bordering on a Unionistic fantasy version, of Scottish history on BBC…now he has a show on…..the GB NEWS channel……….

    • Capella says:

      Excellent analysis NMRN. As someone who doesn’t pay the TV tax and so never watches these “popular” shows unless visiting someone else who does (rare to never now) it is shocking how the media are colonised by unionist trolls. Makes 50% support for independence all the more remarkable.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        🙂

        Unfortunately however I fear many do watch both the BBC and SKY news……hence why we still have people in Scotland who are oblivious to the REAL news where they are……as to GB News well they only preach to those already converted to their way of thinking……

        Let’s wait and see if Neil Oliver is invited onto BBC QT ….I for one would NOT be surprised.

        The only positive thing about GB News is that those who have joined it as presenters have now set out their stall as to who and where their allegiances lie….thus, on both Scotland and independence, their credibility is questionable as they are hardly impartial commentators in any future independence referendum or indeed on Scotland as a country….and thus what they say should not be taken into account or considered of any worth…..indeed many eyes been opened on Neil Oliver…known now as a Covid conspiracy theorist….

        Funny how many Scots knew already what he, Oliver, was really really all about…..we always seem to be the first in identifying bias and idiots….were we not also the ones who identified the BBC as a biased broadcaster and now many , post Brexit, outwith Scotland have concluded this too…….yet somehow we Scots are treated as if idiots in our quest to want Scotland to be an independent country….

        Maybe if more people had listened to some Scots like us….. and less to those others with opposing opinions outwith Scotland…………. then this current mess we all find ourselves in could perhaps have all been avoided…….excepting of course those so called proud Scots aka BritNats like Oliver and his other BritNat comrades who unfortunately walk among us in Scotland and whose allegiance is not Scotland first and foremost but Britain……..First.

        • DonDon says:

          NMRN: “. . . on Neil Oliver…known now as a Covid conspiracy theorist”

          Earlier this month, I chanced to see him at an airport in Scotland.

          Only reason I recognized him was that unlike everbody else, he was unmasked . . .

          . . . and scowling.

          • Not-My-Real-Name says:

            Yes he is unmasked in more ways than one DonDon….as now since being on GB News he has also been unmasked as a bit of a Nutter…..as opposed to his previous pretend persona as a clever Historian and ‘decent’ chap by others BTW not us……….as an archaeologist he has now dug a hole so deep and has buried all of his credibility and former assumed reputation in it …..that it will be impossible for him to climb out of said hole of his own making…..GOOD.

  14. Dr Jim says:

    Most right thinking folk despise the Tories and what they stand for but beware of Labour for they are no different to the Tories and if Johnson extricates himself from this current criminal debacle using the forces of law then be in no doubt if the Labour party were to win the next GE on the back of this they will do exactly the same things as Johnson but with a red tie and rosette stuck on it remembering of course that only England can force changes of government on the UK, Scotlands votes have minimal to no impact as we’ve seen over the last 60 years, so England may get what it wants but Scotland will be stuck once again with a political party we didn’t vote for who’s own shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy is on record demanding that the UK of Englands military be sent into Scotland in exactly the same fashion as was used in Spain to prevent democracy breaking out (Englands definition of rebellion)

    Scotland fortunately at this moment seems to be on track with our departure from the big England Union according to the Liberal Democrats who submitted a FOI demanding to know the numbers of the civil servants tasked with the detail and it appears they number 11 and that of course prompted their partners in the other two Union parties to complain about the humungous bloated horrendous use of taxpayers money on the manifesto promise made to the people that the Union party would prefer the SNP to renege upon much like their own Union party does in the big England

    In England politics is completely different you see, because there in that country manifesto promises are solely a propaganda tool to get elected and not actual promises otherwise there’d be no increase in National Insurance to fund Englands NHS because post Brexit his Majesty the King of dictators Boris Johnson promised £350 million per week flooding into that service because of the big and lovely Brexit bonus, and that folks is just the tip of the enormous and humungous bloated and horrendous lies that come out of the mouths of the Unionist party no matter which name or colour they say they represent

    I believe Scotland will run out of patience with supporters of the Union party their little helpers and those voting for them, best we get ourselves Independent soonest before Lisa Nandy and her ilk get their mitts on power

    We can make a start with the council elections by not allowing the political interference parties a seat by voting SNP, every vote for somebody else is a dilution and is interpreted as a vote against Independence

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      “Scotland fortunately at this moment seems to be on track with our departure from the big England Union according to the Liberal Democrats who submitted a FOI demanding to know the numbers of the civil servants tasked with the detail”

      Have their HQ ( or indeed them as a branch office) also submitted a FOI demanding to know the numbers and cost of the UK civil servants tasked with the detail of Michael Gove’s Union Unit ……or complained about the money that was assigned for Covid money but was spent by him on a secret poll on the supposed support for the Union in Scotland ?

      • Alex Clark says:

        Have the Lib Dems Scottish branch office put in an FOI request asking how much the two inquiries into Downing St parties are going to cost?

        The so-called ‘Celebrity Squad’ has been tasked with investigating eight parties in a wide-ranging probe, which policing experts have estimated could cost in excess of £1million and take at least six months.

        Eight officers in the Special Enquiry Team, led by Commander Catherine Roper, have been assigned to the inquiry, with more officers and staff available if needed, the Daily Mail understands.

        https://archive.ph/wip/r69bh

        Despite the source, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the final bill for the “partygate” investigation exceeds £1 million. I’m sure the Met can string it out for as long as they feel the need to. The “cash for honours” investigation into Downing St took 18 months to complete and despite Tony Blair being interviewed 3 times, no one was prosecuted.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          ” I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the final bill for the “partygate” investigation exceeds £1 million.”

          Neither would I Alex…..it’s spend spend spend…..to save those who deserve NOT to be saved but deserve to be punished……..and not just by the voters.

          In 2018 it was reported that months after Scotland Yard received ‘substantial’ evidence of potential criminality by pro-Leave groups, nothing had happened…………….this was after the UK Electoral Commission reported that multiple breaches of electoral law, false declarations and covert campaign over-spending had taken place by pro-Leave groups during the 2016 EU referendum.

          THEN

          In 2019 it was reported Campaign group Leave.EU will face no further criminal investigation over its spending during the Brexit referendum.

          After it was referred to the Metropolitan Police and after being fined £70,000 by the Electoral Commission in May 2018 for election law breaches.

          But the Met said there was “insufficient evidence” to justify any further criminal investigation.

          We now live in a time when the MET Police are seriously asking us to believe that “insufficient evidence” is sufficient evidence for them NOT to investigate an offence even when the offence in question has been investigated by another body, the Electoral Commission, who have already concluded there was sufficient evidence for them to find “multiple breaches of electoral law, false declarations and covert campaign over-spending had taken place by pro-Leave groups during the 2016 EU referendum”………….go figure that logic.

          Yet Unionists complain of how a political party elected as THE government in Scotland , elected via a manifesto and a election promise, spend money to implement that promise and manifesto…..while their side , the Unionists, spend money on Michael Gove’s Union Unit to save (won’t) their Union, vast amount on a private jet , feasibility studies on a unfeasible idea re a (non starter) bridge being built, squander billions on the planning of and implementation of Brexit, private Tory dinners, write off 4.5 billion in Covid fraud etc etc as too many to remember and list.

          Who possibly thinks this is acceptable in their UK and what Scot would see this as the best way forward for Scotland still being a part of their UK…….and how would the above examples on the mega wasted money that has been spent by the Tories be a great example to exemplify how we, in Scotland, are Better Together in THEIR non Union………with this shower of corrupt, greedy, incompetent crooks who control us via WM aided by an equally corrupt media and Met police force headed by the Godmother Dame Cressida Dick…….but but but Labour and Lib Dem support this all continuing for us in Scotland…….so what does that make THEM ?…well seemingly under Starmer, via public perception, it makes them unelectable as the UK Government and well the Lib Dems will, as scavengers, just do what they always do and go on hoovering up the scraps.

          It’s barmy and obscene………and indefensible.

  15. Alex Clark says:

    If you want to know what the arguments for and against the Met preventing publication in full of the Sue Gray report then this is an interesting thread from a human rights barrister and visiting Professor at the University of London.

  16. This really shows you how inept the brits are at running a country.

    Googling images of it and there are lorries backed up as far as the eye can see. No sign of it easing, but new checks and a pick up in traffic will only make things worse. Nuts.

    All great if you want sky-high inflation and shrinking wages.

    https://www.itv.com/news/2022-01-26/new-brexit-border-checks-causing-queues-at-dover-and-itll-get-worse-says-union

    New Brexit border checks causing queues at Dover and delays will get worse, says union

    The Unite union says the queues of lorries outside the town of Dover are a “direct consequence” of the introduction of additional border procedures at the beginning of the year…

    Can you imagine the uproar if SNP policy caused queues this long?

  17. Capella says:

    Shouldn’t YES be higher than 50% in the polls what with partygate and all the other corruptions in Boris Johnstons’ administration?
    Prof Robertson asks the question after a Scotsman / Savanta poll. But is sampling bias creeping in?

    … looking at the polls going back to the beginning of 2021, Savanta Com Res often with the Scotsman stand out. They report 1 Yes win, 9 No wins and 2 ties after the Ipsos MORI 9% win for Yes in November.

    No other pollster is so good at finding NO wins.

    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2022/01/21/50-50-from-savanta-scotsman-is-good/

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Well that depends whether you believe the theory that polls are there to influence opinion and not to reflect it…..also one wonders WHY Michael Gove will NOT release the poll that he commissioned on support for the Union and this poll’s details has been ordered, by the courts, to be published .

      I mean one HAS to assume it is very very bad for the Union……it is not rocket science to establish that as a fact………indeed in suppressing it he is only magnifying that very fact……..as in support for the Union is terrible while the alternative option i.e. independence has ascended to a much greater/higher percentage than the recent ‘polls’ would have us believe…..i.e. presented as neck and neck……if the neck was a giraffe’s neck then Indy would be touching it’s head at the top while the Union would be touching the bottom of it’s neck i.e. the shoulders of the giraffe…..Lol

      • keaton says:

        Never really understood the fuss about Gove’s secret poll. If it’s a lot worse for the Union than other polls conducted at the time (which seems probable, given the reluctance to publish the results), that would just make it wan o thae sampling variation outliers. Sure it’s embarrassing for the UK government that their own poll backfires, but it wouldn’t give us much useful information, would it? Am I missing something?

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          “Am I missing something”

          I wish I knew….as does Tommy Shepherd who has been fighting it’s release since it was discovered it had taken place……however I do see your perspective…..seems strange though that this had to be taken to court…they lost…..then they appealed that judgement and lost the appeal too…so they, the Union side, seem ultra determined to keep it secret…..perhaps in this instance they did a real poll to really get definitive answer…..and they did not like the answer they got via the results……….

        • Bob Lamont says:

          It’s principle. Had the Tories paid for it from their own funds it would be a private matter. By using public funds the public have a right to know what they’ve paid for.

          • Not-My-Real-Name says:

            Yes Bob exactly…and not just ANY public funds but money that was assigned for Covid money !

            How unsurprising of them…..

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I no longer believe polls are representative of anything, I’m very much in the NMRN camp of believing them the manipulator rather than the independent invigilator.

      We’ve had countless examples of those we once trusted appearing to distort without consideration of coordinated coercion, we presume independence of mind and spirit as if incapable of enforced change. Is Glenn Campbell volunteering his “in my opinion”, or voluntarily reading from a script from London, or under threat of a P45 ?
      Would Brexit have stood the faintest chance of succeeding without media collusion? I suggest not at all, hence there has never been a re-poll.

      Every since London got a fright in 2014, they’ve been hard at work undermining confidence in Scots to avoid repeating their error. Why on earth should we think polling companies or observers on their findings are less subject to their malign influences ?

      Would I be surprised Indy support stood at 75% ? Not in the slightest. But I’d be exceedingly surprised to see it ever published.

  18. Dr Jim says:

    It would appear that those people in Scotland who admire liars vote Tory, or maybe it’s because they’re liars themselves and can see that if you’re a Tory they’re the party who’ll support you in that behaviour, after all those same folk usually support the lie that is the Monarchy who aren’t a Monarchy at all but just some very rich fraudulent family on benefits paid for by the tax payer to pretend they are, like some sort of reality show full of badly behaved rich folk from Essex, all based on the promise of aspirational greed

    *I’m a Tory get me into there*

    No wonder foreign folk are bemused when they look at this, they must wonder what the blazes is stopping Scottish people from digging a big trench across the border never mind bothering about a border

  19. Dr Jim says:

    Thurrs been a poll, and Lord Ffffoookes of the wine o’clock gang says it shows Labour are on course to overtake the SNP in future elections and be the government of Scotland once again
    Well it’s true, the poll does indeed show that except for one thing, the sample was conducted on 72 people

    Never mind Fffoooksy no matter how much money Labour spends in that pub buying drinks I’m sure by the end of the evening they’ll get everyone to say they’ll vote Labour

    Mine’s a large one, Ooh and a bag of Smoky Bacon crisps, Och OK I’ll take another pint as well while you’re at the bar and I’ll defo be voting eh whit party ur yous again? oh aye Labour, righto that’s fine I’ll no forget that giggle giggle

    • JoMax says:

      Would that poll have been conducted in Care Homes for the Elderly just like in 2014 where Labour were said to be ‘helping’ people ‘decide’ whether to vote Yea or Nay in their postal vote? Come to think of it, it may have been conducted in the House of Lords among Scottish Labour Peers. Same thing really. Ask each one the same question a few times, and there you have it.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      Dr Jim, was that the poll at the recent Tena Laddie Pants sponsored event with publicised endorsements from Baron Foulkes of Cumnock?

      “We can discretely organise a piss at most matches”, from what I remember was Georges advertising slogan at Tannadice.

  20. Hamish100 says:

    To whom it may concern

    We want the tories and the red tories defeated. Independence vote Yes in 2023.

  21. Bob Lamont says:

    Not sure if someone has already posted this, but found it most revealing with respect to the huge PR exercise which has been going on, and the impact of customs paperwork required from January on both sides of the channel.

    • Legerwood says:

      Noticed that the BBC News has finally got round to reporting something about the lorry queues. Last night on the 6 o’clock news there was a relatively short report about the hold-up at Dover.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        So I gathered, but it’s clear there is a massive “news management” job on the go.
        Went snooping on the BBC web-pages to see if delays were being mentioned, the only related article was for Kent, and only on shifting barriers on the M20.
        It’s ludicrous that something so serious is being successfully smoke-screened…

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          Hi Bob someone tweeted that the BBC News are putting out false narratives for Govt – and authorities are turning cameras upwards to avoid videos of Dover lorry queues.

          Staff afraid to talk because jobs on line.

          This truth is of course via Social media FIRST……eventually this news will HAVE to be broadcast by MSM……so currently once again social media showing truth via videos of queues of lorries and speaking to drivers waiting in queues …..while the MSM who tell us that social media promotes fake news , as if nothing can be trusted via social media , while THEY MSM are the ones promoting fake news in ignoring and if/when they do briefly acknowledge queues they, MSM, are using false reason for queues.

          Brexit…..because of Brexit…..a word NOT allowed to be spoken it seems…..so these queues of lorries are because of red tape via more paperwork because of BREXIT.

          Hey BBC Disclosure THERE is an investigative documentary for you…probably MORE relevant to all of general public than your most recent documentary on a beer company…..as eventually these queues will impact food supplies even greater than currently …..as currently in my supermarket I have noted for a long time a shortage re CHOICES of food…..things I bought before I now cannot get…..like most women and men you know there are certain things you may always bought….types and brands….now no longer available….

          Yeh no wonder the media are turning their gaze elsewhere ……oldest trick in the book with them and deployed constantly…not for OUR benefit but THEIRS….and they’re doing it deliberately too……

          • Bob Lamont says:

            One of the funniest excuses I heard for queues and delays was ferries being overhauled, that from the Dover Port Manager – They have always done refurbs and refits in January as it has always been the time of lowest traffic.
            There were no queues in any other January in history, nor were trucks held up for hours and days, but so desperate are they to find reasons other than Brexit and the omni-shambles HMG have made of it that they clutch this straw knowing journalists won’t challenge it.
            It’s a farce when the “free press” are in cahoots with the propagandists…

            • Not-My-Real-Name says:

              Yes Bob indeed….I am old enough to remember the time when Brexit was never off the TV and on the front pages of newspapers…..indeed members of the ERG were like a Tag team of T*ts rolled out daily on both the BBC and Sky news channels……but that was when they needed us all to BELIEVE in Brexit as a wonderful thing……now it’s operation cover up…..I heard if you look in the mirror and say Brexit backwards you now turn into….a layby as a lorry driver…I’ll get me coat.

              Apparently those carefully selected members of the public who the media troll out on TV who think we should all move on from #PartyGate..their reason being there is more important things to focus on…..also fail to notice that the more important things that are going on and should be focused on have been caused by the same people responsible for #PartyGate aka the CONservatives and their leader Boris Johnson…..

              Some of them even say the media are on a witch-hunt…….do they not know Johnson is a Warlock….

              Funny also how some of those who voted for Brexit and are also Covid deniers say they do not trust the UK government on Covid or vaccines and think it is a conspiracy by the UK government but somehow STILL believe the UK government is 100% trustworthy on everything they have said and done via Brexit…that I believe is called selective conspiracy theory syndrome……but also caused irrational….but to them it is a perfectly normal position to take……how convenient for them.

              Thank god for social media …….without it we would all still be subjected to MSM, as being the ONLY source of news, that was/is pumping out news on behalf of those who they most favoured as a political party while undermining those they did not….unfortunately for them…now is the time when alternate sources of information , via social media, is available to challenge MSM news…… and for those who care enough to seek the alternate (real) news via social media aka TRUTH …well now our eyes are really open to just how bad MSM is…….via bias and misinformation…also how much is being omitted by the MSM to protect those who, via their own lies, incompetence etc, need protecting by the MSM who favours them politically…….also how selective and convenient for them… both media and their respective favoured political party.

              What a time to be alive………and what a time to believe in Scottish independence.

              Have a good day Bob

  22. Reading this:

    https://archive.is/ZZS8t

    What would indy feel like with a border between Scotland and rest of UK?

    I think it is always worth reiterating to folks that trade walls only hurt those inside them. As per my comments on the article, and posts here about Ireland/N. Ireland on past blogs, being outside the wall can only benefit us.

    This is not the 1950’s. We have a global economy, and can switch sources for imports almost overnight. So if there is a hard border at Gretna, very rapidly Scottish businesses/consumers will start sourcing from the EU, whereas the rUK will still import the same from us.

    When you build a trade wall, it is only those inside the wall that pay for it, obviously. All imports now have a ‘wall fee’ on top, which is what we are experiencing in the UK with brexit. At the same time, exports over the wall come with a wall fee when on sale overseas.

    So, Scottish indy in the EU/EEA will see our exports to the rUK largely unchanged, as is the case with Ireland and other EU countries exporting to the UK. After all, the rUK still needs the stuff from these, just like it did before. All that happens is that English folks pay a wall fee, but that fee applies to all imports, so they can’t avoid it by switching from Scottish to Irish or Argentinian or similar. All come with new wall fees.

    At the same time, Scots now find imports from England a lot more expensive compared to those from the EEA due to the English wall fee, so just stop buying these in favour of wall fee-free EEA goods.

    This is happening at an incredible rate of knots in Ireland (and N. Ireland) because it can, easily. In the modern world, it’s like switching supermarkets. It’s really that easy. And Ireland by sea is the same distance as Scotland from Europe. The new ferry routes they are setting up bypassing basket case Britain are the same distance from Rosyth to Rotterdam. Our ports will develop at an incredible rate (both ro-ro and lo-lo) because the demand will suddenly appear for a cheaper route to Europe. This is exactly what is happening in Ireland, while the UK ports that served the Irish sea are now in rapid decline. And it has happened during a covid slowdown. Without covid, it could have happened in 6 months rather than a year. That is the sort of timescales were are looking at for our imports to reorientate completely away from the rUK, while exports to the latter continue largely as normal.

    There is nothing to fear at all from a ‘hard border’. Instead, there could not be a better way to detach economically from broke Britain as fast as possible. Again, this is not the 1950s where unionists want to live.

    • JoMax says:

      So why can’t Scottish hardline unionists get their heads round this? Could it be that they are, after all, just too lightweight intellectually to understand the realities and therefore the outcomes of an alternative for Scotland? Maybe Rees-Mogg was right, but in an entirely different way from the insult HE intended to impart? Of course, maybe their heads are just too deeply buried in the sand.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Is that the same border that up to now , according to Tories, does NOT exist ?

      Or the same border that will be manned by armed guards post Scottish independence according to Labour’s former HQ leader Ed Milliband ?

      Or the same type of border that is between Ireland (in EU)and NI (in UK) that was never considered a problem indeed never even considered at all pre Brexit and now post Brexit was promoted to be seen as apparently having an easy solvable solution according to the Tories ?

      Seems to me that the real problem with borders is the problem that Unionist politicians create when and if it suits only THEIR narrative and agenda……

      Get Brexit done and Make Brexit work …….not for YOU Scotland……for YOU we have a different solution……via different post Brexit (and some of the same too) problems that we, Unionists, claim will prevent you from leaving us……BORDERing on desperate….as per

    • daveytee19 says:

      I’m concerned about what would happen in the few years that would inevitable elapse between independence and acceptance into the EU. I understand that there is a scheme whereby EU applicants can take advantage of EU trade agreements, but even then we’d only be able to trade with the remaining UK on EU terms which, as we can see, don’t seem to be working very well.

      Far better IMO to join EFTA and the EEA immediately on independence – indications from EFTA are that that would not be a problem. A major advantage of that is that in June last year EFTA and the EU concluded a pretty comprehensive free trade deal and if Scotland was in EFTA that would apply to us as well. Result is that we’d still have free trade with our biggest trading partners (rUK) as well as free and hopefully growing trade with the EU. We’d also retain the rights to our fisheries.

      I do confess that although I voted to remain I’m no great fan of the EU, and find it hard to forgive what they did to Greece and Castalonia. I also don’t much like their neo-liberal agenda. However, once we get independence and are within EFTA, we can presumably at some stage hold a referendum as to whether we should join the EU. I suspect that like the Norwegians we might be happier not to.

      DT

      • Far better IMO to join EFTA and the EEA immediately on independence

        I would imagine that’s exactly the plan, hence the Scotgov trying their best to keep us aligned with the EEA in terms of trade laws / standards.

        ‘find it hard to forgive what they did to Greece and Castalonia’.

        I’m not aware of the countries of the EU doing anything to Greece nor Catalonia. While I had sympathy with the Greek people, notably those that work hard and pay their taxes, their own government got them into debt. And on top of that, they re-elected the Tory government that go them into said debt!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Greek_legislative_election

        With tax avoidance there a national pastime, I don’t think much blame can be put on other EU member states for what happened. Things could probably have been handled better, but the Greeks themselves know it was very much of their own doing.

        Remember, the EU is not an entity, it is a group of countries that make common decisions. The brexiters try to paint it as some faceless, dark entity, but it’s 27 countries working together. And Greece could have left at any time just like the UK has done, dumping the Euro. However, the Greek people strongly support EU membership and the Euro, hence it has not left either. But the Brexiters have done so much to twist the story of what happened there.

        As for Catalonia; the nations of the EU need to take great care in interfering with the politics of member states. They can stay out of Scottish politics for a start unless the English start shooting at us. As things stand, it’s not clear that Catalonians want independence. Most recent polling shows people are against it. So what exactly should the EU do? What they cannot do is take the side of Catalan indy supporters over unionists. At most, the EU states can pressure Spain into a peaceful resolution, and if it really does become clear that Catalonians absolutely want indy, then push Spain, along with the UN, to allow democracy to prevail.

        Clearly, there has been a lot of behind the scenes pressure on Spain for dialogue, hence the pardoning of those involved in the independence bid. TBH, it was foolhardy to do a UDI without clear evidence that it was the will of the people. Sure Spain had a hand in that by making sure the result would be unclear, but it’s only if it is the clear will of the people there, and Spain gets really out of hand, would you expect neighbouring states to intervene.

        The EU has its faults, but not interfering in the politics of member states is something it is very good at. That’s key to unity.

        Quite the contrast in the UK where England does nothing but poke its nose into the politics of all the other three nations, trying to tell them what to do… undermining there governments… taking control of their broadcasting to push propoganda. Give me the freedom of the EU over the UK any day!

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Hi daveytee19….I do understand your concerns but we need to trust those in power in Scotland who support both independence and us re-joining the EU as an independent country and who assure us it is both feasible and the best option for us an independent country..

        EFTA would be an option worth considering and as you correctly said it does include a free trade deal and the organization operates in parallel with the European Union (EU), and all four member states participate in the European Single Market and are part of the Schengen Area ,they are not however party to the European Union Customs Union.

        I suspect a lot of people who voted for independence and who also voted to Leave the EU in 2016, some of the 38%, were probably angry at the EU’s position in 2014….forgetting at the time that they, the EU, had to maintain that position as the UK was a member state at the time…..the MSM chose very carefully in 2014 to promote certain individuals from the EU solely because those certain individuals promoted the message that an independent Scotland would find it very difficult to get into the EU indeed went as far as to say if not impossible to join…..that person who stated that for the benefit of the MSM and the UK…… was one José Manuel Barroso and he cited Spain, one of the EU member state’s, as being an objector to Scotland being ‘allowed’ into the EU….. NOW Spain have come out and said they would have no objection to Scotland re-joining the European Union ( I am sure WGD did an article on this once where Paul set out how ridiculous this promoted objection was) . …..it is laughable now when one considers what has happened….or rather tragic….also when one, post Brexit , sees the comments now from various individuals from the EU who now state Scotland , as an independent country, would be welcomed into the EU.

        Greece and Catalonia….well I sympathise and empathise with them but I am afraid that my priority and goal now is let’s get independence then when we either re-join the EU as a full member or your preferred option EFTA….then we can have our say on matters affecting those particular places, and others, when we are independent and not under a selfish me me me state ( which they were when members of the EU…still are ) aka the UK…. because only by having a seat at the table within the EU as an independent country can our voice be heard………..one only needs to look at the voices via the types of people who promoted Brexit and oppose the EU to see clearly what is the right side and what is the wrong side……..plus Ireland as an EU member have been well respected and acknowledged by the EU against the selfish me me me UK………

        Plus look at the mess Brexit, though not being publicised via MSM, is causing……against what was promised ( lied about) ……..and now a smokescreen i.e. Covid is partly being blamed…..for the few gullible people to swallow and also for the disciples who worshipped , and still do , at the altar of Brexit…….and all done to give a kicking to the EU for reasons parroted by them from dubious sources aka liars………with those same liars now laughing all the way to the bank.

        Have a nice evening

      • Bob Lamont says:

        The mechanism for a future EU relationship are for a future Scots discussion, but I would hang little on the delay between independence and a Scottish decision as important, the EU and affiliate bodies are acutely aware we are different in approach to Frosty the No-Man, the Prime Charlatan and his assembled choir of Spitfire and Bunting monkeys, should they wish to play with fire let them do so, Scotland will be shielded.
        The EU is imperfect of course, but let’s not allow ourselves to be influenced by what a trading organisation do with the political overcoat Brexiteers wish to hang on the peg, such as European Army, it is much more nuanced than that, country affiliations and common objectives being painted as an EU flexing political muscle.
        Catalonia is bound by constitutional law (however devious or detrimental that may be), Greece was hammered because it did not comply with the rules of membership which every Greek knows to be the case, if there are any weapons they are financial, and Greece and Spain signed up to them.
        There WILL be an EU relationship, there can be little doubt Liz Truss will have no say in it, so let’s assume we need no rash decisions whatever your personal perspective.

        • daveytee19 says:

          I wish I could be as confident as you that on attaining independence Scotland will somehow or other be shielded by the EU – has there been any pronouncement from the EU to that effect? If we are to rely on it, I would certainly like to see some sort of guarantee. And in any event, if the EU has still not by then concluded a satisfactory trade agreement with the UK, then even shielding by the EU would not resolve the problem of our trade with our biggest trading partner.

          On the face of it, therefore, joining EFTA and the EEA immdiately on independence would make sense and indications from these bodies have indicated that that would not be a problem. As I said earlier, EFTA, unlike the EU, has a free trade agreement with the UK, as well as with the EU. This means that on independence our trade with the rUK should not unduly suffer, though I don’t expect any favours from England. It means we’d retain our full fishing rights which would not be the case in the EU. The EU would have no control over our oil, wind or water. It means that we could make certain fairly radical laws regarding, say, land ownership that might otherwise fall foul of EU rules. And if we do want to join the EU, and the Scottish people think that is our best course of action, then we can hold a referendum although it is interesting to read why so many Norwegians are dead set against ever joining the EU – their concerns are very similar to those an independent Scotland would have.. I really see little advantage in rushing to join the EU as I don’t anticipate that Scotland is going to be a basket case that needs financial support – quite the contrary in fact.

          DT

          • Bob Lamont says:

            What Scots decide they want after considering the pros and cons of options will eventually be verified by referendum, but an informal then formal EU relationship is inevitable, we are not being led by the likes of Frosty the No Man or Cheesy Truss.

            It is the informal phase I was referring to by way of shielding – Should London attempt to abuse control over the bottleneck they’ve created in England, I’m fairly sure Ireland will present alternatives etc.. What was done to them by way of trade after independence is still bitter memory, they will not be mere bystanders to a repeat performance.

            Most of Scotland’s “trade with our biggest partner” is one way, but what you neglect to mention is England’s dependence on it for it’s industries to survive, and “sunny uplands” have shrunk their options.

            There is much to be learned from Brexit, not least how badly informed the public have been and still are, but I agree on your ultimate point, Scotland is no basket case.

        • It would be good Davey if you could explain what actual problems with trade you are concerned about giving details and examples of other countries now facing serious trade problems with the UK due to the border brexit has created? I’m not aware of any. Without showing people clear examples of what could go wrong, there’s no grounds for suggesting anything will.

          My other country of Ireland is having a Brexit bonanza. As expected, the hard border has had huge overall benefits to Ireland. Billions of assets have been moved to Dublin, along with a plethora of international company HQs wanting an English speaking EU base. Ireland’s ports are booming as trade moves away from the UK to direct links with the continent. Wales can only look on in tears as its ports gather dust.

          https://archive.is/uqN0A

          Brexit: Success on island of Ireland shows what Scotland is missing

          https://archive.is/aqubz

          Rosslare Europort has had a good Brexit

          https://archive.is/sWU9N

          Brexit Gives €200 Billion Boost to Balance Sheets of Irish Banks

          https://archive.is/qBFBp

          Brexit slashes Britain’s market share in Ireland

          It’s only unionists that see problems. We will be outside the wall, so see our exports to the rUK will remain the same, as is the case with Eire and the wider EU/EEA, while will start buying/importing from elsewhere due to the increased cost of goods/services from the rUK, again as is happening in Eire and the wider EU.

          Trade walls first and foremost do damage to those inside it, as it is only those inside that pay for it. The brexit wall is costing brits a fortune, but Europeans nothing as the costs are borne by Brits. Since England cannot feed or power itself, nor make what it needs, it must import just as it did before, but with wall costs on top paid for by English voters.

          Scots in the EEA would find good/service from the EU suddenly much cheaper as they have no wall cost, so they’d quickly swap to buying these. In England, as all imports have wall costs, so Scots stuff would remain competitive alongside goods from the EU and beyond.

          This is why the EU wasn’t really bothered about the UK leaving, particularly with a ‘hard brexit’ as the damage to the EU is minimal, with lots of benefits. It is the UK that has totally shot itself in the foot, hence the EU states were like ‘Ok, if you want to be a total idiot and ruin your economy, then we can’t stop you. We’ll take businesses from you and enjoy a boom!’.

          As for needing ‘protection’ from England, if that is the case, we need independence immediately. It is only if England is our friend and we don’t need protection from it should continued union be considered at all.

          Scotland would be a friend to England post-indy, but you believe that England is an enemy, then our situation is much worse than people realise and we need to get out.

  23. Capella says:

    The corruption of the cash for honours system needs investigation too. Boris better hurry up with that war against Russia as he sure needs one massive distraction.

    Met refuse to say why they won’t probe Tory ‘cash for honours’ culture

    Now, the Met has said that revealing the reasoning behind their decision could cause it “operational harm”.

    “Such a disclosure would not be in the public interest,” it said, responding to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from openDemocracy. “It would be harmful to our policing functions.”

    The Met’s decision not to probe the allegations, despite having set a precedent for doing so under Tony Blair’s government, was questioned by barrister Jolyon Maugham at the time.

    https://archive.fo/8rx0H

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      “Such a disclosure would not be in the public interest,”

      Replace public interest with Government’s interest……

      “could cause it “operational harm”.

      Replace “operational harm” with government harm.

      “It would be harmful to our policing functions.”

      Replace “policing functions” with government functions”

      REPLACE Dame Cressida Dick with an honest and non political spokesperson for the Tory Govt….if there IS such an option available in THIS corrupt state called the UK……

      • Capella says:

        Don’t worry NMRN – Operation Save Big Dog is in full swing.

        Boris is going to tell Vladimir where to get off and Liz Truss is off to Moscow soon in her private jet to sort them out. So that’s Vladimir telt.
        We wouldn’t want revelations of our own state corruption and illegal foreign wars to spoil our finger wagging reputation.

        Look! – a big squirrel.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60179127

  24. Capella says:

    Boris Johnston supports freedom and democracy, but only if it benefits him.
    Otherwise he doesn’t.
    Boris Johnson says a nation ‘must choose her own destiny’ – just not Scotland

    Johnson told MPs that the “fundamental point and the thing that we cannot bargain away” is that: “A sovereign country must have the right to choose her own destiny.”

    “And that is what Ukraine must have,” he added…
    .The Tory leader also said that “a country must be allowed to choose its own way forward, and that is what we are sticking up for”.

    He further told Parliament that his government could not “accept the doctrine implicit in Russian proposals that all states are sovereign but some are more sovereign than others”.

    https://archive.fo/7YzFC

  25. Capella says:

  26. Clydebuilt says:

    BBC Radio based on Scotland @6pm “7Days To Happiness”

    we are looking at the connection between politics and happiness.

    why we have to rethink what political participation means

    people vote because they are happy
    they are not happy because they vote . . . (voting doesn’t make you happy”

    volunteering at a foodbank makes you happier than voting.

    Alex Bell ex advisor to Salmond , given major part.

    Charan Gill went from being about to stand as a Labour MP.
    he’s stopped reading newspapers , listenning to the news.
    it wont make a difference to him gets into power. Im not disillusioned
    with politics. . . .

    straight after the football. . . . hoping they have a captive audience. . .

    This is operation voter suppression starting up.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      forgot to add. . . programme ended up with an attempt to input suggestions into listeners heads. . . . presenter put on a very relaxed voice, suggesting the audience should consider what they would like to achieve (politically) . . . . none of the suggestions would lead to working for Independence.

  27. Dr Jim says:

    President Vladimir Putin calls for Boris Johnson to resign

  28. Capella says:

  29. Dr Jim says:

    A couple of Labour millionaire politicians wandered around Glasgow yesterday then helped a child fill bags at a food bank, while these two millionaires wandered around they spoke to selected members of the media and informed them that no matter what Scotland voted for or Scotland wants these two millionaires know better, thusly they have *tasked* another Labour millionaire to convince Scots or not that what they want is not what they want but that he the appointed other millionaire will decide what we get so suck it up

    These Labour millionaires are Sir Keir Starmer elected as a MP by nobody in Scotland, Anas Sarwar elected on the proportional representational list system which basically means he couldn’t achieve enough first past the post votes to be elected, so technically not formally elected at all and the elected by nobody in any UK country Gordon Brown, and whaddya know he’s not even a Sir or a Lord, so it looks like his own party don’t really like this towering political figure they keep crowing about anyway, but they’re more than delighted to once again foist this man upon the voters of Scotland to tell us that we don’t get to have democracy once again, plus he can say anything he wants and never has to back it up because he’s not an elected politician and he’s not accountable to even a political party or the electorate, Gordon Brown is nobody and we know he’s nobody or *the VOW * would have been honoured by somebody somewhere, but it wasn’t because listen carefully Gordon Brown is feckin nobody and accountable to no one ever anywhere

    Sir Keir Starmer is the leader of the Labour party in the UK but Scotland had no input into electing him, Sarwar is the leader of their branch office in Scotland but nobody in Scotland elected him either except his pals in Holyrood who had a wee talk about it and decided he was the new leader because Sir Keir Starmer ordered them to do that, just like Jeremy Corbyn ordered them to elect Rudyard somebody or other before that and on they go just like the Tories elected Douglas Ross except they didn’t did they

    Scotland continuously has people foisted upon us from politicians either elected by the voters in England or appointed by these same people that the English voters elect, and quite often we have people appointed to make rules in Scotland who neither country voted for, the Scotland office if chock a block with these folk

    Yesterday I’m told that Anas Sarwar was asked why he’s happy that Pakistan is an Independent country from the UK but is prepared to fight against Scotland having that same right, Anas Sarwar accused the questioner of racism and walked on , so I guess in the mind of Anas Sarwar you can only ask a question about Pakistan if you’re Pakistani, hmm?

    Now isn’t that the most deflecting use of an accusation of racism you ever heard

  30. Bob Lamont says:

    An interesting article from Richard Murphy via his Twitterverse, but in reading it I kept bumping into parallels to Scottish independence arguments which have been going on for decades.
    I honestly cannot see Richard’s vision of reform get traction in the public domain against an onslaught by media and corrupt politicians – As Dr Jim eloquently highlighted above, the corruption is now so systemic that continuing the status-quo in pursuit of elitist interests prevails, your future if you know what’s good for you is what the rich and powerful tell you it is https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2022/01/29/we-need-a-great-reform/

    • Golfnut says:

      I see that Javid’s ( Health Secretary) brother is the Deputy Commissioner for the Met, little wonder the Met were ‘ reluctant ‘ to get involved.

  31. Capella says:

    While we await the Sue Gray report, or not, Stuart Cosgrove suggests we need to rethink Scotland’s media landscape. His 20 years in the wilderness of London taught him that Scotland is irrelevant to British broadcasting bosses.

    Stuart Cosgrove: ITV’s decision is welcome but Scotland needs to plan its media landscape

    WHEN the networks make such fundamental changes to its schedule there is always an underlying purpose, for ITV it is shoring up success and in part using its juggernauts to defeat BBC 1 in prime time. It is also to stack viewers and lead them on from the soaps to true crime documentaries, prime-time original drama and hyped up reality TV. It is never about viewers in Scotland.

    https://archive.fo/nI0jO

  32. Tatu3 says:

    The truth about Boris Johnson

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