Douglas Ross : The definition of a charlatan

There are very few things in Scottish politics which can unite people from across the political spectrum, but in recent day we have witnessed one of those rare beasts which is harder to find than Priti Patel’s compassion or Boris Johnson’s sense of shame. Just about everyone in Scotland, even quite a few Tories, although most of them are too reticent to say so in public, thinks that Boris Johnson needs to resign now that he has added law-breaker to his long and growing list of personal failings. Equally just about everyone, again including quite a few Tories although most of them are reluctant to say so in public, thinks that Douglas Ross, Scottish Conservative jellyfish in chief, is a spineless hypocrite. He is so bereft of political credibility that his own party won’t put his face on their election leaflets.

The Tory excuses for Johnson’s law breaking are gob smacking in their ludicrous brass neckery. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who is to culture as Kanye West is to self-effacing modesty, said that Johnson’s law breaking should be forgiven because he only attended the lockdown busting party for which he has received a fine (at least in this round of Met Police fixed penalty notices) for only nine minutes, as though it were fine to break the law as long as you only do so for a short period of time. “Yes Your Honour, I did rob the bank, but I was in and out again before You gotta fight for your right to party had finished playing on the radio, and therefore I don’t think that the court should punish me.”

Meanwhile the Daily Mail splashed on its front page that the cake with which Johnson was allegedly ambushed never left its tupperware box, which is a defence that the Mail will no doubt stand by next time a drug user is prosecuted for possession of cocaine, especially if it’s Michael Gove.

Here in Scotland Douglas Ross has trashed what little credibility he had left, which wasn’t a great deal because he never had much to begin with. Ross has previously demanded the resignation of the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, even before the independent enquiry into whether she had breached the ministerial code had reported its findings and had said that she had not. He told the BBC, “Evidence against Nicola Sturgeon has been mounting, it has been growing… you cannot continue as First Minister of Scotland if you have mislead parliament and breached the ministerial code.”

When Nicola Sturgeon briefly stood up at a funeral gathering and forgot to put her mask on for a considerably shorter time than nine minutes, the Scottish Tories fulminated on their official Twitter account that “There cannot be one rule for Nicola Sturgeon and another for everyone else.”

But now that Boris Johnson has been found to have misled Parliament on numerous occasions and has been found to have broken the actual law, never mind breached the ministerial code, all of a sudden the Tories are terribly keen that there should be one rule for Boris Johnson and another for everyone else.

These would be the same Scottish Tories who claim to be the party of law and order and attack the SNP for being “soft” on crime, but all of a sudden they are terribly keen to excuse the law breaking of a Conservative Prime Minister and Chancellor.

Being someone who has written about the hypocrisy and rank corruption of the Conservatives for a long time, I had thought I was hardened to their lies, shamelessness and deceit, but few of us can ever have heard such dissembling bullshit as Douglas Ross was spouting on Reporting Scotland this evening. Using the tragic situation in Ukraine as a shield behind which to hide from the consequences of Johnson’s law breaking was beneath contempt. Ross refused to say what we all know, and what we all know that he knows too – that Johnson is dishonest. It was frankly pathetic to watch.

France hasn’t allowed the war in Ukraine to prevent it from holding its presidential election. The Tories didn’t allow the threat of an imminent Nazi invasion when the UK was actually in the midst of a world war to get in the way of them ditching Nevile Chamberlain in order to replace him with Churchill. But the same Tories who fetishise the role of Britain in WW2 and who are insisting that Ukrainians fleeing the agonising plight of their country must jump through bureaucratic hoops in order to find refuge in the UK are brazenly hiding Johnson’s selfish law breaking behind the rubble of Mariupol.

The lock down busting parties were bad enough, but when they came to light, Johnson lied repeatedly about them in an attempt to weasel his way out of his self-inflicted troubles. He lied to the press, he lied to the public, he lied to his own party and his cabinet colleagues, and he lied to Parliament. He trashed the trust placed in those in high office, he breached the ministerial code, he broke the law, and all this is just fine with the Conservative party.

What makes Ross’s spineless hypocrisy even worse than that of the rest of the shameless careerists of the Conservative party is that just a few short months ago he loudly protested that Johnson had to go and asserted that he would not back down. Jacob Rees Mogg dismissed him with a patrician wave as a lightweight. But now that the Conservative MPs who wrote letters to the chair of the 1922 Committee to say that they had lost confidence in Johnson have meekly fallen into line, Ross has joined them, which means that he knows that what Johnson has done and how he has behaved is beyond the pale, but he values his own job and his own position more than he values those principles which he so loudly proclaimed not so long ago. That is the very definition of a charlatan.

I had my NHS driving assessment yesterday. Sadly it did not go well. To cut a long story short, I have been told that I will never be able to drive again. I still have some issues with a lack of attentiveness in the left side of my visual field, it’s minor, but enough to make driving unsafe. My eyes are fine, but the part of my brain that processes visual information was damaged during the stroke. My reaction time is too slow. On top of this the only hand I can use is my right. I was very dominantly left handed before the stroke and really struggled to use the adaptation which allows driving with just one hand. I found it very difficult to position the car correctly on the road, it’s not just steering but I would also have to use my right hand to manage the lights, windscreen wipers and horn, all of which are controlled from a button pad mounted on the steering wheel. I just don’t have the dexterity to do it.

It has now been eighteen months since the stroke, and the occupational therapist carrying out the assessment said that realistically any future improvements to my condition are going to be marginal, and not enough to allow me to drive again. So I need to accept that I will never get behind the wheel of a car ever again. It would not be safe for me or more importantly for other road users. I am very disappointed, but not entirely surprised. On a more positive note she did say that she thinks I may be eligible for the higher rate of the mobility component of PIP as walking and using public transport are both challenging for me. The application for PIP has been made but it will be many months before I get a decision.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit down about this development. Even though it did not come as a great shock I had hoped that I might be able to regain some personal independence, and it’s saddening to be confronted in such stark terms with the fact that driving is one of the many things that the stroke has taken from me.

But there is nothing to be gained by moping or by dwelling on it. This is the reality I have to deal with, and deal with it I shall.

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192 comments on “Douglas Ross : The definition of a charlatan

  1. Aileen Ford says:

    So sorry to hear that you will not be able to drive. That is really rotten. Take care of yourself xx

  2. James Mills says:

    While we have expected Johnson’s shameless disregard for standards in Public life the most despicable aspect of this whole Partygate farrago is the utter refusal of the Tory Party , MPs and MSPs , together with the Tory Press to hold him to account for his actions .

    This is the nadir ( so far ! ) of contempt for the Rule of Law in the UK – AND YET , there are still so many of the public who appear to want to ”move on ” and allow him to continue trashing standards in Westminster ( not difficult I admit ) and making a mockery of the Truth .

    There are no words to describe the utter contempt I feel for DRoss and all those who shield this shameless liar by conflating the suffering of a nation with his wrongdoing .

  3. Aileen Ford says:

    So sorry to hear that you will not be able to drive. That is really rotten xx

  4. mikeannis4669 says:

    I don’t normally comment on your posts though read them avidly and agree wholeheartedly with your stand. Having suffered Tory rule for most of my life, apart from the odd Labour blip usually destroyed by the media, I have to say that this is the most corrupt, venal, heartless Tory party I’ve suffered. Even if people do wake up and vote Zir Keir that will just continue the shambles. When all can see the disaster of Brexit and not change a thing is group madness and insanity.

    Anyway to more important matters. So sorry to here about your slow journey to some form of normality, well the new norm for you. You still have your spirit and drive and your writing helps many thousands. Keep up the good work if only more slowly. Xxx

  5. Hamish100 says:

    Sorry to hear about the driving assessment. I am sure with help you can and will readjust.

    As to Ross what a pathetic excuse of a man. All he had to do was to say johnson and the chancellor should go and quickly. The spineless tories with him will punished at the local elections I hope.

    On BBC News a briefing on how to identify fake news was interrupted by Johnson giving a sermon on the beach. Nasty aliens invading. We need the Royal Navy to take charge. Here I thought Johnson was leading the fight against Putin and it turns out to be mum, dads and children are the real enemy.

    I thought Brexit was going to stop all this?

    Ok back to how to identify fake news and a compliant state broadcaster. Lady Davidson of the unelected will speak on behalf of the Whistler.

  6. I can only imagine how down you feel right now, Paul.
    I have OA in both knees, the left one crippling and extremely painful.
    Now, I haul myself upstairs, stairs which I bound up two at a time into my early sixties.

    Without my wee 11 year old bone rattler, i would be virtually housebound, the pain of walking too much after a few metres..sorry yards, now that England has banned our freedom of movement and we measure differently now out of Europe.
    I know that your personal strength and support from family and friends will see you through this set back.

    Old age truly doesn’t come alone. My only words of ‘comfort’.
    Take care, sir.

    I’ve made my feelings known about Dross and the Brit Pack shoring up Johnson and Sunak elsewhere.
    Genuine question. Will Mrs Sunak be put on one of the first ‘planes to sit in a concentration camp in Rwanda,while she is being processed, since she is not British but Indian, and has stated that she will not apply for British citizenship?
    The English Empire and concentration camps in Africa? What a Boer.
    Davidson should step down from the House of Lards, and dross resign from the Blue version of the English Brits Up Here.
    Some day, not in the too distant future his children will read an account of his role in our fight for independence.

  7. Bob Lamont says:

    Was surprised by the verdict on your assessment for driving, but your explanation of the difficulties which contributed to it makes perfect sense, however disappointed you will undoubtedly be.

  8. Alex Clark says:

    It must have hurt a lot to be told that you would not be able to drive again. I hope though that you are successful in your PIP application and will be entitled to the higher rate of mobility allowance which will allow you to have a mobility lease car and insurance will be provided for up to 3 named drivers such as your partner, a relative or friend.

  9. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I too am Sorry to hear about the driving assessment.

    Thoughts with you and also my thanks for the continuing wonderful articles you write that express so eloquently , via your unique style of writing , the many issues that clearly expose all that is wrong politically in a UK not fit for purpose in being seen as a country……there is nothing United about it.

    You manage to articulate everything that we all feel and see that inspire us to respond with our own comments that at least, if nothing else, gives us some form of respite at the absolute sense of desperation, anger and injustice of it all……

    I am so glad you are on our side as it reinforces that I too must be on the right side when honest and decent people like you feel as I do and thus choose to express it on a blog such as this …..

    Take care and know that many people on here who respond via their comments on your articles and also those who read your blog but do not comment all wish you well and care about you……

    Thank You.

  10. Golfnut says:

    Sorry to hear about the driving assessment, my father-in-law had a similar fate, his up side was that he could no longer be the designated driver, a wee dram kept him happy.

  11. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael has tweeted that Dross using the Ukraine position to justify his previous position (fake) for Johnson to resign over #PartyGate is …WEAK…..yet Alex Cole Hamilton is promoting an alliance with the Tories in Edinburgh and Glasgow…….so what IS the Lib Dems TRUE position…….well tis to LIE like their political allies the Tories…..apparently chameleons change their colour for camouflage to merge with the environment , same as the Lib Dems as a party who also change their party colour from Yellow to blue when advantageous for them to do so to merge with the current Tory environment….historically and NOW….so if Carmichael thinks Dross is weak what does he think about Cole-Hamilton aligning with Dross’s Tories in Scotland at the council elections……..surely tis a very weak position to take and clearly shows a lack of character and political acumen by Cole-Hamilton….given the CURRENT position with the Tory party……truth is neither of them care a jot how it looks and that IS the TRUTH and is always their position politically..

    Also the Lib Dems are one of the parties asking for parliament to be recalled at WM……is that so they can announce their Scottish (INO) leader at Holyrood pledges his allegiance to the branch office Council division…….I mean timing is supposedly EVERYTHING but I would have thought any supposed opposition party would have NOT chosen THIS time to state they were prepared to form an alliance with the Tory party via ANY election……I suspect Cole-Hamilton is trying to entice disenchanted Tory voters to HIS party in council elections at the expense of the Tories…his message being Vote Lib Dem get Tory in all but name…………

    Unionist politicians will unite with any other Unionist party outwith their own to oust the SNP and stop independence but the ultimate cost to Scotland in them continually doing this is that Scotland, as a country, MUST still endure PM’s like Johnson and governments like the Tories in power at WM…..and THAT in itself is a price TOO high for Scotland to pay…….but Unionist politicians care not in their quest to rise to the ultimate position of being an unelected bureaucrat within the biggest political con ever…aka the HOL……..and once there they can reap financial rewards outwith the HOL’s from positions with private companies, radio stations and other lucrative positions that enhance their own financial positions while those of us, in Scotland, that they DO NOT REPRESENT ,as they are unelected, must suffer under whatever Unionist party/s rule in their UK via WM……as in usually have to endure a Tory government we did not vote for…….

    Lib Dems and Labour in their actions and words are just enablers to a Tory party remaining in power and their willingness to collude with Tories in councils, Holyrood and WM tells you that they are willing to sacrifice themselves and their own parties to STOP the SNP and STOP independence……AND THAT IS NOT DEMOCRACY FOR SCOTLAND NOW OR EVER.

    Dross and Cole Hamilton are cut from the same political cloth…..both weak, driven by ambition and not to be trusted…….any alliance THEY form is one that reeks of desperation in the full knowledge that , in Scotland, they are incapable of winning alone as a party thus they must seek to try and gain a political advantage via deploying subversive tactics to CON the voters into voting for them…..such aspiration they (do not) have they cannot go it alone as they have so little to offer as a party……as for Labour well Sarwar via his recent actions is clearly wanting to join THEIR gang…..as in if you cannot beat them…JOIN them……what an absolute shower they all truly are…..politicians in name only !!

  12. dakk says:

    Bad news about the driving assessment.

    Good to see you are not dwelling on it and has not interrupted your writing.

  13. Capella says:

    Sad to hear that you will not be able to drive again. You will just have to get a personal chauffeur aka taxis. I’m not familiar with PIP payments but if they say you can’t drive then it follows you will need to use taxis or the mobility car scheme as Alex has suggested.

    To be honest, I don’t like driving now and I would much rather use a taxi service for the odd occasion I want to go anywhere. Someone once did the sums and said it was actually cheaper than owning a car but I wouldn’t swear to that.

    Hope a solution emerges which works for you.

  14. P Harvey says:

    Paul, so sorry to hear that your assessment did not go as we all hoped.
    Your resilience in accepting this, is inspiring
    Hopefully, a mobility car and/or scooter will improve the situation
    Just when you think the CONservatives – of all colours – cannot go any lower, they indeed surprise you
    Keep well & keep fighting!

  15. I’m really sad to learn that you won’t be able to drive again, Paul. When you have fought so hard for our Independence it is a blow to learn that your personal independence has taken another hit.

  16. Dr Jim says:

    A tweet from Frankie Boyle :

    The reason there’s no significant fascist party in Britain is because those voters are happy with the government

  17. John Bell says:

    So sorry to hear about the decision regarding your driving. My wife has voluntarily stopped driving due to a dropped foot, arthritis and other issues and I have to drive her everywhere – she misses the independence. I see the spineless idiot was chased while out leafletting in Edinburgh hopefully this will be the case in the rest of Scotland

  18. Jess Mitchell says:

    Really sorry to hear this, Paul. However, if PIP is granted there are two possibilities: one is that, if your partner can drive, you can still apply for a motability car with him as the named driver. It doesn’t have to be the disabled person who is the principal driver as long as the car is for their use. It can be a spouse, partner, son, daughter or even a close friend, as long as they live with you or within a short distance of your home. The other is that you can also use the Mobility component of PIP to get a mobility scooter, if it is possible for you to manage that. Again it is done via Motability and takes less of your mobility component than a car does.

    I wish you the best of luck with the PIP process. It may help if they call you for interview to have someone with you who is familiar with the ins and outs of the system and can act as a supporting advocate and witness for you.

    Apart from that, I agree with every word about Dross.

  19. Welsh_Siôn says:

    So … you have Dross (wherefore is Union Jack?) and we have the worthless Hart. (Video included):

    https://nation.cymru/news/watch-welsh-secretary-simon-harts-car-crash-interview/

    Sorry to hear about the driving assessment. Hope for better luck with PIP.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Tough on crime Tory Douglas Ross, except when it comes to his boss, he just has to *explain* his not crimes

  20. Sorry to hear you won’t be able to drive again, it must be a great disappointment for you. I wish you all the best for the future.

  21. Doug says:

    Sorry to hear about your driving assessment. And it may well be that before the PIP application is assessed you will be eligible for the Scottish Social Security equivalent.

  22. Hamish100 says:

    I see SGP doesn’t attack the tories but SNP, Paul and the hosts thoughts are wrapped up with McCarthyism, Cyril Smith and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. Who would have thought!
    They seem confused over the election
    I will help. Vote for who you want.
    Of course if you are an ALBA supporter you might not be able to vote for their partyas they are not standing in many constituencies. Whose fault is this I wonder? Answer to conspiracy ltd c/o …

    • The Alba message for this election, just like it has been since they first appeared and ahead of May 2021, is for people to vote 1. Alba or 2. Alba, and not 1. SNP 2. SNP.

      So, the Alba message is vote 1. Alba and not [use this preference] for another party. Failing that, vote 2. Alba and not for another party. Again failing that, vote 3. Alba and not for another party…

      It’s a preferential voting system after all, so every party wants people to give their top preferences to them and not use these for another party.

      How unfair of the SNP therefore to ask people to vote 1. SNP + 2 SNP and not use these for another party.

      I am seriously waiting for Alba to start complaining that the SNP don’t hand out their leaflets alongside SNP ones, or are not simply giving up some SNP seats to Alba, as Alba deserves.

      As for attacking the Tories… Tory policy on self-id is Alba policy. The pejorative use of the anti-racism term ‘woke/wokeist’, as coined originally by the black us civil rights movement, is oh so very right-wing.

  23. stewartb says:

    On The BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning Tobias Elwood MP, Tory chair of the Defence Select Committee was interviewed on what should happen to Johnson over ‘partygate’.

    What was notable is that initially Elwood put aside the questions in order to state (in terms) that whatever case might be made for or against resignation or over triggering a vote of confidence in Johnson, the one argument that SHOULD NOT be made, that HAD NO MERIT in his view was the one which relies on the war in Ukraine. Elwood simply but forcefully demolished the Douglas Ross defence of Johnson.

  24. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Off topic – but. You all might like this:

    What Happened To The UK’s Oil Wealth? Norway’s Opposite

  25. andyfromdunning says:

    Sad to read about your driving Paul. On the bright side you are alive, you have all your marbles and you have Peter.
    A good assessment of Boris and Dross. I hate them both. Even Prof Curtice thinks Dross is a dullard nobody.?

  26. stewartb says:

    O/T Today NHS England published its monthly report on A&E waiting times, for March 2022. The BBC News website reports on this with this headline: ‘NHS faces an Easter ‘as bad as any winter’.

    In the article the BBC tells us: ‘In March, just 71% of patients were seen, treated and then admitted or discharged in under four hours, …’. Later it reassures: ‘This problem is not unique to England. A&E waiting times in other parts of the UK have been increasing, too.’

    Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-61093736

    But the BBC’s reporting is very partial – to say the least! The 71% figure being used by the BBC is the performance of ALL A&E departments. For ‘Type 1’ A&E departments NHS England reports a much poorer performance:

    ’58.6% of patients were seen within 4 hours in type 1 A&E departments compared to 60.8% in February 2022 … This is the lowest performance since the collection began.’ So the performance FELL by 2.2 percentage points since last month.

    Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/04/Statistical-commentary-March-2022-jf8.pdf

    Type 1 departments are those that most people would regard as ‘true’ A&E. These consultant-led facilities are the equivalent of Scotland’s ‘Main’ departments: BBC Scotland ONLY reports on the Main departments in Scotland. If NHS Scotland had dropped 2.2 percentage points the chosen headline would have been very, very different! (see below)

    Moreover, whilst there is a quote in today’s BBC article from a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care there is NOTHING from opposition politicians – and no picture of a stern or stressed looking government minister! The BBC has NOT POLITICISED the issue! Indeed today’s BBC article on England’s A&E appears ONLY in the ‘heath’ section of the website and not the ‘politics’ section as happens when reporting on equivalent NHS Scotland data.

    For perspective, the latest NHS Scotland performance against the four hour standard is 68%. So c.9 percentage points ‘better’ than the latest NHS England figure, a 15% difference! A minor difference?

    Here are the headlines used on the Scotland page of the BBC News website over recent months. In every case the issue was highly politicised:there were multiple quotes from opposition politicians; ministers were asked for a response; the articles appeared in the ‘politics’ section of the website as well as on the main Scotland page; they were prominently displayed for days; and at least in some cases opened up to btl comments.

    ‘Record number of patients facing long waits in Scotland’s A&Es’ – published 5 April

    Scottish A&E waiting times worst on record again’ – published 29 March

    ‘Record numbers facing long waits at A&E in Scotland’ – published 22 March

    ‘Scottish A&E waiting times worst on record’ – published 18 January

    ‘Scottish A&E waiting times second worst on record’ – published 21 December 2021.

    How the BBC reports on A&E performance is one of the clearest examples of different editorial policies being pursued in England and Scotland. It’s also one of the clearest cases of difference in the way opposition politicians utilise the BBC – or are ‘facilitated’ by the BBC – to channel attacks on a government. These contrasts could hardly be more stark and now consistently so over a prolonged period of time.

    • Dr Jim says:

      NHS England has been devolved to the *nothing and nobody to see here* department that now has very little to do with central government in London except for when they want to mention their **record** funding investments, whatever’s wrong it’s all become the fault of the war in Ukraine now, even the Brexit bonus of £350 million per week ( remember that?) has vanished

  27. Pants news about the driving Paul. Although it made me think that maybe driverless cars really do have merit. I love driving, and not being able to would be really crap. However, I like driving so much that I don’t want a driverless car, and TBH, I’ve got the general feeling that people developing these may have greatly overestimated how many people really want one.

    But then in your case, and others like it, they truly could make a world of difference.

    As for the pathetic spineless little turd of man that is Douglas…

    My guess is that after he called for Bozo to step down, someone has offered him a safe Tory seat in the next GE and/or a peerage like Ruth. So it was bye-bye principles for getting that bit further up the English greasy pole.

  28. Legerwood says:

    Paul,
    Really sorry to hear the news about the driving. But your articles are still razor sharp and are probably driving DRoss et al up the wall.

    Take care we need you more than ever.

  29. Alex Clark says:

    The great majority if not all Tory politicians are charlatans. Even today Tory MP’s and councilors are trying to tell anybody that will listen that the funding they will be receiving that replaces that originally provided by the EU is a great deal.

    This is despite the fact it will be just £40 million/year instead of the £100 million that they would have received from the EU. This attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of even those that voted for them is nothing new and it goes on ALL the time. It wouldn’t work as well without the compliant media of course who will hide the truth from their readers and viewers in support of the Tory narrative.

    Just look at the reporting by the BBC of the state of A&E in England as highlighted by stewartb above, wilfully failing to report the real facts and ignoring any politics that caused this state of affairs is just one example. Then there’s BBC Scotchland which is even worse, the latest example being the National Farmers Union statement that was shown on Reporting Scotland where his reference to Brexit was blatantly edited out.

    Charlatans one and all, never has politics in the UK been as crooked and corrupt as it is now under Johnson’s leadership. Scotland can and will do better when we take charge of managing our own affairs. The sooner the better for all our sakes.

    • Alex Clark says:

      The reference to the £40 million versus £100 million is a story about Cornwall which I failed to mention.

      Cornwall set to get less than half of its replacement EU funding

      The new funding announcement has been welcomed by the Conservative leaders at Cornwall Council and Cornwall’s Conservative MPs. However, other councillors have expressed concern about the reduction in funding and accused the Government of breaking promises…

      Independent councillor Tim Dwelly said: “When the Government pledged categorically to match Cornwall’s EU funding (£100m a year) some people fell for it.

      “Others like me predicted it wouldn’t happen. We could see how little was earmarked in the budgets. Now Cornwall is to get just £129.5m over three years from the new Shared Prosperity Fund. Not £300m. Just 43% of what it should be. The equivalent of £43m a year not £100m.

      “This, I’m sorry to say, is what many of us call levelling down. Making Cornwall poorer as a result of a direct Government decision.”

      https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2022-04-14/cornwall-set-to-get-less-than-half-of-its-replacement-eu-funding

  30. John says:

    Paul, I share your pain. I suffered an acquired brain injury in 2013. I have been meaning to reach out to you since your stroke but my affliction since the event has been neuro fatigue and juggling day to day dramas with 3 kids is exhausting in tory Britain. I can tell you as a brain injury survivor that it gets better. It just takes a very very long time. Tonight I celebrated my wife and I’s 32nd anniversary at Frankie and Benny’s and it was very busy, an environment that would usually bring on neuro fatigue but didn’t, for now at least. I usually compensate with in ear noise reduction headphones when in busy environments or freezer shops, (OT suggested that the different frequency of fans causes an input overload).

    I always felt during my recovery therapy I was lucky. There were 6 MS sufferers, 2 stroke victims and me. 3 were getting better. Stay strong Paul, you’re in the long game now. Rest when you don’t want to but you know you should and above all take care of Peter, best friend you have right now.

  31. Tatu3 says:

    At a time when there is so much news to be reading about, I have had cataract surgery. Now only just catching up! What a mess England has become, especially in just the last few weeks.
    Very sorry to hear about your driving assessment Paul, hopefully as others above have said your PIP assessment will provide you with adequate monies towards another form of mobility. I don’t drive much but these past few weeks, and still a few more, of not having the option to just get behind the wheel has made me miss it.
    Also, as many have said, your writing skills and sense of humour have only gotten better, and its very much appreciated. Take care

  32. The New Colossus
    BY EMMA LAZARUS

    “Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Ross, Jack, and the whole damned heathen Tories are the devil’s spawn.
    May they rot in their belief systems’ version of eternal hell fire.

    Today of all days, I cannot be as forgiving or understanding as Christ on the cross.
    ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’.

    In the case of England’s Fourth Reich, they know exactly what they are doing.
    They are whipping English fascists racists and psychos into a frenzy;

    What say the Moderator, the Cardinal and the Chief Rabbi in Scotland?

    Fuck all apparently.

    Pardon the French.

    Woe betide the Tory hopeful who knocks my door looking for my vote.

  33. Hamish100 says:

    Selling people and forcing them to different countries is slavery

    Shame on the tories heading to church on good Friday. Still even Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
    How much did rwanda and its ministers get?

    • This isn’t the first time England/Britain has concentrated ‘undesirables’ in camps in central Africa. Ask e.g. the Kenyans. Or Scottish folks like my mum and dad; after all, this wasn’t very long ago at all, so they remember hearing about it. When the news got out that is.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-49363653

      The Kenyan school that was once an English/British run concentration camp built to imprison black people

      I think we can all agree that a determining factor here in who gets sent to the English/British penal colonies will be skin colour.

      White folks ‘sent back to the jungle’? I suspect not. Nope, odds on that it will be those of a darker complexion who will be selected by English/British camp guards for ‘special treatment’ in the form of ‘transportation’.

      • We all know who the real ‘criminal gangs dealing in people trafficking ‘ are, ss.
        We are held by force under house arrest by England’s Homeland Security Brownshirts since we were forced out of our continent Europe by England’s racist xenophobes, who will raise a glass this week end to their fuhrer,Johnson the party animal.
        Drip drip drip. The CTA will be next when Johnson finally collapses the GFA and the protocol is trashed. A hard border between the North and South of Ireland and all irish Nationals in the UK forced by law to apply for visas and work permits isn’ t far off.

      • Axel P Kulit says:

        What people are forgetting is that Hitler initially proposed sending all Jews to Madagascar.

  34. Hamish100 says:

    As for the moderator of the Church of Scotland- what a joke — we have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moderator_of_the_General_Assembly_of_the_Church_of_Scotland

    • I’d forgotten that Jim Wallace got the CoS gig.
      Yet another of the swollen gang of Brit Jocks sitting on their fat arses in London coining it in on the House of Lards Gravy Train.
      Of course Alex Coal-Scuttle is in bed with the Blue Tories now.
      Godless shameful heathens.

      Religion was deadly silent during Hitler’s Final Solution too.
      There but for the grace of the Judeo Christian God go I ?
      Christ died on the crosss to save 4 jobs Dross and the Tailors dummy, but not dusky skinned Furriners.
      I loathe this lot.

    • stewartb says:

      I too found the decision to appoint the noble lord Wallace, pillar of the Westminster and British establishment ‘unfortunate’ even though it’s a lifetime since I have had any sort of engagement with a church. Reference to him made me wonder what he had been doing and saying as Moderator this year.

      I came across the following article (published on 23 March 2022, before Sunak’s budget statement) on the Church of Scotland website. Written about poverty in the UK, perhaps like me you will find the implied equivalence of the actions taken by, and of the powers available to, the governments in London/Westminster and Edinburgh to be (let’s say) ‘unworthy’.

      The headline used is this: ‘Governments must work together to tackle cost of living crisis ‘-

      It goes on to state: ‘The Church of Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church say they are deeply concerned about the plight facing low-income families and a joint approach to come up with solutions is needed. Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev Hugh Gilbert, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and Most Revd Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church have signed a joint statement ahead of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget today.’

      ‘The Church leaders said it is a tragedy that poverty, especially child poverty, continues to be a significant problem in the United Kingdom in 2022. “We urge both the Scottish and UK Governments to set aside political differences and come together in a spirit of pragmatism and compassion to seek effective solutions to this very serious and worsening situation,” said the statement.

      “We call on political leaders to listen to those who have lived experience of poverty and to follow this engagement with the creation of conditions necessary to support people out of poverty and to prevent people falling into poverty in future.’

      Source: https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2022/articles/governments-must-work-together-to-tackle-cost-of-living-crisis

      Who introduced and then doubled the Scottish Child Payment? Who froze Council Tax for years? Who designed new social security support schemes following lengthy consultation with people with relevant lived experience? Who has asked the powers to impose a windfall tax on big corporates presently making unusually large profits?

      Who cut Universal Credit? Who introduced the two-child limit and the benefit cap? Who has a ‘no recourse to public funds policy’ for some immigrants? Who refuses to impose a windfall tax? And the rest!

      Source: The Big Issue (7 April 2021) Food poverty in the UK: the causes, figures and solutions – ‘The UK’s rate of food poverty is among the worst in Europe. As the pandemic makes it harder for people to afford to eat, we explain what you need to know about the country’s growing hunger crisis.’

      Who has the unfettered power to remove child poverty? Who doesn’t?

      What does this statement from Lord Wallace and the others do to acknowledge the only too stark contrast between governments across the UK in their concern and action relating to poverty?Candidly, nothing!

      It leaves some readers of the churchmen’s article – including, unlike me, probably mostly church goers/members – able to believe the Tories are no worse than the SNP in government.

      And following the widespread condemnation of Sunak’s budget statement, what response can we read from these same Scottish churchmen? I can’t find anything from the noble lord Wallace on the Church of Scotland website and I can’t recall any high profile public statements. Can anyone?

      • Thanks for this, stewartb.
        The main thrust of the Reformation was to challenge the Roman hierarchy, the Pope, the Cardinals,Lord Bishops, gold and finery on display in churches and cathedrals amidst slums, squalor and poverty, while the rich bought indulgences to wash away their sins, and guaranteed them entry into perpetual salvation, VIP Lounge of course..

        Knox, Calvin and the rest would have a right good laugh at the appointment of a ‘Lord’ as Moderator..not.

        As you so clearly show, stewartb the Christians are Better Together Brits, blaming the Bad SNP for UCS, Trident, Iraq and Johnson’s Final Solution.

        The only way that we tackle poverty in Scotland is to take our country back.

        I have no time for ‘men of the cloth’. Oh, and nowadays, ‘women of the cloth’..

        I think of the closing stanza of Burns’ ‘To a Louse’ (nestling in a lady’s bonnet in the kirk).

        “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
        To see oursels as others see us!
        It wad frae monie a blunder free us
        An’ foolish notion:
        What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
        And ev’n Devotion!”

        Lord Wallace, our humble servant. Aye, right.

    • So he gets to be ‘pope’ for a year, then.
      Is there an expense account?

  35. Hamish100 says:

    Jack- maybe they were put on earth to test your ability to forgive!!!

    Hard isn’t it? Lol

    • From Alexander Pope: ‘To err is human, forgive divine.’

      Trouble is, Dross doesn’t think that he and his Godless Party have ‘erred’. They believe that they were born to stifle the masses and maintain the status quo.

      Just when we think the Brits could not act any more despicably, they come up with the Rwanda Final Solution.

      Pope also said:
      “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed”

      I expect nothing from the Scotia Nostra and their English masters.
      I am taking my country back

  36. Dr Jim says:

    If you’re off to St Andrews for the weekend or a nice day out you might want to avoid the Criterian bar where the owner believes we’re all idiots, the Scottish government are all idiots and the wearing of face coverings was enforced in Scotland by the FM just for her own amusement and power
    I wonder if he would drive with no seat belt if Boris Johnson told him it was OK

    So thanks GB news for proudly hailing that guy as one of them

    • JoMax says:

      Considering that St Andrews University is one of the oldest in the world, together with Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow all founded long before the pesky Union, why have they become such hotbeds of unionism which spreads well beyond the confines of the campuses and, sadly, all too often into Scotland’s political landscape?

      • ArtyHetty says:

        Very likley because many or most of the students are rich English ones and the teaching staff appointed will very likely be from England as well…you’d have to look at the make up of the board and directorship etc to see who pull the strings.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Yes Dr Jim….and Tom Harwood , the posh twit, who works for them and rose through the fake media ranks (rank/fake being the operative words) has stated “Covid is over here” (England) and foreigners are ‘envious’ that they (English) no longer need to wear mask as they, the English, have been jabbed…….envious is most definitely NOT a word foreigners will be using today or I suspect EVER in connection with either England or an English government controlled by Tories that currently, and in the past, has made decisions and created policies that rightly expose them as right wing fascists……Tories who govern for the few , as in the wealthy, while neglecting and penalising the many, as in ordinary people….and not forgetting the neglect and penalising of REFUGEES too…as in those who flee from war torn countries and places where they are being penalised and at risk from……(also Covid not over for those in England who are still DYING from it).

      Rwanda shocking …but under a different Tory leader we also had the shocking Windrush scandal……

      If the Tories think they are able to implement such inhumane policies and do it at such a time as now to weakly try and deflect from #PartyGate PM fines…. to concoct an obscene plan to send people to Rwanda PERMANENTLY……. It’s been concocted because via Brexit they ASSUME the voters who STILL believe in Brexit will be accepting of this and see it as a Brexit bonus…..as in taking back control of our (not Scotland/Wales) borders….a slogan, one of many, utilised to convince xenophobes of the many weak justifications for Brexit….the Tories hope this will take the heat of them via #PartyGate but NOT , with us or those like us , but with the uber Brexit cult mob……and Dross backs THIS obscene Rwanda Tory plan too ………and Tory channel GB News will do all they can to help them, the Tories, convince those viewers who still watch that channel to STAY ON BOARD with both Brexit and the Tory party and their fascist plans for THEIR UK …………

      Don’t forget though that ALL of those prominent people online who, since 2016 , have condemned the Tories, Boris Johnson and all of their incompetence, corruption and bad governance may be the SAME people who , come next Indy Ref , will be telling us in Scotland that we are Better Together with THEM in their UK while STILL being governed by…TORIES…..how we will laugh at their hypocrisy….or rather we will tell them where they and their platitudes can go……so to speak. (The old chestnut THEY will use will be ” But under a Labour government things will be better for you”…..translated as THEY do not have a CLUE….Labour, for many a Scot , are Tories in all but party name as are Lib Dems).

      I am raging (again) and absolutely sick to the stomach…….Tories truly ARE Scum.

    • Smokers will be ok in this Tory bar then?

  37. davetewart says:

    Where do they find them?

    Just listened to pursglove, minister for justice.

    He says that the way to stop evil people sugglers is to let them run their business, pick up their customers and ship them off to a lovely hotel Rwanda at £230m for 500 a year.

    Seems to me that sensible people would just send the aircraft to Calais and cut those evil people out the loop.
    Meanwhile the englander people traffickers can get on with gaslighting their voters.

    On the easter story by Jack.
    Please bring your own cross and nails as we’ve got a supplier problem with Brexit.

  38. Hamish100 says:

    Family just received postal ballots delivered along with a separate sealed letter from the Scottish Conservative & Unionist candidate to vote Tory and with advice “ how to complete your postal vote”.

    How did they know My family was receiving their postal ballots today?

    Seems there is a degree of collusion here.

    Still Tory letter is being sent back in an envelope with some helpful advice.

    • daveytee19 says:

      Before you gp on about Tory collusion I’d just point out that my wife also received her postal ballot today and by the same delivery came an SNP leaflet, not a Tory one. (Maybe you shoiuld ask why your family got a Tory one). So on your theory the SNP are clearly colluding too. I have to say that I was disappointed to see that the front of the SNP leaflet had a picture of Ms Sturgeon with the word: “My priority is to do everything possible to support people”. Hmmm. I though her priority was to obtain indepepndence. With statements like that it’s perhaps understandable why so many indy supporters don’t think that Ms Sturgeon’s heart is in it.

      • Dr Jim says:

        For the last two years the FM has done her best to make sure as few people as possible didn’t die, now she’s doing her best to make sure people don’t starve, those are priorities that she and any politician worthy of the position should be doing, you’re opinion may be that Independence for Scotland is more important than that but I reckon most people might think right at this moment fighting poverty is more imperative

        The FM can do nothing about these things but attempt to alleviate the suffering from them, because if she doesn’t then nobody will vote for Independence when they get the chance because all they’ll be thinking about is how she and her government *didn’t* do anything except bang on about Independence proving the British parties correct in their assessment of her

        The FM is proving every day that she and her government can govern so that folk can have the confidence to vote for Independence in 2023 when she asks them to

        People power will get Independence, not individual politicians shouting for or against it

      • However important independence is to people, for a lot of folks right now, being able to put food on the table for the kids, and/or ensure they don’t freeze, is going to be kindae right up there too, as Dr Jim notes.

        Of course if someone is doing well for themselves and not worried financially, then aye, they can just focus completely on indy.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Yeh daveytee19,. I believe you too. Incidentally it’s local elections. Labour believe they can impose a wealth tax on the oil companies from voting at a council election. Seems the FM has the correct message.

    • Davey, I’m not sure what cooncil elections have to do with indy?

      The only people who think they are first and foremost about that, are unionists attempting to undermine the 2021 mandate.

      For the rest of us, they are about local government services and supporting communities.

      Would be good to get as many scottish party councillors as possible though, as these are always going to do scotland up and not down like English/British parties.

      • Axel P Kulit says:

        If a majority of anti-indy campaigners are elected the unionist mafia will claim it shows Scots don’t want indy. This is what these elections have to do with indy

  39. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I truly hope that voters in Scotland can see the obvious double standards currently being applied by Ruth Davidson……

    Where she states Boris Johnson MUST resign

    YET

    She is currently canvassing with Dross (who states PM must remain) to help the Tory party (same one that has Boris Johnson as leader) try and both retain and win more seats in the council elections in Scotland……#Fail

    The same councils that Dross has used in his campaign to apply a form of blackmail by stating that to ensure more funding (lie) for your council (but way way less than EU gave that area when we were in the EU)…..well it will be forthcoming ONLY if people vote for Tory candidates to control councils……….which leaves people to correctly surmise that the Tory ‘levelling up’ (non) policy is just a Tory non policy to give more money to Tory voting areas where Tory politicians hold seats and power ((but way way less than EU gave that area when we were in the EU)……how very corrupt of them…and Dross and the Baroness are totally onboard with that as a strategy…….thus BOTH of them back Boris Johnson holding us, in Scotland ,to ransom.

    Do voters in Scotland see the clear duplicity in what she is doing…..her words and actions do NOT match…….also worth mentioning WHY is SHE out campaigning as an unelected bureaucrat (Tory peer) for council elections …she who abandoned politics in Scotland to sit in the place where all Unionist politicians strive to eventually sit…… as in the HOL in London …….as a Tory peer she represents Boris Johnson’s government and if she truly believed that he should go…and does not go….then she has the option to either give up her peerage that HE gave her OR NOT represent the Tories in the HOL’s…..betting is on that she will do neither…….ACTIONS speak louder than (empty) WORDS….and her ACTIONS tell you that her WORDS are LIES…..just like her party leader and t’others who defend both HIM and the PARTY ( both political one and ‘social’ gathering one).

  40. daveytee19 says:

    I tend to agree – council elections should have nothing to do with indy. Indeed, I don’t think that political parties should be involved at all in council elections. Not so long ago most council candidates stood as themselves, with no mention of any party, and they were elected because the electorate recognised the quality of the person, not because they supported any party. Sadly, these days have long gone. Now people tend to vote for the party, not the person.

    However, the fact remains that if the vote for independence minded parties falls in this election, it wil be seized upon by the MSM as evidence that Scotland no longer wants independence or a referendum and unfortunately the waverers who we are trying to convionce may well accept that. . That’s why it’s important that the political vote holds up. As for NS’s statement, it was unfortunately worded as it adds grist to the mill of those who think she is no longer interested in independence. She could have referred to her and party’s support of the people, and particularly the disadvantaged, without having to indicate that her main priority is anything other than independence. I have to confess that I am among those who are concerned about that.

    • Not so long ago most council candidates stood as themselves, with no mention of any party

      Huh, have you ever been to Scotland?

      For my entire life and beyond, political parties have contested these just as they will next month, e.g.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Scottish_local_elections

      96.9% for the main parties in 1977.

      However, the fact remains that if the vote for independence minded parties falls in this election, it wil be seized upon by the MSM as evidence that Scotland no longer wants independence or a referendum and unfortunately the waverers who we are trying to convionce may well accept that

      The first bit will happen and the electorate will sigh at unionists. The second won’t as people don’t support independence vs the union based on how people vote in any election, never mind council ones. That’s just silly. People’s reasons for supporting indy are not based on who won in the Leaderdale and Melrose ward, but rather bigger events/factors. It’s why the SNP are not making this about independence and unionists are utterly desperate too. The SNP understand Scots because they are Scottish, the British parties don’t because they are British/English.

      And since councillors can’t vote against MSPs on an indyref bill, and the PO (nor the courts if it came to it) will give a rats ass how people voted in a council election when it comes to the indyref bill, it doesn’t matter jack really in the end.

      It’s a nice attempt at distraction though.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Well aye? but you know as well as anybody that all and every vote is counted as though it is a referendum by the parties and if the British parties collect more they’ll scream at the tops of their collective voices that Scotland isn’t interested in independence and the media will turn the volume on that amplifier up to eleven which gives the fake Indy party the opportunity to shout and ball about the SNPs lack of interest in Independence

        • British parties collect more they’ll scream at the tops of their collective voices that Scotland isn’t interested in independence

          They’ll do that no matter what the Yes party message is. So it would be silly to play into their hands by actually trying to make the council elections ‘all about indy’ as the unionists and daveytee (it appears) seem to want.

      • daveytee19 says:

        You must be young. It gives me considerable pleasure to point out that you are wrong. I was born in Scotland and I live in Scotland and I can say categorically that up until at least the mid 1960s many local town and county council elections in Scotland were fought on individual rather than party lines – no mention at all of parties when they stood. I should know – not only did I have a parent at the time who was such a councillor, but I also happened to work as a journalist who reported, among other things, on local elections.

        As for your assertion that the MSM won’t make the most of a fall in the indepenence vote, let’s just wait and see shall we? Meanwhile I merely quote Dr Jim: “If the British parties collect more they’ll scream at the tops of their collective voices that Scotland isn’t interested in independence and the media will turn the volume on that amplifier up to eleven”. Quite.

        • The mid 1960’s isn’t ‘recently’. Certainly not for the population; the median age of people in Scotland is 42. That’s younger than me by a few years.

          • daveytee19 says:

            Who said “recently”? Not me. Please don’t try to suggest that I said things I didn’t. You were just wrong. Accept it.

          • ‘Not so long ago’

            https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2022/04/14/douglas-ross-the-definition-of-a-charlatan/comment-page-1/#comment-166230

            Does that not mean ‘fairly/quite/reasonably recently?’ in English? For everyone in Scotland under the age of 114, it was pretty long ago. It was either in the first half of their lives, or they were not even born at the time. We are talking well over half a century ago.

            The council elections as we know them only began, in what 1974 following the local government Act 1973?

            Jeez, in the mid-60’s, a large proportion of the adult population still wasn’t allowed to vote. It was only since 1948 that one man one vote universal suffrage existed.

            I think the current pattern of parties standing is really normal, and I’m sure everyone agrees that it’s quite a long time ago in political terms that things were different. Over half a century ago.

            Anyhoo, good attempt at distraction. 🙂

        • Oh, and unless you are like what, over 114, then e.g. 1965 would be in the early half of your life, not the recent half

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I think it’s still often about people. In my ward in 2017 the Tory got 37% on first preference, and tbh I was glad he got elected as he’s a very active councillor – even the local SNP I think get on OK with him. I shared an issue with him way back. The 2nd SNP candidate didn’t get elected though usually they got 2, but a very active popular Independent got in (he supports Indy).

          • daveytee19 says:

            I think that’s how it should be done in local elections. The only trouble is that while with the old town council elections I knew most of the candidates, in my present rural ward I don’t. However I really don’t like the policies of one of our SNP councillors, and so she won’t be getting one of my votes. I do quite like the Labour candidate though.

          • However I really don’t like the policies of one of our SNP councillors, and so she won’t be getting one of my votes. I do quite like the Labour candidate though.

            Well blow me down with a feather! 😉

        • Just catching up on this nonsense…I usually scroll past this Yes But visiting tourist stuff.
          You lie, davyttee 19.

          My uncle was a Labour councillor in the 50’s and 60’s, and my cousin head of the Labour council in the 60’s and early 70’s.
          In Clydebank…where Tory councillors were thin on the ground..It was ‘party politics’ then, as now.
          You are simply lying. Stop it.

          Can we get back to serious issues like Sarwar and Murphy lying to 1400 HMRC staff in Cumbernauld during Project Fear, who now have been chucked on the scrap heap?
          Saying No was a lie.

          Or the Red Tories breaking their manifesto pledge not to break the triple lock commitment on my state pension by cutting it with a below inflation 3.1% ‘rise’, or NI Increases, or Labour and Lib Dem pro Brexit, Trident, fuel bills criminal rises, and the raft of measures and scandals running through Ross’ Sarwar’s and Cole-Hamilton’s Branch Offices of the English imperialists.

          They are all in it together at any level of politics in this wee country of ours.
          I will never put a tick next to any hopeful’s name who represent this evil Brit cancer.
          As for Alba..’The rocks will melt in the sun’ ere I give them any indication that they matter.
          I don’t need a #Yes But’ , or indeed any, response to the above comment.
          I’m 74…i lived through politics in the 50’s and 60’s. You lie.

        • Eilidh says:

          In the big cities Glasgow Edinburgh etc council elections were always fought along party lines and I remember the 1960s too. Rural areas had more Independents then although for the most part there are less now

    • Dr Jim says:

      I can’t read minds but I can read behaviour and the FM has done more than anyone to lay the groundwork for Independence for Scotland, she has informed and cultivated the international allies Scotland will need to stand with us, something that was never done before, the last referendum was carried out in a vacuum with the words press only taking scant notice if some sort of unrest in Scotland that would be sorted out in good time by Englands UK, and they were right because of Englands suppression it barely got beyond our shores as a matter of international interest, this time Nicola Sturgeon has made Scotlands independence of great importance to Europe and the international political system there

      This time there will be no American presidents *advising* Scotland not to do it, indeed it may well be very embarrassing for the UK of England at the lack of international figures taking their side at all, all those visits around the world by the FM were not just for coffee and sticky buns, they were ally gathering tactics on our behalf, before too long Scotland will see a string of Ambassadors and political figures from around the world queuing up outside Bute house for a visit and whether the English owned Scottish media like it or not they won’t be able to disguise it or suppress it

      This is Scotlands business but in 2014 England made it theirs and they owned every part of it, Nicola Sturgeon has made sure that won’t happen again because she knows like many of us that talking to ourselves will never be enough, we need help, and she’s seen to it that we’ll get it, we didn’t get it last time because it wasn’t prepared for so we just came across exactly the way England portrayed us as grumpy ungrateful Scots

    • Eilidh says:

      I don’t give a stuff what the other parties or mainstream media think re the messaging from the FM re the council elections. They write and talk the same old lying crap no matter what the Snp does or says anyway. Supporting people through the current cost of living crisis must be a key priority for the Snp or people won’t survive living on barely £77 a week Universal Credit for a single person. That support often comes via council services and really council policies and services are what this election is about not the constitutional future of Scotland and I say that as someone who has been stuck with a Tory/Libdem council for past 4 years.

  41. yesindyref2 says:

    Jings, you have to laugh. In the Herald, headline but also in article:

    Andy Maciver: How unionists can kill off nationalism for the rest of our lives

    “kill”.

    And then:

    Andy Maciver is Director of Message Matters and Zero Matters

    “Message matters”.

    Mmm, quite.

    • He’s a Scotia Nostra High Tory, never off BBC Scotland politics ‘shows’ at one point.
      The language of death and destruction..of the Scottish nation.
      Fifth Columnist who gets money PR-ing for the Brits.
      They were going to bayonet the wounded Nats after the last plebiscite remember.
      As I observed earlier, they better not chap my door.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Does macivor say if this applies to British nationalism with racism and imperialist ambitions thrown in?

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Would this be the same Andy MacIver who is listed in LinkedIN with following snippets from his CV?

      […]

      Founder/Director
      Zero Matters
      Jan 2022 – Present4 months

      Scotland, United Kingdom

      Scotland’s one-stop-shop #NetZero consultancy, helping organisations plan, deliver and communicate their transition to net zero.

      http://www.zeromatters.scot

      Independent political commentator
      none
      Sep 2012 – Present9 years 8 months

      Scotland, United Kingdom

      Independent political commentator and analyst; BBC, STV, ITV, Herald, Sunday Post

      […]

      Strategy & Communications
      Murdo Fraser 2011 Campaign
      Aug 2011 – Nov 20114 months

      Edinburgh, United Kingdom

      […]

      Murdo Fraser’s campaign to create new political party for Scotland.

      Head of Communications
      Scottish Conservatives
      Jul 2002 – Jun 20075 years

      Edinburgh, United Kingdom

      Source: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/andy-maciver-24125710

  42. Dr Jim says:

    Andy McIver is a strange guy, one minute he admits that the UK is run by a bunch of Bringlish Nationalists up to no good, the next he denies there’s anything much to the idea of Scottish Independence because we’re aw too feart , but he always ends revealing himself as a dependent wee Scottish serf as it’s not us who’s feart to be Independent but him and his dependent wee unionist ilk

    At least he admits his loyalty to England unlike most of the so called journalists in Scotland who pretend to be impartial but write their wee stories with destructive intent of Independence

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Apparently McIver’s next venture will be called:

      “Zero Message”.

      With Labour as his first major customer. Well, first customer anyway.

  43. Capella says:

    A video explaining how the STV voting system works and advising we rank all the candidates. It’s from The National. and presented by Stephen Paton (I think he supports the Scottish Greens which may explain why the advice differs from the SNP).

    • Dr Jim says:

      If you’re not the SNP or SNP supporters of course you’re jumping around like the proverbial blue Arsed fly insisting that all parties must be ranked in order of preference because if you’re not the SNP you’re obviously one of the supporters of a party or parties not likely to be ranked very highly

      The scam of all scams in proportional representation that you must must must rank all the candidates is utter garbage promoted by those who expect to lose but don’t want to totally lose by not being ranked at all

      Vote till you boak they’ll say, rank your preferences in this order they’ll say, if you don’t rank each candidate you’ll let the Tories in they’ll say, the SNP are wrong they’ll say, every word of that is Bunkum with a capital M for mug

      People will vote however they want but the truth is there’s no obligation to rank anyone you don’t *prefer* and by not ranking them doesn’t do any of the crap they all bluster, you vote for who you want to win, it’s only the potential losers who make so much noise about demanding you rank them somewhere so they can claim later they were preferred somewhere on the list of rankings

      People will also claim it’s just about local council issues, no it’s not, everybody in the whole of Scotland knows fine well following every single election that all three of the British parties will add their votes together count them up and claim they had more people voting for them than the SNP and that means nobody in Scotland wants independence, I’m afraid since 2014 there are no elections that are not counted as referendums on independence, it’s just the way it is

      There’s only one politic in Scotland and it’s not the bins or a pothole, but the potential losers will insist that it is and they’re going mental because the SNP just exposed the loophole flaw in the electoral system, they did it once before and won, now I wonder who’s idea that was? let me think?

      • Capella says:

        I THINK I agree. My Ward only has one SNP candidate. There are 2 Tories, 1 LibDem, 1 Lab and 1 Independent whose allegiance to independence I doubt. So it looks like I will have a ballot with 1 candidate ranked. I don’t want to support ANY of the unionists.
        🤞

      • So, Capella, maybe you’ll be asking friends and family to only vote 1. SNP* and for no other party?

        Watch oot; Alba will be aifter ye!

        🙂

        *and 2. SNP if there was a second candidate

        • Capella says:

          There is no ALBA nor GREEN nor any other independence candidate. So it’s an easy choice. 🙂

  44. stewartb says:

    I see the BBC News website is still favouring the ‘positive’ in its framing of government policy announcements, well at least Westminster ones! This time it’s news of Shared Prosperity Fund allocations to replace EU funding schemes.

    Headline: ‘Cornwall to get £132m of funding for next three years’ – from this new, replacement fund.

    See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-61104836

    However: ‘Cornwall was forecast to receive about £100m a year from the European Union before Brexit, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

    ‘Cornwall Council had previously submitted a bid to the government to get £700m over the next seven years to match the funding which would have been provided by the EU.

    Headline: ‘New UK economic aid plan to give Wales £600m over three years’ – again from the Shared Prosperity Fund.

    See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-61080521

    But: ‘The EU fund averaged £375m a year.’ So on these figures this amounts to £175m less per year!

    ‘.. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales was “£1bn worse off in this package” and “people whose need is greatest will be getting less”. That £1bn figure is the additional sum ministers in Cardiff say Wales would have received in EU aid by 2025.’

    The Scottish Government issued a statement on the same subject on 13 April, 2022: ‘EU replacement funding £151 million less in first year – Minister says Shared Prosperity Fund ‘undermines devolution’ and ‘fails communities’’.

    It noted that’: New arrangements published today will see £32 million allocated to Scotland for 2022-2023 – £151 million short of the £183 million estimated to be an appropriate replacement for EU Structural Funds.’

    You may not be surprised but I FAILED TO FIND the topic in the Scotland pages of the BBC News website!

  45. Yes, but we know, like Putin’s Russia, England/Britain doesn’t like international law, human rights and democracy.

    Windrush was the first wave of mass deportations for black people. This is wave 2.

    https://archive.ph/dDsQQ

    UK’s Rwanda plan breaks international law, UN refugee agency UNHCR says

    THE UK Government’s proposal to send migrants who arrive in Britain unlawfully to Rwanda is “unacceptable” and a breach of international law, the UN’s refugee agency said.

  46. yesindyref2 says:

    I see Village Idiot Starmer has already told the electorate of the UK as a whole, that like Miliband and Corbyn, he doesn’t want to be PM of the UK at all. And I daresay next GE that, like elections since 2015, the electroate will believe him and not vote Labour as it’s a wasted vote.

    Starmer: “No coalition between Labour and the SNP at the local level, at the national level,

    Let me be absolutely clear, no deal going into the General Election – I say that now, possibly a year or two out from the General Election – and no deal on the other side of the General Election.

    I could not be clearer about this and I hope that nobody has missed my very clear message on this – no deal into a General Election, no deal out of a General Election, full stop.

    He’d prefer the TGories get back in – again. The UK is doomed to another 10 years of a Tory Government.

    • Aye, ‘No way Scottish people/parties should have any say in UK governance, only British/English people/parties should be allowed to rule’ is, as always, the belief and message.

      We Scots are just subordinate to the greater English/British people in the eyes of England’s government.

      In the EU by contrast, Scotland would be given a Veto over Germany…France…. One nation one vote. A union of Equals.

      We would chair the European Council in turn. We’d be treated as a people worthy of the same respect as all the others of Europe. This is because the peoples of Europe respect us, unlike England does.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      The UK is doomed

      _________

      I’ll take that, Pte. Frazer.

  47. Another SNP email in my inbox and still no ‘instructions’ not to rank other parties; just requests to put SNP top.

    If you’ve got a postal vote, your ballot paper probably arrived in the post today.

    Make sure you rank all SNP candidates standing in your ward, so we can elect the strongest possible SNP team.

    If you’ve been meaning to apply for a postal vote, it’s not too late. You have until 5pm this Tuesday, April 19. Invite 5 of your friends or family to do so as well.

    I increasingly feel I’ve been lied to here. Again.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      SS, can’t give you the original leaflet as a knackered bee landed on the floor, I covered it with a glass and slid the leaflet under it so I could carefully throw it out the window. Wife chucked the leaflet and sterilised the glass! Can’t bee too careful.

      BUT I do have the CAMPAIGN APPEAL, and in the right hand corner it says this:

      “ASK FRIENDS AND
      FAMILY TO ONLY
      VOTE (SNP) 1
      SNP (SNP) 2
      AND FOR NO
      OTHER PARTY”

      Nobody is lying to you.

      • andyfromdunning says:

        Indy is more important to me than the SNP so I will ensure any Indy supporting party or individual gets a vote from me.

    • Hi yesindyref2. I know nobody is lying about some people getting the message concerned.

      This is because I believe I am the only person who has actually posted an image of the ‘infamous’ leaflet to let all readers make their own minds up about it, as opposed to telling people what it said, including some visitors paraphrasing want was not said at all.

      https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2022/03/24/blog-break-2/comment-page-1/#comment-165777

      As noted in other posts, we just had an election where SNP voters were told by the likes of Alba that they could safely vote for another party using their second preference, e.g. vote 1. SNP and 2. ALBA, to get a free unicorn for every household in the form of a mythical supermajority.

      Alba is asking the same again this time to ‘maximise the pro-indy councillors’ by asking SNP voters to again vote for another party for votes 1 or 2, i.e. Alba.

      So I can’t say I’m shocked at the SNP trying to make sure people use their first and second preferences only for the SNP and not for another party. 🙂

      I’m not quite sure how else they could say this, particularly without mentioning any other party.

      And if you actually read it as Alba desperately want you to (rather than attacking the Tories), what’s wrong with the SNP telling voters not to vote unionist? They are ‘other parties’ after all. The message would be as much ‘Don’t vote Tory’ at is ‘Don’t vote Alba’. In fact given Alba are not bothering to stand in a lot of wards (and same for the greens probably?), it’s more ‘Don’t vote unionist’ Than ‘Don’t vote Alba’ in terms of basic mathematics. 🙂

      Political parties never, ever, ever, ever, ever ask voters to vote for another party where they are contesting a seat. Only for them. Alba pretends to, but where they were standing in May 21 they wanted your regional preference and now they want 1. Alba again, and not for another party such as the SNP.

      The SNP could have just said ‘Vote 1. SNP and 2. SNP’ and that’s it. However, that might have folk thinking, ‘Aye, but for the supermajority Salmond’s been oan aboot, I should give my second vote to Alba right?’.

      That or someone ends up voting 1. SNP 1. SNP 2. Alba and so spoils their ballot. There were 37,491 rejected ballots in 2017, which is about the population of Stirling.

      Anyway, I posted the image because people were totally misquoting it. It can be interpreted in different ways depending on what people want to read into it. It could be completely innocent as I note, or maybe it was a direct attempt to stop people ranking the Greens or Alba at all. This would be odd, as more unionists would just mean less chance of the SNP being in power, which is, of course, totally at odds with the idea ‘the SNP are just after power and not independence’. Why would the SNP want to lessen their chances of being in office? This would make the quote at best just stupid if the goal was to have people not rank other Yes parties, rather than malicious.

      Also, the SNP has absolutely not said in clear terms that people shouldn’t rank other parties. I have not had anything like that in any messages from them. In fact we have SNP parliamentarians busy tweeting the opposite, as Keaton kindly linked to. We have one ambiguous quote from one leaflet it seems, and that’s it. It’s a bit flimsy IMO when it comes to grand conspiracies! 😉

      • keaton says:

        Lol give it up

      • Och you ken me keaton. I never give up. It’s why I’ve a wee fan club in the SGP comments section, and I’m despised by rabid unionists everywhere! 🙂

        I’ll rather die than stop being pedantic / playing the devil’s advocate. I can go on for days wearing people down!

        Personally, I think your interpretation of the message would have merit in cases like Capella’s:

        https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2022/04/14/douglas-ross-the-definition-of-a-charlatan/comment-page-1/#comment-166275

        Where the SNP are the only Yes party standing and you couldn’t put a cigarette paper between the others! We should maybe send some of those leaflets to wards like that? Or maybe I’m totally wrong, you are spot on, and that’s what they were intended for? 😉

        Anyhoo, I have checked all the bumph I’ve had from the SNP, and none of them mention anything about strategy other than to ‘get registered, get out and vote SNP, persuading friends and family too as well if I can’. Some note that the SNP are the main party of indy and there’s an iref next year. However, they don’t say this election is key to indy, but instead focus on local services, supporting communities etc as a reason to vote SNP. This is exactly what I wanted to see as unionists will use any excuse to make the vote about indy so if the SNP don’t do super well, they can argue it’s a set-back for Yes.

        This morning, I got a somewhat more unionist message (see e.g. the English Tory party twitter in Scotland for example), i.e. that the election is pretty key to independence.

        On 5 May we have an opportunity like no other to send a message that independence is not for the hereafter, but for the here and now. We need your help to do it.

        From you know who. They also wanted me to ‘vote for them and not another party’ using my first preference, understandably. Except I can’t do that because they are not standing where I am.

  48. Hamish100 says:

    Skier- your a big boy, make your own mind up.

    Be of independent thought and action.

  49. Capella says:

    Keir Starmer may have categorically banned an alliance with the SNP but his members are still in alliance with the Tories. He hasn’t banned that. They want to ban “secession”. I hope w ban Labour and Tory.

    Glasgow Labour and Tory councillors meet The Majority in ‘unholy alliance’

    Glasgow’s Labour group leader Malcolm Cunning and the Tories’ deputy leader in the city Euan Blockley were pictured at an event hosted by The Majority – an “ultra-Unionist” group who have called on the UK Government to “ban secession”.

    https://archive.ph/h1Yj0

  50. Capella says:

    A new post from Prof John Robertson – I hope this means he is back at the coal face. New website name though and navigation not quite right. Still – great to see him posting.

    https://thoughtcontrolscotland.com/2022/04/13/nhs-england-waiting-list-50-longer-than-nhs-scotlands/

  51. Hamish100 says:

    Agree. His postings have been a great asset over the years.

  52. Hamish100 says:

    And for those upset about the SNP asking supporters to support the SNP what a surprise) elsewhere others are suggesting “ .. Anyway, for real yes supporters you should not be ranking SNP anywhere on the list or opportunist greens for that matter. I certainly won’t be.”

    This is a grown up election you play to win for any party.

    For what it is worth I will vote for ALBA at 6th or 7th on my list of candidates. Still above labour, tories and the conservative candidates. Each to their own.

    • As ‘SNP loyalists’, are we not all supposed to be telling people to only rank SNP candidates and no other parties whatsoever?

      Maybe I didn’t get the email about this from ‘Mrs Murrel’s SNP HQ Central Office Command Bunker’. If so, can someone please forward it to me? Thanks!

      🙂

      • Dr Jim says:

        There were leaflets and emails sent out to all SNP members with advise as to how the party would like their members to vote, if you’re not a member of the SNP then you didn’t get them, there’s nothing sinister about a political party talking to its members, I really don’t know what all the fuss is about, well of course I do but it is amusing that all the fuss is mostly being made by the potential biggest losers of the elections because the leader of another party who they are constantly abusing hasn’t offered to rub their sore bellies like their mammy and make everything all better, and it’s foot stampingly no fair on them boo hoo, makes you wonder if half of them are mature enough to vote at all

      • I was being satirical Dr Jim. Sorry! 🙂

        I have a tendency to do that, for future reference. Also like a bit of devil’s advocacy at times too!

        I try to add smileys for clarity in such cases.

        I have received some texts etc from the SNP as I am a member. I haven’t so far seen anything beyond asking me to give my top preference(s) for the SNP.

    • Oh, and I posted a satirical comment on the National relating to the infamous quote asking why ‘the SNP were not actually handing out Alba leaflets and campaigning for Alba on doorsteps’; this suggesting ‘they just wanted power all for themselves, and not independence’.

      Some people thought it was real, such is the comical situation here! 🙂

      • Hamish100 says:

        Grow up. Make your own mind up.

        SNP since early 70’s . Do what you think best for your own constituency.

      • Aye, precisely. There’s a whole load of desperate attempts at distraction and/or division going on right now, and #leafletgate is just another one of them.

  53. Capella says:

    Two excellent articles from Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, lots more over at Believe in Scotland
    The cost of living crisis is driven by greed and the Union

    Sunak’s spring statement came nowhere close to helping lower income households, and the Institute for Public Policy Research said they still faced an average cash shortfall of £320 this year. The IPPR said his statement was biased towards higher earners – who, it estimated, received four times the support that lower-income households did.

    Oil giants have reaped huge benefits from the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis – Shell’s and BP’s combined profits last year totalled $32bn (£24.5bn), triggering calls for a windfall tax to be levied.

    Following the privatisation of our utility and transport companies, started by Maggie Thatcher, we have seen them make billions in profits as they push up the prices of energy, water and other commodities. The National Grid, for instance, pays out more than £1bn a year to its shareholders.

    Pharma giant GSK, with sites at Irvine and Montrose, has been embroiled in a dispute with the Unite union over a pay offer of 2.75 per cent, while its chief executive Emma Walmsley,received a 17 per cent rise last year, taking her remuneration to over £8 million – prompting claims of “cast-iron corporate greed”.

    https://www.believeinscotland.org/the-cost-of-living-crisis-is-driven-by-greed-and-the-union/

    Westminster’s “robber baron” energy strategy will hurt Scots

    The UK Government’s strategy includes licensing more fossil fuel extraction from the North Sea, where oil companies work under an unusually-favourable tax regime. In 2020, the tax take from oil revenue was about 1% of value – a paltry sum which was notionally allocated to Scotland in “GERS”.

    These lightly-taxed oil and gas firms have donated more than £1 millon to the Conservative Party since the last election.

    All Scottish households will have to pay £80 a year for costly and ineffective nuclear plants

    The UK Government’s strategy also plans billions for new nuclear power plants – despite the fact that, unlike renewables, nuclear energy is getting more expensive over time. Analysis by JP Morgan suggests nuclear power is unlikely to prove good value for money.

    https://www.businessforscotland.com/westminsters-robber-baron-energy-strategy-will-hurt-scots/

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I’ve much admired Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s previous initiatives but on this wholly avoidable energy price rise crisis I have a huge problem over the extent to which he evades addressing the obvious, the UK government could change it all tomorrow with the stroke of a pen.

      The UK is bluntly replete with energy and derivatives from multiple sources, reliance on Russian fuels is a fiction created via the BBC et al, in reality a miniscule UK effect yet serves a UK political purpose, the teflon shoulder of somebody else’s fault.

      HMG is hammering UK consumers because it wishes to rather than it has to – Successive UK Governments have evaded energy conservation like the plague since the 1960s, not because it has to rather than it chooses to do so knowing the “customer has no choice but to pay”, a circus act all governments have performed since the Thatcher years.

      I’ve made this point countless times, if I can knock in excess of 50% off my heating bill on a modern house, anyone can. Scotland’s older housing stock could possibly hit 90% energy savings but where’s the profit in that for HMG ? THAT is the mindset Scots must overcome.

      • Capella says:

        I think corporate lobby groups decide the policy. Profits for shareholders are the priority and then the Tory party gets donations and ministers get a seat on the board where they can pick up dividends for life.

        But I do think there is a problem with gas which England relies on for heating, generating electricity and possibly fueling industry. I do know they were looking for new storage facilities (disused mines etc) because the government had let that slip and is now forced to buy gas on the spot market rather than take advantage of lower prices and store it till needed. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen if Russia turns off the tap when Europe refuses to pay in rubles and current contracts run out. Gas prices will skyrocket even more than they have already.

        Perhaps “interesting” isn’t the right word.

  54. Hamish100 says:

    I see the FM is banned from Russia.

    Still as an Ayrshire lass she should head to Moscow for a photo opportunity

    • Tit for tat? Surely Johnson will be rescinding at least a dozen of the 12,500 Golden Visas in Londongrad, and put those deported on a flight to Moscow via Rwanda?
      I’m looking down the list of Tories banned by Moscow.
      I’d ban them from Independent Scotland too.
      What about Dross and ‘Union’ Jack? Not on the list? Nobody’s heard of them outside the Daily Record/Herald/ Scotsman/ BBC/ ITV bubble right enough.
      They are wee nobodies even in ‘global’ Britain.

  55. Dr Jim says:

    While the British political party leaders are either scrabbling around saving their skins or inventing promises they will never keep, here in Scotland on the campaign trail Scotlands leader Nicola Sturgeon turns her hand to shaving beards off big lads in a barbers shop

    Full story and video in the National, and it’s a Laff

    • barpe says:

      Agreed Dr Jim, demonstrates the difference between her and Boris, in their interactions with the public.
      We are so lucky she is leading us.

  56. stewartb says:

    O/T The BBC News website today has an article with this headline: ‘Patel personally approved Rwanda plan launch after civil servant concerns’. We’re told her officials voiced concern over ‘value for money’.

    The BBC adds: ‘A source close to the home secretary said “deterring illegal entry would create significant savings” and the fact that the savings could not be quantified precisely should not prevent action from being taken.’

    I’m not aware of the full details of the appraisal of Patel’s scheme by officials being published (yet). Hopefully they will be in time, as a formal assessment of ‘value for money’ (vfm) will have considered more that just the resource inputs – the ‘cost’.

    The National Audit Office has vfm at the core of it assessment of English local and Westminster governments’ spending on the implementation of policies. It uses THREE CRITERIA to assess the vfm of public spending. Whilst the NAO will apply these in AFTER SPEND evaluation, Home Office officials will have used similar criteria in their BEFORE SPEND appraisal.

    Economy: minimising the cost of resources used or required (inputs) – spending less: essentially, could the same policy objective be achieved in a more economic way;

    Efficiency: the relationship between the output from goods or services and the resources to produce them – spending well;

    Effectiveness: the relationship between the intended and actual results of public spending (outcomes) – spending wisely: essentially, the extent to which the spend will achieve the desired policy outcomes.

    As the NAO explains: ‘The relationship between resources AND outcomes determines cost-effectiveness or value for money, the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes.‘

    The appraisal would also consider potential ‘optimism bias’ i.e. the tendency to inflate the likely benefits. It will have considered the other factors that may come to influence the achievement of the desired policy outcomes. And it will have sought as far as possible to identify potential unintended outcomes, positive and negative.

    And alongside this consideration of vfm, officials will have considered risks – both likelihood of occurrence and impact of occurrence. They will have considered how to recommend dealing with the risk register they compiled – to recommend transferring them to another party; eliminate them somehow; opt to accept them; or implement mitigating actions.

    In other words, and beyond just cost, Home Office officials might have ‘voiced concerns’ about the Rwanda scheme on multiple other grounds!

    • Dr Jim says:

      The English UK government are able to quantify and justify every penny they spend and or save on everything else they bump their gums about yet oddly they can’t quantify the savings to be made using internment camps in another country on another continent to incarcerate *illegals* within

      Maybe it’ll get easier with time as they choose who’s next to be incarcerated somewhere far away, who knows, using trains maybe?

  57. Bob Lamont says:

    How strange, “Covid adviser Devi Sridhar sent white powder and mask in post” yet not a mention from the BBC of Michael Gove’s having missed one of his usual deliveries…

  58. John MacRae says:

    Perhaps it is just my advanced age, but I am feeling confused.
    How can NOT listing someone help them to be elected as some people appear to be claiming?

    • When you just rank 1 or 2 candidates, you are basically saying ‘I don’t care who is elected from the rest, and other voters can decide this’. That’s a perfectly valid option if that’s how you feel.

      But if those other (unionist) voters decide they want the Tory candidate, then you are letting them decide that with their rankings. This could e.g. mean a Tory gets in rather than a Labour or independent for example. It’s not that you’ve voted for the Tory, but not tried to oppose them.

      So it is actually best to rank all if you can bring yourself to do it. At least until the point that you don’t actually care anymore out of who is left.

      Of course you don’t have to rank your least favourite candidate as they are naturally last for you if you’ve ranked all the rest. So for me, I don’t need to put a 7 next to the British nationalist nut job ‘vanguard party’ (gulp).

  59. John MacRae says:

    OK; equivalent to abstention then. Assuming the Unionists rank their candidates 1 and 2,how does my listing them 5 and 6 out of 7 reduce their chance of winning?

    • Yes, that’s right. It is equivalent to abstention to not rank beyond the parties beyond those you support. If unionists abstain too, then the result is unchanged. However, if they keep ranking, then they will have an influence more than someone who does not, potentially.

      I say this as someone who just voted 1-3 last time for pro-indy parties in my own ward. In my own case ranking the rest (and boaking) this time probably won’t change anything, but you never know.

      In the end, the more people saying they e.g. want the Tories last could help that come to pass. So I personally will do that this time.

      • John MacRae says:

        Is your second last sentence saying that the ratio of first choices to last are taken into account in the actual vote count ? Perhaps I am just misreading your words, it is more than possible.

        Any way, my voting plan B is : Preferred 1 2 and 3, least favoured, last to 4 in reducing level of opprobrium. Other nouns are available.
        Very least, left blank as you mentioned.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Here’s a real life example from 2017 of how it might be preferable to rank say an Independent ahead of say a Tory.

      A bit of background first, In July last year two current Tory councillors in Angus were exposed as social media trolls, who had been posting anonymous anti-SNP and anti-Independence messages on twiiter and facebook.

      The one posting on facebook had set up a page focused on attacking the SNP, the Courier reported:

      A senior Conservative councillor can today be unmasked as the man behind an anonymous anti-SNP troll account that coached unsuspecting members of the public to “tactically vote” for him in May’s Scottish Parliament election…

      Braden Davy, who stood for the party in Angus North and is Angus Council’s economic development spokesman, confessed to running the Angus Against the SNP Facebook page after our investigation uncovered his involvement.

      In the article, it was also reported that:

      Mr Davy appears to have purged content from the page but posts that remain or have been uncovered by us show him repeatedly taking aim at Angus SNP ministers Graeme Dey and Mairi Gougeon – who he described as a “nationalist stooge”.

      In another – now deleted – post, he described council colleagues Brian Boyd and David Cheape as “so called Independent councillors” and altered the image to show them wearing SNP badges after they voted for a budget put forward by SNP councillors.

      The message from this story is that there are Independent councillors across Scotland who do not oppose the SNP simply for the sake of it but are willing to work with them in certain cases such as in this one to get an SNP budget passed in the council.

      Finding out just which Independent might be worthy of your vote does require a bit of research by yourself or maybe emailing a friendly councillor in your own ward.

      The final point of this post is that the two Independent councillors involved won 2 of the 3 seats available in that Angus ward BEHIND the SNP candidate who was elected at stage one. There were no other SNP candidates and the Tory finished 4th beaten by a handful of votes for the 3rd council seat at stage 7 of the count so he wasn’t elected.

      The SNP budget might not have been passed without that Independent councillors vote and if not enough people had ranked him all the way down to stage 7 then the Tory would have won instead and that’s why the Tory councillor who was a troll was so annoyed and got himself caught LOL

      Here’s the link to the Courier article.
      https://archive.ph/zp5o8

      I’ll just add this, I have 7 standing in my ward and it’s a straight fight between the Tories and SNP, I’ll be ranking 4 of the 7 because of the rest I couldn’t care less.

  60. Golfnut says:

    In my ward I have 3 tory’s, 1 labour, 1 lib, 2 Independents and 2 SNP, not in least bit sure how voting till you boak helps.

    • Dr Jim says:

      It doesn’t, if you don’t vote for somebody then they don’t get your vote, it really is that simple, and it’s not left to other people to decide anything except their own votes and how they cast them, other peoples votes can’t affect yours
      People will always do what they want to do but the system was designed to create the idea in voters heads that voters should have preferred choices to make you feel like you live in a democracy so thereby ranking candidates would give the impression of free fair and representative voting, but of course if you actually don’t care who loses why rank them at all, if you go in the bookies to back a horse or two you don’t have to rank the rest of the field in the same horse race to make it fair

      If everybody in Scotland only voted for the Cheeky monkey party and left everybody else off the list then only the Cheeky monkey party could win, there’s a lot of partisan panicking going on from folk about creating voting into rocket science over this where there isn’t

      Very soon we’ll be assailed by the tactical voting squad who’ll display graphs and numbers splattered all over the internet to confuse the issue even more than it already is, but their end is always the same to get the voter to rank their particular choice of party somewhere anywhere to give them a chance, and good luck to them for trying, that’s democracy

      I declare openly that my interest is only SNP and none of the rest so I’m not open to voting for anyone else because there’s no law says I should, just as there’s no law saying anyone has to vote at all, so all the folk who keep saying you must do this or that for the reason of this or that are incorrect, no one *has* to do anything they don’t want to do

      You make your mind up and do what you think feels right for you

      There’s only one sure thing about elections and it’s that Tories always always turn out to vote, they could be the dying, the soon to be dying, and even the dead, but Tories will vote

      • Alex Clark says:

        At the end of August last year, the SNP and the Greens signed a “groundbreaking cooperation agreement” according to the announcement on the SNP website. It said:

        “The cooperation agreement ensures our party will work with the Greens to provide effective and responsible leadership for the people who live in Scotland, and for future generations.”

        https://www.snp.org/nicola-sturgeon-announces-historic-snp-greens-cooperation-deal/

        Nicola Sturgeon in announcing the agreement said:

        “I am determined there will be an independence referendum in this Parliament… this agreement reiterates that”

        There is one Green party candidate standing in my ward and they will be ranked 3rd by me after SNP 1 & 2, rather them than a Unionist party candidate being elected. I’ve made my own mind up after doing the research but each person should make their own mind up for their own ward and vote for who they want or not vote at all, simple as that.

        • Golfnut says:

          That would my choice Alex, no Green standing in my ward so just SNP 1 and 2. I understand how the voting system is ‘ supposed ‘ to work, but my question is and it maybe a question that many others are pondering, with 5 unionists and 2 Independents against 2 SNP how does voting till you boak help.

          • Alex Clark says:

            “a question that many others are pondering, with 5 unionists and 2 Independents against 2 SNP how does voting till you boak help.”

            I think the simple answer is that it doesn’t as most of these additional rankings are totally wasted anyway and if 3 or 4 in your opinion are all “as bad as each other” then you wouldn’t really care which if any of them are elected.

            There will also be candidates who have absolutely no chance of being elected no matter how they are ranked simply because they will not pick up enough 1st preference votes to avoid being eliminated very early on.

            I only intend to rank Independence supporting parties for definite, then I’d do my best to find out about the Independent candidate’s likelihood to support the SNP if it was likely to be a minority administration run council as almost all councils in Scotland currently are.

            The rest I probably wouldn’t bother with unless I knew for certain that say Labour would be willing to work with the SNP to keep the Tories out, then I would give the Labour candidate a ranking as well. The remainder I’d ignore and not bother ranking them at all.

          • Alba apparently insist people must use further rankings for unionist parties in such cases, and not to just vote 1 & 2 SNP. 😉

            But seriously, if you genuinely think the remaining candidates are ‘all the same’ and have no preferences at all when it comes to them, then just giving 1st and 2nd preferences to the SNP candidates would be a valid expression of that sentiment.

            But if you e.g. wanted to hurt the main unionist parties a bit by potentially reducing their seat could, you could e.g. vote for the independents for 3 & 4. It’s all a case of having a look at the others and seeing if any are slight less unpalatable. If so, rank them.

  61. Happy Easter, Duggers.
    Christ has risen ! Rejoice.

    What better time for the SFA to schedule a Cup Semi pitting the Prod Christians against the Kafflik Christians in Mount Florida, in their very own Circus Maximus.

    And just to add a bit of spice, schedule the battle to kick off at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. That gives the Loyal Sons and the Ooh Ah Up Ra Ra three hours drinking time in the pubs and clubs, guzzling Fire Water and Buckfast, before they ‘march on’ their citadel of hate.

    There will be no family outings to Queens Park, to picnic, roll Easter eggs, or play on the swings.

    Shawlands’ shops will be on alert, many will just put the shutters up; our hard pressed police, A&E staff, our train and ‘bus drivers and their support teams won’t be having Easter Sunday with their family and friends.

    They’ll be on the front line as always coping with the carnage disruption and violence which 50,000 knuckledraggers in blue and green visit upon this Dear Green Place, every time there is a 50-50 split in cup competition.

    Spare me the ‘decent Rangers and Celtic supporters’ being the ‘vast majority’, and all that 90 minute bigots crap.

    Who planned this?

    Decent men and women will miss their long awaited hard earned break from Covid because Football Rules in Glasgow, so live with it?

    There will be violence, drunkenness, vandalism, and the good citizens on the South Side will be forced off the streets, by a disgusting mob of sub humans.

    None of it will be covered by the Blahs and TV in any depth tomorrow…
    How long do we have to put up with this savagery?
    Discuss on one side of a sheet of A4.

    • Golfnut says:

      Apparently the ‘ ludg ‘ has decided to flood our town centres and streets with even more marches this year.

      • I love the smell of Buckfast in the morning.

      • Alister Jack sees these marchers as his own, proud, one nation British / English people in nationality, and not ‘Scots’, which is just a ‘regional difference’.

        I totally agree with him on point one, but with the census on point 2, where Scots is a legal nationality/national identity, completely distinct from British, which is a nationality I don’t have.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Imagine the news coverage if the European Union issued statements saying that all member states were now one nationality called Europeanish or Europeaners

        • The European Union respect its peoples, hence me having an Irish (EU) passport, and not a ‘one nation/one people’ European one.

          The English/British government does not respect the peoples of Scotland, Wales and NI, hence I can’t have a Scottish (UK) passport.

    • Dr Jim says:

      They’ve got to catch up on their hating

  62. Golfnut says:

    We recieved our postal ballot papers just yesterday, I don’t know the 2 Independents listed and I’ll do some research before I decide whether to give either a preference vote. I view the liblabtory party, because it’s just one party, a bit like the Hydra slain by Jason, has more faces than a toon clock, none are pretty, none deserve to be recognised or given legitimacy by a vote.

  63. Eilidh says:

    Sorry to hear the result of your driving assessment was not what you hoped for Paul. I am glad you were able to make a PIP claim but for all folks who apply for it the long wait for a decision on their claim is very frustrating. Clients whom our advice centre has helped apply are waiting up to 6 months for a decision. Hopefully you will get a positive decision. You certainly should do per the eligibility criteria
    Re the council elections per info on ballot box Scotland my ward does not have an Alba candidate and only 1 Snp one so for me it will be 1 Snp,2 Green and 3 Independent. Independent guy does not give an opinion on Indy but sometimes votes with Snp against Tory/Libdems who lead our council and he has helped me with couple problems. I am still not sure whether to rank the Unionist parties but if I do Tories will definitely be last. I hope we get an Snp councillor this time as one we had lost at last election. It is quite mortifying to live in the only area in East Dunbartonshire that does not have a Snp councillor

    • Dr Jim says:

      Is SNP councillor Gordan Low not available to you in your area?

      • Eilidh says:

        To be honest I never thought of contacting an Snp councillor from another ward so might be an option if need be. I do remember when I worked in Glasgow City Council councillors didn’t want to get involved in helping folks from other wards but that was before multi member wards. Hopefully I will get an Snp councillor here in May’s election

  64. Clydebuilt says:

    on radio this am . . . Dave Moxham Deputy General Secretary of STUC ” Germans take 3 times as much leave as people in the UK . . . A N D statutory sick pay in Germany is 5 times as much as in UK

  65. Hamish100 says:

    The Brexit U.K. wants ordinary folks to walk til they drop. 12 hour shifts then 1hr to go home and back keeps you on your knees through exhaustion.
    Other workers have 2/3 jobs to try and keep going while the children fend for themselves. Mum/dads all exhausted. School kids out to work in hospitality don’t get tips -it pays for their uniforms. While the owners drive their BMW’s and plead poverty.
    Modern societies recognising treating people well- rest periods, flexible working, more leave increases productivity.
    Too many businesses are still in a mindset of the 1930’s

  66. Hamish100 says:

    Work til they drop

  67. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    On Rwanda ….Journos perspectives……Rule Britannia it seems…..past tense in this case….

    Emily Maitlis tweeted “It just feels deeply deeply “ unBritish”. We used to be great at compassion”

    David Aaronovitch tweeted “Britain is better than this”

    When & How ?

    Both of them of course forgetting that it was the British minded people who voted for the very political party whose plan this is…..Brits voted for them, the Tories, as their so called BRITISH government via an over 80 seat majority in the HOC on the back of a policy that they as a party initiated, campaigned for and won the vote on and now supposedly have implemented as in got done(but have NOT)…that policy being Brexit….pretty much won because some BRITISH minded people who wanted, via Brexit , to take back control of THEIR borders to stop foreigners coming in, working and living in THEIR Britain ……….Journalists endorsing the fantasy of British exceptionalism ………..and let’s not even start with Britain and it’s history……something these two Journos prefer to forget ……and it seems also rewrite instead an alternate BETTER British version…..so not than different from the uber Brexiteers World War Two analogy of Brits being better and working together during the war as a way to justify the current harder times we are all seeing via Brexit both in the transition period and as in the here and now…. as a harsh reality …

    I mean where do you even start with such faux sentiments…..it’s NOT a faux nationality that gives you the ability to have compassion, empathy and other good traits …….being British does not make you better or indeed enable you to hold higher morals, standards and also distinguishing qualities(traits)….to be classified as once BETTER because you were British allows some to wrongly identify British as having inherent positive characteristics based solely on their (faux) nationality and that’s as fake as identifying as British ….some people act in a humane way and others do not irrespective of their nationality……I choose to try and be humane not because of my nationality but because of who I am as a person…. thus tis why I choose to NOT vote Tory…simples.

    Indeed in THEIR so called Britain there exists 3 very different countries separated by different cultures and also for two of these countries different languages as well (Wales and Scotland)…..yet Maitlis and Aaronovitch conveniently lump us all together as if we are all one and the same via THEIR Britain…..how very metropolitan of them and how very predictable…..

    Neither of them thinking of NI as in mentioning the UK once being “better” as that’s way too hot a potato indeed with Brexit NI is one of many Elephants in the room that exposes the British side as neglecting the UK side to appease SOME so called Brits getting their Brexit done and dusted….no….it’s always the so called British first and foremost with THEM….of course sometimes this so called Britain for people like them is synonymous with but ONE country within their Britain…..guess where ….

    How to (mis) sell British exceptionalism….just waiting for another Journo to declare ” It’s just not cricket”……Full House….BINGO.

  68. Welsh_Siôn says:

    An open question – one which I’m sure Scottish friends are also asking and probably answering in their own indomitable way:

    Why is all the ‘heavy lifting’ being done by poor Simon? Where is Alister?

    Times columnist calls Welsh Secretary a ‘stooge’ for Boris Johnson defence

    17 Apr 2022 3 minute Read

    Simon Hart has come under further fire following his defence last week of Boris Johnson after the Prime Minister was hit with the first of what could be multiple partygate fines.

    In a blistering column for the Sunday Times Matthew Syed accuses the Welsh Secretary of demeaning himself in a series of TV interviews and accuses MPs backing Boris Johnson of being “complicit in the creeping normalisation of deceit in public life”.

    The Welsh Secretary was the man selected by the Conservative Government to defend the PM in a series of media interviews on Wednesday, at least one of which was widely described as a “car crash”

    […]

    https://nation.cymru/news/times-columnist-calls-welsh-secretary-a-stooge-for-boris-johnson-defence/

    • Capella says:

      You must be so proud WS of having such a giant of probity representing you. Kay Burley has been earning her crust over this issue.
      I’ve no idea where Union Jack is skulking. Far far away on a blasted heath somewhere?

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Dedicated to the grewat man himself:

        I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General

        I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General
        I only have information on matters Better Togetheral,
        I know nothing of Welsh kings, nor of battles historical
        Not Glyndŵr nor Llywelyn, in any order categorical.
        I’m not at all acquainted with matters mathematical,
        I mis-understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
        About binominal theorem, I really have no news,
        With a doleful look about the square of the hypotenuse.
        I’m hopeless at integral and differential calculus;
        I dunno scientific names of beings animalculous:
        ‘Tis only in matters completely Better Togetheral,
        I am the very model of a modern Viceroy-General.

        [With acknowledgements]

  69. andyfromdunning says:

    A letter in todays National that explains the drop in Indy support from last year.

    THE Wings Over Scotland website highlighted some extremely disturbing polling figures. Last January, a poll by Savanta ComRes found women in favour of independence by a huge 20-point margin (60 to 40), more than double the eight-point margin among men (54 to 46). The overall support was 57 to 43 for Yes, a 14-point lead.

    A few days later, Nicola Sturgeon made her infamous “unscripted” video about transgender issues – her first really open statement of her stance on the subject – and not long afterwards the SNP initiated their proposed gender reform legislation.

    Barely over a year later, the most recent poll (BMG Research for the Herald, published last week) puts Yes behind by 47 to 53, a six-point deficit. That’s a 20-point negative shift in 14 months, and almost all of it is down to losing the support of women.

    Men are still narrowly pro-indy in the BMG poll (51 to 49), but support among women has plummeted spectacularly, from a 20-point lead to a 14-point deficit – a staggering 34-point turnaround dating measurably from the First Minister’s declaration of support for the hugely unpopular policy of self-ID. Just 43% of women are now Yes, with 57% for No.

    It is extremely difficult to explain such a dramatic movement in opinion which is almost totally limited to just one sex, other than by the party’s dogged determination to promote trans rights at the expense of women’s rights, most recently illustrated by the Scottish Government’s absurd defence of Lorna Slater’s incredibly offensive comments on the topic.

    While we’ve gone seven years of Sturgeon’s leadership with zero movement on indy and absolutely no work done to address key weaknesses like currency and borders (let alone the SNP’s increasingly woeful domestic record, typified by shambolically incompetent and embarrassing farces like the saga of the CalMac ferries), there appears to be no limit to the amount of effort and resources the Scottish Government is willing to expend on destroying women’s rights to single-sex spaces.

    All of those pushing for gender reform – including this newspaper – need to face up to the fact that in the highly unlikely event of there actually being an indyref next year, we will lose it as a direct result of the First Minister’s inexplicable obsession.

    You can have independence or you can have blokes in women’s toilets. The numbers make it startlingly plain that you can’t have both.

    Frances Earnshaw

    Denny

    • Dr Jim says:

      Stuart Campbell highlighted nothing, what he did was employ his Qanon rabble rousing style and all the usual suspects jumped on the bandwagon, and the letter in todays National was not written by the National or endorsed by it, it was written by, well who exactly? and we all know who they are

      As for your seven years nonsense, that’s more of Campbells drivel implying that the FM should have immediately called a referendum every five minutes following the total failure of the 2014 debacle then the subsequent horror show of the dIsgraced former FM that the same Stuart Campbell rabble roused once again into encouraging as many as who would listen into blaming the FM for, and that’s not even including the Brexit shenanigans that the UK used to distract and disrupt proceedings, but no, the misogynists and the troublemakers use everything they can to put and end to the FM and by association Independence
      The FM announced the referendum date and still the bitter brigade invent nonsense and employ their mind reading skills to deny there ever will be a referendum because they apparently can all read the FMs mind, yet another Stuart Campbell tactical invention
      Try as they might to destroy the FM they’re not succeeding, in fact the opposite is coming true as the voters see for themselves just who’s behind this and why, and it’s an easy one to answer, why is a so called political leader of a party who cannot achieve more than 2% of the popular vote because he’s consistently polling as the most unpopular politician in Britain past and present day still leading a party in opposition to the party he once led? no postcards needed for that, and the Scottish public just are not that easily manipulated or that stupid as Stuart Campbell hoped for

      These mucky tactics have been very clear since the day they began, if you can’t bring the FM and the SNP down legitimately then smear smear smear

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Funnily enough there is a minor character in Wuthering Heights called Frances Earnshaw…..small world…..just saying….watch out next week for a letter in the National from Catherine Earnshaw Linton…aka Cathy ….

    • Enjoying your wee visit, ? alba tourist
      Go back to Grouse Beater and mutually play with your mates. We scroll past this nonsense on here.
      No, don’t reply to me. we’re done.

    • stewartb says:

      A puzzling letter! I’ve just had a look at three successive editions of the Savanta ComRes Scottish Political Tracker, published in March 2022, January 2022 and September 2021 (e.g. see https://comresglobal.com/polls/scottish-political-tracker-march-2022/ )

      I focus here on responses, recorded in Table 2 in each edition, to this one question:

      ‘If there were a referendum on Scottish independence tomorrow with the question, ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’, how would you vote? BASE: All respondents likely to vote’.

      This is what is reported:

      March 2022 edition: Total Yes = 48%; Male Yes = 42%; Female Yes = 46%

      January 2022 edition: Total Yes = 48%; male Yes = 40%; Female Yes = 50%

      September 2021 edition: Total Yes = 45%; Male Yes = 41%; Female Yes = 48%.

      In each case the support for Indy is highest amongst female respondents to the ComRes Tracker surveys. How does that fit with the data – and the contentions – in the letter reproduced above?

      And just to add this from the March 2022 edition of the Tracker (from Table 52):

      ‘Q7_3. Understands ordinary people: Thinking about each of the following characteristics, do you, or do you not, think they apply to Nicola Sturgeon? BASE: All respondents’

      For this ‘understands ordinary people’ characteristic, the percentages responding positively i.e. that it does apply to the FM:

      Total = 55%; Male = 48%; Female = 60%.

      On another issue raised in the letter: can anyone point to an example in the history of human kind and its organisation into self-governing entities where a people turned their back on acquiring agency because a project to build a couple of ships cost more and took longer?

      And whilst I’m seeking enlightenment, can anyone explain what must be a truly remarkable political and social phenomenon? It’s the one where multiple, apparently normal, democratic countries have opted in recent years to adopt gender recognition reforms despite such reforms being associated – so the letter writer claims – with something ‘inexplicable’? Did they suspend their democratic processes?

  70. Hamish100 says:

    Weird. My wife daughters and son are still voting SNP. Their view of ALBA / salmond are less than kind.

    • Eilidh says:

      Mine too and all my friends and family have never changed their minds about voting Snp and certainly wouldn’t do because of GRA and quoting the ferry issue adds zilch credibility to the writer of that letter. I am suspicious much

    • Hamish100 says:

      Their view of wings over Scotland is even more scathing. I declare an interest having been barred from the web site with a Fxxx Off. I think my criticism of the web site which seemed to attack the SNP rather than the unionists during the GE hit a nerve. Truth hurts I suppose.

      • andyfromdunning says:

        I agree Hamish that Wings did from 2019 onwards have a go at the SNP. Prior to this most people thought he was good for independence despite his abrupt ways.
        It started because they spent the ring fenced Indy funds and he got fed up with delays.
        That does not discredit the poll figures that Frances’s letter refers to above. Wings has nothing to do with the message in the letter.
        I vote SNP but I am open to mistakes they make etc. The potential issue with GRA cutting the female Indy support needs investigated and the message not pushed aside.
        Regards

        • Hamish100 says:

          I think you are on here doing a spoiler. No evidence just my gut feeling.
          Just like you’re assertions

      • ‘It started because they spent the ring fenced Indy funds’

        Actually, there’s no credible evidence that this occurred. There’s nothing in the published accounts that shows this, and these are independently audited and available online on the EC website.
        Certainly, it’s hard to believe the SNP has blown all the cash when you actually take the time to look, the sum involved was a fraction of annual turnover (10% or so) and, well, erm…

        https://archive.ph/rLNs7

        Electoral Commission: SNP accounts for 2020 reveal £1m financial surplus

        = definitely no missing money

        I understand there is a Police investigation, and if well-hidden fraud has actually taken place, the person or persons responsible* within the party will be in serious trouble. But until that happens, it is just unionists trying to pretend it has already.

        Unfortunately, Wings developed a habit of lying. Such as peddling grand conspiracies about how everyone in Scotland right down to the till lady in Tesco were perjuring themselves to further Sturgeon’s career for some reason, to those huge porkies about the FM breaking the ministerial code multiple times when that never happened. This type of stuff destroyed trust in Wings, and that’s before his rabid, daily mail style dog-whistling opposition to trans people having the same rights as LGBH in being allowed to self-id as trans (as e.g. heterosexual people etc just have to self-id as that and it’s not questioned, and they are not forced to prove it somehow).

        And this is from someone who only self-ids as Scottish, asking everyone to take his word on that even though he’s been ‘living as an Englishman’ for 30 years and prefers brexit England to Scotland.

        The final straw was him backing a vote for unionists ahead of May 2021. The cover was totally blown by that.


        *Only unionists claim ‘the SNP’ spend the money. For that to be the case, everyone in the party must have been involved or complicit. That’s fanciful. Fraud is normally committed by a tiny group of individuals at most. ‘Someone within the SNP’ might be guilty, but we can be sure the party is innocent; the idea that multiple people at the top would be involved in fraud really is Brexit levels of sunlit uplands level fantasy.

  71. Bob Lamont says:

    It has never ceased to amaze me that the GRA, or more accurately reforms to the GRA, continues to be pivotal to the case for Independence despite every country on the planet having either dealt with it or in course of doing so, Scotland is the only one which would appear to have an issue over it, perhaps it’s a kilt thing…

    Women I’ve spoken to over the GRA hoohah previously have laughed it off as propaganda games, a complete non-issue, a small sample for sure but you might think misgivings might have turned up along the line.

    “You can have independence or you can have blokes in women’s toilets” neatly sums up the pitch of Frances Earnshaw, perhaps he might remember to flush and leave the seat down after his next contribution to the National…

    • andyfromdunning says:

      You are correct about GRA in some countries.

      If I had put in a table the poll findings from Jan21 and Mar22 then it would be obvious that the dramatic drop in Indy support among women would stand out. This would correctly be a concern worth analysis and research. The letters author Frances assumes GRA. This is possible but it may be several factors.
      Imagine the factor was GRA. A major SNP policy working against independence.

      • Alec Lomax says:

        Yes,, never mind Covid, Brexit, climate change or the cost of living crisis, the important matter in Wings world is the GRA .

        • Alex Clark says:

          Even more important than Independence for some. there are those who say “Independence is not worth having if the SNP are in charge”.

          • Dr Jim says:

            They have to convince the voters that Nicola Sturgeon is immortal and will rule forevermore to get that to stick, they are trying though

        • It’s utter nonsense given GRA devolved area so any reform is irrelevant to independence. Any reform will happen irrespective of independence.

          The sort of folks that say ‘Well, I don’t support indy cos SNP [insert devolved policy]’ are the same people that say ‘I don’t support indy cos Sturgeon’ (formerly ‘cos Salmond’), namely British (first and foremost) people who’d never vote indy at all.

    • Women are more supportive GRA reform than men, and, since brexit, more pro-indy on average, e.g. latest comres:

      Also, they really don’t like mansplainers. I say that as someone outnumbered by women in my house!

      And there’s been no change in polling for the past year or so. In fact all the evidence is that baseline / min yes has continued to rise. In 2020, we got 44% lows. 2021 the lowest was 46%. This year so far, the lowest was 47% with the highest 54%. So our range is 50.5+/-3.5 for 2022 so far, which is very consistent with a median of 50.2% Yes for 2021.

  72. Tory parties attacking the SNP.

    This is clearly #tartanpartygate!

    https://archive.ph/XsCHG

    SNP respond after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ‘reported to police’ over face mask

    …Police Scotland has confirmed that it is “assessing” a complaint received on the matter.

    …An SNP spokesperson said: “The First Minister was invited into the barbers during an outdoor visit on the street.

    “Within a few seconds, she realised she hadn’t put her mask back on and immediately put it on.”…

    …Among those to have complained to Police Scotland was former Tory party treasurer in Moray Jane Lax.

    Lax was suspended from the party in 2019 after a vile tweet about the First Minister’s miscarriage…

    …The Alba Party’s general secretary Chris McEleny (below) said: “This highlights that compliance is now completely out of the window and any notion that once Scotland fully aligns itself to Boris Johnson’s Covid surrender strategy on Monday it is highly doubtful we will see a high proportion of the public continue to wear face masks.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Alba and Tories become the rebel alliance against the only party in Scotland who can achieve Independence

      It certainly looks like the FM is living rent free inside their heads

      Strong is the desperation in these ones

    • Bob Lamont says:

      It was deliberate…
      It was the only way she could get a mention let alone prime spot on the BBC/Scotland/Politics webpage…
      Doubtless in a year’s time it be reflected on a Letters page as cause for a fall in Indy support 🙄

      Ludicrous is not the word for it…

    • Fuel crisis, 3.1% ‘increase to pensions, disability, and welfare payments in inflation rampant UK, Brexit, the Levelling Down of scotland, and alba, led by the man with £600 to spend on designer shoes for his lady friend apparently, channels all its energy in to attacking the only poitician in Scotland named as Putin’s Mortal enemy.
      Who put forward Sturgeon’s name on the list?
      A former RT presenter?
      Has the political coward McAskill resigned his SNP seat yet?
      Thot not.
      Pea brained little people desperate for a headline and a quote.
      Alba is a risible pathetic vanity project run by tired old men.
      Has Dross surfaced yet, or is he in hiding still at Dross Mansions counting his money?
      I note that Johnson is planning a visit to India next week. Anywhere but stay in England and face the music.
      Meanwhile We are to watch while England rapes our land of even more resources, and say nothing. But Sturgeon naked faced is a crime against humanity?
      We are expected to scream outrage at this ?
      Idiots.
      I note that some Heid High Yin Anglican Archbishop has invoked god’s wrath on the English Reichstag over the Rwanda Final Solution.
      That’ll stop Patel and her Brownshirts in their tracks.

      Alba is in bed with any group who want to destroy Scotland.
      But they are but a fly at the picnic.

  73. Alex Clark says:

    Jane Lax first came to attention as a Tory plant on a Question Time program from Elgin in 2019, she wasn’t the only Tory plant either as there were 2 Tory councilors and Ex-Tory MSP Mary Scanlon.

    SNP call on BBC to refer itself to Ofcom to allow Question Time probe

    https://archive.ph/mV47Z

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