A dark day for democracy

While the anti-independence media in Scotland, which is to say most of it, remain fixated on ferries, the Conservatives are getting on with the dismantling of Britain’s already fragile democracy. The collection of customs, practices, and laws which collectively amount to what passes for a British constitution are already hopelessly inadequate for the task of putting limits on the power of the government and holding the powerful to account, a task which is vital in order to guard against a possible descent into authoritarianism and corruption, tendencies which are already far too evident with this Conservative administration. As an illustration of just how useless the Westminster system is at safeguarding democracy and ensuring the highest standards of behaviour in public office, We currently have a Prime Minister who has repeatedly lied to Parliament, the public, and the cabinet, and who has been found to have broken the law on at least two occasions, yet he remains in office and we must rely on the Conservative party deciding to unseat him for its own party political advantage.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, and it is extremely serious. 56 MPs, including three cabinet ministers, are currently being investigated for allegations of sexual harassment. That is almost 10% of the entire cohort of MPs in Parliament and speaks of a deeply dysfunctional working culture in Westminster. Just a couple of days ago Conservative MP Neil Parish resigned after being seen to have been watching porn on his mobile phone in the Commons chamber and in a committee meeting. At first Parish refused to resign, claiming that he had opened the file by accident when looking for information about tractors. He’d just got mixed up about the sort of tugging he wanted. At this rate BBC Parliament will soon take over from Babe Station as the UK’s leading broadcaster of blatantly sexual behaviour.

At first the Conservatives tried to excuse this litany of appalling conduct by claiming that MPs work hard, work long hours, and spend a lot of time in Westminster’s several bars, as though drinking on the job was somehow normal and acceptable in any other field of work, and that it somehow excused the rampant sexism of so many MPs.

This weekend, the SNP MP for Airdrie and Shotts, Anum Qaisar, has revealed that she has been warned to stay away from certain male MPs because they have a reputation for predatory behaviour. The Sunday Times has reported that a minister has been alleged to be heard having “noisy sex” in his parliamentary office, a Tory MP has been accused of sending a picture of his genitals to a female colleague , and another Conservative MP has been given repeated warnings for his use of prostitutes.

Anum Qaisar pointed out that all too often the responsibility for dealing with the inappropriate behaviour of male colleagues is put on women, with women being told to be ‘careful’ about what they wear or to have to take care to avoid being left alone with certain men rather than men being held accountable when they behave inappropriately with their female colleagues. She added that there is a culture in Westminster where the men accused of these actions only quit when they are threatened with being thrown out of Parliament. This is exactly what happened with Neil Parish, who at first tried to stay in office and only resigned as an MP when the outrage that his behaviour generated looked as though it was going to lead to him being facing the humiliation of being dragged out by a tractor.

However this sorry situation forms the backdrop for the Conservative evisceration of the Electoral Commission, stripping it of its status as an independent body and putting it under the control of a cabinet minister, currently Michael Gove. Gove, who lies as frequently as Boris Johnson but even more glibly, will now have the power to determine the remit of the Electoral Commission and to decide what counts as legitimate campaigning. In February, before the Conservatives’ Elections Bill had received its final reading, the commission wrote a public letter to Michael Gove, saying that the bill’s provisions were “inconsistent with the role that an independent electoral commission plays in a healthy democracy”, adding that the independence of the Electoral Commission is is fundamental to maintaining confidence and legitimacy in our electoral system.”

The bill gives Gove the power to criminalise groups and individuals for actions undertaken up to a year before an election that he retroactively deems to be campaigning. Former Electoral Commissioner David Howarth has described this draconian measure as “something straight out of Putin’s playbook”. Other critics of the new legislation have pointed out that it gives British Government ministers the ability to to shape how electoral law is applied to them and their political competitors, and gives the governing party a significant and unfair advantage.

The Conservatives have already introduced legislation which significantly restricts the right of protest in England and Wales, this new legislation destroys the independence of an institution with the power to put limits on the Conservatives and to hold them to account and puts it firmly under the control of the party. Additionally it puts significant obstacles in the way of exercising the right to vote, and will make it mandatory for voters to show photographic ID at the polling booth. The Conservative government says the bill will protect the “integrity” of elections and prevent voter fraud. There is however no evidence that impersonation is a serious problem at ballot stations. Figures show that between 2015 and 2019, there were only 88 allegations of in-person voter fraud, out of a total of 153 million votes cast. That included votes in three general elections during the four-year period. The Conservative elections bill will introduce a serious obstacle in the way of casting a vote in order to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

The effect of this bill, and no doubt its real intention, for all the mealy mouthed and pious excuses of the mendacious Conservatives, will be to make it harder for certain demographic groups which tend not to support the Conservatives to cast a vote. Young people and members of ethnic minorities are more likely to lack the kind of photographic ID demanded by the new legislation. The Tories have clearly taken a leaf out of the voter suppression book of the US Republicans. The Electoral Reform Society has warned that the ID measures, which will cost £20 million per election to implement, could disenfranchise the 3.5 million people in the UK who lack the ID required. According to the British Government’s own figures, as many as one in ten people do not have an up to date, recognisable photo ID.

Kyle Taylor,the director of the campaign group Fair Vote UK, said the UK Government had essentially “voted to officially end the independence of the Electoral Commission” and that the new powers mean ministers “can effectively rig election rules in their favour”. He added : “This is how countries slide into authoritarianism,first you take control of the institutions, then you rig them in your favour and ban noisy protest so people can’t fight back. It’s a dark day for democracy.”

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129 comments on “A dark day for democracy

  1. beth says:

    your state of things seems as crazy as ours in the states right now!

  2. Aye, as I said on the previous thread, you might think the Tories talking about ‘a new funding model’ for the BBC is them planning privatisation.

    I suspect otherwise. Instead, I think they will cancel the license fee to make their own voters happy, and swap to a direct government funding model. That would bring the BBC fully under their control, just as they are doing with the electoral commission.

    This would tie in with them pushing for ‘more British content’. Also them privatising C4; a channel which did not fear criticising them.

    If you think the BBC is state propaganda right now, wait until Michael Gove is deciding the content.

    This would be the natural direction of travel for the UK going down the right-wing dictatorship route.

  3. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Aye…..

  4. Hamish100 says:

    An attack on the Democratic process includes disenfranchising the young, the poor, the weak, the infirm, ethnic and religious faiths and of course the non-unionists. Gove has not chosen all categories yet but he will eventually. He is looking forwards to the independence referendum to provide the unionists with an advantage.

    In that he is supported by the 2 face McKenna writing in the now far right Herald attacking then SNP.
    When he writes in the The National I turn the page over as his musings are mere designed to support the paymaster. I don’t believe him.

  5. Arthur+Thomson says:

    A brilliant post Paul. People who are struggling to survive – and their numbers are increasing daily – have no space in their minds to react to this type of blatantly undemocratic behaviour. It is reprehensible. My hope is that when the Tories implement their plans there will be a reaction that connects their callousness with their deviousness in the minds of the electorates and brings about their demise. My instinct is that the machinations of the Tories and the uselessness of their Labour sidekicks will work in favour of the drive for independence.

  6. yesindyref2 says:

    The problem is not the Tories like Gove who have no principles and will totally ignore democracy in their pursuit of perpetual power, the problem is the total disapparance of Conservative MPs with principles, to stop them.

  7. Dr Jim says:

    None of what the government in England is doing should surprise us, for it’s not the UK as everybody keeps calling it, it’s England, Wales isn’t involved in Gove’s plot and neither is Scotland so again not the UK, just England doing what it always does to protect control of its bank balance and territories it decides belong to it

    England was is and always will be the problem, they are a country with no ability to co operate without lying cheating and manipulating, Brexit should’ve been the clue to the English voter that their government lied to them at every turn, but what did the average English voter do? they just ended up accepting those lies to their own disadvantage and everybody else’s because they are a nation used to being lied to, and what does the average English voter say now about Partygate the illegal proroguing of parliament the 56 MPs embroiled in sex and porn scandals? they say oh well it’s the government and what can we do so we’d best just accept it as “The will of the people” “The British people have voted” and slogan after slogan to cover up the failed state that is England

    The problem Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland have is that we have people who support England’s behaviour living in our countries who are prepared to vote against anything no matter how democratic that may be if it’s against what they think is the will of the “not British, but English”

    Democracy forbids us to reject these people and as democratic nations our governments will obey those principles but but here’s the rub, England’s government does not obey the principles of democracy as Michael Gove is now demonstrating by trying to take over the democratic institutions of the English state to use as a weapon against the other counties involved in this union in the same way as happened in Germany in the 1930s by another criminal gang that ended up creating a world war out of that behaviour, just as Russia’s Vladimir Putin is doing now

    Are we going to hear the English government invent and accuse the Scottish government of being some kind of criminal group just as Putin did to Ukraine? nothing would surprise me about the future where the English government is involved

    They are not the UK government, how can they be when none of the other countries of these islands agree with anything they do, they are the dictator regime of England

    • andyfromdunning says:

      Spot on Dr Jim. To me this is a gradual slide to fascism.

      I chat to a couple of strong unionist occasionally that I know asking them what they agree with in some of these extreme going on. I use examples.

      They think it’s awful until I explain that the points I had just discussed and highlighted were created by Westminster. They are silent. I keep hoping that their brains will engage and over write their unionist sympathies.

      I have converted four so far but it takes time. Mind you a couple I know are so blinkered that building concentration camps in England for asylum seekers would be OK if it was approved by Westminster.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      It has been reported that GOVE is LINKED to the Michelle Mone PPE SCANDAL.

      Hence why BiasedBritishCorporation NOT reporting on this…….aka the British branch of the North Korean state broadcasting company…….

      Hence why the UK government are refusing to publish £203million contracts handed to PPE firm linked to Tory peer Michelle Mone…as it has been reported there was apparently EMAILS between Lady (she’s no Lady) Mone and Gove on this…….

      **GOVE with his dirty Tory fingers in so many pies filled with lies which the BBC will neither scrutinise or publicise instead all they do is try their best to sanitise Tory Corruption that will surely compromise them (as a supposed news provider) and thus categorise them, the BBC, as part of a growing Tory franchise. (one of many in THEIR UK).

      **A Tory party franchise who seek to destabilise (the economy) , chastise (opponents), disenfranchise ( the poorest), demonise (those classed as others),radicalise (the gullible),capitalise(on Brexit), centralise (power to WM),maximise (profits for Tory donors and themselves) ,minimise and downsize (the Scottish economy), normalise(corruption), ostracise (Scotland),Penalise (the poorest in society),demoralise (Scots),energise (right wing radicalism), dehumanise ( refugees & migrants),trivialise (Scottish independence),criminalise (politics via their actions) AND who currently seek to mobilise ( their corrupt regime to control everything to ensure that they stay in control by having all the powers thus are never punished for any wrongdoing, failings, broken promises and scandals)…….

      **parts are a rhyming rant by me using words that end with ‘ISE’ as in rhymes with Tory ‘LIES’.

      Me bad again…..I’ll get me coat…or should I say straightjacket.

      😉

      BTW …BBC News trending on Twitter for NOT mentioning Michelle Mone scandal…..as in THE BBC News in name only….apparently….or rather obviously……AGAIN…

  8. Derek says:

    The funniest comment that I’ve heard regarding Parish was that he’d gone home, only to find that his wife had left him, and that there was a John Deere letter on the kitchen table.

  9. ‘First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Pastor Martin Niemoller

    Bit by bit the Fourth Reich is separating the rogues from their docile herd.

    How long before the CTA is scrapped and England deports the Irish?

    Andrew Marr suggests that his English Masters jail Scot Nats…
    They’re going to need a bigger boat.

    Our Media are willing conspirators in attempting to neuter Scotland.
    There shall be a Reckoning.

    .

  10. Capella says:

    It is very like the Enabling Act of 1933 which allowed Hitler to bypass the constitution and enact laws without any checks or balances. All was entirely within the law.

    Of course, the UK has no constitution. Only checks and balances. It is a very dark place and there will inevitably be consequences as the numerous appalling blunders this nest of thieves known as the Cabinet accumulate and they become ever bolder.

    How can we get rid of them? There appears to be no mechanism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act_of_1933

  11. https://archive.ph/vVK4g

    The 12 Early Warning Signs of Fascism

    1. Powerful and continuing nationalism – Flegs! Strength in unity! One British motherland!
    2. Disdain for human rights – Cancel ECHR…transport them all to concentration camps in Rwanda!
    3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause – The other 31 EU/EEA countries are out to get us!
    4. Rampant sexism – See current headlines, including No 10 prizes for this
    5. Controlled mass media – C4 dealt with. BBC will be Gove’s next
    6. Obsession with national security – Nukes! There’s a war on!
    7. Religion and government intertwined See House of Lords English Bishops with Head of Church also head of state, Iran style
    8. Corporate power protected The city
    9. Labor power suppressed – Crush the unions!
    10. Disdain for intellectual and the arts – See e.g. brexit attitude to experts
    11. Obsession with crime and punishment – String em up!
    12. Rampant cronyism and corruption – No need to elaborate here!

    I’ve been pointing this out since Broon’s ‘British jobs for British workers and not for the likes of your wife SS’ intervention. Labour’s shift to right saw them dump the red and yellow of socialist liberalism for the Tory flag of English/British nationalism. They have gone all the way now to a pro-brexit party.

    https://metro.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/ad_116582260.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&zoom=1&resize=480%2C375

    The UK is rushing headlong into fascism. We need to get out quick.

  12. Clydebuilt says:

    Paul . . . . excellent article. needs to be read far and wide.

  13. Ian says:

    Scotland voted with its eyes open in2014 for this. We knew WM is a duplicitous unworthy place. But that’s what we clung to. Scots in that place have no power and have become accustomed to it, accepting and acquiescent.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Security!…. I think we have an imposter.

    • Scotland voted with its eyes open in2014 for this.

      I don’t think people did. One of the reasons fascism sneaks in is that people don’t believe it could happen in their country right up to the moment it does. They just go around getting on with their lives, and only when they lose the right to protest etc do they realise it’s too late.

      And I note that a majority of people of Scottish nationality (national identity) voted Yes in 2014. It’s kind of understandable that, by contrast, British identifying residents of our country were disinclined to do so.

      Lucky for us, the Scots greatly outnumber the brits, with time eating away at the numbers of the latter, particularly as Britain itself declines as a state. Why would young Scots identify with the criminally corrupt, increasingly fascist state that is the UK? And trying to force Britishness on them will only make them more likely to reject it.

  14. Anne Martin says:

    I can strongly recommend watching a short series on Netflix called Anatomy of a Scandal. It could really be about our present Tory MPs and PM.

  15. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye a good summation of where we are, and following on from preceding posts from Jack Collatin, Capella, and SS, this is precisely what with my grandfather Opa warned against well over 30 years ago.
    Our long conversations when I was a teenager dwelled much on what led to the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler as well as what happened during the war, yet what stuck in my mind was the necessity of a compliant media machine and a public convinced of it’s own victimhood at the hands of malevolent outsiders. Cue Brexit…

    Having watched as much as I could stomach of the latest QT from Romford it was if observing an alien race, not the neighbours next door – You had the “Boris is the victim” lot, the “Brexit would work if we all stood against the unpatriotic who are against the state” lot, but it was the politician desperately trying to get one over on the other whilst jumping between these cons which was the most striking of all – So blinded by the political “game” that the actual concerns of “people” were mere chess pieces. Then I remembered what Opa had recounted.

    The Irish got it about right and have maintained it – A free press allows free public discussion, politics must follow because you’re out of a job otherwise. Not so in the United Queendom.

    In the UQ there was a lull in the post-war era because you had fighters coming home, the powers that be had a potential uprising on their hands otherwise – Yet look at just how far the well-being of ALL British progressed, NHS, public housing, etc..
    30 years later you had Thatcher poking her head above the parapet, and the band was back together, the rest is history.

    There is a reason HMS James Cook keeps attacking the incumbent SG administration, it is NOT about people and never has been, it has always been about subjugation, the Irish wouldn’t stand it for a second yet apparently Scots’ MPs have to, the reason, where power lies…
    Do Councillors or MPs really matter on where we want to be on independence ? No. It’s about sending a signal, the end of “your” version of Union is nigh, James Cook et al, get the P45s ready.

  16. Dr Jim says:

    HM The Queen is plotting that she and her imperial family is to spend more time in Scotland to convince the peasants to remain within the English union

    I write this in reply to the right wing English supporting press who constantly keep referring to Nicola Sturgeon’s *plotting* to break up England’s *country* which is a complete and total lie, but what we in Scotland are used to from all things English when it comes to propaganda from a criminal regime

    England does not own the Union, nor does it own Scotland, the elected government of Scotland asked the people of Scotland to vote for them in regard to having a referendum on our independence from the Union and the people of Scotland replied in the affirmative, there is no plotting, there are no secrets, there is no little gang of rebels in underground basements, there is only the expressed democratic wish of the Scottish people in a free and fair election

    We said YES and we meant it, what’s more the whole of Europe is looking forward to Scotland joining them in the co operative EU and world project, it’s England who are cutting themselves off from the world, it’s England who plot and plan all manner of ways to rid themselves of peoples they don’t like

    Folk in Scotland really need to understand that in general England doesn’t like anyone else bar themselves, look at their history, they’ve slaughtered their way across the globe to enrich themselves to create an empire that has now crumbled because every other country involved in their rule has since thrown them out to gain the freedom of their own Independence, no longer can England Britain UK keep changing their name pretending to be something new and global, they’re England one single country pretending to be a UK which is not a country, England uses propaganda to promote a fake country that doesn’t exist by eliminating Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland input

    England has been found out and sidelined from the world, why in the hell should anybody who calls themselves Scottish Welsh or Irish want a damn thing to do with these people, until the English can sort themselves out and realise they’re allowing themselves to live and be ruled as in the dark ages under a pretend monarchy masquerading as a democracy they’re doomed

    As long as Scotland stays in this union nothing will or can change, because we are the financial asset England has been borrowing on and living off

  17. Hamish100 says:

    BBC Scotland broadcasts another Ulster Scots production about how the Scots and Ulster are the same. That’s it then, no Scots independence or we will upset our northern Irish cousins. Very subtle, sow doubt.

    Then I happened to come across the real enemy of the Scots.
    Who would have known that the Norse King Hakon colonisation of Scotland was supported by another to keep us week.
    From wiki.
    The Scottish expedition and death

    Medieval Norway at its greatest extent, around the time of Haakon’s death.
    Haakon employed an active and aggressive foreign policy towards strengthening Norwegian ties in the west.[40] His policy relied on friendship and trade with the English king; the first known Norwegian trade agreements were made with England in the years 1217–23 (England’s first commercial treaties were also made with Norway), and the friendship with Henry III of England was a cornerstone in Haakon’s foreign policy.[41][42] As they had become kings around the same time, Haakon wrote to Henry in 1224 that he wished they could maintain the friendship that had existed between their fathers.[43] Haakon sought to defend the Norwegian sovereignty over the islands in the west, namely the Hebrides and Man (under the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles), Shetland and Orkney (under the Earldom of Orkney), and the Faroe Islands.[6] Further, the Norse community in Greenland agreed to submit to the Norwegian king in 1261, and in 1262 Haakon achieved one of his long-standing ambitions when he managed to incorporate Iceland into his kingdom by utilising the island’s internal conflicts in his favour. The dependency on Norwegian maritime trade and their subordination to the Nidaros ecclesiastical province were some of the key reasons which allowed Haakon to assert sovereignty over the islands.[44] The Norwegian kingdom was at the largest it has ever been by the end of Haakon’s reign.[6]

    In 1263 the dispute with the Scottish king over the Hebrides induced Haakon to undertake an expedition to the islands. Having learned in 1262 that Scottish nobles had raided the Hebrides and that Alexander III planned to conquer the islands, Haakon went on an expedition with his formidable leidang fleet of at least 120 ships in 1263,[46] having become accustomed to negotiating backed by an intimidating fleet.[33] The fleet left Bergen in July, and reached Shetland and Orkney in August where they were joined by chieftains from the Hebrides and Man. Negotiations were started by Alexander following Norwegian landings on the Scottish mainland, but were purposely prolonged by the Scots.[46] Having waited until September/October for weather that caused trouble for Haakon’s fleet, a clash occurred between a smaller Norwegian force and a Scottish division at the Battle of Largs. Although inconclusive and of a limited impact, Haakon withdrew to Orkney for the winter.[46][48] A delegation of Irish kings invited Haakon to become the High King of Ireland and expel the Anglo-Norman settlers in Ireland, but this was apparently rejected against Haakon’s wish.

    Although the Largs battle is seen by some as bad weather defeats the Vikings it seems to me the defeat of the Norse was more important than some commentators would suggest. The Norse never came back but their allies the English eventually invade.

    Divide and rule. Our history determined by the invaders.

    • The census shows that Ulster Scots speakers don’t see themselves as Scottish at all. That’s primarily the 40% who identify as ‘British only’. They are dissociating themselves from us, not the other way around.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_of_Northern_Ireland#National_identity

      It’s why I feel the need to correct the BBC when it calls them ‘Loyalist’ or ‘Unionist’ which implies they are Irish but pro-union. Nope these people are British and not Irish at all. The UVF is a British/pro-English terrorist group, not an ‘Irish loyalist/unionist’ one.

      It’s the same for the likes of Foulkes. Don’t mistake a Scottish unionist (e.g. Donald Dewar) for a British nationalist. They are not the same thing. If push comes to shove, Scottish unionists are Scottish. The British (from Scotland) are not; they reject Scottish nationality and Scotland’s status as a nation. They are the British Putin to our Scottish Ukraine. They are the people that deny our language as part of their attempts at cultural genocide.

      https://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/43864#:~:text=Cultural%20genocide%20is%20the%20systematic,of%20people%20distinct%20from%20another.

      • To clarify…of course this doesn’t apply to all British in Scotland. In fact a good % of Scottish + British back indy, my best mate included. However, the identity of those that say stuff like ‘Scots is not a language’ maliciously (rather than having fallen for British propaganda), will be British/English in national identity, and not Scottish in any way. Scotland / Scottish people have not rejected them; they have rejected Scotland. They would like to see our country and its culture wiped out. They are dangerous people; the sort of people the 3rd Reich actively sought out and put into positions of power.

        We might think Foulkes an idiot, but he’s actually a very, very, unpleasant person. If he tried the same with another ethnic minority in the UK, he’d he kicked out of Labour, at least he would have been pre-brexit. But anti-Scottish/Irish/Welsh racism is allowed in the UK.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Donald Dewar was just another drone for English Labour in Scotland

        • As someone who campaigned for devolution in 1979 and 1997, then ultimately stood for Holyrood with the intent of giving up their Westminster seat (at least that was what he stated, and there’s no clear evidence against that), I would class Dewar as a Scottish unionist and not British nationalist.

          I am not singing praises here, just differentiating. A Scottish unionist can be persuaded of independence. Doing this is how we have got to where we are. A British nationalist by contrast, is near impossible to convince, as it is a matter of identity for them, not logic, and they are not Scottish.

          • Dr Jim says:

            I knew him and he was a Brit through and through

          • Well, if not Dewar, then there are some Scottish unionists in Labour. They do exist. Polls have ~3/4 of Scots not in principle opposed to indy. These are the people who either say they are Scottish not British (like us), or if they say both but are forced to choose, pick Scottish over British.

            They, in combination with indy supporters, delivered the 3/4 Yes for devo in 1997. While unionist/ British nationalist parties might have sought political advantage from devo, voters supported it because they are Scottish.

            • Dr Jim says:

              Labour never supported devolution for the sake of some kind of home rule Scottishness , they only lined up behind the proposition because they felt certain of cementing a life long power base in Scotland to help ensure future Labour governments in England, Scotland would still have remained more or less a Labour council if they’d had their way

            • My point is that back in 2011 Yes was on just over 30%. Now it’s a smidgen over 50% baseline.

              The difference contains a large chunk of former Scottish unionists. Scottish identifying people. Definitely not British nationalists.

              It was likewise Scottish people, including unionists, that voted 3/4 Yes in 1999. Our resident brits voted no.

              We can argue about the views / motivations of specific politicians – and I completely agree that British/English Labour saw Holyrood as a new fiefdom and a stepping stone to London – but it doesn’t change the fact that we have Scottish unionists and British nationalists and they are not the same. Their countries/nationalities are different.

              It is important to distinguish the two, as Scottish unionists can be persuaded to independence. British nationalists are all but impossible to.

              If England truly turned Russian on us, you’d see Yes soar to 75%+ as our resident Scots (first and foremost), rallied as the Ukrainians have.

          • Hamish100 says:

            Best friends of Brits like John smith, Wendy and Douglas Alexander -gave them jobs I believe and handed Scottish territory over to England.
            No he was a Brit and unionist.

  18. Dr Jim says:

    The Labour party now say devolution has failed in Scotland

    Has it eh? I wonder what they’d like to replace it with Hmm?

  19. No more Mr Nice Guy/Gal, Duggers.
    We must fight fire with fire. leaving no turd unstoned.

    Dross the family man, whose colleagues are sleazy corrupt sex perverts, must have run out of blind eyes top turn by now, surely?

    Johnson, the sexually incontinent father of six by various partners and wives, who is mired in no end of scandals, a serial adulterer held up as a paragon, a symbol of conservative values, and heir to Back to Basics John Major legacy?

    Leave no turd unstoned, Duggers.

    Where are Stephen Purcell, Gordon Mathieson, and Frank the Pieman McAveety , those giants of Glasgow Labour whose tenures as Council Leaders were mired in sex drugs rock and roll scandals now?
    Oh, look them up on wiki, younger Duggers.

    Cocaine, alcohol, sex in public car parks, hundreds of thousands wasted in a vanity project to redesign George Sq.,. lusting after schoolgirls in the Public gallery at Holyrood, caught on camera.

    Surely these Labour Big Beasts should be on the campaign trail with Anas the Cash And Carry millionaire dentist this week, ‘listening’ to the voters who inexplicably abandoned them?

    All this, washed down Scotland’s Media Memory hole, is to be forgiven, because?.

    • Dr Jim says:

      And what do Labour say now? “devolution has failed in Scotland” in other words Labour can’t wrest control of Scotland from Scotland so return it to direct rule from England and begin again

  20. ‘Must see’.

    Dear God, even Putin would blush at this.

  21. Golfnut says:

    Further to my comment on the last thread regards how far Alba are prepared to go to discredit the FM and undermine the yes movement.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/1094489944615208/

    • Dr Jim says:

      Alba have fulfilled all the suspicions most reasonable folk had of them when they started, there must be very few left who haven’t joined the dots and seen through this charade

  22. Hamish100 says:

    Golfnut,
    I suppose the answer they will go as far as they dare.
    If on Friday ALBA gets about 1-2% first preference votes then I think there may be a drift away by some of their supporters. In independence terms they cannot and will not exert any influence over the SNP or the Greens. To get where the SNP is now would be 15-20 years away and that is unlikely. Whether they like it or not SNP isn’t going away. In 2-3 yrs the MacAskills of this world will not be in Westminster/ Holyrood or any where else. They will end up like the SSP or as my younger family voters say “ who?”

  23. Dr Jim says:

    A good response today from the Greens in regard to HM Queen of England on deciding she and her criminal over privileged family will spend more time in Scotland attempting to convince us not to have a referendum on Independence

    The Greens said “It’s very nice of her Majesty that she recognises that there will be a referendum”

    • deelsdugs says:

      prince lecherous will be ‘tugging’ in the bushes when the guides go camping…uurrgghh…

      Wonder if queenie is in preparation for her departure and trying to reduce her costs for operation horse with one horn, to save the train carriage display of ostentation from south to north and back again …oh wait…there’s a jubilee (for p.lecherous a jamboree) this will take precedence over any departure from the world

  24. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I see Andrew Neil has his first show on Channel 4 next Sunday…..a politics show….

    God what a series of events he’s been through….BBC (left to help form new channel GB News)…then was THE face of GB News when it started up….parted ways with them, GB news, for reasons that still confuse me…as supposedly he didn’t anticipate or like the direction it was going in “due to disputes over its approach to journalism”…with presenters like Dan Wooten, Alexandra Phillips and Tom Harwood recruited from outset…..what direction did he think it would go and also what approach did he think it would take re it’s journalism with some of the motley crew he had recruited as presenters……right wing amateurs and pro Tory.

    Now he’s with Channel four…just at the time when the Tory government, via Nadine Dorries, are going to privatise it …..I mean what are the chances….what’s next for him….Chairman of Channel Four……I mean he’s got a foot in the door so when privatised they may just elevate him….I mean I’m not one for conspiracy theories but who would have ever thought Andrew Neil would ever have a Politics show on Channel Four…..especially with his record and connections.

    So we have the BBC (with Tories in charge), GB News, Talk TV and perhaps a future privatised Channel four with Andrew Neil onboard, Nadine Dorries as Digital & Culture Secretary…..it’s becoming like a monopoly for right wing media ….a Tory takeover….

    As to the newest channel Talk TV…well Piers Morgan’s walkout on GMB ‘Live’ on air did look a tad contrived…and in hindsight makes sense why done….was obviously to pave the way for him to front Murdoch’s new channel……they plan in advance you know….nothing is by chance….people like Piers would sell his soul for money….. …..has to be earning more than he was getting with GMB surely……I actually read he was to be given £50 million for a three year deal to join Talk TV and the Sun….God Murdoch must have money to burn or perhaps he thinks he can get a good return on this investment via the influence/power that he gains via propaganda pumped out from this, his latest (misad)venture…..

    Ofcom seem awfy tolerant do they not….of SOME broadcasters that is….so they decide the following :

    RT Russian propaganda channel – Nyet
    GB News/Talk TV BritNat Right wing propaganda channel – Absolutely.

    Mind you MP’s, MSP’s and Lords from Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrats seem to find these new channels acceptable with appearances on both of these channels….mind you some of them also appeared on RT News channel too…..so hard to keep up with it all…..

    Guess it’s time to say what an absolute shower they all are….Ofcom included.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “..it’s becoming like a monopoly for right wing media ….a Tory takeover….” – MSM essentially already was, setting down what was reported as news and more importantly what was not – By adding extreme right channels such as GB and Talk TV, it pushes what constitutes news ever further right.
      Although these channels cater to the more lunatic fringe in England, they add to the news pool from which many outlets draw, “What the Papers say” a good example
      – Few read these papers north of the border, but the already compromised BBC in Scotland feature them on Radio, TV and on websites ensuring their messages are not ignored.
      – The National regularly features stories from the Herald or what is “headline news” elsewhere.

      You could see how news is controlled by the Tory machine when Johnson decreed don’t mention the word “Brexit” – It vanished overnight from reporting in the media, the outlier on TV being C4, hence the Dorries interventions.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Yep Bob…BBC Director General Tory, Chairman Tory, CEO News Tory and now Tory peer to be Ofcom Chair and thus BBC regulator….a stitch up……

        STV News have their moments as well though…last night’s news on there they were talking about ‘failings’ in Test & Trace in Scotland with list MSP Tory Craig Hoy (GB News regular guest) talking about SNP’s failed system…..failed system was it ?……didn’t cost £37 billion though which was what the English system cost which was regarded by all as a very much failed system and where NO breakdown has been explained on where the money was spent…..plus was awarded to Private sector and managed by Dame Dido Harding ( who is married to a Tory MP)…….of course Craig’s input was via video link with NO questions put to him …just him talking to camera making yet another Tory unchallenged political point scoring exercise….then FM came on and congratulated NHS on their handling and work they did on Scotland’s Test & Trace system…..compare and contrast indeed.

        See Tories slagging off everything irrespective of the damaging reputational impact on whatever sector and it’s workers are their latest fall guys for their #ScotlandIsSh*te declarations is their usual pathetic and unforgivable strategy to try and get one over on the SNP whereas the FM and the SNP actually praise workers for their efforts……

        No question that the Tories politicised the pandemic and the media backed them up…..Tory UK government allowed excuse that pandemic was unprecedented but Scottish government were/are to be seen as incompetent and incapable of preparing for an ‘unprecedented’ event…….

        BTW here’s a funny fact on GB News Isabel Oakeshott has a show…on Talk TV her boyfriend Richard Tice has a weekend show……I mean do they think we are all thick as Pig you know what…….

        “don’t mention the word “Brexit”

        Brexit is omerta on the media…….that should tell people how much Brexit has failed the fact there is NOTHING said about it on TV news channels when before it was on news channels 24/7 to the extent we were all sick of hearing about it !!!….it’s very much a case of , in this instance, NO NEWS (mentioned about Brexit) is NOT good news……..however Fishermen, farmers, small businesses and anyone who previously had connections with the EU all now feel the NEGATIVE impact of Brexit…..irrespective of whether the news where YOU are or THEY are covers it…..and that’s something they cannot gloss over…….and the choices in supermarkets are diminishing every week…the shelves are becoming one step away from bare…choices before are now not there.

        See how Liz Truss spoke about Brexit trade and Great British Jam…did she mean the Brexit Great British TRAFFIC JAM at the port of Dover ?……how’s her PORK markets going (going GONE).

        Honestly if anyone votes Tory on Thursday they truly should then accept that perhaps masochistic tendencies is something that they can define themselves as having…… God forbid Labour or Lib Dem in Scotland should reap any benefit from #ToryFailing……as that would be defined as another act of self harm……

        Vote SNP 1 & 2 then Green party…..keep Tories of ALL colours out of power if you value having a quality of life in the area where YOU live……..

  25. Old Pete says:

    Johnstone getting interviewed right now. The man cares for no one but the ritch, no straight answers just woffeling and lies the man and his backers are a disgrace.

  26. LOL. You wonder how many Irish passports are tucked in drawers alongside the sash their faither wore. Certainly, orange marchers generally sound really Irish, not British, so can pass for the former!

    Either way, nice to see the population of the north becoming ever more Irish!

    https://archive.ph/YAGSy

    More Irish than UK passports issued in Northern Ireland for first time

    Brexit cited as key reason behind growing numbers of applications for Irish passports in North

  27. Alex Clark says:

    People are already struggling with their bills and it will be a whole lot worse come next winter. Does anyone believe that this buffoon has any idea what to do about it?

  28. davetewart says:

    The big buffoon saysa that increasing benefits will cause a spike in inflation.

    Wow.

    • Golfnut says:

      Maybe she should have asked how being able to put food on the table, pay your electric and gas bill, pay your rent and can afford your busfares causes inflation. Another might have been why EDF is only allowed to increase its prices by 4% in France but 45% in the UK.

  29. Hamish100 says:

    The tories answer is suck it up, we’re all right.

  30. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Long comment sorry but hope you can read it as I think it shows all Unionist parties in a bad light.

    A REAL journalist John Pilger had a documentary aired on TV about the NHS and privatisation it was called The Dirty War on the National Health Service and was aired in 2019.

    It really had it all.
    Started with Thatcher.
    Then Tony Blair PFI scandal…New Labour.
    Tory/Lib Dem coalition producing the NHS bill 2012…
    Lord David Owen(Lib Dem) said Conservatives AND Lib Dems LIED to the public.

    It showed how Lib Dem Vince Cable, when in Tory/Lib Dem coalition government, instigated the privatisation of a hospital in Cambridge by promoting a PRIVATE HEALTHCARE Company called Circle Health…Cable apparently took along founder of this private company to the hospital and spoke to a woman who worked at the hospital and told her that the hospital was to be run like a BUSINESS and when she challenged him on this by stating healthcare was not a business he said …” No dear it IS a business”…when Vince was asked by the programme makers about this comment that he had made to her he said “Could not recall this conversation”…how convenient…no recall…but then no denial either.

    And yet here in Scottish parliament we have wee Willie Rennie constantly paying lip service to the ‘state of the mental health’ in Scotland under the SNP while his colleagues at HQ together with the Tories were promoting and aiding the private healthcare companies to infiltrate the NHS when they were in coalition with the Tories under David Cameron’s leadership of UK Government…..oh yes they, the Lib Dems, are as culpable for the start of the demise of the NHS via the gradual infiltration of private companies within it .

    We also saw Kate Andrews (now with The Spectator but formerly with IEA), who at the time WAS with the Think Tank the ‘The Institute for economic Affairs’, mentioned along with other lobbying companies with both access to and close location to parliament of WM …funded by a Tobacco company and advocating for private health companies ( American) to have access to the NHS….so NOT a Think Tank but mere lobbyists paid by those with dubious intentions….yeh medical insurance here we come…..cause Kate Andrews thinks the NHS is currently unsustainable….how convenient….programme also mentioned their, lobbyists, access to the …..BBC…yep seen her on BBC Politics Live, BBC press review and BBC QT ( though Kate is also a favourite on SKY to ‘review papers’).

    And programme also mentioned one Matt Hancock(now the former disgraced Health Secretary) was also involved with same founder of private healthcare firm Circle health that Vince Cable promoted…..the founder who now has a NEW private Healthcare project/company called Babylon Health…and Matt was promoting their infiltration in the future vision of the NHS…one idea of theirs was an APP with a virtual doctor…so no face to face consultation with a GP in person….no just access to a virtual Dr !!…it would be like ‘get to the point what is the trouble’…misdiagnosis you say…sorry you never mentioned THAT symptom….I recommend you BUY that medicine…Do you have medical insurance ?…

    Did I mention BTW that the hospital in Cambridge that Circle Health took over…FAILED…and Circle Health pulled the plug on this…as targets NOT met…when they were reviewed it showed how they were FAILING to achieve JOINED UP Health reform ….so this is the people Matt Hancock and indeed Vince Cable was pinning the future of the NHS on…a company who failed and who are now operating under a NEW company name…same founder though …failed because (Their) targets were profit based and profits were the only factors in how they ran the hospital….healthcare a very very very low second…or rather a minor consideration of their BUSINESS….profit before people…..they were rated as failing to meet heath objectives for the public…colour me surprised eh Vince ‘healthcare is a business’ Cable yet wee Willie Rennie trys to gaslight us into believing week after week that his party supports the NHS and expects us to believe tis the SNP that is ruining it.

    It was also essential in the programme that they showed, by comparison, how private medical companies via private insurance plays out in America…where people are unable to access healthcare as they are unable to pay extortionate fees for insurance…so many people go untreated ….as in suffer and DIE……Brexit ‘Britain’s’ future on healthcare….a tier system Healthcare where greedy monopolies dominate and where the poor die off….early.

    Think we know what Farage’s motive was in promoting Trump’s America ( and the businesses of America i.e. private Healthcare companies) and also his pal Banks insurance company…makes sense does it not….

    Also highlighted in documentary was the ‘so called New’ Labour and the PFI scandal via Tony Blair ,aided by Gordon Brown, which expanded PFI where , via the NHS, billions are being forked out and NHS hospital trusts are being crippled by PFI…..and the Tories in instigating PFI via John Major and now also the Lib Dems in championing private healthcare via the promotion of Private hospitals while in Tory/Lib Dem coalition government…well seems they are all complicit BUT these same odious people have the audacity to slate the SNP ( aided by the media ) on THEIR, the Scottish government’s, NHS performance in Scotland…us Scots and indeed English people are all being taken for mugs…

    England has truly fallen and are walking into a nightmare that has been induced by their voting, via a majority, for political parties that will at some point oversee the downfall of free healthcare and the emergence of private healthcare akin to that in the USA …thanks very much to Brexit we may see the end of the NHS as we now know it (unless we in Scotland break away from rest of the UK)….but Tories say they have got Brexit done (have NOT), Labour say they will make it work and the Lib Dems the supposed most ‘remainer’ party in the UK have gone very quiet on THEIR supposed opposition to Brexit and thus seem to have accepted it as a done deal not to be revisited…………..especially for Scotland.

    Scots need to wise up because it is not ONLY our future in the EU at stake BUT the NHS itself….

    If you have NOT watched this documentary please try to see if still available to watch somewhere or somehow…because a REAL journalist , investigated, researched, produced and presented a clear and fact based piece that showed how we, the public, are totally being conned by our politicians…or as Malcolm Bruce succinctly put it “politicians lie”…some more than others though…and one Malcolm Bruce from the renowned masters of lying aka the Lib Dem party now showing how to lie via Willie Rennie and his supposed concern for our Mental Health , which considering what we are all enduring courtesy of UK politics , perhaps the increase in Mental Health problems is largely due to people like Willie and his party trying to ensure we remain within a country whose politics are driving us all MAD …follow the money…ALWAYS……note this documentary was shown VERY late on ITV in December 2019……. and I am sure can still be viewed online…no Unionist party came out unscathed in this programme which had them ALL culpable in some way for what we are all seeing that is happening via Brexit and possibly sadly the end of the NHS (certainly for England if voters continue to vote Tory in GE’s).

    Really Really sorry for length of comment……

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Happy to share the link to said programme, NMRN, from YouTube here. Not sure I will have time myself to watch it (It’s over 1 hour 45 mins long).

      There are other features, including an interview with Pilger himself on the making of the film if you search around the title on YouTube.

      One thing I would object to in your piece, NMRN, is your assertion of, “Hancock … now the former disgraced Health Secretary [of England]”.

      I don’t think he is in any way ‘disgraced’ or ‘ashamed’ of anything in his past behaviour – whether it be the … ahem … supervision of Trace and Track (we haven’t heard/seen much of Dido Harding recently – perhaps we should track and trace her?), to the English PPE fiasco when we in Wales had to subsidise (yes, WE subsidised England – you don’t get to hear that often enough) with PPE intended for NHS Cymru staff, or his tongue exchange exercises with his PA in the broom cupboard during lockdown, when they were researching (aye, right) the transmission [sic.] of Covid.

      Further Door Matt is starting to big up his forthcoming book on how he saved the nation [sic.] from Covid and how under his fair hand we were all provided with vaccines, for which may the Lord (and Matt himself in a bit part) we should be truly thankful.

      Enjoy the rest of YOUR day, too, NMRN and fellow Diuggers.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Hi WS…meant disgraced in public’s eyes….obviously as a Tory he has no sense of shame or the decency to feel any disgrace….

        Have a nice day too……

        🙂

      • I’ve just watched all 1 hr 45 minutes.
        The next time Lisa Summers is standing outside the Southern General (known to our colonial overlords as the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital) SNP Badding because of A&E waiting time ‘failures’, I’ll think of this incredible piece of real journalism.
        The Red Blue and Yellow Tories would kill our NHS…for money.
        They are the real enemy.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        @ Welsh Sion @ 12.02pm May 3rd

        Oops I am so sorry I meant to thank you for posting the John Pilger video….I am not in the least techno techno so I could not do it.

        Many thanks….

        Your a star WS…..

        🙂

    • Douglas Ross supports the rich, and the poor to pay for it.
      Private medicine for those who have, charity, and early deaths for those who haven’t. private schools, Golden tickets to Unis, jobs for life in the professional classes ,the sons and daughters of the scotia Nostra, while the rest of us suffer.
      That’s the Blue Yellow and Red Tory Jock Unionist way.
      Calm down NMRN, you’ll get a heart attack.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        “Calm down NMRN, you’ll get a heart attack”

        Yeh I probably should cam the spam…sometimes forget that it’s only politics and life’s for living…..perhaps sometimes I am too over eager and relentless in writing over long and incessant comments about how bad Unionist politicians are…perhaps forget they too are human so should maybe temper and limit what I say….or I will get a heart attack for sure…Lol

        Will take your advice Jack…..less is more…rage only leads to rage…Lol

        Have a nice day Jack

        🙂

        • Don’t you dare row back, NMRN.

          By anybody’s moral compass, Tories are ‘greedy capitalists’, who do not care about the welfare of the many, just maintaining and protecting the wealth and status of the few.

          Scotland is on the brink of breaking up the Scotia Nostra Oligarchy, and Ross and his merry band, and Ian Murray, and the Yellow Book Gladstone small government Lib Dems (q.v., Yellow Book Liberals) are neo liberal capitalists…

          They rule by menace and self appointed power, and armed force; democracy is a joke to the Filthy Rich and entitled.

          You get the best education, health, lawyers, and privilege if you are well off and a member of the clubs societies and top echelons of religions, oppressing the masses, who are kept underfoot by the Establishment, who rely on an Elite Hierarchy model, to stifle the hopes and welfare of Hoi Polloi, the Lumpen Proletariat, the Great Unwashed, the 5 million or so of us who Just Get By…aye richt.

          We are taking our country back..simples.
          There shall be a Reckoning.

    • Capella says:

      Thx NMRN for posting about this video and WS for posting the link. I will watch later. I have a lot of respect for John Pilger. He is indeed one of a dwindling band of real investigative journalists who do the research instead of simply reading out corporate press releases. He has a website which hosts some of his many excellent videos.

  31. On the BBC WS this morning, they were talking about an actor having a ‘British accent’. Does anyone know what a British accent is? Do I have one, coming as I do from the UK? What about the DUP?

    Also, I walked out of the post office in Lauder this morning to discover Douglas Ross at his wee Tory stall in Lauder square. He looked pretty nervous. Maybe because I was marching towards him and clocked him in recognition? However, I was just heading for my car.

    Anyway, 2/3 councilors in my ward are pro-indy and I expect the same again. Will try to oust the 3/3 Tory, but there’s a lot of blue votes around!

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Inevitably, if you scan YouTube, a British accent will be identified (usually for US consumption) as RP (Received Pronunciation) or SSE (South [of England] Standard English) or ‘the Queen’s English (who no longer speaks as she did when she first became Queen – and her grandchildren tend to have [Thames] Estuary English) or way back when it was universally admired, ‘BBC English’. With the last of course, that’s gone completely out of the window, old bean, and they allow regional accents (e.g. our very own Huw Edwards) onto the BBC airwaves, now. I tell you the whole country is going to the dogs …)

      I think the best personification of ‘a British accent’ as personified by those of the US are sufficiently gullible in these matters is anther Hugh – Hugh Grant (or any of a number from Downton Abbey). The fact that these sit well with the nostalgia for ‘the good ol’ days’ that the Anglo-Brits regularly imbibe from (and wish to take us back to), is, I guess an additional bonus for them as well as the Anglo-Brits themselves.

      On the other side of the scale of course are those braying MPs who have mocked the accents of Jonathan Edwards MP (Plaid and latterly, Independent) and David Linden (SNP). See both videos on YouTube. Or lesser mortals like myself who are expected to sound like Gladys Pugh in Hi-de-Hi or the uneducated masses who live on porridge ‘north of the (non-) border’, play bagpipes and all sound like a cross between Rab C Nesbitt and Harry Lauder.

      Yours, aye,

      One of the resident linguists on here

    • Aye, British = English. That’s what I figured!

      Nice to know my accent/language marks me out as not British! However, maybe Rory the Tory should complain to the BBC about this? He claims I am British, so should be arguing that my accent is British surely?

      🙂

  32. yesindyref2 says:

    I don’t post on the Herald any more as I refuse to pay their swingeing £96 a year tax on “comment is free” below the line. Their loss, not mine.

    So: “Jim McColl: Nicola Sturgeon’s claim about Ferguson Marine yard ‘is a lie’

    which relates to Nicola Sturgeon’s claim it would close without the contract for two CalMac ferries (all of us who live on the Clyde know that was true apart from McColl it seems), but more provably about this:

    It was put to him that the First Minister had said on Monday the yard would have closed and 400 jobs would have been lost if a different decision had been taken.

    He said: “That’s a lie. At the time there were 150 employees, not 400.”

    Yes, but the ferries contract was to bring new jobs, so McColl is being “economical with the truth”. From the BBC (2022), that august organ of pro-SNP propaganda:

    The workforce at Ferguson Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL) as it became known, rose from about 70 to 350, including apprenticeships in one of the most socially deprived areas of Scotland.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-49042833

    I’d guess the 400 jobs was an estimate back in 2015 of what the jobs would rise to, to keep to the original timetable.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Did the BBC not mention Alex Salmond? of course they didn’t

      Because successive English governments have reduced the Clyde and shipbuilding in Scotland to virtually field hands working for them Nicola Sturgeon took a step towards defending Scotland from future threat by English governments and secured a future for a whole area with the Ferguson deal
      Without Scottish government intervention there would have been no Ferguson Marine no contracts no jobs and no future for shipbuilding except that which the English government would dictate through MOD contracts, if and or when they decided to use their blackmail power of insisting the workers vote NO to Scottish Independence or no contract

      People hear the words 400 jobs but don’t realise that that means 400 families incomes, it means supply chain jobs, it means local businesses in that area surviving from the income of all that employment which can run into thousands of jobs overall

      The Ferguson deal failing is exactly what Tory Labour Lib Dem and others would’ve loved to happen, then when Ferguson Marine closed all of these parties would have been complaining vociferously that Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP Government had done nothing to help save shipbuilding on the Clyde for Scotland, remember when they raged against her for saving steel? remember when they raged against the Queensferry bridge?

      It wouldn’t be so bad that Jim McColl is such a bitter wee £billionaire if he had at least a shred of honesty, but he obviously doesn’t

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Well, as the Herald says:

        Mr McColl then admitted he had made a mistake himself in an earlier interview with Good Morning Scotland.

        He had initially claimed he had not signed the contract for the ferries, but documents bearing his signature were produced which showed this was not the case.

        “mistake”

        I wonder how many more of those he made …

      • I repeat, and with no sense of hysteric hyperbole, that it is their treacherous duty, that Anas Sarwar’s, Douglas Ross’, and the Taylor’s Dummy’s, and their rag tag and bobtail bunch of third rate chancers at Holyrood and Westminster, make sure that Scotland fails, at everything.

        The BBC, STV and the Dead Tree Scrolls are their eager cheerleaders and propaganda wing.
        Scotland and its people must be destroyed to save the scorched Northern colony for English ‘freedom and democracy’, rather like the English prosecuted in Iraq, India, Kenya, Palestine, and and and .
        They will never surrender without a fight to the death. We are that vital to England’s survival, or rather post the idiotic Brexit madness, to slowing down Merrie England’s ultimate decline into a Third World backwater.
        Can we crowdfund to pay for Pilger’s piece to be shown on STV?.
        Over $400 for a months inhaler? I’d be dead now.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Absolutely spot on Dr Jim.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Lets be clear on this, Jim McColl took a gamble on Ferguson and the gamble didn’t massively expand his wealth as he hoped, it really is that simple.

      Presuming McColl has no political angle, why are HMS James Cook amplifying the hard done by “billionaire” after a bad bet, or is it another game of look, a squirrel !

      There is a lot more than 400 hundred going to struggle next winter and neither Jim McColl nor James Cool will give a toss, throw another politician on the fire…

      • davetewart says:

        Have a look at Clyde Blowers Capital website, last update is February last year.
        Full of companies sold off and no news of current projects.

        Seems the billionaire is now Monaco based, wonder if he’s now Non Dom status.

        • Through i Player I just popped in to Muriel Gray’s 15 minutes of Distorting Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon is a liar says billionaire in ferry fiasco. Natalie McGarry fraud trial. Ramadan in Inverness, and now the weather.
          SNP liar, SNP fraudster!
          When the last helicopter leaves from the roof of the abandoned stockade on the Clyde, we’ll party like it’s Friday nicht in Auchtermuchty in Lambing season!

    • stewartb says:

      To pick up on what yesindyref2 has posted on today’s news coverage of ‘ferries’. It is imperative to read (and listen) VERY carefully to what BBC Scotland reports. The way this organisation performs its public service role – to inform and educate – frequently falls short, to say the least. The BBC News website’s Scotland page today in its continuing fascination with ‘ferries’ is yet another case in point as it amplifies Jim McColl’s accusation of lying. In the article we are told two things.

      Firstly we read this: ‘Jim McColl also disputed the first minister’s claim that the contract had saved 400 jobs – because the yard had only employed 150 people at the time.’

      Note the phrase ‘at the time’!

      Elsewhere in the same article we read: ‘Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr McColl was asked about comments made by the first minister on Monday when she said the yard would have closed and 400 people would not currently be employed at the yard if it had not been given the contract in 2015.’

      Note the phrase ‘would not currently’!

      The BBC journalist who wrote this and his/her editor both fail to spot the difference in meaning between ‘at the time’ and ‘currently’ – or is ‘fail to spot’ being too kind or naive of me? In any event, by letting this distinction pass unremarked, the journalist is able to repeat uncritically that: McColl said: “That is a lie. At the time there were 150 employees, not 400.’

      If one wishes to find out about a company, its status and performance, a good starting point is the Companies House (CH) website. Here one can the read formal documents lodged by a company. For anyone interested in a deep dive into the ‘ferries’ affair the documents lodged by FMEL make for a good read. (I wonder if the staff at Audit Scotland included this source as part of their investigation for background and perspective, even if they were not investigating FMEL?)

      Source: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/SC485060/filing-history

      Focusing on employment, it is interesting to read the ‘Strategic Report’ signed by an FMEL director on 14 December 2018. It was lodged along with with Financial Statements (to 31 December, 2016) with CH on 17 December, 2018.

      There is a section entitled ‘Investment in People’. It includes the information that the FMEL headcount grew from 7 at company acquisition (in September 2014) to 300 in November 2018. In addition, by November, 2018 135 contractors were also employed on site. So total on site headcount was 435 at November 2018: 435 people and their families getting a wage plus the multiplier for the local economies where they live!

      Recall that FMEL’s first shipbuilding contract, for a hybrid ferry, was completed in September 2016. After this, and up to the November 2018 date referred to above, the FMEL employee plus contractor headcount must have been almost entirely working on the ongoing work on the two CMAL ferries.

      For context, FMEL’s financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016 lodged with CH has a table (on page 15) reporting revenue, cost of sales and gross Profit/(Loss).

      In the 16 months to 31 December 2015, i.e. since incoporation, the table reports the following:
      Revenue = £11,875,000
      Cost of Sales = £11,622,000
      Gross PROFIT = £235,000

      For the 12 months ending 31 December, 2016, the same table shows a different situation:
      Revenue = £14,885,000
      Cost of Sales = £72,930,000
      Gross LOSS = £58,045,000

      On page 28 we learn that of the £14.9 million revenue in the year to end 2016, just £1.8 million is attributed to other than ‘shipbuilding’ (to ‘sale of goods and services’). It’s hard to determine what outstanding work of any substantial size the yard had at this time on its order book – if any – to sustain the employment of c. 435 people (employees and contractors) other than the CMAL contract for two ferries.

      For background, on October 2014 the yard was awarded a contract worth £12.3m for a hybrid ferry which was delivered in September 2016. The contract for the two CMAL ferries was awarded in October 2015 for £97m.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        It makes sad reading, first the hopes, then being too accomodating, then the fall out with the customer, then the disappointments.

        As an aside, It seems the ScotGov stepped up to the mark of supporting Scotland’s last commercial shipbuilder of size, while the UK Government failed. Unlike Italy, Germany, Poland and other EU countries who had no problem with “state aid”.

        The Type 26 frigate program had similar design overruns, hence the greatly increased costing and reduction from 13 hulls to 8. Simialr also to the 2 carriers, subject to political; whims but also sensible redesign in the face of changing requirements. The MOD / RN underwrote those huge cost increases, to the usual carping criticism of “MOD” and its inefficency amongst the media and similar incognoscenti (if that means ignorant!).

        The swivel-eyed landlubbers in their comfy swivel chairs writing drivel in the steadily declining paper press and declining state broadcaster, have absolutely not a clue about manufacturing cycles, innovation, design, implementation, build – and the costs associated. They’re all Maggie Thatchers!

  33. Golfnut says:

    Ferguson’s would appear to have ambitions for the future, a bid to build an OPV for the Malasian navy perhaps signals their intended future market, a market which the SG will join soon enough.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      They tried to modernise and innovate with support from the Scottish Government. Sadly it hasn’t worked out so far. On the other hand Maggie Thatcher promised Scott Lithgow as the flagship of Trafalgar House and they gleefully sold off its assets, filling their pockets at our expense. Literally sold down the River.

  34. “Your children and grandchildren will say that Ukrainians taught the world that the brute force of an aggressor counts for nothing against the moral force of a people determined to be free.

    A valuable lesson here from Boris Johnson for Scots in 2023!

  35. Alex Clark says:

    This clown thinks the cost of living crisis is something to laugh about. A world beating bullshitter without shame.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-61314721

  36. Dr Jim says:

    The face of Ruth the Baroness Davidson has now replaced DRoss on campaign literature for the council elections as DRoss is now seen by his own party as a liability

    It’s an odd thing when the Tories replace and idiot with someone who’s campaigning on behalf of a racist Tory candidate, have they no one who is without infamy within the ranks of the Tories?

    • TBH, when I saw him at his stall in Lauder square this morning he looked really nervous, like he was terrified of anyone approaching him.

      If I’d had more time, I’d have gone over and asked to speak to Ruth and not the lightweight. 🙂

  37. Hamish100 says:

    Did McColl miscalculate on his investment? It wasn’t charity. He is a businessman. He is there to make profit. If he can’t make money, he will look around and move on. It’s what they do.

    Even better if a government takes a loss making enterprise on. Of course the government will look at the cost of unemployment on the local community and the effects on the supply chain. Did the U.K. government just sit back and watch? Was only the SNP interested in saving the jobs and the yard.
    Labour / tories you want the yard to close?

    Still many billionaires/ millionaires will move around different countries like Ireland and such like to see what pickings are about, what tax rates they can get away with. Where’s the bucks to be made.

    People ? Families ? -They are just a products of production

    I wish I had money

    • yesindyref2 says:

      The Clyde, where the media get pished on the Waverley, complain when it needs work, where Labour, Conservatives and Willie Rennie complain about the SNP without a single care about any of the people living there. Inverclyde Council run by Labour, with the near derelict Oak Mall practically empty and half closed, where kids and coaches set up temporary goals on a sloping part of the car park oout by the Port because the Council can’t be arsed setting up football facilities for kids in one of the most deprived areas in Scotland, while councillors suck up to the yuppies looking for newbuild flats where parks should be, and where shipbuilding has few visible remains apart from names like Kincaid Court with its unaffordable housing.

  38. Latest NI poll. S**t getting ever closer to fan.

    • Ahead of predicted (from polls) epic endorsement of the protocol by NI voters on Thursday…

      https://archive.ph/SH3ck

      “If we do not fix the protocol we are going to have violence in Northern Ireland,” a senior minister told The Sunday Times.

      This translates as ‘The British/English don’t respect democracy, only violence’.

      Hence the frosty reception in former colonies.

      • It must be election week.
        BBC has headlined the twin SNP Bad smears of a billionaire declaring that Nicola Sturgeon is a liar, and an ex SNP on trial for extortion/fraud/ deception/theft /being a nasty nat? Muriel Gray’s editing team slipping in film of the fraudster (she’s already been sentenced by Plantation Quay) in triumph with Liar Sturgeon at her side; this quite deliberate nonsense, has made every BBC Clyde Stockade bulletin since 6 o’ clock this morning until 10.30 tonight.
        16 and a half hours…must be a record…or maybe not.

        Glen Campbell, Andrew Kerr, and Lisa Summers (with the waiting time NHS scandal) are all back on the Brit Trail, SNP badding like there’s no tomorrow.
        No other country in the Western world has its media controlled by a foreign power like this; but not for much longer.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I heard a bit of STV, happened to be on. Shona Craven of the National is very articulate and a definite asset. She said the public wouldn’t have much time for multi-millionaire Jim McColl, and just being over the top calling Sturgeon a liar. She’s right, he comes off looking the spurned twit.

          But we do have to remember the days when he was a hero, saving the shipyard and all those jobs, investing money. Plus potentially giving a real lifeline for a stream of new ferries to Calmac for the islands. I think it’s this stupid dual fuel, and bending over backwards to change designs. The 3 hybrids are still fine as far as I know, been on all of them. Quiet and smooth – and quite fast. Why bother with LNG just because some in Europe do?

        • Dr Jim says:

          The BBC channel 9 interviewed John Swinney on the sofa with a cardboard cutout of Nicola Sturgeon in the foreground camera shot

          What other political party has such a stunt played on them? nobody from the Tories has to sit behind Boris Johnson effigies or Labour with Keir Starmer Guy Fawkes figures in front of them

          We move over to STV where John McKay insists that the ferries debacle won’t go away with Tory spokesperson Andy McKeever backing that statement up by his insistence that the public and media will not let it go (bollox) Poor old Colin McKay keeps trying to convince us all that potholes and bin collections are what we should be talking about and not constitutional affairs in this election

          Everybody’s a loser except for the SNP in this election says Colin McKay, well surely that means the SNP are going to be the winners then as they’re not included in the losers Colin

          The entire media in Scotland is busting a gut telling us all what to think, and if we don’t think what they tell us to think we must be daft…………kinda sounds very like Labour party rhetoric doesn’t it?

          If you don’t vote Labour you’re a traitor to Eng eh Sco eh us, if you won’t vote Labour then at least vote Tory or Lib Dem, anybody but the SNP because if you keep voting for them you’ll end up getting what you want and we in the Labour Tory alliance just can’t abide losing our eh erm

          *country*? yeah, that’s it, *country* that’s the word innit

          We’re soon going to need specialised hospitals for the dim

          • yesindyref2 says:

            I think it was Colin McKay said that normally this long into a government – 15 years – support is well down but there’s nobody to take their place. He does have a way with words.

            There’s not even an opposition, let alone a government in waiting.

  39. Alex Clark says:

    On the button as usual Jack, a wee tune for you that I know you like.

    • Alex, what a voice the man has. Like a good wine he matured with age.
      One of our greatest exports; one of a band of Scots armed with music, wandering troubadours, making us all proud..

      Was just off to bed when you caught me. Now I’ve woken up again and about to youtube Colin Hay for maybe 10 minutes, well half hour tops, oh, an hour max…hope you’re pleased with yourself..
      brilliant.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Never worry, you won’t regret that hour or so 🙂

        • Guid morn, Alex.
          Drifted off to the Incredible String Band’s sublime ‘October Song’.

          ‘For rulers like to lay down laws,
          And rebels like to break them,
          And the poor priests like to walk in chains,
          And God likes to forsake them.’

          Pure genius.

          “Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. To soften rocks, or bend the knotted oak.”
          I doubt that there was much music in Alister Jack’s or Douglas Ross’ houses growing up.

          “I met a strange lady, she made me real nervous
          She took me in and gave me breakfast.”

          My Everlovin’, my Belfast queen of the land, of course.
          You can take them out of Belfast, but you can’t take Belfast out of them.

          Alex, thanks for soothing my savage breast last night.

  40. Tam the Bam says:

    Dont be scared.

  41. yesindyref2 says:

    Oan the subject of crappy media, and actual damage to the economy of Scotland, take the ferries again, and take Arran. So, the Caledonian Isles the engine breaks down, and it’s put out she won’t be back on till the 3rd May (yesterday now). But in actual fact she was back on last week, not sure which day.

    But did the papers and the BBC and STV give that headlines:

    Hey tourists, the big ferry is back on and there’s now 2 ferries running to Arran, time to rebook and enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend on the beautiful Island of Arran“.

    No.

    So people cancelled bookings because of the ferry and DID NOT REBOOK.

    I have total contempt a\nd disgust for ALL media. They are costing normal people – non-political people – non-SNP people – money. Swivel-eyed shower of selfish uncaring gits.

  42. Golfnut says:

    All you need to know about McColl.

    • ‘Monaco based’…

    • Capella says:

      Sleight of hand from Douglas Fraser in that BBC report:

      From Mr McColl’s interview comes another tangent to this tale: could Ferguson shipyard have survived without this CMAL contract? The First Minister says ‘no’: the industrialist says she’s “lying”, and the contract was not necessary.

      McColl accused the First Minister of lying about 400 jobs saved, not about closure of the yard. She said 400 jobs “currently” employed, not the 150 employed in 2014.

      Clever try though. Do they go to special training school for subtly twisting words out of shape?

  43. So glad I’m Irish when abroad these days. The most popular choice of new passport in Northern Ireland.

    https://archive.ph/tsbR1

    ‘Embarrassed to be British’: Brexit study reveals impact on UK citizens in EU

    The first major study since Brexit of UK citizens living in the EU has revealed its profound impact on their lives, with many expressing serious concerns over their loss of free movement and voting rights – and a very different perception of Britain.

  44. Capella says:

    I missed the other leaders’ interviews. Oh well. Here’s Nicola Sturgeon on her election promises. The videos may not play in the archive version but the transcripts cover all the points.

    LEADERS’ INTERVIEWS
    Scottish council elections: Nicola Sturgeon on indyref2 progress and coalition with Labour

    Here, we caught up with Nicola Sturgeon on the campaign trail in Glasgow and interviewed her on the SNP battle bus. We put plenty of key questions to the First Minister about indyref2 planning, how she thinks the Tories will do on May 5, and the key priorities for any SNP councillors elected this week.

    And she revealed a little bit about when we can expect those highly anticipated white papers setting out the blueprint for an independent Scotland.

    https://archive.ph/T54g7

  45. Capella says:

    WS posted a link to an excellent overview of the history of Welsh nationalism – part 1 – in:

    https://nation.cymru/culture/from-militant-action-to-marches-part-one-ant-heald-interviews-historian-and-author-wyn-thomas/

    Well worth reading. Don’t know if I will buy the books, tempting though they are, because of my already ceiling high pile of must-read books that I never get round to. I spend far too much time online. 🤓

  46. Oh, another reason I keep telling people to watch Northern Ireland is that a major change in narrative looks like it’s about to happen.

    At the moment, the message is ‘It’s just the problem Scots that are nasty anti-English folks and don’t appreciate the wondrous UK’. But if N. Ireland stops voting unionist and elects an Irish, pro-indy FM, then that doesn’t really work anymore as now the N. Irish are saying ‘We agree with the Scots, it’s not us (Scots + N. Irish), but Brexit them (the British/English).

    It would now be half of the nations of the UK starting to break away. The Scots planning an indyref, while the N. Irish endorse a full-on hard border between them and the rUK, but a totally open one with the Republic.

    And if England reacts by trying to trash the protocol (aka the compromise attempt to preserve the GFA) straight after the N. Irish electorate democratically endorse it big style, it will only drive up support for reunification both in N. Ireland, and amongst the international community.

    The results of the latest poll show 60.3%+ for ‘keep the protocol’ mandate parties, 42.1%+ for Irish / reunification parties, and less than 40% for unionists.

    The EU / US / UN would not stand for England screwing with the protocol in such an event.

    And don’t believe the unionists could collapse Stormont. It would not be democratically acceptable to either the people of the north, or the international community. If they want to abstain fine, then e.g. Alliance could provide a DFM. After all, Alliance may yet come in second place; they have just polled equal to the DUP.

    Also, if you were the DUP, would you really wand direct rule by the people that sold you out with the protocol in the first place? How stupid would that be. You’d totally deserve to be shafted again. Better to stand on your own two feet and take the responsibility of governance, accepting your nation is changing. For if you don’t, voters will continue to leave you behind.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Just read that in BBC NI Debate DUP (Sir) Jeffrey Donaldson saying a border poll would be divisive and create instability and when someone said: “Like Brexit?” He said: “No, not like that.”

    • I might suggest that unionist parties trying to shut down the NI parliament if they lose the coming election would be ‘would be divisive and create instability’.

      They really are tying themselves in knots.

  47. Clydebuilt says:

    yesindyref2 says:
    May 3, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    when Jim McColl was involved with Ferguson’s he was buying up companies with expertise in gear boxes and Wind Turbines the intent being to create a repair / build facility in Scotland . . . . Around the time of his leaving the Ship yard he created the wind turbine facility in England.

    Jim had also created a school to give young people (who weren’t heading for academia) technical skills. seemed like a good idea to me . . . . The Scot Gov. (which I support strongly) didn’t take up his concept.

    I very much regret the fact that Jim McColl and the Scot Gov have drifted apart.

  48. Comres for the NorthBritishToryman.

    National article:

    https://archive.ph/pzef2

    Changes are on March 2022:

    49(+2)% Yes
    51(-2)% No

    Holyrood:

    Const:
    46% SNP
    25% Lab
    18% Con
    7% Lib
    4% Oth

    List:
    31% SNP
    23% Lab
    18% Con
    14% Grn
    10% lib
    4% Oth

    Net favourability:
    -58(-7)% Johnson
    -48(-26)% Sunak

    Statistically, the only clear change in overall trends is the Tories down of late, with Labour gaining from them.

    While all within MoE, it’s nice to see 50/50 Y/Ns, as this is consistent with baseline yes continuing to edge up.

  49. Dr Jim says:

    I’m always amazed at the amount of real Independence supporting anti SNP trolls who purchase a subscription to the National so they can badmouth the the FM and the SNP, apparently if folk vote Alba in the council elections that’ll get them on the road to Independence

    Today they are led by a guy from Bath in England who has never had a vote in Scotland for 25 years yet still he *knows* what’s going on and can read the FMs mind so he calls her names to back up his psychic conclusions, two years he spent trying to sell this garbage on his own website and failed, now he’s popping up on others websites to try selling his bile again

  50. stewartb says:

    O/T It is no surprise that The Herald newspaper uses its front page today to take aim – again – at the Scottish Government and the SNP. And it’s also no surprise that the chosen line of attack today – just a day before local elections – is the SG/SNP’s commitment, or rather its supposed lack of it, to local government.

    It’s not holding back! Under the headline ‘’Scottish councils risk extinction in Holyrood power grab’, the paper claims an ‘exclusive’ for this front page story. And it’s written by its ‘Westminster Editor’: so all hands to the pump as the elections in Scotland draw ever nearer?

    But what’s this story based on? The pretext are statements made by the Scottish Secretary of the trade union Unison, Tracey Dalling. Railing against ‘a huge centralising agenda’ being pursued by the Scottish Government, Ms Dalling is quoted saying: “The latest iteration of this agenda is the National Care Service ..’.

    To be clear, this is indeed given as a quote and the ‘agenda’ in question is undoubtedly the dastardly ‘huge centralising’ one. The message being given out by Unison about a National Care Service for Scotland is a negative one: unsurprisingly, The Herald is taking full advantage.

    But then there is this. A prominent feature of Unison’s UK website is campaigning material to establish none other than a NATIONAL CARE SERVICE, including this statement: ‘A national care service is needed urgently to reform social care, says UNISON’.

    This is probably a campaign for a National Care Service for England. However, it could be for GB or the UK as a whole as it’s hard to be certain from a quick read because of the way the Unison documents are written. (I’m sure I heard Wes Streeting MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, talk enthusiastically about a National Care Service for England on Channel 4 on Tuesday evening.)

    So taking at face value this quotable material fed by Unison’s leader in Scotland to The Herald for reporting one day before local elections, are we to assume that establishing a National Care Service would NOT be part of a ‘huge centralising ‘agenda’ – EXCEPT in Scotland?

    Source: https://www.unison.org.uk/search/national+care+service/

    Might we be seeing the trade union equivalent of the Labour Party’s Bain Principle here?

    (In the unlikely case that the term is unfamiliar to anyone, the Bain Principle is named after Willie Bain, the former Labour MP for Glasgow North East. It states that Labour will oppose whatever the SNP proposes no matter what the circumstances. Bain expressed this 2012, but the policy probably has a much longer history.)

    • Perhaps Unison members in Scotland who support andf actively campaign for self Dtermination should point out to Ms Dalling that she doesn’t speak for them, that she is there as their servant, and can be ousted as being too big for her boots.
      Tomorrow morning it will be the EIS, GMB, and uncle Tom Cobley attacking the SNP…not the members, the wee scrotes who think that they represent the political views of its members, as long as it’s Brit Nat London based views.
      The Herald is a dying joke. How many actually buy this sad little Brit pamphlet these days? Ten thousand, fifteen?
      It is clear that it is a loss leader, kept afloat by their London and US bosses.
      If I were a member of Unison, I’d demand a one to one with this woman.
      She is using her position to forward her own personal and political agenda.
      Baroness Dalling of Britland soon.

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