The elections that brought independence a step closer

The dust is settling from last week’s local government elections, and it’s clear that they delivered very good results for the two largest pro-independence parties with both the SNP and the Greens gaining seats. Although the Labour party has been excitedly hailing its great success, the truth is that they did not gain as many council seats as the SNP . Labour gained 20 seats whereas the SNP gained 22. However it’s understandable that Labour in Scotland is going to be euphoric as this is the first election since 2014 which has not been an utter humiliation for the branch office.

Without a doubt the big losers in this election were the Scottish Tories. The apologists for Johnson’s lies and law-breaking suffered the loss of 62 council seats and saw their share of first preference votes plummet from the 25.3% they won in 2017 to just 19.6%. Labour have now overtaken the Tories as the second largest party, both in terms of seats won, Labour is on 282 compared to the Tories’ 214, and in terms of percentage share of first preference votes, Labour is on 21.7% , comfortably beating the Conservatives.

The SNP took 34.1% of first preference votes, up from the 32.3% it won in 2017, and with 453 councillors it remains by some considerable margin the dominant force in Scottish politics. This is now the SNP’s 11th election victory in a row.

Meanwhile the Scottish Greens also did well, gaining 16 council seats to take them to 35, and increasing their share of first preference votes from 4.1% to 6%. Between the Greens and the SNP, this was without a doubt, a positive election for hopes of independence and a vindication of last May’s Holyrood election which delivered an unarguable and unconditional mandate for a second independence referendum.

Since both the pro-independence parties which contested the 2017 elections improved on their previous performances, it is not possible for the anti-independence parties to use this election to claim that support for independence is in decline and to try and weaponise the council election results in order to give a fig leaf of legitimacy to their anti-democratic attempts to avoid that second independence referendum which they so obviously dread. We can be quite certain that if the SNP had suffered a net loss of seats and a decline in its share of first preference votes, the anti-independence parties would be shouting from the rooftops that this meant the steam was going out of the desire for independence and that Scotland had voted against another independence referendum. They would have done this irrespective of whether the other pro-independence parties had gained or lost.

Of course since the SNP and Greens did well, the apologists for British nationalism had had to retreat to their fall- back positions, firstly by claiming that voters were motivated by party gate and local issues and this election really had nothing to do with independence at all, and secondly by totting up the share of first preference votes for the anti-independence parties to claim that this means there is an anti-independence majority in this election that they have just told us was about partygate and local issues and not about independence at all. But then self-serving double standards and exceptionalism are defining features of British nationalism.

The already cast iron case for a second referendum was given a further boost on the Sunday after the election with the publication of a Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times which found that 24% of voters in Scotland favour a second independence referendum within the next 12 months, and a further 31% want one within the next two to five years. This means that 55% of voters in Scotland want a second independence referendum within the preferred timescale of the Scottish Government, which wants another referendum by the end of 2023.

It’s not just in Scotland that these elections proved that the Union flag jaiket so beloved by Ian Murray is on a shoogly peg. In Northern Ireland, where there were elections to the Northern Irish Assembly, Sinn Fein became the largest party at Stormont, ousting the DUP. Under the power sharing deal which underpins the Good Friday Agreement, this means that for the first time ever the First Minister of Northern Ireland will come from a republican party and the DUP will have to content themselves with the position of Deputy First Minister. Sinn Fein wishes to hold a border poll on Irish reunification, a desire which is greatly strengthened by their election victory.

The DUP is already in full on pettit lip mode, threatening to refuse to go into government until the British Government rescinds the Northern Irish Protocol which guarantees no customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the island at the expense of imposing them on ferry crossings between Northern Ireland and Britain. The DUP was enthusiastic about Brexit because they hoped it would crash the Good Friday agreement and scupper any hopes of Irish unification. Instead Brexit has crashed the DUP and scuppered Unionism in both Northern Ireland and Scotland. Hell slap it intae them, as thousands of Scottish and Irish mammies would say.

Boris Johnson’s already shaky grasp on leadership has been further weakened by Tory losses in this election. The Tories now see that Johnson is an electoral liability and are ruthless when it comes to ditching leaders who cannot guarantee the power that the see as their entitlement. However in Scotland it’s Douglas Ross who has cause to be nervous. His pathetic and spineless flip flopping over Johnson’s manifest unsuitability for office and his inability to have any meaningful influence within the UK Conservatives have shown that he is indeed the lightweight that Jacob Rees Mogg dismissed him as being.

Meanwhile across the UK Labour has shown that it still cannot be certain of defeating the Tories at the next Westminster election. Starmer now has his own issues with allegations of breaches of lockdown rules, which makes the party’s task more difficult. Although Labour made some eye-catching gains in London, they failed to make the progress they need in the English north and Midlands. If the Tories do indeed ditch Johnson, Labour will struggle badly in the next UK General Election. This is a calculation which will occupy Tory minds over the coming weeks.

For Scotland, this underlines that the only way to guarantee a future free from the malign rule of the Anglo-British nationalist Conservatives who will continue to undermine and assail the devolution settlement is with independence. These elections have brought the demise of the UK one step closer.

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120 comments on “The elections that brought independence a step closer

  1. Movy says:

    Says it all.
    Keep well Paul.

  2. Hamish100 says:

    Good article.

    As mentioned elsewhere the SNP victory, the improvement to the other independence parties fortune and the Northern Ireland results may make a positive mind set change to many.
    The intransigence shown by the Brit politicians who can only say no and to delay decisions are so negative. People wish optimism, they see the negative and bullying of smaller nations by large ones. They can see what is happening here in this energy rich country being throttled and exploited by the tories
    Working as an independent country in partnership with others at a European sense, be it the EU, Efta is the way forward.

  3. Steve Bowers says:

    First time I’ve seen the vote % breakdown, thanks for that, do you happen to know what the Alba % of first votes was ? (curious)

    • weegingerdug says:

      Ballot box Scotland has the full results. According to them, across Scotland, Alba got 0.7% of first preference votes

      • Steve Bowers says:

        Cheers, so they’re way down on their vote share from last time, I don’t think their social media is doing them many favours.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yes, but only sat in one-third of all wards, so that would be 2% average in the wards they did sit in.

        For the old 78 bakelite, I wouldn’t vote Alba in a month of sundays, but they are entitled to fair treatment statistically.

        • weegingerdug says:

          Yes, that’s why I didn’t mention their percentage share of first preference votes in the article. It’s not a meaningful comparison with parties which stood in all or most wards. Alba only stood 111 candidates across the 354 electoral wards.

          Of course this caveat also applies to the Greens, who likewise did not put up a candidate in all wards. However I couldn’t find the number of Green candidates. I only mentioned the Green’s share of first preference votes in order to illustrate how much it had increased since 2017. Obviously Alba didn’t exist as a party in 2017.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Yes, it’s tricky. 2% is at the end of the scale as well. In some wards they might not even have members let alone other voters. Even the SNP had problems finding candidates in some places, due the level of abuse councillors get, and the long hours – and “always on”, even when getting the messages!

        • Steve Bowers says:

          how many seats did they sit in during the Scottish parl election ?
          (only way to compare)

        • As I mentioned on the other thread, I’d definitely agree if Alba had stood in every ward, they’d most likely have got at least something similar to May 2021 (1.7%). However, the data in question were statistically correct, with no other way of giving ‘national’ shares. All the small parties are effected by it, and even the SNP somewhat. Even if you presented ‘average share in wards stood’ that would not necessarily tell you what would have happened elsewhere, as voting preferences do have significant regional variations. So I don’t think BBS did anything to try and mislead. The site as been at pains to point out this in the past:

          The clue is kind of in the name, but Local Elections are by far the least useful to analyse purely at either the national or even whole council level. Even within a single town or city, there can be wide variations in voting patterns. In this page I go into a bit more of the detail in terms of how well the parties did at ward level. Given there are 354 wards in Scotland and no party stands in them all, national vote share figures can also be slightly deflated compared to what “true” support may be. As such, I’ve worked out how well each party fared in the wards they did stand; albeit with the caveat that figure might also be inflated, so look for truth in the middle.

          In the end Alba just did not enough to generate councillors either locally or nationally. I understand Alba took a targeted approach where they believed they had the most popularity locally. However, it wasn’t enough, which means even if they’d found enough candidates for most wards and they polled a couple of % nationally, they’d still be looking at no councillors most likely.

          Establishing a new political party is very hard. You need to build credibility and that takes time. You also need to have broad appeal, and the more ‘radical’ you are, the smaller your base is going to be. You also face the problem that voters may use you as a protest vote then dump you the second they no longer feel the need for that. It’s a tough game for new kids. The SNP took nearly a century to see power. The Greens had to wait what 19 years of plugging away at things before they finally overtook a ‘major’ party in the form of the Lib Dems.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Folk disagree as to the actual % but whatever it was it isn’t enough to appoint a local councillor in the whole of Scotland.

      I also note that “Alba could find itself on course to have its first MSPs elected in 2026” according to one blogger. I am not sure what the medication is in play here but based on this I am the President of the whole galaxy, Milky Way and Mars bar.

      As Paul has rightly stated the Labour Party have stemmed the decline by swapping the poisoned chalice onto the tories in Scotland. Yet, The next Westminster elections could still have England’s Tory britnecks still in power. Surely labour supporters prefer independence to that?

  4. Dr Jim says:

    Now that the Brits can’t win anywhere watch them as they try to change the rules or subvert the rules or ignore the rules, it’s what they do

  5. A good sum up. The ground just shook and the world is now watching. There’s clearly something very, very wrong in the UK.

    As I mentioned on the previous thread, it’s no coincidence that the unionists just lost control of NI at the same time as we move to iref2. The decline of Britain over the past century has resulted in a commensurate decline in Britishness in NI just as it has here. While the situation there is different, the wider events that have changed attitudes, from the decline of the empire to the destruction of the post-war consensus Britishness / British institutions/industries, to the rise of European unionism… and finally Brexit, have had similar effects.

    Young N. Irish people are just not British unionists, but Irish / N. Irish and European. If the unionists try to trash Stormont, it will only hasten their demise, and I doubt the EU/US/Eire will stand for it. You’ll hear calls for a change to GFA power-sharing agreement to prevent any boycotting; parties can abstain if they like, but it’s anti-democratic for any party to be able to prevent a parliament from operating. And this can be put to the people in a referendum; you can be sure 58.3% at least would back it!

  6. Dr Jim says:

    Anas Sarwar still insists on no coalitions (DUP style) despite some councils already doing that
    They don’t come more British than Sarwar

    • Naina Tal says:

      Dr Jim
      I think the weasel word here is”formal”. The Brit Labour Party in Scotland said ” No formal coalitions”

      • grizebard says:

        A Labour canvasser here in Glasgow but originally from the NE like me was clearly embarrassed by the late unlamented “informal” {ahem} Con-Lab coalition in Aberdeen, and also by that unseemly dalliance in North Lanarkshire. Bitter Together was (and remains) as deadly as kryptonite to Labour in Scotland, yet they never seem to learn. Ian Murray will still turn up to Scotland In Union functions and hob-nob with the worthies. But then electorally he has to. That’s another informal Con (pun intended).

        Labour may have some reason to be slightly more hopeful after these elections, but I reckon that Hamish’s comment upthread is the wrong way round. It’s Labour that has now taken possession of the poisoned chalice of Unionism. And little good it will do them. (The clue is in the description. {wink})

  7. Hamish100 says:

    Didn’t labour work with the tories in Aberdeen, North Ayrshire etcetera just a few months ago supported by Sarwar.

  8. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Just an add – that Plaid Cymru had it’s best night ever with regard to winning councils and is now in control of 4 (with negotiations on going for a 5th to work in coalition.) Labour are in control of 8, the remainder, 9, are NOC. Tories now a distant 4th in the number of councillors.

    Don’t forget the last time the Tories won an election in Wales was in 1878.

    Everywhere you look on these islands, the Brit Union Raj is on a shoogly peg.

    The Celtic nations look for the smallest possible violins to play …

    • Dr Jim says:

      Well done the Welsh, mass exodus at this rate

    • Capella says:

      That’s a great result for Plaid Cymru – well done all. It’s been one of those happy weekends where we can enjoy basking in reflected glory for a few days before the gloom of the union descends again.

  9. Dr Jim says:

    Further to Sarwar and his no coalition position, the Labour party are in talks with the Tories and the BUP to take North Lanarkshire council

  10. Capella says:

    It’s not legitimate for unionists to tot up the votes for Labour, Tory and Liberal and say these represent the unionist vote. Many Labour voters are in favour of independence. We can safely say that most Tories are not, but some are.
    Surely Independents are in favour of independence 😂

    • stewartb says:

      ‘It’s not legitimate for unionists to tot up the votes …’

      Perhaps some analyst will get round to looking at vote transfers last week from Labour and Lib Dems to other parties in the sub-set of wards where the Labour or Lib Dem candidate/s were elected at the first (or second) stage.

      I suspect there would have been some, albeit a minority, of vote transfers to the independence-supporting Greens (even to the SNP?) – yes a minority BUT NOT NONE!

      • Pogmothon says:

        I also suspect that the transfer to the Greens and the SNP are permanent.

        Where as the rest was just a shuggal aboot.

        The standard protest vote for Tories is tory-lite, however AC(FYM)Hamy has a whiff of pending investigations and dirt dealing to cum oot, aboot him the noo.

        And if their really p*shed off they vote red tory.

        Therefor I suggest the Lab and Lib-dams gains were merely hacked off Tories.

        The yoons are just shuffling the deck of what is left. After the voters who have made the decision that Independence is the way forward have moved to their party of choice, an they’ll no be back.

        • Pogmothon says:

          Oops here’s the end bit

          So as the DUP are coming to realise.
          Time is Not On Their Side.

          (que for song)
          go for it Mick A’ll hod your coat while ah get mine.

  11. exile says:

    On Al Jazeera’s “Inside Story” now – discussion on Sinn Fein’s victory.

  12. It may well be that the question of the monarchy will not be a question ahead of iref2.

    Queen hands over to Charles for State Opening of Parliament

    The Queen has pulled out of this year’s State Opening of Parliament and the reading of the Queen’s speech, Buckingham Palace has announced.

    This will be the first time since 1963 that the Queen will have missed this constitutional ceremony, which sets out the government’s legislative plans

    You do kindae feel the planets are starting to align / that time is catching up with the union.

    • Dr Jim says:

      It’s quite likely the Queen will go missing for some time before she’s officially reported gone

  13. deelsdugs says:

    Brilliant 😁
    Well done Sinn Feinn too 👏🏽👏🏽

  14. The planets are aligning. S**t is now impacting the turbofan. Expect the collapse of the UK to rapidly accelerate.

    These people are not democrats and should not be allowed to shut it down with threats of violence.

    While I would have been an SDLP voter and am at heart a pacifist, the IRA (most at least) ultimately fought for peaceful democracy; hence their campaign targeted the British security forces, and ended when Irish people were given equal rights, were freed from persecution, and the future of the province was put in the hands of the people. Sinn Fein has accepted the ‘deputy’ role for 2 decades now because that’s how the people voted.

    Now the British terrorists are threatening violence and shutting down democracy because the people of NI just gave a massive democratic endorsement of the protocol.

    The governments of Ireland, the UK, the EU and the USA should not bow down to British terrorist threats. The protocol and democracy must stand, with a referendum if needed.

    No minority party should be able to hold democracy to ransom with threats of violence. The DUP can freely become abstentionist for Stormont as Sinn Fein is in the unionist dominated Westminster parliament, but if they don’t want to govern, then those that do should be allowed to.

    NI election 2022: DUP blocks new NI government in Brexit protest

    The DUP will not go back into government in Northern Ireland until its concerns about post-Brexit trading arrangements are resolved, the party’s leader has said.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The government of the UK *are* the British terrorists

    • Hamish100 says:


      Sorry the IRA murdered. In the main fellow Irish people.
      Let’s not rewrite history.
      One of my grandparents recounted to me when the IRA was shooting in Belfast ?early 1920’s and was kindly taken in by a stranger for safety. IR -Army tells you it what it was about. From the unionists we had the Black and Tans ( official Brit sponsored) later on we know what happened in the 1960’s. Incidentally if you were Protestant and in the Irish free state / republic you were discriminated against too. The legacy of England’s kings claims that they owned Ireland, France, Wales, Scotland …. Is nothing but destroying the social structures of that country and imposing its own kind.
      The IRA (INLA), real IRA were feared just as the UVF/ UDA. Mix in some drug running and maybe you should view them as not being peace makers. Enniskillen should be just one reminder.

      Thankfully Scotland and the SNP to their credit keeps to a Democratic route.

      • Nae bother Hamish. I only deal in facts. Of course civilians were killed by the IRA. ‘War’ brings out the worst in people. The tragedy in Ukraine is a testament to that.

        My Irish passport comes from my Irish protestant gran from the north. Hence the BBC ‘sectarian’ propaganda crap doesn’t wash with me.

        The reality is that the IRA fought the British security forces, while the British security forces and paramilitaries/terrorists ‘fought’ Irish civil rights seeking civilians. This recruited more Irish to the IRA cause and the violence was perpetuated. Only when the Irish in NI were given the same rights as the British, with discrimination ended via the GFA, was peace achieved.

        The EU/US etc don’t support ‘terrorists’. They brought the IRA to the table because they understood that it was British persecution of Irish people that was the problem, and the only way to stop the violence was to force the British/English to give up their territorial claim to NI and let the people of the province decide their future themselves, democratically.

        The fact that the IRA stopped their campaign with the GFA shows it was about equal rights/democracy and not about ‘forcing reunification’.

        Everyone should understand this graph if they want to understand the troubles:

        The data says it all, as always. It is not condoning, just understanding. And the British media wants people to not understand what happened, because it is an imperialist stain on England/Britain.

        The IRA are not absolved by any means, but the data says clearly who was targeting who

        • Hamish100 says:

          Pretty histogram but % by type really is not the whole story is it?

          Every day of the year marks the anniversary of someone’s death as a result of conflict in and about Northern Ireland
          1. 3,720 people were killed as a result of the conflict.
          2. Approximately 47,541 people were injured.
          3. There were 36,923 shootings.
          4. 16,209 bombings were conducted.
          5. Between 1969 and 1998, 1,533 of the deaths as a result of the conflict were under the age of 25. 257 of those killed were under the age of 18.
          6.The largest age group (25% or 898 people) killed between 1969 and 1998 were those between the ages of 18 and 23.
          7. As of 1998, the largest group (54%) of the deaths as a result of the conflict were civilians.
          8. As of 1998, the largest group (68%) of those injured were civilian.

          As for justice “ Kneecappings were a weekly occurrence in West Belfast by 1975.During the 1975 truce, “Provo Police Stations” were set up by Sinn Féin, the political wing of the IRA.These centres shifted the responsibility of informal justice from the IRA to Sinn Féin. Once a crime had been reported to Sinn Féin, the party would assign its Civil Administration Officers to investigate. Suspects often were given the opportunity to defend themselves to Sinn Féin before the organization made a decision on their guilt or innocence. Sinn Féin could issue a warning or pass the information to the IRA for punishment.
          These are the facts.
          Incidentally quoting the USA as not supporting terrorists is a laugh. They choose whose a good one and a bad one! US record on civil rights isn’t the strongest be it in Chicago, Alabama or Guantanamo bay.

          Each stat is a person. Your granny may have had an Irish passport but that wouldn’t stop a bomb blast.
          Thankfully we have moved on to a point. As I stated earlier Scotland’s path has been a better one.

          Maybe you should rethink your earlier quote “ the IRA (most at least) ultimately fought for peaceful democracy; hence their campaign targeted the British security forces, ” A bomb doesn’t distinguish between babies, children, grannies, police and soldiers.

        • I’m not sure why you think I’m trying to hide something Hamish? I linked to the full set of data.

          Of course bulk of deaths were civilian; the majority of these were Irish (‘catholics’) killed by British security forces or British Paramilitaries.

          The graph is a classic example of what happens in an occupation (which is why I’ve posted it); the occupiers mainly target the native civilians, which gives rise to a resistance, which naturally mainly targets the occupying forces. Lots of civilians get caught up and killed in it, but these are, invariably, mainly from the native population.

          The British killed some 48% more civilians (1064) than the IRA (721), but that’s not a fact the BBC likes to broadcast. However, it’s one that’s very important to the international community as it tells them who the primary aggressor was. Unsurprisingly, that was the occupying power.

          This is why the US, UN and EU got involved, pressuring the British into a deal where democracy was introduced to the province (rather than gerrymandered unionism), the Irish population were given equal civil rights / a say in the running of their own homeland (power sharing), the border that divided Irish from Irish was torn down, England gave up any territorial claim to the province, Irish were allowed to live legally as Irish not ‘British’, and reunification was put into the hands of the people. This was pretty much everything the IRA wanted right?

          Did the USA do this because it supported / gave into terrorism? Did the UN and EU back giving terrorists what they wanted? No, they did it because Britain’s imperial occupation of the province was an aberration, its historic repression of the Irish population there was appalling, and that was the source of the problem.

          If there had been no discrimination against the Irish population, no violent repression of the Irish civil rights movement, with the province a free and fair democracy, the IRA would have found little sympathy amongst the Irish population, as was the case prior to the troubles. But once the British started shooting, so the donations and support began like night follows day.

          The UK media has long portrayed the conflict as e.g. ‘loyal Irish unionists’ being killed by nasty ‘separatists/nationalists. That or uncivilised Irish killing each other over religion (‘sectarianism). It’s all guff. The same lies that get told about Scotland.

          The (much shrunken) 40% that back the DUP etc these days are not ‘Irish unionists’, nor are they even ‘N. Irish unionists.’ They’re not remotely Irish, but 100% British:

          It’s why they are so happy with direct rule / collapsing Stormont. They are not even Northern Irish. They were not repressing their fellow Irish people based on religious or political leanings in the past, but because they were not British like them. It’s really key to understanding the division there and why the troubles occurred.

          Anyway, I am not condoning any violence, but the UK media worked tirelessly to brainwash the population as to the story of the province. All I hope is that people take the time to understand the reality and why the international community pushed for the GFA, giving Sinn Fein / the IRA pretty much everything that they desired. This is why the hardcore British there are now wondering how they can get rid of it all if they can. By contrast, Irish / N. Irish unionists and republicans all support the GFA.

          It’s also why the USA are shoulder to shoulder with Irish people in the province, including SF. The Brits are showing their true colours again with brexit.

  15. Hr Anderson says:

    “Instead Brexit has crashed the DUP and scuppered Unionism in both Northern Ireland and Scotland.Hell slap it intae them, as thousands of Scottish and Irish mammies would say.”
    Oh aye the DUP hiv well an truly overplayed their hand. “Slap it intae them” indeed.
    That certainly had me a LOL

  16. yesindyref2 says:

    Okey-doke. On May whatever it was, this year, 1,226 seats across all 32 Scottish local authorities were up for election and voter turnout was 43%. As of 1st December 2021, the total number of people registered to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections was 4,245,200. 954,500 electors (22.5% of the total electorate) had registered for postal voting, as an aside,

    43% turnout means that 1,825,400 actually voted.

    Some estimates. Political party membership in Scotland totals about 160,00. Somewhere between 5% (at my SNP branch when I was a member) go to meetings, and perhaps another 5% paid some attention for a total of 10%. Other parties might be more involved, so for the sakes of argument, 20,000 people are fairly or a bit active in politics.

    Perhaps those 20,000 can influence another 20,000 with policies, so “vote till you boak” probably affected a maximum of 40,000 people. Ignoring any who just rejected that idea as being daft or wrong or whatever, 40,000 is just over 2% of the voting public.

    That should be the backdrop of any discussion about the likes of Alba, or vote transfers from one Independence supporting party to another. All the discussion affects just 2% of those who actually vote, including the unionists.

    It’s just a guess of course 🙂

  17. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, Schrodinger’s local elections, simultaneously important and not, or as the BBC in Scotland would have it, only Labour and the Tories exist.

    By far the biggest non-surprise was in Northern Ireland, and for all the attention Sinn Fein got in the media it was Alliance who were the greater beneficiary.
    Quite how the NIP-bashers expected the electorate to react other than they did is as perplexing as their insistence their minority view holds sway over Stormont. Changing times in NI…

    There was an interesting exchange and much praise elsewhere for Scotland’s proportional voting systems – An observation made was that much of the electorate have woken up to the power they wield in voting and used it to best political advantage.
    Yet for all the “revival” talk from the Lib-Dems and Labour, it was the Greens who benefited most, given their pro-indy stance that will worry the traditional 3 UK centric parties.
    Changes to Councils may have thrown a spanner in weasel Gove’s plan to fund Council’s directly and drive a wedge between them and SG.

    Next up of course (for now) is Indyref2, hence the BBC and Herald notably upping the propaganda and attempting to revive old strategies.
    The QEUH corpse has risen, the Ferries story is not yet sunk, the McGarry “scandal” will pre-occupy, and the usual A&E Queues, Disastrous Education, etc stories will dominate the news for the foreseeable future with copious assistance from the 3 stooges and their entourage.

    News from old dyed in the wool Tory pals in Angus that they now support SNP was my greater surprise this week, the writing is on the wall for the Union….

  18. Angus MacKay says:

    It’s puzzling that, if the SNP really do intend to hold another independence referendum in 2023, they are not doing any campaigning for it. A win is not possible without a strong and dynamic SNP-led independence campaign, and there is nary a sign of one. Cynics, and even the less cynical amongst us, might be forgiven for wondering if this is because the SNP either think that it is unwinable, or because they don’t actually *want* to win it.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Maybe you are just not looking for it in the right places because the SNP are campaigning for it in some way almost every day. These are just some of yesterday’s headlines.

      Nicola Sturgeon promises ‘refreshing and very positive’ new case for independence

      Nicola Sturgeon to promote Scotland’s global aims in US ahead of Indyref2

      Nicola Sturgeon’s civil servants spent 4,000 hours on preparing Scexit vote blueprint in two months

      • Angus MacKay says:

        Sounds good, but but none of that is gripping stuff for ordinary unconvinced voters in the street, I fear. Time is now short, and we need an exciting and appealing campaign on the ground if we are to convince people. Say what you like about the Yes campaign in 2013/14, but it excited and drew people and generated momentum. Currently there is not sense of momentum at all. At all.

        • grizebard says:

          You are surely missing the point. To try to engage ordinary people, who don’t think like you in the least, at any time before they are faced with the very real prospect of having to make an actual choice, is a fools’ errand. Not least with the additional severe handicap – which you also seem to conveniently forget – of constant insidious pro-union media framing and a virtually complete blockade of anything positive for independence.

          Instead of whinging to us ignorantly that the SNP are supposedly doing nothing, you would be far better spending your own efforts proposing – or even better yet, achieving – something to deliver a positive indy message more effectively to the very public who lack it most. Otherwise we will only likely gain the chance when referendum rules take effect during the runup to a vote.

          • Angus MacKay says:

            I have. I’ve spent nearly 10 years investing all of my spare time, and much of my un-spare time, trying to convince people and push along the grassroots campaign.

            I’m sorry, but I think Robin McAlpine has got it right here . .

            “Had the SNP wanted to go for a plebiscite election it has had plenty of opportunities. Had it wanted to get a firm position on the legal position it could have done so. Were it interested in the business of preparing a prospectus it could easily have done that too. Were it serious about the ‘long process’ of persuading voters, that would have begun in some form.

            Nothing-but-nothing I can see looks like a government or a party gearing up for the biggest fight of its life next year. Even if you squint really hard at what is going on, surely you too must struggle to see the signs you yourself would expect to see. Think of May 2013 which was as far from indyref as we are purportedly from indyref 2 today. Do you see the scale of the difference?”


          • If the SNP had gone for a plebiscite election, then based on the May 2021 result, we’d not have won indy as they failed to get a majority share. We’d have needed all Yes parties had all signed up to a plebiscite election, and the electorate to have known damn well what they were voting for. Yes parties, after all, only managed 50.2%.

            And lets say they had and we were now negotiating indy on a 50.2% that wasn’t really that clearly the will of the people. Well, Johnson could call a UKGE and the unionist parties in Scotland could stand on a ‘cancel this unclear indy’ ticket. If they then got 50.2%, so the indy mandate would have been undone by the people and we’d be back to square 1.

            We need Scots to vote for indy and never look back. That’s the only way. Yes cannot be won sneakily. The public can just undo it if they want. Just as Johnson can’t stop indy if Scots are set on it, so the SNP can’t stop them either. Nor can the SNP bounce Scots narrowly into it voters are not ready.

            The SNP have now put 98.7% of the indyref bill into law without a court challenge. All the complex detail on franchise, rules and regs etc is done and dusted. All that’s left is a 3 pager with the date and the question (same as last time). If you want to challenge that, you need to say why the question is not good now and argue over the date. It doesn’t look possible to stop now though.

            What we want when iref day comes is not the fight of our lives, but the settled will of Scots just being confirmed. This is not an election, it is an indyvote. It’s for life. It might make it all less exciting, but a formality is what it should be. The world looking on and saying ‘Yes, the Scots are settled on this. It can’t be stopped. It’s what they clearly want’ is what gets our independence quickly recognised.

            That is what the SNP should be looking for and it seems so far – watching e.g. Sturgeon shake hands with Biden…jet off to the USA – makes me believe they are. ~This is a long game.

            Having heard nothing like this from Alba, I don’t believe they have any sort of sensible, realistic strategy.

            • stunning post, s_s.
              Alba want to rush us into another glorious failure…jobs for life in the Caledonian Liberation Front Fringe group is what they want; not independence.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Ask yourself what won the vote for better together in 2014, then ask the question what difference did hundreds of thousands of us march up and down towns and cities make when in the end it made no difference to the result
      The 2014 referendum was lost before it began by poor planning and no support from the media
      Night after night day after day the media crushed the Independence case by just sneering at it and presenting various figures as *experts* to denounce it, and who they claimed were better *experts* than the YES side produced

      Much of the marching style actually galvanised the opposition into stronger opposition because Independence was portrayed as some sort of rabble gang, plus the media most of the time ignored the marches and street campaigning in their news programmes anyway

      Many feel that the same approach should be taking place now but that’s a big part of the reason we lost
      Independence will be won behind the doors of the influencers and the allies collected, none of that happened in 2014 everybody just bashed in hoped for the best and tried to present happy excited people with hope for the future which the media then presented and ridiculed as naivety

      Pressure from the right political sources and the right allies is what will beat Englands control to win Scotlands Independence, the media will never show respect for us the FM or any political party in Scotland and the current FM is well aware of that and why she’s spent so much time cultivating European and American allies so that the media will be forced to report that when the right people come to town, and they will

      The only thing England understands is power, not people power because they couldn’t give a monkeys about people, They fear body bags in their own country, but mostly they fear trade and political power, and the rest of the world wields that power behind doors where the deals are done

      A million people could turn up on the streets of Scotland screaming for Independence and England would ignore it and still kick it into the long grass along with the dented can they kick down the road for everything they don’t want to do, so the FM has to time this right or it won’t happen

      The whole of Scotland knows the issues they need the sure and certain confidence to take the leap, because as long as there’s doubt the English media will crush it like a grape just like they did last time

  19. The ba’ faced Blue Tory whose name sounds like a brand of Home Brew, Kit Malthouse, was on BBC Brexit this morning, having a wee cosy chat with one of the anchors on all things bright and Tory, from the queen’s speech, to Starmer resigning.

    A load of vacuous sound bites, trite comments like, the Biddish people are more worried about the future, than the past, with no mention of the present, during which an estimated 22.3 million households in their precious Union, their poor Maj’s ‘Realm’, cannot afford to eat, cook, buy clothes for their children, or pay their rent or mortgage

    He agreed with Boris Johnson that the fabled Biddish people wanted the Blue Tories to lead them forward, and let’s not hear any more about windfall taxes on Shell and BP, as they are global companies who pay taxes all over the world, and that if we frighten them too much, they might not invest in new finds, and…well the usual ‘capitalism and greed’ threats to the electorate. Big Business and the New World Order who run the world, so, fuck of, you insignificant plebs.

    The man with the Home Brew name, was allowed, uninterrupted to justify outlawing public protests and public assembly…it is illegal to take to the streets in protest now.

    Johnson will rue selling off his water cannons.

    I had tuned in to catch the 90 seconds of ‘Scottish’ news which they insert in this blatant little 3 and 1/4 hours of English hegemony, broadcast to the Northern Colony, because we are all desperate to know about English football, cricket, schools, hospitals, and the latest event/ show or Great British TV this that or the next thing, happening in London.

    A young Newbie at the Clyde Stockade smiled broadly to the camera, then fired 3 Scotland is Shite items at us;

    A FAI into a poor man who died in police custody, an assurance that Ukraine has prompted the US to speed up developing renewable energy projects, and a call for loan companies to safeguard mentally ill clients to discourage them from making rash decisions when considering borrowing money.9Chance would be a fine thing.)

    Then the weather; it is p1ssing down, and it will be again, tomorrow, beams the weather girl.

    Then back to England, and the Home Brew Whitewash.

    We have now reached the state of panic Up Here that the entire Jock MSM is ‘laser focussed’ (the new Blue Tory buzz phrase) on destroying the Independence Movement.

    What will it take for this Fourth Estate Fifth Column to realise that they are puppets?
    I remind us all of John Cleese snarling put down of Jock hacks:-

    “Why do we let half-educated tenement Scots run our English press? Because their craving for social status makes them obedient retainers?”

    Muriel Gray is certainly earning her corn….
    The lass at Plantation Quay invited us with a beaming smile, to rejoin her in half an hour’s time so that she could repeat the Scotland the Hell Hole message.

    There shall be a reckoning.

    • Alex Montrose says:

      Thanks for that Jack,

      I miss Prof John Robertson’s rebuttals of the daily Scotland is Shite stories from PQ, reading their stuff 2nd hand is hard enough, watching it is impossible for me.

      • Capella says:

        Good news Alex – Prof Robertson is back!

        • QED, Capella.
          It will never make the Distorting Scotland bulletins, that’s for sure.
          Great to see the Prof Back, and you and stewartb, to name but a few, firing on all cylinders.

          Jackie Baillie will be interviewed by Glenn tonight on the ‘good news’ that Scotland will become an even bigger target, and that another £200 million of our money will be spent on 20 or 30 ephemeral construction jobs at the Devil’s Crucible, Faslane.

          Not locals, mark you. There might be some nasty Nats saboteurs in their midst. Bussed in MOD sub contractors?
          Scotland has a Press Corps who lie, threaten their fellow Scots, and smother news, by substituting propaganda on behalf of a foreign power, paid for by their colonial Masters.

        • Alex Montrose says:

          Thanks for that Capella, that’s him slotted into my favourites, between WGD and Munguin’s Republic

    • En passant, my Everlovin’ and I, after 25 months in strict lockdown, unlike Douglas Ross’ Putin fightin glorious leader,and serial liar, Bobo the Clown, took our first tentative steps back out into the world this week. still masked, still socially distanced, still wiping our hands, like it was March 2020.
      When I refer to the ‘entire Jock MSM’ above, I have not forgotten ‘the National’.

      Last time I looked it had about 12,000 subscribers. I noted that none of the supermarket chains stock this valiant little outlier, nor none but a few of the corner shops, and those who do, seem to restrict their order to one or two copies, discreetly placed on the bottom shelf half hidden beneath Angling magazines or such.

      Only the National Team can explain why their distribution is limited like this.

      Have Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Aldi, Shell and BP service stations point blank refused to stock the ‘paper?
      Perhaps they should include a Union Flag on their letterhead?

      It is de facto a country denied a Free Press.

      Well done, lads and lasses of the Chapel.

  20. Capella says:

    I don’t know if his is in the SNP’s refreshed case for independence (I haven’t read it yet – see link from Alex upthread) but it should be. More toxic waste to be berthed at Faslane.

    Faslane: UK Government announces £2 billion investment into nuclear submarines

    The £10billion investment is part of a package of contracts awarded by the UK Government to BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, who have been involved throughout the development process for the submarines.

    Steve Timms, BAE Systems Submarines managing director, said: “Today’s funding announcement allows us to maintain the Dreadnought programme’s progress and continue investing in the infrastructure and skills needed to deliver these highly complex submarines to the Royal Navy.”

  21. Capella says:

    stewartb posts another great article over on Talking Up Scotland. We already are a more equal society in Scotland.
    Gap in incomes in Scotland narrower than other UK nations and regions

    The net effect is that based on this metric of change in average disposable household incomes, the gap between the average for the lowest earning 50% and the highest is narrower in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK, albeit just narrower than in NI.

    Plenty more new articles to read on TUS.

  22. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    George Foulkes tweeted this yesterday :

    “My Private Members Bill to stop @scotgov spending your money on reserved areas will be in the Ballot on Wednesday”

    No comment……that’s a first… 😉

  23. Welsh_Siôn says:

    I’m sure fellow-Duggers can’t get enough politics at the moment.

    This from home:


    Dear W_S,

    I am pleased to share with you that I and the First Minister Mark Drakeford are today publishing a package of proposals that will be the basis for introducing far-reaching changes to our democracy.

    The package of measures – to be implemented in time for the next Senedd election in 2026 – includes:

    Expanding the size of the Senedd to 96 Members
    Ensuring a gender balanced Senedd in law
    Replacing the First Past the Post voting system with a fully proportional electoral system

    It will ensure equal status for all Members by using the same method of election for all Members.

    It will also introduce 16 new Multi Member constituencies for the first election under the new arrangements, with a full Wales specific Boundary Review to set the boundaries for subsequent elections.

    Senedd reform is a key commitment in the Cooperation Agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government and today’s announcement lays out a clear pathway to a larger Senedd capable of making a bigger difference for the people of Wales.

    This significant milestone in the growth of our democracy would not have happened without Plaid Cymru and it would not have happened without your hard work on the ground as Plaid members. But it will be for the benefit the whole of Wales. I would therefore like to thank you all for making this possible.

    For Wales,

    Adam Price MS
    Plaid Cymru Leader

    Exciting times, eh?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Replacing the First Past the Post voting system with a fully proportional electoral system” – Wow. Bravo…

  24. Capella says:

    Onwards and upwards WS 👍

  25. Dr Jim says:

    Oh to be in the big England this morning lining the streets of the big London to join with people there waving and cheering at Royal cars containing people nobody knows carrying valuable state objects worth £billions that will never be of worth to the people waving at anonymous people in flashy old fashioned cars that HM the Queen once sat in, but not today Clarice

    The duties of the houses of parliament have been carried out, the searches of the cellars, of which they have a special team to carry out that duty with lanterns now reconfigured and modernised with battery lighting to light their way through the deep and dark recesses of the cellars making sure they are empty of any modern day Guy Fawkes types presumably with Semtex rather than gunpowder

    We have the Royal commentators, how does one get that as an occupation? who could be lying through their teeth about everything they say because as we know they can’t tell us everything about the Monarchy because *it’s a secret*

    Her Majesty cannot attend this yearly pretence at accountability and information to *the nation* because of her *mobility* problems (shouldn’t that be lack of mobility?) but as we all must understand this occasion must be done with the correct amount of decorum and pageantry so 20 minutes over Zoom was never going to impress *the nation* of her Majesty’s governments intentions informing us of their ripping the arse, sorry, levelling us up agenda for the future day or two until that all changes once again to the lowering us down again

    Isn’t it great to be Scottish in Scotland where we don’t have to tip our hats tug our forelocks or bow to our betters to be grateful for the largesse that the Royals and their servants the Bringlish have bestowed upon themselves by removing it from us

    Vote for Independence and allow those people in that country to pay for this abuse themselves

  26. Alec Lomax says:

    Brian Wilson revising 1979 devolution the Herald

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I thought Brian Wilson was a good MP, and I voted for him to get rid of the useless Tory Thatcher ass-licker, John Corrie, even knowing Brian Wilson had been Chairman of the Labour Vote No committee in 1978/9.

      He was also a member of the SNP in the early 70s till he went over to Labour.

      Not a lot of people know that!

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Was it not John Corrie who introduced the abortion bill to wastemonster?

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Yes, Corrie sucked Maggie’s backside by, with his winning private members ballots, introducing the then occasional debate on whether abortion should be abolished or kept, and the other one was the customary one on should hanging be brought back.

          Somebody had to do it instead of looking after silicosis in his mining constituents or asbestosis as Wilson did, for claimants after the victim’s death.

          Unionists aren’t always bad! But Corrie was an orifice.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Paid by nuclear. After a rail crash in Largs failed to get the building reinstated as he promised, then did a runner.
        Wilson would fit into any political party that he thought would benefit him most is my estimation. In that respect he is no different from Tony Blair (Tory) and a few SNP worthies who hold onto their British Empire Medals or similar trash gongs for their egos.

  27. Hamish100 says:

    Another Celtic supporter pro Irish Independence, pro britnat sponsored by the nuclear industry and others I believe.
    Labour britnat

  28. Hamish100 says:

    Northern Ireland Brexit unionists don’t want a border in the Irish Sea. They are happy for a land border in the 6 counties.
    Discuss hypocrisy of Donaldson, Johnson and the brexiters blaming the EU.!!!

    • Dr Jim says:

      Brits didn’t win so change the rules break the rules bend the rules so they do win, in the meantime do nothing so that Sinn Fein aren’t allowed to get on with the job and nominate Michelle O’Neill as FM because that would be anti British Orange Order Nationalist heresy

      British democracy eh

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Aye… The political issues which dog NI irks a lot of Scots, so what does BBC/Scotland/Politics feature ? – Cherlie boy opening WM from UK/Politics, at home abortions, and waste incinerators…

        Meanwhile the UK gets “NI election 2022: NI public cannot be left high and dry, PM told”.

        Must be a lot of banana boats on the Clyde today…

      • Aye. Do people know that the first elections (1921 & 1925) to the N. Irish House of Commons were based on proportional representation in the form of STV?

        Well by just the very second term the British unionists used their majority to dispense with PR and bring in FPTP to ensure they’d win massive majorities every time for decades to come.

        This meant that very soon the UUP were getting e.g. 69% of seats on 43.5% of the vote (1933).

        They then embarked on open gerrymandering to maximise their seats at all levels with the minority nationalists unable to do anything about it.

        “We are not going to build houses in the South Ward and cut a rod to beat ourselves later on.”

        “We are going to see that the right people are put into these houses and we are not making any apology for it.”

        At the same time they started making sure all civil service posts etc were given to unionists:

        “Charity begins at home. If we are going to employ people we should give preference to Unionists. I am not saying that we should sack Nationalist employees, but if we are going to employ new men we should give preference to Unionists.”

        All of which led to the Irish civil rights movement, which was brutally repressed, and so the troubles began. If the British respected democracy, the sorry tale of violence in the province would likely have never occurred. But the British nationalists prefer the gun to the ballot box.

        And now they are back to the same; they don’t have a majority so they’re shutting down the Stormont parliament and threatening violence unless their minority demands are not met.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Violence works, it’s why they use it or provoke it, the popular notion that while there’s dialogue there’s hope actually means while there’s dialogue there’s British delay…delay…delay ….delay echoing on until the end of time until folk forget die a new generation is born or just don’t care anymore, then they come up with the solution that suited them in the first place, and that solution always is

          “Over time we have scrutinised the concerns of the people but at this time we can see no valid reason to change a successful arrangement that has worked for blah de blah years in the interests of people of the whole of the UK”

          Then the Brits have a drink and a party to celebrate yet another successful overturning of a peoples desire for democracy

        • Violence works

          Does it?

          It’s funny, but everyone seems to think the GFA was to stop violence from the IRA; hence the Tories saying stuff like ‘we should never give in to terrorism!’. However, the USA brokered the GFA agreement with the main goal of giving Irish people equal rights as British, stopping decades of British persecution of the latter. After all, the British killed 1.5x as many civilians as the IRA ever did, and the bulk of the civilian dead were Irish N. Irish, not British

          So the USA, UN, and EU actually stepped in to stop British repression of and violence against Irish people, which in turn was causing some to fight back in the form of the IRA.

          It was first and foremost the British in N. Ireland that opposed the GFA precisely because it gave Irish people rights. The DUP campaigned against it so they could keep repressing the Irish.

          By contrast, Sinn Fein campaigned for peace, with only minor dissent from the hardcore fringe.

          So what the DUP/TUV are doing now is no surprise. Their paramilitary/terrorist wings have already said they no longer back the GFA and are going to start bombing again. Violence is in their nature.

          • Dr Jim says:

            Violence always works, Putin is using the fear of his nuclear violence now to deter the rest of the world from intervening and preventing more of it

            As for Britain not giving in to terrorism, Britain always gives in to terrorism when it lands on the streets of London where their voters are and everybody notices, secret doors immediately open then those doors slam shut and talks begin while the continued denial of it in the media ramps up

  29. Ok, they are getting desperate now, what with Sinn Fein now leading Northern Ireland.

    Queen’s Speech: Prince Charles in Union plea after SNP and Sinn Fein election wins

    PRINCE Charles made a plea for the Union on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government as he delivered Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech.
    The Duke of Rothesay provided the address during the State Opening of Parliament after the Queen pulled out at the last minute, missing the ceremony for the first time in nearly 60 years…

    …Following historic wins for the pro-independence SNP in Scotland and pro-reunification Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland at last week’s council elections, the Government effectively responded to that success through Prince Charles.

    “The continued success and integrity of the whole of the United Kingdom is of paramount importance to her majesty’s government,” he told the House of Lords, “including the internal economic bonds between all of its parts”…

    …The Queen’s Speech comes after it emerged that royal family members will be sent to Scotland to celebrate the upcoming Jubilee.

    Princess Anne will head north of the Border as part of efforts to “spread joy” and “shore up the Union”, according to the Scottish Daily Express.

    The royal visits follow reports that the Queen wants to spend more time in Scotland to strengthen support for the Union.

    She is said to have informed palace insiders she does not want to see Scotland leave the UK under her watch – with another independence referendum scheduled for 2023.

    A royal source told the Sun on Sunday: “Protocol prevents her from expressing a political opinion but she wants the people of Scotland to know of her wish that they reject independence.”

    Will the royals be paying people’s leccy bills? Or will Charles just scold the poor for not buying a brand new Tesla from the comfort of his warm person diesel train?

    • Alex Clark says:

      A royal source told the Sun on Sunday: “Protocol prevents her from expressing a political opinion but she wants the people of Scotland to know of her wish that they reject independence.”

      Hasn’t she just given a political opinion then that she wants Scots to reject Independence? Aye, the neutrality of the Royals is on a par with the BBC and the rest of the establishment.

  30. Welsh_Siôn says:

    You get Princess Anne.

    Apparently we’re getting Wills and Kate.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I like Princess Anne, I’m sure quite a lot of folk do, and it’ll be nice to see her continue to have some holidays in Scotland at some of our fine B&Bs or Hotels, or just up for a wee day coach trip to Callander with the pensioners from England where they get their full English breakfast and English tea (which in Scotland is just called breakfast and whatever’s in the kitchen tea) and a wee walk around the Woollen mills shops for a wee tartan blanket for her dug or to put in the back of the Land Rover doon at her hoose, she’ll hae nae bother…….and

      We wulnae een ask fur hur autygraph

  31. Tam the Bam says:

    Well what a surprise.
    Ian Blackford stands to deliver his reply to The Queens Speech and 50/60% of the tories disappear.

    Looks like Lindsey Hoyles (Speaker) pleas for respect just walked out the commons.

    • The bars were open, Tam.
      Time they breathalysed the lot of them before they take their seats.
      They don’t give a damn about Scotland.
      But we knew that.
      And according to every Jock pundit, these people have the right to, and will, not give us their permission to dissolve our Union with them.
      I’m sharpening my hoe and shears to prepare for WAR!
      Where are Dross and B-lister Jack hiding?

  32. Dr Jim says:

    Ian Blackford also said on Scottish Independence “we are not asking for permission and nor do we need it” Blackford then cited a court ruling on the subject impressing even more that Scotlands referendum was coming

    Ian Blackfords speech was followed by Sir Peter Bottomly the father of the house who invented the ridiculous figure that the SNP vote share had gone down by 25%, he must’ve been trying to impress English voters with that nonsense, because if it were true the Tories would have been the Scottish government, and they’re not are they silly old duffer

    What we know is the English government will try to delay delay delay, it’s what they do

  33. So England is threatening to overturn the result of the N. Irish election to make the anti-protocol unionists the winners, even though they lost badly, with 58.3% voting pro-protocol.

    At the same time, the political wing of anti-GFA UN peace agreement pro-English, British terrorist groups are trying to shut down the Northern Irish parliament because they lost.

    The protocol is going nowhere; you can be sure the EU, USA and UN will make sure of that.

    Prepare for economic sanctions ahead of iref2 folks. The final nail in the UK coffin is coming. We are likely entering a period of massive UK instability as England/Britain lashes out and turns nasty before collapsing.

  34. Alex Clark says:

    As mentioned above by Dr Jim, the last 3 minutes of Ian Blackford’s speech tell the Tories in no uncertain terms that there will be a referendum and the people of Scotland will choose their future no matter what they might say to the contrary.

  35. Hamish100 says:

    Still according to Kelly if SGP if the snp don’t deliver a referendum next year members, MP’s, MSP’s will be welcomed.
    Now if a referendum is delivered what will ALBA do?

  36. yesindyref2 says:

    Catching up, and found this: “The Edinburgh Agreement was signed just 18 months later, after a negotiation in which Salmond outmanoeuvered David Cameron into granting a two-option vote with the Scottish Parliament deciding the question, date and franchise.

    I agree, and who was it negotiated the deal over a fair few weeks with Michael Moore? Yes indeedy, it was our very own Nicola Sturgeon. This was in an article on WOS “A Game Of Two Halves” (3 May).

    This also means that Campbell by that seems to disagree with anyone who says the S30 / Edinburgh Agreement route is playing into the Unionist hands – unless they thought that Salmond did the same. It was the Gold Standard for Salmond, and the Gold Standard for Sturgeon. As it is for most if not all, constitutional experts.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      (rest of that article by the way was clearly written by Pamela Nash and Kelvin Vague).

    • Alex Clark says:

      Alex Salmond claimed to have outmanoeuvered David Cameron by arguing for a third option, that of Devo Max together with and Yes and No to be on the ballot paper in the referendum.

      This gave him a stronger negotiating position to get what he really wanted and that was to set the question and the date for the referendum. For fear that Devo Max might actually stand a chance of winning it is said that Cameron willingly gave up power over the question and date in exchange for a straightforward Yes, No question on the ballot paper with no Devo max option.

      I believe that this article was when he first revealed in an interview with Severin Carrell of the Guardian that he saw Devo Max as something he could push for and which Salmond then introduced in his speech at the SNP conference in Inverness just over a week later.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Everybody and his dog knew devo max would’ve won outright, that’s why Cameron rejected it, he wasn’t going to be bluffed into handing more powers to Scotland, Cameron held all the cards and knew he had the full power of the British state and its media to win

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yes, you could almost feel sorry for Sevvie. But he had his uses.

        I see heed, maisie and a few others were posting there – a few weeks before I started I think. Days!

  37. yesindyref2 says:


    (What we know for certain in any event is that the Electoral Commission will be fully controlled by the UK government by then, under the Elections Bill passed just days ago, and will decide the timing, the question, the franchise and much else in any referendum that did somehow happen.)

    Hahahaha (breathes), hahahaha (falls to the groond), hahaha (collapses in a heap”.

    Good grief.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      And one more for luck: “it’s simply not the Crown Office’s job to interfere with a police investigation by telling them who they may and may not interview under caution.

      Umm, the article quoted didn’t say they did. The Crown Office does and did authorise search warrants. It doesn’t control the normal business of the pollice. The actual article:

      “It is understood that some officers believe criminality may have occurred and wish to question people under caution. Officials at the Crown Office, however, are believed to share the view of senior SNP figures who argue that all spending by the party ultimately supports its overall aim of independence.”

      They expressed a view, that doesn’t mean they interfered.

      Oh well, back to sorting out loads of stupid papers 😦

  38. Dr Jim says:

    They might try legal but there’s really only one way England can stop a referendum in Scotland and they don’t dare do it

    • Aye. If you want to see how to stop people from voting freely and fairly, you need to look to places like Russia, Belarus or Hong Kong. Unfortunately for dictatorships the world over, declaring votes illegal just doesn’t cut the mustard. You need boots on the ground.

  39. Dr Jim says:

    2014 “There’s no oil left Ha Ha Ha it’s running out”
    2022 “We’re opening up more oil fields and the oil companies are making more money than they’ve ever made in the history of oil drilling Ha Ha Ha”

    2022 “Scotland is the Saudi Arabia of wind power so we’re taking that power to England H Ha Ha”
    2022 ” Scotland has more clean fresh water than it needs, another great UK resource Ha Ha Ha”

    2014 “Scotland can’t be Independent because you’re poor Ha Ha Ha”
    2022 ” Scotland can’t be Independent because you’re poor Ha Ha Ha”

    • Home Brew Kit Malthouse yesterday, and Levveling to the Ground Michael Gove (was he drunk on BBC Brexit this morning? Seriously.) both dismissed a windfall tax on the Oil Giants because they need all those extra billions for investment?
      Both anguished that we would frighten the New world Order who might stop drilling. What they both observed was that businesses hate uncertainty, so we shouldn’t threaten them with one off tax demands like this.
      And there you have it. The Blue Tory idea of priorities. 22 million people are now choosing eating or heating, life or death ‘uncertainty’.
      But Gove and Malthouse don’t give tinker’s curse for the health and well being of the citizens whom they are supposed to serve.
      Big Business is their God and master.

      Let the bodies pile high, while Shell and BP suck oil from Scotland’s seas and sells it abroad to the highest bidder.
      We are England’s ,ilitarily occupied colony. They are raping our land for the Elite who laugh at the concept of democracy.
      Why are we not rising up and driving these carpetbaggers from our land?
      I will avoid being in a Tory’s company for the remainder of my life.
      It is a corrupt evil destructive philosophy, the Devil’s creed.
      They disgust me beyond words.
      I repeat; was Gove Morning After The Night Before drunk during BBC Brexit car crash interview this morning? It was a shocker by any standard.

      • Alex Clark says:

        That was some “performance” Gove gave in that interview, I don’t know about drunk but I doubt he’ll be at work in the Commons today. What a total bunch of overrated clowns running the show, it’s beyond belief that they are still in power.

      • btw Norway’s Government is providing an 80% discount on fuel bills, and electircity companies are 90% local or state owned.
        Too wee, too poor? Definitely taken for mugs.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Exactly…..Dr Jim

  40. Hamish100 says:

    Dr Jim,

    Are you ok? Lol

  41. grizebard says:

    As per request of stewartb upthread, here is the way the votes went down for a ward in Glasgow, Ward 23 Partick East and Kelvindale, where Labour came first (accompanied by Green 2nd):

    quota: 2047

    Wilson-Johnstone: +743
    Wilson-Asghar: -263
    Wilson-McLean: -699 (~lendable)
    net: +1179

    1: Blair Anderson & Jill Brown elected

    Brown (Lab) surplus: 892
    Johnstone (Lab) 752.1 (84.3%)
    McLean (SNP) 27.6 ( 3.1%) /
    Wilson (SNP) 11.2 ( 1.3%) /
    38.8 ( 4.4%)
    Asghar (Con) 36.1 ( 4.0%)
    Moohan (LD) 35.8 ( 4.0%)
    Nwaokorobia (Alba) 0.9 ( 0.1%)
    McMillan (FALOCA) 2.1 ( 0.2%)
    nobody 26.1 ( 2.9%) !!

    Wilson-Johnstone: +2.2
    Wilson-Asghar: −287.9
    Wilson-McLean: -715.4 (~lendable)
    net: +429.7

    Anderson (Green) surplus: 91
    Johnstone (Lab) 19.5 (21.5%)
    McLean (SNP) 26.4 (29.0%) /
    Wilson (SNP) 27.1 (29.7%) /
    53.5 (58.7%)
    Asghar (Con) 1.1 ( 1.3%)
    Moohan (LD) 7.2 ( 8.0%)
    Nwaokorobia (Alba) 0.6 ( 0.6%)
    McMillan (FALOCA) 0.4 ( 0.5%)
    nobody 8.6 ( 9.5%)

    Wilson-Johnstone: +9.7
    Wilson-Asghar: -262.0
    Wilson-McLean: -714.7 (~lendable)
    net: +462.4

    2: Di McMillan eliminated

    McMillan (FALOCA) transfers: 64.6 (62 1st prefs, ~3 Lab+Green transfers)
    Johnstone (Lab) 11.3 (17.6%)
    McLean (SNP) 1.3 ( 2.0%) /
    Wilson (SNP) 0.4 ( 0.7%) /
    1.7 ( 2.7%)
    Asghar (Con) 22.3 (34.6%)
    Moohan (LD) 8.7 (13.5%)
    Nwaokorobia (Alba) 4.0 ( 6.3%)
    nobody 8.6 (25.5%)

    Wilson-Johnstone: −1.2
    Wilson-Asghar: -283.8
    Wilson-McLean: -715.6 (~lendable)
    net: +430.6

    3: Udochukwu Kings Nwaokorobia eliminated

    Nwaokorobia (Alba) transfers: 86.5 (81 1st prefs, ~1 Lab and ~4 FALOCA transfers)
    Johnstone (Lab) 12.1 (14.0%)
    McLean (SNP) 18.8 (21.7%) /
    Wilson (SNP) 22.2 (25.7%) /
    41.0 (47.4%)
    Asghar (Con) 5.0 ( 5.8%)
    Moohan (LD) 11.0 (12.7%)
    nobody 17.4 (20.2%)

    Wilson-Johnstone: +8.9
    Wilson-Asghar: -266.6
    Wilson-McLean: −712.1 (~lendable)
    net: +454.4

    4: Nicholas Moohan eliminated

    Moohan (LD) transfers: 450.7 (388 1st. prefs, ~36 Lab, ~11 Alba out of ~63 transfers)
    Johnstone (Lab) 170.5 (37.8%)
    McLean (SNP) 35.6 ( 7.9%) /
    Wilson (SNP) 20.0 ( 4.4%) /
    55.6 (12.3%)
    Asghar (Con) 86.2 (19.1%)
    nobody 138.5 (30.7%)

    Wilson-Johnstone: −141.6
    Wilson-Asghar: -332.8
    Wilson-McLean: −727.8 (lendable)
    net: +253.4

    5: Linsey Wilson eliminated

    Wilson (Con) transfers: 1181.9 (1101 1st prefs, ~81 transfers)
    Johnstone (Lab) 31.5 (26.6%)
    McLean (SNP) 1094.1 (92.6%)
    Asghar (Con) 4.3 ( 0.4%)
    nobody 52.1 ( 4.4%)

    6: Kenny McLean elected

    McLean (SNP) surplus: 956.8 (out of 1800 1st prefs!)
    Johnstone (Lab) 299.1 (31.3%)
    Asghar (Con) 16.2 ( 1.7%)
    nobody 641.4 (67.0%)

    7: Naveed Asghar eliminated

    Asghar (Con) transfers: 1535.3 (1364 1st prefs, ~ 171 transfers)
    Johnstone (Lab) 724.0 (47.2%)
    nobody 811.3 (62.8%)

    8: Lilith Johnstone elected (~331 over quota)

    Again, apologies for the unformatting due to a proportional font.

    • grizebard says:

      Some comments re the context of this election:

      This ward is something of an oddity, its parts having been carved out of various surrounding areas in various ways over various eras, finally being stitched together in its current form for the previous full local elections. The Kelvindale part at one time had a Tory councillor, then for many years elected a well-known LibDem, Mary Paris. There were 4 vacancies.

      Only two candidates were existing councillors. Kenny McLean (SNP), a longstanding councillor for Partick, while newcomer Jill Brown (Lab) won the single-vacancy byelection of March 2021 caused by the expulsion of the previous sole Tory councillor for non-contribution. However, both Blair Anderson and Naveed Asghar also stood for the first time on that occasion. In this election, Anderson replaced well-known former councillor Martin Bartos as sole candidate for the Greens.

      The SNP in their election material had asked voters to place newcomer Linsey Wilson in first place to try to keep both their candidates in the running.

      Brown (Lab) and Anderson (Green) having been elected directly, and McLean being a strong contender for a third place, the fourth vacancy was effectively a narrow “three-horse race” between SNP, Labour and Tory. So the relative positions between Wilson and the others, plus her party co-candidate, are shown at each stage. Keep in mind that for the net vote, the vote difference between the two SNP contenders is accounted as a “plus”, since in principle at least they could have been shared out differently between the pair.

      Stage 1 was the surplus vote for Jill Brown, and not unexpectedly a fair slice went to her co-candidate, some 84%. Roughly 4% of these 1st prefs though went to each of SNP, LibDem and Tory. (One might well ponder why in each case. People who think they must choose an alternative?) However a stonking 26% went nowhere at all! One might assume that this quarter of Labour voters just put a cross against the main Labour candidate then gave up!

      This is just one example, of course, so a much wider survey would be necessary to see any definite patterns.

      Looking at the vote transfers, Wilson was initially well behind the Tory but well ahead of her Labour challenger, and even after the transfers from the Labour winner, she managed to (just) stay ahead of Lilith Johnstone.

      Just over half the Green 2nd prefs went to the SNP – as in Langside, rather disappointing – and evenly to both despite declared SNP preference, and thus moved Wilson only very slightly, not least because a fifth of their 2nd prefs went to Labour instead. Roughly 10% went nowhere (the ultras?).

      Exclusion of the no-hoper Freedom Alliance candidate was essentially anti-SNP in effect, more than a third going to the Tory and half of that to Labour. More of these transfers went to Alba than from anywhere else!

      Alba was unsurprisingly next to go, giving just a (fairly ungenerous) half to SNP, again shared roughly equally between both candidates. A fifth went nowhere at all. The price of voter suppression.

      Stage 4, when LibDem Moohan was eliminated, was the crucial one here. Predictably, transfers were significantly anti-SNP, well more than a third going Labour’s way and a fifth going Tory, but an eighth did go to the SNP. Somewhat disproportionately though to McLean. (Perhaps a personal vote.) This was enough to put Wilson in deficit against both her challengers, and thus she was next to go, but NB: the net SNP difference was still positive, so if only ~150 more SNP voters (or transfers) had put Wilson ahead of McLean as requested, both would ultimately have prevailed! So the SNP strategy was thus well-founded, but didn’t quite get enough electoral backup to make it succeed.

      • grizebard says:

        I should perhaps add a footnote to that last part. If Linsey Wilson had prevailed over Lilith Johnstone at stage 4 due to a better shareout of the existing SNP votes, Naveed Asghar would have been the SNP pair’s only remaining opponent. Though Johnstone’s substantial 1323.5 votes would then have been up for transfer, judging by what happened with Jill Brown’s win, very few would likely have gone the way of the Tory. To have made any difference, it would have required something approaching 20%.

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