The fragility of this so-called union

There are long term and short term lessons to be drawn from last week’s elections. In the short term, there are now serious questions about the position of Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, who pins the blame for the catastrophic performance the Scottish Tories at last week’s local elections on Boris Johnson’s partygate lies and law breaking while continuing to back him as Prime Minister. It’s a fundamentally contradictory position from a Scottish leader who first demanded Johnson’s resignation and then did a humiliating U-turn, proving that Jacob Rees-Mogg was accurate when he dismissed Ross as a lightweight.

It’s now an open question whether the Tories, who are typically ruthless when it comes to ridding themselves of leaders whom they consider to be an electoral liability, will get rid of Ross before they get rid of Johnson. There are already rumours that Scottish Conservative MSPs have had informal talks about replacing him. Ross’s spinelessness and poor leadership are being blamed for the party’s dismal showing on Thursday, when it was the only party with representation at Holyrood to lose council seats and register a decline in its percentage share of first preference votes.

Not only did the Scottish Tories haemorrhage council seats, in Edinburgh they also suffered the humiliation of plummeting to fourth place in terms in terms of votes and fifth place in terms of seats. In Glasgow they lost all of their seats but two, so are no longer a Conservative group but a Conservative tag team. However the greatest disaster for the party is that the gains that they made under Ruth Davidson have now been wiped out. The Tories have never had anything to offer Scotland apart from their knee jerk opposition to independence. Presenting themselves as the “party of Union” was the Scottish Tory USP and under Davidson the Scottish Conservatives managed to establish themselves as the dominant anti-independence party, pushing Labour into third place.

The Scottish Tories have now lost their prized position of the largest party opposed to independence to Labour, which has overtaken the Tories both in terms of vote share and in the number of councillors it got elected.

However there is also a more important long term pattern which these most recent elections have confirmed, and that is the continuing disintegration of the so-called Union. In Wales Plaid Cymru gained control of three councils. In Northern Ireland, for the first time ever since Britain carved the Unionist statelet out of Ireland with borders drawn in such a way as to supposedly guarantee a Unionist majority in perpetuity, an Irish republican party has come out on top in an election.

It is obvious that none of the British parties has any convincing plan or the political will to make the necessary structural and constitutional changes to the UK which would be needed in order to halt or reverse this decline. Labour keeps promising federalism, with its constitutional review headed by the discredited Gordon Brown who promised Scotland the same thing in 2014 but signally failed to deliver. The truth is that there is no appetite in England for such wide reaching constitutional changes, and very little interest in the political or constitutional demands of the other constituent parts of the UK. The UK already works for England, as it was designed to.

This is the biggest problem for traditional unionism, both in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. There is just no appetite in England for sacrificing English interests in order to placate a Scotland and Northern Ireland which they are convinced depend upon English tax funds. It may be a falsehood, but it is deeply engrained.

The Tories have neither the political interest nor the desire to make any changes to a system that already delivers them almost absolute power on a regular basis. They have no motivation to address the long term structural decline in Unionism. In lieu of any strategy to reverse that decline, they instead resort to the short term tactics of scaremongering, threats, obstructionism, and ever more desperate appeals to “patriotism” which manifest themselves in union flags, British nationalist exceptionalism,military parades, more union flags, the glorification of the imperial past and a royal family who grow more discredited with every passing scandal, and even more union flags, none of which has any appeal in Scotland outwith Tory voters and the dedicated followers of flute bands.

Opponents of independence might not wish to admit it to themselves, but they know that the so-called Union faces existential challenges for which its supporters have no practical solutions. This is why they increasingly react with hysteria out of all proportion to imaginary threats which a self-confident Unionism would either ignore, or even embrace as symbols of the Union’s ability to encompass Scottish nationhood.

We saw this recently with the over the top reaction to Billy Kay’s non-political speech in Holyrood when he used the Scots language to talk about the importance of the Scots language to Scottish culture and literature. For his pains Billy was subjected to a torrent of abuse from British nationalist ignoramuses who know nothing about the Scots language or linguistics in general. Similar abuse was also recently directed at a young female poet for having the temerity to use and take pride in Scots.

Despite the fact that the Scots language is the cultural heritage of everyone in Scotland, irrespective of their political views, this abuse overwhelmingly comes from individuals who identify as British nationalists and as opponents of independence. This is not a symptom of a confident and self-assured Unionism, rather it betokens a deep angst and a panic that the union is in mortal peril. This so-called union is so weak and fragile that it can be threatened by a poem.

Just this week we have a new example of Scottish Unionist panic. The National Museum of Scotland has announced that it will put the Declaration of Arbroath on public display in June and July next year. The document had been due to go on display in 2020 to mark its 700th anniversary. However, lockdown forced the exhibition to be postponed and it will now take place next year instead, cue howls of outrage from the Tories and their allies who are both outraged that a foundation document of Scottish statehood should be put on public display in a year when the Scottish Government plans to hold an independence referendum, and simultaneously eager to assert that it’s not such an important or meaningful document after all. That’s the mighty British state for you, put in danger by a Scots language poem and a 700 year old document which British nationalists insist isn’t important at all. If it’s not that important, why do they have an issue with it going on display? Answers on a postcard to Douglas Ross, contradictory positions are his thing.

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58 comments on “The fragility of this so-called union

  1. This is the biggest problem for traditional unionism, both in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. There is just no appetite in England for sacrificing English interests in order to placate a Scotland and Northern Ireland which they are convinced depend upon English tax funds. It may be a falsehood, but it is deeply engrained.


    Just this week we have a new example of Scottish Unionist panic

    That too. Another excellently succinct sum up of things.

    The crap is really impacting the fan right now. Hence we’re being treated to Wills and Kate. Utter desperation is setting in.

    And just as expected…

    US politicians warn British overriding protocol would threaten Belfast accord

    Any unilateral move by the British government to override parts of the Northern Ireland protocol would “ squarely threaten the Good Friday agreement”, leading US politicians have maintained.

    In a strongly worded letter on Tuesday night to British foreign secretary Liz Truss they also suggested that the Biden administration in the US was on the verge of appointing a special envoy to Northern Ireland.

    In the joint letter congressman Bill Keating, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on Europe, and congressman Brendan Boyle, co-chair of the congressional EU Caucus in the House of Representatives said the majority of those elected in Northern Ireland supported working within the parameters of the Northern Ireland protocol.

    Aye, England will have to go with the protocol or face sanctions. And British terrorists starting to blow up border posts is hardly going to firm up support for the UK now is it!

    It’s all unravelling quickly now. I think we can be confident that after a lull of about a year, things are going to move very fast now as we head into 2023.

  2. Hamish100 says:

    Paul it is rather strange that Unionism in Northern Ireland is trying its best to promote Ulster Scots whereas Unionism in Scotland denigrates Scots and as you know has consistently undermined Scots Gaelic.
    Tories only care about England. It only cares about its power in keeping the other nations making up these Isles under is thumb. It continues with its colonialist mindset with a fair sprinkling of its racism. I do look at people buying the Mail, Express, Telegraph owned by “foreign” owners and wonder how they view the world. Do they think we are all on the make , like them, do they believe they are better than the rest of us. What makes them have such a poor opinion of the poor, the infirm, refugees, students, unmarried mothers, lazy fathers, skiving teachers, boost GP’s and nurses. Do they just hate themselves when they look in the mirror?

    • I don’t think the British in N. Ireland know who they are. They say they are ‘unionists’, but are not Irish nor N. Irish (census) so can’t be as they don’t see NI (nor historically Eire) as its own nation. They nationally identify as British only, not e.g. Irish or NI and British (= ‘Irish or NI unionist’). That means their nation is Britain, which in their eyes is one and not a union. Alister Jack / Rory type perspective, with NI, like Scotland…Yorkshire… just regions of Britain. That means they are actually British nationalists, but the BBC doesn’t like calling them British, preferring ‘unionist’ as that makes them sound Irish. We can’t have e.g. ‘British’ sectarian hate marchers and terrorists can we now?

      At the same time, they say they speak Ulster Scots and have close relations with Scotland. Except they are adamant in the census that they are not Scottish at all, nor Irish, but 100% British only. That means they’re a totally different nationality to Scots (identifying), with most Scots not British at all (62%+). Hence we Scots tend to feel closer to the Irish, having jointly suffered English rule for too long. Comically, some NI British have started referring to Ulster Scots as ‘Ulster British’ to get around the Scottish connection now Scots back indy.

      Then there’s the English who call themselves that and British almost interchangeably. However, they don’t see the British in N. Ireland their people because they are not English and bring shame on Britain with their terrorists and hate marches. So, as per the BBC, England calls the hardcore British in N. Ireland and Scotland who are not Scots / Irish at all, ‘Irish/Scottish unionists / loyalists’ to distance itself from them, even though these march around with British flags.

      This is how f**ked up unionism is and why it’s so fragile / defensive.

    • Statgeek says:

      My half-arsed opinion?

      Some have something (they or others perceive as) worth losing, and the media and politicians ramp up their fears.It might be a pension, or a house, or a belief in Empire, or the street in their town maybe having ‘Union’ in it.

      Some have nothing but their prejudices, and the media and politicians ramp them up too.

      It’s all fear of change manifested as anger or victimisation, depending on the individual or situation. That’s why they were able to scare them about pensions in 2014. That’s why some rioted on September 18th. Simplistic perhaps, but if it’s not about fear, why is every SNPbad news story carried, and every SNPGood story shelved quick? Fear of said people coming round to change being good. 🙂

      • Dr Jim says:

        All pushed onto the public by the media and deliberately used as wedge politics

        The media will very seldom ever inform the public of agreements between politicians, (believe it or not it does happen) the media makes sure it gauges out the biggest chasms it possibly can between politicians for a couple of reasons, reason one is because bad news angry news malcontented people news is easier more productive and more lucrative to selling the product of news

        Secondly, no news organisation is without political bias, so they will punt as hard as they can their particular biased views for or against whomever they support and are against, driving the wedge in as deeply as they can to separate the public on every issue to force tribalism, and with tribalism comes the easy sell of the first item of business which is right back to the sale of what our media lovingly call *news*, which of course it’s not, it’s 10% news and 90% opinionated bias except the media have the control of all access to by way of print television and radio

        News in the UK now is a monopoly, a corporation, a gigantic business enterprise in exactly the same way as BIG OIL BIG PHARMA or BIG SUPERMARKET, and they’re selling us their product 24 hours a day 7 days a week with BIG ADVERTISING weighing in to pay for it, and that’s not even to mention the UK government holding the purse strings and licence controls to shut them down or dish more licences out, hence the channel 4 debacle because of Boris Johnson’s unhappiness over being replaced by an ice sculpture

        In a recent poll the media in Britain was found to be rated at 24th on the world reliability for news ratings and I bet money that doesn’t surprise anybody, yet still folk will stop at a news stand in the supermarket and pay their money over for bits of paper packed from beginning to end with lies then make the excuse they only buy it for the sport and crossword, which of course they don’t, they bought it for what was on the front page of their favourite wedge driven politically supporting reinforcement biased representation of their own viewpoint without realising that the company who sold them the newspaper doesn’t care whether they read it or not as long as they buy it in support of the wedge that media corporation is driving

        You think you’ve got freedom of choice? some of us do, but there are still too many who only think they do

  3. yesindyref2 says:

    Seriously, you’re all going to think I’m incredibly weird, but reading this next headline from the Herald, considering the author, actually brought a wee tear to the e’e, and it’s not even glass.

    Adam Tomkins: The return of two-party politics to Scotland – SNP v Labour

    and in the article:

    THINKING about last week’s local government election results in Scotland, the first and most obvious thing to say is that it is beyond remarkable – it is astonishing – that the SNP should have won their 11th successive Scottish election, having been in power in Holyrood now for 15 long years.

    Yes, he then says:

    They did it, of course, by ensuring that last week’s votes were cast not as a verdict on their record in government – either national or local – but by talking about Boris Johnson, and by inviting the Scottish electorate to send him a message.

    But the times, they are a-changing.

    And the Truth shall set us free.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The truth shall set us free, and Adam Tomkins is absolutely right as more and more people realise that his lot *The British* don’t tell the truth and never have

      • yesindyref2 says:

        He has an interesting blog and I used to enjoy reading it during the Ref, even while obviously disagreeing with his political opinions, and perhaps his constitutional ones where influenced by his politics. Here’s a thing, from the first article on the page:

        Now, the first thing to say about ministers triggering Article 50 is that they are not doing it simply because leaving the EU is now government policy. They are doing it because this was the clear instruction of the British people in the referendum on 23 June.

        The second thing to say about this is that the British people were able to give ministers this clear instruction because – and only because – Parliament enacted a law that authorised the referendum to be held (the European Union Referendum Act 2015). It wasn’t government ministers that authorised the referendum: it was Parliament.

        Potential opinion therefore on the legitimacy of Indy Ref 2 as well 🙂

  4. yesindyref2 says:

    OK, there’s some voodoo about Faslane going about, which ignores Coluport which is the bigger problem (and shows the lack of understanding), but hey-ho or even heigh-ho.

    Righty, there’s that paper from the Chalmerses of RUSI back in August 2014, a best of its kind having been rethought over 2 years or more, with a price tag of something like £40 billion down to single billions, (and probably less now).

    Click to access 201408_op_relocation_relocation_relocation.pdf

    He considered Coulport could be done at Falmouth (I could suggest a nearer but that’s irrelevant). And don’t forget that as well as Faslane having been improved recently for Astute SSNs, Devonport will be freed up for work in the case of redevelopments needed. Eh voila so to speak, from the Chalmers report there’s this for instance:

    If this location were chosen, previous work undertaken to prepare Devonport and Faslane for Vanguard-class submarines suggests that, once a decision to do so had been made, the addition of licensed berths and the development of a repair dry dock could probably be carried out within a decade.

    and what do we find with “repair dry dock”? This from April 2020:

    Plans to convert another dry dock in Devonport to refit the Dreadnought class submarines were recently revealed in an outline planning application. Here we examine the context and reasons for the upgrade.

    I would suggest that after a YES in a Ref in 2023, it would take less than a decade to “move Trident” to Devonport and Falmouth or similar.

    • We could speed up the departure mightily by charging them berth fees of, say, 5 billion a year, YIR2? On second thought, 10 billion a year.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        It gives Scotland the upper hand in negotiations – if the Scottish negotiators are tough enough to use it.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Bloddy cheek, I’m described as “The Bathtub Admiral” elsewhere, by some secret admirer of Johnny Depp.

      That would be “The Bathtub Admiral of the Fleet”, you filthy landlubber. Keelhaul, that filthy landlubber, send him down to the depths below. Make that bas***d walk the plank with a bottle of rum and a yo-ho-ho.

  5. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Michael Gove gave a ‘performance’ on the BBC today in the hope that a lot of people would talk more about his ‘performance’ this morning on the BBC than the actual issues he was clearly NOT willing to talk about…..

    These are the same issues that his party, as UK government, are not currently dealing with and will NOT deal with in the future……Gove gave, on the BBC Breakfast show this morning, a Tory masterclass in one who clearly, as a Tory Govt minister, uses a very shabby style of presentation to try and cover up the miniscule substance his Tory government LACKS in the way of ideas, motivation, solutions and ability to try and improve the lives of all within THEIR UK …..with the exception being those who donate to, support and vote for them as a political party…to ensure THEY are the ones the Tories focus ALL of their energies upon via bills, policies , high profile roles and future joint enterprises.

    One example :Oluwole Kolade, has donated £859,000 to the Conservative Party….he is now the new non-executive director and deputy chair of NHS England…he runs a private equity firm that invests in healthcare.

    Another Example : Malcolm Offord (Lord)… has donated almost £150,000 to the Conservatives…. he failed in his election bid in May 2021 to become an MSP…was given a life peerage by Boris Johnson….and was then made a Scotland Office Minister by Boris Johnson ( he’s on Debate Night tonight ….as an unelected Tory peer to tell Scotland to stay in it’s BOX and to SHUT UP).

    Yes politically the UK at WM is most definitely both a pantomime and a circus …..with evil villains and clowns ruling the roost……with performance art being performed by Michael Gove, slapstick by Nadine Dorries , Michael Fabricant and Dominic Raab and the minor insignificant BIT parts played courtesy of Scottish (INO) Tories as the ‘Extras’ who themselves are then supported by both Scottish (INO) Labour and LIb Dems at WM ……what a absolute blo*dy farce it all is.

    • Let’ hope that somebody on the panel or in the audience challenges this Freeeloader’s right to a public platform to tell us what he’ll let or prohibit the electorate and their democratically elected representatives to do.
      He’s Lord of The Realm. Bow Dorn Before Your Imperial Master.
      The BBC Lickspittles at Plantation Quay know what side they’re on, and it’s not the people of Scotland.
      I would laugh in any man’s face if he introduced himself to me as ‘Lord’ Such ‘n’ Such.

      It is the 21st Century for fuck’s sake.
      Scotland is a democracy, not a private grouse moor.

      • JoMax says:

        A quick check of Companies House website reveals that he has held no less than 76 appointments as Director etc, including No Borders Campaign in 2014. Busy wee man. What does he do for a living? Most of the companies he has been involved with are registered in England, of course. They are laughing at us and they know it. Britain is a mess and a disgrace.

      • Golfnut says:

        At last, English MP’s told to their faces at the very heart of their parliament that their so called sovereignty is not recognised by Scots Constitutional law, the beginning of the removal of consent. Not long now Jack.

    • Movy says:

      That’s a very interesting take on Gove’s performance.
      What I saw was a deeply unpleasant bully who uses faux politeness supplemented by funny faces and mockery to counteract perfectly reasonable, legitimate and serious questions for which he has no answers.
      For anyone to act like this would be unacceptable; fot a Minster of the Crown it was way, way beyond the pale.
      Whether he was “on something” I leave others to judge.
      He needs gone.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Sorry I meant “with performance (f)art”

  6. I don’t think this (below) is outwith the bounds of possibility. The ‘make Britain great again’ mob in charge are corrupt criminals threatening to break in international law; something Putin would be really pleased with, as he could then just point to the UK and say ‘but it’s ok – look’. But I know what would happen if Britain did try this; they’d get whupped, just as they did every time they tried to take on the natives. British Tory imperialists are not exactly famed for their bravery. Only took a few potato farmers with rifles to kick the ‘mighty’ (not) British army out of Ireland.

    Now don’t get me wrong; England produces some fine brave men who have stood shoulder to shoulder with Scots and Irish e.g. fighting the Nazis. These are just not Tories. Tories are cowards by nature. It’s why they e.g. feel the need to demonstrate their supposed bravery by getting photographed on tanks etc. Really brave people are just quietly so, and don’t want to go taking over other people’s little homelands like Ireland, Scotland or the Chagos islands. You are seeing real bravery in Ukraine and real cowardly bullies on the Russian side right now.

    The refusal of section 30 says ‘England is a cowardly nation too scared to stand on its own too feet’. Ask people from other countries. It hardly looks brave does it? Big England is terrified of not being subsidised by Scotland is what it says and what the world thinks. How could they not? It’s no different to cowardly China and Hong Kong. The UK government shames the decent folk of England.

    QUB professor ponders if Britain will invade Ireland should Sinn Fein sweep to power

    A Queen’s University professor has suggested that Britain may try to claim back the entire island of Ireland in the event of Sinn Féin leading government in both Belfast and Dublin.
    In an opinion piece published by RTE, Prof Cathal McCall, who teaches European politics and borders at Queen’s, said some Tories still believe Ireland “belongs to Britain”.

    I doubt they’d make it up the beach before they crapped it and ran away. If you are not wanted, you’ll be kicked out. Once the Irish had decided they’d had enough, the entire imperial army would not have been able to put them down. I said that about Ukraine and Russia and it’s proven true. One side is brave, the other side cowardly bullies and so losing, no matter how much they might brag about their strength.

    Boris and Putin are cut from the same cloth. Weak, feeble little men who lead from as far back as possible while telling everyone how heroic and statesman like they are. When they lose, it’s toys oot the pram.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Before the Brexit referendum Theresa May offed Leo Varadkar 50 seats in the House of Commons if he’d persuade Ireland to rejoin the UK

      We don’t know what his exact words were when he declined this gracious offer but I bet they sounded Russian-ov

      • JoMax says:

        To ‘rejoin the UK’ as a what, you have to wonder. A region? On a par with Lincolnshire, maybe. Then would follow some sort of Barnett formula and the barrage of “We are subsidising the Irish to the tune of £15 billion ….. blah, blah, blah”. Thankfully, the Irish aren’t that daft. Would that the Scots wouldn’t be sae daft either.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        @ Dr Jim @ 6.53pm

        I didn’t know that…terrible…and desperate.

    • Golfnut says:

      Jeez, what planet do you have to live on to come up with that sort of nonsense. Ireland is part of the EU, the EU has a mutual defence Treaty.

  7. There’s no new news in Plantation Quay. Ferry fiasco, ambulances waiting 80 minutes to drop off patients , the FAI unlawful death enquiry, the Post Office Horizon IT scandal (on Brown’s waych) and sellik winning the league…the headlines were enough for this licence payer…
    What a grubby wee outfit.
    Scotland is a country kept in the dark by the Oligarchy and their pair harbingers of doom.

  8. Dr Jim says:

    Tory Minister of state for Business Energy and clean growth Greg Hands tells a Holyrood committee that *energy poverty* is devolved and if the Scottish government wasn’t so opposed to nuclear Scotland wouldn’t have a problem, there’s a ton of things everybody could say about this guy and his statements of outright ludicrous lies ……but

    The clue is in his job description

  9. Dr Jim says:

    Now that all the numbers are in counted weighed up and analysed it appears that Labour under Anas Sarwars leadership scored the second worst defeat in history, folk didn’t notice it looked so bad because the total collapse of DRoss’s Tories was even worse

    Actually Labour in Scotland was at it’s highest ever poll ratings when they had no elected leader at all and MSP Alex Rowley (remember him?) was deputy Labour spokesperson prior to the imposition by Jeremy Corbyn of the new leader Robert Lunkpole who continued to oversee the downward slide until the present day where under Sarwars leadership that proud new tradition of speeding up the death of Labour has accelerated at pace once again

  10. Col says:

    Oh well it’s all lookin good for the big vote next year. After that we won’t need to worry about what Dross thinks about Boris.

  11. yesindyref2 says:

    OK, excellent article from James Kelly, about the dud SiU Survation poll.

    And hey, I don’t think it mentioned Alba even once! It would be good to see JK back on track with his keen brain, perhaps he can split his blog into “General” and “Alba” stuff 🙂

  12. Stephen McKenzie says:

    Paul, I do think this simple line in your posting says so much “This so-called union is so weak and fragile that it can be threatened by a poem”

    But all will be well and settled with the “Awesome Foursome” during the Jubilee Street Parties. I mean you are all going to attend one surely. Oh cummon! Don’t tell me that BBC Scotland will have to make up stirring stories of love and affection for the Royal Family or even the Corgis.

  13. Alex Clark says:

    Tory MP who says he runs a food bank won’t provide anyone with parcels unless they sign up to his budget and cookery courses. Claims that people that use them “can’t cook a meal from scratch” and “cannot budget” and that he can show them how to make a nutritious meal for 20p/day.

    Turns out that he claimed £220,000 last year in expenses.

    • Alex Clark says:

      That should be 30p/day.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Toe raht tha nos, and a’ll bet ee sends his littleuns oop chimnees befoh they gets them dinners

        Oo aye bah goom

        In the finest Tory tradition that man eh

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at six o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of ‘ot gravel, work twenty hour day at mill for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!

          • You had a home. you Saft southerner?
            We lived in a shoebox, an’ there were seventeen of us…

            This idiot actually boasted that in the world’s 5th largest economy, he is ok with millions of his fellow citizens eating a 20p meal?
            What a fecking selfish self centred fool.
            The Tory way; we rule, you grovel and dance to our tune for scraps of food.
            They are actually proud that they have produced an Underclass millions strong, who are on the breadline, because they don’t know how to cook?
            Recipe of the day:

            First remove the tongues from your pit boots; place them in a pot of boiling water, for stock, then add dandelion and dock leaves, crumble dried mildew from kitchen wall into the mix, and potato peelings filched from the bins in the service lane behind the Grand Hotel, add salt and pepper from wee sachets knocked off from McDonalds, and hey presto, a scrumptious soup fit for a pauper.
            England will be in flames if there is a prolonged heatwave this summer.

            They are heartless unfeeling fascists. They shall reap what they sow.

            • Alex Clark says:

              It costs me 25p in electricity to cook a Pizza in the small oven (grill) for 12 minutes after allowing it to warm up so I hope your soup doesn’t take too long on the ring and totally blow the budget!

              • An oversight in my menu, Alex.
                You need to build a firepit in a piece of wasteground adjacent to your shoebox or tent, or Zanussi fridge cardboard box, and break up any piece of furniture you can filch from the local Recycle Centre, and burn the kindling to boil my ‘quirky’ Soup De Jour.

                Let them eat sh1t seems to be the Tory message?

                Perhaps Lenny Henry and the BBC could organise a Red Nose Day for the ingrates who have never bothered to learn to cook, and as a consequence millions of England’s citizens are starving falling ill, and ultimately dying prematurely.
                God give me strength.

    • Drew Anderson says:

      “…a (singular) meal for 30p/day…”

      Properly balanced with enough daily calories (2k+) for an adult? Ah hae ma doots!

      Somebody needs to call this cockwomble’s bluff. Full costings and nutritional and calorific analysis.

  14. Hamish100 says:

    It seems the English Attorney has agreed to remove parts of the NI protocol.
    It seems if you don’t win elections you have the power.
    A dangerous game being played with Irish lives.

    • Golfnut says:

      Parliament doesn’t have the power to remove or alter parts of a treaty so I’m pretty sure the attorney General knows she can’t. I think we can label this announcement as incitement.

  15. bringiton says:

    The Tories need a bogey man to keep the plebs distracted from the mess they are making of things.
    A trade war would allow them to blame the EU for the shambles of Brexit and the impossible situation which it has created in NI.

  16. Dr Jim says:

    The DUP have some weird notion that the Tories in England see them as British allies but what the DUP will never understand is that as long as the English Tories have a majority in England the DUP are just back to being bog trotting Irish the same way the Tories think about all Irish and us sweaty sock Jocks and the Taffs in Wales, that’s why the Republic of Ireland is a Republic and will never again be ruled by England, because the English government are nasty liars, always have been and always will be

    None of our countries gets a say in anything that goes on in England, it’s been organised that way for hundreds of years, because if Scotland for example had its own immigration control we might have had a population of around 40 million by now, and if voting patterns remained the same the SNP would surely be the government of the UK if we really were a United Kingdom

    Does anyone in their right mind think England would’ve ever allowed such a thing to happen

    Debate night on the BBC sees us suffering again with the BBCs version of even handed broadcasting and an audience of, well I’m sorry to say what seemed like hand picked walk offs, that’s the folk who were stood in line to collect their brains before they were born but just walked off before they got them

    SNP MP John Nicolson details how Scotlands votes don’t count in general election towards selecting a UK government and haven’t counted for the last 58 years and before that only once yet the audience sits there complete with blank faced lack of understanding of what they just heard

    A little while later the Tory Lord Malcolm Offord who nobody elected to office anywhere but was placed into government by PM Johnson to help make rules over Scotland tells the blank faced audience that England hands over £25 billion per year to Scotland over and above all the taxes raised in Scotland because that’s the union bonus of our loving neighbours England

    Deafening silence, not a peep, nada nobody utters a stutter and the blank faceless folk in the audience say we’ve got to stop blaming Westminster for everything, just like Anas Sarwar has trained them to say because he says it 50 times a day like an advert for Cadburys milk chocolate

    I’ve wanted and waited for independence for Scotland for more than most of that audience have been alive but you know what, maybe Scotland just doesn’t deserve the right to have any choices over its future if the level of intelligence is to believe that the SNP need to make Scotland perfect before they ask voters for their vote to leave England in its mess, and you know what Scotlands voters might do when Scotland miraculously became perfect without all the power to achieve that? those same voters would probably say well what’s the point of leaving England now when everything’s just fine and dandy

    If Scotlands voters want to turn up on television making fools of themselves for the benefit of the BBC better together union stitch up then hell mend them for their own inability to inform themselves
    before opening their ill informed mouths and embarrassing us all, this was worse than watching an episode of Gogglebox who are actually the people who do decide what’s best for Scotland because that country of England has a ten votes to one chance of getting what they vote for, in Scotland we have zip

    When England votes for a big rainbow coloured monkey for their government and Prime Minister, remember Scotland gets that too, so hell mend the lot of these walk offs, they’ll get what they deserve

    The problem is so will the rest of us, because that lot seem to learn nothing

    • Alex Clark says:

      The vast majority of the audience picked for that show do not support Independence so they do not want to believe that we would be better off as an Independent country. A more balanced audience might have given a totally different impression than the one you present.

      I never saw the program and that could be wishful thinking but I hope not.

    • barpe says:

      Completely agree Dr Jim, I watched that ‘Debate’ programme and was almost vomitting!
      The audience ‘plants’ were more obvious than usual, and the general air of being zombies was prevalent.
      I’m afraid Nicholson had a few ‘openings’ that he missed regarding Offord’s funding claims, and seemed to lack any fire in his belly regarding Indy (is he too comfortable in Wastemonster??).
      The ‘host’ Jardine always looks so satisfied when he throws some question at any SNP guest, if he is neutral then I’m a bloody Tory!!
      We knew it was going to get worse at the BBC as soon as we were in the run-up to another Indy campaign, but I dread to think of the levels of propaganda they are now planning.

  17. Golfnut says:

    Maybe the bbc could nip down to his foodbank and do a report on how you provide a nutritious meal for 30p. Such a revelation is just begging for a new series of great british something or other to rival master chef.

  18. Golfnut says:

    I wonder how much the food guru is claiming for gas and electricity.

  19. Dr Jim says:

    Today I’ll be off out to my local greengrocers (lovely man) for some fresh veg, then I shall be popping round to my fishmonger (also a lovely gent) for a nice piece of smoked salmon to go with my croutes, then stroll along to my lovely local butchers shop for a couple of nice pieces of lamb to go with my organic potatoes and asparagus for lunch

    As we’re having guests over tonight cooking is always on the go in Mrs Dr Jims kitchen, where of course I’m banned from entering when we are about to enjoy an evening of conviviality and good food, I think for dessert we may be having Victoria sponge done in pavlova style with always always plenty for all

    I’m finishing off my breakfast at the moment which in our house is quite often a satisfyingly good crispy munch of grilled buttered toast layered with ham and cheese, gruyere of course, what else, then a layer of bechamel sauce generously splodged all over, then swiftly popped back under the grill for two minutes covered in cheddar crumbles for a proper toasty and hearty breakfast

    Mrs Dr Jim of course looks and sounds exactly like Nigella Lawson and is able to cook like this because our local food bank taught her many years ago when we were rather well off on 30p per day, now she performs those miracles of culinary delight on 8p per day while I browse through my Daily Telegraph looking at the important issues of the day contemplating my inexhaustive state pension income of less than the amount of the of cost of Andrew Bowie’s tie

    Oh, and I must swing by our local dairy to see what lovely lovely things he has for me this week

    Thank the Lord for Englands voters deciding our lives for us, what would we do without them

    • Dr Jim says:

      I forgot to mention, yesterdays dinner in my house was a piece n smoky bacon crisps

      We.e.ll you don’t have to eat *every* day

    • Alex Clark says:

      Brilliant Dr Jim, had me laughing.

  20. I think we can be fairly confident that England isn’t going to dump the protocol, but its government is most likely playing for the brexit gallery to distract from domestic failings. A least I hope it’s not gone that rogue.

    The problem is that pressure will be applied by the international community to get Stormont back up and running again. The minority British community in the province cannot be allowed to hold democracy to ransom with threats of violence. We should never give in to British pro-English government terrorists. They tried to block peace in the form of the GFA before and they are back at it again.

    I expect US / UN special envoys are a real possibility. We may even see moves to reform the power sharing agreement to prevent parties being able to abuse a peace deal to further an agenda that has just been overwhelmingly rejected by the electorate at the ballot box.

    Of course that may have the British bombing Irish people and border posts. However, that will rapidly hasten reunification and Scottish independence, so they’d be stupid to go down that route.

    When the IRA were bombing at the same time, it was easy for the media to just talk about that and keep quiet about the far larger number of (largely Irish) civilians being killed by the British. But if it’s just the British doing the bombing, that can’t be swept under the carpet.

  21. Dr Jim says:

    News just in, Met police issued over 100 fines to Downing street apparently before and during the elections

    Cats and Pigeons

  22. Hamish100 says:

    Rewriting history again. Not good.

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