Stephen Kerr’s permapoplexy

Holyrood’s resident gammonista gum-bumper has been at it again. Scottish Tory list MSP Stephen Kerr, a B-movie version of a James Bond baddie, is one of those middle class right wing British nationalist heterosexual white men who are convinced that the world is eager for their hot takes on all and every topic on account of the fact that they are middle class right wing British nationalist heterosexual white men, who as everyone who reads the Daily Mail knows, are the most marginalised and oppressed people on the face of the planet.

Kerr, who is currently suffering from a fit of apoplexy because Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives addressed Nicola Sturgeon as madame First Minister, has been taking twitter lessons from Donald Trump, although to be honest apoplexy is Kerr’s base state, he suffers from permapoplexy, and makes the rest of us suffer for it by vomiting his ill-informed bile all over Twitter.

Yesterday Kerr took to Twitter to opined that the SNP want to “Join the EU, but not the EURO. Join NATO, but reject Nuclear Weaponry,” adding, “The SNP really don’t get it, do they? These aren’t just clubs for all-comers where you can pick and choose what you get.”

Talk about weapons, and there he is, the Scottish Conservative Holyrood whip. Before we get into the substance of how Kerr is wrong yet again, it is worthwhile to note that Kerr’s comments are a bit rich and ever so slightly lacking in self awareness, coming as they do from a member of a party which on the very same day announced that it intends to pick and choose which parts of an international treaty it wants to abide by.

Obviously Kerr doesn’t understand how international institutions and the EU in particular actually work, but then that’s scarcely surprising because neither does anyone else in the Conservative party and certainly not in the Conservative government in Westminster, which operates on the assumption that the EU is a vile plot to do Britain down. The British Government is currently expressing its shock and surprise that the EU is implementing the provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol which guarantee the integrity of the European Single Market. The British Government appears to have operated on the principle that the EU would just ignore those parts of the protocol that the Conservatives and their partners in slime the DUP didn’t like.

You might think that someone who imagines himself to be a serious politician ought to have familiarised himself with the basic facts before taking to social media and unwittingly revealing himself to be god’s gift to the cause of Scottish independence, but a mere trifle like fact checking cannot be allowed to get between Kerr and a potential approving mention in the Daily Express.

Kerr’s claims have already been debunked by independence campaigners, yet opponents of Scottish independence keep repeating them because they have a religious belief that Scotland is utterly dependent on the Westminster Parliament, completely incapable of achieving anything on its own merits, and that without the UK Scotland would be alone and friendless in a hostile world. It’s the sadly familiar “you’d have nothing without me cry” of the spurned lover. It’s a belief system which is impervious to mere facts or reality. It’s like trying to explain evolution to a creationist who can’t understand how human beings can be descended from “the monkeys” when monkeys still exist.

However given the state of the media in a Scotland where the overwhelmingly anti-independence press and the BBC are all to happy to amplify the faith-based misinformation of British nationalists like Kerr, it is imperative that those of us who seek Scottish independence do not cease to publicise accurate information, no matter how frustrating or dispiriting it may be to have to keep on repeating the same thing time after time.

So once more with feeling. Joining the EU does not automatically mean joining the Eurozone, or the Schengen area for that matter. Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden are all EU members but do not use the Euro. Denmark, like the UK when it was a member of the EU, has an opt out. All the others must in theory enter the Eurozone after meeting certain criteria. The key term here is “in theory.” All EU countries have the right to put off making any effort to meet the Eurozone criteria for any reason and for as long as they like, and thereby indefinitely postpone their adoption of the euro. Crucially, the EU has no means of forcing any member state to meet the criteria and has no mechanisms for sanctioning any member state which declines to make any effort to meet the relevant criteria.

The Czech Republic has stated that it has no plans to adopt the Euro despite not having a formal opt out from the common currency. Referring to the fact that it is entirely up to a member state to decide if and when it moves towards meeting the necessary criteria for adopting the Euro, in 2014 the Czech Prime Minister noted that there was no need for a formal opt out, saying : “No one can force us into joining the euro… We have a de facto opt-out.”

As far as an independent Scotland is concerned, before it could even consider adopting the Euro it would first have to have its own Scottish currency, and for this to be in place for some years before any moves to adopting the euro could be made, and even then the timing and implementation of those moves would be entirely up to the Scottish Government to decide. But of course what Kerr really has a conceptual problem with is the notion that it could possibly be up to Scotland to decide anything. The idea that Scotland could have agency is alien to the Conservative British nationalist mindset.

Although I am not personally in favour of NATO membership for an independent Scotland, this blog has already explained on a number of occasions why insisting on the removal of Trident from the Clyde is not the automatic barrier to NATO membership for an independent Scotland that Kerr and his fellow British nationalists would have us believe it is, most recently in March this year. In order to save me from rehashing those arguments all over again, here is a link to that piece here :

An SNP spokesperson said: “Stephen Kerr is either deliberately spreading false information or simply displaying his own ignorance of the facts. The euro isn’t used by every EU country and the vast majority of Nato members don’t possess or host nuclear weapons.”

But the reason that Kerr keeps doing it is because for the most part the media in Scotland lets him and his fellow British nationalist scare mongers get away with it. We can be certain that as Scotland moves towards another independence referendum,independence supporters will still keep having to debunk the British nationalist scare stories that refuse to die.

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77 comments on “Stephen Kerr’s permapoplexy

  1. Craig Fraser says:

    In quantum mechanics, Schrödingers Johnson is a thought experiment that illustrates a paradox in quantum superposition in the thought experiment a hypothetical Johnson may be considered simultaneously to have lied & told the truth at the same time. Liz & Nadine passed out

  2. Very helpful as always.

  3. Excellent, as usual, Paul.
    Our First Minister delivered a cerebral clear presentation to American audiences on Scotland’s position on taking forward our country’s role in solving the climate emergency, and the range of green energy solutions which we have introduced, are introducing, and shall be introducing to contribute towards global zero emission targets.

    She covered everything. Not least the smooth transition from fossil fuels to wind wave hydrogen technology, but also how we shall provide high wage high skilled jobs for oil and gas workers as we make the transition.

    She recalled the 1980’s when Scotland’s industries were shut down by Big Money, with no regard to the hundreds of thousands dumped on the scrap heap.

    This, she asserted would not be allowed to happen, when we move from fossil to green energy.
    She condemned Putin, and argued that the war had accelerated plans to cut the world’s reliance on fossil, and even mused that Scotland would become a major exporter of hydrogen to Europe.

    She was treated with the respect due to the leader of any country, and, as usual, made an impression on her US hosts.

    Scotland on the world map, a progressive modern, forward looking democracy.
    Hence, Glenn Campbell, who these days is like a damp stain on the ceiling, we can never get rid of him, bangs on about NATO and nuclear weapons..they even had a wee quote from Douglas Ross mouthing the same nonsense as that dolt Kerr, which Paul magnificently debunks here.

    North Korea Winston Smith Memory Hole smothering of actual Scottish news and facts by this miserable little Lord Haw Haw..

    More than half of BBC Jock Stockade’s viewers voted for independence parties, and pay the English TV Tax.

    Muriel Gray is doing her Master’s bidding.
    Not educating, not informing, and certainly not entertaining.
    I expect her series on Bagging Monros will be aired soon.

    Murdo Fraser, who has been rejected 8 times by Scots voters over the past twenty years, but still manages to get a Job For The Boys golden List ticket to sit in Holyrood, is filmed in Seville, playing hooky.
    Will Dross dock his wages and tell him that he has been a naughty naughty boy?

    Of course he won’t.

    All those butcher’s aprons fluttering in a foreign field that is forever England?
    He’s flying the flag..England’s flag.
    His ‘chums’ in the Blahs will have his face plastered everywhere if Ra Gerrs win World Wat III tonight.

  4. James Mills says:

    Stephen Kerr is likely to self-combust sometime soon in the Holyrood chamber such is his level of apoplexy at each and every utterance by The First Minister .

    I look forward to purchasing the video !

  5. Aye Paul, it’s so amusing watching apoplectic range at the FM being welcomed to by senior US politicians like a independent country’s leader in waiting.

    As for Kerr and assorted nut-jobs on the nuclear topic…. Scottish indy doesn’t prevent England having it’s willy extension nukes. They’re on submarines, not land anyway. It’s just servicing that’s done on land.

    Once a yes vote is declared, there will he a decent few years of detachment; plenty of time for England to build a wee base somewhere else.

    But the idea of NATO demanding wee Scotland have a nuclear deterrent before joining is comical.

    Given the biggest military / democratic threat to Scotland is England (it’s not Russia saying Scots voting is illegal), I’m not sure we really need to be in NATO. However, given what Russia has just been up to, I’m more sympathetic to membership. The main thing would be for that Scots support joining.

  6. bewarethejabberwok says:

    I note The National’s write up on Kerr “Stephen Kerr criticised over claims on Scotland’s EU and Nato chances” ~ 17/5/2022 contained this ….
    “The spat kicked off when the Conservative chief whip insisted Nicola Sturgeon’s party could not “pick and choose” what requirements Scotland would meet if it applied for membership of the EU and Nato after independence.”
    On posting this to the pro-SNP/Indy site I Admin I added …
    “Nice of him to acknowledge that Scotland IS going to become Independent 😉🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿”
    Great blog as ever Paul, I love your acid wit

  7. keaton says:

    I wish these SNP spokespeople would highlight the precedent of Spain when responding to the NATO stuff. Just saying “other NATO countries don’t have nukes” makes it look like they don’t have an answer to the point that actively removing the WMD could be a barrier to entry.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I feel your frustration. I have been banging on about the Spanish removal of American nukes – and then going on to join NATO – literally for years.

    • The Spanish example is a good one.

      Like Spain, Scotland doesn’t have any nukes to remove. They belong to the rUK/England (minus our 8.4% of their value).

      England/the rUK would be removing them from Scotland, e.g. to Devonport. Unless it leaves them to us to sell on ebay.

      It’s not as if you need mountains and lochs or something. The US navy does it’s stuff here:

      Moving them is really no problem. Not in the medium to longer terms. I’d like so see them gone asap, but I’m realistic that might take a wee while. In the meantime, we can charge a healthy rent.

  8. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Stephen Kerr is doing what he and all other Scottish (INO) Tories are there to do as politicians (In Title Only)….that is to deflect attention away from Tory HQ and project….like HQ they spout lies, misinformation, spew fake accusations and also try in vain to throw the Kitchen sink too at the Scottish government and independence….

    Stephen Kerr rejected in 2019 GE and ousted as a Tory MP in Stirling (He originally won the seat in 2017 by a measly148 votes)…..he then gets onto the top of the Tory list candidates for Holyrood election 2021 in area he stood in and got in on the list…..says it all really…..fortunately for us non Tories his overall aggressive demeanour is clearly evident in the manner with which he conducts himself in both parliament and on Twitter… he is , as a politician (In Title Only), not one that the public via a majority find endearing…..or it seems NOW wish to vote for via a majority…..

    He and his colleagues are floundering….they are drowning in Tory scandals and bad governance via Tory HQ …obviously their branch manager is of little help to them as he is now regarded as
    a weak lightweight whose overall indecision and reasons used for his flip flop on Boris Johnson has seen him widely ridiculed (deservedly so) ….and going by their poor council elections results well the prominent presence in their campaign in Scotland was one Baroness Davidson…well obviously she is not what the media (falsely) promoted her to be i.e. popular……at last the myth is busted and the actual truth is out on her (non) so called appeal/popularity/success as trumpeted by the devious MSM……Dross was obviously seen as a liability so he took a back seat….but the tactic of deploying Baroness Tank Commander was no asset to their campaign either……lovely….at last sanity and truth prevails ….Scottish public 1- MSM 0…..und Tories lose again…..obvs.

    Basically they, Tories, rely on the votes/support from the fanatics, the clueless and also those with vested interests in Scotland’s land and other areas open to exploitation…..hence why they, as a Tory branch office, will never be THE government at Holyrood……Thank God for at least there is SOME sanity in that fact ………all is not lost…here in Scotland anyway.

    If Stephen Kerr is representative of a Tory politician (In Title Only) that the Tories found to be an acceptable candidate then I for one would never ever EVER want to see the ones who were rejected that were up against him to win the candidacy……they must be characters akin to those found in Tales From The Crypt…..mind you he himself would fit in very very well there too…..

    Stephen Kerr is an MSP…now that IS an oxymoron if ever there was one.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Stephen Kerr is an MSP…now that IS an oxymoron if ever there was one.


      Drop the ‘oxy’, in his case, MMRN. He already is an oxygen thief, in any case.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:


        I hope that one of the M’s you put in your comment i.e. MMRN….does not also stand for Moron….Lol

        Have a nice evening


        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          I was trying to show my approval of you, NMRN, (That is, MMMNMRN ,,,)

          Believe that, and you also believed Broon’s vow … 😉

    • Alan D says:

      They probably had better candidates who were rejected, rather than choosing the best candidates available to them. The thing you have to remember is that Baroness Davidson had the final say on who became Tory list candidates in 2016 and she had an interest then in ensuring none of them would ever become a threat to her. Now that self-interest has flipped; she needs the very best candidates to save her position(the question of what happens to Scottish peers in the Lords after Indy is very much open).

      The jury’s still out on some of their 2021 intake.

  9. The key word here is ‘faith’. Many unionists are determined to stand firm in their loyalty to another country no matter how much evidence they are buffeted with.

    • Those people are not unionists, they are British nationalists. Britain is their country.

      ~75% of Scots are Scottish, made up of 50% pro-indy and 25% ‘Scottish unionists’ of varying. They are not in principle against indy, just not sure it’s wise. They voted Yes in 1997.

      British nationalists are opposed devolution by contrast as for them, Scotland is a region of Britain like Yorkshire.

    • grizebard says:

      There are some like that, but they are not anywhere near a majority. Most indy doubters just stick by default to the supposedly familiar status quo, but once they begin to feel that a sea change is underway, not least one that promises them a personal better future, they can very quickly change their minds.

      We’re on the very cusp of that now, which is why the likes of Kerr, the BBC and the Unionist media are in constant propaganda mode these days. They’re getting more and more desperate to suppress the popular realisation that this Union is rotten, failing, and chronically unable to offer most people here a decent future.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      I agree Gregor…and their “faith and loyalty” is very much misplaced though….also a lot of them don’t do “evidence”….and according to them opinions are more trustworthy than facts…but only those opinions that THEY support and agree with and THE actual facts presented by those ‘others’ that they do not support or agree with well they are classed under fake news… falsehoods….lies….etc etc

      I mean no matter how much you try to spell it out to some people….or let them read it in black and white….even hearing it straight from the Horse’s mouth (usually Boris’s lying mouth)…

      STILL….some dispute it and continue to bat for the (clearly) wrong side…….time and time again.

      I mean when you read SOME of the tweets on twitter you actually wonder how the planet has survived thus far when there seems so many unwilling or unable to evolve …….trust me we are ALL so in the Sh*t if Aliens decide to invade Earth …..

      TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER…..Which one ?

      Sorry going a wee bit mad….can you blame me !!!

      Have a nice day


  10. Dr Jim says:

    Without even getting into the semantics of whether anyone supports nuclear weapons or not the British themselves have admitted that having them presents the possessor as a target for others who possess them
    As we’ve seen with Ukraine, nuclear weapons are not in any way a deterrent to war, they are in fact a deterrent to peace given Mr Puitns threat to the west if they interfere in his endeavours, so having such weapons in Scotland and given their proximity to the area of largest population and size of Scotlands population, attacks on Scotland with nuclear weapons would be totally devastating to Scotlands population and possibly non recoverable

    That’s the sole reason why nuclear weapons were originally located in Scotland

    England has immense kickback by their population over locating Wind farms for goodness sake, can you imagine the English government trying to sell the English on sticking nuclear weapons in their own back gardens when they go Nimby nuts over a windmill

    I was amused at the efforts of the BBC Scotland news renaming them Scotlands nuclear weapons though

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      “I was amused at the efforts of the BBC Scotland news renaming them Scotland’s nuclear weapons though”

      Aye a bit like renaming the Oil as “Scotland’s Oil”… justify UK Govt plundering it even more….but only , according to DRoss, for the JOBS as he was worried about workers retaining jobs (he wisnae really) which was what prompted him to stick his (unwanted) branch office nose in on behalf of his masters at HQ who DECIDED to keep bleeding the oil fields dry…for THEIR benefit in THEIR UK…not for ours……

    • keaton says:

      Basing Trident in or near London always made the most sense to me. In any nuclear war London will be annihilated anyway, so why make two places a target rather than one?

  11. yesindyref2 says:

    Timely article. And here’s one from the BBC (no, what? really?) For the moment this is the important bit:

    Defence and security is among the prickliest topics in the continuing debate over Scottish independence and would likely be a defining issue in any future referendum campaign.

    But it’s a reasonable article, probably forced by complaints about the partisan lack of coverage of an important event – Sturgeon going to the US in 2022 before a Referendum in 2023, similar in timescale to Salmond going to the US in 2013. I suspect the US will bring gentle pressure for the democratic holding of iRef2, when it comes to the crunch.

    The SNP have shown they’ll be reasonable about the flitting – relocation – of Trident to somewhere in the rUK – probably Devonport or Devonport + Falmouth, in a sensible timeframe which would be LESS now than 10 years after the YES vote, probably more like 7. Personally I’d give them the full contingency of the extra 3 years to make it 10. They’d be going, what’s another 3 years? I say that as someone who lives and has lived, on the Clyde.

    In return, the rUK gets to finish its shipbuilding and repair work such as the 10 year carriers contract in Scotland, and perhaps as partner memebrs of NATO, go on for longer. But that would be up to future iScotland Governments.

    Meanwhile, to repeat the obvious, as indeed several opponents of Sturgeon have said, the SNP are the de facto leaders of the Independence Movement, and Sturgeon is the de facto leader of both.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Glenn Campbell doubtless got the same memo from Tory HQ as Kerr, IR2…
      I don’t happen to agree Mr “In my opinion….”‘s article is reasonable at all, he is seeking to exploit the SNP’s history and the current politically different perspectives of the Greens and SNP by way of promoting yet another “divisive issue”.

      I have little doubt the vast majority of Scotland’s public would support removing this abomination from Scotland, that was only further reinforced by the Ukraine war when Putin used them in a game of chicken, ‘Let me win or we all die’.

  12. yesindyref2 says:

    OK. Comparing IR2 to IR1 is incredibly funny. From January 2012 you get:

    The end of the phoney war” with similar from, for instance, Lesley Riddoch in the Grun in April 2012.

    Now you get Adam Tomkins, in his article in the Herald about YES would win IR2 but it’ll never happen saying, yes, you’re right:

    NOW the dust has settled on the local government election results we are about to enter the phoney war of independence and indyref2.“.

    So yeah, history repeats itself except:

    1). It was Salmond decided to wait till 2014 for the Referendum, to allow time for a non-mainstream concept to hit the mainstrame. That long time won’t be needed this time around.

    2). YES starts at 49%, rather than 25%.

    At that rate it will be YES 98% in 2023 🙂

  13. Bob Lamont says:

    A belter of an article Paul, Juan’s permaraging is undoubtedly a complete turnoff to the public, but Kerr doesn’t have to care does he, it’s not as if he’s elected, he still makes a living ?

    Yet what Juan has single handedly achieved in his brief career in Holyrood is to highlight the flaws of the electoral system which put him there in the first place.

    ‘There’s been a Murdo’ was previously the only intermittent sign of Tory failure to engage the public in deliberations in the Scottish Parliament, Juan amplified that tenfold and exposed Tory, Labour, and ACH-to-be-fair-LD antics in Parliament as a creche with dummies being spat out, rather than a place where the electorate could see grown adults sensibly conduct an honest debate on the issues. It’s become a game show, not Parliament, as has Westminster.

    This was no better exposed than in one of the FM’s comments in discussion following the Brooking’s speech (that which the Tories/BBC-Scotland conspired to obscure) where she said “On climate change, the public are way ahead of the politicians”.

    THAT in a nutshell is why Independence is essential.

  14. Dr Jim says:

    Tories claim Murdo Frasers attendance at the football match in Seville is representing Scotland, while FM Nicola Sturgeons visit to Washington DC was an unimportant freebie jolly on the Scottish tax payer

    You can make it up, and they do

    • Capella says:

      Has he claimed expenses?

    • Isn’t he representing Britain? From the flags, it seems that’s the country rangers fans are primarily representing. That and…

      Rangers fans target Scots singer Iona Fyfe with abusive messages on Twitter

      Rangers fans have inundated a Scots singer with ‘hateful, degrading, sexist, and, at times, racist’ messages on social media.

      She has now called on the football club to take action over the social media abuse…

      …“For years and years, speaking Scots and singing in Scots has warranted loads of abuse from folk who usually have a Union Jack or Rangers logo,” she explained.

      “I find Scotland has become so polarised that any sort of Scottish culture, whether that be singing, or poetry, or speaking Scots, folk are terrified by it.

      “People don’t like the language. They are terrified of Gaelic and Scots speakers because it shows it is different from English. So, for as long as I’ve sung and promoted my work on social media, I’ve had this sort of harassment and hate.

      I think we can conclude that anyone throwing such abuse at Scots speakers isn’t Scottish, but British (or English). At least in Scotland. Rangers fans celebrate Scots as part of ‘their culture’ in NI. They are a confused lot the British nationalists. Hate the English too it seems; hence trashing Manchester in 2008.

    • grizebard says:

      Nicely put.

      The Tories keep trying that hoary old trick: “heads I win, tails you lose”. But oddly, the media don’t ever seem to notice. Funny that.

  15. Capella says:

    Great post Paul. I agree that getting the message out there is the most challenging task of independence supporters given the massed ranks of the MSM ranged against us. We see every day how ferocious and all pervasive their propaganda is. We will be drowned in a tsunami of disinformation from the minute the campaign gets underway.

    Personally, I wouldn’t believe anything the BBC or MSM tell me without checking it out myself, from websites and journalists I trust. I’m glad to see Prof Robertson’s site up and running and posting excellent articles like stewartb’s on the subject of NATO membership.

    I regard NATO as a dangerous organisation – the military extension of American foreign policy – it defies international law and UN treaties at will. Liz Truss’ recent assertion that NATO should be extended globally to cover the Pacific and thus threaten China is absolutely typical of the lack of diplomacy at the heart of the Westminster government. If they can’t bully they are at a complete loss for a means of co-existing with other countries. None of us voted for that.

    • grizebard says:

      Well, you evidently have a theoretical notion of NATO that doesn’t chime with the practical one of the vast majority of ordinary people who are unfortunate enough to share a border with Russia, and it’s their necks on the line, not yours. I would say that NATO in fact has behaved incredibly responsibly over Putin-Russia’s reckless trashing of the security norms of the last 70-odd years, mindful of its responsibilities to the point that more robust and timely support of Ukraine might actually have deterred Putin from his dangerous and brutally cruel adventurism in the first place.

      As for Liz Truss, I find it hard to believe that you can suddenly credit her utterings as having any relation to reality.

      • Capella says:

        The illegal war on Yugoslavia in 1999, bombing Serbia for 78 days using over 500 cluster bombs which indiscriminately destroyed civilian infrastructure with unknown death tally.

        Illegal bombing of Iraq in 2003 on pretext of WMD – ongoing – estimated 100,000 deaths. and mass refugee exodus.

        Illegal bombing of Libya 2011 resulting in failed state, open air slave markets and destruction of civilian infrastructure – ongoing.

        Invasion of Afghanistan 2003 “Operation Enduring Freedom” on pretext of war on terror to capture Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi national. Left Afghanistan in 2021 now ruled by Taliban.

        I could go on. There has been no security for the last 70 years.

        Liz Truss is the UK Foreign Secretary responsible for national security and diplomacy. Granted she’s an idiot but an idiot responsible for important affairs of state. The purpose of diplomacy is to avoid wars breaking out. Implementing the UN treaty called Minsk II would have avoided this war and saved a great many lives. Clearly that is not the objective of our heads of state.

        • grizebard says:

          There was no Yugoslavia by 1999. It formally broke up in 1992. Kosovo was then a disputed part of Serbia. NATO actually brokered a ceasefire there in 1999 which was then reneged upon by Serbia. But maybe you missed that and also Srebrenica a few years before? Maybe we shouldn’t have intervened then either, and just let those massacres promoted by the government of subsequently-convicted war criminal Slobodan Milošević carry on unchecked, just so some moral purist could claim to be unsullied? Standing back and “looking the other way” also has a moral price.

          Afghanistan was a hotbed of terrorism which culminated in 9/11. And now after Western withdrawal, human rights there have taken a complete nose dive, not least those of women, in case you just happen to have missed that as well.

          I could go on. It’s easy enough to take a high-minded pacifist-isolationist view of world affairs, but unfortunately for that theory there is always one bad actor or another around for whom that’s just a sign of an easy mark, a plump and juicy target. As we are just witnessing happening so brutally in Ukraine. No amount of preachy kumbaya was ever going to deter that. Only self-evident superior force. That’s the real world, like it or not.

          If the UN was worth its expensive weight, it could and should have stepped in on each of these occasions instead, but it couldn’t and can’t, because it’s continually hamstrung by the permanent members of the Security Council, who have all at one time or another stymied the urgently-needed action. Unless the UN drastically reforms itself, the latest unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine is likely to send it the same way as the late unlamented League of Nations, which collapsed under the assault of a previous generation of violent authoritarian landgrabbers. So necessarily those who were willing have had to tackle matters piecemeal instead.

          Getting back however to the essectial point, any small European country, like a future independent Scotland, needs to be protected by some kind of convincing security alliance. None can stand alone. Finland currently demonstrates that convincingly for all but the purblind. And that is a prime issue which will be at the forefront of an upcoming indyref: potential Yes voters will need to be convinced that their security in this wild and sometimes nasty world will be preserved and even strengthened with independence. Which can and must be done. That is why Bitter Together before sought, and BT Mk.2 will certainly again seek, to persuade waverers that an (almost certainly nuke-free) iScotland will somehow be shunned by existing security alliances, however imperfect they may be. That is what Juan Kerr and the BBC are trying to do already.

          It’s crucially important to realise that punting unpopular political preferences, however sincerely held, ahead of assuaging the legitimate concerns of the very undecided portion of the electorate whom we absolutely need to win over to win, is simply adding yet another diversionary wedge issue to the Unionist pile, and thereby doing their dirty work for them.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Yes, I agree. NATO isn’t perfect, but every small nation needs shelter – and even larger ones. I’ve posted links to this before, don’t know whether you’ve read it?


            Should be able just to download the pdf without registering, if not I’ll see if I’ve got another link.

            It’s interesting that it’s from the Uni of Iceland, with Iceland being a founder member of NATO despite its small size (less than 400,000). Iceland’s contribution mainly was an airbase for the US – vital for the GIS gap, errr, sorry, the GIUK. And not fogetting the Arctic convoys formed off Iceland.


            • yesindyref2 says:

              Just re-reading that second entry, and Iceland is the perfect example of an understandable reluctance, a wish to remain neutral, but the recognition that they couldn’t – they need shelter too. A proud people.

            • Capella says:

              Just read that, thx. Interesting look at the issues if a bit dated now.
              Personally, I would prefer the Swiss model. Neutral but technically advanced and all men are required to undergo military training and maintain their skills and weapons. No navy, of course, so lower costs. Well they do have a couple of patrol boats on the lake at Zurich just in case.
              But they do house their jets inside mountains and close the motorway when they need a runway. Short range fighter bombers for defence. purposes and not to attack long range targets. Good engineering skills so can blow up bridges and railways, partisan style.

          • Capella says:

            Out of the four examples I cited you only address 2. Kosovo was used to justify the bombing of Serbia on the grounds that small countries have the right to self determination from unitary sovereign states. NATO intervened on “humanitarian” grounds. Russia, of course, cites this justification on behalf of the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics and previously on behalf of Crimea. NATO reverses its position and says small countries do not have the right to cede from unitary sovereign states. Which is right?

            Al qaeda in Afghanistan was created and funded by the CIA to fight against Soviet troops, who were there at the request of the socialist Afghan government to help fight the insurgents. Al qaeda went on to demand that American troops leave their holy land, Saudi Arabia, and when that didn’t happen, launched the 9/11 attack. Al quaeda means “the base” and was the data base of fighters on the payroll of the USA. These terrorist organisations have since mushroomed into a vast army of mercenaries spreading misery and death throughout the middle east and Africa. This is called “blowback” when the bombings affect our own cities and air traffic.

            My main point was the replacement of the UN by an American led military alliance with its “rules based” order. Washington makes the rules. The UN had unanimously ratified the Minsk II treaty which guaranteed the integrity of Ukraine providing it agreed to remain neutral and to allow Donetsk and Luhansk a degree of autonomy such as a federal arrangement. This was to protect the rights of the ethnic minority Russians living in the Donbass who have been under attack since the American backed coup in 2014.

            Do we back UN treaties or not? The League of Nations fell apart after belligerent members such as Germany, Italy and Japan rejected its authority. Now NATO rejects its authority. There is no attempt to negotiate or implement treaties designed to avoid conflict. That’s dangerous IMO.

            Liz Truss is the official responsible for our security. She has failed miserably to perform the one duty entrusted to her. I think I am entitled to criticise such an incompetent administration.

  16. Naina Tal says:

    Just wow!
    The Ukrainians in the midst of the evil being done to them have time to report on the First Minister’s American speech. Independent Scotland wants to join NATO. Braw pictur o the Saltire anaw
    Now anyone still have doots aboot the FM doing her “Independence Tour”? BBC of course blanked it.

  17. Golfnut says:

    The idea that you can enter into any kind of agreement with westminster on anything and expect them to abide by the terms of that agreement is naive at best, it requires that you park your reasoning where the sun doesn’t shine and the eradication of any memory of the actions of westminster over the last ten years. The negotiations and prevarication with the EU, the GFA and NI Protocol alone should send a shudder down the spine of any sentinent being. Scotland needs to take a very strong position not only on Trident but all military installations in Scotland controlled by westminster, 2yrs max. If not, most of the people reading this blog today will be long dead before Scotland is rid of them.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      OK, this is still “not in force” since 1983, but does guide such things:

      “Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of State Property, Archives and Debts” pdf (remove space)

      Basically speaking, immovable property stays without compensation, and moveable property is split in some proportion, possibly contribution of the successor states. But agreement can do what it wants so if Scotland and the rUK agreed, the Vanguard subs and Trident missiles could be sold on Etsy.

    • This is why we don’t need England’s ‘agreement’ for our referendum and the international community won’t expect us to.

      They know the current English government’s agreement is meaningless, and that they’ll go back on agreement the moment it suits them. The also know the current English government doesn’t do democracy, and is happy to overturn election results; it’s doing that in NI right now, breaking a UN peace deal brokered by the US.

      So if England says ‘no to iref2!’, the EU, USA, UN etc will say ‘It’s fine Scotland, we’ll recognise it!’.

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    I don’t follow football apart from Scotland, but good luck Rangers tonight!

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yes indeed, good luck to the Rangers team, but to the supporters remember if they don’t behave well the media will report them as Scottish fans, not British

  19. Alex Clark says:

    What a minter having him cheering you on.

    • Would he be the same if it was Celtic, complete with anti-sectarian, green white and orange Irish flags?

      Aye, both Celtic and rangers fans fly orange colours, but Rangers will never fly green.

  20. Hamish100 says:

    Yes you will be lucky to spot a saltire.

    How damming that the 2 main club teams in Scotland fly foreign flags as opposed to our own flag.

    I hope for a good game with no trouble. We shall see.

    • yesindyref2 says:


    • The only people waving Irish flags at Celtic matches are, well, Irish / Irish Scots. So the flag isn’t foreign to them. Nor is it to me, nor my Scottish-Irish mum. The union flag is however, as none of my family is British, just Scottish and/or Irish.

      Most of the Celtic fans not flying flags will be Scots. A small fraction of Rangers fans similarly.

      However, I do appreciate what you are saying. It is a relic of British imperialism played out in Scotland.

      I’ve little interest in league footie BTW, just internationals.

      • Hamish100 says:

        This is the Scottish game. If I went to a game in Ireland waving a saltire would be rather strange. The Irish tricolour and the union tricolour both help to divide Scotland in a sectarian divide. It suits the unionists at Westminster in particular. Your teams colours are another thing altogether.

      • I totally agree, but this particular game isn’t Scottish, as clearly evidenced by the flags. Indy will end it. That and/or Irish reunification.

      • Eilidh says:

        Skier 2 weeks before Celtic won the league this year 500 metres of Maryhill Rd in Glasgow was covered in small bunting Irish flags and some larger ones and were strung across one of the major roads in Glasgow for a couple of days. This was done totally unofficially and has never been done before but this only happened because the other set of knuckledraggers did it last year with the Union Jack’s I am very pro Irish having 3 Irish great grandparents but I am utterly sick of football fans of a certain type who think they can do what the hell they like. Basically I am an equal opportunities hater of fitba I don’t even give a stuff whether Scotland win at football or rugby these days . Those flags on Maryhill Rd had nothing to do with Irish or Scots Irish people but everything to do with certain types of Celtic football fans and they are every bit as bad as Rangers fans

        • I can totally sympathise. My parents moved away from Glasgow to avoid all that for their kids (mum is Irish protestant origin, dad Scottish catholic, so their marriage was ‘controversial’ in the eyes of some). I wasn’t justifying loutish football behaviour.

          My point was more that the tricolour isn’t a ‘foreign flag’ to many Scots. A great many Scots have more than one flag. Even I appreciate that while the union flag is foreign to me, it is not to a lot of Scottish unionists (Scottish & British), and certainly not to some British (only) residents of Scotland, including rangers fans.

          It is British nationalist rangers fans that would describe the Irish flag as ‘foreign’ and sing songs about how Scots of Irish descent (which i suppose includes me?) should ‘go home now the famine is over’. Tricolours, Welsh flags, French flags – those of new Scots – should be welcome. So we should take care in framing comments. That’s all. Hope that makes sense. 🙂

  21. yesindyref2 says:

    From the Herpes: “THE transport minister said that train drivers were to blame for a state-owned ScotRail move to cut a third of all services from next week.

    No she didn’t, and no it’s not a “move to cut a third”, it’s a temporary arrangement to give stabiliity, and kept under review.

    So basically rail travellers are being grossly misinformed to feed a political agenda drive media. And I think people are going to realise that more and more.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Anytime there’s a dispute about anything the Labour party are always there to make sure the engineering behind such disputes keeps making them worse, Labour = union = dispute = strike

  22. Dr Jim says:

    The BBC claim they provided *significant coverage* of Scotlands First Ministers visit to Washington DC
    The only coverage I saw was on *the 9* where they deliberately used around 20 seconds of footage of the FMs words on the Nato issue to interview the Greens for around 5 minutes on their opposition to it and her
    So really what the BBC tried to do was attempt to *significantly* undermine the FM by using selective quotes and use them as opinion creation for others to opine their dislike of Nato and the FM
    As it turned out the Greens Ross Greer disappointed the BBC by diverting the interview onto talking about his parties Green issues and it was a run out of time bust

  23. I am not normally one tae quote the Daily Mail, but google news served me it.

    Queen missing an increasing number of events. Methinks Charles will be on the throne before iref2.

  24. Bob Lamont says:

    Oh dear, it appears that the BBC in Scotland are digging a deeper hole for themselves by blatantly lying about their coverage of the FM’s US visit, shades of Boris Johnson….
    Tomorrow the National will print the BBC’s written response and will presumably present a full fact check 🙂

    • Legerwood says:

      Tonight on the BBC news at 6 o’clock there was a longish report about Rangers in Seville. Lorna Gordon, in Seville, contributed to the report as did another BBC sports reporter. This was almost immediately followed by Reporting Scotland devoting fully half of their programme to the Rangers match. There were 3 BBC Reporting Scotland reporters in Seville plus of course the production teams – cameramen etc.

      Compare and contrast with the BBC’s coverage of the FM in Washington.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Good point, John beattie in Seville asking shop owners how busy they were, how much drink consumed, chuckle , chuckle.
        I assume the new Heidy in the USA, Ms Smith bbc was on holiday and missed the FM.

        Political bias and maybe even religious bias courtesy of the state broadcaster of England.

  25. Welsh_Siôn says:

    This just in – for those of us not interested in the football:

    England should declare independence from Wales and Scotland argues Peter Hitchens

    18 May 2022 2 minute Read

    England should declare independence from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, journalist and commentator Peter Hitchens has said.

    Writing in the Daily Mail, he said that England should get ahead of the independence movements elsewhere in the UK and “leave them instead”.

    He said that any party that put English secession from the UK in its General Election manifesto would “win a smashing majority”.

    However, he added that it would not constitute independence as England had never been dependent on the rest of the UK, and would simply be a restoration of England as a stand-alone nation.


  26. Alex Clark says:


  27. Dr Jim says:

    The BBC call popping some stuff on a website about Scotlands FM visit to Washington *significant coverage* as they believe just everybody in Scotland looks at the BBC website, do they? do they really?
    Every pensioner in Scotland must be grateful for that when they tuned in to the news at tea time, y’know when folk actually watch the news, because if they don’t have or look at computers they would remain uninformed wouldn’t they?

    Gosh we don’t think the BBC knows that do we? that would surely mean they do this sort of thing deliberately wouldn’t it?

    We don’t think the BBC would really want the FM of Scotland to be *insignificant* do we?

  28. davetewart says:

    A tale of two parliaments

    Last night the Attornaly General refuses to publish her legal advice to the english government.
    Tory MPs support her

    Tory MSPs call for legal advice to be published in Hollyrood.

    Where can you find an EBC journalist in Scotland, seems to be Saville,Spain, nice wee trip for the staff.

  29. davetewart says:

    Aye Jack and you don’t have to have bought a tv tax voucher, the payment of help to pay for local journalists came from the treasury, wonder if we are still giving money to local newspapers to help pay for propaganda trainees.

    See that the MET has declared their drowning street event closed, 168 fines issued.
    Did the buffoon get one, NO, he got the 68.

    Will we get to read the Ms Grey report?, thought not.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Reminds me of a story I read last week in Byline Times.

      ‘Bungs’ to Billionaires
      Cummings Exposes Johnson’s Cash for Content Scandal

      Asked by the human rights lawyer Adam Wagner if he came across any examples of private lobbying leading to lockdown rule changes during the pandemic, Boris Johnson’s now-former chief aide Dominic Cummings said that: “Newspapers negotiated direct bungs to themselves with him [Boris Johnson]”.

      There were “no officials on [the calls]”, he added, and Johnson “told officials to send the [money] dressed up as ‘COVID relief’”.

      This was clearly a reference to a special subsidy arrangement for the mainstream press that began in April 2020 and was called ‘All In, All Together’. Budgeted at £35 million for the first three months it still appears to be operating two years later – the Guardian published a story under its banner in March 2022 – but the Government and the industry have repeatedly rebuffed Byline Times’ questions on how much has been spent in total.

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    Probably one of Macwhirter’s worst ever articles in the Herald yesterday, so bad it even got quoted by Tory Bernard Jenkins as supporting his point of view.

    Here’s setting the tone of ineptitude: “Under Article 5 of the Nato charter, any strike against one member country means retaliation from them all.

    No it doesn’t, it means, as Article 5 actually states:

    each of them… by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

    It’s a defence organisation, not a retaliation one.

    Being as basically wrong as that, and Macwhirter should hang up his quill.

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