The dilemma for British nationalism

Since the publication of the first paper in the Scottish Government’s series of papers setting out a fresh case for independence, there has been much talk of the difficulties that the Scottish Government will face in securing a lawful and recognised ballot. However, perhaps unsurprisingly given the overwhelmingly anti-independence bias of the majority of the Scottish media, far less attention has been paid to the quandary in which the anti-independence parties now find themselves.

Basically, the Tories and Labour will either have to concede that there needs to be a second independence referendum, one which they know they have only a poor chance of winning, or they will have to admit that the entire foundation of traditional Scottish unionism is a lie and tell Scotland that the operation of democracy in Scotland is subject to a veto from an unpopular Prime Minister whom Scotland didn’t vote for – a Prime Minister who doesn’t need an ethics advisor but rather a probation officer – and that everything that they have told us about the people of Scotland having the absolute right to choose for themselves the form of government best suited to their needs was only ever a convenient fairy story which they agreed to when they didn’t think that Scotland would opt for a form of government which did not include the Westminster parliament.

The mandate which Holyrood possesses for another independence referendum is, as the First Minister has pointed out “cast iron”. The subject of another independence referendum absolutely dominated the Holyrood election last year. Everyone was fully aware of what it meant when they cast their ballot in a certain way, not least that shadowy and suspiciously well funded British nationalist group which organised a tactical voting campaign in order to deprive the new Parliament of a pro-independence majority. It failed. The Tories knew that a pro-independence majority in Holyrood meant that there would be another referendum, which is why they threw all their energies and dark money into trying to ensure that didn’t happen. They failed.

Labour knew that a pro-independence majority in Holyrood would mean that the electorate had voted for another referendum. That was why Anas Sarwar went on interminably about all the reasons why he thought there shouldn’t be one. The voters listened, and then voted for parties that wanted another referendum. Holyrood now has the greatest pro-independence majority it has ever had, and the two pro-independence parties represented in Parliament both stood on unequivocal and explicit manifesto commitments to another referendum. However the anti-independence parties and their friends in the media are desperately trying to gaslight Scotland int believing that there isn’t really a legitimate democratic demand for another referendum. For Labour and the Tories to imply now that people didn’t know what they were voting for is a gross insult to the intelligence of the people of Scotland. Opponents of independence are now reduced to delaying tactics and unconvincing sophistry in order to escape the dilemma in which they are now trapped.

The Unionist columnist Alex Massie is a case in point, during much of the first independence referendum campaign Massie spent months posing as an undecided voter before triumphantly announcing just before the vote that he was unconvinced by the Yes campaign’s arguments and intended to vote no. Based upon his writings ever since it’s hard to escape the conclusion that he intended to vote no all along and was merely pretending to be undecided in order to get publicity for himself and to inflict damage on the Yes campaign at a crucial juncture before the vote.

Massie has now published a piece in the Sunday Times in which he argues that the current push for a referendum is “doomed to fail”, claiming that there is no appetite for it in Scotland. This claim is based upon his and his anti-independence colleagues’ interpretation of opinion polls. But government is not carried out on the basis of opinion polling, it is carried out on the basis of election victories, and despite Massie’s protestations to the contrary it very much *is* democracy denying to seek recourse in the courts or to appeal to the veto of a British Prime Minister who has no mandate in Scotland in order to prevent the Scottish Parliament from implementing the policy that the Scottish electorate elected it for.

Massie also makes the frankly outlandish and ludicrous suggestion that a future referendum should only take place when all the parties agree to it – no matter what the people of Scotland have voted for. In other words Scotland should only ever have a chance to ask itself if it wants to become independent if the parties opposed to independence agree to allow it. Those parties are not going to consent to a referendum when, as now, it seems likely that they could lose it. So in other words what Massie is saying is that Scotland can only ever have an independence referendum if it is a foregone conclusion that the result will be a victory for opponents of independence, which makes a travesty of the entire idea of referendums. Still, at least he’s honest about it, which is more than can be said for the Labour or Conservative parties.

He further suggests that the threshold for victory should be increased to two thirds, which could potentially lead to a majority in Scotland voting for independence yet it still being refused. It seems that Massie hasn’t quite grasped the concept of “democracy denial.” But then he’s a British nationalist which means that by definition he’s not a nationalist because he’s British, so a self-serving rewriting of the rules is very much on brand. Just as British nationalism isn’t nationalist in the eyes of British nationalists, British nationalist democracy denial isn’t a denial of democracy, because it’s British.

Despite the sophistry, the gaslighting and the self-serving attempts to rewrite the rules, it’s really very simple. As Massie points out, it is perfectly legitimate for the anti-independence parties to continue to oppose independence and another referendum, and they can do so by voting according to their beliefs when the matter is put to a vote at Holyrood. However the anti-independence parties do not have a majority in Holyrood, so they can only thwart the will of Holyrood and block the referendum by having recourse to extra-parliamentary means. To do so is very much the denial of Scottish democracy, no matter how much Massie and his ilk assert otherwise. And that opens up the fundamental question, if the UK cannot or will not respect the democratic will of the people of Scotland then this is not a democratic union but an authoritarian state of coercion.

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46 comments on “The dilemma for British nationalism

  1. yesindyref2 says:

    Alex Massie?

    What do you expect from someone who’s an anagram of I max slease?

  2. bringiton says:

    Based on his proposals,Brexit would never have happened but it did and has set the “rules” for future referendums in the UK state.
    Well,then again with Johnson and his fellows in charge,perhaps not.
    It appears that the rules are whatever they say they are and that is the real issue for people in Scotland.

  3. Dr Jim says:

    Scotlands version of the DUP ( Tory Labour Lib Dem) and their allies the media will do exactly what they did in the last referendum by continuing to [imply] that somehow in some mysterious way the SNP and the Scottish government are not a legitimate entity and are an aberration that should not be tolerated let alone listened to, they, the Tory Labour Lib Dem union party are the real politicians of everything even though they are the minority, the people of Scotland keep making errors when they’re voting and it’s up to them to educate us by dominating us until we learn

    With one MP representing the Labour branch of the union party in Scotland they still stamp their feet and bang their fists informing Scotland that all who vote SNP are mentally irregular (Greens are never mentioned) The Liberal Democrats behaviour is astonishing for they are now so small they are not even considered in FMQs so we’re left with the Tories with their dirty half dozen in Westminster and some folk who never even stood for election promoted from nowhere to positions of something in the Scotland office, an organisation funded to, eh well none of us really know what their functions are except that they’re more important than the rest of us voters because the Tories told us, but there are a couple of thousand of them apparently spending their time on facebook and Twitter trolling the internet pumping out union propaganda and insults

    The media in Scotland treat the FM and Scottish government as though they are an alien species that aren’t supposed to be here on earth, and like the Daleks it’s the real human unionists who have to exterminate them on our behalf and the BBC and others have taken on that task

    What’s hilarious about the BBCs position is that they become visibly aggrieved by the idea that we’re not grateful to them for their efforts of hostility lies and innuendo in trying to rid us of the politicians and government we voted for

    Not one single unionist represents Scotland or even represents the people who voted for them here
    they represent England and their bosses in that country, Scotlands TV broadcasting is English owned, the newspapers are English owned, the radio is English owned

    There’s a damn good reason why these things are not allowed to be owned or run by Scotland

  4. Bob Lamont says:

    There is a concerted effort via the ever helpful “impartial” media in Scotland to rewrite the last Holyrood election featuring opposition parties pitching “send nicola sturgeon a clear message scotland does not want a referendum”, as the Nick Robinson version…

    It has become preposterous on the BBC in Scotland, whizzing back and forth between Glenn Campbell asserting such a referendum is illegal (a lie) and Anas Sarwar doing his “the majority of Scots don’t want a referendum” (a lie), and the presenter staying schtum.

    The SNP got the clear message from the electorate and there wil be a referendum, as Alister Jack is wont to say, “Suck it up”.

    OT – For any who’ve not seen this https://twitter.com/LizWebsterLD/status/1538220027253596161

  5. Eilidh says:

    Great to hear the Indy campaign has started now in earnest with the release of the paper Nicola announced last week. However I am in a bit of a post covid downer and haven’t had the energy yet to read most of what she said or the paper. I have strayed into some stuff in the mainstream media and Twitter which left me feeling like I hate the whole human race. Alex Massie is the worst type of journalist and often his articles seem to write by a fascist he clearly doesn’t believe in democracy. I was also astounded to hear Daily Mail has a recording of an Snp Mps meeting where Iain Blackford and my Mp Amy Callaghan are heard voicing support for Patrick Grady How did Daily Heil get this recording were Snp Mps stupid enough to hold this meeting in public was the room bugged or did an Snp Mp leak this tape. I honestly don’t which of these is the worst. It is time Snp politicians realised all of the mainstream media are the enemy particularly the scumbag unionist propagandists at BBC Shortbread and the Daily Heil. On a cheerier note glad your fundraising is going well Paul and great article once again

    • grizebard says:

      Sorry that it’s taking some time to shake off the after effects of the Dreaded Lurgi, Eilidh, but hopefully you will soon. (Chocolate?)

      If it’s any easier to get into, you could try the video version, which can be found (among others) at:

      Actual proceedings start at about 14:45 in. This version includes the press questions at the end, if you can bear that!

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Amy Callaghan has at least apologised for that though none of the others have, and even Angus Robertson contaminated himself by supporting the drunken groper rather than the teenage victim – as the media can portray this – as the SNP Westminster group totally failed to take appropriate action SIX YEARS AGO, and gifted the unionists to take a time of their choosing to take action, and distract from the Launch of Indy Ref 2, by a token suspension everybody must know is vastly less severe than it should be.

      The total IQ of the 45 SNP MPs is less than 100, let alone the average.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      One last thing on this – that this needs to be the last thing.

      Which means that the SNP Westminster group need to take action on the outstanding allegations about groping and drunken orgiastic behaviour by both sexes – as the media will be portraying it at the time the 2nd independence paper will be released later this year.

      Imagine this – it took a cross-party body to clean up the SNP’s mess on its previous chief whip, rather than the Westminster group and its leader taking strong, fair and corrective action. SIX LONG YEARS.

      They need to clear the decks for action, otherwise they are failing, not only the members who campaigned tirelessly for their election and contributed hard-earned and scarce funds, but also the whole YES movement. many of us who have been supporting Independence since before some of them were born, while they are getting pissed and groping anyone around them in our name.

      • Eilidh says:

        Speaking as a victim of sexual harassment if I had a pound for every time I was touched up by some drunk I would be really rich it seems to me the incident with the young man and Grady was blown out of all proportion as it seems Grady misread the situation and as was noted by the HOC sentence on Grady the young man breached confidentiality re the situation several times which did not help his case. Patrick Grady did wrong and was punished for it what good would Snp do by implementing further penalty. The Snp politicians need to be exceedingly wary of social interactions witj anyone now

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Yes, as you say:

          The complainant had admitted to being the source of media reports about his complaints prior to them being made formally to the ICGS in May 2021

          Click to access hc-368—the-conduct-of-mr-patrick-grady-mp.pdf

          but:

          This was that in 2016 at a work social event in a pub Mr Grady had, under the influence of alcohol,
          made an unwanted sexual advance to the complainant that included the touching and stroking of the complainant’s neck, hair, and back.

          So, what did the SNP Westminster Group do between 2016 and May 2021? FIVE YEARS? Nothing, except is seems, put pressure on the teenager to stfu. Grady remained as Chief Whip.

          They had 5 years to avoid a complaint being made to the ICGS, by handling it properly but they didn’t – they closed ranks against the victim.

          It might be a coincidence that this weekend was Father’s Day – there again it might not. Many of us have or have had, teenage children of both sexes, and will identify more with the victim than the groper – or his supporters.

        • Dr Jim says:

          A social event in a pub where everybody knows everybody else, and who also know Patrick Grady is gay, one man makes an advance to another man, because let’s be clear at 19 years of age he’s a man, that man rejects the advance so no victim here , no crime whatsoever, the worst that could be said about this is perhaps there was mistakenly poor judgement on the part of Grady
          This happens every day in life whether man or woman and we all reject or accept advances from other people as a matter of course, it’s over and we go on and no one was harmed in the making of this evening out

          Folk who weren’t in attendance love inventing scenarios in their head creating shock horror and outrage claiming indignation and heartfelt pity for the scenario they just created, the newspapers do it on a daily basis and tell us all to be outraged as well, there were no children involved here, no injuries sustained, in fact no one even claims the aggrieved status of actually being touched in what normally might described as inappropriate areas of the body, but the words groping and victim get thrown around as a descriptive effort to paint an entirely different picture to actual events for the unsuspecting reader who also wasn’t in attendance

          Following all of that what does this man say he wants from Patrick Grady or the organisation they both work for? he didn’t quit his job in a temper, he didn’t prefer charges against Grady because the law would not take action on something that isn’t a crime on any level, no threat, no violence, no coercion, so after all this time what does this man want?

          I was in the entertainment business all my life from the age of fifteen, I know what sexual harassment is and in my experience this isn’t it, what’s next for goodness sake? * Ma he’s makin eyes at me*

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Johnson’s sexual frolics with Arcuri whilst his wife and 4 kids were at home, rather put Grady’s error of judgement at the time into perspective, and as you highlighted, there was no actual harm or damage done in this incident aside to Grady’s reputation.

            I suspect this media furore has been concocted to deflect attention from a string of senior tory figures under review on more serious matters by the very same Independent Expert Panel…

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Bob, that’s what Angus Robertson said effectively: “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

              THAT is an actual admission of wrongness – i.e. “whatabout them?”.

              As for actual harm, the victim claims his life has been ruined since. THAT is harm.

              • Bob Lamont says:

                Stop overlaying your view on what others say to suit your own perspectives, MY response was to Dr Jim’s salient observations, YOU SIR MADE NONE.
                Kapish

        • yesindyref2 says:

          (to Dr Jim)

          For the SNP, the purpose of such an event should be learning from their mistakes, and indeed Sturgeon has said it will be reviewed – as indeed it should be. From that report:

          it is obvious that enormous care must be taken if such relationships are to be entered into. Great disparities of status and power exist. Where a considerable disparity of age and experience is added into the mix, it will be highly problematic to initiate a sexual relationship without the risk that there is no true mutuality.

          So for the first thing there is a double transgression by Grady – the immediate problem being stroking without permission, and the second that, while drunk, he totally failed to consider that as Chief Whip compared to a staffer, he should have taken enormous care not to break that obvious rule above. And then from the report:

          The complainant alleges that having raised the issue, albeit informally, he had a legitimate expectation that Mr Grady would act given his role as the Chief Whip and the person responsible for matters
          of party discipline, and Mr Grady’s failure to act amounts to bullying. However, I note the complainant did not follow-up with Mr Grady to check if any action had been taken or was being contemplated.

          So the ICGS criticises the victim (that’s victim blaming) for not spending more time with the perpetrator, to see how his complaint against the perp is being progressed by that one and same person – the perp.

          From which the SNP should change their procedures, that if any complaint is against the very person who will be investigating the complaint, that person should disqualify themselves, and an alternate be provided.

          Such things shouldn’t need to be explained to a political party that has become the party of government, not just a party of protest. Frankly, it’s time the SNP grew up.

          • Dr Jim says:

            Should they become like the Tory party of government or previous Labour parties of government, of course there are Liberal Democrats, all three of these political parties are just lovely
            The SNP are people like everybody else, unless and until you’re waiting for representatives from the planet Vulcan and Mr Spock for FM you’re stuck with human beings

          • yesindyref2 says:

            If they can’t stop misbehaving like wee kiddies caught with their hands in the sweetie jar and claiming “It wasn’t me” like shaggy, backed up by loyal SNP supporters and some YESsers who don’t like to see it reflected on Indy, then we’re going to keep seeing headlines like “Nicola Sturgeon faces Tory attack for travelling to Italy amid Patrick Grady row” as she’s expected to run around after them wiping their snotty noses and changing their nappies, instead of headlines like this: “Nicola Sturgeon has set the date for the ‘route map’ to indyref2” as she runs out of time and energy to get anytihng else done apart from having to cover for a load of immature kids indulging in bacchanalian orgiastic excesses after leaving home, when they should be representing not just the SNP but the YES movement, owning up to offences when they happen, and clearing the decks in 6 weeks or 6 months, rather than 6 effing years.

            Time after time SNP politicians let down the leadership, and Independence supporters.

  6. jfngw says:

    The only issue I have with the referendum is it is almost 18 months away, the anti SNP (and Greens also) shit show that has overtaken the MSM in the last week is going to take a strong stomach to endure. They are going to be worse now than in 2014, then they thought it was going to be a walkover for most of the campaign, now they know they are going to lose. They hope the 18 month period is sufficient time to trash the independence movement.

    Get ready for 18 months of them and their London financed unionist politicians telling us how inadequate we are as a country, they will happily see Scotland a desert than see us run our own country.

    Their only strategy at the minute is to try and stop people turning out to vote in it, it’s not democracy in any sense of the word but an attempt to subvert it. They have no other argument, the ones used in 2014 would be laughable now, but I suspect they will still be used to con the foolish.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The media will perform its duty in the creation of the wrong and the right, the the legal and the illegal, they’ll create suggestions, invent the future, come up with solutions to the stories they themselves create, but most of all the medias job is to confuse and bore people to distraction so they can’t be bothered listening to anybody’s argument from any side, and the Unionists win by default, then following that unionist win the media will reverse its position and tell us all what we could’ve won because we were right, after all the media must be balanced and fair…….but always after the fact

      The status quo must be upheld….. or they don’t get their government bung

  7. Bob Lamont says:

    I’m not about to observe on Patrick Grady’s behaviour at a single incident in 2016, any more than on the Johnson/Arcuri affair at the same time, but the furore being created over it by the media 6 years later has a distinct aroma of Eau de Latrine, made in London…

    Amy Callaghan’s apology features in prime slot on BBC Scotland/Politics, triggered by recording of a private SNP Westminster meeting finding it’s way to the Daily Mail, not exactly known for it’s support for Scottish Independence.

    Trains disruption is the media focus UK wide, yet try to find a report or article by the BBC in Scotland appearing without mention of Scotrail having been nationalised and you’ll not find not a single one.
    Even Kieran Andrews for the Times in Scotland said on BBC national news “Because the rail network in Scotland has been nationalised…” and NOBODY corrected the lie.

    It’s pretty obvious this propaganda game will ramp up over the next 18 months drawing on at least the last 5 years of SNP history real or false.
    Expect regular fresh allegations from James McColl, perhaps evem incontinent pigeons will be spotted by Mis-Reporting Scotland at QEUH again, this time blitzing queued up ambulances at A&E with patients dying inside and the Chuckle Brothers Baillie and Gulhane deploring loudly to Linda Winters under a BBC umbrella…

    It is going to be a rough and very, very silly 18 months to Indyref2….

  8. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    It was noted on Twitter that “Douglas Ross blamed Nicola Sturgeon days before Scotrail reduced services. The political attack led Reporting Scotland that evening. Why is Ross not being challenged about UK Govt owned Network Rail and the strike that will decimate Scotrail services”?

    Yesterday Tory MP Simon Clarke ,who is Chief secretary to the Treasury , was on SKY News distancing the UK government form rail dispute and strike and equating it to something between ‘Employers’ Network rail and the Unions…..thus giving Transport Secretary Grant Shapps an unfair opt out in any responsibility or blame being targeted towards him as Transport Secretary…….this is a luxury the Scottish government Transport minister on any Rail issues in Scotland is NEVER EVER given via the Scottish (INO) media…..nope all doors in disputes, train cancellations, ticket price increases, line closures etc lead straight to OUR Transport ministers door as far Scottish (INO) media were and are concerned and too Unionist politicians……a case of YOUR the Transport minister so YOUR responsibility and YOUR fault via any situation that occurs….but Simon Clarke thinks somehow that current strike not part of Grant Shapps remit…….

    The same is the case for for NHS, Education and all other sectors….UK government ministers NEVER asked to be accountable or responsible for mess or scandals via ANY public sectors BUT our ministers in Scottish government are expected to take SOLE and FULL responsibility and thus be seen to be punished….usually via calls to RESIGN…who speaks for OUR government …who in the media EVER promotes ANY good initiatives and consequences implemented by the Scottish government apart from The National newspaper and sources online….hence why we have so many ALLOWED to repeat , on debate shows, as members of the audience the too often repeated accusations that equate to #SNPBAD…..accusations repeated like slogans e.g. ” Terrible NHS” and ” They have destroyed education we used to have the best education”….however as they state this they NEVER back it up with actual stats via facts and figures or comparisons with other UK NHS or education position….they are simply repeating what they hear from Unionist politicians and read via Unionist trash newspapers………..

    I am sick of Scottish (INO) media dragging in Scottish government into this current situation which impacts us in Scotland too as is a UK WIDE current situation via Network rail which is the responsibility of UK government….. but media and Unionist politicians here refer to it as if Scottish government are somehow complicit in this….they can never present it solely as a UK government responsibility they need to somehow drag in our government…..and we all know why they do…time and time again ……..

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I doubt there are many who have not spotted the double standards deployed by the BBC in Scotland – The story is then picked up by rUK media who amplify it in England where the same duplicity is exposed.
      The propagandists are trying to tell two different stories to people in the same room and hoping neither overhears the response to the other…

    • Dr Jim says:

      The Tories in England blame Labour, Labour and Tories in Scotland blame the SNP, Liberal Democrats blame everybody and nobody simultaneously and on they’ll go jockeying for positional control of something that sometime will have to be resolved one way or another, then the media will lay the blame squarely at the feet of whoever didn’t give in at the moment the media says they should have, thus causing untold damage which they’ll have to speculate about how untold that damage actually might be, which will be told to us by an official expert in untold damage

      The UK is a pantomime circus run by clowns and the ringmaster is the media

      Roll up roll up there’ll be Elephants and Fire eaters folks, tune in, tune in

    • JoMax says:

      The problem is, NMRM, that many people ARE absorbing this media misinformation in Scotland, especially if they are diehard ‘NO’ voters who will be again the next time. It suits their view of things to believe it. During the height of the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions, a determined No voting friend (and her husband) kept running down Nicola Sturgeon. Even when I reminded her that the restrictions and rules were, in fact, being implemented throughout the UK and all over the world, she still pooh-poohed it. I couldn’t believe it. According to her, the whole thing was down to NS. The media know what they are doing, and it’s so obviously deliberate. It’s psychological manipulation orchestrated from a central point. We know it, but those who can’t see it don’t realise it and are incapable of thinking it through logically so it reinforces their own prejudices. It makes it a very hard mountain to climb which is all part of the plan.

      It also makes you realise that an awful lot of their ‘international’ news reporting should be taken with a pinch of salt, too.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Indeed JoMax and something I unfortunately am only too aware of….as in why we are all so very much aware of as to WHY they do it….everything comes back to Union versus Independence…no informed or fair opinion it’s always a case of them promoting repeated media slogans that amount to #SNPBAD while intentionally failing to highlight the many instances that are actually occurring via #TORYBAD……and indeed via Labour and Lib Dem….because many of them are as you say “Diehard NO voters” and some others are just parroting what they hear and read on telly, radio and via newspapers and thus assume it must be the case.

        There are five Tory MPs who broke the code of conduct over ex-MP Charlie Elphicke, who was convicted of sex offences, have they been asked to resign? His ex wife is one of them and she gained his seat as a Tory MP…they tried to influence the judge as MP’s when they asked the judge not to release character references for Charlie Elphicke so in doing this they broke the ethics code…..They got a one-day ban from parliament THAT was the punishment that was handed down to these five Tory MP’s….just like the Owen Paterson case where they, Tory party, tried to get HIM off but failed…….corruption is rampant with them…bending the rules…breaking the rules….but the media well never mind all that ….let’s forensically scrutinise the SNP instead and turn it into a soap opera , a drama, another honeymoon period is over….

        As Bob above said …I think MORE people can see the double standards being applied by channels like the BBC…but also new Tory channel GB News, Talk TV and let’s be honest other TV News channels also try it too……perhaps this will be their downfall in NOT applying same scrutiny, condemnation and in their reliance on so called experts whose comments obviously are anti Scottish government thus blatantly impartial and bitter….it oozes out of all that they say…..and people are not THAT daft to not see through what their TRUE position is…..and indeed WHY they hold that position…as in Union versus Independence…always down to that.

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          * impartial…NOT impartial

          I think I’ll give up….so obvious it is that I am an Idiot….but at least I admit to MY failings…and there are many…pity some Unionists Politicians were less inclined to do so against THEIR respective parties….as in give us some honesty and INDEPENDENT opinion as opposed to constant repeat of party line on a majority of things….

          Keep keeping on everyone…..they know their time running out

          🙂

      • Bob Lamont says:

        “It also makes you realise that an awful lot of their ‘international’ news reporting should be taken with a pinch of salt, too”
        For many years international reporting on the UK was syndicated from the BBC etc., distrust grew over the content particularly over Scottish affairs, so they now have a UK assigned correspondent or send one of their own.

        A memorable example pre-Covid was an AUOB march (Edinburgh ?) where there were tens of roving correspondents reporting on what was of much interest in their home country (even Peru 😲 who knew) whilst Pacific Quay effectively ignored it.
        You had the strange scenario where folks in Lima knew more about a march in Scotland “officially” than those in the Sneck… Unofficially of course they bypassed the BBC and picked up the Indy Live, National etc feeds..

        We need to keep calling out and exposing their propaganda games, but I’m pretty sure the majority of Scots are much more aware of it than we give credit…

    • Alex Clark says:

      The Tory shadow transport minister was on GMS this morning attempting to persuade listeners that somehow Grant Schapps has nothing to do with the strikes but Network rail but that somehow when it came to strikes by Scotrail staff then Jenny Gilruth was responsible.

      Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Graham Simpson, Scottish Conservative transport spokesman, said the RMT should stop “being so militant” and get round the table to “stop crippling the country”.

      Yet, Labour accused the UK Government of a “catastrophic failure of leadership” over the strike with certain Scottish MSPs saying they are joining picket lines today.

      Disagreeing, Mr Simpson told the programme there would be “very little point” of Grant Schapps being involved as “he is not the employer”.

      Mr Simpson said there was a “fundamental difference” between the situation with ScotRail and that with Network Rail.

      Mr Simpson said: “ScotRail is nationalised, it is run by the Scottish Government, so Jenny Gilruth was accountable and that is why I said she should have got involved.”

      https://archive.ph/XHG4W

      Both Scotrail and Network Rail have exactly the same status. they are both known as a “Non-Departmental Public Body” which are publically owned arms-length companies.

      Ministers are directly responsible for the Non-Departmental Public Bodies that are part of their portfolio. So the Tory was lying, Grant Schapps role in the running of Network Rail is exactly the same as Jenny Gilruth’s role in the running of Scotrail.

      He can’t demand that one of them be held accountable but not the other. The BBC need to start pulling people up about this, time after time lies are allowed to go unchallenged and people are sick of it.

      • Capella says:

        i heard Grant Shapps on R4 this morning cite the 19th Century practice of not working on a Sunday as one of the out-of-date practices that has to go, but the neanderthal unions won’t agree.
        I think what he refers to is the hard-won right of workers to have a rest day and a free day each week. Otherwise, we are talking about slave labour (which the Tories will no doubt be introducing).
        Of course, it is fine for someone to agree to work on a Sunday for extra pay if they want to. That is probably what Grant Shapps wants to ban a) the agreement element and b) the extra pay element.

  9. Capella says:

    I think we’ve entered apocalyptic end times now. Endless war, famine, pestilence, cost of living crisis and the NI protocol. Just waiting for the plague of frogs to arrive which will signal the end of the monarchy.

    OR – we could all behave like adults and sit down and talk. But we would need two sets of adults in the room and there’s no evidence that Westminster harbours any grown-ups in its corridors.

  10. Capella says:

    That respect agenda rides again. Alistair Union Jack is all charm.

    Alister Jack tells SNP MP to ‘suck it up’ as UK bypasses Scottish Parliament

    Under the devolution settlement, Scotland receives a block grant every year and Holyrood ministers subsequently decide how to spend it on devolved matters.

    Jack said: “We took the decision right at the beginning to practice real devolution and we’re standing by it so you ought to suck it up and go with the programme.”

    Brock replied to Jack by telling him that his behaviour was “not very ministerial” before laughing.

    https://archive.ph/vga5f

    • Golfnut says:

      : “We took the decision right at the beginning to practice real devolution and we’re standing by it so you ought to suck it up and go with the programme.”

      Naw, you took the decision right at the beginning to use any means possible to undermine the SG and the devolution settlement.
      By passing the SG on funding is just one them.
      Wee sleekit beastie that you are.

  11. Capella says:

    Youtube record of the charmer in action:

    • Statgeek says:

      “Suck it up and go with the program.”

      He reminds me of every boss I ever disliked. His plan is the only plan, and the staff can get another job if they don’t like his plan. He not only lacks the imagination for more diplomatic and sensible dialogue, he or his assistants have no imagination for better plans, other than to bypass elected representatives.

      That’s the crux of it. Bypass the process that the majority of people want in favour of their own plan. That’s the Tory way. Ignore the rules. Do what you want. Rules are for plebs.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The Tories are blackmailing Scotland with *what ya gonna do about it* tactics, they would never dare go so far with Northern Ireland because they don’t expect Scotland to respond in the same way those folks might
        The problem with that tactic is there are people in Scotland prepared to respond in that way, many of them, perhaps the Tories would like that of course so they could blame the SNP for that too if it happened

        The British way, provoke people then declare them as terrorists when their temper breaks because they can take no more

        • Capella says:

          Well we could refuse planning permission for every one of the unwanted plans they propose. If the Local Authority passes them (the Tory ones), call them in. They will be outwith the Local Plan almost by definition.

  12. James says:

    I wonder if as the Tory MP’s had to smile to the cameras as they were getting heckled and booed, they were regretting not getting rid of Johnson when they had a chance

  13. proudcybernat says:

    Johnson has already accepted that IR2 will happen as ScotGov insists. His stance of “Now is not the time” is an implicit acceptance of it. But here’s the thing. He does not get to determine the timing. Were that the case then it effectively amounts to a blockade; thwarting our right to exercise our democratic right. If it’s our right to have IR2 (and Johnson implicitly concedes that it is), then they do not get to trample over that right by telling us IR2 can only happen when they think the time is right i.e. when they say so. That amounts to us having no right at all and no court could possibly uphold such a position.

    IR2 is not in WM’s gift and neither is its timing.

  14. Dr Jim says:

    The FM will set out the next steps next Tuesday in parliament subject to a vote which will pass
    Ah the benefits of being in a majority, isn’t that right Prime Minister

  15. James Mills says:

    The present Westminster Criminal Gang ( aka Johnson’s Government ) are waging a war of attrition on the British public .
    To further their Right-Wing crusade they demonise any and every group/person who criticises or opposes their vendetta against EVERYONE who is not of The Elite ( who have bought and paid for their souls ).
    Unlike the slogan from World War One , they are creating a Land Fit for Zeroes , as no one has any value in their eyes ( unless a Tory Donor )

    No one person or group is safe from their attacks .

    The NHS , which is valued by any decent citizen has been undermined for years by Tory Governments , particularly since Cameron and Osborne’s ”Austerity” and continued under The Blond Clown .
    They have privatised large parts of the English NHS , they demonised Junior doctors during a pay dispute , they are in the process of doing the same to GPs , Ambulances Services and any other group who will not agree to a return to Victorian Values in living standards where only the rich can afford health care .

    Judges are branded as ”Enemies of the People ”if they support the need for a vote by Parliament to ratify a Brexit deal rather than waiving through ” an oven -ready deal ” by Johnson .

    Scrutiny of Brexit also lead to Johnson’s illegal proroguing of Parliament – which another group of judges overturned – hence the ”enemies ” tag !

    Rail workers taking part in a DEMOCRATIC strike today ( following the harsh rules implemented after the Thatcher years of Union bashing ! ) , are vilified from all sides of the Tory War Machine ( aka the British Media ).

    In the next few weeks watch out for organised vilification from the media as Teachers , Nurses , Care Workers , Council employees , Police … appeal for a decent pay rise to offset the Tory Cost of Living Crisis .

    We are informed that these ”inflation -busting ”pay rises would only worsen the Tories Cost of Living Crisis – yet we are informed that The Cabinet was being urged this morning by Johnson to ”ease” restrictions on pay for those top earners in The City .
    I was astounded to hear this ! I wasn’t aware that there WERE any restraints on top earners in The City .

    The major problem with pay in Britain today is clearly the restraints imposed on Public Sector pay by the Tories .
    After two years of Lockdowns and essential workers being praised to the heavens it appears that the only tangible reward which will be forthcoming is the public renewing of the ”Public Clapping” for the NHS in our streets .
    This is free ( at the moment ) but may be encouraged and streamlined by the Tory Minister for Clapping .
    Mondays …NHS workers ( but not GPs – they are on the naughty step )
    Tuesdays …Council Workers
    Wednesdays … Shop Workers

    Applications for the rest of the weekdays will be accepted , in person , at the Home Office processing unit …in Rwanda !

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