Not sucking it up

There’s a lot going on in the Britnatosphere this week, none of it good, and all of it received by the anti-independence media in Scotland with that collective shrugging of the shoulders and faux outrage about a broken down ferry which we have all come to know and loathe. After all, if the media in Scotland actually did its job and held the Conservatives and the British Government to account with the same energy and tenacity with which they pursue a story about a broken down ferry on Berneray, then people in Scotland might just start to wonder whether this country is indeed best served by an institutionally corrupt British Government which is already more than half way down the road to authoritarianism and a sclerotic Westminster system which is even worse at holding the British Government to account than the anti-independence media in Scotland, yes *that* bad.

Boris Johnson is far from being chastened by the recent failed attempt to unseat him, he has learned only that there is no outrage against democracy and decency in high office that he cannot get away with. All he needs to do is to run off to Kyiv to demonstrate that he’s besties with Volodymyr Zelenskyy and all is forgiven because Putin and there’s a war on you know.

This week Johnson, or someone in his office, leaned on the Times newspaper to pull a story about how when he was Foreign Secretary Johnson had tried to arrange a government job paying some £100K annually for his then girlfriend, now his wife, Carrie Johnson. Using their connections in order to land cushy and well paid government jobs for family members is the sort of thing that Nigerian princes do in between sending mass emails offering an amazing investment opportunity. This is not a story about Carrie Johnson. It’s about Boris Johnson. This is a story about a senior government minister trying to get his mistress a lucrative job paid for out of the public purse, and then as Prime Minister using the immense power and influence afforded to him by that aforementioned sclerotic Westminster system, in order to try and silence a journalist from talking about it.

This is a depressing and troubling story on a number of levels. We all expect Johnson to be sleazy and unethical. That is who he is. It is not unsurprising that such an unprincipled and entitled individual should attempt to pressurise the press into covering up yet another of his misdeeds. However what is truly shameful is that the Times, a newspaper which claims to represent fearless and diligent journalism, caved in to Johnson’s demands. Rather than being scared-off by lawyers, or shadowy court orders, or super injunctions, the Times seems to have merely folded to political pressure and a quiet word in its editor’s ear from someone in the Prime Minister’s office, an individual who if they were not acting on Johnson’s direct instruction, most certainly did so with his full knowledge and consent. The UK is already woefully short of meaningful ways in which power can be held to account. If the press starts to collude in enabling the corruption of a corrupt, lying, law-breaker of a Prime Minister there is absolutely nothing that stands in the way of the UK making a descent into a fully blown authoritarian kleptocracy.

The Times likes to call itself the Thunderer. In this instance it’s not so much the thunderer as an apologetic fart which it blamed on the dog.

This week we have the rail strikes, caused by an intransigent Conservative government which refuses to negotiate with the unions but which instead threatens to introduce legislation to crack down even further on the right of union members to take industrial action to protect their jobs and working conditions.

Can you imagine if either of these developments had been the work of SNP ministers? If it had been a Scottish Government transport minister who had refused to intervene in order to reach a settlement which could have prevented industrial action and then compounded their arrogance by announcing that the Scottish Government intended to legislate in order to restrict the rights of unions, the Scottish media would explode in a paroxysm of SNPbaddery. We’d be told that at interminable length and in tedious detail how the government was failing the people of Scotland. It would be relentless.

Equally it does not bear thinking about how the anti-independence media in Scotland would have reacted if it had been a senior figure in the Scottish Government who had tried to land a cushy and well paid government job for his mistress and then the First Minister’s office had leaned on a newspaper to pull the story. Glenn Campbell would be parked outside Bute House for weeks doing his sad face and doorstepping government ministers. The story would dominate Reporting Scotland for weeks, and they might even forget about the ferries for the duration, although not about the murrdurrs, the fitba, and the wee cute kittens. But as far as the Scottish media is concerned, this appalling scandal will be covered in a blink and you’d miss it sort of way, because the primary job of most of the media in Scotland is not to do anything that might foster dissatisfaction with Westminster and stoke up support for independence. Power is only to be held to account when it’s devolved power, the authority that the power is devolved from is not to be challenged.

The Tories know this too. They know that they cannot be held to account at Westminster and that the Scottish media is focused on stemming support for independence. This is why on a farce of a Scottish Affairs committee on which sat the Tory MP for Milton Keynes, Iain Stewart, Lord Malcolm Offord, who got his peerage for donations to the Tory party, and Alister Jack, one of only two Scottish Tories who didn’t vote to remove Boris, Jack told an SNP MP who complained about the way in which the British Government by passes Holyrood and undermines the devolution settlement to “Suck it up.” It was a remark dripping in arrogance and contempt. That’s what the Conservatives think of Scotland, a subordinate to be ordered to suck up the orders of its imperial masters. This is why an independence referendum is an imperative, in order to teach these arrogant and entitled British nationalist patricians that Scotland will not suck it up. As part of this corrupt and dysfunctional UK we have to suck it up. As an independent nation it’s the likes of Jack who will have to suck up what Scotland wants. That’s a lesson we need to teach him.

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55 comments on “Not sucking it up

  1. Hamish100 says:

    Another great article Paul. As the tories claim the FM should have intervened in the ScotRail strike it is the case that Johnson and Shapp should NOT intervene in the rail track dispute.

    The reason of course is Scotland is different and must comply with Tory rules. Hypocrites of the highest order.
    In the background of course is labour Sarwar agitating and encouraging strike action. As if this millionaire private schooled narcissist gives a shit about the employees. It’s power he seeks.

  2. yesindyref2 says:

    This is why an independence referendum is an imperative, in order to teach these arrogant and entitled British nationalist patricians that Scotland will not suck it up. As part of this corrupt and dysfunctional UK we have to suck it up. As an independent nation it’s the likes of Jack who will have to suck up what Scotland wants. That’s a lesson we need to teach him.

    Not really, in fact, not at all. Independence is it’s own ambition and reward, and with Independence, the antics of Westminster is their own problem, as long as it doesn’t affect international relations between Scotland and the rest of the UK, or whatevber it wasnts to call itself.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Well obviously. But it’s called “stirring rhetoric.”

    • yesindyref2 says:

      As far as Bobbin’ Jack is concerned, who cares what he does after Independence, apart from himself and any family he has? As far as I’m concerned he could set himself up on etsy selling craftwork, or open a shop selling Westminster memorabilia to tourists, like memos from BoJo and others. Or breed dogs – as long as he’s licencsed.

      He’d have to stand for Holyrood to have any real influence in the world. Good luck with that.

      • Capella says:

        I hope his right to entertain Tory upper class twits by burning heather and slaughtering defenceless birds for fun will be severely curtailed by the new independent Scottish government. Let him suck that up. One reason why he will fight ruthlessly to prevent independence.

        • grizebard says:

          The arrogant toady’s only advantage so far is that the Scottish public (apart from the residents of Dumfries, perhaps) has been virtually unaware of his existence, let alone his attitude to anything. The more the latter registers with people, the more his previous anonymity will be replaced by contempt.

  3. Alba Laddie says:

    Mike Lynch calls a Tory Minister a liar repeatedly and not once does Wark ask him if he is indeed lying.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Wark expected Lynch to play the BBC game of he said she said, Mick Lynch was having none of it and played it straight, much to the discomfort of both…
      A joy to watch…

      • James Mills says:

        Wark’s reaction ( or non-reaction ) sums up the British media’s complicity with these lying b*stards in the Tory Party and their lapdogs in industry.
        They refuse to see the Emperor has no clothes , they refuse to call out the constant lies from Johnson and his gangster ministers .

        Oh for Eddie Mair interviewing some of these shysters ! But he wouldn’t get airtime today to show up these liars – due to BBC impartiality . LoL !

        • davetewart says:

          Read the report earlier today about the EBC take on unbiased reporting.
          Seems they’ve let go the leftie presenters to go to global.
          Let it be known that global are certainly not lefty, they might have o’brien but he’s still constrained to ignore certain things.
          Today he was on about the democratic right of the RMT to strike as some 90%!! had voted to strike.
          Last week he was supporting labour’s take on Scotland having a referendum vote, no way to break up the union.
          Wark is a confirmed unionist and if you vote slab you get a tory.

          • Hamish100 says:

            Didnt Wark and hubby producer go on holidays with the McConnels – sorry Lord McConnell of somewhere and his wife ex Director of Museums and Art galleries in Glasgow I believe. All impartial of course. Wasn’t Gordy Broon a journalist with bbc scotchland and dame tank Davidson…..Smith of the United States of course …..please amend ‘ add too…

      • Stephen McKenzie says:

        Mick Lynch also stood firm against SKY’s Kay Burley in an interview this morning. Kay was trying so hard to get a “potential violence on the picket line” angle and he was having none of her nonsense.

  4. Alex Clark says:

    The thing for me that is most depressing about it is that what they are actually getting away with is blatant corruption. Those civil servants that work their way up into the top ranks of Westminster are highly qualified individuals with years of experience.

    What kind of experience and qualifications would be required to become an advisor to the Foreign Secretary? Not much it would seem if Carrie Johnson was deemed suitable not just as a candidate but to get the job.

    This is quite simply corruption, if she was employed by the government as the Foreign Secretaries advisor then she would no doubt accompany him on trips all over the world, a nice deal to be able to take trips overseas with your mistress at the public expense on top of paying her wages of £100K a year.

    The media aren’t just guilty of covering up stories such as this, they are complicit in protecting the government and keeping the outright corruption that is going on a secret. The UK is now a banana republic where the ruling class does whatever they like with no fear of being held to account.

    We can do much much better than that, just say Yes.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Remember the days when British Prime ministers went around the world and locally employed correspondents sent in the news by satellite or even phone? now Boris Johnson takes GB news with him so that we can all benefit from his own personal truthy news interviews without the distractions of actual pertinent questioning

      Donald Trump must be so proud of his little British nationalist protege

  5. Bob Lamont says:

    I’d previously posted a link to the tweet over the Times story being pulled – the author had posted shots of the online and paper versions side by side, so clearly the call was made to pull the story after it had already been published – That leaves the Times and Prime Charlatan hung out to dry as equally corrupt.

    On another Times story, Kieran Andrews in a series of misleading and completely false statements live on BBC UK “Because the rail network in Scotland has been nationalised…” – He didn’t correct it to train operator or Scotrail, nor did the interviewer, little wonder folks in England are confused what is or is not devolved – Just in time for the RMT strike too, what a coincidence…

    Alister Jack’s “suck it up” riposte on video revealed the nasty side of him he takes considerable care to camouflage, so he must have been rattled to drop his guard like that. It will have done him no favours beyond backslaps at the Conservative Club, his coat was on the shoogly peg in Dumfries already..

  6. Alex Clark says:

    The Guardian has just published this article about Johnson trying to get his bit on the side a job as an advisor at the Foreign office.

    Correspondence exists confirming that Boris Johnson attempted in 2019 to secure a senior role for his then girlfriend, Carrie Johnson, at the Foreign Office, a source has said, amid growing calls for an inquiry…

    A former Foreign Office minister, Alan Duncan, also said he was told in 2018 that Carrie Johnson was a rising star running communications in Conservative campaign headquarters (CCHQ) and was being lined up for a special adviser role in the department.

    “For someone slightly unproven who knew nothing about foreign affairs to come straight out of CCHQ and into the Foreign Office was rather noticeable,” Duncan told the Guardian…

    The chair of the House of Commons standards committee, Chris Bryant, called on Tuesday for the “paper trail” surrounding the issue to be published. “It is manifestly corrupt to appoint your lover as a Spad,” he said in a tweet.

    Why people will still vote for this disgrace to everything that the UK claims to stand for beats me.

    • JoMax says:

      “Why people will still vote for this disgrace to everything that the UK claims to stand for beats me.”

      A Devon farmer was asked on Radio 4 last week who he would be voting for in the forthcoming by-election. It was going to be Tory for a number of reasons, but he added that what with the pandemic and one thing and another, he considered Boris Johnson has done ‘a damn good job’. There’s just no accounting for taste. Are we missing something?

      • Bob Lamont says:

        “Are we missing something?”
        The Mirror, Mail, Sun, Telegraph, Times, Express, Star, etc., etc…..

        • Alex Clark says:

          Don’t forget the BBC, Sky, ITV and Channels 4 and 5

          • davetewart says:

            And the radio for those of us that avoid the englander media.
            Even classic FM pushes the government position and that’s supposed to be just music.

  7. Golfnut says:

    The FM is next week to reveal the route to indyref without ukok approval, that’s interesting because this may reframe all of the arguments.

  8. Alex Clark says:

    Is that exactly what has been said she will reveal next week “the route to indyref without ukok approval”?

  9. Alex Clark says:

    • Alex Clark says:

      I think it highly unlikely that the FM will announce what her plan is in the event of Westminster refusing again a Section 30 order. That would be jumping the gun and admitting you don’t expect them to agree.

      So it looks to me like a headline with little substance designed to sell their paper but I’m happy to wait and see what quotes they have in the paper tomorrow from the Scottish government or the FM to back their headline up.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Indeed, but it could be true.

        2014: “Should Scotland be an Independent Country?”

        2023: “With the total lack of respect that Westminster has for Holyrood and Scotland which voted 74.4% YES for Devolution in 1997, but in spite of that the House of Commons is stealing powers from Holyrood, and when our democratically elected MPs who represent Scotland at Westminster, justifiably complain and ask that the powers be reinstated and Holyrood be consulted, they are told to “suck it up” by Alister “Bobbin'” Jack who fancies himself as the Dictator of Scotland though nobody else would, we are not allowed to ask the standard question “Should Scotland be an Independent Country”, but if the UK became democratic once again and we were allowed to, how would you vote to that question:

        “Should Scotland be an Independent Country?” YES / NO

        Embarrass the sugar out of them. make them look pathetic.

        • Golfnut says:

          Yes, there’s a lot of ways she could approach this, if indeed she intends to reframe the narrative.

  10. Hamish100 says:


    Or as I would say to Jack the lad SoS governer general— suck it up!! Metaphorically of course.

  11. Hamish100 says:

    See MP Patricia Gibson has no case to answer re an alleged harassment case at Westminster. Turns out complainant IS same person that complained previously for the other male MP.
    Whole thing is weird. Glad for Mrs Gibson though.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I heard Chris Law steals ice lollies from vulnerable teenage fridges and Philipa Whitford carries a stick to kill baby mice

      There’ll be another scandalous story along in a minute

    • grizebard says:

      “Wierd” is one way of describing it. “Fishy” is perhaps another. Not least given the predictable media coverage that ensues. Did an internet search just now over that, and the first two results were respectively headlined:

      “SNP MP Patricia Gibson faces sexual harassment claim”

      “SNP MP Patricia Gibson cleared of sexual harassment by Westminster investigation”

      One was the BBC and the other was The National. Have a quick guess which was which!

      Both in their way are true, but which of them is noticeably closer to the whole truth?

  12. Dr Jim says:

    Funny how the polling companies can’t seem to manage the simple yes or no question when they ask folk about Scottish independence, yet they can ask a binary question in regards to support or no support for striking rail workers

    The independence question always seems to come with time date and weather conditions attached, or if it’s a Tuesday or a Thursday this year next year two years ago or in the morning after we’ve all had our cornflakes, so the unionists can analyse that to mean nobody wants a referendum ever again because the right time can never be agreed upon, except we definitely know it’s not now so suck it up

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Correct – Polling is no longer about sampling public opinion, but a means to sway it.

    • It doesn’t sway public opinion though. What can potentially work though is swaying the opinion of politicians, causing them to react with policy changes. These can potentially change public opinion.

      I’m quite open to believing some pollsters started to magically find Yes a little in majority ahead of 2014 to push the UK government into offering a vow, when their really results showed it getting a bit too close for comfort, but with No still ahead.

  13. Iain says:

    I thought the name Offord rang a bell then I remembered the Nob Orders crew in 2014 who made videos and a website in support of Westminster rule. The website was hilarious as it allowed unmonitored posting, leading to some very funny entries, my favouritebeing a plea for unity because of chaffinches. Or something. The outfit’s videos were pretty comic too, featuring a clutch of suicidal-looking Britnats unmerrily singing the praises of the London regime. Some of these joyless souls later popped up as candidates for election, although none were chosen by the voters, especially the one in the northeast who was a National Front enthusiast. So Offord’s now in government, and there’s a good enough reason to dissolve the UK and try and expunge corruption from public life.

  14. Iain says:

    Needless to say, Nob Orders received great attention from the BBC in particular, with fearless investigative truthfinder Gavin Esler sharing the love for what he termed a grassroots organisation.

  15. Capella says:

    The National reports on the accusation against Patricia Gibson ruled “no case to answer”.

    SNP MP Patricia Gibson cleared of sexual harassment by Westminster investigation

    The North Ayrshire and Arran MP was accused of making inappropriate comments to a male member of staff in a Commons bar in January 2020.

    She has always denied the allegations, having described them as “malicious”.

    While the complaint had been initially upheld by Standards Commissioner it was later overturned by the Independent Expert Panel.

    The man who made the complaint about Gibson is the same young SNP staffer that was targeted with an “unwanted sexual advance” from SNP MP Patrick Grady.

    The complaint against Grady was upheld but the victim’s identity remains unknown after it was reported he signed a non-disclosure agreement.

    The man has said he is considering legal action against the party.

  16. Capella says:

    Updated National article on the plan for Indyref2 with or without consent from Boris the Clown.

    Nicola Sturgeon sets the date for the ‘route map’ to indyref2

    The FM will make a ministerial statement to Holyrood on the plans on Tuesday, June 28 at 2.20pm, with a question and answer slot from MSPs to follow.

    It comes ahead of the Scottish Parliament’s summer recess which begins on July 2.

    The First Minister will reveal her plans for how the Scottish Government can move forward with a referendum whilst Westminster withholds consent for a Section 30 order, which would allow the Scottish Parliament to legislate as it did in 2014.

    However, current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused repeatedly to grant such an order.

    The Scottish Government revealed the date of the statement during a meeting of the parliamentary bureau on Tuesday 21.

    The SNP and Green MSPs are expected to confirm it in a vote, with the Unionist parties – Tories, Labour and LibDems – set to object against it.

  17. Why have rampant Albaists not gone ahead and held a Brian Souter type referendum if they believed the Scottish Government was ‘dragging it’s feet / secretly devolutionist’? They’ve pointed out often enough that ‘anyone can hold a referendum in Scotland’. Is it because they were ‘not really interested in indy’ that they didn’t bother organising one themselves?

    • Asking for a SGP reader.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The Aba party questioner should just join the Labour party, they are in essence both the same party anyway, both of them detest the SNP beyond human comprehension, both detest the FM with even more bitterness than the Tories, both will vote for anyone else but the SNP at any election, and both believe an independence referendum should be conducted on their timetable in a set of circumstances demanded and or created by them, even though they’re not in government and nobody voted for them, there’s much much more but I think most folk don’t need to clean their glasses to see the rest

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    When you have a Labour grandee who gave the opening address to a Conservative Conference in 2014 to a standing ovation and was largely to blame for the near-total demise of Labour in the 2015 General Election, quoted as this in the Herald:

    Asked about Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum campaign launch last week, Lord Darling said: “I don’t think she wants a referendum any more than I do.

    you know the Unionists are in a festering terminal panic.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Indeed, nobody’s Darling was instrumental in the “Tartan Tories” narrative leading up to 2014. and is doubtless trying to tap into the “Closet Tory” narrative the “Torches and Pitchforks” brigade were so keen to amplify in the “Independence for Somerset” initiative in the wake of 2014.
      Labour are in full blown panic in the country of birth, in their journey to a career with retirement benefits they forgot the very people they once championed.

    • G says:

      Yes, and the people of Scotland should just accept the 2014 result, in other words ‘ suck it up ‘ , consistent as well as rude.
      Maybe someone should tell the former SSOS and renowned eyebrow twitched that Scots Constitutional principals are based on the premise that our leaders are there to do what they are told or they’re seriously f###ed.

  19. yesindyref2 says:

    From the National:

    Okey-doke, one vision can be made for iScotland including unions, and the STUC and individual unions should do a bit of research by googling e.g.:

    germany unions companies government partnership

    I worked in Germany back in the 80s, and the project I was on for a rather large company, didn’t have agreement from the unions for overtime. This had been a discussion between company and union, and that was the decision. Other projects did have the approval, as much overtime as people wanted.

    Well, I’d turned down a contract with another large organisation with unlimited overtime, because yes I need money which was a lot more than in Scotland anyway, but also I wanted to see Germany. And France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Hungary, you name it! The co-operation was an important factor in Germany’s economic performance (often a surplus compared to deficits).

    What I think is that the STUC should do this research and set a picture for what they want to see in iScotland – probably based on the relationship enjoyed in Germany. For instance, now it seems, and don’t forget there have been decades of co-operation rather than conflict:

    I can’t comment on the article as I haven’t read it, just the headline! But this is the time they could put forward their vision and get the interest of the Scottish Government. It’s a way of including socialist ideas without having them as actual policies just yet.

    • Golfnut says:

      The SNP and the Greens are already committed to a ‘ Well being economy ‘ post indy, the union’s might want to use that as a bench mark, I’m sure any contribution from them would be welcome.

  20. yesindyref2 says:

    Ah well, time to make myself unpopular once more, having a bit of inside knowledge of this travesty:

    A single summary legal aid case with one deferred sentence attracted a fee of £550 in 1999 and just 76p more 23 years later. The SSBA says the average rate of pay for a newly qualified defence solicitor is £25,000 a year while, a publicly funded procurator fiscal depute at the same stage will be paid over £48,000. Publicly funded prosecutors also get a pension and flexible working.

    It was McAskill started the accelerating rot in legal aid when he cut legal aid for civil cases (at the expense of small businesses getting screwed), to save a measly £2.5 million back in 2012.

    It comes as public spending on all legal aid over nearly 20 years has dramatically slumped.

    In 2007/08 it was at £155 million and in 2019/20 it stood at just £130.85m – a drop of £85m when taking inflation into account. In 2020/21 it dropped even further to £99.13m.

    It should be more like £200 million in real terms, just to stand still on 2007/8.

    Regan: “the legal aid system in Scotland is one of the leading jurisdictions in Europe

    It was, and could be again. But so many practices now refuse to take part, or to provide duty solicitors, as it’s not economically viable for them. Scotland used to pride itself on our legal system – not any more, it’s a disgrace and getting worse by the week.


    Access to Justice should be for all, in a fair and just society.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Sorry, I missed this bit out at the beginning:

      But while there have been incremental increases to the fixed fee paid in the bulk of criminal cases but, inflation is considered, the fee has dropped by almost half in real terms.

      Half. No wonder there’s so much injustice for those who can’t afford it.

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