The Guardian’s clueless condescension

The Guardian spends half its time complaining about the archaic, corrupt Westminster system and the other half campaigning to stop anyone from doing anything about it. The latest installment in the Guardian’s campaign to tell us that if it’s Anglo-British nationalism, it can’t be nationalist is a clueless article from Martin Kettle which even by the Guardian’s low standards whenever it comes to Scotland drips arrogance and condescension.

The piece employs the usual Anglo-British nationalist trope of personalising and trivialising the issue of Scottish independence by talking about “Sturgeon” and “her” referendum. We saw the exact same tired and lazy deflection last time round when it was “Salmond” and “his” referendum. Give it a rest for god’s sake. If Londoncentric commentators like Kettle want to make a useful contribution to this debate and start to engage meaningfully with those of us who want Scottish independence, which they must do if they are to achieve their fervent wish of making this whole issue go away, they could start by recognising that around half the Scottish population want independence and that a substantial majority want at the very minimum a substantially reformed UK, a reformed UK which the Conservatives are dead set against and which Labour has no real interest in delivering.

Can we get this clear once and for all? This is not Sturgeon’s referendum. It is Scotland’s referendum. It is the referendum that all of Scotland clearly understood that it was voting for or against at the Holyrood election last year, the election which returned a Scottish Parliament with its biggest ever pro-independence majority.

We do not have government by opinion poll in this, or any other country, but Anglo-British nationalists like Kettle like to talk about opinion polls on the referendum because they don’t want to acknowledge that the only democratic way to assess Scotland’s wishes on an independence referendum is via the Scottish Parliament- where there is a majority for a referendum to take place before 2026. There was an election and by the rules of that election proponents of another referendum won fair and square. The winners of an election are determined by the number of seats won, not by the percentage of votes cast. The voting system used in Scottish Parliament elections is broadly proportional but not exactly so. It’s a voting system which was chosen by the Labour an Lib Dem parties. A pro-independence, pro-referendum majority was won by the British nationalist parties’ own rules. Opponents of independence don’t get to retroactively rewrite the rules now because the result was not to their liking. It’s nothing more than a transparent attempt to delegitimise the outcome of a Scottish election.

The vital starting point in this debate is to acknowledge that Westminster and the main UK parties are deeply resistant to meaningful reform. Despite previous landslide Labour victories, we still have the undemocratic first past the post system, we still have an unelected House of Lords,and we still have few effective checks on the power of a Prime Minister with a majority in the Commons, a majority which can be won with a minority of the popular vote. We see Westminster lurch from one scandal to the next, nothing ever changes and the powerful are never held to account.

This, together with the abject failure of the Westminster parties to deliver on the promises and commitments which they made to secure a No vote in 2014, is why we are having this independence debate now. Scotland has castigated both Labour and the Conservatives at the polls and it has made bugger all difference. Despite vowing that the devolution settlement would be safe from Westminster meddling, the Conservatives have used Brexit – which Scotland didn’t vote for – as an excuse to take a wrecking ball to devolution. Just this week the Conservatives announced their intention to overturn the Welsh Government’s 2017 Trade Union Act, which bans agency staff from being used if public sector workers go on strike. The law conflicts with the Tories’ union busting crusade. None of this appears to trouble Martin Kettle and those of his ilk.  If Scotland is not allowed to give its verdict on the promises made to it in 2014 in order to secure a No vote then democracy is meaningless.

Meanwhile we learn that the message that Keir Starmer wants to send to Scotland is that Labour doesn’t care if Scotland keeps voting for and electing pro-independence MPs and MSPs. Labour doesn’t care if Scotland votes for a Scottish Parliament with a clear mandate for another independence referendum. Martin Kettle thinks this is just grand.  For Labour it is far more important to pander to Brexit supporting voters in English constituencies. That’s some message. This is what happens when you let your Scotland policy be determined by Ian Murray and the tribal unionists of the Scottish branch office.

For the likes of Martin Kettle the elephant in the room is Anglo-British nationalism. Like Gordon Brown before him Kettle bewails that the United Kingdom is threatened by nationalism, but it’s Scottish, Irish, and Welsh nationalism that he has in mind, there is not a mention of the English nationalism that finds its expression in the right wing centralising Anglo-British nationalism which is the dominant ideology of the modern British state, an ideology that even Starmer’s Brexit supporting Labour party has fully subscribed to. All Kettle mentions, and that in passing, is “anglocentric unionism.” He complains that Brexit exacerbates nationalism, by which he means the desire for Scottish independence or Irish reunification, but like the Anglo-British nationalist he is, he fails to recognise that Brexit is nationalism. As has been noted on this blog more often than I care to remember, the defining feature of Anglo-British nationalism is its refusal to recognise that is just another variety of nationalism.

The first step to solving a problem is to identify what the problem is, if commentators like Kettle are unwilling or unable to see Anglo-British nationalism for what it is, there can be no chance of any constructive dialogue within the political framework of the Westminster state. It is quite likely that Kettle – like that other colonialist British nationalist in denial Michael White before him – genuinely believes in the consensual Union he remembers and believes exists, it is really rather sad that he hasn’t noticed, and indeed is actively cheering on, that it is being turned into into a coercive unitary Anglo-British nationalist state. It is beyond pathetic that he clings to the belief that this can somehow save the voluntary union whose demise he himself is urging on.

___________________________

I had an assessment for disability benefit yesterday. It will be five to eight weeks before a decision is made. I think it went well but they don’t give much away.  However it was exhausting to get into Glasgow for it and the process was emotionally draining.   I’m on a bit of a downer today because during the assessment you have to focus on all the things you can’t do and the things that you used to do but can no longer do, many of which you’ll never be able to do again. Stroke takes a severe toll on your mental health as well as your physical abilities. I had originally intended to wait until Monday before blogging, but needed to do something to get out of this funk and make myself feel like a productive human being again.

___________________________

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86 comments on “The Guardian’s clueless condescension

  1. Jane Russell says:

    I do hope you’ve sent a copy of this article directly to Mr Kettle. That way, there’s a faint hope that he will get the message.

  2. Movy says:

    It was a ridiculous article.
    Arrogant, patronising, ill-informed.
    I accept that the Guardian is pro-Union and pro-Labour but it is more than disappointing that it give house room to such articles, so unaware of its blinkered Anglocentricity.
    Keep well.

    • grizebard says:

      Kettle is of course the most overt Anglonationalist on that paper, and long has been well known for it, but it is interesting to observe from last time that many different parts of the English Establishment (eg. the Civil Service, to name but one) suddenly found that their much-vaunted fine principles and resolute support for democracy could so very easily “go right out the window” when English hegemony over Scotland came under challenge. And were even openly proud of it afterwards.

      That mutual back-slapping and many sighs of relief back then, and the current desperate attempts to get us to “just shut up”, should tell us everything we need to know for the new decision that’s a’coming for a’ that.

      • Movy says:

        You’re right grizebard and the comments BTL on the Guardian can’t have given Kettle or the paper any comfort.
        They really are running scared.

        • Penhest says:

          They have placed me in pre moderation and block any posts I make that echo the sentiments of this article and call out the unionist liars that populate the guardian forum. It is a nominal supporter of labour and left of centre but when it comes down to it, is no better than the right wing racist little inglander right wing press, especially on the issue of Scotland.

  3. grizebard says:

    Frankly, it’s not merely an absolute requirement of all responsible journalists on a newspaper with pretensions to a principled stance that they have due respect for democracy, and get the terms of indy engagement correct instead of attempting the familiar Anglocentric reframing. In point of fact it isn’t even their business to interfere at all. The Guardian now aims for an international reach, so the last thing anyone anywhere in the world needs is another round of attempted egregious distortion of Scottish affairs from the likes of Kettle. (Not to forget Robinson.)

    During the campaign itself, much tighter and timely enforcement of the rules of engagement than last time will be essential. This foray is just the start.

  4. Hamish100 says:

    I think the article gave you fire in your belly to write your article but it must be draining.
    I think the patronising and condescending role of the news media may have been acceptable to some a few years ago ( we were too polite to call it out) but now we all state that there views are unacceptable. Whether this is at at the bowling club, church group, pub, work or anywhere else we should state clearly that we are entitled to decide our future, whenever or however we wish.
    Butt-out Anglobrit it’s 2022 not 1722

  5. JP58 says:

    Having lived throughout UK I have noticed that with many left leaning friends outside Scotland when you picked below the surface many had the attitudes of little Englanders when it came to the other UK nations. It was, from my observation, a mindset borne out of ignorance and arrogance of the other UK nations.
    They also have (in common with many on the left in Scotland) the manta that all nationalism is bad. A ridiculous simple slogan which both Ghandi & Mandela identified and dismissed as the imperialistic attitude of bigger nations to smaller countries.

    The Guardian (and Labour MPs) exhibits these attitudes in buckets when it comes to Scotland without a shred of self awareness that all they are doing is making many of the points as to why Scotland should be independent.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes. This very recognisable attitude comes from two (related) sources, I believe.

      Firstly, the conventional socialist approach is inherently “top down” statist, in the UK exemplified in the immediate post-war years by the self-evident success of the NHS and (at least initially) by the nationalised industries. And for UK Labour supporters, since the centre of UK government is London, it naturally follows that this is the “obvious” sole locus of all power. Everything else is an inherently illegitimate pretender. This view is inherently antagonistic to a “bottom up” approach, which is what in essence is the Scottish constitutional position. This aspect of Labourite attitude is very deeply ingrained, and on its own probably explains much of the current resistance within and without Scotland to the notion of our independence.

      Secondly is the suffocating and widely-assumed exceptionalism, the view that they represent the sole and rightful vanguard of progressivism, a view akin in the political sphere to religious belief in previous ages. Any other viewpoint is inherently heretical and by very definition illegitimate. This view suffuses through all comments they make in response to challenges for progressive political dominance. Hence the widespread use of derogatory epithets such as “nationalism”, the latter being not merely a convenient hollow slur, but one which also serves as code for “not invented here”. For them it is an article of faith that nothing can be progressive without their total ownership (whilst also blithely ignoring the historical dead end whence their insufferable arrogance has now taken them).

      When to that ingrained political exceptionalism is added the English variant that exists right across the political spectrum down south, there in a nutshell you find The Guardian.

  6. The sneering condescension when it comes to other peoples / nations is of course not confined to those in the union. British / English nationalism is based on a fundamental belief in the superiority of the British / English race (white English that is). Every other nation gets it, from the ‘French frog turds’ to the ‘thicko micks’.

    The irony is that (greater / lebensraum seeking) English nationalists even look down upon the British as pathetic English feet kissing wannabes, hence you can’t be English unless you are white, the ‘most proud British in the world’ DUP getting shafted…Ross being called a lightweight etc.

    Mind the crap Broon got for being a ‘one eyed jock’ even though he basically said Scotland didn’t exist in his eyes and was just ‘North Britain’.

  7. davetewart says:

    Have never read the I newspaper before and was drawn into their take on the announcement.
    It was the same stuff, you won’t be allowed to do it.

    So had a look at who runs the newspaper and wasn’t surprised to find its parent company is the mail group.
    That’s them off the list of places to get unbiased information.

    • bedelsten says:

      To quote the Grauniad Web site: “The Guardian is owned by Guardian Media Group, which has only one shareholder – the Scott Trust.

      The Scott Trust, named after our longest serving editor, CP Scott, exists to secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity.

      Today more than half of the Guardian’s revenue comes directly from readers, helping to support Guardian journalism and keep it open for everyone.”

      • grizebard says:

        Unlike you, I gave up my subscription in the wake of their rather mixed IR1 coverage and their post-indy swing to Unionism. It may well be that the evident swerve from a former small-l liberal “broad church” to Anglo-Labour partisanship is a consequence of pandering to an ever-narrower reader base, but I also darkly suspect the changes at an ownership level which did the very opposite, and took the paper out of the hands of the independent Scott Trust and put it in the commercial hands of the Establishment under the current editorship. (But that’s just my greatly disillusioned and perhaps biased take.)

  8. bedelsten says:

    I pay to read the Grauniad, so feel mildly entitled to take the piss.

    The Grauniad article starts with the premise that despite the majority of Scots voting for parties which support an independent Scotland, a ScotlandInUnion poll… stop right there. Either the author is stupid, or biased, or both. Could he not have rung up Libby Brooks and asked who ScotlandInUnion is – though the name is a bit of a giveaway – and get a response probably along the lines, ‘between you and me, a bunch of right-wing unionist nutters, but don’t quote me on that; got to go, I have to take the sprog to the playpark’. Or the other one, with the name from Hogwarts, who may, or may not, have had a lunch or two with them somewhere up the Royal Mile, so should know. Still, we will know when the Grauniad is getting really worried, Polly will be dispatched from her house at Spitalfields to shed a crocodile tear or two, pen some text, and get the train back.

    But isn’t this all coming a bit too soon; has Martin Kettle been taking lessons from the oaf acting in the role of prime minister and come a bit prematurely, running the risk of unionism being a spent force with nothing much left but flaccid arguments and limp expositions? Bring it on, as someone once said.

    PS On the plus side, with Murdo MacLeod, the Graundiad has talented photographer, quite capable of capturing, visually, the essence of Scotland.

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gallery/2020/apr/16/we-feel-blessed-edinburgh-allotment-holders-in-pictures

  9. Dr Jim says:

    The union tactics will never change because they can’t change, they’re wrong and they know it so they resort to the only thing they do know, and it’s the thing they accuse the independence supporters of, *division*
    The journalists and Westminster government tried and tested method of communicating to their own side as used for as long as anyone can remember, accuse and attack the person they make their scapegoat figurehead, Nicola Sturgeon is the evil one who’s dragging Scotland into something we don’t want to do exactly as her predecessor did

    Remember the Miliband pickpocket propaganda flooding the newspapers with pictures of both the former and current FMs stealing the cash from England because Scotland has no money, in one town in England they even sanctioned the burning of an Alex Salmond effigy to display their distaste for all things Scottish

    No matter what anyone says or does Nicola Sturgeon is the target, they must have something to take aim at, kill the head of this thing that Scotland seemingly doesn’t want even though we keep voting for it, but that’s neither here nor there because she’s evil and has duped and lied to us all feeding us false promises of something better than the great union with England is doing now, so just stop voting for things you can’t have because England won’t allow it

    It’s impossible to achieve impossible to contemplate that Scotland could do better and Nicola Sturgeon knows it but has lied to us all about how terrific Westminster actually is, and if we all just listened to them we’d see that and rid ourselves of this notion of democracy and equality, because this can never be, post independence Scotland will have less power than England yes, but 100% more than we have now…..so

    Why not Scotland

    • grizebard says:

      For them, Nicola Sturgeon is just a convenient bogeywoman. Someone with whom to scare naughty children. I reckon many of the English Establishmant and its commentariat may still believe that the indy movement is her sole doing, a malign inheritance from a former bogeyman, and if she would just go away everything would directly revert to how they did (and should) always happen.

      There doesn’t seem to be any serious analysis being done by anyone down south in regard to the many fundamental socio-political factors which underly the move to independence, and which have now put Scotland on the very brink of leaving. That very absence sits at the heart of the matter. Not merely a symptom, but one very important aspect of their UK’s institutional purblindness.

      They reside in a reality-distortion bubble of their own devising, one that deprives them of all awareness and understanding, and when it finally bursts, the shock will truly rock them.

      • Drew Anderson says:

        “…There doesn’t seem to be any serious analysis being done by anyone down south in regard to the many fundamental socio-political factors which underly the move to independence…”

        They’re not likely to do any analysis either. The result was all they cared about last time. Their behaviour since literally the moment the outcome was clear is proof enough of that. Their behaviour now confirms it.

        No, it’s straight to the same old lies and misinformation of project fear; reheating the dessicated carcass of the last effort.

        In the absence of “you’ll be out of the EU” “you’ll be out of NATO” has been promoted from the subs bench; sometimes supplimented with “and the Russians will invade you”.

        That aside, it’s just the same old tropes. Which on re-reading BTL on Kettle’s article, I note they were swiftly and efficiently dealt with when posted.

  10. yesindyref2 says:

    That was fond memories looking through the comments, 3 or 4 of the old-timers still there, including KK though looks like she re-registsered. Must have been kicked off on her old ID! A lot missing though, including BangorStu for the Unionist camp. My login is still there 🙂

    Ah yes, the kettle is still on the boil, emitting steam but not hot enough to make a cup of tea yet. Ho hum.

    • grizebard says:

      Ah, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. Did try my login once over something or other and it still worked then, but that was a while ago. BBC and Graun, former idols with feet of clay, the latter especially. Consequently I don’t expect the BTL of the current Graun (or that of any other Dead Tree Scroll) will feature much in the struggle for ideas in the runup to the now-inevitable IR2.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yes not sure what value any btl comments anywhere will have – expect perhaps to allow our own side to assess views on the likes of here.

    • Empty kettles make the most sound, YIR2.

  11. James Mills says:

    Empty vessels ( like Kettle’s ) make most noise !

    Mr Martin Empty Kettle shows his out-of-touchness with his closing remarks on Starmer .

    ”But the greatest challenge that History has reserved for Starmer will be to find a way of recreating the British State .”
    Ye-gads !

    Anyone who has put his faith in Keir Starmer to recreate ANYTHING other than a pale imitation of Tory Britain is in dire need of medication – or a large whisky !

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Keir Starmer has told his underling Anas Sarwar to put on his best bib and tucker, suck up the formula and be seen and not heard.

      As Starmer might say, “You can’t get the staff any more”.

      Not so much a branch office, not even a twig these days, just a bit of sap and no bark.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      “But the greatest challenge that History has reserved for Starmer will be to find a way of recreating the British State .”

      All that “History has reserved for Starmer” is a place at some point in the future , for a short section in a book on politics, stating that he was THE most ineffectual, weak and uninspiring opposition Labour leader at a time when the UK had the worse Tory government and leader…..and that there was, at the time, NO real political chasm between Labour and the Tory party while Keir Starmer was the Labour leader………….there should also be a chapter in the book dedicated to how both political leaders were united in opposing democracy to Scotland thus presenting a ONE PARTY state policy on Scotland , it’s politics and trying to confine it to a future within the UK they supported and wanted to maintain……the last paragraph of that chapter will note that they both failed as Scotland voted for it’s independence…..Starmer then left frontline politics and became a…….. Lib Dem politician (INO)….. and Boris Johnson was made a Life Pee-er ( Lord Pee Wee of Uxbridge)…..and Nicola Sturgeon got the last laugh…..again.

      CAPTAIN Hindsight ?……more like ….MAJOR Catastrophe…

  12. Welsh_Siôn says:

    In other news.

    8 000 marching under AUOB colours in Wrecsam, today:

    https://nation.cymru/news/thousands-join-march-for-welsh-independence-in-wrexham/

    Overwhelming support by ‘Welsh’ Labour for a more democratic and bigger Senedd:

    https://nation.cymru/news/welsh-labour-vote-to-back-senedd-reform/

  13. Sorry if someone has posted this.

    • Alex Clark says:

      That’s going to come as a shock to more than a few Unionists, what now for “nobody wants a referendum”. The cries for a referendum will only get louder and stronger the more we are denied one.

      Rd 1 to democracy.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Here’s an archive link to the Sunday Times poll giving Yes a lead on the Independence question.

      https://archive.ph/fDJps

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Mmm, encoouraging, and perhaps showing resistance to attempted indoctrination by the “experts”:

        According to the Panelbase poll of 1,010 voters, conducted last week, 48 per cent believe that the Supreme Court, presided over by the Scottish judge Lord Reed, will rule that the Scottish government does not have the power to hold a referendum without the UK government’s agreement, with 33 per cent believing the judges would find in the Scottish government’s favour. Nineteen per cent said they did not know or preferred not to say.

      • ‘Boris Johnson’ given full name , but our FM is referred to as ‘Sturgeon’ throughout the article.

        Drip drip drip…
        They are growing more arrogant and vicious with each passing day.
        They now realise that they have lost their Golden Goose colony.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I’m just surprised they even published this poll, especially the bit saying 47% agreed there should be an Independence referendum next year.

          That completely goes against the narrative that’s been ascendant for years and is still being used right now as their main weapon, that there is no appetite for a referendum, that the SNP should be focusing on the cost of living, etc etc ect. All of that is now blown out of the water by this poll.

          Somebody will be getting their botty smacked for this screw up I’d expect LOL

          • Alex Clark says:

            Sorry, 49% not 47% agree with Nicola Sturgeon and want a referendum next year.

          • Alex Clark says:

            The actual numbers as reported.

            A Panelbase poll for The Sunday Times suggests that 44 per cent of voters oppose Nicola Sturgeon’s desire to stage a referendum in October 2023, with 43 per cent in favour. Ten per cent said they neither supported or opposed a referendum and 3 per cent said they did not know.

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Only 44% oppose an Indy ref on October 19th 2023 – Sturgeon’s timetable.

              56% either support it, or aren’t fussed.

              Mmm, that sounds better 🙂

    • grizebard says:

      It’s by no means “deadlock” for having a referendum. “Significant demand” is the actual requirement in any respectable democracy, and 43% “for” is considerably more than that, and has been for some time. “Agins” don’t get a veto. (Participation is voluntary, so the latter don’t have to participate if they don’t like it.)

      Continual poll testing of timing demand now is stupid, pointless and offensive, since every single poll demonstrates more than sufficient demand. What is the point of having > 50% support for a referendum whose purpose is to determine if there is >50% support for indy? If that point were reached and sustained, we might as well all save a lot of time, bother and expense and instead agree to separation with a quick phone call, just as did the former Czechoslovakia.

      • Golfnut says:

        I seem to remember that referendums in Switzerland are regular occurrences, obviously nowhere near as divisive as ours. 10 or 20% ( I think ) demand is apparently enough for the government to hold a referendum

  14. uno mas says:

    Been reading the “Manchester” Guardian since 1973. Deleted it from my bookmarks list earlier this week.

    Enough already!

  15. Alex Clark says:

    • Dr Jim says:

      Once again a multiple question poll designed to be interpreted as required because they’re too afraid to just ask a straight question, will you vote YES or NO when the time comes?, so they confuse conflate and deviate over the interpretations of the other questions that have sod all to do with YES or NO

      Therein awaits the terror for the British state

      • Alex Clark says:

        Yes Dr Jim, most of us here are well aware that polls can be used to manipulate opinion. I just can’t figure out then why this one appears to have gone so wrong haha.

        We’re not going to stop the polls from being produced nor stop them from being used by those that pay for them and those that compile them and print the results.

        We should get to laugh though when things become so obvious that they can’t afford for their lies to be seen as so blatant so have to give support for Independence some credit. We too can use polls to our advantage when an opportunity arises and that’s exactly what the FM has done on this occasion.

  16. yesindyref2 says:

    If over the next 15 months, the tipping point is reached, then we’ll get confirmed unionists jumping the broomstick saying they always secretly supported Independence.

    I’m looking at YOU, Douglas …

  17. Capella says:

    It might not take 15 months. Boris Johnston is finished. He will be replaced. There might be a general election sooner than expected.

    Brilliant article BTW. I think we can safely assume that the British state does not do “democracy”. We are in a completely different ball game.

  18. Iain Patterson says:

    Appalling piece by Kettle. And on page 18 (how’s this for neutrality?) Libby Brooks headline is “Referendum pledge creates division and confusion”
    To my shock and surprise on Friday there were a couple of good letters in support of self determination.

  19. yesindyref2 says:

    So that latest poll has

    Scottish voting intentions for a UK general election used as a de facto independence referendum:

    SNP 47%
    Labour 23%
    Conservatives 19%
    Liberal Democrats 8%
    Other 3%

    but this is now of course, before a section 30 has been refused yet again by an undemocratic scared chicken cowardly contemptuous self-seeking morally bankrupt filthy rich cluck cluck cluck amoral Etonian toff patronising moronic UK Government, and before the UKSC might have rejected our own rightful referendum for political reasons which it isn’t supposed to because after all the Scottish Government was elected fair and square on a mandate of holding a referendum which means our law-makers being over-ruled for totally partisan political reasons in favour of another country’s parliament, and nobody so far has been so bravely but stupidly bold enough to predict what might happen after that in the actual event of such an election so I will:

    2024 General Election (the lastest ever including Scotland):

    Labour 0.3%
    Conservatives 0.9%
    Liberal Democrats 0.8%
    Other 0.3%
    SNP 97.7%

    which seems to me to be a somewhat startling majority for Independence unless I got my sums wrong.

  20. Bob Lamont says:

    A superbly articulated take-down of a truly awful article by Martin Kettle, the only saving grace of his article was BTL comment dominated by support for the SG’s direction of travel.

    When only the media and political classes in England are fighting against Indyref2 contrary to public opinion even in England, they are only damaging their own credibility.

    • rongorongo says:

      It’s always interesting to see an article where the large majority of BTL comments not just express disagreement with a journalist- but also provide corrections to explain their disagreement. Both journalists and their editors should be wary of articles too many articles which hundreds of their readers disagree and pick holes in.

  21. deelsdugs says:

    Reckon most of us who follow your blog Paul know your true value as a productive human being for sure. I know I do, living in my bubble as far away as is possible, from the mockery of Scotland in the external world of those who think they’re untouchable.
    A big thanks. You are valued. And I’m not being sycophantic. Hopefully supportive. It’s very wearying and soul destroying being ground down and having to think about loss, in all its guises.

    On the other hand, was witness to a bit of royalty sycophancy in a small, local fuel station yesterday, ‘oh yes, I saw Edward, etc. No Sophie wasn’t there, but I did shake hands with Charles…’ as the person and the other person oozed in their nodding smiles of slimeyness over privilege…
    managed to keep my vomit down behind the mask.

  22. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Early morning watch this morning……could not sleep…channel hopping came upon Talk TV channel Cristo’s show with guest Ali Miraj (regular GB News guest and SKY papers review guest) who was also a former Tory Parliamentary candidate talking about ‘Sturgeon’s independence… they covered this :

    Cristo….”we subsidise Scotland with billions”..(sorry WHO subsidises Scotland Cristo….England or the UK …..the UK which Scotland is still currently a part of…so Scotland contributes Nothing to the UK then but you argue we should stay a part of your UK…wow…..that’s logical NOT)…..
    Ali Miraj ….”onus is on Sturgeon to resolve border issue with the rest of the UK, what currency will they use, Spain will veto their EU membership because of Catalonia, London also voted Remain in Brexit” ( though he FAILED to highlight 5 regions in London voted LEAVE unlike Scotland where ALL regions voted Remain AND that fact that London is a city and Scotland is a country).

    Caller : Andrew from Halifax said the following :
    “UK is ONE country”
    “Scotland is just like regions of Spain and Germany”( he did not mention whether he thought England too was a region)
    “Our country fought in wars so when fragile we fought people who tried to destroy us” ( he was inferring fighting Scotland to keep it from breaking up HIS UK)…of course in these WARS that Andrew was referring to I assume he KNEW Scots fought too in some of these WARS as well for Andrew’s supposed ONE country…….or was Andrew momentarily lapsing into assumption that ONLY England fought in WARS against others who fought to destroy HIS supposed ONE country….of course that’s how some of these fanatics want to deal with everyone….fight them into submission…..just ask Lisa Nandy that’s her solution too.

    Earlier in conversation they spoke about HS2…and Cristo noted it was now no longer going to parts of the North of the country, then he mentioned Leeds as an example , (as North of the country) which kind of destroyed the caller Andrew’s point of ONE country aka the UK….as Leeds is North of England NOT North of the UK….North of the UK is Scotland….or it seems we are now the North North of the UK…since many an Englishman thinks the North of the country is Manchester, Leeds etc….but then when Cristo said the North of the country he was actually referring to the North of ENGLAND…..was he not…see it just ROLLS from their tongues where they are talking about ENGLAND but supposedly talking about the UK when they talk about THE country….though we all know they see ( refer to) England as being synonymous with the UK…..

    This is the contempt and level of (non) debate we got in 2014 , are getting now and will get from now on…..assumptions, falsehoods , clueless and Pro UK (English) bias…I hope many Scots who are currently neutral on the issue of independence but perhaps have MORE knowledge of FACTS now realise that we are perceived by them as NOT a country but a region and that all they have to defend their (non) Union is lies and a very strong Anglophile bias where they see us as a possession of THEIR country, England, that they can dictate to as to what we are ALLOWED to do and when we are ALLOWED to do it BUT only on THEIR terms……but also who is it that they say is subsiding us…England or the UK (which we are still part of)…….with no mention of any rich resources via Scotland into the UK, taxes from Scots into the UK coffers, food and drink exports from Scotland to other countries outwith the UK which benefit the UK economy and now of course the NEW resource kid on the block aka Renewable energy which THEY will state is UK renewable energy only (will they suggest we, Scotland, are being subsidised by the UK on that too ?) will wind be stopping and the tidal waves stop if Scotland mentioned in renewable energy equation ? …….but more importantly they neglect to highlight the current Tory regime mismanaging their UK which in itself is a HUGE reason enough for Scots to want to leave their UK…..also the FACT we as a COUNTRY have not voted for a Tory Govt. since 1955…..yet have had to tolerate them as a UK government…. because ANOTHER country in their (non) Union keeps voting for them !

    This is going to be a LONG LONG haul….BUT…their arguments have not moved on from 2014….same old same old…..but STILL no list of (credible) benefits of what their (non) Union gives to Scotland (other than fabrications) however their (deliberate ) ignorance is still rampant as is their disdain for Scotland as a country…try telling England what they can and cannot do within THEIR UK and refer to IT as a mere region and watch the backlash….you see they see that THEY (England) are in charge and therein lies the problem with THEIR pretend country aka the UK thus to them it is not an actual Union of equals but a NON Union where one part dominates and dictates to the other parts…with NO recognition by them that they constantly do it ….in all they say and write on TV and in newspapers (and online) yet they are puzzled NOT puzzled as to why we want to be independent ( they are NOT really but they have to keep pretending they are)…….Hmm

    Sorry for length of comment….but THIS is the so called media’s skewed input…pathetic and so fake it would give North Korea media a run for it’s money on a bias comparison….would it NOT.

    • Naina Tal says:

      NMRM: Regarding North of UK etc. I have noticed this ever since I wis a wee laddie. No’ yesterday! Folk as auld as me micht mind this. Ma auld mither wis a great follower o’ yon Consternation Street. Whit really worried me wis when it came on they always said “From the North – Granada”.
      Noo, biding as I did in West Lothian I wondered why they spoke sae funny oan this street if they were frae the North. They werenae Aberdeen nor Shetland. I kent that but whaur wis yon Granada? Ma Geography teacher said it wis in the sooth o’ Spain. Left me fair peerie heidit I can tell ye.

  23. Geissler’s wee Sunday Brit fest is a Tory free zone today.
    The usual ‘apology from Geissler: ‘We invited a member of ‘the conservative party’ to appear on the programme but were told that nobody was available.’
    Well, that’s that out the road, for another week, Martin. Now for the SNP BAD show.

    It will be the usual format. Get the Independence guy on first, Patrick Harvie this week, to whom Geissler will hurl the usual Ye Casnnae Dae That dross which has been flowing through the sewers of Unionism this week…you all know the script by now..

    Then the pollsters..Mark Diffley and Sir Professor Jogn Curtice, doubtless to tell us all why we won’t get/win/ or warrant democracy.. then, the ‘leader of 4 MSP’s including himself, The Tailor’s Dummy, to rubbish what Patrick Harvie said earlier…then a ‘look at the ‘papers’ with Kerr/Bewes/ or whoever, the list is not exhaustive, joining Geissler in SNP Badding over the closing credits.
    Where is the Grand Panjandrum Alister Gentleman Farmer Jack?
    Where’s Dross the Linesman?
    Where is anyone from the Jock Outpost of New New Labour?

    It is all too much for the Jock Establishment…
    They have lost their Golden Goose colony….
    That must hurt.

    • Ps., And don’t blush, Paul, we know that some wee intern at BBC Stockade On The Clyde, is tasked with reading your NewsLine in advance of the Geissler Growl each week…
      Let’s see if they change the running order and have the Tailor’s Dummy on first…Aye, richt.
      Seven or eight minutes of Independence matters, then 23 minutes of ‘Sturgeon’s divisive referendum’.
      I’ll skim speedily through it on I Player later on, maybe, perhaps, probably not.

  24. ArtyHetty says:

    Great article Paul. The pretendy lefty Guardian BritNat rag is anti Scottish, and anti democratic.

    I hope that your application succeeds. Fingers crossed. The Scottish system will be much kinder in how they deal with applications for disability benefits.
    Thanks for all you do for the case of Scotland’s right to self determination.

  25. davetewart says:

    No disrespect to the Muppet Show.

    Seems the chief muppet, BJ, has just tweeted,
    25 years ago we made a promise to Hong Kong.
    We intend to keep that promise.

    Tweet from the Chinese in reply

    2 years ago you made an agreement with the EU
    you intend to break that promise.

    • Capella says:

      Yes, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has enjoyed poking fun at Western hypocrisy lately. He may fall foul of Twitter rules. Hong Kong is, of course, an open goal. Anyone would think that it was a model democracy when Britain ruled it as a COLONY, ruled by an ostrich feathered GOVERNOR.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        when Britain ruled it as a COLONY, ruled by an ostrich feathered GOVERNOR.

        … who wore a pith helmet in order to take the pith out of the natives.

        Isn’t that what one does with the blighters, eh, what? Jolly good show! Now, pour your bwana another G&T! And make it snappy!

  26. Hamish100 says:

    Listening to Cole Hamilton telling lies over pensions should we have independence.

    SNP/ GREENS should ensure that as with convention the partiesi power are given the right of last comment. Lib Dem’s tories did this all the time.

    As for -Hamilton to try and smear the snp over sexual misdemeanours. Is this the Lib Dem’s from memory who had Cyril Smith protected by David steel, the party of Jeremy Thorpe and the rest.

    • Cancer deaths, drug deaths, pensions, what currency border !!!!
      The Taylor’s Dummy, complete with rakish Leslie Phillips hankie popping out of blazer breast pocket, crashed and burned, rehearsing his too wee too stupid too poor lines..

      Of course Geissler repeated and repeated that the SC will say no, then, with any discussion about a plebiscite in Oct. ’23 brushed aside, Geissler and his guests, spent the rest of the ‘interviews’ with Harvie and the Breast Pocket Hankie, rubbishing a ‘single issue’ UKGE.

      What if I’m a Green Unionist? Geissler blurted out in mock exasperation.

      He, and The Blazer, continued to peddle the fallacy that the SNP and Greens would be limited to the one issue, Independence, in their UK GE campaign in 2024.
      Absolute nonsense of course.

      Coal-Scuttle demonstrated live on camera, what a shallow, vacuous little man he truly is.

      Jo Swansong promised scrapping Brexit when the LD’s won the last election…Geissler’s sole attempt at ‘balance’ had Chino Man flustered somewhat…

      The list of Lib Dems who have fallen by the wayside is obscene.

      That Ming Campbell delivered the eulogy at Cyril Smith’s graveside did it for me.

      Liar Carmichael got away with it…deliberately attempting to ruin a politician reputation, by lying.

      Geissler, as usual, dictated the line of questioning and discussion; to present the Brit Union Version of events as fact. SC will say no, viewers, so let’s now rubbish the ‘Single Issue’ stance of the Greens and SNP.
      Job’s a good ‘un, Martin.

      Again the biased format; Indy guy first, then the Brit follow on, rubbishing Harvie, who has no opportunity to refute the lies and threats of the Brit Yoon.

      Of course, Man At C&A was allowed uninterrupted to churn out all this Project Sneer rubbish.

      And of course it was a Blue Tory Free zone once more.

      Sex and scandal did get a mention…but in general terms, 56 MPs under investigation..what’s going on down there? blurts Guissler to an MSP with a massive 4 seats..in Scotland.

      He didn’t even include his usual Blue Tory Failed to appear apology.
      Jack, Ross, Bowie, and co, not available?

      I look forward to AC-H on leaders’ debates… should be hilarious.

  27. Golfnut says:

    Just got fun.

    American Revolution.

    19th October 1781, Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces effectively ending British rule.

  28. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Today’s Rawn from the Observer:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/03/scotland-future-wont-be-settled-second-vote-on-independence

    Scotland’s future won’t be settled until there is a second vote on independence

    Crudely blocking a fresh referendum could ultimately backfire on the unionist cause

  29. Nice to have Yes ahead in the first poll conducted since #theannouncement on 28th June.

    Or at least I understand the Panelbase:

    Yes 51(+2)%
    No 49(-2)%

    fieldwork is post that, while the most recent Comres was pre.

  30. Capella says:

    Let’s make sure everyone is registered to vote who is entitled to vote, and the sooner the better.
    Michael Russell issues appeal for voters to get registered ahead of indyref2

    The Referendum Bill published last week states that the franchise will include qualifying foreign nationals and sets the referendum date for October 19 next year.

    “The importance of registering to vote ahead of the independence referendum cannot be overstated – this is the opportunity for Scots to have their voices heard and decide their constitutional future,” said Russell.

    https://archive.ph/u7P4s

  31. Capella says:

    Our Welsh cousins pledge support and are out in force for Welsh independence.

    Welsh independence supporters pledge ‘total support’ for Scottish Yes drive

    CAMPAIGNERS for Welsh independence have pledged support to Yes voters in Scotland following the announcement of the date for indyref2.

    The pledge came as more than 6000 campaigners took to the streets of Wrexham for the first Welsh march and rally since the Covid pandemic began.

    The march was part of a full weekend of activities organised by AUOB Cymru in partnership with IndyFest Wrexham and YesCymru.

    There was also a special video message of support from Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald who said: “I wish you every success with your march today. You will always have friends here in Ireland. Above all, I wish you a future that matches the hopes and aspirations of the Welsh people.”

    Musician Dafydd Iwan, who roused the crowd with a passionate rendition of Yma o Hyd – which means “we are still here” – said a new spirit was spreading through Wales.

    https://archive.ph/96mzR

  32. davetewart says:

    You’ve got to laugh

    The telegraph, under a picture of huge quantities of uncollected luggage at heathrow.
    How Nicola Sturgeon turned Scotland into a failed state.

    • Alex Clark says:

      They are pathetic.

      That article in the Guardian linked to above by Welsh_Sion has this sentence “Despite a declining and scandal-splattered reputation as a government in Edinburgh”.

      The “scandal-splattered” part is a link to an article in “The Week” magazine and the splattered scandal and declining reputation is because two ferries are late.

      You really couldn’t make it up, at least not as well as they do.

  33. Alan D says:

    In the runup to May’s council elections, the Guardian either tried to pretend it was Anas Sarwar’s first election as leader or entirely forgot the Holyrood elections(in which Sarwar contested the same constituency as Sturgeon) and their Scotland editor, Severin Carrell, wrote an op-ed on that basis.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/apr/09/scottish-labour-revival-polls-may-elections

    Being forced to make a correction of that nature, which destroyed the article’s intended point(Sarwar’s our next saviour of the union) by making the opposite point(Sarwar made no impact last year), says it all about the Guardian’s coverage of Scottish politics: “an earlier version referred to the local elections in May as Sarwar’s first electoral test as Scottish Labour leader. In fact it is his second.”

    There was no reference at all to how Sarwar was SLab’s deputy leader during IndyRef1 and ran its parallel No campaign either.

  34. Capella says:

    Sunday Herald Front Page – shock! Jim Sillars agrees with Nicola Sturgeon. 😱

  35. UndeadShaun says:

    From that link

    “Pressure built for another referendum and a second was held 15 years later. The turnout was huge and the separatists did much better this time, but not quite well enough. Independence was again rejected. Though the margin of defeat was slim on the second occasion, that was that. Two and it was done. ”

    Thats selectve picking of the facts.

    What actually happened was unlike the UK after the 1st referendum, Canada increased the powers of quebecs parliament prior to the second one and there was a currency crisis at the time.

    Unlike the UK who did the opposite and have taken powers away and where there is a brexit/economy/cost of living/energy crisis.
    Unlike Quebec Independence would solve our energy crisis with self sufficiency in oil and gas. The economy would improve with joing either EFTA or the EU.

    Its not a 2 referendum rule, its just no party in Quebec that wants independence has gained a majority. And polls currently show a lower level of support for it.

    And for NI they have a 10 year rule.

    And if Quebec has a trading partner like the EU/EFTA on its doorstep that would improve its economy they likely would have voted yes.

    Again the gruan gets it wrang.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Northern Ireland can have a further poll on Independence a minimum of 7 years after having had one.

    • Quebec wasn’t really voting for independence as such, but to be a sovereign nation in a close union with Canada rather than a state. A move from federal to confederal status.

      The problem was that Canadian states already have huge levels of autonomy, so it really just came down to sovereignty. The Francophones made the mistake of focussing on that / their historic French language / culture, so alienating Anglophone and native American communities. Still almost won though.

    • Ireland probably the most comparable case to Scotland. Talk for decades of home rule, but never delivered, with the independence movement repressed. British institutional racism towards Irish people. Exploitation of Ireland’s resources. Eventually, the Irish had enough and used a British election to get a mandate for indy, and based on that, opened negotiations on indy.

      Brengland’s response was shooting, raping, and burning towns to the ground.

  36. davetewart says:

    Another good laugh on utube video.
    Up pops a video of chris pincher mp on what to give up for Lent.
    He’s giving up red meat and cheese.
    Looking forward to the update and him giving up his constituency, well before Lent.
    He’s now saying he’s getting help with his medical problem.
    Good luck in the ENHS after he’s helped to underfund it.
    Of course he might get some of his donation to the private member club fees.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      BBC – “Six new claims of inappropriate behaviour by former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher have emerged, days after he was suspended as a Tory MP after allegations he groped two men.
      The allegations stretch back more than a decade.”
      From our correspondent Jack Collatin on the BBC in Scotland ‘Sunday Show’ – “Sex and scandal did get a mention…but in general terms, 56 MPs under investigation..what’s going on down there? blurts Guissler to an MSP with a massive 4 seats..in Scotland.”

      Most everybody is using LEDs these days, Pacific Quay sticks by gaslighting….

    • Pogmothon says:

      Since when was being an arrogant self centred Pr*ck with an over inflated sense of entitlement in all aspects of the human (I use the term loosely) condition.
      A condition which could be medically assessed and corrected. (to whose standards of acceptability ?)
      Surely this is a “Pavlovian” response, which has been reinforced since childhood.
      Good dog.

  37. Dr Jim says:

    Scotland has two late ferries, the UK government awarded £££millions to a company that had no ferries whatsoever, had never had any ferries and never delivered any ferries to this day, do we all remember Chris Grayling Tory minister for getting ferries done

  38. I’ve always been a 5 to 6 hour a night kinda person; even in my teens.
    I recall fondly sitting with my dear Dad twisting and knotting sheets of newspaper to use as kindling to start the coal fire on dark winter mornings, supping stewed tea together, and yacking about the day ahead.
    What was happening at school, news of the next order for John Browns, or football…. a lot of football talk.
    These days, 6 decades on, especially over the summer solstice, when we hardly have any night at all, and my old arthritic bones disturb my sleep patterns, I’m lucky to get 4 hours uninterrupted sleep.
    So, I find myself this morning, while Scotland sleeps, up drinking strong tea, and catching up with the world via my steam driven old PC.

    If there is one English Government Minister who appears to have woken up and smelled the coffee, it was Therese Coffey.
    Via I Player I dipped in to her ‘interview’ with Sophie Whatever Her Name Is on the Sunday Politics Brit Offering.

    The Woman was florid faced throughout the chat. Not blushing with embarrassment, but purple faced enraged that yet again she has had to do the morning rounds defending Johnson.
    We had the usual ‘it is my understanding’, and ‘to the best of my knowledge’ weasel word phrases, as Coffey covered her back, future proofing herself in anticipating that yet again, the Pincher Scandal was about to blow up in the Fat Owl’s face.

    This is the woman who cut my pension in real terms by 7-8% in April…breaking the triple lock manifesto pledge.
    So I have no sympathy for her and her obvious anger at being expected to defend the indefensible.
    I suspect that this woman will be one of the first to break ranks this week; perhaps even resign.

    Wher are the Blue Tory Jocks hiding?
    Cowards? You betcha.
    Coffee? Dark tea for this insomniac every time.
    Later, Duggers.

  39. Statgeek says:

    They have their point of view and will push it. It’s up to us to push ours. We don’t have the national media though, and they will push on regardless. It’s how they won last time.

    Scotland will always have one arm tied behind its back until we have our own media.

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