The Great Tory who’s the bigger bastard contest

We know now that it’s Rish! Sunak and the exclamation mark of ambition and the cosplaying play-doh Thatcher Liz, if you don’t like these principles I have others, Truss who are the final two candidates in the contest to become the next worst Conservative Prime Minister in living memory, although the word Conservative is probably superfluous in that sentence. The two are now trying to out-right wing bastard each other in a ballot of Conservative party members. May the gods help us all. Truss has vowed to send more asylum seekers to Africa, a promise that would not have looked out of place on a National Front leaflet in the 1970s. Not to be outdone, Sunak promises to incarcerate those who haven’t yet been palmed off on some third world dictatorship in prison ships, presumably so that their foreign feet will not defile Britain’s hallowed soil.

Truss using the Daily Mail in order to promise to send more migrants to Africa sums up this vile Tory party. There is no sense of social responsibility, no integrity. Compassion and empwthy are seen as weakness. All there is is a cruel and callous bigotry masquerading as governance in order to appeal to the profound insecurities of bitter right wing elderly white men who hanker for the 1950s when they could still tell themselves that Britain was a global power.

It ought to be obvious by now that a system which allows the members of a wildly unrepresentative political party to choose the Prime Minister is a system which is not only grossly undemocratic, but a system guaranteed to deliver an individual who is unfit for the highest office. However this is now the third time in six years that the Conservatives have subjected us to this farce and it has become normalised to the extent that the fact that it is an insult to democracy no longer warrants a mention in a British media which is too busy wetting its collective knickers about the respective candidates’ promises on tax cuts or their novel ways of being cruel to migrants and asylum seekers.

To give a flavour of how unrepresentative Conservative members are, a YouGov poll in 2021 found that 59% of those who voted Conservative in Scotland in 2019 (not party members) would support abolishing the Scottish Parliament, the only demographic group in Scotland amongst whom there is majority support for abolishing Holyrood. Only 20% of the wider Scottish population in this poll backed the abolition of the Scottish Parliament. We can assume that those who are committed enough to the Conservatives to actually join the party are even more unrepresentative of wider public opinion. Across the UK as a whole Conservative party members are disproportionately white, middle class, resident in the south of England, Brexit supporting, male, and elderly. These are the people who are going to choose the next Prime Minister.

Opinion polls of Conservative party members suggest that Truss will win. She’ll win in part because of the recent queues at Dover. No one in Britain from the media to the government to the opposition is allowed to name the real reason for those queues. It’s Brexit. We all know it’s Brexit, but it has taken a French minister to point out the obvious. The British media is only too keen to collude with the Tories and blame the French, the holiday rush, anything but the obvious. Before the Tory hard Brexit, cars were just waved through border control, but now thanks to Brexit everyone’s passport has to be stamped. Truss or Sunak won’t admit it’s because of Brexit, they certainly won’t do anything about it. Instead they will just cynically blame the French for doing what they themselves insisted had to be done.

Unfortunately the small and unrepresentative group of people who have the power to choose our next prime minister will look at those snaking lines of traffic and their Anglo-British nationalist cognitive dissonance will lead them to double down and blame the EU for castigating plucky little Britain for taking back control. They will see the traffic jams as an unjust punishment. In order to guard their feverish dreams of cake and sunlit uplands they will elect Truss, the self proclaimed champion of the Brexit myth, the defender of Johnson’s legacy.

When the Anglo-British nationalists voted to end freedom of movement it was the freedom of movement of Poles and other foreigners that they had in mind, not their own. When they decided that they wanted to take control of the border it was the UK border they thought about, not realising or caring that the point of a border is that there are two independent sovereign states on either side of it, while the mountain of luggage piles even higher at Heathrow because there are no longer EU citizens to employ as baggage handlers. Now the Brexiters are learning the hard way that Brexit means that France has taken back control of its side of the border. Truss and Sunak both collude in the comforting delusions of Anglo-British nationalism, but it’s Truss who has successfully positioned herself as the true heir to their deposed champion Johnson in the eyes of most Conservative members.

Truss shares many of Johnson’s worst characteristics, the boorishness, the contempt for democracy and accountability, the lying, the naked ambition, and the chameleon like willingness to change her, ahem let’s call them beliefs, in order to appeal to whichever constituency can further her career. What she lacks is Johnson’s upper class twit shtick and the patrician showmanship and Etonian charisma which to Scottish eyes are unfathomably appealing to a section of the electorate in England. Truss is so robotic in her delivery that she makes Theresa May seem warm and personable. She is easily the favourite amongst the Conservative party membership, despite warnings that she is incompetent and ineffectual, with her sole talent being her ability to take credit for the achievements of others. Dominic Cummings refers to her as the hand grenade because she destroys everything she comes into contact with.

Truss concedes that she may not be the most slickly presented, but insists that with her “what you see is what you get,” which is a bit of a worry because what we are seeing is an incompetent opportunistic and unprincipled idiot who cosplays Thatcher. What we are going to get is whatever promises her power, and that will consist of pandering to the far right Anglo-British nationalist frothers of the Tories’ European Research Group. To say the outlook is grim is an understatement.

Both Sunak and Truss have said that they would not “allow”, note the choice of words there another Scottish independence referendum. This is despite Sunak being on record as previously supporting another Scottish referendum after Brexit had been achieved, and Truss once stating that constitutional issues should be decided by a referendum. Naturally neither of them believes that they should be bound by their previous statements, however they are determined to ensure that the entire electorate of Scotland is bound by the campaign rhetoric of Alex Salmond and the SNP in 2014.

Meanwhile Johnson openly boasts that he will be back in number 10. Cummings speculates that Johnson is backing Truss because she will quickly crash and burn as Prime Minister, allowing him the opportunity to make a comeback. Johnson doesn’t care about the havoc she will wreak in the meantime. As long as Scotland remains a part of this dysfunction that calls itself the UK, we will have to care about the havoc, because it will continue to blight all of our lives.

This bout of fatigue isn’t lifting, not helped by the fact that I’ve had additional stress these past few weeks. I got ripped off by a seller on eBay, thankfully I’ve got my money back now, I got a bigger tax bill than I had been expecting, and a decision on my husband’s visa renewal is due this week. All this was stressful enough.

However to cap it all I finally got a decision on my PIP application. They have awarded me the lowest daily living payment, but have ignored at least five factors which would give extra points and entitle me to the higher rate. It’s a shocking ruling. It seems that they were just not listening to what they’ve been told about my condition and the help I need with daily living tasks.

Worst of all is that in their wisdom the DWP has decided that because I can hobble 50 metres with the aid of a stick and having to stop and rest halfway, I am not entitled to any mobility payment at all. In effect they have ruled that there is no difference between me and someone capable of running a marathon. They have ignored the facts that I suffer from post stroke fatigue, that I have fallen several times and have injured myself without being aware of it due to the lack of sensation on the left side of my body. They have ignored the fact that I have been ruled medically unfit to drive and have an inattention to the left which makes me liable to walk into lampposts and the like. They have also ignored the facts that I cannot stand for any length of time even with a stick, that I cannot carry anything because I need my working hand for my stick, so shopping is impossible, that I easily lose my footing because I have no instinctive sense of where my left foot and leg are, that I cannot leave the house at all when it is icy out, and that using public transport is, to put it mildly, challenging for me. None of this seems to matter. Even though I am utterly dependent on someone driving me about, apparently I have no mobility needs. It’s a nonsensical decision and a total farce.

Obviously I am going to appeal, but all this is additional stress and hassle that I really don’t need. I’d be lying if I said it was not affecting my mental health. I’m going to take some time off from the blog to prepare and submit this appeal and to find my equilibrium again. I hope to be back next week.


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137 comments on “The Great Tory who’s the bigger bastard contest

  1. Greg Hardy says:

    Please please look after yourself. We, Scotland, need your wonderful information and inspiration. I’m sure your hubby is doing his very best to support you but you both need time for yourselves. Hope all goes well with his visa. Sending best wishes.

  2. exile says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of your recent troubles Paul. Good luck with the appeal.

  3. Aileen Ford says:

    Oh Paul, that is awful. I am so sorry that the appaling DWP are treating you like this. Good luck in getting it sorted. Take care of yourself. Aileen x

  4. Alex Clark says:

    Very grim news about your PIP application, you are right to appeal and hopefully with the advice of someone very experienced in these matters who can arm themselves with all the necessary statements from your doctor and others you have come into contact with because of the stroke.

    The wee man on his own has little chance against the system the way it is set up and everyone needs all the help they can get before they will get a fear hearing. I hope it all works out for you but it’s just awful that people who have had such misfortune have to jump through considerable hoops just to get what is their fair entitlement.

    As for Truss…it just shows the state of politicians that is in charge of all the levers. Hell mend those that will vote to make her Prime Minister as they will surely have cause to regret it. The UK will be an even bigger laughing stock than it already is.

  5. Janice Gale says:

    The Westminster cabal utterly disgust me and the Dug’s problems with claiming Pip just go to prove how totally without morals of any sort they are. The chances are he’ll get Pip on appeal as I read a huge percentage of claimants do. His mental health is likely to suffer as mine did when in Dorset by just listening to the news. I am calling Argyll home but to be honest if Scotland doesn’t see it as I do next year I’ll be looking even further north for a decent life.

    • No, Janice, they are not driving us from our land.
      Dr Samuel Mudd, physician, was convicted of conspiracy because he set the broken ankle of Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth. Hence the expression, my name is mud..or so the story goes.
      We shall be free by any means available. Their Union is dead..they know it. Fifth Columnists like Ross Murray Jack Carmichael and Jardine know their days are numbered. They will be shunned by us all in Free Scotland.
      It is they who may consider fucking off out of Scotland.
      Their names shall be mud.

      Until then, they ‘ll pocket their 30 pieces of silver, and treat their fellow Scots with utter disdain…Their fellow Scots are dying because of our association with England…and they are willing conspirators in this fascist slaughter..England’s Final Solution to weed out the poor week infirm and the elderly..MY stste pension increased by 3.1% inflation now at 10-11%..they are kiilling me by degrees.
      They are beneath contempt.
      Paul, I’m for crowd funding to hire you the best lawyer in the land..make your case a class action fight against the hostile environment of the English civil service, Jock Branch.
      You can bet your boots that they knew whose case they were trashing.
      Look after yourself.

      • Janice Gale says:

        Thanks for seeing the whole situation as it is. It is life or death to some people. I care deeply about social justice which is anathema to Tories and seems to be creeping like a virus through the whole of England. It’s symptom is a red wall turning blue. I want to stop worrying about my pension not covering my expenses or the NHS not being there for me if I get too old and infirm to care for myself. I’m here and love it amongst like minded people but I haven’t ever sensed they really get it. They seem sheltered. That’s not a criticism, they’re great people. I’ve followed Paul as long as I’ve known about him and others but their exposure isn’t good enough. I don’t want Holyrood to be like Westminster, far from it, but I do want them to realise what the neighbours are capable of and take a strong lead.

        • Janice, Holyrood will never be like Westminster. Scotland will become a small social democracy, a rich European nation again, with its citizens looking after each other…
          No more plunder by our neighbour.
          It’s comin’ yet for a’ that.
          Scotland is ready..

  6. grizebard says:

    I guess the DWP are already preparing for the UK regime that the Tories are now about to usher in, in which a benefits claimant would have to be totally crocked (and about to expire) before being able to qualify for any support. Which, given the low-taxation pitch of all the privileged claimants in the UK Clown Competition, is the only conclusion that could possibly be reached.

    Why anyone in Scotland not in complete thrall to Tory delusion can still refuse to see any need to escape it is hard to understand. (Yes, Anas, that includes you. Even your Welsh opposite number can see it.) Otherwise Mitigation Hell will now reach stratospheric levels of clueless inanity, with predictably dire political consequences for those who persist with it.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      I guess the DWP are already preparing for the UK regime that the Tories are now about to usher in, in which a benefits claimant would have to be totally crocked (and about to expire) before being able to qualify for any support.


      A quotation from my story, ‘An advisory letter to Scottish investors’ (dated 31 January 2013), providing information for Scottish clients to think carefully before investing in either Alba Free plc or Yookay Ltd., both of whose shares would become available to the public on 18 September 2014.

      The letter writer, B. Alan Sheet, points out that any investment in Yookay Ltd., would, inter alia, lead to,

      “Punitive measures against the weakest members of society will be enforced and rigorously applied. You will be presumed in all cases to be available for work unless you are dead – in which case, gainful employment as a corpse in an Agatha Christie murder production must be actively sought**

      ** The onus on finding such a suitable role lies with deceased. Otherwise your benefits will be cut.”


      PS Keep on fighting, Paul and good luck!

    • Legerwood says:

      “”…about to be ushered in””?? I think you will find it is already here and has been for some time. All that has changed is that it is getting ever more punitive – deliberately so.

  7. Bob Lamont says:

    Terrible news on your assessment Paul – Having read so many horror stories over how DWP operates, and the high successful appeal rate against decisions, I’m convinced the objective of their management is to win performance related bonuses linked to refusal rates.
    It makes absolutely no sense otherwise, as you have instanced…
    What the hell happened to the Welfare State in this country…. Awful…

  8. Capella says:

    So angry to hear about the callous way the DWP is treating you. They are trained to make claiming as hard as possible, dealing with them is not for the faint-hearted. It will become your job for the next few days, so please take all the time you need to get this sorted out.

    I saw a poll a few days ago showing the top issues occupying the mind of the concerned Tory member. Top of the list was “Winning the next election”. A close second was “Controlling immigration”. Everything else trailed way down the list. That’s the sort of person who joins the Tory Party. That’s why Scotland hasn’t voted Tory since 1955.

  9. Alex Clark says:

    Ultimately this is where the Tory attacks on welfare and the NHS have been heading for the last 4 decades since Thatcher. Both Truss and Sunak are fully signed up advocates of such policies.

    From the Guardian tonight:

    Charge patients for hospital stays to help fund NHS, says report

    Patients would be charged £8 a day when in hospital under proposals from a former health service boss to raise more money for the NHS.

    Prof Stephen Smith is also urging ministers to bring in charges of £4 to £8 to help cover the costs of medical equipment that patients need, such as hearing aids and walking devices.

    People over 60 should also start paying for their prescriptions, to help raise more revenue for an underfunded NHS that is under “unsustainable” pressure from rising demand, said Smith.

    Rising public dissatisfaction with the health service and patients’ unprecedented waits for GP care, ambulances and routine operations mean ministers need to urgently instigate a review of how the NHS is funded, which should include the creation of “co-payments” for some services.

    Nothing will change until Scotland elects politicians that they vote for to govern them and that means only with Independence can we stop the rot.

    • Capella says:

      Mick Lynch would demolish this nonsense in seconds:

    • Legerwood says:

      Interesting name in that article in the Guardian about this ‘report’:
      “”Smith, the former chair of the East Kent acute hospital trust, has set out his ideas in a new book published by the thinktank RadixUK. Its trustees include the ex-Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley and the Labour MP Stephen Kinnock.””

      Tory and Labour in lock step as usual.

  10. James says:

    Although not helping with existing claimants like Paul (except in some areas), at least by the end of next month no new claimants will have to deal with the DWP with PIP being replaced with Adult Disability Payment managed by Social Security Scotland.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Yes and I think current claimants are being transferred as well? Hope so for my son’s sake.

      • Eilidh says:

        People currently receiving PIP in Scotland will be transferred to the new Scottish Adult Disability Payment but the date to get all those claimants transferred is 2024 and in my experience Dwp never keep to timescales Citizens Advice is best place to go to for help with Benefit forms and appeals and their help is free. Unfortunately there are 2 local authority areas in Scotland that do not have a Citizens Advice Bureau and Paul’s area is one of them but local councils should also have a free welfare rights service

  11. UncleBob says:

    Paul look at this website: You can join for about £15 a year and it is really worth it. It takes you through absolutely everything you need to know about appealing. I have used it in the past to help a family member and it gives better advice than any Council Benefits Officers I contacted. I managed to go from total rejection of the claim to getting the correct amount by using the websites guides. Good luck.

  12. Alex Clark says:

    Getting rid of Johnson and swapping him for Truss or Sunak changes nothing for us in Scotland.

  13. Legerwood says:

    I am really sorry about the treatment meted out to you by the DWP. Not what anyone in your position needs. Hopefully you will succeed in your appeal but it should not need that in order to get a fair and just settlement.

  14. Eilidh says:

    Sorry to hear about all your difficulties Paul I am horrified by the awful PIP decision you have received, although I shouldn’t be shocked as I hear about so many crazy inept Dwp decisions through work. I also have 2 family members who also endured unjust decisions from them but they did win their claims in the end. Look after yourself Paul. Your health is the most important thing

  15. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    How awful Paul…so sorry….I hope with your appeal that some sense and decency is restored to those who I sometimes wonder whether they do indeed make decisions based more on (inhumane) targets as opposed to individual circumstances and needs of each individual person’s situation.

    Please take care…..I hope everything goes well re the decision on your husband’s visa renewal….

    Thoughts with you….always.

  16. ArtyHetty says:

    I can see how you would be stressed right now Paul, thanks for your articles, a tall order I know. Look after yourself first and foremost.

    Re, the PIP outcome, do appeal and get some support to do that. Far as I can see though, disability benefits are being transferred to the Scottish government this year, don’t quote me on that but worth keeping in mind, because though it may take time, they have a different, more fair and compassionate system.
    Good luck and fingers crossed for your husband’s visa renewal.

  17. I’m so sorry you’ve had to be subjected to the misery of these so-called assessments, Paul. I’ve been through them myself … they are one of the reasons I decided to emigrate in 2014. Not only do they not listen to a word you say, they are cold, calculating and completely without empathy. Their main objective is to PREVENT people from receiving benefits and only those who can manage the stress of an appeal ever receive a fair hearing. Oh, and they tell lies, too, so watch your back. You’ll get the awards you deserve when it goes to appeal … just hang in there. I hope your husband’s visa is renewed without issue. Good luck, Sir. xx

  18. Gordon says:

    Just wait out six weeks when the system will be changed under Scottish administration. Already the application form filling has been shortened and cut. Less pages. The system will be more humane and considerate giving people respect.

    (UK) pension and benefits are paid in Scotland from taxes and revenues raised in Scotland. On average £15Billion a year. (UK) pensions in Scotland £6Billion. Lower pro rata than the rest of the UK. People die younger on average. (Thatcher). Total UK pension spend £78Billion. £72Billion in the rest of the UK.

    The administration is nearly as much as the pension payout. If Gov pensions were increased there would less administration costs more pay out and less additional benefits needed.

    A higher pension payout would cost less benefits. Cost less administration. It would be more cost effective and pensioners would be better off.

    Pensioners are the most likely to be in poverty because of low pension payout in the UK, especially compared to other places. Independence could increase pensions and benefits.

    Westminster squanders Scottish revenues and resources. To fund London S/E.

  19. Alice says:

    Please get support to help your appeal Paul….I like the sound of Uncle Bob’s link.please try and rest your body and mind even for a short period each day…..I hope your husband’s visa renewal goes through smoothly

    Your piece is as ever spot on …..Tory heartlessness reflected on not a peep on doing anything about child poverty. It’s of no interest whatsoever to sociopaths.

  20. Skintybroko says:

    Hope you get your appeal ok, always the first attempt fails it’s as if they get brownie points if you accept their first finding. Hope your husbands visa gets resolved soon as well. You need to take good care of yourself first and foremost we’ll all still be here when you are ready to give us more of your wit and wisdom.

  21. Sorry to hear that Paul. Brenglish government DWP really are barstools. Roll on independence and living in a civilised country.

    Meanwhile, brexit voters getting exactly what they wanted for their summer hols to Benidorm too. Not just fun and games at the channel ports.

    Glad my family is Irish and French when we arrive at the EU’s borders.

    Scottish tourists travelling to Spain must prove they have £85 per day to spend

    People from Scotland and the UK travelling to the holiday hotspot need to present evidence of a return or an onward ticket, as well as show that they have somewhere to stay while there. In addition, tourists also need to show that they have enough money for their stay.

    • Tatu3 says:

      No they don’t. In the future they may need to complete a form online that’ll cost approx €7 and will last three years. Just like travellers to America and Australia do at the moment.
      I live in Spain and my family have been here last month and some are here at the moment and we’re not asked for anything but their passport and covid vaccine certificate. Although my 5 year old grandson is exempt from the covid vaccine certificate as he is under the age of 12

  22. deelsdugs says:

    An unwelcome level of unnecessary stress for you to be contending with Paul. The staff are sitting tight on their pensions with boxes to tick and no compassion for real life. Maybe at some point their conscience will bite their arses.

  23. Not to be outdone, Sunak promises to incarcerate those who haven’t yet been palmed off on some third world dictatorship in prison ships, presumably so that their foreign feet will not defile Britain’s hallowed soil.

    He’s really trying to be hard right (white) English, but will never be accepted as that by them.

    I’m surprised he bothered running. Must have been told it could be engineered somehow. However, the idea that Tory grassroots would vote for a ‘funny coloured, non-English’ (British = at most to them, which is wannabe English) leader is fanciful. I genuinely would eat my jimmy bunnet if he won.

    The English Tories actually make Le Pen look pretty tame these days. She’s actually very middle of the road social democratic, as long as you are ‘proper french’ that is.

    I’d say with recent pronouncements, the English Tories have now overtaken Le Pen on the authoritarian scale too; being just half a point behind previously.

    Oddly though, you won’t hear the BBC describe them as ‘far-right’; that’s reserved for ‘furriners’.

  24. jfngw says:

    It’s hard to get over the naivety of some independence supporters (they purport to be anyway) who claim if the plebiscite election occurs all the pro-independence parties vote will count by adding them together. The reality is the UK Gov and the media will take the SNP vote only and if it is below 50% then they will declare the vote was against independence (if it is above they will claim it is not legitimate but that’s a separate argument).

    If you need any proof of this just look at the last Holyrood election, they claim there is no mandate as the other pro independence parties (the list was over 50%) votes don’t count and the media report this view as a valid position.

    If they truly want independence then, even if they hate the SNP, must hold their noses and vote for independence through the only viable channel currently available. If this fails I think we can wave goodbye to independence for the foreseeable future. Will they grab defeat from the jaws of victory, there are almost certainly forces at work trying to ensure this happens.

    Sorry nothing about the Tory leadership, it’s irrelevant to me, they are both inadequate with campaigns based on nothing more than outright lies.

    • I totally agree with what you say about the UK government’s reaction, but it’s not their opinion that really matters, but that of Scots and the international community.

      If Scots are satisfied the people of Scotland have said Yes, then they will be content for their elected reps to push ahead with that, including by UDI if required. If the international community is likewise satisfied, they will accept such a move.

      And UDI is always successful, unless that is, troops are sent in to put it down. But then if you send in troops to quell a people who want independence, you’d better be prepared to go in for the long hall and, in time, watch the body bags start to pile up. If a people don’t want you there, they will do everything to force you out. Britain learned this well enough in many former colonies, including Ireland. Putin is learning it in Ukraine.

      Jeez, the troubles in NI were bad and people there actually overwhelmingly wanted to be part of the UK. Just imagine what it would have been like if most were against partitioning!

      Nope, the only hope England/Britain has is to try and stop us voting for indy. However, if Scots are set on Independence, the only way to stop that is to stop us voting at all. But then the mass protests start and it really doesn’t look good on the world stage, at the ECHR…

    • Golfnut says:

      Of course the valid position only counts when applying it to the independence movement, but the position isn’t valid at all because they combine the liblabtory vote to get the anti independence vote which incidentally includes those liblabtory voters who would for independence in a referendum.

      • jfngw says:

        I never said it was fair, I was giving an opinion on how I thought it was going to be reported if the SNP don’t pass 50%.

        For scottish_skier, I would rather be going to the international community with clear result without any horse trading requirements. If any other independence party has anything in their manifesto apart from ‘you are voting for independence’ then their vote will up for dispute.

      • I agree jfngw, however, what matters most of all is whether a majority Scots believe they have voted for independence. If they do, they have voted for independence and nothing can ultimately stop that. Disputing it will just have them voting asap again, if needed, in even greater numbers.

        Remember, the SNP+Greens can collapse Holyrood and trigger a new election there if needed.

        As I keep saying, the only way to stop Scots voting for independence if they want independence, is to stop them voting completely. Dictators would love it if they could just let people get on with free and fair votes then just ignore the outcome. Doesn’t work like that though!

  25. I keep seeing the quotes from just about everywhere that it was 1955 when the Conservative Party last won a majority of seats in Scotland. But did they? Looking back at the results to the beginning of the last century, it seems to me that a vote for a purely “Conservative Party” never happened. I did read somewhere that it wasn’t until 1965 that the present political party came into being, at least in Scotland. Their previously supposed majorities were only achieved in coalition with like minded parties. If I am correct, then that means that the Conservative Party, in its present form, has never been in power in Scotland. Views welcome.

    • That was the Scottish Unionists. They were an independent, Scottish party. They merged with the English conservatives in the 60’s as you note, at that was where their popularity really started to decline. So the current Tories have never, ever won an election in Scotland.

    • Capella says:

      See Drew Anderson’s comment of 7th July
      Drew Anderson says: July 7, 2022 at 9:26 pm
      “…the one which claims to be the most successful electorally in the world but which has FAILED TO WIN A MAJORITY IN SCOTLAND at a General Election since the mid 1950s…”

      Strictly speaking it wasn’t even them. The present Conservative and Unionist party didn’t come into existence until 1965. The oft referred to “victory” in 1955 comprised of 30 Unionist MP’s, who took the Conservative whip, and 6 dual mandate MP’s; the National Liberal and Conservative ones (compare today’s Labour and Co-op members). It was the Unionists (a Scottish party, not a branch of a UK one) who had a purple patch in the 1950’s.

      You have to go back to 1900 to find the sole example of “the Conservatives” being on the winning ticket, albeit on a shared mandate. Previous to that, they were the actual Tory party and they had a couple of wins in 1830 & 1831.

      It’s all here, scroll down to “Scottish elections”:

      In summary, the Conservatives and its successor, the Conservative and Unionist party have not won an election in Scotland, when standing on their own merits, ever. Their few successes have only come under electoral alliances with other parties.

      Note: the National Liberals merged into the Conservatives in the 60’s as well.

  26. Skintybroko says:

    Watched the Big Oil v’s the World documentary on BBC of all places – just shows how private money and influence drives policy and shafts the populace. Be good to see one on mainstream media as to how dark money funds the media against Scotland.

    Heard an interesting take on the Union the other day – the English don’t really care about their National Identity as they have never really been occupied and made to change their ways whilst the Scots, Welsh and Irish were and are occupied by an external force that systematically tried to drive out a sense of belonging to those occupied countries – backfired and is now coming home to roost, the Union is on its knees soon to be defunct and hopefully within my lifetime.

    • Pogmothon says:

      And what exactlly was the doomsday book about ???

      • Pogmothon says:

        Or the magna carta for argument ???

        • Pogmothon says:

          Oh aye and how many times did the royal family force a change of religion on the populus ???
          How often did the royals get changed for a nes improved furren version, jings some o’ them couldny even spek the language.

      • Skintybroko says:

        They haven’t been under the cosh since then

    • Capella says:

      England was occupied by the Normans in 1066 in the Norman Conquest and still is. It was the Normans who drew up the Domesday Book so they could parcel out the land amongst themselves and turn the English into serfs. This fact explains a lot about the English world view.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Talking of ‘Big Oil’…I recommend folk have a wee reminder of John Jappys revelations which (I think) can be found on You Tube.
      I fully understand and agree with the transition away from fossil fuels but this interview highlights the skullduggery and obfuscation tactics employed by the then UK Government to prevent Scots getting ideas ‘above our station.’

  27. Joe McDonagh says:

    Another insightful opinion piece. So sorry about the stresses you are having to deal with. May solutions be found and your appeal successful.

  28. Capella says:

    The National article on cyber attacks on Bella Caledonia forcing it offline:

    Pro-independence website Bella Caledonia in plea for support as server attacks force it offline

    “You really can’t tell [who’s behind it’],” Small told The National. “It could be a political thing but equally some of this is random, some of this is bodies just causing chaos.

    “It would be nice in a way to think it’s political or the deep state attacking me,” Small joked. “But it may not be, I really don’t know. I just know that it’s been going on for months.

  29. Sorry to hear that things aren’t working out for you just now, hopefully your appeal will be successful and things will get better for you soon.

    Although I really miss your articles when you need to take time off, your health and wellbeing is more important, so take as much time as you need. We will all still be here for your return when you are feeling better and able to write again.

    I wish you all the best, HT.

  30. James Mills says:

    The Tory ”Leadership Contest ” ( LoL ! ) is a foregone conclusion .

    One need only remember who the electorate comprise .
    They are predominantly white , male , and steeped in The Empire !

    Think ‘The Major’ from Fawlty Towers .
    ”…she kept calling ( the Indians ) N*****S . Oh no , no I said . N*****S are the West Indians …these people are w**s ! ”

    This may have been a 1970’s TV show – but hearing and reading the repeated racist comments by Boris Johnson over the years ( and never denied nor apologised for ) , has anything changed ?
    If Johnson can espouse such views and be elected PM what are the Tory foot soldiers in their golf clubs thinking and saying ?

    So put your money on Liz Truss !

  31. Yvonne Moore says:

    Your posts are amazing. I always agree with everything you say. You are able to articulate what I am thinking, but I’m not able to say it in such an accurate way. I wish I had your skill. I want to thank you so much for your incredible blogs. I do contribute a little, I wish I could afford more.

    I also want to say how much I feel for you re your PIP claim. I went through the same regarding my adult autistic son, and myself. Its a cruel system. DWP ALWAYS reject your first application, no matter how disabled you are. The assessor’s initial report is ALWAYS full of inaccuracies, no matter how sympathetic they appear at the time.

    I am glad you are doing a Mandatory Reconsideration. But I do understand how incredibly tiring this is. It is overwhelming.

    There is help out there, to do the MR if you require it? They know exactly what to do/say. I hope that doesn’t sound condescending to such a highly intelligent man as yourself, I just feel for you so much.

    I am hoping Scotland’s Adult Disability Payment will be available in ALL areas of Scotland, through Scottish Social Security very soon. Scottish Social Security did 2 years of consultations to ensure ADP was fairer, more dignified and easier. So fingers crossed.

    I wish you all the best. Life can be incredibly unfair at times.

    Yvonne Moore

  32. Hamish100 says:

    BBC news interrupted a discussion on the crises in the nhs in England with an important news item—- to announce they will cover the Eurovision Song Contest.

    Really is the world gone crazy?

    No doubt brexiters will balk in horror to be involved with something called Europe.

    For Others this proves the success of ex PM Johnson to help Ukraine.

    The world looks on incredulous.

  33. Duncan Currie says:

    I am sad to hear your personal news here but I’m not entirely surprised. Westminster Policy is patently to be to oppress any people with Disabilities. However the fact you ar ea prominent Supporter of INDY and a Popular Commentator on the subject will also make you a natural “target”. The more difficult they make things for you the less time and effort you can put into campaigning.A terrible situation but With this shower in Westminster hardly surprising!!!

  34. Skintybroko says:

    Didn’t want to go down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories about Paul and the establishment as the benefits issue is all to prevalent, but maybe the visa hold up is just that!

  35. Hamish100 says:

    Good news.

  36. jfngw says:

    Brownian motion:
    1. The random movement of particles in a liquid or gas.
    2. The random movement of political vows prior to a referendum.

    Yes Keir Starmer has called on the old Iraq war financier to look at economic devolution. He’s going to vow for the UK this time as Labour abandon any pretext of not just being a different brand of Tory, now the equivalent of a supermarket own brand rather than buying the real deal.

  37. Hamish100 says:

    Re Cricket Scotland Board and racism.

    Tried to find out who they were online. Still cannot find out who they were or who was involved?

    Disgraceful behaviour.

    I suspect like much of such boards they are made of with a certain elite.

  38. Tam the Bam says:

    Regarding my post @ 4-44pm above:

    “John Jappy: Scotland’s Oil.”
    (perhaps some kind soul could post a link).

  39. Meanwhile in the other crumbling foundation of the union. In formerly the most proudest British part of Britain.

    New opinion poll finds growth in Sinn Féin support since Stormont election


    The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) has confirmed it will form the official opposition at Stormont.

    The party has written to the assembly Speaker informing him of the move…

    …”Our opposition to the politics of division and deadlock which has infected Stormont is about transforming this place and the lives of all its citizens. And my appeal to others is that if you’ve had enough of the failure, then join us. We can build something much better together,” he said…

    …Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster Mr O’Toole said that he had not taken part in talks with members of other parties but it was “their decision” to join.

    “What we have seen since the election, is the refusal of the DUP to form an executive and allow government to be done,” he said.

    “But we do have ministers, those who are entitled to hold onto ministries, still there taking decisions which are meaningful for people’s lives, we also have a cost of living crisis and we have a health care crisis, those are the things that people are focused on”…

    Pro-reuficaiton government and opposition. Well, if the unionists want to stay at home, let the anti-partition, pro-unity, anti-belfast wall, anti-sectarian parties get on with the job.

  40. Touché lol.

    France will follow Ireland in recognising our indy. New Auld Alliance will be signed withing days.

    France comes up with genius way to solve UK border problem – join Schengen zone

    The UK has been accused of going back 30 years because of Brexit and should join the Schengen zone, a French official has said.

    British tourists are facing lengthy queues at borders all summer, particularly at Dover and Folkestone.

    Francois Decoster, vice president of the Haute-de-France region, including Calais, said the UK should ask to be allowed back into the free movement zone.

    He said: ‘Brexit means we must do new controls. I have felt very sorry for the families, we like to welcome British tourists and we want them to come easily to our beautiful places.

    ‘We have a few non-EU members who are members of Schengen, why don’t we explore such an idea?’.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Genius ?
      Schengen is in direct conflict with CTA ?

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Chicago Transit Authority? (to the uninformed…the full name of the band known as Chicago).

        O.K. Bob….no intent to distract through flippancy.

    • I think he was somewhat taking zee piss :-).

      There isn’t actually a clash between Schengen and the CTA I understand. The problem is that the UK didn’t want to be in Schengen, so Ireland had little option to stay out too if it wanted the CTA, which is pretty key to the GFA and inter-island travel.

      If England had less dislike for furriners, it could have joined Schengen, Ireland could have followed suit, and problem solved; no need for any CTA.

      So it is a perfectly plausible option, unless for some odd reason Ireland didn’t want to join and went all anti-furriner instead! 😉

    • e.g.

      The reason Ireland gave for not joining the other EU states in forming the Schengen zone in 1985 was the existence of the CTA with the UK, which would have disappeared if Ireland joined Schengen and the UK did not. Northern Ireland presents particular difficulties given that there is no physical border with the Republic and joining Schengen would have required putting one in place.

  41. stewartb says:

    Picking up on prior btl posts, the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area (CTA) is an interesting, notable agreement that arguably provides a highly important precedent in the context of an independent Scotland’s relationship with its neighbouring nation-state to the south. Despite the UK’s exit from the EU, some things for the UK and Ireland haven’t changed: the CTA which has existed since1922 continues. It has never been dependent on EU membership.

    Importantly, the CTA includes MORE THAN THE BASIC RIGHT TO TRAVEL FREELY between both countries: Irish and UK citizens have the right to live, travel, work and study within the CTA. Irish and UK citizens enjoy reciprocal rights and privileges, including: access to social benefits; access to healthcare; access to social housing support; the right to vote in certain elections.

    As recently as 8 May 2019, the Irish and UK governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming the CTA and restating the associated rights and privileges available to their citizens. It also reaffirmed the commitment to maintain the CTA following Brexit: the latter is still in place despite disagreements over the NI Protocol.


    In the context of framing the new relationship between an independent Scotland and its neighbouring state on the island of Great Britain, the historical context for the CTA as summarised in the MoU is worth recalling when Unionist scaremongering ramps up:

    Para 4. ‘These arrangements reflect the HISTORICALLY CLOSE LINKS AND COOPERATION between Ireland and the UK, the MANY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONNECTIONS, as well as how the two countries have approached together the movement of people across national borders over time. These links have given rise to, and facilitated the reciprocal enjoyment of, certain rights and entitlements to public services by Irish and British citizens when in each other’s state. The arrangements hold A SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE in people’s daily lives and are of IMMENSE IMPORTANCE TO IRELAND AND THE UK. The detail of these arrangements has developed over time and will continue to do so.’ (my emphasis)

    Para 5. ‘The CTA and associated reciprocal rights and privileges existed long before either Ireland or the UK were members of the European Union (“EU”). The CTA and the associated reciprocal rights and privileges which Irish and British citizens enjoy are separate from, and therefore not dependent on, EU citizenship or EU membership. In the context of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and RECOGNISING THE STRONG AND ENDURING PEOPLE TO PEOPLE TIES, and long tradition of migration between Ireland and the UK, the Participants consider it desirable to PROVIDE A CONTEMPORARY ARTICULATION of these longstanding CTA arrangements, and to REAFFIRM THAT SUCH ARRANGEMENTS ARE TO CONTINUE.’

    As the UK government’s ‘Policy paper Factsheet 2: status of Irish citizens’ (Updated 15 July 2020) explains: ‘We remain firmly committed to protecting the long-standing Common Travel Area arrangements, which predate our EU membership and REFLECT THE CLOSE AND HISTORIC TIES BETWEEN OUR TWO GREAT NATIONS.’

    And it adds: ‘This status also supports the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, specifically the birthright of the people of Northern Ireland to IDENTIFY THEMSELVES AND BE ACCEPTED AS IRISH, BRITISH OR BOTH AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO HOLD BOTH BRITISH AND IRISH CITIZENSHIP.’

    All in all, this is a model of how good neighbours can behave – just like the Nordics. Would a Westminster government seriously deal with an independent Scotland as a pariah state and introduce border restrictions NOT in the interest of its own citizens?

    • grizebard says:

      You are perfectly right, of course, the blueprint for how relations between an indy Scotland and the rump UK is already long established, and uncontroversially so.

      That won’t stop Magrit Curran-style denialism and smokescreening over borders come IR2, though, I guess. Accompanied by an English alll-comer Greek chorus declaiming that they definitely won’t oblige no matter what, just because.

      One possible antidote to the likely repeated “dog-in-mangerism” might be a degree of mockery, reminding people of what “taking back control of their borders” means in reality down there in Dover.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        “..reminding people of what “taking back control of their borders” means in reality down there in Dover” as interpreted by Elphicko….

  42. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Lord (David) Trimble, N Ireland politician, has died aged 77.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      A big player amongst others in securing the Good Friday Agreement and should be credited as such.

    • I don’t know the man, but what I do know of him is that he was a relative moderate and instrumental in the GFA. Something that ultimately cost his UUP party to the benefit of the extremist DUP, sadly for NI.

      David Trimble led the party between 1995 and 2005. His support for the Belfast Agreement caused a rupture within the party into pro-agreement and anti-agreement factions. Trimble served as First Minister of Northern Ireland in the power-sharing administration created under the Belfast Agreement.

      Unusually for a unionist party, the UUP had a Roman Catholic Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) (the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly), Sir John Gorman until the 2003 election. In March 2005, the Orange Order voted to end its official links with the UUP. Trimble faced down Orange Order critics who tried to suspend him for his attendance at a Catholic funeral for a young boy killed by the Real IRA in the Omagh bombing. In a sign of unity, Trimble and President of Ireland Mary McAleese walked into the church together.

      In the 2001 general election, the Ulster Unionists lost a number of seats belonging to UUP stalwarts; for example, John Taylor, the former deputy leader of the party, lost his seat of Strangford to Iris Robinson.

      The party’s misfortunes continued at the 2005 election. The party held six seats at Westminster immediately before the 2005 general election, down from seven after the previous general election following the defection of Jeffrey Donaldson in 2004. The election resulted in the loss of five of their six seats. The only seat won by an Ulster Unionist was North Down, by Sylvia Hermon, who had won the seat in the 2001 general election from Robert McCartney of United Kingdom Unionist Party. David Trimble himself lost his seat in Upper Bann and resigned as party leader soon after. The ensuing leadership election was won by Reg Empey.

      The harder British nationalists were against the GFA as it gave Irish people basic civil rights, including a say over the governance of their homeland, and the ultimate right to self-determine. Seems to me Trimble was maybe more a NI unionist than a British nationalist; a sometimes subtle but crucial difference.


      • Tam the Bam says:

        Indeed.I suggested he was a major player in the formation of the GFA and deserved credit for that.

  43. Dr Jim says:

    I think Scotland gaining its independence and ripping the Ar*e out of Englands future income might well cause a tad unhappiness in the new global England, I can see the right wing English press now featuring pictures of walls sojurs tanks and spitfires aw wae wee England flags oan them

  44. Tam the Bam says:

    It would seem my comments regarding the passing of David Trimble have not passed moderation.
    Did you consider my comment contentious Paul?

  45. Tam the Bam says:

    Fight on BBC1 now!

  46. Tam the Bam says:

    Did I just hear Liz Truss say…” Freedom is a price worth paying?”

    #gaff No1

  47. Tam the Bam says:

    “I was the first Cabinet Secretary to come out.”

  48. Tam the Bam says:

    Ahem……we will soon be having to be getting ‘exercised’ folks……and you’ve all gone to bed at 10-30pm?

  49. Capella says:

    I didn’t see the Great Tory Stand Off last night and it looks as though everyone is too stunned by their brilliance to comment! So here’s the National’s take on Liz Truss’ union bashing message:

    Liz Truss trade union crackdown bid branded ‘egregious attack on workers’

    LIZ Truss’s promise to crack down on trade unions and make it harder for strikes to take place has been slammed as a “transparent egregious attack” on workers.

    The Tory leadership contender has vowed to introduce minimum service levels on critical national infrastructure, such as the railways, raising the ballot threshold for workers to vote in favour of strike action from 40 to 50%, and instituting a “cooling off” period of six months to stop ongoing industrial action.

    Truss would also increase the minimum notice period for strike action from two weeks to four weeks and put an end to members receiving tax free payments from trade unions on the days they are striking.

  50. Capella says:

    Apparently, the “public” think Sunak would make a better PM and Tories think Truss would make a better PM and real people go AAAAAGGGGGGHHHHH.😱

    John Curtice gives verdict on BBC debate: Public ‘opposite’ to Tory members

    Appearing on BBC Radio Scotland on Tuesday morning, the polling expert said: “The truth is that amongst Conservative voters asked who they thought had the better of the debate, the answer for a plurality at least was Liz Truss. Amongst them 47% thought she was the better of the two, 38% scored it for Rishi Sunak.

    “That is the opposite of the rest of the public … amongst voters in general, according to this very instant poll done by Opinium, it was Sunak 39, Truss 38.”

    Curtice, the president of the British Polling Council, said the “crucial thing” was the perceptions of Tory voters as it could hint at how the party’s members – the only people eligible to vote on who becomes the next prime minister – felt.

    He said that overall the debate had been a “draw”, but Truss would be happy with that. The professor noted that Truss’s scores in the question of whether she would be a good prime minister had been creeping up during the leadership race, saying she was now “at least” Sunak’s equal in terms of public popularity.

    “Probably Liz Truss will feel happier about the outcome of last night than Rishi Sunak,” Curtice added.

  51. davetewart says:

    Prefer the O’Brien take.
    If it was a soap powder advert the trading standards would ban the transmission.

    Looking likely the buffoon will get the gig back in due course.

    You can vote for cameron and get stable government, aye right.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      You can vote for cameron and get stable government, aye right.


      Brucie Bonus: You can vote for May and get strong *and* stable government, aye right.

  52. James Mills says:

    Either Truss or Sunak will be the next PM . ( Typing this is surreal ! )
    But , given events over the last few months we can expect Nadine Dorries to be next in line – probably before Christmas .

  53. jfngw says:

    I wonder if we had a national water grid would we be charged more because the infrastructure was required to pump water to England and we would be cast as the remote area, that’s how it works with electricity isn’t it?

  54. davetewart says:

    That’s how the tarrifs are worked out.

    Worse still is that we export 1000MW all day through the HVDC links from Hunterston, that doesn’t appear in the GERS figures.

    We then get charged the Gas Turbine generation rate when 50% of generation is renewables.
    Hell the englanders are burning COAL to power their people fridges, AC.

    The two muppetsare saying that there’s a crisis they are on holidays.

  55. Dr Jim says:

    Sunak says it would be crazy for Scotland to go for Independence because the UK is in such a mess

    Eh? can I just, I mean eh?

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Sunak….what a Sage….dumpling.

    • I know. His pitch is the UK is in a total social and economic crisis. But of a change on the ‘safety & stability’ back in 2014.

      ‘UK has hit a iceberg at full steam. Taking on water and going down. But it would be silly to get in the lifeboats!’


  56. Golfnut says:

    Shades of labour, stay and save England.

  57. Golfnut says:

    We need to introduce border controls at this new hard border we’re going to have with England along the lines of the USA.

    Have you ever been a member of the communist sorry liblabtory party.
    Are yo a right wing nutter.
    Did you vote for brexit.
    Have you ever voted against poor people having the right to life.
    Do you like Nigel Farage.

  58. Och lol. Britnats, always fighting the electorate, here and across the Irish sea. They really seem intent on destroying their beloved Britain.

    Strong public support for removing veto that’s preventing Stormont executive formation

    Cannae see the full article, but it’s just the headline and data that matters!

    I think we are going to see both the Scottish and NI dominos toppling at the same time. While our stories are different, they are more tied that many think. The same long term forces that have driven NI from being the most British place in Britain to the brink of reunification have been at work here in Scotland, taking Glasgow from the ‘second city of the empire’ to the peoples republic of Yes (2014).

    It’s not us, it’s the union.

  59. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Whatever next?

    Rishi Sunak v Liz Truss debate called off after presenter faints

    26 Jul 2022 2 minute read

    The TalkTV/Sun Tory leadership debate dramatically went off-air after political editor Kate McCann fainted.

    As Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss were clashing once again over taxes, NHS funding and the economy in their second head-to-head televised debate, a loud crash interrupted the two Tory rivals.

    The Foreign Secretary looked visibly worried and could be heard saying “oh my god”, as she walked off the stage.

    The programme immediately went off-air, with a message appearing on the screen, saying: “We are sorry for the disruption to this programme.

    “We are working hard to fix the issue and will return to normal programming soon.”

    Journalists at the event were told there had been a medical issue not a security alert, and the debate would go back on air if possible.


  60. Capella says:

    The Tories are not having the best of luck and neither is the BBC presenter. I hear she is not injured but the shock must be hard to bear.

    • Legerwood says:

      I thought the debate was on Talk TV? Is that a BBC Channel?

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        I know it’s hard to distinguish the MSM one from t’other, but Talk TV is definitely not BBC.

        Consider its ‘stars’: Piers Morgan, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Jeremy Kyle, Richard Tice, James Whale, Judge Rinder (these are the ones I know).

        None of which I’d particularly like to share a desert island with …

      • Capella says:

        It’s definitely on the BBC website – I’m confused. Anyway, it’s been abandoned,

  61. Dr Jim says:

    It’s all English TV though isn’t it

    • Welsh_Siôn says:


      TalkTV is a British television channel owned and operated by News UK. It launched on 25 April 2022.

      – It’s that man Murdoch. Again.

  62. Archie says:

    Poor Kate McCann. She was probably overwhelmed by the barrage of lies being thrown at her.

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