The farce that is PIP

It seems that my bad experience with PIP is sadly typical, so I have decided to share it in more detail, partly in order to help me get my thoughts together for getting the DWP to reassess my claim but also because I hope that by sharing my experience it will put pressure on the Scottish Government, which is taking over PIP in Scotland and replacing it with Adult Disability Payment, to ensure that its new system makes more accurate, humane and sympathetic assessments which preserve the dignity of claimants and aid them instead of grinding them down and adding to the stress and exhaustion that living with a disability or chronic illness creates.

One of the lessons I have learned since my stroke is that while you can recover many of the functions and abilities that the stroke robbed you of, performing these tasks becomes far more time-consuming, exhausting and difficult. Before the stroke I could get washed and dressed in a few minutes. Now it takes the best part of an hour, and that’s on a good day. Before the stroke, I could write a one thousand word article in 30 minutes and then go about my day. Now it takes three hours or more to peck it out with my right hand and leaves me mentally and physically drained. I can only use a full sized keyboard, I cannot manage texting on a mobile phone.

A life with a disability is a life spent battling to achieve even the simplest of tasks. This takes an immense toll physically and emotionally. Studies have found that people who have a physical disability are three times more likely than able bodied individuals to suffer from depression. Taking care of your mental health is one of the most difficult challenges that you face when you have a physical disability or chronic illness.

So given all this, when you encounter a setback like your claim for PIP being wrongly assessed or turned down, it can have a devastating effect on your emotional and mental well being, potentially far worse than when a healthy and able bodied person encounters the same setback. It is so much harder for you to do anything about the injustice you have just suffered and to get it put right. This is what makes the shitshow of the UK’s benefits system for disabled people so vile and insidious.

I have significant disabilities which will be life long. I suffered a massive stroke which destroyed the parts of my brain dealing with motor control and sensation on the left side of my body. This was particularly difficult since I was very dominantly left handed before the stroke. Fortunately I escaped any serious loss of intellectual or verbal functioning, although I do have some memory issues and can no longer multi-task like I used to. My reaction times are also impaired.

I also have issues with inattention to the left. This is due to the stroke affecting the parts of the brain that process visual information. This problem was severe in the weeks and months after the stroke. The best way to explain it is that it’s like when you are looking for something but then realise that it’s been right in front of you the whole time. I would not notice things, even large objects, on the left side of my visual field. This problem is a lot better than it was, but it’s still there and always will be. I have learned to compensate by training myself to pay attention to the left, but of course this means I am not always paying attention to the right. This makes me prone to walking into obstacles and it’s why I have the unfortunate habit of leaving our front door open as the handle is on the left as you exit. All this means I need help to ensure that I am safe.

I have lost all fine motor control in my formerly dominant left hand. I have very poor sensation and proprioception (your sense of where your body is located in space) in my left hand, arm, foot, and leg. I only know where my hand and leg are if I am looking at them. I have very little feeling in my left hand, arm and leg. I suffer from bouts of muscle cramps and spasms as well as a general weakness in all the muscles on the left, in my torso and back as well as my limbs. Picking something up from the floor is difficult, exhausting, and painful.

These problems mean that I need help with many daily living tasks as I am liable to trip and fall and am at high risk of injuring myself without being aware of it. This is made more serious by the fact that the blood thinning medication I am on means that if I cut myself I bleed copiously and if I fall I am at very high risk of suffering a haemorrhage. I cut my left hand yesterday and have no idea how it happened. A couple of weeks ago when getting undressed there was blood all down my leg. I didn’t feel anything and don’t know how I injured myself. This kind of thing happens fairly often.

I am prone to bouts of post stroke fatigue. This is a common symptom in the months and years following a stroke. When this happens I am not able to do very much at all.

Even though we have an adapted bathroom, I have got stuck in the bath a couple of times and have also fallen a couple of times while getting out of the bath. I have also slipped and fallen a couple of times in the shower. I need help with showering as I need to hold on to a grab rail with my good hand, which means it’s difficult to wash myself. I can’t wash or dry my feet or lower part of the body. I can only shower or bathe if my husband is in the next room in case I get stuck or fall.

I need help to put on the creams and potions for my psoriasis, I can’t manage bottle caps at all. Childproof packaging is also stroke proof packaging. I need help to tie my shoelaces and do up the clasp on my trousers. I cannot manage cuff buttons at all and rely on a button puller (the best seven quid I ever spent) for other buttons. I can’t pull on a jumper sleeve over my right arm, I need help with that. I need help to put an overcoat on. Other household tasks, like changing the bed or doing laundry or the dishes, are beyond me.

I cannot cook at all. I have very limited dexterity in my one good hand, I struggle with packaging and cannot carry a plate of hot food so can’t even use the microwave. I need someone to cut my food up for me into bite sized chunks.

I need a stick to walk. I cannot stand for any distance or length of time even with a stick, without a stick or something to hold on to I can only stand for a matter of a few seconds. and can only manage a few steps. Even with a stick I can only walk a very short distance on a good day and cannot stand for long. Because of the problems I’ve already mentioned I am at very high risk of tripping and falling. I have fallen a few times. Additionally I have developed asthma since the stroke due to the weakness I now have in the muscles of my torso and chest. This means I need to stop and rest after even mild exertion, and further limits the already short distance I can walk.

I have been ruled medically unfit to drive, even with an adapted car. Public transport is massively challenging. I can’t stand at a bus stop or walk from the train station or bus stop to where I need to go. I can’t manage a shopping trolley and can only carry one plastic bag with a little shopping in it in the same hand I use for my stick.

All this was explained to the DWP when I applied for PIP. I was awarded the lower rate of the daily living component of PIP but nothing else. The award letter says that the DWP will not reassess my condition until 2025, so they recognise that I have a long term disability.

I was shocked when I got my award letter to find five areas in which I have been incorrectly assessed. I suspect this was done to bump me down from the higher rate of the daily living component of PIP to the lower rate. They said that I can wash and shower without assistance as I have an adapted bathroom. This is not true. They said that I can manage my medications without assistance, this is not true. They said I can dress myself without assistance using an aid – presumably they mean the button puller. But this is not true. They said I can eat and drink without assistance, but since I need someone to pour a drink for me and to cut up my food this is most definitely not true.

However most egregious was their assessment that I can prepare a simple meal using an aid. This is simply a flat out lie on their part. There was no discussion at all of cooking aids when I applied or had the face to face assessment. I have no cooking aids. I explained that I cannot cook at all, that I have injured myself in the kitchen, and that I can’t deal with packaging. The DWP have simply invented a phantom cooking aid in order to claim that I don’t need someone to help prepare food for me.

If the DWP had assessed me correctly in these five areas – and they were given accurate information, then I would have been awarded the higher rate of the daily living component of PIP.

But most gob smacking of all was their decision that because I can hobble a few metres with the help of a stick I have no mobility needs. They say I am able to plan and follow a journey myself because I can plan and follow a journey myself for as far as I can walk, which is not far at all. In effect they have ruled that there is no difference between me and a marathon runner in terms of mobility needs. They have paid no heed to my propensity for falling, tripping or colliding with objects or to my regular bouts of fatigue.

I have asked for a reassessment. I have been told that the DWP habitually awards the lowest that they think they can get away with, knowing that many people will not appeal. However I was appalled by how poorly their assessment was done. Apparently this is typical. I am articulate and capable of explaining my issues in detail. If I am having this problem with my PIP application what is it like for people with verbal or cognitive problems.

I order to ask for a reassessment you have to phone and negotiate a cold and unhelpful automated menu system which many people with disabilities will struggle with. Then you are put on hold for ages until you finally get through to an advisor, and the first thing they tell you is that asking for a reassessment could result in your PIP award being reduced. It’s intimidation and bullying designed to put you off.

I have heard similar tales from dozens of people. This is a system which is not designed to help disabled people, but to fob us off and shut us up. Well this cripple will not be shut up.

______________________________________________________

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225 comments on “The farce that is PIP

  1. Craig Evans says:

    Truly shocked to hear this tale. The systems in this Westminster controlled country are inhumane

  2. Capella says:

    The callousness of the DWP is shocking. I experienced it many years ago as a single parent. The personal nature of the affront strikes first. You feel you are completely on you own having to negotiate with stony faced bureaucrats. But you aren’t on your own. This is a social issue that affects thousands of people. We have all paid tax and NI so that nobody should suffer on their own when misfortune strikes. I do hope the Scottish Government has developed a system fit for human beings.
    Do get your appeal in and then revenge will be a dish best eaten cold when you can write about your experience.

  3. May Mallett says:

    Absolutely shocking treatment, really feel for you and all the people who have to go through this.

  4. Sarah Mackintosh says:

    I am so sorry you are experiencing this. I have had appalling experiences with the DWP and for some years felt so anxious about the threats and unpleasant behaviour that I stopped claiming and lost my DLA for some years.

    I was lucky that we could manage, albeit giving up on some things, many wouldn’t have that choice. I was also lucky that my husband understood how the anxiety of all this made my Parkinson’s worse and he supported me.

    I hope that you find the strength to challenge this nasty, cruel system.

    Best wishes,

    Sarah

  5. Douglas says:

    Sorry that you had had such a terrible time dealing with the DWP, if you have not done so already please check out the Benefits and Work website for help and information to navigation the application and appeals process. It is invaluable.
    If only for a sense on comfort, the Scottish Social Security service is due to start transferring cases from the DWP to the new Scottish Adult Disability Payment from the end of August 2022. The switch is being done with minimal intervention.

    Help and Information on Benefits
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/

    Scottish Social Security
    https://www.mygov.scot/adult-disability-payment

  6. Welsh_Siôn says:

    My deepest sympathy with you, Paul and sincerely hope that you will both win your appeal and get some of your mobility back. I’m sure we are all delighted that it hasn’t affected your mental power nor your campaigning for what you (and us) believe in.

    I’d just like to add a little personal experience for you here – one which was far less serious than yours, but one illustrating the complete heartlessness of the system and the imbecility of many of these assessors – no doubt churned out of the ATOS factories without a scintilla of compassion, common sense or awareness of their fellow humans.

    In February 2016, I was sectioned in the local hospital, having suffered a psychotic episode. This left me on a psychiatric ward for 4 weeks before being discharged in early March 2016. I then returned home to recover in more familiar surroundings.

    Working as I do in a self-employed capacity, I was (and am not) entitled to any state benefits that employees are entitled to. What little advice I was given was that my only eligiblity to state aid would be for PIP.

    This, I therefore immediately applied for – on, as you are fully aware – a lengthy, complex form, patently designed to put you off claiming. Further, in my case having a ‘psychological injury’ as opposed to a physical one, nearly 3/4 of the form or more was largely irrelevant to me. However, I supplied – as requested – the appropriate doctor’s notes from my GP indicating my ‘nervous exhaustion’ and that owing to my current condition I would be in no way capable of mentally dealing with translations and editing -m the mainstays of my professional life.

    I then attended a PIP assessment at the local office – tinted windows, coded door, anonymous building – all very Kafkaseque. My case was presented by myself as articulately (perhaps TOO articulately) to the assessor and I answered all questions as truthfully as possible – all in my first foreign language, remember, not that would have washed with anyone there.. Obviously, I could not show any physical harm/injury/impairment so I guess with all these attributes against me, it would be obvious that I couldn’t claim PIP. Yes, I was not physically disabled so therefore I was not dis-abled, I presume.

    The consequence of this of course that from March 2016 to September 2016, when my brain started warming up again and rendering me ‘normal’ enough to resume my professional career, I practically lived on air. Yes, I had some savings and yes, I had to rely on the wife’s income (fortunately a full-time NHS employee’s wages – but obviously not Croesus rich) for that whole 6 months. I didn’t receive a penny otherwise from any other source – and I guess were I not married I would have starved, begged, been on the street without a brass farthing from anywhere for half a year.

    Paul, I wish you all the very best in your endeavours. You are such a good, witty and incisive man who fights many of our battles for independence for us with your excellent wordsmanship. May you continue to do so. I repeat my heartfelt wishes for you to keep on getting better as much as you can and to be able to claim what is rightfully yours. You are a great ambassador for Scotland (and by extension, my country). May you continue to show up these heartless yet greedy barstewards who currently rule over us and that we will all, ere long, be independent!

    Ymlaen / Forward.

    Tros Gymru / For Scotland

  7. Golfnut says:

    Disgraceful, disgusting treatment. Presumably you were interviewed by another human being and not a machine although a machine might well have displayed more empathy than the individual/s who carried out the assessment. If the interview was recorded ask for a copy, at the very least it will help with the appeal. I’m not going to presume to offer any advice, I’ve always been a get even rather than a get over it type of person but if I had your skill, the pen being mightier than the sword, I’d send this article to every newspaper editor, radio station and tv station you can access. It’s a great article, doesn’t need edited or altered and it would be very interesting to see how many run with a bad union story.
    Atb.

  8. juliegegan says:

    I am so sorry you have had to go through this thoroughly demeaning and dismissive process. It’s is disgusting and morally repugnant to say the least. Keep going and don’t let the barstewards get you down. I hope you get your reassessment soon and are able to correct the wrongdoing. Best Wishes. X.

  9. Stuart says:

    What I have found over the years doing assessments you have to avoid admitting being able to do anything much. As soon as u say yes I fine doing some task it becomes a trap and your sunk. Always have a witness withu u. All the best with the appeal they are usually upheld

  10. Janice Gale says:

    Dear Paul, I call you the dug affectionately so I hope you will forgive me. I am an NHS retiree and am familiar with everything you report concerning the devastating result of your stroke. You are brave to take on the DWP but is anyone can it’s you. I believe you will be awarded what is your right as was my friend in similar circumstances after she appealed a basic award as you have been given. I want to believe that a Scottish government approach to disability claimants will be more sympathetic and helpful. But we have to be watchful as they are politicians. I’ve only been reading your work since your stroke and I was so impressed that you were determined to carry on expressing yourself so eloquently in words which makes a huge impact on the Yessers amongst us, encouraging and stimulating discussion. Thank you so much. I often copy your work to Aye Fyne and Yes Mid Argyll Fb page to rally the faithful. I would miss you hugely if you weren’t there as I’m sure would thousands of people. Please look after your health first and I hope your reassessment will go smoothly and positively. It is a pleasure and often very funny reading your expressed thoughts and long May it last. All the best you you and your husband.

  11. Dr Jim says:

    Disabled from birth my granddaughter has cerebral palsy, scoliosis, metal plates in both legs, 4ft 10″ tall, suffers from intermittent spasms, but because she is articulate and intelligent and doing a degree in psychology even though unable to hold a pen so types essays of up to 1200 words per night with one finger the DWP tried to insist she could at least be a wait for it…… waitress.??…. even though my granddaughter can’t walk more than 20 yards without being supported in a metal frame or pushed in a wheelchair
    During Covid she was shielding due to her compromised immune system , a heart condition, again from birth so didn’t see the light of day for two years

    Since turning 16 years of age the DWP have hounded her each year, she’ll be 20 on her next birthday

    I mostly keep my patience on the pages of the internet, but personally ask me what I think of Englands governments practices? and that answer is unprintable

  12. Targaid says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I knew the system was flawed and designed to be so by successive governments picking on the weakest in our society. It’s time this was addressed and that there were marches by us able-bodied folk to show our support for our bretheren. Helping folk in times of need is what our benefit system is supposed to do. The disguting, wealthy, politicians who use it to punish and demonise the disadvantaged need to be stopped. Soon.

  13. lochwest1 says:

    Thank you for sharing, it is good for the many to hear the complexity of life with a disability and then to learn of the appalling attitude of our govt servants who should be building us up not knocking us down. Thank you so much, I very much value your writings.
    Kind regards

    Margaret

    Sent from my iPad

  14. Eilidh says:

    Speaking as an advice worker who assists peole with many Dwp forms including PIP almost on a daily basis I can fully understand your shock and upset at the PIP decision you have received Paul. Dwp and their medical assessors who are employed by private companies say they are not target driven but my colleagues and I doubt that is the case. I have seen folks get zero points as stated on their decision letter and after I have written a mandatory reconsideration letter for them (which is first part of appeal process) they get awarded some points but just not enough to get them any benefit money for Pip. However after we submit the form requesting they get an appeal heard by an Independent tribunal but before the actual hearing sometimes Dwp will sometimes award more points so the client gets some benefit money. Why do Dwp do this you may wonder well generally they think they won’t win that one and allowing full tribunal hearing to go ahead costs them money that’s why. Many decisions they make are overturned at appeal. Citizens Advice Bureaux, Council Welfare Rights services and some other charities are good at helping people with forms mandatory reconsideration requests and appeal forms. Here is a couple bits of info that are often not commonly known Mandatory Reconsiderations can be requested via phone call to Dwp and dont need an awful lot of detail just a brief summary of what a person believes is wrong in Dwp decision and before mandatory reconsideration is submitted applicants can request and have a right to be sent a copy of medical assessment report on which Dwp based their decision. Mistakes and downright mistruths are common in these reports in my experience.
    Yesterday I saw the application form for the new Scottish Adult Disability Payment for the first time there are a lot more questions in it but many will not have to be answered by all claimants and I hope this will give better and more humane decisions for people. It starts across the whole of Scotland on 29/8.Thankfully no private medical assessments companies will be involved in the process. I sincerely hope you get a better decision on your PIP application soon Paul. I am well used to hearing of disgraceful Dwp decisions but yours is one of the worst I have heard of in a while. All the best to you and your hubby.

  15. Legerwood says:

    Thank you for sharing your condition with us and what the DWP is putting you through. It is truly a damnable system that seems deliberately designed to put people through Hell and in the process ‘ration’ what is available and who gets the pittance they dole out.

  16. Gwynneth Rixon says:

    I went through that process for ESA…14 years ago..nothing has changed and more than half of appeals are successful.
    It is dehumanising…get advice and hang on in there! Wishing you success

  17. cashbackboy says:

    So sorry to hear that Paul, as a benefits advisor that helps people apply for PIP this outcome is unfortunately all too common and puts too many off taking it further. Too many assessors (not all) live in the black and white and don’t see real life, and the “health care professional’s” who do the medical assessment generally are not placed to assess the applicant and tend to ask leading questions which skew the assessment. I’m glad you’ve gone through the reconsideration and if it comes back unchanged take it to the Tribunal Service for appeal, and if you haven’t already get an advisory service, Citizens Advice Bureau or benefits advice service at the council to help. Good luck with the mandatory reconsideration.

  18. John Rutherford says:

    So sorry to hear of your situation..Really hope things may improve soon.
    Amazed that you are still able to write the truth about our country..
    Please try and continue..
    You’re a real inspiration!

  19. UncleBob says:

    Nothing you say surprises me.
    My family member has had long term mental health problems and has had to fight every time that her ESA and PIP (DLA) awards ended. Awards are usually given out for a few years and then the whole thing has to be gone through again. She has been unable to work for 20 years now.
    She is a very intelligent, well educated person who was able to produce masses of research information on her various conditions and this was used against her. She may look very normal to anyone she comes across, but she has severe limitations.
    At one stage she was made to attend a work related interview at the local job centre where they tried to convince her that she was capable of working as a dog washer in a local dog grooming salon. She finds it impossible to leave the house without someone with her, far less go 3 miles on a public bus to work.
    At one review the “health care worker” asked questions and entered the answers onto a computer. This was then used to produce the most ridiculous “essay” of her abilities. One thing I remember was that they said she spent all day on the telephone chatting to friends and family. She was able to show an itemised phone bill which showed that she had used the phone once in the last three months. They just make stuff up.
    Once when her award was being reconsidered they stopped all payments. It took them 9 months to reconsider the award. 9 months with no money at all. It was back dated but what would she have done without family to help her survive?
    At another assessment she was told that she could not be suffering from anxiety and depression as she was not sweating enough!
    Anyone who is not literally dragging a bloody limb behind them is considered to be fine and not in need of assistance.
    So if you look “normal”, have above average intelligence, try to be helpful, don’t sweat a lot or anything else they decide makes you unworthy you will be rejected.
    Every time she is reconsidered for an award she is given zero points and she then has to start all over again. It is emotionally draining and adds to the anxiety and depression that she suffers from.
    It is a cruel and demeaning process for her each and every time.
    In saying all of this, just recently, with the help of the Benefits and Work website she asked for a mandatory reconsideration and for them to look into back dating her award. Success. She was awarded the required points to allow her to be given a Blue Badge. 20 years too late, but this is giving her some hope for the future. And the award was backdated for the last two years.
    Never give up. Best of luck.

  20. mornakirkskycom says:

    So many battles to fight, Paul. I am angry and disgusted at your ( and others) treatment by this cruel and vindictive organisation. Wishing you the strength and tenacity to take them on and hope the politicians who read your blog will be taking note and even now using all their powers and influence to prevent this inhumane treatment from continuing.
    Power to your elbow, Paul. Keep going as you are a voice for those less articulate and you really are important in the Yes movement too.

  21. Joe McDonagh says:

    Awful, and you are dealing with a cold, impersonal, unsympathetic and frankly uncaring system. I can only imagine how even more difficult it is for people who are isolated and with none of the support you can call upon.
    May you be successful in your endeavours. My best wishes.

  22. Bruce MacDougall says:

    I remember reading an article before COVID about the DWP and their inhumane policies, that were estimated to have caused between 120,000 to 200,000 early deaths. It would seem that nothing has changed since. I hope the Scottish government, when they take charge of the system, show more humanity to those who need help. Take care.

  23. You have my complete sympathy, Paul, having been through the DWP minefield myself, including the lies about my capabilities.

    Paul, check if your Council has a benefits / claimants’ welfare office. Go through them.

    My assessor came out to my house as I refused to go to a centre to be assessed. Apart from actually needing it, because I’m effectively housebound, if you make a superhuman effort to go to the assessment centre, you’re obviously capable of using public transport, planning a journey or whatever.

    The result was nothing at all like the truth, and the assessor was a condescending, arrogant farm animal of a woman.

    I ended up calling them up and telling the person I spoke to that I did not wan’t the PIP (DLA at the time) because I did not want to run the risk of ever undergoing the demeaning assessment process again. Also that if another supremely unpleasant assessment officer is charged with inventing an assessment of me, she might as well lie from the comfort of her own office rather than bother me with it.

    That got their attention, and when I put in a fresh claim a month later, this time through the Council’s benefits / claimants’ welfare office, everything went smoothly – and the payments were backdated to the date I cancelled my benefits.

    The woman at the Council’s office said that when they were involved, DWP knew that they couldn’t get away with anything.

    They will also make sure that you’re getting everything from the Council which you’re due.

  24. Capella says:

    Another £500 poured down the Westminster drain. Has there ever been such an incompetent corrupt shower of perfect perishers in government?

    Report slates UK Government’s £486m Covid traffic light system

    Government requirements were different for each category but measures included the need for people to submit data in a Passenger Locator Form, take tests after entering the UK and, if entering from high-risk countries, to stay in managed quarantine hotels, provided by the Managed Quarantine Service (MQS), for at least 10 days after arrival.

    Almost £500m was spent on implementing the confusing system – as estimated by the National Audit Office – but the committee says because the government did not properly track its spending or set clear objectives, it does not know whether the system worked or whether the cost was worth the disruption caused.

    It also said the Government “did not clearly communicate” changes to the measures. Ministers changed the rules at least 10 times between February 2021 and January 2022, but gave the travel industry “little time to adapt its operations” each time and the report concluded people found the rules tricky to understand.

    https://archive.ph/sniy3

  25. Capella says:

    So the UK is at least doing better than Russia – a country with c 10,000 sanctions imposed on it. Another world beating performance from Team GB.

    IMF downgrades UK growth prediction AGAIN in gloomy economic forecast

    THE UK’s economic growth is slowing even more due to rampant inflation and it is set to be the weakest economy among the G7 nations next year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.

    In its latest World Economic Outlook update, the body downgraded its UK growth forecast for 2022 to 3.2%, from 3.7% in April.

    This had already been a downgrade from 4.7% at the start of the year.

    The outlook for the UK is expected to become even more gloomy in 2023, with the IMF cutting its forecast for next year to 0.5% growth from a previous 1.2% estimate.

    READ MORE: Tory policies led to decade of stagnation in UK economy, LSE report finds

    In 2023, the UK is projected to have the weakest growth of the world’s biggest economies, excluding Russia.

    It came as the IMF warned that stalling growth across the world means we could be “teetering on the edge of a global recession”.

    The IMF cut its global growth forecasts for this year to 3.2%, from a previous 3.6% projection.

    https://archive.ph/Yo4Qc

  26. Skintybroko says:

    Appalling treatment Paul and unfortunately all too common, hopefully the Scottish Government will have learned from this and have a more empathetic approach to this. Wishing you every success with your appeal.

  27. Capella says:

    Can’t resist this bonus article – Boris Johnston and Carrie Antoinette’s wedding of the century celebrations relocated from Chequers to a billionaire donor’s mansion. Let them eat cake.

    Boris Johnson set to host extravagant wedding party at billionaire donor’s house

    The Grade 1 listed home is owned by JCB chairman Lord Bamford who has given around £14 million in cash and gifts to the Conservatives since 2001.

    It has been suggested that the Tory peer, who backed Johnson’s leadership bid in 2019, is covering some of the costs of the party.

    It is understood that Boris and Carrie have organised a marquee in the 1500-acre grounds.

    The couple initially planned to throw a wedding party at Chequers – the PM’s mansion but this led to accusations that Johnson was trying to delay his departure from No 10.

    Indeed, on Monday, Boris said he wished he could “wipe away” his resignation and that he wanted to lead the Conservatives at the next general election.

    https://archive.ph/fX4Lg

  28. Dr Jim says:

    If Englands idiot ruling class weren’t running around pretendy shouting about themselves being a “world power” and a “global player on the world stage” and accepted that they’re not and are just a wee island in the middle of the Atlantic maybe things wouldn’t be as bad as they are, but as long as these nut jobs of Englands political classes keep this up we the people will have to keep paying for their delusions

    When they spout nonsense like Britain has to live within its means, they don’t mean them

  29. Hamish100 says:

    ..and for the undecided. Tory land is coming to you with a vengeance. as you grow older , have an illness the uncaring selfish want to rule us—- only if we let them. 2023 Independence 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  30. Aileen Ford says:

    What an absolute shower of bas*****. Good luck getting this sorted. Thank you so much for still blogging & writing for the National. You are a huge inspiration to so many of us. Take care. Aileen xx

  31. Capella says:

    Mick Lynch hits the nail on the head – again.

  32. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Paul , reading the breakdown of all of your disabilities resulting from your stroke and indeed the stress and psychological impact these have on you yet somehow these were deemed, by the DWP, as not sufficient to meet the higher rate but instead somehow you were assessed to only be awarded the lower rate of the daily living component of PIP but nothing else….is truly shocking.

    That itself proves the system is not fit for purpose.

    It seems that the human element is removed from the assessment and instead you are but one in a ‘number’ of applicants who are not treated with due compassion or care, or as an individual, but instead are treated by a flawed system that seeks to deny you what , in any civilised society, would and should be awarded financially to you to enhance and aid your recovery…..

    Instead they deny you the appropriate financial means which in turn hinders your overall recovery….. by adding even greater stress they fail to ease the burden in your current day to day life…… essential and sufficient financial help would go a long way to improve your quality of life now until such time when you achieve a full recovery….

    To then impose automated (phone) barriers and psychological intimidation they try to prevent people like you from seeking justice via an appeal is truly a testimony to the cruel UK Tory government and how it prioritises only those who contribute to their party coffers via their donations and support……… while others ,like you, must suffer , be dismissed and demonised…..truly awful.

    I hope your reassessment will succeed and that you get what is entitled to you based on your disabilities….please take care and my thoughts are with you…..as are many many others both on this site and outwith it who care about you so very much ……and who are behind you 100%.

  33. Alec Lomax says:

    DWP – friend of the disabled (no one ever said)

  34. andrewgscott says:

    I “failed” a PIP assessment. Citizens Advice were of massive help in the first step, “mandatory consideration” which sees, I *think* 80% success rate. My initial assessment was by phone and was totally wrong, much like yours. I was successful at the “MC” without too much effort because we think the person saw, from the evidence I’d produced for the assessment, that it had not been taken into consideration. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome to be fair.

    I can only suggest getting help for both stages (MC and an actual appeal).

    From what I’ve heard at meetings, the Scottish system will be more sympathetic and will rely more on the input from others such as health professionals.

    Good luck!

  35. indy2019 says:

    Well done Paul for articulating your experiences with the DWP. I’m sure the points raised by an important commentator like yourself will not go unnoticed by the Scottish Government and helps to reinforce their desire to create a more humane system. Keep up the good fight and good luck.

  36. Welsh_Siôn says:

    If someone is ‘dwp’ in Welsh (and Wenglish) is means they are ‘thick, stupid’ etc.

    I rest my case.

  37. Drew Anderson says:

    Your article and many of the responses make for deeply unpleasant reading Paul. It looks like the basic modus is to fob everyone off, in the hope they’ll accept whatever crumbs are offered.

    I did a little digging: As of March 68% of cases, that reached the appeal stage in 2021-22, were successful; down 6 points on the previous year. This after, as those in the know have pointed out, mandatory consideration and/or the involvement of third party agencies leads to an increase in points awarded.

    How many original “assessments” actually hold up? If the DWP fold under a little pressure and they lose 2/3 and more of the cases they actually fight? Very few I’d imagine.

    It’s beyond farce, it’s systemic cruelty.

  38. Golfnut says:

    Between £13 and £20 billion worth of benefits are unclaimed from the DWP, different sources give different amounts but broadly agree that on average it equates to around £6000 per person. If true it means a hell of a lot of people aren’t claiming the benefits they are entitled to under the current system. Are they actually not being claimed or would it be truer to say that the benefit was more likely to have been refused or the process made so difficult that individuals just give up.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Are they actually not being claimed or would it be truer to say that the benefit was more likely to have been refused or the process made so difficult that individuals just give up.
      ___________

      How about: All the above.

      I know I gave up after my initial assessment (see above) having received no advice from anyone, anywhere about what to do next. So, I sponged off Mrs W-S for 6 months.

      • Eilidh says:

        Many elderly people do not claim the disability benefit for those of pension age which is called Attendance Allowance or the state pension topup – pension credit because of a sense of shame – or they regard these benefits as charity and in some cases have a fear of being named as scroungers. Attendance Allowance is not an income related benefit nor is PIP but the elderly in particular have been brainwashed into not claiming what they are entitled to. I have been trying to persuade someone I know into claiming these benefits for months so far without success. She reads the Daily Mail and we all know that papers opinion of those who claim benefits 😡

  39. James Mills says:

    The treatment you ( and so many others ) receive from the DWP , Paul , is a foretaste of what is to come under this increasingly hard right ( fascist ? ) regime .

    It matters not a jot who is the PM – Lizzie Truss , Rich! Sunak or Attila the Hun !
    They are all the same .
    Their code of ethics ( LoL ! ) is the same .
    Their contempt for anyone who is ”not us ” is fully on open display .

    By their every word and deed we can see that , not only does The Emperor have no clothes , but what is revealed is what Aneurin Bevin called – ”organised spivvery ” when describing the Tory Party .
    Personally , I prefer his other description – ” lower than vermin ! ”

    If you can imagine the DWP being staffed by a thousand clones of Priti Patel you might come close to the level of empathy for the unfortunate that they are aiming for when dealing with claimants .

  40. Citizen’s Advice Bureau are experts in helping with PIP. Go and see them Paul, please.

    • Elizabeth Cameron says:

      My only experience of the new Scottish Agency was about help with a funeral payment last year. I dealt with both DWP and the Scottish agency and the difference was like chalk and cheese. I far prefer dealing with our one, DWP suck.

      I came across this the other day (I’m waiting to be automatically transferred over from DLA)

      “People in Aberdeenshire, City of Aberdeen, Fife, Moray, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, and South Ayrshire are now able to apply for the Scottish Government’s Adult Disability Payment.”

      Phone them up, tell them about your assessment and ask if it’s possible to apply for the ADP.
      I’m pretty sure they’ll help you, but they certainly won’t make you feel like a burden.
      Good luck xox

  41. CATHY says:

    Well thank goodness for us that you can still blog. I was a social worker for over 40years and wrote endless letters of appeal. In fact I usually filled out the form to make sure all the info was there to get the claim settled in the first place. I totally understand your frustration and can only advise fight them all the way! And yes good advice above re Citizen’s advice or your local Welfare rights officer who may well attend an appeal with you.

  42. Yvonne Moore says:

    Hi again, As I’ve said before the DWP are shocking. It’s disgraceful that you have been treated so incredibly unfairly. It makes me so angry.

    Hope you don’t mind but I’d like to let you know about groups who can help you with your MR and if necessary, your appeal. I have asked a friend to recommend the best groups and this is what she said,

    “The groups that I know about are the benefits and work website (they have forums on there too – to get access to the guides it’s about £20 for a year but I think they have a discount code on at the mo so it might be a bit a cheaper) they’re really good. Another one that’s good is Fightback and they have a FB group. They can help with forms etc – it’s a cost of £11.99 a month for the full service (I think there are 3 levels with varied costs). I highly recommend both of these places. I’m using them myself as I just had a telephone assessment last week – 1hr 17 minutes. No idea how it went but I got a couple of really dodgy questions which makes me concerned how it will go. There’s a lot of free info on there too but if he can afford it, I’d tell him to because the info is invaluable.”

    Here are the links:

    https://www.fightback4justice.co.uk/?fs=e&s=cl

    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/

    In my opinion you should receive high rate for both care and mobility. Please fight until you get that.

    Good luck,

    Take care, Yvonne Moore

  43. Hamish100 says:

    The brave new world of Brexit and being treated as equals.

    It will only get worse if we remain in this abusive relationship with our big neighbour.

    Europe has shown more respect to Ireland Scotland and Wales than ever shown with England. Maybe our independence will reset England’s lack of humanity. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • Dr Jim says:

      No matter what happens in the world it’ll always be everyone else’s fault, never England’s
      Such has been the greatest success England has ever achieved, to have brainwashed millions of their own citizens for hundreds of years into believing they’re the good guys

  44. Bob Lamont says:

    A painful read but it needed said loud and clear, and you WILL get there.

    The DWP is set up to operate like a business, maximise revenue and minimise expenditure.
    As Eilidh alluded to upthread it is as if the system has targets, but this obscures the role of DWP management and the environment in which they operate.

    Your letter of award will have been written by just such a manager, it’s not that your issues were incorrectly recorded on the assessment, they were creatively “re-interpreted” to minimise expenditure.
    In short the manager lied in certain knowledge you cannot prove it, you can only challenge it, but crucially he/she will be rewarded for it by promotion, that’s how DWP works.

    The DWP was well known among civil servants as the place for promotion in the late 1990s – A few years working there gave you brownie points on the next stage of your career, the more brutal or hostile saw rapid advancement internally, and guess who appraises those beneath ?
    It was not Theresa May who created the hostile environment, she copied Ia(i)n Drunken (fake hyphen) Smith…

    If SG are to succeed in taking over these social support functions, it is imperative they revise the methodology, but should refuse transfer of management from DWP, for it is there the real problem lies.

    • grizebard says:

      That analysis has the ring of truth – an organisation whose functionaries are personally rewarded for minimising payouts, and never mind the (very real) consequences. What is particularly evil about this is the loss of faith among the general public in civil administration, because what they encounter in need is not a government trying its level best to serve them fairly, but a self-serving Soviet-style mendacious and oppressive bureaucracy.

      No wonder then that people, not least those most in need of support, lose all faith in conventional politics. Many just switch off completely, which is a pity, because they are the very ones who would benefit most by involvement (as with independence). OTOH, those who don’t, unfortunately, become ever more attracted towards unpleasant extremes, as with Trumpism.

  45. Hamish100 says:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62329149 No extra hols if England women team win the World Cup.
    Not sure if this means if they lose “we” have to work an extra day- well England I suppose. Still the media can blame the Germans rather than the French as they are in the finals.

    When Scotland won the World Curling championships did we get an extra tea break in celebration?

    If so I must have been in the bathroom.

    The bbc msn media guff is just pure diversion for the English masses. Poor souls.

  46. Capella says:

    Complaining about the BBC is not for the faint-heated.

    Listener who reported BBC Ruth Davidson interview to Ofcom tears down slow process

    Video editor Parker went through the entire BBC complaints process after listening to the BBC Radio 4 World at One (WATO) interview on February 24 last year.

    Davidson was given 12 minutes at the top of the programme to set forth her views on the anticipated appearance by Alex Salmond before a Scottish Parliament committee investigating Holyrood’s handling of harassment allegations against him – and of which he was later cleared.

    She said it raised questions about whether Scotland’s democratic institutions were corrupt, but presenter Sarah Montague did not challenge her remarks.

    Parker said the BBC said in a rebuttal of his first complaint: “Our aim is simply to provide enough information for listeners to make up their own minds.”

    However, he said all that was provided were Davidson’s insinuations and the conspiracy theories of Alex Salmond, with nothing from the Scottish Government.

    “Is that a basis for listeners to make up their minds?” he asked. “If they are anti-SNP they might conclude there has been some skulduggery in Holyrood, otherwise it was hard to conclude anything from the broadcast. Except perhaps that the BBC train had come off the editorial rails.”

    https://archive.ph/pabyC

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      8 days into my complaint to the BBC, so far nothing.

      ____________

      Stock answer: This is to inform you that although we normally aim to investigate and reply at this next stage of the complaints service within 20 working days (around four weeks), we are currently dealing with a higher than normal volume of cases.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, it has been plain for some time that the BBC has totally capitulated on journalistic standards, allowing anyone in politics to say anything without challenge, no matter how contradictory, misleading or absurd. And in the specific case of Scottish independence, this appears to have tipped into outright partisanship. (It’s mostly not in what they say – Glenn Campbell excepted – it’s rather in the factberg they ignore.)

      All of which is the very definition of a fake news provider.

      “Auntie” BBC has prostituted herself for government handouts (and reluctant ones at that). The only way to save the BBC now is to make it some kind of mutual owned by licence payers.

      This entire subject would – among other things – provide a fertile field of doctoral research for some fearless person in media studies.

  47. Capella says:

    Labour duplicity and double speak strikes again. Shadow Transport Minister sacked for supporting the RMT union, sorry, AFTER supporting the RMT union.

    Sam Tarry sacked by Keir Starmer after joining RMT picket line

    A SENIOR Labour MP has been sacked for appearing on the RMT picket line in support of striking workers.

    Sam Tarry, Labour’s shadow minister for buses and local transport, went against instructions from Keir Starmer to stay away from strikes taking place across the UK.

    The party said he had been dismissed because he had broken the code of “collective responsibility” among the Labour frontbench, which requires senior MPs to have their media appearances approved by party high command.

    They insisted Tarry, seen as being on the party’s left wing, was not fired for “appearing on a picket line”, despite the Labour leader demanding his top team from refraining from showing support for the strikes.

    https://archive.ph/ti38i

    • James Mills says:

      Starmer to replace the Labour Red Flag with ”Rule Britannia ” ,

      prospective Labour Parliamentary candidates must relinquish any links to a Trades Union ,

      the Labour manifesto will be published AFTER the Tories in order to copy the best ideas for sanctioning workers’ rights ,

      Anas Starmer will repeat ad nauseam that Scotland does not exist in the Labour Party movement ,

      Tony Blair will be asked to front their TV Political Party broadcasts ,

      Starmer pledges to increase the numbers in the HoL to improve democracy in the UK ,

      Starmer pledges to remove the UK from the UN ,the continent of Europe and the planet Earth .

      • Capella says:

        Trade Unions created the Labour Party so that they would have representation in Parliament. Extra-parliamentary action was considered a very bad thing (and still is). I wonder if they are regretting ever letting its spoilt child make these unreasonable demands. Let’s see what Mick Lynch says. He is fast becoming the leader of the labour movement and I believe he has said that the RMT doesn’t contribute to the Labour Party.

  48. davetewart says:

    We demand sarwar is sacked for the same offense.

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Unfortunately, like Dross , Sarwar is a lightweight….so much so that he does not even register with Labour HQ as far as UK matters are concerned…..UK is the remit of by the BIG boys and girls at Labour HQ…..

      Sarwar, like Dross, is employed to thwart the democratic process in Scotland by squatting in the Scottish parliament under the misrepresentation of being a political OPPOSITION party ( not so much just constantly opposing everything and anything done by the Scottish Govt…… but also casting aspersions (lies) , false accusations lies) and constantly creating doubt (lies) about all the Scottish government have done and intend to do….. and indeed they also pretty much do the same on Scotland as a country)…………the Scottish prefix before all Unionist parties titles are a misnomer…..they should drop it as they are fooling NO ONE North of the border.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Sarwar like DRoss only represent the English political systems power in and over Scotland, their loyalty begins and ends with England rule

        Even Welsh Labour FM Mark Drakeford profoundly disagrees with Sarwars undemocratic behaviour

        • Bob Lamont says:

          The difference is Mark Drakeford is a conviction politician, Sarwar is a shyster trying to impress his da….

      • ArtyHetty says:

        They will have been promised seats in the HOL’s no doubt, like their pals Tory untRuth Davidson and the previous Holyrood Labour troughers, Jack McConnell with his ‘nothing to spend £1.5 billion on in Scotland’ and PFI scams plunging Scottish councils into £billions of ‘debt’ to this day,
        A. Darling and other BritNats…all rewarded for services to the English state. I would say I don’t know how they sleep at night, but being paid £300+ a day I’m sure doesn’t keep them awake worrying about how to pay bills and for food etc.

        • James Mills says:

          Having ”fire-raiser” Lord Watson in the HoL would keep a lot of their lordships awake – even during the debates !

          • Luigi says:

            That one split me sides, just thinking about the old duffers nervously looking over their shoulders and checking the smoke alarms every five minutes lol. Good one.

  49. ArtyHetty says:

    Good luck with the appeal Paul. The fact that they have omitted or even lied about aspects of your
    condition is really disgraceful, to put it lightly.

    I met someone a few years ago who had worked in one of the DWP job centres and her account of how staff treated people seeking support even people with disabilities was quite harrowing. Basically, they are akin to the Nazi’s, literally laughing when they cut peoples’ measly benefit and send them home with nothing. I do wonder where they find the low lifes to do these jobs, and I bet they aren’t going on strike either, too many benefits to being a scumbag, not all of course but many are.

    The Scottish system in not using private companies for a start is reassuring. It’s very telling that the English government refuses to devolve other benefits like carers allowance, job seekers, universal credit and income support etc. When someone’s PIP is transferred to Scotland where the person needs care, and carers allowance is still controlled by England’s DWP, not sure how that can be sustained.

  50. Welsh_Siôn says:

    https://nation.cymru/news/public-demand-for-independence-not-legal-wrangles-will-decide-future-of-the-union-top-academic-says/

    Public demand for independence not legal wrangles will decide future of the Union, top academic says

    28 Jul 2022 3 minute read

    Public demand for independence not wrangles over the legality of holding a referendum will ultimately decide whether Scotland and Wales leave the UK, a top academic of constitutional politics has said.

    In a **report** for UK in a Changing Europe, Nicola McEwen of Edinburgh University said that the UK Government could continue to put off the issue as long as there is no obvious majority for constitutional change.

    […]

    ** The report: https://ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/UKICE-Full-Fact-Conservative-Leadership-Contest-Report. pdf

    (Delete space before ‘pdf’).

    • Dr Jim says:

      A **report** translated said the UK government could continue to ignore the elected government of a country

      The “no obvious obvious majority for constitutional change” part is comical given how would the UK government like to see that demonstrated? The SNP winning even more seats than they already have? The total collapse of say Labour with 1 MP and Tory 6 support in Scotland? Marches? because they ignore them as meaningless, so what or how do they want to see this change demonstrated? let me think? should Scotland declare war ? how about that? but that would be terrorism in the eyes of the UK though wouldn’t it ? so what do they want?

      And the answer is folks, drum roll, they don’t want any demonstration of anything, they just like repeating it for the media to keep repeating it for them over and over until it we all go away or die of boredom listening to them repeating and repeating and $ “*£%_~#=%(+” until the end of time

      I know a bunch of folk quite willing to give Westminster a demonstration of the will for change

  51. Welsh_Siôn says:

    pp.34-36

    • Hamish100 says:

      Academics and unionists refer to devolved nations.
      We are nations full stop. Ni is a province currently.

      Academia please note

      • Dr Jim says:

        Once again the *devolved nations* crap, you can devolve authority, decision making, planning, responsibilities, but you can’t devolve a nation of people, that’s the language of fascism

      • grizebard says:

        I believe you’re right about this. Anywhere else in the world we would expect see a fair selection of academics at the forefront of national self-awareness – part of their job description, one might think – but in Scotland they seem to mostly keep their heads down. Collective abdication of involvement. I’m sure there are exceptions, but that seems to be the general drift. And it’s more than just wanting to preserve the chance of an occasional appearance fee from the BBC. Perhaps fear of a loss of preference or some other kind of careerist self-suppression.

        This has for me been one of the most disappointing aspects of where we are even today. A collective lack of moral support and leadership from far more of those who really should be in the vanguard.

        We suffer from a kind of occupation, but the real occupation is insidious – it’s inside our own heads. And not least among far too many of the brightest ones at that.

  52. Paddy Farrington says:

    Your account is really shocking, Paul. Good luck with your appeal. The DWP are an utter disgrace. I really hope that ScotGov takes note of your experience, and comes up with a system with basic humanity at its core, so clearly lacking in the current UK one.

  53. Golfnut says:

    ” so long as Scotland remains divided on Independence ”
    So this individual has gone way past 60 or 70 %, we need a 100% before westminster needs either politically or legally consider granting Scotland independence.
    That’s no how it works hen, I’m ashamed for you.

    • Dr Jim says:

      They throw the word *divided* around as though it only applies to Scotland and therefore must be a bad thing, every country in the world is *divided* between its own political choices, thats why there exists elections and referendums to gauge the mood of the people for change, it’s the very essence as to why there are politicians in the first place to put their offerings to the people to be voted on and their opinions sought by those politicians

      The denial of those rights and circumstances to Scotlands people is fascism in the same way as Putins Russia, 1930s Germany, Myanmar, the UK government has employed these same practices on every country they invaded and now call the Commonwealth, India Pakistan all these countries denied their human rights by an English government hiding behind its name change of British once they’d conquered and absorbed those places

      The Chagos islands present day, the UK ordered to vacate those islands by the UN yet still the British refuse to leave and even threatened trade strangulation to Mauritius if they keep up their demands for the return of their own lands

      The British English UK, call them what you will, are fascists in every definition of the word

  54. Welsh_Siôn says:

    O/T Good luck to the sports men and women both our nations at the Commonwealth Games!

  55. Dr Jim says:

    According to Sunak Scottish independence is *romantic* so what’s Sunak going to do?
    he’s going to romance us more betterer and love us and woo us over to the true love that is Britishness

    We’ll all be waiting and watching out for this with bated breath, I’d better shower and shave, slap on some nice smelly stuff I got for last Christmas

  56. Golfnut says:

    I liked the part in the National article where Sunak exclaims that westminster dealing directly with Scotland, not the exact words but covers the gist of his comment, is something westminster has never been able to do before perhaps encapsulates the utter stupidity and ignorance of the would be PM. His comment needless to say went unchallenged by the interviewer.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Considering the interviewer was LBC’s Nick Ferrari, that is hardly surprising, they are the left and right channels of London metropolitan ignorance…

    • Alex Clark says:

      “Nationalism is a seductive and romantic idea” What an idiot.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        “seductive and romantic”

        While the UK is repellent and cruel….so what’s his point……yes he is an idiot and the questioner shows the same contempt as he includes the word ‘KEEP’ in the context of Scotland staying in THEIR country…as if tis a possession of THEIR country……they will never learn and they will never ever GET IT………Rishi intends to “reach out to our hearts and emotions”….LOL…well good luck with that because a lot of Scots “hearts and emotions” are not going to be ever again swayed by a Tory that’s for sure……Rishi forgets we have been falsely wooed before by David Cameron in 2014….and that ended with EVEL being announced the morning after Indy Ref vote…….in way of saying ……… you’ll have had your vote Jocks now to us in England…..we are in charge and OUR needs MUST be met and prioritised before you lot in Jockland….you fell for our lies and fear tactics….with a sprinkling of reaching out to your “hearts and emotions”… the Job is now done and WE have taken back control.

        Rishi ain’t gonna win anyway unless his opposition ‘The Robot’ blows it….and with her being a Robot well she will not seek to woo us but will continue with her Thatcher tribute act and will seek to crush rebellious Scots……….Iron fist approach from Iron lady wannabee.

        Pig sick of it all……disgrace this is being televised via a multitude of debates in midst of so many Tory generated crises….but so typically TORY….and it’s compliant media…..

        ( Was that Chris Grayling aka failing Grayling sitting in the front row….God almighty …he’s backing Rishi Sunak…..say no more….50 million quid on phantom Ferries….My God any other politician with savvy would NOT want Grayling endorsing them….in public anyway…..Grayling seeking another government position….Chris Grayling the male version of Nadine Dorries.)

        Also idiot questioner states WE (ah that WE again) are seeing a lot of ‘sabre rattling’ with regard to Scotland which is defined as in literally described as ‘the display or threat of military force’…did I miss something ?

        • Dr Jim says:

          England has had 300 years to show us how much they care about anything but themselves and they’ve proved conclusively they’re not capable or they’d still have an Empire, it’s not rocket science, the Empire has left them because they’re liars and thieves, Scotland is just doing what everybody else has done

          This latest from England is just another symptom of their abuse of others in pretending to care while admitting they’re removing Scottish peoples democracy by denying the legitimacy of our votes

          The invention of Nicola Sturgeon as the Scottish bogeyman Rasputin figure is yet another insult to Scottish voters intelligence and only plays to the audience they themselves have already brainwashed over 300 years in Scotland and a lifetime in England

          In political terms the SNP have only been around for 5 minutes compared to Englands regime, are they really suggesting that the SNP are far and away so much more clever than them that the SNP could undo in a few years what the English haven’t been able to succeed at in centuries

          Scotland does not love England, we never will, nobody likes being dominated by another no matter what they do, it’s just a fact that Scotland was forced to tolerate Englands behaviour until someone came along and made it possible for us to become free, the circumstances don’t really matter, the finances are immaterial, all peoples of the world have the human right to have freedom of choice and England dominance denies that right

          Simples!

          • Not-My-Real-Name says:

            Rishi displaying a distinctive and arrogant English nationalism himself when stating ” devolve and forget”….” push things over to THEM and then forget about it”…..certainly puts into context the (non) priority we in Scotland are afforded with the English (very much) Nationalist party aka the Tories….in this (non) Union.

            What is apparent from these debates is that they all come from a very much ENGLISH perspective yet again ……which as you said “is just another symptom of their abuse of others in pretending to care”…..but really making it clear that they are in charge in their UK, it’s on THEIR terms ,via them dominating politics in their UK…..where they, Tories, fail to govern and function for all countries within their UK…..they do however pretend to care about the English electorate as that is the main source of their votes to aid them in winning elections…..and dubious referendums too it seems.

            “The invention of Nicola Sturgeon as the Scottish bogeyman Rasputin figure” indeed but this is a cloak to disguise their contempt for the voters in Scotland who both vote for the SNP and support independence……they abuse and demonise those we elect as a way of dissing Scots in general….it is so obvious that for those in Scotland STILL unconvinced it seems unbelievable that they still have doubts about independence and a need to STILL be a part of the UK !

            I for one know not what will wake up people in Scotland to the reality that is and has been enfolding in England (and ‘select’ parts of Scotland too)…….but BritNat political parties have been clearly SHOWING us all what future they seek to realise in THEIR vision of a future UK…..and tis not a pretty or enticing vision for a future Scotland…..or indeed one that represent OUR voting preferences….but that’s our NON democratic future should we stay in THEIR English Nationalist dominated UK…simples.

            Stop the UK…I want to get off.

            Have a nice day Dr Jim…see you are still on TOP form.

            🙂

            • Not-My-Real-Name says:

              Sunak also ironically states “It easy to talk about borrowing, debt and trade, pensions and currency”…….I suggest in the current financial mess that the UK is in, increased borrowing and debt, trade barriers with the EU, Waspi women still being robbed , the government breaking manifesto pledges by suspending the Triple lock on pensions and increasing NI contributions, Tory cost of living crisis …..that for Rishi Sunak and his party it is actually NOT easy to talk about these very things to try and defend the (non) Union…

              To ironically try and convince Scots that they are better together in his (non) Union in this current financial climate generated by his BritNat Tory party is the worse possible timing for Rishi and his party……as his, and his party’s, defence is greatly depleted in #PretendyWeapons with which to CON Scots to remain in HIS and THEIR UK……not so much pooling and sharing …more a case of they take from us constantly without asking and all that we, in Scotland, are currently feeling is the only thing UNITED between us and the rest of the UK is the combined misery that impacts us all….misery inflicted by a Tory party infiltrated by UKIP and dictated to by Farage’s former party The Brexit party…..with the little Englanders aka the ERG holding the Tory leadership to ransom…..

              It is a testimony to Sunak and his party that the mess that exists in HIS and THEIR UK does so because they are beholden to those who donate money to their party and who sought a Brexit which would result in gains for them……and also some of the back pockets of Tory MP’s who lobby on their behalf…..

        • Eilidh says:

          We must be firm with Nicola says Sunak – who the hell does that patronising git think he is talking about – some daft wee lassie. She certainly isn’t daft and these two morons don’t have the intelligence and courage of NS between them. Sunak is a man whose family heritage in Uk is 2 generations in other words him and his parents who had the money to pay to get here without the aid of people smugglers. He is a rich right wing nut case and dangerous to democracy. Liz Truss is no better only a bit thicker than him, she is nothing more than a Maggie Thatcher cos player who talks more like an android than C3PO only occasionally he was funny. I actually think either of these two could be worse than Bojo the Prime Liar. I despair!!!

      • Bob Lamont says:

        I watched the clip and winced progressively from the “Ready for Rishi” t-shirted “random audience question to the last enunciated nonsense from Sunak as the Mentorn comparisons mounted

        To my certain knowledge the only Sabre which rattled then ventured south in a rapid and threatening manner was the owner of a Reliant. After a week of the owners’s put-downs, chief among which was kilts being skirts, he was educated on kilt as a verb by one of the locals, shown the bill and vanished with Trace, his partner.

        Given over 50% of England’s electorate and rising agree Scots should have a referendum, this media game the Tories are playing simply won’t wash south or north, following as it does in the clown-steps of “Bloody Stupid Johnson”.

        It does not matter a damn to the majority of Scots which vacuous elitist next leads the Tories despite almost a month of force feeding by HMS James Cook, they’ve had enough.

        What mattered was in 2014 and London/Westminster blew it.

  57. davetewart says:

    I limit my LBC intake to listening when I drive.
    Lately very little.
    Last night I heard the start of the broadcast, a caller was cut off mid sentence as the sunak was talking.
    I was under the assumption that the audience was the Faithful.
    He started off with his family running the local chemist’s.
    I turned it off as IF I now have heard that part several times I’m sure the Faithful know it better.
    The ferrari gives the ministers an easy time, even the mogg says that ferrari is more Sound than O’brien.
    Most of its presenters are right winger, hell the big buffoon’s sister is one, nice wee job for him in the future.

  58. Capella says:

    If it isn’t devolved – you can’t do it. Suck it up.

    Infected Blood Inquiry: Ex minister said payments to victims in Scotland was ‘mistake’

    The inquiry then presented Chisholm with an email from Milburn’s private secretary which was a record of the telephone conversation the two ministers had held.

    It revealed Milburn told Chisholm that bringing in compassionate payments of £10,000 initially, when people became infected with the virus, and a further £40,000 when the virus became chronic, would be a “grave mistake”.

    The email goes on to say: “Once the principle we had established had been breached, then we were scuppered and on a slippery slope to payments running into the millions across the UK.”

    Milburn, who served as secretary of state between 1999 and 2003, then said Malcolm Chisholm will have to “tough it out”.

    He instructed civil servants to “find some way of showing that the Scots don’t have the devolved power to go it alone” on the issue.

    Chisholm confirmed it was an accurate report of the exchange and said there were two other issues complicating the matter.

    “If this was not a devolved matter, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to make any of these payments,” he said.

    He also wrote to the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure payments would not be clawed back through benefits payments.

    Chisholm added: “Even people who thought, ‘why are you even talking to the UK Government?’ would have to acknowledge that none of this could be implemented unless we resolved the devolved power issues and the social security issue.”

    https://archive.ph/27YXm

    • Golfnut says:

      The article makes it pretty clear that Chisholm tried to avoid admitting that he was quite heavily leaned on up to the point where the transcript of the actual conversation was produced.

  59. Capella says:

    How to tun a disaster into a catastrophe – looks like the “compensation” will be going to the power companies who can be relied on to pass on to their “customers”. Hahahahahaha.
    And breathe.

    Details of £400 energy payment to households revealed

    The government has announced how all households in England, Scotland and Wales will receive £400 to help with rising fuel bills this autumn.

    The money, part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme, will be paid in six instalments.

    Households will see a discount of £66 applied to their energy bills in October and November, and £67 a month from December to March 2023.

    But how the money is received will depend on how you pay your bill.

    How do I get the money?
    Customers paying by direct debit, either monthly or quarterly, will see an automatic deduction off those bills.

    Those with “smart” prepayment devices will see an automatic monthly top-up added to their account, meaning they will have to add less credit to their meter for the total energy they use.

    But those with older “non-smart” prepayment devices will not get this money automatically.

    Instead, they will receive an energy bill discount voucher in the first week of each month, via text, email or in the post. Customers will have to redeem these in person at their usual top-up point, such as a local Post Office.

    https://archive.ph/WmTNl

    • James says:

      Makes sense to be honest. The only other way would be to give the Energy companies the money for them to send to their customers who would then have to send it back to the companies, which would be a very unproductive way of doing things.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        You’re missing the elephant in the room.
        UK energy policy can be changed at the stroke of a pen, what UK consumers are facing is Tory dogma not external influences.
        My energy bill in eastern europe (where Russian gas is not just a convenient squirrel) has risen 10%.
        There is NO Russian gas entering the UK other than LPG.
        Discuss.

  60. davetewart says:

    The Fench State owned company,EDF, will be given £300 million a month for their 5 million or so uk customers.
    That will help steady their accounts.
    That is only one of the big six.

    Probably the reason not to increase the pensions and benefits now is that the people might just spend the money on food and forget to pay for household energy.
    Oh, that’s right, the DWP computers only work one day a year, like santa.
    A disaster in the making, hopefully we get a mild winter..

  61. https://archive.ph/Gcu5u

    Pictures show Team Scotland flying the Saltire and sporting tartan at Commonwealth opening ceremony

    This is my ‘Team SC’.

  62. Hamish100 says:

    BBC promoting Sarwar that the reason he wasn’t sacked for appearing at ScotRail and was interviewed by the bbc ( a dispute where he can blame the snp) proves that the Labour Party in Scotland is separate.

    No it isn’t. It proves what Sarwar does or doesn’t do is not important to his boss. He is inconsequential.

    Or my Glaswegian in me thinks “ he’s a tosser”

    • Dr Jim says:

      Ah the old Labour in Scotland is different to the Labour in England drivel

      If Labour in Scotland were different and or didn’t agree with Labour in England then they would be in different separate parties and not want to be associated with a political party they don’t agree with, but Labour in Scotland along with their media buddies tell big fat lies or they wouldn’t be trying so hard to differentiate between them but when the crunch comes, as it always does, Labour in Scotland do exactly as they’re told by Labour in England

      Sarwar is just such a wee fake man who thinks he can keep insulting the intelligence of his own voters as well as everybody else’s, it’s all Labour have ever known how to do

      And always on instructions from England

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      If they, Labour in Scotland,are indeed separate from HQ Labour…why then did Sarwar go down to LONDON this month to talk of his vision for…ahem…Scottish (INO) Labour in Scotland and also on behalf of UK Labour too as the next supposed future UK Govt.

      Surely if they, Scottish (INO) Labour, are indeed a separate entity from HQ, and Sarwar is giving a speech of HIS (so called) VISION for Labour in SCOTLAND he would have (should have) been giving that speech in SCOTLAND….NO ?

      Once again we , Scotland, are sidelined and mere observers from afar while THEY dictate to us to an audience in another country their vision for OUR future….and for Labour tis a fantasy future they unveil……I suspect NOT just in Scotland but elsewhere too……

      BBC too are well aware of reality but to SAVE the Union they MUST dabble in fantasy too….

      • James Mills says:

        Nobody up here gives a F*ck what Sarwar’s vision is for Scotland ( a country that ranks behind Pakistan in his eyes ) .
        His vision is as bad as Mr Magoo’s as he can’t or won’t see that he is a loser up here . He is kept in the public view only by a sycophantic media , just like the other losers – DRoss and the Tailor’s Dummy from the Libdumbs .

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          James….Even Sarwar doesn’t give “a F**k for his vision for Scotland”…..in fact just remove the words ‘for his vision’ to get his REAL vision on Scotland….

          • Hamish100 says:

            You almost forget that he dismissed 2 labour councillors for REFUSING to work with tories.
            He is a Lino rat as described in the National.

            Labour in name only- really a Tory!

            • grizebard says:

              I just wonder what those dismissed individuals will do now, just suck it up “for the sake of the party”, or stand up on their own two feet and publicly call out this Tory collaboration for the shameful disgrace that it is?

              Tory + Labour, still two faces of the same bent coin, from a collection of 30 pieces of them. Betraying all those people who still vote Labour, only to get Tory chums instead. And Sarwar thinks this will restore his party’s fortunes in Scotland? What a joke. The latest and worst political failure at the tail end of a long line of them.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Labour in Scotland: One MP and a whole bunch of unelected list MSPs that if it weren’t for proportional representation wouldn’t even be in Scotlands parliament, and their branch spokesperson Sarwar wants to *outline his vision* for a country full of people who refused to elect him

        This is what I mean about all three of Englands political parties in Scotland, they can’t get elected meaning they can’t win elections, they’ll never win an election ever again in Scotland, yet they proclaim at the tops of their voices that the person who does get elected, who does win election after election First Minister Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t speak for Scotland

        And the media in Scotland argue that as a case on their and their unions behalf

        It’s like arguing I’m the real heavyweight champion of the world even though I can’t win a fight but I might one day as long as the newspapers and TV keep telling folk to ignore the current champion and keep waiting for me

        • Eilidh says:

          I have an ambition to see a Labour Tory or Libdem candidate for any election in Scotland come to my door just so I can tell them I wouldn’t vote for any of them even if hell froze over and the reasons why. Fat chance of them turning up though

  63. James Mills says:

    If Carlsberg did numpties then they would have a hard job deciding who is
    PROBABLY THE BEST NUMPTIE IN THE WORLD –
    DRoss or Sarwar or The Tailor’s Dummy !

  64. Dr Jim says:

    Has anybody noticed if you lose your link to Wee Ginger Dug and have to retype there’s a warning from the internet that this site contains *mature and disturbing materials*

    • Eilidh says:

      Who is that warning from Dr Jim if it is a Google search thing then it is clearly misinformation and needs to be reported to them as such

      • Dr Jim says:

        It comes up as *Websites milonic* and also that it has a *negative reputation because of child safety problems* and that has yet to be estimated by Alexa and has *yet to grow its social media reach as it’s relatively low at the moment* 1.87K twitter mentions 90 Google + votes

        • Eilidh says:

          I googled the site for Paul’s blog using my Android phone and Google chrome browser I didn’t get in bizarre messages like you did. Very weird. I just typed in wee ginger dug in to search bar on Chrome around 30 minutes ago and hey presto got correct link to here. Will try it from my Samsung Internet browser and see what happens

          • Dr Jim says:

            Mrs Dr Jim used her I phone and got straight through as well but I think I might’ve figured it out, on my home computer I use BING search because on that I’m able to cut out all the advertising and news services, but I do have an Amazon account and I think it might be part of their systems to flag up warnings to sites they don’t like or whoever controls their IT or access to it

            In any event the type of warning given is totally unfair as their is no risk or compromise to safety of children on a political blog….unless someone has instructed Alexa otherwise which I believe is more likely than not

    • Alex Clark says:

      YES Dr Jim, more than that, the actual link to this site is not easy to find and some links do direct you to warnings about the content of the site. Anyone new to WGD is going to have a difficult job in finding their way here.

      This is not just a coincidence.

    • Capella says:

      I haven’t had to reconnect as I leave the website tab open in the browser all the time.
      However, after RT was banned from broadcasting I found that connecting through the browser required cancelling endless warning pages that the site was unsafe, did I really want to risk it. Eventually they gave up though I oten get the message “ths site connot be reached” and then it appears.

      So yes, the PTB do want to discourage us from reading things they deem to be unsuitable for us. This type of slur would definitely put off new readers.

      I have never experienced the level of censorship that currently exists.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Coming as I do here (like most other contributors, I guess) every day, I need only type the initial ‘W’ of this website address in my preferred browser (Edge aka Internet Explorer) and it takes me immediately here every time with no fail, so far (*saltire fingers*).

      Maybe it’s special dispensation for loyal Taffies …

    • Capella says:

      I just tried it on Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge. I got the right link first time and no warning messages when connecting. But I do have the same URL of course so it may be different for someone connecting through a different address.

      I normally use the Opera browser which is now owned by Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund I Limited Partnership (a consortium of Chinese investors led by Beijing Kunlun Tech Co and Qihoo 360). Deeply suspect 😱

      I set the browser to open with the tabs I was using when I closed it so I don’t need to retype the address normally.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I looked up Websites milonic and found this http://websites.milonic.com/
      When you enter “weegingerdug” it turns up this http://websites.milonic.com/weegingerdug.wordpress.com
      If I check “wordpress.com” it comes up clean, so something shady is going on.
      I’m guessing it may be the site owner who must complain to have it rectified, but at leasy it explains the source as this Milonic site.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Apologies, the second line should read “weegingerdug.wordpress.com”

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          Followed your link, Bob and noted:

          Weegingerdug’s trustworthiness: ‘Good’.

          Incidentally, according to Milonic, the BBC website is hosted by a server in Sweden!

  65. stewartb says:

    I’m obliged to the House of Commons Library today (29 July 2022) for a short, clear confirmation that the the nation-state does indeed have a ‘magic money tree’!

    In a briefing on interest rates and monetary policy, it reports ‘On 16 June, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced it had raised interest rates for the fifth meeting in a row.’ Adding: ‘The MPC has started to reduce the size of its asset purchase programme (known as quantitative easing, QE) from its peak value of £895bn.’

    Then helpfully it has this explainer: ‘QE consists of central banks CREATING NEW MONEY ELECTRONICALLY and then using it to purchase financial assets, mostly government bonds.’ (with my emphasis)

    No excuse now for MPs to deny knowledge of the magic tree!

    Source https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN02802/SN02802.pdf

  66. yesindyref2 says:

    I get a bit sick of the negativity constantly directed against Calmac with no attempt to balance the ballast, so a BIG SHOUT OUT TO CALMAC CUSTOMER SERVICE!

    Yeah, so get a text while sitting on the slip at Leverburgh, that my third leg from Lochmaddy to Uig is cancelled, but there are limited spaces on the 12.15 Lochboisdale to Armadale. I’m not set up for phoning, but whatsapped family and a son tried phoning Calmac with booking number to take the offer. Lonq queue! But I got a phone from Calmac saying “Did you get the text and …”, “YES PLEASE”. That was OK so I told them I’d never say nasty things about them again. Joke, I don’t think I’ve ever had an unpleasant experience from Calmac. An Arran trip cancelled, that’s about it. Well, hey, has your stupid car ever broken down? No? Lucky you!

    It was great being back on the Lord of the Isles, the way ferries should be, same the Clansman, and the Hebrides, err, and others. Never have liked the Finlaggan.

    Oh aye, a sign on the road out to Back and Tolsta: “YES more than ever”. Very fancy.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Shout out for, not to. Ho hum.

    • grizebard says:

      Ah, the Clansman Many fond family memories on that boat. I reckon we could all navigate round it with our eyes closed. (The only thing wrong with it I ever noticed were the electric reclining chairs, which quickly gave up the ghost and were soon enough replaced…)

  67. jfngw says:

    MSM drooling in excitement with deaths in Scotland, drugs, Covid it doesn’t really matter to them as long as it’s a number they can claim ‘Scotland is the worst in the UK’. I imagine these newsrooms are a bit like the restaurant scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally’, almost orgasmic in excitement when the drug deaths, GERS, Covid numbers, A&E waiting times are due.

    Elsewhere ‘Sunak is going to be ‘strict with Nicola Sturgeon’, sounds very public school, possibly he is contemplating the gym hall scene from ‘If….’, in his mind I suspect he feels Scotland needs a good spanking.

    • grizebard says:

      (Which is probably why the Tories will prefer Truss. The old private school chaps do tend to be rather fond of a strict Nanny…)

  68. Hamish100 says:

    Many of the folk dying unfortunately are individuals who have taken drugs of all sorts -and alcohol for the past 30-35 years. Their bodies cannot take anymore. Close friends have lost sons that way. So sad.
    My contempt towards the tories and red tories who politicise this is absolute.

  69. Eilidh says:

    Yep and what is a big cause of drug and alcohol adiction grinding poverty and the loss of identity of the working man/woman. Many fell into adiction when the shipyards,the mines and the steel works shut some of them felt they were nothing without a decent job and never recovered their self esteem.This spiral of despair started with the election of Margaret may she roast in hell Thatcher and generations have fallen foul to the same Tory policies and adiction since. The Tories and the pretendy Labour party have got a lot to answer for

    • Dr Jim says:

      When you’re well off you can be a functioning drug addict, when you’re poor you can’t function, so you die

      Bristol is the Cocaine capital of Europe, they know this because they check the sewage system for the strength of residue
      England is also the car crime capital of Europe, they never mention these things on the English news, in Scotland there would be nightly updates on these figures and the FM harangued and door stepped constantly for taking her *eye off the ball* as though only Scotland in the entire world wasn’t perfect

    • Capella says:

      Well said. I have linked before to an excellent talk by Harry Burns where he explains that hopelessness is the cause of the greater ill health in Scotland, leading to early death through drug and alcohol addiction.. Hopelessness.

      As Dr Jim says, the well heeled and well fed can sustain their addictions and pass as normal (whatever that is).

      Hopelessness is something that can e fixed.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyBE1UQeR8I

    • England is the cocaine capital of Europe, it’s just you can’t overdose on it. Scotland historically has lower drug use than England, it’s just we have an issue with a small group taking the types of drug you can overdose on (e.g. heroin); Thatcher’s gift to Scotland as you say.

      The latest point for Scotland looks like a statistical outlier / sampling issue.

    • Oh and we don’t actually know the nationality of addicts in Scotland. They might not be Scottish. Could be all British for all we know! Scotland is unusual in that large proportion of it’s population say they are not Scottish.

      If forced to pick just one identity, only 64% actually state they are first and foremost Scottish:

      https://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/forced-choice-national-identity-5/

      23% are British, and the remainder Welsh, English, Irish, European, other…

      Of course there must be Scottish addicts, but even if every national group had the same level of addiction, over 1/3 of ‘Scottish drug addicts’ would not be Scottish at all by their own word.

      However, it suits the BBC to make every addict Scottish and that drugs are a Scottish problem, when many addicts will not be Scottish and drug legislation is reserved, meaning the deaths are blood on the hands of English/British politicians who are too busy powdering their noses to deal with it.

      It’s the same for proud orange order marchers being sectarian and spitting at Irish people, catholics etc. Magically these are ‘Scots’ when they stated ‘British only’ in the census and are proudly waving union flags. These absolutely fall into the 23% bracket, as will most rioting Rangers fans etc. And it’s not me saying they’re not Scots, it’s them!

  70. astytaylor says:

    Good article Paul.
    Glad that someone is bringing this to light. Disgraceful treatment of people by DWP.
    Oh to live in a humane caring society.
    Just over in the old country for a summer jaunt from Canada.
    Waiting for a ferry. I love CalMac. I really do.
    North Uist or bust.
    Sunak or Truss? What a bloody joke. Starmer waiting in the wings.
    And none of them will engage with Scotland, nor “allow” a referendum. Jesus wept,tears of laughter.

  71. Yougov UK Scots sample (425 people) favourability:

    Johnson
    14% Favourable
    82% Unfavourable
    -68% NET

    Sunak
    21% Favourable
    69% Unfavourable
    -48% NET

    Truss
    14% Favourable
    61% Unfavourable
    -47% NET

    Starmer
    36% Favourable
    48% Unfavourable
    -12% NET

  72. Capella says:

    Keith Brown spells out the pointlessness of Sir Keir Starmer.

    Keir Starmer ‘sells out Labour’s core principles’ with latest decisions

    “It’s not so long ago Keir Starmer was promoting 10 pledges to become Labour leader. But, since then, he has reversed his own pledges while refusing to reverse other damaging Tory policies,” SNP depute leader Keith Brown said.

    “Under his weak leadership, Labour now back the Tories’ hard Brexit, they don’t support renationalising key industries, they ignore Scottish democracy, Labour councillors who refuse to vote Tories into administrations in Scotland are suspended, and now front-bench MPs who dare to show solidarity with workers are sacked.

    “It’s not so long ago Keir Starmer was promoting 10 pledges to become Labour leader. But, since then, he has reversed his own pledges while refusing to reverse other damaging Tory policies,” SNP depute leader Keith Brown said.

    “Under his weak leadership, Labour now back the Tories’ hard Brexit, they don’t support renationalising key industries, they ignore Scottish democracy, Labour councillors who refuse to vote Tories into administrations in Scotland are suspended, and now front-bench MPs who dare to show solidarity with workers are sacked.””

    https://archive.ph/Rba53

  73. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Off topic.

    Regulars will know I sent a complaint to the BBC recently regarding the interview with Dr Whitford on the Politics Show. I now have the (probably, standard) reply.

    Obviously, this person has no sense of paragraphing or in constructing a letter or email. Par for the course, I imagine.

    ____________

    Dear
    Mr Williams,

    Thank you for contacting the BBC again.

    Firstly, we apologise for the delay in replying.

    We appreciate you have provided further information relating to a broadcast you had concerns about.

    The following can now be considered our first official response on this issue, in line with the BBC Complaints process.

    We watched the interview on Politics Live on 12 July back again, in light of these new broadcast details.

    Dr Philippa Whitford came on to the programme to give her reaction to the legal developments in relation to the intention to have another independence referendum.

    She then went on to detail why any new leader of the Conservative Party should allow for such a referendum.

    Tim Loughton was invited to respond to what was said, as a member of the governing party.

    Dr Whitford was then given plenty of opportunity to react to his claims.

    She also explained why she believed it was accurate to say that ‘if you looked at A&E waiting times, cancer waiting times, and any data on closing the education gap, Scotland is out-performing England and the rest of the UK’.

    Politics Live regularly conducts interviews with senior politicians and public figures, approaching interviews with different parties and viewpoints in the same way.

    We feel Jo Coburn conducted the interview in a robust but fair manner, though it’s clear you disagree.

    Dr Whitford was given the chance to outline their position clearly and at length.

    Overall, BBC News has a responsibility to report on a wide range of views on any given story, giving due weight to the different positions that may be held.

    We do appreciate your points about this, as we remain absolutely committed to bringing the user the most comprehensive, impartial, factual and fair news reporting.

    Please be assured that your initial concerns were sent to senior staff at BBC Two via our daily report at the time.

    Thanks again for taking the trouble to contact us about this.

    Kind regards,

    _______________

    Anyone care to join me in issuing a ‘fair and robust’ response to the above?

    • Capella says:

      The complaints process is designed to drain complainants of the will to live! It takes months. Even if you succeed the apology will be hidden away on the unsignposted complaints page of the website where no shard of light ever penetrates.

      Don’t let me put you off though! Well done for persevering thus far. You can tell I’m not keen 😱

    • Hamish100 says:

      Welsh Sion- thanks for your perseverance.

      What they don’t list is how many times the Tory interrupted Dr Whiteford , How many times Coburn overtalked her and interrupted (quite deliberate) and of course since she was not in the same room she could not respond in kind- too professional to do so. The tories and others then talked down Scotland with no response possible. It’s called cooking the books.

      BBC are morally bankrupt as a news organisation.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Ok, folks, I’ve sent a follow-up, under the heading ‘inadequate response’.

      (Apologies for using surnames not titles, but you have to edit your contribution to 2 000 characters).

      _________________

      Thank you for your comments on my initial complaints regarding the Politics Live show on 12 July 2022 and the performance of the interviewer, Jo Coburn.

      I respectfully suggest that the ‘interviewing approach’ of Politics Live with regards to different parties and viewpoints is not in any form ‘the same way.’ This was clearly visible from the interviews between Coburn and Dr Whitford on the one hand and the former with Tim Loughton on that very same programme.

      The interview with Whitford was punctuated with interruptions. This, coupled with talking over many of the interviewee’s answers did not enable Whitford to develop her thesis further than being provided with an alleged summary by the interviewer. The fact that she was not in the studio either instantly raised the bar (whereas Loughton et al were) as to the validity of Whitford’s arguments – as if she were some sort of appendage, out in the sticks, whilst the London coterie could maintain the conviviality of their own bubble.

      You state Loughton was given the opportunity to respond as a member of the governing party. This is factually untrue as the Conservatives are in opposition in Scotland. If one is to deal in matters of ‘fairness’ then a representative of the Scottish Conservative Party should have been interviewed and this would then have the Scottish situation as a backcloth – not an artificial England vs Scotland comparison. Be it on record that Loughton was interrupted on far fewer occasions nor his ‘facts’ challenged as ‘robustly’ as Whitfield’s.

      One gets the impression that Scottish matters are considered subordinate to those of England and Westminster – the last two conflated, much to the annoyance of other UK viewers and licence payers north and west of the border. I have not seen or heard anything that dissuades me of this opinion, and this latest offering of alleged ‘impartial news’ by the BBC is further confirmation that the Corporation does not treat the constituent parts and peoples of this ‘united kingdom’ equally, fairly or democratically.

  74. Capella says:

    Summer school – a wee history lesson:

    Indyref2: Self-determination is Scotland’s right in international law

    THE Scottish people are one of the most ancient nations in Europe, with 1500 years of shared experience as a political unit, during which time they have lived continuously within the bounds of their present national territory.
    While recent archaeological research indicates a history going back for thousands of years, the written historical evidence shows the Scottish kingdom was founded by Fergus Mòr (pictured) around 500AD. According to the first record of the formal inauguration of a monarch, Áedán mac Gabhráin was consecrated King of Scots by St Columba in 574AD.
    The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 states Scotland had till that date been governed by “an uninterrupted succession of 113 kings, all of our own native and royal stock, without the intervening of any stranger”. Scotland was a single kingdom by the early ninth century, with the union of the Picts and Scots under King Kenneth I, some 200 years before England.
    The nationhood of Scotland and the multi-national character of the United Kingdom have been widely recognised, including by the UK Government, parties across the political spectrum and civic society in Scotland.

    Hansard shows that on January 27, 2020, Patricia Gibson, the SNP MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, told the House of Commons: “Tonight, I rise to remind the House that the Claim of Right for Scotland is a principle that recognises that the people of Scotland have the sovereign right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs. This right is well established; it was first set out in the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 and was most recently endorsed by Parliament in the Commons in a debate in July 2018 – a debate in which I was privileged and proud to speak.”

    The acceptance of the Claim of Right by the House of Commons on July 4, 2018 is important in the current pressure for indyref2. Powerful too is the case of MacCormick v Lord Advocate in the Court of Session in 1953 when the Lord Advocate said: “The principle of unlimited sovereignty of parliament is a distinctly English principle and has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law.”

    https://archive.ph/SMNWP#selection-1555.3-1605.390

  75. Golfnut says:

    Just listen to this, Sunak and Truss telling everyone just how bad the tory’s are in government.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/1151511588913043/

    • Dr Jim says:

      Two Tories telling everyone quite clearly that they’re both useless at their jobs and admitting they’re also fascists, but what makes it worse is they’re so incompetently stupid they don’t even realise they’re doing it, or do they? but believe the population of England is more stupid than them

      I think it’s both

    • Capella says:

      True but. 😂😂😂

    • grizebard says:

      Brilliant, thanks! Here are the links again direct:

      The latter commenter, as usual, gets right to the heart of The Error That Must Never Be Mentioned. The one brought to you in part by the very greasy-pole climbers now inadvertently “spilling the beans”. (About everyone else except themselves, of course.)

      As I’ve said already, if you think things are bad now, dear reader, – and for most people they are – with either of these clueless political pygmies in charge, it’s going get even worse.

      If you voted “no” in 2014, and by now have managed to acquire even the teensiest glimmer of the dead end street into which these self-appointed zoomers are going to drive you, get your exit strategy settled now and be ready to vote “yes” when you next get the precious chance. Which will be soon.

      No conceivable future for Scotland we could devise for ourselves could possibly be worse than the Hobson’s choice now on offer from Tory-run and LibLab-fellow-traveller England.

  76. How we are paying for England’s Trump wall.

    https://archive.ph/30y8g

    • ‘Brexit to blame’: UK shoppers pay up to 50% more than those in EU

      Zara is charging British shoppers as much as 50% more than in Spain, while Decathlon partly blames Brexit for markups on e-bikes that can be up to £250 pricier in the UK than in France.

      Walls need paying for. Only those that build them have to pay for them. We are paying through the nose for England’s anti-Mrs SS’s family etc wall.

      (no idea what I keep pressing to post before I’m finished! keeps happening accidentally)

  77. The Scottish alternative to Brengland’s proposed concentration camp prison ships for those fleeing war.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-62346573

    The Ukrainians living on a cruise ship in Edinburgh

    …’Nikol Bilous, 19, from Kyiv in Ukraine, told BBC Scotland: “The conditions on the ship are better than we could have dreamed of and we are very grateful to the Scottish people for this accommodation.

    “There is Ukrainian TV channels which we were very surprised about as you never find that when you go on holiday.

    “All the signs are in Ukrainian on the ship and most of the staff are Ukrainian.

    “And last night we had Borscht beetroot soup, our national dish, we couldn’t believe it.

    “We were so happy to have this as it is our hearts.”

    • Golfnut says:

      Commonly revered to as ‘ prison hulks ‘ where prisoners of war and those sentenced to transportation to the colonies were sent to rot.

  78. Capella says:

    Brian Cox is getting ready for the campaign.
    Succession’s Brian Cox: ‘Scottish independence more important now than it was in 2014’

    https://archive.ph/wDS02

  79. Capella says:

    and the text!

    Cox, best known for his roles in the hit HBO series Succession and Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, was won over to the cause of Scottish independence after he left the Labour Party over the Iraq War.

    READ MORE: Brian Cox and Nicole Ansari-Cox on the Fringe, women and Scottish independence

    Asked whether he would be on the campaign trail come the next referendum, he said: “Absolutely, without question. It’s more important now than it was in 2014. We’ve seen how futility-ridden this government is.”

    He took aim at former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is currently trailing behind Liz Truss in opinion polls among Tory members who are electing the next prime minister.

    Citing a recent gaffe from Sunak, who insisted he was not “out of touch” with the cost-of-living crisis because he does not “judge” people on their bank balance, Cox skewered the richest MP in the House of Commons.

    He said: “Rishi Sunak is quoted as saying he’s not interested in people’s bank balances. Well, he should be. Those who have more than enough and those who have nothing. Those that can’t afford a bank balance.”

    Speaking ahead of the Edinburgh premier of She/Her, a play by his director wife Nicole Ansari-Cox, the New York-based actor warned the media in the UK was “moving towards” a US-style situation where all news was “biased opinions”.

  80. Capella says:

    Richard Murphy on the need for our own currency in an independent Scotland.

    Independent Scotland will need its own currency, insists Richard Murphy

    Murphy, who spoke at last week’s Scottish Sovereignty Research Group’s conference in Dunfermline remotely, told the Sunday National: “We discussed why Scotland needs its own tax system and money system to manage, for example, unforeseen problems.

    “The example I gave was Covid and furlough – if Scotland didn’t have its own currency then it would never have been able to do what happened in the UK in 2020/2021 – which was, of course, furlough.

    “The UK Government created £400 billion to actually pay the whole Covid crisis.

    “Not a single penny of the spending for Covid was actually paid for by the taxpayer – it was all done because the Bank of England can create money at will for the UK Government. So Scotland has to have a similar power.”

    Murphy pointed to a “major social crisis” in Scotland looming this winter: “We don’t know how people can afford to pay £3800 on average for their fuel.”

    “The reality is even in Scotland it could be millions who are not able to do so. And in that case, how do we provide them with the support they need? This is a crisis at least as significant in economic terms as Covid, people are going to be forced to choose between heat and food, and unless Scotland would have its own currency, I don’t think it would be able to handle that scale of crisis.

    “I would hope a future compassionate Scottish Government would want to tackle such problems – and it can’t do it without its own currency.”

    https://archive.ph/uPwAU

    • Golfnut says:

      Richard Murphy knows full well that Scotland already has a compassionate government, one that has been allocating a substantial part of its pocket money mitigating the malicious campaign against the poor across Scotland and the whole of the uk. Id argue that the priority for Scotland is to gain control of its own vast revenues and resources and use that rather than begin our journey by just printing money. As a new economy, as supposed to being new state, it will be important to demonstrate to investors and the world bank, the EU and other trading partners and organisations that
      the Scottish government is fiscally competent.
      Scotland already has its own currency, in use since the 11th century, the Pound, currently linked to Sterling, an arrangement which will last as long as negotiations and a new Treaty are agreed or it becomes apparent that the international courts will have to get involved, a very real possibility.
      Which brings me to my next point, Richard Murphy has to my mind bought into the narrative that England/RUk will be the continuing state and that Scotland will be a new state. I’m not going into the why this is great for England and very bad for Scotland, it would require an essay to do it justice, suffice to say retaining the crown and Sterling are important to us leaving the union as the ancient Kingdom of Scotland, which is why you find Nicola changing her stance on these matters.

      • Golfnut says:

        Should read ‘ will not find Nicola changing her stance on these matters. ‘

      • Capella says:

        Yes – as the article says, “Currency is expected to be covered in the Scottish Government indy papers, with the party’s policy to replace the pound “as soon as practicable” after leaving the UK.” What Richard Murphy is doing here is reporting back on last week’s Scottish Sovereignty Research Group’s conference in Dunfermline where it was discussed.

        “What currency will you use?” will be back on the lips of every unionist.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          As Varoufakis had already highlighted, the jump from Sterling to a formal Scottish Pound is not difficult…
          The days when Scots were concerned about pounds Sterling in regard to independence I suggest are gone, largely thanks to successive years of the Tories trashing the economy (made in England).

          Scottish gas and power sold to Scottish consumers at rates regulated by SG, paid for in Scottish pounds ?
          I suggest might go down really well these days..

    • grizebard says:

      Indeed, and we’ll see soon enough what the SG come up with on that subject, but I suspect that particular argument has already been won. Not least due to the Bitter Together dog-in-manger arrogance last time {grin}, but also by the SG lately experiencing at first hand the severe fiscal limitations that are preventing it from responding properly to the ongoing Covid crisis. (To mention but one example.)

      I think the SG is finally grasping that it has to break itself free from a legitimate wish to convince the public it is eminently capable of good management even under the severe constraints of devolution by instead moving to a position where it has to be honest and up-front with people and say that there is no escape from Sarwar’s never-ending Mitigation Hell except through independence.

      My only minor quibble is with the framing of the currency transition. It makes great political sense in the short term to emphasize fiscal continuity, and part of that may be to initially continue to use the term “pound” while we’re still using it, but to me anyway that inherited usage dampens the positive message that we are embarking on a new economic venture of our own. (One that I believe the international community will very quickly come to value and respect.) So when we transition to a new currency, I hope we will have the good sense to do a proper rebranding then too. (And while not wanting to start a hare running on what that name should be, my own preference is the soundly historical one of the “Merk Scots”.)

  81. Hamish100 says:

    Can I ask the SNP to review all allegations of councillors /MSP’s/ MP’s in an appropriate manner , now not later.

    Let’s not wait for a press story from unionists papers who are trying to infer that we can’t vote for independence because of such issues. They are wrong of course. Should unionists stop supporting unionism because of Cyril Smith or the MP facing rape allegations currently?

    However any member of any party, supporter or employee are entitled to work in a safe environment.

    Fair play to labour papers and the bbc as it prevents the analysis of Starmer sacking a shadow cabinet member, Sarwar suspending councillors unwilling to work with the tories.

    There are no holidays in politics.

  82. Hamish100 says:

    As an aside I am sure labour journalists are sitting on information on labour politicians but are refusing to print.

    No honour among thieves.

  83. Dr Jim says:

    Good luck to the German womens football team today, nothing to do with football I really don’t care that much at all, I only want the English media upset and miserable

    • Hamish100 says:

      Nice dummy move there, Dr Jim!!

      Still you are in opposition to the FM🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇬🇧

      • Dr Jim says:

        The FMs a politician, thank God I’m not and can say what I like when I like and nobody will stick me on the front pages of their rotten newspapers moaning about me being anti English when I’m not, I’m anti England domination of my country that England believes is their possession, until the day that changes I will not be a friend to England

        Anyway, the folk in England don’t give a monkeys about the folk in Scotland until they’re told to notice us, and it’s never about something good, it’s always a complaint about us complaining so we’re all anti English

        The English media and government have always done this about every country in the world that happens not to agree with England, they always make it personal about everybody not liking them, there’s a big football club in the west end of Glasgow who’ve made it their motto

        “Naeb’dy likes us we don’t care”

    • Naina Tal says:

      Well said Dr Jim. I don’t care who beats England be it at tiddlywinks, “wiff waff” or fitba. Just can’t stand the Engerlandfest on the media when they win anything. They’ve been going on about this all week on Rubbishing Scotland. Not knowing in advance which fitba match it was, I assumed from the reporting it was a Scottish team. But no! It was actually an English team. Something about lionesses. WTF?
      Three mentions this morning of 1966. This on the World Service whilst trying to escape the dreary Sunday Morning that is BBC’s so_called Scotland channel on the wireless.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Kinda reminds me of that old cartoon.

      Two Welsh guys are walking past a news stand, where they see the headline:

      FOOTBALL LATEST: ENGLAND TO FACE OLD ENEMY

      One turns to the other and asks:

      “Does that mean us, the Scots, the Irish, the French, the Germans, the Argentinians … ?”

  84. Pogmothon says:

    Vorsprung durch fuBball

  85. Hamish100 says:

    Unite the union, blaming the snp Greens over funding to local government.

    I agree it’s never enough but unite has to accept some of the other trades unions blame for supporting the unequal union. Apparently England is offering 10% wage increases the spokesmen boasts.

    Not quite true. From the union press release it is “.. The headline offer is worth 10.5% at the bottom end of the pay spine “ . So other employees won’t get anything near this.

    Once again this has the smearing tactic of labour and their acolytes. Have a look at Unites local government page for Wales. Different approach in my view.

  86. Dr Jim says:

    I’ve often thought when John Logie Baird was inventing the television if he’d ever given a thought that England would use it to wage a propaganda war against his own country would he still have gone ahead and invented the damn thing

  87. Golfnut says:

    This is funny.

  88. Welsh_Siôn says:

    If Starmer’s anything to go by, he’ll only support those on the right wing.

  89. Alex Clark says:

    Keir Starmer the Tory.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The red fascists are getting ready to replace the blue fascists, Yaay! England wins and Scotland and Wales suck it up….again…and again…and again….

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        One of Starmer’s FIVE principles to form the basis to Labour’s approach to promoting growth is :

        “We will be distinctly British”

        Last year Starmer was distinctly ENGLISH when he was pictured wearing an English football Jersey prior to England’s Men’s team playing in the Euro final with Italy.

        I have no problem with him wearing that as he is ENGLISH.

        I do however have a HUGE problem when he is trying to force an identity, via a fake nationality, upon many people in his so called Britain who do not first and foremost identify as British and indeed some do not identify as British at all…..and there is NO problem with that…..and indeed in wearing an English football jersey Starmer was also conceding that there was and is NO problem with identifying as ENGLISH first and foremost and wearing something to show his support for his England via supporting HIS actual country’s football team….not BRITAIN…ENGLAND….however it does tend to destroy the principle he touts on behalf of his party of it being distinctly BRITISH…..unless he too makes the deduction that British is synonymous with English.

        How , amidst, the chaos in his Britain he thinks that being distinctly British will promote growth is beyond my comprehension….and I suspect his too…such a wasted addition via a supposed principle when so much mess and corruption exists that of all choices Labour chose to give us British nationalism as a solution…ludicrous and yet so apt that they, via Starmer, would include such a weak and meaningless principle and yet not a principle to yet another #PretendyList…..but obvs he has chosen to pander to those who are not actually British Nationalists but English ones…..I suspect that he will also be supporting the so called Lionesses today….again no problem…his country and thus his team….but he should OWN it and stop being a fraud and pretending he is a British patriot and thus we all must be that too….it’s embarrassing, desperate, contrived and very very irritating….and I suspect it will alienate voters rather than attract them……

        I mean really…. what are Labour even for ?

        Let people, if they prefer, be Scottish, Welsh, Irish via NI ( if not BritNats) and English……..it’s like politics for Dummies with Labour…so dumb are they that they make same mistakes time an time again…..I guess it’s their inner Tory that sees them adopting sh*t policies ,bad politicians and so desperately seeking the approval of some of the worst people from THEIR Britain.

        Also in highlighting being distinctly BRITISH as a principle of Labour……is he ignoring NI who are part of his UK or is he assuming they will be gone at some point thus UK no more….or is he pandering to the Unionists in NI by promoting his party seeking to be distinctly British….I suspect he , or whoever makes up this sh*t , as in the so called five principles…forgot about NI…..

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          On cue Starmer tweeted :

          “The @Lionesses you have inspired a generation of women and girls.

          My daughter and her friends have strong, successful role models in sport because of you.

          The entire nation is so proud”.

          Work out what he means by ENTIRE NATION…..is it him being “distinctly British” or distinctly English…..who knows and he cares not a jot……his country , via their women’s football team won…not a BRITISH football team but an English one…..he really should OWN it .

          Mind you they are all at it (BritNat politicians) ……the NATION apparently covers a multitude of meanings via nationality….

          But…… honestly with them it has but only ONE TRUE meaning….clue…tis NOT BRITISH .

          • Dr Jim says:

            He’s a one nation LabourTory British nationalist with British values of Englishness, and that English Britishness will be enforced, eh, shared throughout our nation of 4 great nations of one nation in togetherness and harmonious denial of democracy to any of the other great constituent parts of our holy trinity, oh eh and Northern Ireland (for the moment until we find a way to get rid of it, eh peacefully, and of respecting the wishes of those who we couldn’t give a monkeys about anyway)

            So here’s to Sir Kier Starmers new red fascism which is only slightly to the right of David Cameron but less fascist than Liz Truss’s predicted new Reich

            All Heil Liz and Kier

    • Capella says:

      I see Audrey’s had c 7,000 tweets and 20,000 likes (plus 1) since yesterday. Hope it goes viral. Keir Starmer is a damp squib that somehow burnt out.

  90. Hamish100 says:

    Footy
    Bbc
    8:52
    Post update
    FT: England 1-1 Germany
    Here is the reason why we are going to extra-time…

    Who is WE bbc?

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      WE have now apparently won.

      England 2 Germany 1 (AET)

      • James says:

        Fantasic result! As an (half) Englishman I was fully expecting it to go to penalties, but they are just reserved for the men it seems 🙂

      • Capella says:

        Looking forward to approx 60 years of reliving the glory? I think this alone is a good reason to be independent with our independent broadcasting service. 😱

        • Dr Jim says:

          Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Il must be in awe of the UK governments propaganda machine and total control of all media services within these islands, a masterpiece !

          How to dumb down a population without them noticing by convincing them it’s everyone else who’s stupid

  91. Welsh_Siôn says:

    How do the Europhobes (aka English Nationalists) square the fact that their team is now ‘Champions of Europe’?

  92. James Mills says:

    Audrey White , who confronted Keir Starmer about his lack of socialist views , has been kicked out of The Party for expressing ”support for Socialist Appeal”.

    Clearly a Labour Party member expressing support for any organisation which has ‘Socialist’ in its title would be anathema to the current leadership .

    Given this judgement , I would assume that Anas Sarwar , a minor official in the Scottish Branch , would be similarly excluded following his support for the Tory Party in Scotland . ( Labour councillors in Edinburgh sanctioned for NOT supporting Tories )

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Just seen a tweet response to Keir Starmer where of the last 13 tweets on Starmer’s account 12 of them are about the England Women’s football team..

      Anyhoo….Starmer’s tweet stated :

      “Best of luck to the @Lionesses tonight.

      Your success so far has captured the nation’s imagination. We are all cheering you on as you make history”.

      To which someone tweeted back :

      “Finally found some strikers you can support then”

      Back of the net for sure…..LOL

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        I think my response @ 4.09pm yesterday was quite good, too.

        Whaddya think, NMRN? 😉

        • Not-My-Real-Name says:

          Indeed it was WS…..as Labour leader I don’t think he’s a KEEPER, too much DRIBBLING, I can see that eventually it will all KICK OFF, he has missed many an OPEN GOAL , he doesn’t deserve to be on the shadow front BENCH, but then Labour will always be the B TEAM as they don’t have many FANS just now, eventually Starmer will be yet another leader who gets the RED CARD…as currently his PITCH is way too RIGHT WING and thus will never PASS the test with the LEFT WING of his party and their members…….as HQ MANAGER he has made too many FOULS and deserves to be SENT OFF……but then who cares about Labour as they are always on the losing SIDE…..and very much RELEGATED, in Scotland, to the minor LEAGUE…but still they keep ATTACKING but MISS the TARGET as far as the public is concerned….as they are not a TEAM we can SUPPORT….like HQ they SCORE many an OWN GOAL….as they fail to recognise who their real OPPOSITION is…..time the WHISTLE was BLOWN on them to signal the end of their GAME playing…..Amen to that.

          Have a nice day WS

          🙂

  93. Dr Jim says:

    Green party vote to unite with the SNP on the single issue of Scottish independence in the next General election if the English supreme court rejects the current proposal put before it, all of the British nationalist parties and their media proclaim that they cannot do that because blah blah blah grumble moan squeal, but as usual they are all completely wrong as any political party may stand on a manifesto promise of anything that party chooses to put before the electorate or we wouldn’t have such things as The Brexit party, the Monster raving loony party, UKIP, and the list of single issue parties goes on

    So the British Nationalist parties in Scotland will either have to challenge that by admitting openly that they are one party who stand on the single issue of NO to Scotlands independence or they could wimp out and deny it’s happening by putting in their manifestos whatever it is they stand for and see how that goes

    This will be like a penalty shootout where the SNP and Greens have all the strikers and the 3 British Nationalist parties arguing over who’s going to be their goalie

    • Capella says:

      Smart move.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        So that aligns the Greens with the SNP on the de facto election referendum, basically speaking, as expected, but nobody should be presumptious about what a party’s members might decide whatever the leadership says. It makes the actual decision of members stronger in terms of democratic import.

        The SNP will be intervening in the UKSC reference, it will be interesting to see if the Greens also separately intervene. They are of course part of the “coalition” that comprises the executive of the Scottish Parliament – the Government.

        The SNP action reminds me of the petition Keatings wanted signed on the advice I think of Aidan O’Neill – a petition which I think unfortunately was techincally flawed (I couldn’t sign it).

        This was, I think, for the basis of arguments from O’Neill’s initial advice which weren’t actually made in the Court of Sessions on the basis that a Parliament has the powers the electorate gives it – basically an undeniable principle of elective democracy, and one which courts should recognise, being themselves just one of the three separated parts of a democracy.

        From that point of view, Truss’s firm “I won’t allow it”, and Sunak’s “We will be firm with Sturgeon” fly against the principles of elective democracy, such as the Scottish Parliament are totally entitled to expect, and could surely be quoted in Court – unless of course a Section 30 is actually “granted” before the case in October.

        It’s probably coincidental that neither of the two candidates would have achieved their Prime Ministership through an election participated in by the UK Electorate, and therefore have no popular mandate at all, to be the Leader of the Executive of the UK Parliament, its Government.

        I might be talking a load of old cobblers. But it’s very logical cobblers.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          A coule of interesting articles, the first may be England and Wales but is clearly relevant:

          https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/human-rights/fundamental-principles-of-judicial-review

          and the second is this:

          https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/rule-law-and-democracy-addressing-gap-between-policies-and-practices

          In a very real sense it is the UKSC and the Judiciary of the UK are on trial in October, for their duty of protecting the Rule of Law – and hence Democracy and the Sovereignty of Parliament as elected by the People. They should not be found wanting.

        • Capella says:

          I agree that a parliament has the rights the electorate give it – providing it doesn’t contravene Human Rights and International Law. The Westminster parliament frequently breaks both.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Well, the Westminster Parliament is the legislative and it can create or repeal Acts, that’s its job.

          With judicial review, that can then be taken to Court, and an independent judiciary can strike it down as illegal in terms perhaps of other Acts.

          But if that Parliament persists, it can repeal the Acts that obstruct it, and even initiate withdrawal from any Treaties such as Human Rights – or the Treaty with the UN, NATO.

          It’s up to those bodies then to decide whether to sanction the UK or expel it. If the UN were to expel the UK, it becomes a drifting unrecognised State, and the World Bank, the IMF, NATO, the WTO, and sundry other organisations could suspend or expel the UK, as it swims downstream choking and spluttering into the status of a Rogue State.

          The UK is already heading in that direction.

  94. yesindyref2 says:

    Congrats to the England women’s team.

  95. Hamish100 says:

    Yes the bbc supporting the issue too. Don’t be churlish they say.

    Call Kaye running a programme on this this morning. Strange they had a programme on this just a week or so too.

    Question, would bbc north region run the same programme if Germany has won?

    Answer No.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      The BBC had some guys on saying that this would show the guys, and it was a defining moment in platitudes for the platitudinous plats all male who were patronisingly platituding, and how the lionnesses shouldn’ be called the lionnesses they should be called the lions.

      I daresay some women will see this correctly as mansplaining the failure of the men and the success of the other men because they’re all lions and men together as long as the other men are winning, but if not we’ll call them lionesses and wasn’t it a shame they were beat by other woemn.

      Well BBC patronising gits, the women won – get over it.

  96. Brian Maley says:

    The movie I Daniel Blake springs to mind. The callousness of the Tories is abhorrent. I just dont understand how the good folks in England and the Scottish borders keep voting for them. Its beyond me

    • Dr Jim says:

      I’m not entirely sure that Tory voters in Scotland vote Tory for their policies or why would they want to live in Scotland, a country that is opposed to all things Tory
      I believe Tory voters in Scotland do so because in their minds it retains Englands ownership of our country, I don’t believe all the hype about them disliking the SNP or Greens, I believe they probably want the SNP right where they are, doing the job they are doing by mitigating all the damage done by Westminster while simultaneously complaining about them wanting Scotland to be a free country which is exactly what Tory voters don’t want

      The problem with that position is it’s unsustainable, Scotland cannot continue to mitigate for everything done to us by Westminster without the power over our own economy, immigration, trade, and all the other things normal countries have at their disposal

      Sooner or later something will give because both Tory and Labour know that neither of them will ever be in government again in Scotland so what do they do? well they use their victory of Brexit to strip Scotland of authority because there’s no EU to stop them thus hoping to wear down the will of Scots to be free by blaming all failures to defeat what they’ve done to Scotland on the SNP

      It’s the *British* way, grind and wear folk down, delay by making time the enemy of freedom, crush the will and support for freedom by using the oppression of denial and the demonisation of those who advocate independence

      The very definition of fascism could have been written for the pretence that is *British* democracy

  97. Dr Jim says:

    Free university education to be scrapped in Scotland if Labour are in charge says former Labour FM Jack McConnell and his *think tank*
    I’ve absolutely no doubt free prescriptions would be next, free bus travel, along with a whole host of other benefits of living in Scotland if both Tory and Labour get their way and keep stripping out the Scottish governments powers, and when I say the Scottish government I mean the SNP without whom none of these things would be free in the first place

    I do hope all of our young people are paying attention to this

    • Alex Clark says:

      Yes, the Times are pushing that for all they’re worth in today’s paper.

      Free university education ‘has meant fewer Scots places’

      https://archive.ph/M7cX0

      • Legerwood says:

        Yet in the past 10 years the SG has managed to double the number of places at Unis for student nurses from 2400 to 4800 plus AND give them a bursary of £10,000 pa. Also increased the number of places for student doctors.

        The SG has also narrowed the attainment gap when it comes to University entrance. In 2006 there were 4.5 applications from the most advantaged for every one application from the most disadvantaged – 4.5:1. By 2018 it was 2.6:1 and that narrowing of the gap was due to the increase in applications from most disadvantaged applicants. (Figures from UCAS report 2018).

      • Bob Lamont says:

        I hadn’t read the full article, but was immediately struck by the phrasing of the headline –
        “84 per cent increase in the number of Scottish domiciled applicants being refused entry to universities in Scotland since 2006”
        Now let’s strip that down beyond the clearly intended shlock/horror to some form of perspective –
        Scots hopefuls (yet they specifically said domiciled) didn’t get high enough grades ? 184 of them in 2021 compared to 100 in 2016 ?
        Yet how many applied for Uni in 2016 versus 2021 ? – I’d lay odds that since SG abolished student fees the numbers applying will have gone through the roof.

        The intended implication, and indeed the argument developed, is that university places are unfilled due to SG budget limitations, which so far as I’m aware has never been the case, and Scottish Universities are still graded as excellent worldwide.

        Given that the notorious Prof Lindsay Paterson as “member of Reform Scotland’s Commission on School Reform” is involved, I smell a short rat by the name of McConnell heavily laced with Eau de Latrine.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I’ve just downloaded the report to have a look at the numbers.

          One thing I noticed straight away was that the joint author of the report with ex-Tory party advisor Alison Payne was no friend of the SNP, the journalist Chris Deerin.

          The 84% figure is an absolute distortion of what the results from UCAS actually show, it’s simply unbelievable that they can release this as a press report and get it published, For example, the number of applicants who were offered a place in 2006 was 26,800 from 35,430 which is 75.6% given a place.

          In 2021, 39,300 were offered a place from a total of 55,150 applicants which is 71.3% given a place, But it all depends on what years you chose to start on, for example, the percentage of applicants being offered a place in 2011 was just 66.9% and in 2020 it was well up again at 75.3%, so in truth, the numbers vary every year as you might expect but this report uses a fall in acceptances from 75.6% in 2006 to 71.3% in 2021 to talk of a “84 percent increase in the number of Scottish domiciled applicants being refused entry to universities in Scotland since 2006”. Talk about twisting the truth!

          The simple truth though is that 26,800 applicants were offered a University place in 2006 and that in 2021 a total of 39,300 Scottish students were given places at our Universities. The total number of students accepted then is up by over 46% between 2006 and 2021.

          They can’t help themselves twisting numbers to suit their narrative of SNP “failures” all of it lies.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Bravo Sir, such a pity the Tewegwaf, HMS James James Cook and the Times were too busy to check facts instead of bank balances…

  98. Capella says:

    The National article on that labour linked thonk tank Dr Jim has posted about:

    Reform Scotland think tank calls for tuition fees reintroduction

    Reform Scotland – of which Lord Jack McConnell the chair of the board of trustees – has said Scottish graduates should pay back a proportion of their fees when they are making enough to do so.

    It is claimed this will mean more Scots will be able to attend university, pointing to figures which show a 84% increase in the number of Scottish-domiciled applicants being refused entry to universities in Scotland since 2006.

    As it stands, the Scottish Government sets the amount of funding it will provide to Scottish universities each year in order to cover free tuition for domicile students in Scotland.

    The briefing, titled Scrap The Cap, argues that those who receive a financial benefit from attending university should pay back some of their tuition fees, while those who cannot afford to pay should repay “little or nothing”.

    The think tank has also suggested that the Scottish Government could look to introduce schemes to cut or scrap repayments for graduates who remain in Scotland in order to work in certain sectors for set periods of time.

    Reform Scotland’s research director and co-author of Scrap the Cap, Alison Payne, who served as a Scottish Tory political adviser, said: “While society as a whole benefits from having a well-educated workforce, the individual graduates themselves also benefit from the higher earnings they accrue.

    https://archive.ph/tdGTo

    • Golfnut says:

      Sounds very retro to me, a reset to where it used to be, going from an increase in the number of home grown and those from poorer backgrounds back to an increase in ‘ foreign ‘ and therefore more lucrative fee payers for the universities.

      • Capella says:

        Yes it shows a Tory-like fondness for getting poor people in debt instead of taxing the rich (which may include graduates). Students are a vast sub prime gamble.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Think tank” 🤣
      The story is plastered on the Herald’s front page, another load of Bol from David of that ilk…
      Prof Lindsay Paterson is involved in it, and may well be the only qualified researcher in this faux “independent” think tank…

  99. Capella says:

    I noticed a Daily Telegraph (Scottish version only) front page item titled “SNP begs Zahawi for public sector handout”. Apparently some Tory has accused the Scottish Government of mismanaging finances. Shock!

    Swinney calls for more cash to fund pay rises

    THE Scottish Government has urged Westminster to provide additional funding for public sector pay deals, or risk an inability to fund equivalent offers without cuts to public services.

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney issued the warning in a letter to Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi as he outlined concerns that last year’s UK Spending Review did not take into account the level of pay increases recently proposed by independent pay review bodies.

    Swinney – who has taken on the Finance and Economy portfolio while Kate Forbes is on maternity leave – also said the Spending Review did not consider the wider effects of rising inflation, and that without further funding, the Scottish Government may only be able to issue similar pay rises by reducing budgets elsewhere.

    He wrote: “Further to the joint letter from devolved administration finance ministers to you on July 15, and in light of the UK Government’s subsequent announcements regarding public sector pay, I am concerned that no associated funding is being provided to meet these additional costs.

    “Last year’s UK Spending Review, which as you know determines the majority of the Scottish Budget, did not take account of the levels of pay uplift now proposed or indeed the wider effects of inflation.

    https://archive.ph/AXwQe

    • Capella says:

      Should point out the above is the National, not the Telegraph!

    • Dr Jim says:

      This is only the beginning of the slow crushing of Scotland as a country
      By squeezing the Scottish governments finances to create unrest Westminster achieves its goal of convincing the electorate that the total blame of all that is bad in Scotland is down to the SNP

      We shall see shortly how all that goes for the Tories and Labour coalition of fascism

  100. Pogmothon says:

    Haw Lizzy, Look at me, look at me, Lizzy Truss LOOK AT ME.

    Okay so now I’m right up there with the first minister…..Aye Right.

    IMHO the our First Minister is one of the least self promoting of today’s politicians.
    Her high public image is because she is liked and admired by people who know her and people who have never met her.

    It also helps that the yoons continually boost her public presence with all the lies, degradation, and failed smears, (I don’t have a hamster).

    In truth Lizzy may have a point, ignoring the First Minister could possibly reduce her public presence.

    But to be honest the yoons and MSM are never going to manage that until several years after Scottish Independence. The worry is what will they replace their addiction with, but by that time it will hopefully not be a problem for us.

    What Lizzies comment to the faithful did achieve was the first promotion of the first great lie.

    The commentator/interviewer’s comment “that will be a bit difficult when she’s first minister though. She’s got a democratically elected position “(the lie) JUST AS YOU WILL””.

    WE and the rest of the world know there is nothing democratic about the way she is being installed.

    Haw, Haw twiss me, twiss me ah saw it first na na na na.
    I claim the prize for spotting the first great lie voiced in public about democracy in her time as prime Charleston (sic).

  101. auntyuta says:

    I’ll be 88 next month, I know, what it is like, to have to do everything slowly. For instance getting dressed and typing on the computer. and not being able to use a phone for messages!
    I’ll try to reblog this article!

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