The real nationalist extremists we need to worry about

flag shaggers

One of the supposed advantages of being British which those who oppose independence are so proud of used to be the freedom to criticise the government, the monarchy, the army, the establishment, or the myths and sacred cows of Britishness without any repercussion. This was the much vaunted tolerance which we were always told was one of the defining characteristics of Britishness. During the 2014 independence referendum campaign Better Together supporters made much of this, some even going so far as to say that deprived of the moderating influence of Westminster, Scotland would rapidly descend into an intolerant authoritarianism where those deemed to be insufficient or unenthusiastic in their Scottishness or who refused to participate in state-sponsored anglophobia would be hauled off to re-education camps where they would be strapped into chairs and subjected to high decibel renditions of Harry Lauder and Fran and Anna music until they confessed the error of their ways.

Better Together supporters took it for granted that freedom of speech was a core British value, one which was guaranteed by a Britain which they viewed as one of the most robust and secure democracies in the world. There would never in the UK be any threat of laws such as the Spanish legal ban on insulting the royal family. In April last year a pro-independence and anti-fascist Catalan rapper Pablo Hasél was sentenced to a prison term of nine months for insulting the Spanish royal family, insulting the Spanish armed forces and police and for praising banned organisations including the pro-independence Basque and Catalan paramilitary organisations ETA and Terra lliure (Catalan for Free Land). According to Spanish law any person who defames or insults the king, the queen, their ancestors or their descendants can be imprisoned for up to two years.

One of the tweets which the Spanish courts used to justify the claim that Hasél was a supporter of terrorism, a claim which he strongly denies, was pointing out that Joseba Arregi Izagirre, accused of being a member of ETA, was tortured to death in a Madrid prison in 1981 by serving members of the Spanish National Police.

Another pro-independence Catalan rapper, Josep Miquel Arenas Beltran, known as Valtònyc, was arrested at the age of 18 for a song whose lyrics were ruled by the Spanish High Court to insult the monarchy, glorify terrorism and slander on the person of the king. He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison but fled to Belgium in 2018, the day before he was due to report to prison to begin his sentence. The Spanish authorities attempted to have him extradited but in October 2021 the Belgian Supreme Court ruled that the offences he was found guilty of by the Spanish courts infringed his right to freedom of speech and refused to allow the extradition.

Such laws are widespread, particularly in authoritarian states, under Turkish law it is illegal to insult the Turkish nation, the Turkish Republic, Turkish government institutions, and Turkish national heroes. It is also illegal to insult the President of Turkey, many countries, including France, Germany, and Poland make it an offence to burn or desecrate the national flag.

Of course we were always assured by the apologists for Westminster that nothing like this could ever happen in the UK. You can burn any flag in the UK as long as you own the flag and you don’t cause damage to anyone else’s property. We are told it’s a part of the freedoms guaranteed to us by the British state. But such confidence is misplaced. In 2006 the prominent Conservative MPs Michael Fabricant and Daniel Kawczinsky signed a House of Commons motion calling for legislation to make it a criminal offence to burn or desecrate the union flag.

As part of his self-declared war on woke culture, a pathetic attempt at attention seeking if ever there was one, Rishi Sunak is now proposing that if he becomes Prime Minister he will expand the definition of extremism which prompts state intervention to include those who “vilify Britain” and so that those identified as “vilifying Britain” are referred to the deradicalisation Prevent programme. It’s unclear what this means exactly but it sounds deeply sinister. The Tory Party itself has become a vehicle for extremist, dumbed-down English nationalism.

Sunak seems to have in mind those who seek an open and honest acknowledgement of Britain’s many historical sins, the legacy of the slave trade and colonialism, apologies for great wrongs committed by the British state such as the Bengal and Irish famines, the genocide of the aboriginal population of Australia. It is a long and inglorious list. But campaigners also seek a righting of modern day wrongs such as structural and institutional racism. These demands have the Tories clutching their metaphorical pearls, pearls which were no doubt stolen during an imperialist foray into some nation which was unfortunate enough to end up as a British colony. So they have decided that the real problem here is not structural racism or the airbrushing of the crimes of Empire, no, the real problem are those Britain vilifiers who want something done about it. Sunak has pledged that his focus would be on “rooting out those who are vocal in their hatred of our country”. Former counter-terrorism chief Sir Peter Fahy, who was also chief constable of Greater Manchester police, said that Sunak’s plan was “straying into thought crimes and political opinions.”

Truss’s campaign criticised Sunak’s plan, but mainly on the grounds that it doesn’t go far enough.

In recent weeks we have seen culture secretary Nadine Dorries intervene to protect a plaque in Oxford celebrating the British Imperialist robber baron Cecil Rhodes after attempts to have it removed from Oriel College in Oxford. Rhodes was an overt racist who wrote that the “Anglo-Saxon race” was the “first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.” Rhodes nakedly imperialist and colonialist ambitions caused him to be a controversial figure even during the heyday of the British Empire. When Rhodes died in 1902, his obituary was damning, with one newspaper editorial saying: “The judgment of history will, we fear, be that he did more than any Englishman of his time to lower the reputation and to impair the strength and compromise the future of the Empire.”

However in modern Britain it is less acceptable to the government to be critical of Cecil Rhodes  today than his contemporaries were during the height of British imperialism and colonialism. It is a very short step from categorising those who “vilify Britain” as dangerous extremists to ruling that those of us who seek independence from Westminster rule for Scotland and Wales are dangerous anti-English extremists.

And let’s remember that we were told that Boris Johnson was a unique aberration and that once he was out of office calm, sensible and grown up government would be restored. But no, batshit insanity is the new normal. This level of authoritarian madness is here to stay. The nationalist extremists that we really need to worry about are those in the Conservative party.


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189 comments on “The real nationalist extremists we need to worry about

  1. Aye, there is no doubt this proposal is targeted at national / ethnic minorities in the UK, with a particular focus on Scots / Welsh / Irish. For the crime of not identifying as British / English, we are to be deemed enemies of the state in need of re-education.

    Scotland needs to get out ASAP as brengland is hurtling towards fascism.

  2. Hamish100 says:

    On some online wall charts for flags Scotland and Wales are missing. Butchers apron reigns supreme along with flags of Guernsey, Isle of Man!

    • grizebard says:

      It’s very ambivalent down south these days. While the Tory {ahem} leadership contenders are falling over themselves about just how badly they’ll arm-twist us into staying, I reckon there are many ordinary people there who are already anticipating that we’ll soon be gone. I guess they’re only wondering why we don’t just get on and do it. (If it were them, they would. Make everything simpler all round.)

      Though they do all have a Union Rag fetish, it seems. I caught a snatch of some programme the other day talking (quite properly) about England during the middle ages, and by way of illustration up popped a… yes, you guessed it!

  3. P Harvey says:

    Absolutely brilliant post Paul!
    The sooner we are independent & away from this growing madness, the better!
    Saor Alba 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  4. Dr Jim says:

    British Nationalists complain about every country and the people in them they ever set foot in, Spain is chock full of *expats* who complain that Spain would be a great country if not for the Spanish ruining it, everywhere they go they insist on being right and that they should run other peoples countries the way they used to, they can’t get their British nationalism out of their heads, it’s ingrained indoctrinated arrogance and they will never ever learn, because they can’t learn as long as they have British nationalist governments insisting on telling them that they’re better than everyone else, but they keep voting for the same people over and over again so in reality England the country is cement stuck with being who they are, and y’see it’s fine if that’s what they want, go right ahead and have that but this continually imposition of that behaviour on others who don’t want it is fascist ideology

    So how does one explain to a fascist who doesn’t know they are one, that they are one

  5. Paul Fraser says:

    It is to be noted that Kenneth Clarke (thatcher minister) has pointed at the danger of the new Tory party…

  6. jfngw says:

    I expect the next move is to ban political parties which don’t advocate the UK as a unitary state, their utterances become more unhinged by the day. This from a man who once had a US Green Card, his Britishness is purely transitory. Maybe he decided the laws here were much more to his liking regarding financial dealing.

  7. Bob Lamont says:

    Well expounded…
    It was not just Sunak and Mad-Nad waving the Brenglish nationalism fleg, they are all at it, including Truss the Ironed plastic Lady…
    When she was having a pop about Drakeford at the last Tory TV Farce/Circus, she kept banging on about “patriotism” as only the Tories truly understand.
    I’m convinced by the verbage of Truss and Sunak (and indeed their support choirs), there must be a hankering for authoritarianism among Tory members, more 1930s Germany than 2020s Home Counties, and it is to that audience all this patent nonsense is directed.
    Oswald Mosley is unavailable, but you can bet your last dollar a substitute will appear shortly, we are indeed living in dangerous times.

    With nothing substantive on the table to address industrial unrest or the dire straits folks are finding themselves facing over the coming winter, the Tories are positively promoting civil unrest from which only the disaster capitalists benefit.

    England’s electorate will have to deal with the Tories and their media friends, that game is well and truly over in Scotland – James Cook, Glenn Campbell, Tom Gordon, Helen McArdle etc., and doubtless Lord Sarwar may retire gracelessly from honest conversation, voluntarily or otherwise…

    • grizebard says:

      It’s not just the Tories either, let’s not forget. Every public declamation of Starmer these days has two – yes, two, not just the now virtually obligatory one! – Union Rags in the background.

      And those “media friends” in Scotland are virtually all frustrated Labourites, I’ll warrant.

  8. Flags! Patriotism! Migrants / Scots / Welsh / Irish are a threat to our way of life: Lock em up!

    Cost-of-living: Interest rates rise as inflation set to hit 13 per cent in October

    THE Bank of England has made its biggest increase in UK interest rates in 27 years while inflation is expected to peak at 13.3% in October.

    The Bank has raised interest rates to 1.75% from 1.25% – the highest level since January 2009.

    It is also expected Consumer Prices Index Inflation will hit its highest level since September 1980 in two months’ time climbing to 13.3% if regulator Ofgem hikes the price cap on energy bills to around £3,450, the Bank’s forecasters said.

    The energy price will push the economy into a five-quarter recession – with gross domestic product (GDP) shrinking each quarter in 2023.

  9. P Harvey says:

    UK interest rate now equals Albania at 1.75%
    Most other European countries remain in 0.75-1.25% range
    Another brexit benefit!

    • Really glad I took out a fixed rate deal on the mortgage at the beginning of the year.

      This is not going to be fun for those struggling with debts already.

  10. Welsh_Siôn says:

    ACH – there’s been an intervention by some tailor’s dummy:

    Lib Dems could work with other parties to boost case for the union

    04 Aug 2022 2 minute read

    The leader of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland says he has not ruled out teaming up with other political parties to campaign against independence.

    Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Edinburgh Western MSP, has vowed to fight “tooth and nail” to stop a second referendum on Scottish independence, as he insisted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s heart is not in the fight for another vote.

    That could see him partner with fellow pro-union parties such as Labour or the Conservatives.


    • JP58 says:

      Labour, Lib Dems and Tories are all fighting over 50% of Scottish electorate. There is an informal alliance of Unionist parties- witness Westminster results in Morningside & NE Fife. These alliances are bound to harden or the three parties will lose out for foreseeable future. Tory supporters will vote for other parties but not sure how many Labour & Lib Dem supporters will hold their noses and vote Tory especially when we are subject to what Tories really think in the current leadership race! Their longer term problem is that not only will this entrench the political divide in Scotland making independence the main issue, a situation which they all decry, but demographics show that they will be fighting over a diminishing pool of voters.
      Everything that is happening- the refusal to agree to another referendum, the extremism on display from Tories and the demands on Labour & Lib Dem supporters to vote for an anti SNP candidate(especially if this is a Tory) will help make the 20-25% soft No voters more willing to listen to independence case. The job of the Yes side is to get its act together to encourage these people to become Yes supporters.
      Once Yes starts hitting above 60% support the road to independence becomes inevitable.

      • grizebard says:

        You get some kind of clue by looking at the local election results. With STV its easy to see where the later preferences of voters go. Some Tories are willing, as notably in Edinburgh and also in Glasgow, to vote Labour to “keep the SNP out”. But about half won’t vote for any other party. Labour voters OTOH will go Green or LibDem, but not many are willing to vote Tory. So the notion of a pro-Union alliance, which as things stand would be the logical direction their various current leaderships would take them, is a proverbial house built on sand. Look what damage BT did to Labour last time. Another like that, even if necessarily more “arms-length” than last time, would destroy Labour in Scotland, whatever the result.

        Little wonder then that Sarwar, for example, is desperate to avoid another plebiscite at all costs.

        • JP58 says:

          Labour have gone from 50MP’s to 1MP and from being in power (all be it a coalition) in Holyrood to 3rd place party. That looks like a party that’s already destroyed itself to me. I’m not sure how much worse it can get for them? Sarwar has put a self imposed ceiling on their vote with refusal of Indy Ref. He and many In ‘Scottish’ Labour are in denial because they were raised to assume they should be in power in Scotland.

          • grizebard says:

            The Labour leadership and the party faithful, who are still around in numbers as evidenced in Holyrood with its lack of “winner-take-all” unfairness, are still hanging on in hope of a revival, and a return to that “rightful inheritance” you mention, under ur-English Establishment Starmer after the political disaster-in-waiting that was Corbyn. They’ll wait in vain, though, because they’re {ahem} led in Scotland by another political lightweight who doesn’t have a clue what to do except carry on repeating the same old mistakes that have failed them (plus the rest of us) for the last 3 decades or more.

            Given the ongoing complete meltdown of Tory support in Scotland, Labour have once again become the unanointed default champions of Unionism. A cursed inheritance from which a hapless “leadership” doesn’t have the foresight, imagination or courage to break free. The only thing that will save Labour in Scotland is independence, not a Union with England which is becoming ever more regressive and inward-looking. Labour supporters in particular please note.

    • grizebard says:

      Well, we all remember just what that kind of ever-willing (not to say cravenly servile) collaboration led to last time, don’t we? Which at the next electoral opportunity sunk the FibDems in virtually all their former Scottish strongholds. Like Danny Alexander. Remember him? (No, me neither.) They must be desperate to lose their last outposts in the Northern Isles now as well.

    • There is no case for a union that is not voluntary. This is self-evident.

      And that’s the fundamental problem with ‘you can’t leave (without our permission)’; it completely negates any ‘case for the union’. This whole trying to block an iref in court is not an assault on independence, it’s an assault on the union. A union is by nature voluntary.

      I would not want to be a Scottish unionist knocking doors trying to persuade people of the case for a union when said union is saying voters have no choice but to stay in it by force of law / arms (which is needed to enforce law).

      But then ‘unionist’ parties are not that, they have become British nationalist, and that’s not the same thing. At most 1/4 of the Scottish electorate are British nationalist. The rest are Scots, Europeans etc. We have 50% pro-indy + 25% Scottish (mainly) unionist. The britnats are making a big mistake in assuming the latter are the same as them. This will be the unions undoing.

    • Dr Jim says:

      “Nicola Sturgeon’s heart is not in the fight for another vote” Alex Cole Hamilton flexing his psychic abilities to the max with that one, is he teaming up with the Wingsy prediction hit squad ?

      • Statgeek says:

        It’s a ludicrous statement on so many levels.

        1. It makes it a ‘fight’, as most UK politicians make any debate, discussion or issue.

        2. It assumes she’s all alone. She is not.

        3. It assumes she’s not up to the job. Of course she is.

  11. Hamish100 says:

    ACH isn’t Scots he’s a Brit nationalist.
    Similar to Baillie, born into a colonialist mindset with a pretendy socialist tag at the beginning. Just like most red tories.

  12. James Mills says:

    Biggest interest rate rise in 27 years +
    inflation to pass 13% early next year +
    OFGEM to allow ”cap” to be reviewed every three months + cost-of-living-crisis +
    Liz Truss to be the next PM +
    Asteroid to hit UK early next week ( OK , we might NOT have to endure that as well as Liz Truss)…

    Where is our strong UK Government during these crises?
    Where is the strong Union dividend we were promised in 2014?
    Where is the ”£1400 dividend” the Treasury promised if we voted NO in 2014?
    Where are the ”lower taxes and sustained Public Services” we were promised in 2014 if we stay in the Union?
    Where are the ships were were promised would be built on the Clyde?
    Where is the massive investment in Carbon Capture we were promised?
    Where is our ”guaranteed place in the EU ” promised by Ruth Davidson?
    Where is Gordon Brown’s promise of ”as close to a Federal State as one can be”?

    Where is the exit?

  13. yesindyref2 says:

    There’s getting to be a new argument for the Union, and voting NO.

    That the UK is becoming so deeply fascist that it is better to stay together than have such a fascist state as a neighbour.

  14. Tam the Bam says:

    Hi folks

    Just posting this comment seconds before Misreporting Scotland are going to broadcast their leading headline as: ” Scotland wont meet another NHS…..bla bla bla bla

    10 minutes ago at least on this occasion (though not always) STV saw fit to put EILISH McColgan centre stage……(incidentally….they didnt even cover the story BBC Scotlandshire are headlining with).

    • davetewart says:

      For the first time this year, I think, I saw the EBC news where you are.

      The huge drink problem in Greenock.

      The wee reporter said that Greenock didn’t have a drink problem in the last century.

      Pity that’s wrong, Greenock had a very large alcohol rehab unit.

      I remember the yard workers coming out of work and heading for the pub outside the gates. The barmen had the racks filled with gill glasses ready to hand over, I mean scores of same, wine or whisky.
      Working outdoors in the winter wasn’t easy.

  15. yesindyref2 says:

    So it’s gone from Cameron, down to May, down to BoJo, and now down to Truss or Sunak, as the UK decends further and further into authoritarianism, the far right and fascism. Le Pen eat your heart out.

    The worrying thing is that if Truss or Sunak don’t last long which is likely, the next step down is Gove (Atlantic Bridge and backstabber), Rees-Mogg (back to disenfranchisement for non-landowners and indeed most women), or Patel (send the lot of us to Rwanda).

    The future is right, the future is blue.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      All true as you portray YIR2…..but here’s an opinion.

      Even given the bleakest of forecasts from the BoE today….and when they REALLY kick in…do I think we will see people on the streets like the poll-tax riots of years ago?
      Frankly….I dont.
      Why?…..Different generation?…well thats true….but a different generation who wont fight for what is right?
      That remains to be seen.

  16. yesindyref2 says:

    I can’t comment on SGP, even as annonymous, it tells me “an error has occurred”, but here’s what I would have posted on his latest post about fundraising for polls:

    I think people are wary that money donated will be spent on polls about GRA or Alba, rather than the unifying factor of Independence itself.

    A guarantee that the funds will only be spent on Indy polls could make a big difference.

    If anyone wants to pass that on?

    • Dr Jim says:


      • yesindyref2 says:


      • yesindyref2 says:

        Anyways there’s no helping him as he still lets Wormtongue lead him around like a bull with a ring through its nose.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        I see Wormtongue has paraphrased my comment where I refer to it as Wormtongue – clearly Wormtongue is too frit to actually quote me where I say:

        “as he still lets Wormtongue lead him around like a bull with a ring through its nose”

        presumably in case if he did quote that, SGP might at long last realise that Wormtongue is indeed Wormtongue and has ruined below the line commentary on the SGP blog by his divisive comments about another blog, and is a false flag “friend”, along with a couple of tagteam alternative identities.

        Meanwhile the SGP funding isn’t working; I for instance wouldn’t give any of my hard-earned to further the purposes of Alba, nor actually would I do so even for the SNP.

        Indy yes, political parties, no. And I have not the slightest interest in GRA. Sadly James doesn’t have the sense to actually read the comments here otherwise he might finally get to the truth rather than Wormtongue‘s false divisive version of it. And yes James, I have tried to comment directly, either it’s my old version of Firefox or your blogspot setup that gives me the error message – or you blocked me.

        Meanwhile Unionists are laugh laugh laugh at the division.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Sorry WGD, that was one last atttempt.

          James is right about the need for opinion polls, hence the divisiveness gleefully stirred up by Wormtongue.

  17. Alex Clark says:

    This government fears protest so they outlaw it, now they fear criticism so they seek to outlaw it. They know that they can not remain in power without their bought and paid for media continuing to lie for them and feed the people government propaganda.

    That’s how dictatorships survive and this lot in power are little better, democracy is dying a slow death in the UK and the Tories desperation to cling on to power is resulting in more and more extreme measures being enacted to keep them there.

    The UK is heading to a dark place and the vast majority of the voters are being kept in ignorance. Fortunately, at least half of Scotland’s voters have kept their eyes open and we won’t be part of this, we’re getting out.

  18. Dr Jim says:

    Will you apologise to the FM of Scotland ? asks Kay Burley of Liz Truss, “NO” says Truss

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Once a bully…

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      And this from the Herald:

      “Sarwar says Sturgeon should expect criticism after Truss’s ‘attention-seeker’ jibe”

      ANAS Sarwar has defended Liz Truss’s right to call Nicola Sturgeon an “attention seeker” who is best ignored.

      The Scottish Labour leader said the First Minister was “a politician like the rest of us”, and so was open to criticism by other politicians and the media.

      • grizebard says:

        Sarwar, the leader patsy who never fails – to put a foot wrong. He is an unintentional masterclass in political pointlessness. The living embodiment of how continually repeating the same mistake never achieves a different outcome. The latest and greatest (so to speak) in a long line of inadequates without a clue.

  19. Alex Clark says:

    This government is going down the stank no matter who becomes PM. Their time in power will be short indeed and it will be the crisis of rising energy costs that bring them down.

    You all know that today the Bank of England increased interest rates by 1/2% and at the same time announced inflation would reach 13.3% by October, this can only add to the woes of those with a mortgage that manage month by month and now they too are going to feel the increase in energy costs like the poorest for whom it is a runaway train coming down the track.

    I don’t believe I’m exaggerating in saying how much this increase is going to impact the ordinary person this coming winter, there has never been anything like it and I say that as one who experienced the inflation and interest rates of the late 70’s and 80’s.

    There has never been a better opportunity for Scotland to gain her Independence and all we that already support that goal need to do is convince one of those we know who is as yet not convinced.

    Our job is to turn an undecided or a No to Yes, nothing else.

  20. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Is he mad or ignorant or both? He’s an English Tory:

    Iain Duncan Smith’s SNP question time plan ‘constitutionally illiterate’

    A PROPOSAL for SNP MPs to be quizzed on the Scottish Government’s record by Tory and Labour MPs has been branded “constitutionally illiterate”.

    The plan was announced by prominent Liz Truss supporter Sir Iain Duncan Smith during a campaign event in Stirling on Wednesday night.

    He told party members that should the foreign secretary win the leadership contest he would ask her to speak to “the SNP MPs about what they deliver in Scotland, rather than them constantly asking us”.

    He said: “We need to turn the tables on them and start saying, ‘Well, can we have a period of question time for you lot to talk about what you are doing in Scotland as the devolved administration?’

    “And start examining some of this stuff because they’re not just SNP protesters down in parliament, they are actually part of the government up here.”

    Unlike Ms Truss, Mr Duncan Smith said it would be wrong to ignore First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

    “I don’t want to ignore her,” he said. “What I want to do is to let the world know just exactly why Scotland is suffering so much under this incompetent regime at Holyrood.

    “The truth is, it is a disaster: everything from health, the police, the railways — they can’t even build ships sometimes on time and on budget.”

    Responding to a question about the Scottish parliament’s inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond, Mr Duncan Smith said he would advise Ms Truss to give Holyrood greater powers to scrutinise ministers.

    “I am desperate for greater powers for scrutiny,” he said. “It is only scrutiny that unearths all this nonsense and you may have hit a point actually, which is that the weaker scrutiny up here has allowed the Nationalists to get away with it.

    “So I am going to take that straight back and talk to her about it and see what we could do.

    “That should be happening right now and would have made a difference with the mess they got into over the Alex Salmond affair, you are quite right.”

    The SNP’s Deputy Westminster Leader Kirsten Oswald described the plan for a special question time just for her party as “utterly ridiculous”.

    “It is not the SNP’s job to explain why Westminster control is increasingly making life more difficult for the people of Scotland – even if the Tories are out of excuses.

    “The job of SNP MPs in Westminster is to stand up for Scotland against a UK government choosing to ignore our interests at every turn. That is what they will continue to do for as long as we suffer under Westminster control, which I strongly believe won’t be for very much longer.”

    Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law and Human Rights, Durham University tweeted: “This kind of stuff is completely constitutionally illiterate. Fundamentally inconsistent with the principles of devolution established in relation to the first Stormont Parliament.”

    The comments come as a report in the Sun suggested Mr Duncan Smith is in line to be Chief Whip if Ms Truss enters No 10.

    The paper also suggests Priti Patel is likely to move from Home Secretary to Party Chairman while Rishi Sunak could be offered Health.

    Kwasi Kwarteng could move No 11 as Ms Truss’s Chancellor, with Simon Clarke becoming the Business Secretary.

    Penny Mordaunt is reportedly keen on becoming the next Culture Secretary, while Kemi Bandenoch could become Education Secretary.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Look at the state of that proposed cabinet that will have all the levers of power and place your bets as to the state we’ll all be in without Independence.

      It really doesn’t bear thinking about.

    • Golfnut says:

      I understand Sunak has already been busy in the USA looking for potential ‘ investors ‘ in the privatisation of NHS services while he was Chancellor, seems like natural progression for the guy since he’s already got a handle on this.

    • James Mills says:

      Further appointments to Truss’ new Cabinet include:

      Baroness Ruth, Defence Secretary (I think she has her own tank!),
      Baroness Mone will make a terrific addition to the Justice Department, with responsibility for Fraud Investigations,
      David Mundell to retain his position as Head Tea Boy,
      Alistair Jack to be promoted to First Arse-licker,
      the Reporting Scotland Editorial team to be seconded to run the Communications Office at No.10,
      Anus Sarwar Minister at The Health Dept. with particular responsibility for running down The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Ambulance chasing,
      Jackie Baillie Minister without Portfolio (they could not find one to fit her!),
      Turdo Fraser in charge of public processions (well, those which require the wearing of orange regalia),
      Lt.(failed) Andrew Bowie Minister in charge of all naval vessels on Hogganfield Loch,
      Neil Oliver will be in charge of Media Strategy, with particular emphasis on hair tossing (as he is a world renowned tosser!)
      Arlene Foster as Head of negotiations on the Northern Ireland Protocol,
      Boris Johnson to head up the new Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    • Eilidh says:

      IDH is a moron who was a useless Tory leader and didn’t last long in that job. He is also largely responsible for the creation of that disgusting and discriminatory income related benefit Universal Credit which is still a shambles years after its creation. Maybe he should be questioned about that. He is just another lying Tory fascist scumbag who clearly does not believe in democracy let alone devolution

      • Bob Lamont says:

        I fear you may be confusing two equally reprehensible Tories….
        The IDH and its derivatives refer to Michael Gove, “Independently Delivered Heroin” being one of his personal favourites…
        IDS is equally a fake construct, but I(fake additional “i”, first name George)an Duncan (fake implied hyphen) Smith made a career out of faking his way into “high society” (before Michael Gove reinvented the definition of high), and gained a certain notoriety for talking absolute tripe for hours on end which cleared pubs and entire towns.
        Please confirm to which particular “Tory fascist scumbag” you refer..

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          A professional proof reader writes – Literary Notes.


          Not to be confused with “IBS”. Though not entirely inappropriate and forgivable as an error in most scripts. Others may consider the two to be synonymous. (I couldn’t possibly comment.)

        • Eilidh says:

          Sorry it was just a typho it should have read IDS must have been typing too fast. Your comments about Gove did make me laugh though Bob

        • Capella says:


  21. ST says:

    Serious question. Can both the Scottish and Welsh governments potentially take the UK government to court over any attempt to undermine the devolved settlements.
    Is this part of our armoury and has it already been done.

    • Dr Jim says:

      If the UK was a democratic voluntary union, yes, but it’s not, it only pretends to be

  22. Hamish100 says:

    Seriously, the bbc GMscotchland whole article on truffles with a dog with horns to look like a bull,

    Bull is the word. Total middle class bullshit.

  23. Bob Lamont says:

    OT – How many would get the correct answers like these lads…

  24. Welsh_Siôn says:

    What an absolutely horrible man:

    Rishi Sunak brags of diverting public funds from ‘deprived urban areas’

    05 Aug 2022 2 minute read

    Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak proudly told party members he had been working to divert funding from “deprived urban areas” towards prosperous towns.

    The former chancellor bragged that he had started changing public funding formulas to ensure more prosperous towns receive “the funding they deserve”.

    The New Statesman magazine, which obtained video revealing Mr Sunak’s remarks, said they were made to grassroots Tories in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on July 29.


  25. yesindyref2 says:

    I despair of the National, there is just so much stupidity and inaccuracy in its articles. It might as well be Unionist at times: From an article about McAskill’s views which Unionist rags like to quote as much as possible for some odd reason:

    In her largely neutral submission, the Lord Advocate conceded she did not “have the necessary degree of confidence” to answer whether the bill was within the powers of Holyrood.

    “answer”. There was no question for her to answer, it was never asked. Instead the the LA was asked by the FM to seek a ruling from the UKSC.

    Does the fool who wrote that not see the crucial difference, which means he’s pushing the Unionist line, same as the sister paper?

    Perhaps the “journalist” is illiterate, and doesn’t understand this from the actual reference, and how different his very poor reporting of it is:

    The First Minister, recognising that the question of whether a Bill
    providing for an advisory referendum on independence relates to reserved matters is contested, asked the Lord Advocate to consider
    making a reference under para.34 of Schedule 6. Having given this matter detailed consideration the Lord Advocate has decided to make a reference.

    The “question” would be made to the UKSC, not the LA, either under S33 or under S34 – hence the LA pre-empting the UK Gov and forcing the issue. It’s the LA asking the “question”, not answering it.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      And by the way “the Lord Advocate conceded” is such a Unionist slant as well. The whole point of a reference under S34, since the journo clearly doesn’t understand in the slightest, is for the LA (or other officers) to seek clarification. She conceded nothing, absolutely nothing, if anything she “stated” that to get the reference accepted.

      Journos should study language and use of language. It’s supposed to be the tool of their job.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Lawyers do law, McAskill knows that perfectly well, he’s just doing his unionist assisting Alba job of deriding everything and anything SNP related, and if it makes the papers he’s a happy relevant wee man for five minutes

      As for the National their news is getting so thin you could play connect four through half of their stories, do they have no proof readers, no sub editors, even somebody who can spell half the time

      • yesindyref2 says:

        He used to have a column in the Herald, and I presumed he was doing a Devil’s Advocate kind of thing, attacking Sturgeon and the SNP so that readers might think “They’re not that bad”.

        Then at last I realised he is just a bitter little man, sacked, and looking for revenge. And with an ego and a mouth an enormous amount larger than his pea brain.

        But apart from all that he’s fine, just fine!

        • grizebard says:

          “Then at last…”? I do believe you’re being deliberately disingenuous here, since that has been obvious for, um, several years now!

          But I do like your discourses on this subject, because a lot can usefully be unpeeled from this juicy onion while we patiently await the commencement of actual proceedings. And somebody needs to get it right.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            The more it’s talked about, the less chance there is of the UKSC sweeping it under the carpet, and I think rather than a panel of 5 judges, they’ll ultimately have to have the full one of 10 or 11. From that point of view, even McAskill is a help, as by criticisng Scotland’s top law officer for being neutral when it’s actually her duty to be neutral in the public interest, he is helping force the UKSC towards an impartiality they might otherwise find difficult (to put it diplomatically).

            There’s going to be absolutely ginormous pressure on the UKSC by October 10 / 11, and the protection of the Rule of Law will be very much in their hands.

            Oh dear 🙂

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Mmm, interesting though. From the Herald, Gordon of all people:

        Opposition parties accused Mr MacAskill of disrespecting the Lord Advocate’s neutrality when advising the Scottish Government on legal matters.

        Well indeed, so he has his purpose even if as an unwitting or witless, Devil’s Advocate!

        Yes, her neutrality in that reference was absolutely essential, as it was to represent the public interest, one of her duties, and NOT the Scottish Government. So it seems the opposition give that reference the neutrality thumbs-up.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Oh Jings, further down in that Herald article:

        However, despite saying [in a Commons debate] the Lord Advocate should act impartially as a prosecutor, he has now attacked Ms Bain for not being political enough in the Supreme Court case.

        Maybe he is actually running interference, as the Unionist side can not really now challenge the reference on the grounds of partitality. Nice one Kenny!

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Sorry, me again. I promise not to do it again for a few minutes anyway. A comment below the line from a Unionist, but one of the more sensible ones, and one with a legal background. “Fair use”:

        As Abraham Lincoln put it, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”. For somebody who was apparently a lawyer MacAskill’s ignorance of the role of the Lord Advocate is utterly jaw-dropping. The Lord Advocate is not there to do whatever the SNP Scottish government orders her. She is not a puppet whose strings can be pulled at the whim of the SNP Scottish government. By centuries-long tradition the Lord Advocate is an independent legal advisor. It is to Ms Bain’s credit that she understands this and is clearly not afraid to speak truth to power which is exactly as it should be. As somebody else points out, she also has her own reputation to consider. Ms Bain has a habit of not losing cases and although unlikely it isn’t beyond the bounds of possibility that the UKSC will sanction a non-binding referendum (i.e. a glorified opinion poll). However they will only do so if they are persuaded of the legal position. This is a matter of law, not politics and the very worst thing that Ms Bain could do would be to go before the UKSC gung-ho for separation. Nobody knows that better than she does. MacAskill is a clown and an embarrassment to Scottish politics but more worryingly he seems to be implying that if you are not fully signed up to a particular ideology you have no place in the government of Scotland. I remember hearing of a guy who had similar ideas back in the 1930s, Adolf something or other ….

        and this in reply to someone else:

        In general I agree John but Dorothy Bain is her own woman and knows that her first duty is to the law. I have no idea of her political affiliations and I have even less idea what passed between her and Sturgeon before she accepted the post of Lord Advocate but if Bain walks away she will be straight back to her legal practice and earning a lot more than the salary of the Lord Advocate. If anyone is in a position to face down political bullying, she is.

        That is all exactly my take – I did some research when she was appointed LA and was very impressed, for what that’s worth.

        • Dr Jim says:

          You’ll notice that nobody ever implied political bullying yet both these obvious unionists were more than delighted to infer there might have been some and that the Lord Advocate being the wonderful legal person she is resisted those nasty SNP Scottish government plotting separatists by *facing them down*

          I’m not amazed by the amount of Scottish Independence opposition who purchase subscriptions to the National specifically to pretend being upstanding citizens

        • Golfnut says:

          So is MacAscill say that during his time as Justice Secretary that he was able to bully the then Lord Advocate, we need to know.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Anglioni and then Mulholland were the LAs during McAskill’s term. There is/was controversy over Mulholland. can’t remember about Anglioni. I think the opposition did allege too close a relaationship, but then that doesn’t neccessarily mean very much.

    • Aye, the simple reason the LA has referred this case to the supreme court is because if she didn’t, (a unionist) someone else would.

      Even if she thought that it was likely legally fine, a challenge could be timed to cause disruption and delay to the vote / campaign. For example, the SC might rule the Scotgov could hold a vote, but aspects of the bill needed changes, so back it would go to parliament etc. Ergo best get this out of the way now.

      The SNP / Greens are right behind this as it take the initiative and puts unionists on the back foot.

      I still think the SC will rule ‘country-wide opinion poll’ using the 2020 Referendums Act which changes nothing in law will be fine. No different to 1997, 2011 (AV), 2014, 2016… which were all consultative and not legally binding.

      Kenny ‘Devo or die / I actually am the government Scots literally didn’t vote for’ McAskill is just a unionist paper rent a quote these days. Jim Sillars will be getting pissed off at him taking away business.

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, you have it dead right there. Pre-empting the virtually-certain “interference” and delaying tactics was an absolute masterstroke. As could easily be seen by the complete disarray it caused within the Unionist camp. Anyone who is dim enough not to see that, or even worse, deliberately chooses not to see it, isn’t fit to be taken seriously. And certainly not by the one and only supposedly indy-supporting paper. Methinks we need more breadth. And more depth.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Considering that Alba has only about 3.3% of the Indy support, the National gives it too much space, same as it did for RISE. Yes, it should cover it a bit but not that much. Same as the sister paper, they have McAskill and Sillars plastered all over it whenever they want some ego massaging, to the detriment of Indy itself.

  26. Eilidh says:

    Has anyone else had problems with The National website today. I have a subscription but it keeps saying I need a subscription to read certain articles so logged out set up new password as forgot my password but was then told email address and password were not valid. Even restarting my mobile phone didnt help Eventually got back in but was bounced out again. Have they been hacked or something

    • Tam the Bam says:

      I suspect your problem is a little closer to home Eilidh.
      Be sure to check your e-mail address and password are “typho” free before hitting the send button.

      • Bob Lamont says:


      • Eilidh says:

        My email address and password are stored on my phone just in case my little brain can’t remember all the letters(note sarcasm mode) engaged. The typho things was an auto correct error I didn’t notice as that is the name of a minor character in Star Wars which I have written about on the Internet previously.Mobile phones remember things the good, the bad and the ugly.As well as engage in political discussions
        with folks here I do write on a lot of Scifi sites as well. Its a good escape from real life in Scotland I wondered why it did not show up as a spelling error. I am away to have my tea now. 😜

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I had problems earlier just accessing the National, but then it came back.

  27. Bob Lamont says:

    I note the National has posted a piece “Glasgow police hunt man who ‘exposed genitals’ on Emirates flight from Dubai”.
    My immediate thought was it would might have the makings of a caption competition.
    “Police Scotland have apologised having put out an appeal to identify a man with a short dick – The current call waiting time is 3hrs as thousands of wives, girlfriends, and both, have called in not realising he knew where Carlisle was let alone Dubai?”
    “Rishi was unavailable for comment..”

  28. Capella says:

    I didn’t see anything to post today from The National. We are obviously in the doldrums of a never-ending Tory leadership slow car crash summer.

    There was a story about a dad who won £1,000,000 on a lottery ticket bought at Maryhill Asda. But I didn’t want to start a stampede to Asda.

    There was also a story of Boris Johnston dancing to “Sweet Caroline” at his wedding bash in a Troy billionaire donor’s marquee. So here’s the cringy video – p.s. he is still actually Prime Minister:

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Sweet Boris lyin….da da dah…

    • grizebard says:

      Oh tell me. The greasy pole climbing contest. Reality TV’s latest nadir. Aren’t we there yet?

      Still, the consolation I suppose is that even more than Brexit, nobody can complain afterwards that they didn’t know what enhanced level of collateral damage was coming. Not that most all of us can do anything about it right now, alas.

      But soon, very soon now, we’ll have our chance. Served deliciously cold.

  29. uno mas says:

    This will make you smile!

  30. yesindyref2 says:

    This really is incredibly funny, from the Herald, quoting Sunak:

    “Every single” Government department would operate UK-wide, even those whose remit is devolved, he added.

    The Chancellor also promised to review the relationship between the central party and the Scottish Tories.

    He said he would provide a campaign manager in every Holyrood seat.

    Single-handedly he promises to send the Conservative party in Scotland back to the popularity it had before and immediately after Devolution.

    That would be 0 MPs, and just 18 MSPs, under the actually widely respected David McLetchie.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I have to ask a serious question.

      Has this actually been the SNP’s secret plan all along, to penetrate the ranks of the Conservatives right to the top, so that the two contenders are actually secret members of the SNP?

      I think so!

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, Monday’s Herald headline:

      Conservataive leadership contender bites dog.

      Which one will it be? Place your bets ladies and gentlemen …

  31. Alex Clark says:

    The Scotsman appears to be in mourning over the depressing performance by the would-be PM candidates judging by today’s editorial.

    The truth may be that much of the Conservative party membership, the electorate in this dismal contest, don’t really care about the union anyway.

    And all that leaves us, alas, on dismal ground for any kind of sensible debate about the future of our country.

    I think the Unionists in Scotland are hurting as they can see that getting rid of Johnson only to replace him with Truss or Sunak isn’t going to improve their chances of increasing support for the Union. In fact, even they can see that with Truss as PM, the only way their support will be going is down. Their dread and fear is quite noticeable in articles such as the Scotsman editorial.

    • Capella says:

      A “dismal” in each sentence. Two dismals. I would have put “desolate” in the second sentence just for grim variety.

    • JoMax says:

      ” ….. don’t really care about the union anyway.” Since they’re more or less 100% anglocentric why would they care about the peripheries of ‘the union’ anyway except insofar as the peripheries can be of use to them when needed and ignored and/or vilified when not.

      ” ….sensible debate about the future of our country.” Which ‘country’ is being referred to? Scotland or Britain or what?

      • grizebard says:

        My reaction to that quote was the same as yours. These pathetic dependents on The Scotsman are finally beginning to realise that their allegiance to England is just not reciprocated.

        The Union is a dead man walking, and the sooner everyone here realises it the better.

    • This is really good to see; unionism losing faith in the union.

      Ignoring scottis

      • h unionists is not a good look for London, as is undermining devo, which is a unionist baby designed to hold off independence.

        Everything is going to plan.

        Scots really dislike sunak slightly less than truss, but she’s going to win. Perfect.

        • grizebard says:

          Scottish Unionists of the Tory variety never liked devo anyway. The worm in the Unionist bud. High time that Scottish Unionists of the Labour variety realised that, and quit being patsies for them. Then moved on to realising that Labour in England doesn’t give a damn either, actually.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “In fact, even they can see that with Truss as PM, the only way their support will be going is down”

      I suspect that was inevitable whichever of them won, the decision to turn this internal election into a national PR exercise was always going to backfire, particularly in Scotland.
      Tops 160,000 blue-rinses can decide the next Tory Leader out of 46.5 million electorate, so tops 0.34% nationally, and probably less than 0.1% in Scotland.
      Yet every single day the BBC in Scotland were relentlessly promoting it to Scots from the start as headline news, 2 on each of the Scotland and Scotland/Politics web-pages this morning, yet note the total absence of the “Rishi Sunak: No hope of election win if inflation sticks” story on BBC UK’s web-page…. Can’t have Scots reading that…

      This was a complete irrelevance before the insults started flying over Scotland to appeal to the Home Counties core vote, the Tories in Scotland can only be praying this ends quickly, else they’ll be struggling for numbers to fill Crathes village Hall’s toilets…

  32. Capella says:

    John Swinney stands in for Kate Forbes who is on maternity leave. So he is tackling the public sector pay issue. IIRC the SG has already asked the temporary Treasurer in Westminster to increase funding to cover pay since the funding review last September is woefully inadequate now. Dismal.

    Deputy FM John Swinney tells Scottish councils to cough up cash to avert strikes

    JOHN Swinney has said the Scottish Government will put up more than £100 million of taxpayers’ cash in a bid to avert strikes across Scotland but warned local authorities will need to do the same.

    Cosla leaders met on Friday to discuss the prospect of strike action by members of three trade unions who have rejected a 2% pay offer, and after the Deputy First Minister said Holyrood would give them a further £140 million every year so they could up wages.

    But Swinney said it would “have a significant and ongoing impact upon our fixed budget that ministers are taking steps to address”.

    He added: “Finding a solution must be a collaborative endeavour and local authorities now need to do the same.

    “This additional funding demonstrates our commitment to local government and their staff and will allow local authorities to make a significantly enhanced pay offer.”

    Three unions representing local government workers: Unite, Unison and the GMB, have rejected the 2% pay rise offered.

  33. Capella says:

    And now for something completely different. The Fleg cult hold a hustings on the Isle of Wight. Some lovely pix for you to use as wallpaper.

    Liz Truss beams with joy as she visits world’s biggest Union flag – see the pictures

    The Tory leadership hopeful posed for several pictures in front of the hangar doors on the Isle of Wight, which are painted with what is believed to be the biggest permanent image of the flag in the world.

    The flag, 12m tall and 46m wide, has been in place on the Venture Quays doors since 1977, when the mural was installed for the Queen’s Jubilee.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      A sign of insecurity. Murals are usually painted, not ‘installed’, but whatever, and they can be painted over to hide any monstrosity. Fine line between some types of graffiti and murals lol!

  34. Hamish100 says:

    Would you call this grandstanding, publicity stunt? I think Truss should provide us with her wisdom!!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “I think Truss should provide us with her wisdom!!” – It’s on back order…

  35. Dr Jim says:

    Is it feasible to imagine that the whole of England and unionism in general hasn’t noticed that over 60 countries have taken their leave of English rule specifically because those countries were stolen from and never in their history were ever treated as even close to equal by successive governments of what England lovingly pretends to be the UK

    Did the folk of England and unionists in general get struck deaf dumb and blind as country after country bailed themselves out to freedom?, have they never read a book that’s pointed out their empire is gone? is it an unimaginable thought to those folk that England (lovingly called the UK) no matter what happens could be wrong in their approach to dealing with, well everybody who’s not them, and if the rest of the world can see it why can’t they?

    England is like the coast guard advert for the drowning man in the sea waving his arms then a woman on shore spots his plight and calls the coast guard to rescue him, except in Englands case the woman on the shore licking her ice cream just sees jolly waving so no help will be called and England will drown

    • You’d have thought that, after having lost its entire empire, with Scotland / N Ireland now half way out the door, and Wales starting to consider the same, England might think ‘Maybe it’s us?’.

      • ArtyHetty says:

        Narcissists look in the mirror and see only themselves as they believe they are. Scotland and Wales and NI are holding up a different mirror and they don’t like it. Talking of which a friend many eons ago bought a mirror at an auction and hung it on her wall, she said go see my new mirror, so I did. I was in my twenties and saw an old woman looking back at me! It was scary, my son says maybe it was me in the future lol! It wasn’t me…I know it’s not halloween yet but it’s a fun fact. 🙂

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Yes indeed Dr.Jim, in England it seems there is a responsibility deficit and a reluctance to acknowledge past horrors and misdemeanours. The UK is a con for sure, Scotland’s been scammed and now is definitely the time to end the so called union and for England to go their own way, as they do now but just not dragging the rest of us down with them.

  36. Capella says:

    Mike Russell has circulated the latest YES video on the Democratic Deficit with a request that we share it. So here it is:

  37. yesindyref2 says:

    I missed this article at the time because I was away and busy.

    It’s an interesting one, and Tomkins is one who seems to believe in or at least accept, Devolution – which puts him at odds with many Tories.

    But his family holiday in Wales doesn’t seem to me to have much understanding of Wales, when he talks about its communication links. Indeed, a look at the map would tell you that to get from north Wales to south Wales, you really have little option BUT to use the M6 / M5 as for decades transport in Wales clearly received very little funding, as opposed perhaps to Scotland where we got more becuase of Oil and the threat from the SNP and Indpendence.

    And the Westminster attitude is exemplified by comments that the HS2 terminating westward at Birmingham is fine, because Birmingham in England is a hub for – errr, Wales. Oh dear. Kind of like saying that Manchester is a hub for North Wales (or Liverpool).

    • yesindyref2 says:

      (and M4 of course!)

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, this is a funny comment on the twitter I found the article:

      He was in Pembrokeshire, he’d have shit himself in Gwynedd or Ceredigion


    • I don’t see what his point is. So more people in Wales identify as Welsh & British than do in Scotland as Scottish & British. Given much more historically integrated in to Brengland Wales has been, in a large part due to geography, that’s hardly a surprise.

      If people in Scotland don’t feel very British, it’s entirely the fault of Britain / the British. No amount of Nicola Sturgeon telling people not to like Britain will make people in Scotland feel less British. Nope, it’s only the British themselves that can put Scots off feeling British. They are doing this very successfully.

      If Scots don’t feel so British anymore is because the British shut down, sold off, privatized and hammered the Britishness out of Scotland. And of course more recently, the British e.g. stripped Scots of their Europeanness, and are now trying to strip them of their right to vote.

      Scotland is on the brink of independence not because of the SNP/Greens, but because of the British. Yes parties have just benefited from rising support for indy. It’s not the other way around. Which is why unionists / britnats have made a fatal mistake in thinking it’s a passing phase. Nope, it’s something a century in the making driven by UK and wider world events that no single politician in Britain has any real control over.

      • Dr Jim says:

        In my whole 73 years I’ve never been or felt British, even as a kid I always thought the British were other people in history books, certainly not anything to do with me, I knew English people, went to school with Polish people and Irish people but never thought once of any of them being British either, I suppose at that time of the fifties and sixties no one ever mentioned it except at the pictures on Pathe news or when they played the national anthem at the end of the film just after everybody had run out as quick as they could to avoid standing for it, and then when the London fashion scene used Britishness and the union flag as a trademark and British became a new style thing

        Only in school did I ever hear about British and that was mostly all red coats bayonets wars and conquering people which I thought was tediously boring having to remember all the dates of all the battles the British had taken part in since time began, then we got a telly and boy we heard all about it then

        Why didn’t John Logie Baird not invent a time machine so he could have seen the future and the propaganda England would use his invention for, I’ll bet he wouldn’t have done it unless he could’ve built an algorithm in to prevent them doing it

    • Most British people / Scottish unionists are that for a reason. Normally it is strong family ties…that they’ve lived across the UK etc. It’s perfectly understandable. These people tend to visit England a lot, go on hols there, including to visit family etc. They are at home in both countries.

      However, they need to understand that most Scots don’t have such family ties, have never lived in England, and rarely if ever visit. For most people in Scotland, England is like Germany to Danish people; just the country next door. Different flag, culture, politics, sports teams, languages…

      Tomkins is a clever guy, so it puzzles me as to why he doesn’t get this. It’s really simple stuff.

      I personally have not rejected Britishness. I just have never been British in the same way my wife has never been Greek or Spanish, just French. Maybe I might have been more British if it was not for Thatcher removing everything British from Scotland as I grew up to the extent that when I came of voting age, there was nothing British left aside from the BBC. British rail no more, British telecom no more, British coal no more, British Leyland no more, British steel no more… Who knows.

      My parents never set out to teach me I wasn’t British, nor did they ever tell me how to vote. I just grew up Scottish. Scotland was part of a larger union, but that was it for me. I lived in Scotland and Nigeria (for 5 years). I knew more of life in the latter than I did of life in England. All I knew of England was the sleeper to London ahead of a flight to Lagos. It was, and always has been to me, a different country like any other different country.

      And that is actually how most Scots feel too. Which is why attacking their government, parliament and right to vote is what you do if you want them to vote for independence.

  38. Welsh_Siôn says:

    As we wait for the reslkts of the 2021 Census, for info. … (This may appeal to SS).

    National identity by age (broad groups), Wales, 2011

    identity only

    Welsh and British
    identity only

    identity only

    identity only

    All Other involving
    UK identities

    Other identity only

    Age 0 to 17 65% 8% 16% 6% 3% 3%
    Age 18 to 34 55% 7% 16% 10% 4% 7%
    Age 35 to 59 56% 7% 19% 11% 4% 3%
    Age 60 to 74 55% 7% 17% 16% 4% 1%
    Age 75 or above 57% 6% 14% 17% 4% 1%

    Not easy to read, but am too lazy atm to put into columns. Hopefully, you can get a decent understanding from it – read the ‘down’ categories above as being ‘across’ the table … or read the .pdf.: pdf

  39. Trouble for Brengland continuing to brew over NI.

    US politicians demand Joe Biden appoints special envoy to Northern Ireland

    A group of senior US politicians has written to President Joe Biden urging him to appoint a special envoy to Northern Ireland.

    The position remains unfilled since the departure of Mick Mulvaney, who was former president Donald Trump’s appointee.

    Previous envoys include George Mitchell, Richard Haass and Gary Hart.

    A letter, signed by Bill Keating who chairs the US Foreign Affairs Committee’s Europe Subcommittee, and 34 other bipartisan members of Congress, said an appointment is needed urgently.

    It warns that the peace and stability brought about by the Good Friday Agreement is under threat.
    The states: “As we approach 25 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, we strongly urge you to appoint a US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.

    “Recent turmoil in Northern Ireland and the stalemate in re-establishing Northern Ireland’s devolved government following its May elections continues to threaten the peace and stability brought about by the Good Friday Agreement.”

  40. Golfnut says:

    Most important insight you will get today/ tomorrow from the National.

    ‘ Chief Cabinet advisor tells the uk gov they will need to set out the conditions for holding indyref ‘

  41. Capella says:

    The National article Golfnut refers to:

    Tory attempts to ‘browbeat’ Scotland will not save Union, ex UK adviser Philip Rycroft says

    Rycroft, who was the lead civil servant in the Cabinet Office from 2012 to 2019 advising UK Government ministers on all constitutional and devolution issues and now runs his own consultancy, said either candidate’s stance was unlikely to change if either became prime minister.

    He said the chances of the UK Government negotiating a new Section 30 order in keeping with the timetable set out by Sturgeon was “vanishingly small, at least before the next Westminster election”.

    BUT he also said: “The line that says there is no way the UK Government can agree to a legal referendum, the Theresa May line of ‘now is not the time’ – it only works for a time.

    “The UK Government at some point needs to set out the conditions under which another referendum can be held.

    • grizebard says:

      Still these people fondly imagine they remain in control of the constitutional agenda. A toxic (for them) combination of bluff and ignorance. I don’t believe the Scottish Government see things that way, and get a win in the first minor skirmish. We’ll see soon enough how that works out.

      Played out in the court of public opinion, as it will be, it will do the same for their deadbeat Union as the current Truss/Rish! contest is doing for the Tories.

  42. Capella says:

    Tory beauty contest grinds on and Scots think they’re both ugly. Shock!

    Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak popularity much lower in Scotland

    A survey of adults across the UK found that Rishi Sunak edged slightly ahead of Liz Truss – with a negative overall “favourability” rating of minus 30 compared to minus 32.

    In Scotland, their popularity plunges further, according to the YouGov survey carried out between July 10 to 24.

    Overall, 21% of those surveyed had a “very” or “somewhat” favourable opinion of Sunak. But with 69% saying they had a “very” or “somewhat” unfavourable opinion, his overall rating was minus 48.

    Truss – who had attempted to play up her links to Paisley during her campaign – received lower positive ratings, with just 14% saying they had a “very” or “somewhat” favourable opinion of the Foreign Secretary.

    However, she scored better on the negative feedback with 61% having a “very” or “somewhat” unfavourable opinion – giving her an overall rating of minus 47.

  43. Alex Clark says:

    The Times has an article today about how privatisation of the water industry in England has been very bad news for the consumer. Tory ideology, that privately owned companies are more efficient, better managed, and will provide lower prices to the public is absolute bunkum when talking of these monopolies.

    The evidence is everywhere you want to look, electricity companies in the UK that are wholly owned by foreign state companies such as EDF, the same for railways where Dutch owned Abellio took over Scotrail while the UK government held on to loss making Network rail because it couldn’t make a profit as Railtrack and the government had to take on the loss making company to keep the trains running. The train companies though continued to make a profit while the taxpayer picked up the tab for the cost of maintaining and improving the railway infrastructure and stations.

    Here’s a snippet of what the Times had to say.

    The water companies were sold with no borrowings (in fact, the government provided a £1.5 billion dowry). The belief was that private-sector efficiency and access to capital would enable them to provide better service. Instead, they have mostly been bought by asset-hugging infrastructure funds that have geared them up and milked them for dividends.

    Since they left the bosom of the state, the water companies’ borrowings have risen to £56 billion. They have paid out £72 billion in dividends. And customers’ bills have gone up by 40 per cent, while up to a fifth of water is lost to leaks.

    Independence for Scotland is the only way that these privately owned companies could be taken back into public ownership and run for the benefit of the public. The failure of energy suppliers such as Bulb will cost every household in Scotland £94 extra on their bill this year alone, None of those that went bust actually generated electricity or produced gas, they were in fact acting as middlemen who were buying and selling electricity and gas and taking profits along the way. Until it all went tits up off course and that’s when we were left to pick up the bill for the failure of the “market”.

    The public pay for the market failures while the wealthy cream off the profits. I’m all for privately run companies making a profit but not when they are effectively monopolies and we the users have no choice other than to use them.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      IIRC, it was Yorkshire water who held the UK record for 50% losses due to leaks – It was more cost-effective NOT to repair them.
      The following summer saw an early drought, and they ended up hauling in water in tankers and deploying the army.
      You may recall the convoys headed south from Scotland on TV, not that such news would pass the censors these days at BBC Scotland.

      The clean water disasters were equally true of the sewage side of the “business” in England, a catalogue of failures painted as a “benefit” from the privatisation doctrine, with rivers dying for the sake of profits.

      With UK energy bills predicted to top 4,000 this year, I’m expecting +10% on last year’s bill of 800 quid, and we DO get Russian gas….

      • Capella says:

        An acquaintance of mine visited a Scottish reservoir recently and was surprised to see the water level unnaturally low. He was told by a workman at the sight that tankers were filling up with water and taking it down to England where drought conditions existed. Did the privatised water companies pay for the water they were abstracting, I wonder.
        You’re right – not a word about this on any news channel AFAIK.

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          We live in dread that the English Government will start flooding Welsh valleys again as they did in the late 1950s and early 1960s – destroying OUR culture, supplying THEIR needs and earning THEM profits.

          See, for example:

        • James says:

          Scottish reservoir levels are low becasue water levels in Scotland are low:

          Click to access 5-august-water-scarcity-report.pdf

          Head of water and planning at SEPA, Nathan Critchlow-Watton, said: “Water resources are critical in the east, with groundwater levels the lowest they have been since records began in 2009 and conditions not expected to improve in the short term. Even in parts where there has been some rainfall and an immediate increase in river flows, the areas still remain vulnerable due to longer term rainfall deficits and very dry ground conditions.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          It is possible, but rest assured SW will not jeopardise supplies whatever the destination, that’s the fundamental difference to the privatisation model and a duty of care.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Talking of Yorkshire water…………….

        Brilliant exchange on twitter between Yorkshire water and a customer :

        Yorkshire water tweet :

        “Thank you for contacting Yorkshire water. We appreciate your feedback. Is there anything else we can help you with “ ?

        Customer response via tweet :

        “Yeah can you explain to me why £3 a month can supply water to a village in Africa, yet my bill is £37 a month and it’s only me and the missus “ ?

    • UndeadShaun says:

      I think the answer is state run utilities in competition with private companies to keep prices low.
      Its what the nordic countries have.

      In addition private companies should be compelled to spend a certain percentage on improving the network and renewable capacity and winter resiliance.

      Far cheaper than the cost to nationalise like France has done at 8.5 billion and EDF was failing with share prices down, so could easily have cost double that.

    • Capella says:

      Could there be a more essential commodity than water? Air, possibly, but nobody has found a way to privatise that – yet.
      Monopolies are licences to print money which is why they should never be privatised. Any national network is a monopoly. Adam Smith knew that back in the 18th C. But people who claim to follow Adam Smith – Tories – ignore the bits they don’t like.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Nobody has found a way to privatise air – yet.

        Are you sure, Capella?

        Ask Mme S-S for a translation. (Not that I think you need anything more than the gist …)

        • Capella says:

          President Bush said, “The trouble with the French is they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.” This product proves him wrong!

        • Capella says:

          On our first trip to France we drove off the ferry at Calais to be assailed by the pungent smell of rotting turnips (at least that’s what it smelt like). This was our forst romanic encounter with l’Air du Temps.

      • grizebard says:

        Absolutely. Every word true. Creative ignorance a Tory speciality.

        Voodoo economics not solely a Tory thing, mind you. El Gordo “PFI” Broon was the world-leading specialist in that subject. No privatised utility allowed to fail, and our grandkids will still be paying for his “money on the cheap” long after he has finally gone. MP for the “Co-op Party”, that odd shrunken adjunct of Labour, who single-handedly did for more mutuals than any other UK Chancellor before or since. (Well, there wasn’t much left since.)

        Yet here he pops up again, his “concern” given another airing on the radio. His credibility apparently totally untarnished, if just within the BBC bubble. Things must be getting bad in UKOK if there has to be yet another Broontervention.

  44. UndeadShaun says:

    Rory the ex Tory in the guardian..

    “he recommended Gordon Brown as a “fantastic voice” to lead the pro-union campaign rather than him.”

    • barpe says:

      Oh please, let it be El Gordo, our independence would surely be assured!

      • Stephen McKenzie says:

        But.. the BBC tell us the Gordon Brown is “well respected” and seen as “one of our ain” in Scotland.

        If Gordon son of the Manse Brown were to lead with maybe with maybe Jim Murphy as his campaign manager, than we might as well give up now..

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          If Gordon son of the Manse Brown were to lead with maybe with maybe Jim Murphy as his campaign manager, than we might as well give up now..


          I’m sure you’d be stocking up on the eggs, Stephen McKenzie … 😉

    • jfngw says:

      I see it’s accompanied by a picture of Sarwar at a food bank, I wonder if he is collecting to hand out to the employees of the family business. I believe they don’t pay well.

      • jfngw says:

        Referring to the Gordon Brown article in the Guardian, not Rory from the English Nationalist Party.

        • Hamish100 says:

          James naughtie of 2014 fame teaming up with one gordon brown esq of 2014 Fame. No not the singing/ dancing tv series just the lie called The Vow.

          Who would have thought of those two working together on behalf of the britnat state?

  45. Dr Jim says:

    Patronising puerile pathetic and any other word you can think of describes this English arrogance towards Scotland and its people, *I’ve been to Scotland so I understand blah blah* I went to school for five minutes in a town in Scotland so I know all about everything Scottish* or *Ooh, I go to the Embra festivaal every now and again so am well versed in all things Scottishy*

    Well I lived in Spain for years and still don’t claim to understand how everybody there thinks, I’m half English on my mothers side and don’t even get me started on the mental confusion that is Englishness, to understand everything in any country you have to be there, live there, amongst all the people all of the time, and if you could do that then you’re probably a God, because it’s impossible to pluck the name of a country out of your head and claim to understand the whole goings on within it, these patronising English politicians pandering to their own voters in this way is insulting to not only Scotland but Wales and Northern Ireland also, just who the hell do these wealthy twits thing they are, unless you’ve been a thing you can’t possibly understand a thing

    So what do these politicians of England actually understand? well they understand what their advisors tell them to understand when they tell them which words to use when they employ the patronising mode of speechifying to the plebs, leading to the blindingly obvious that the problem with using this advisor system of how to behave in front of real people is the advisors to the patronising idiots are the same breed as the idiots themselves, leading to the obvious conclusion that the folk they’re trying to convince of their lies are in most cases better educated about themselves and their lives than the stupid politicians are, resulting in the people exclaiming *Fu*k off* leading those politicians to resort to plan A which is to express their considered opinions they always had that ordinary people are indeed Fuc*wits* so we must patronise them even more

    I am so sick and tired of these people doing their rotten wee best to evoke some sympathy for their rotten wee cause of preventing democracy in Scotland by using what amounts to some sort of nod to blood and soil nationalism towards Scotland because that’s what works in thick England so it’s bound to work on the even thicker Scots, as they simultaneously insult our elected politicians in another rotten attempt to avoid directly insulting us the people of Scotland who elect them, because if they insult us as a population in the same way they do with our politicians then we’re bound to notice, I hate to point it out to England’s thick politicians, but we’ve noticed

    They know they can never again win again in Scotland, it’s decided, it’s over, so are they going to attempt to just mark time forever in the hope we’re stupid enough to let them away with that, or do they pre-empt and prevent the inevitable by doing something massive?

    I believe it will be the massive thing

    • Dr Jim says:

      This happens regularly and no the Scottish government has no say in the matter, just as in everything else the government in England does, it’s all whether we like it or not, retired clergymen elevated to the House of Lords in England have more say over our country than our elected First Minister, such is the magnificence of our most powerful devolved parliament in the world our government isn’t *allowed* to stop an army truck full of nuclear weapons driving through the centre of our most populated city

      Actually if Scotland does regain our independence Wales could end up in the same boat, (pardon the pun) because they’ve got to park these obscenities somewhere and I’ve heard you’ve got some sea water surrounding your coast because let’s face it when Scotland chucks these buggers out of our country England will talk big but they won’t be wanting this stuff in their back garden

      I mean they don’t even want wind turbines to provide them with electricity, spoils their view don’t ya know

  46. Bob Lamont says:

    Strange how this didn’t turn up BBC Scotland’s gushing output for the Tory leadership contest despite tops 50 members in all of Scotland having a say…

  47. Hamish100 says:

    BBC Commonwealth games commentators confused when the 1st place Scot ( Laura Muir) and 2nd place NI runners come in for medals — British eh “What do call them……”
    Scots and Irish would do.

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