Is it safe yet?

NotmyspanielIs it safe to come out yet? Can we now get on with our lives without being bombarded by incessant sycophantic drivel about members of a rich and privileged family. Personally I am sick to the back teeth of being told that the Queen was like the gushing interviewee’s grandmother. Although admittedly she was just like my own grandmother, in that she was unhuggable, emotionally distant, and I tried very hard to avoid her.

There is a rule of thumb that whenever a newspaper headline is framed as a question, the answer is invariably – No. And that is also the case of the question posed in the first paragraph of this blog piece. No, as long as Scotland remains a part of this supposedly united kingdom, we will never be able to get on with our lives without being bombarded by incessant sycophantic drivel about members of a rich and privileged family. Probably some time next year there will be the coronation of King Charles #NotMySpaniel (a hashtag which I’ll be determined to get trending.) and we will be in for yet more blanket British nationalist – sorry, ‘patriotic’ bollocks taking over the British media as it descends into another paroxysm of orgasmic monarchist gushery complete with Kremlin watching style speculation about the state of the relationship between the royal spaniel’s sons.

But for now, despite the interminable post match analysis of the funeral, the Queue, Meghan Markle, and tearful interviews with assorted coffin watchers, we can get back to real news, or at least what passes for real news in this shit-show of a Britain. The Prime Minister that none of us elected has started her first visit to the USA as British leader with an admission that a UK-US free trade deal isn’t going to happen any time soon — a very marked contrast to the repeated declarations of her predecessors, Boris Johnson and Theresa May, in the post-Brexit era, and the claims of the Brextremists prior to and after the EU referendum that a UK trade deal with America would be signed sealed and delivered within a few months of the UK leaving the EU. Our expectations have already fallen through the floor, yet Truss still feels she needs to manage them. There’s that confident global Britain for you.

If as seems possible, the Conservatives crash the Good Friday Agreement and spark off a trade war with the EU, there may very well be no US-UK trade deal at all. Biden has made it clear that the Good Friday Agreement must be protected and warned ahead of his 2020 election that if Brexit damaged the 1998 Good Friday Agreement he would not consent to a UK-US trade deal.

Also overlooked during the royalgasm of the past two weeks (although if feels like much much longer), Sunday was the eighth anniversary of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. The contrast between what Better Together promised Scotland in return for a No vote and what has actually been delivered is stark. We were assured that Scotland would be a loved and respected equal partner in a voluntary union of nations, but now Liz Truss insists that the UK is not a voluntary partnership of nations, but rather ‘one great nation’. We were promised that only a No vote could guarantee Scotland’s place in the EU, yet here we are, out in the cold, stripped of EU membership, citizenship and our freedom of movement and right to live and work in Europe has been sacrificed on the altar of the xenophobic immigrant hatred of the right wing of the Conservative party and the Daily Mail.

We were told that the devolution settlement would be safe and put beyond any Westminster meddling, but the British Government of Theresa May went to the UK Supreme Court to obtain a ruling that the Sewel Convention, that said Westminster needed the consent of Holyrood to infringe on devolved powers, had no force in law, even though it was written into the Scotland Act. Now the Conservatives are openly discussing measures to by-pass and undermine the Scottish Parliament. It’s only the threat of another independence referendum that prevents them from neutering Holyrood entirely and turning it into a toothless talking shop.

These are only a few of the ways in which the Better Together parties have traduced the promises that they made to the people of Scotland when they were panicking about the possibility of a Yes vote in 2014. But even so, apparently it’s only the SNP which must respect the referendum result, the parties which won that vote are to be given a free pass when it comes to respecting the promises, commitments and Vows that they made in order to secure the victory that they so craved. I know I keep banging on about this, but it’s a vitally important point, one which the majority of the Scottish media colludes with Labour, the Conservatives, and the Lib Dems in keeping out of the public spotlight. The reason for that is because it’s the betrayal of the Vow and the campaign commitments of the Better Together parties which provides the moral and political justification for a second independence referendum.

If a party or parties cannot be held to account for the promises that they made in order to win a democratic vote, then democracy is neutered and rendered impotent. The Conservatives are now openly discussing gerrymandering and undermining Holyrood in order to ensure that they can never be held to account, because they cannot win power in Scotland.

But never mind that it’s not just Scottish devolution that faces an existential threat from the most right wing Conservative government in history, but Scottish democracy itself. Just look at the flags and the corgis and the parades and pageantry, bask in the British nationalist self-congratulation, and dive head first into the delusional denial that is now the UK’s understanding of itself. This is not the confident assured European democracy that Scotland was promised it could be a part of in 2014. This is an insane, cruel and callous place which makes the poor pay so that the energy companies can rake in billions, a sclerotic polity which is well on the way to full blown authoritarianism.

It’s not safe to come out yet, and it won’t be until Scotland escapes this madness.


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86 comments on “Is it safe yet?

  1. Finlay says:

    As always, so well put Paul.
    I was struck by the thought on Monday – if Russia or China were having a massive parade, showing off their military, it would be seen as sabre rattling. When our illustrious leaders do it, it’s ‘tradition’.

    • deelsdugs says:

      And in that same televised ‘tradition’ mantra they even had the brass neck to say ‘the modern monarchy…’


  2. john mclaughlin says:

    Just Wow Paul, what a pricise and exact summary of past and present, excellent article, thank you. john

  3. mumsyhugs says:

    Just as a matter of interest, does anyone think the display of the last two weeks will actually end up being counter productive in their attempt to make us all one great nation?

  4. Dr Jim says:

    Yes but forget about all that says BBC radio Scotlands John Beattie, what is the Scottish government going to do about the mess we’re all in, but neglects to point out to anyone listening that the SNP Scottish government never caused any of this, indeed they constantly warned against all of this happening from 2014 to Brexit and right up until this immediate moment of hellish catastrophe that was engineered by design by the Tories in England and who Scotland doesn’t vote for

    And so begins BBC Scotland to take up exactly where they left off with their British Nationalist chant of “It’s devolved” as though that statement absolves the Tories Labour and the Liberal Democrats of all the damage they’ve wreaked upon Scotland only to turn around and chant *whit yeez gonnae dae* ?

    Well why don’t the Tories Labour and the whole of Englands voters who caused all this damage ask their beloved bloody monarchy to wave their big fat Royal happy wand to make us smile and make it all better

    The Royal funeral might be over but the people’s funeral is just beginning, do we queue for that too? and do they care? of course they don’t
    Every promise they made to four countries and they broke every one, but is there a row about that? no! what there is is the same garbage over again that somehow the SNP Scottish government should mitigate, yes mitigate without the tools to do so, even though over £700 million has been scraped from Scotland budget spending, a bit here and a bit there to shift around to do exactly that the squealing continues
    do more, do more, do more while the government in England that holds all the purse strings happily informs us all that we’ll be in dire trouble for at least the next two years which of course as we all know by now is code for ten years, just the same as the last time, bankers bonuses, banks collapse, bank bailouts, austerity, now we have energy bonuses, energy producers collapse, energy bailouts, and the soon to be austerity all over again, but don’t mention this is what England voted for because that means Scots are racist or hate filled or some other adjective they can invent to pass the buck to us to take the attention away from them

    So ten out of ten for the great Bringlish media that Scotland is stuck with and God save the Royal Klown, cause that’s very important

    But guess what folks? for Scotland “Now is not the time”

    • Hamish100 says:

      John Beattie is hanging on to his “audience” of 20 for his dear life. He was a bit of a rugger player in the past with his public school chums but as a interviewer he is as bad as the rest of the state broadcasters.

      • James Mills says:

        In his ”rugger” days , did he take too many hits to the head – or was he always a Tory Sh*t ?

    • Azel says:

      Methinks that the British media leitmotiv that the devolved governments should mitigate, mitigate, and mitigate again is the best reason for all of them to get out of the UK: what, can’t Westminster get it right on the first try? What are they here for then?

  5. Capella says:

    It won’t be safe until we are independent. When we can choose our own destiny we can live in a fair and democratic society where all of our citizens are valued. We can choose whether to have a hereditary or an elected head of state, whether to join international economic, trade or military organisations. We can choose our fiscal policy and our foreign policy.

    The Tories have destroyed everything that once united us in Britain. We no longer have British Rail, Gas, Coal, Airways, Telecoms. The ports have been sold to private finance companies. The NHS in England is largely privatised.

    The Queen was the last symbol of British shared identity and I think much of the hand wringing at her death is because the British Establishment knows that King Charles isn’t in the same league. It is the end of an era and we have to choose our own future.

    • James Mills says:

      Well , even the monarchy has not been ”British” for a long , long time !
      German -Greek ? European mongrel ?

  6. Aye, another fine summation Paul.

    Have to say I’m glad it’s all over, although now the s**t is going to hit the fan big style.

    Britain has just been laid to rest, literally. Things will not change overnight, and it may be hard to appreciate how the passing of the monarch could really make much difference, but the Britain everyone knew, and what many Scots supported, is now completely dead. Elizabeth was remaining symbol of the post-war consensus UK that created, for the first time, a secondary identity of ‘British’ in Scotland. That will die with her. Even Rangers fans and British terrorists in NI will feel it; that something profound just happened, even if her death was just the final act.

    All things post-war consensus British in Scotland have now been privatized, closed down, ended by xenophobic referendum, or laid to rest with much fanfare.

    UK won’t last more than a few years. We live in the very last days of Rome. The sun has well and truly set on the empire.

  7. gavinochiltree says:

    Broonie and Hi Jack frothing in unison that the State broadcaster had played “politics” over “Scotland diverging”.
    Nothing about the fact 99.9% of the airtime during mourning was given over to the most pathetic Britnat belly- crawling sycophancy.
    Will this pair form the NO side leadership?
    I say this as Lord Baron “space aliens—end of the world” appears on Channel 4.
    Reform the band?

    • JP58 says:

      I find Alan Liddle the best commentator on BBC with regard to Scottish politics. Even though he has to report to BBC stance on independence I genuinely cannot tell his personal viewpoint and find his reports far more balanced and informative than any other BBC reporter,

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        If we are talking about the same journo, then sorry to burst your bubble:

        This would be the same Allan Little who was politely asked at the 2014 SNP Annual Conference by a prospective election candidate to feature me in a BBC news broadcast, so that other voices demonstrating support for YES from the ones MSM usually presented, i.e. “It was only Alex Salmond’s gig,” could be shown and heard.

        Little dismissed this, claiming the voice of a Welshy in support of Scottish Independence would hold no interest for a UK-wide audience.

        BBC bias and London-centricty much?

  8. Capella says:

    It must be really really bad. 😱

    Treasury refuses to publish UK economic forecast

    The draft forecast the OBR has provided does not include the impact of the energy bill help. It has offered to provide a forecast including this impact, but that has been rejected.

    The fact the offer has not been taken up is raising some concerns about whether the government’s tax and spending policy is “flying blind”, given predictions that the UK is facing a lengthy recession.

    MPs on the Treasury Select Committee wrote to the chancellor on Tuesday seeking assurance that an OBR forecast would be published.

    “These forecasts are a vital indicator of the health of the nation’s finances, and provide reassurance and confidence to international markets and investors,” said the committee’s chairman, Mel Stride.

  9. bringiton says:

    The parallels between Russia and England continue with England having a “Fiscal Event”,not an Emergency Budget.
    Similar to Putin’s Special Military Operation,not a War and both for the same reasons.
    The need to deceive their respective populations.

  10. James Mills says:

    UK financial crisis ? No US Trade deal ?

    Not to worry ! Robot Truss is on the job ! Expect record new trade deals soon .

    New Cheese exports to Turkmenistan and Albania will soon be signed .
    She is also on the verge of putting the finishing touches to an enhanced Rwanda deal where we will be exporting record numbers of lucrative asylum seekers .
    And many new Energy companies are flocking to the UK to sign up for the new Energy Subsidy Programme which will see their profits guaranteed by the poorest people in the land .
    Not forgetting the new Social Care programme for top bankers , who will be relieved of worry over how to evade financial regulations on their bonuses with the Truss Fund Initiative which allows up to 10000% bonuses to be ”earned” ( wink , wink ! ).

    Ordinary tax payers will be rejoicing that the Government has rewarded them by only doubling their energy bills from a year ago – another Brexit Benefit !

  11. deelsdugs says:

    It’s been a gut-twisting, hung drawn and quartered sycophantasia

  12. Bruce MacDougall says:

    Time to involve the UN and the Vienna Convention, as with the mass media and the British State against Scottish self determination, I doubt that a fair and honest referendum can ever be held. The ability of the media to control what they broadcast as newsworthy, has just been demonstrated with the death of the Queen. Transfer that to the lead up to a referendum and there is a problem with gaslighting. I believe that the Scottish Parliament must approach the UN and declare that Scotland as a Nation in its own right, intends to end the Treaty of Union without further delay. As Thatcher stated, the Scottish MP’s sitting at Westminster do have the right to do this by majority vote.

  13. Does anyone else see the irony in headlines this morning such as ‘Back to Scotland to mourn in peace’?

    Do English/British folks lack the respect to leave the Windsors alone to grieve, while the Scots do?

    Elizabeth did come to Balmoral to escape the crowds of England, and I imagine Charles has too, even if you might think there’s a political angle. While he might be uber rich and privileged, his mum just died and they all had to spend nearly 2 weeks in front of the cameras. Money can buy you most things, but not love in the end.

    I like to think Scots, even if a much more republican people, were actually very respectful in how we responded to events. It certainly wasn’t pro-Yes papers circling the body in helicopters like vultures and broadcasting every minute of Windsor grief to boost the ratings.

    • Dr Jim says:

      England demands the royals be ultimately respected by everyone while reminding themselves that they own them so they must perform like circus animals when required

      If the royals don’t perform as required then they’re out, like PrinceAndrew, except it’s only England who gets to decide when that might be, because they’re their royals

      It’s all like inverted slavery for the once biggest slave owners to now being the slaves of folk who never owned slaves themselves

  14. Capella says:

    Kevin McKenna criticises the overblown media circus over the Queen’s death.

    Kevin McKenna: Lickspittle royal sycophancy has done much more to divide than unite

    There’s also been an undercurrent of malevolence with much of this. Several groups representing the British establishment and those who want to seek favour with it have orchestrated it and wrung every ounce of leverage from it. And though it was done in the Queen’s name, I doubt she would have been comfortable with much of it.

    The BBC – north and south of the Border – has been the worst perpetrator in this pathetic little circus. I spent the last two days in London speaking to normal people about the significance of the Queen’s death. It soon became evident that many Londoners were embarrassed by the BBC’s lickspittle and asinine coverage of the funeral. And that this embarrassment had begun to turn to resentfulness.

    • Relates to what I was saying above. The British nationalist media circus was very disrespectful, with those accused of ‘not respecting’ – such as pro-indy republicans – actually the most so, being honest, dignified and polite in response. Harvie and Sturgeon are good examples; both appreciating their job was to represent all Scots as best they could, while not dumping principles in an attempt to milk the situation for personal / poltical gain.

      Certainly, what the past couple of weeks have shown is that Scottish nationalists just cannot compete in the nationalism stakes with the full-on, flag-waving jingoistic, North Korean style ‘dear leader’, pomp and pageantry propaganda nationalism of the British. I mean OMFG.

      Our civil nationalism really is nothing like the circus we – and the world – just witnessed. Dictators / supreme leaders the world over will be so jealous of the British propaganda machine. Russian / Iranian state TV are just amateur by comparison.

  15. Capella says:

    SNP say unionists are hypocrites. Shock 😱

    SNP accuse Unionists of ‘rampant hypocrisy’ over ‘politicising Queen’s death’

    But reports quoting figures “close to” senior Unionist figures such as Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and former prime minister Gordon Brown said they were furious at the BBC for veteran correspondent Alan Little pointing out King Charles took over a nation divided by the constitutional question in one of his reports on the Queen’s funeral.

    One SNP figure asked whether Jack would be similarly furious about a comment piece by Scotland Office official Tom Harris in the Daily Mail last week, in which the former Labour MP claimed the Queen’s death was “a setback” for the party.

    They also queried what Brown’s reaction was to comments made by Labour peer Lord Robertson on Newsnight on September 12, in which he said the new King was determined to see the independence movement fail.

    • Dr Jim says:

      You’d think any person claiming to be a journalist would have immediately asked the question of Lord Robertson “When and where did King Charles express this determination personally to you “to see the independence movement fail” and if he can’t or won’t answer the question then he’s either betraying the Kings private confidence or he’s a liar, which is it?

      Lord Robertson has form for this type of behaviour though, in 2013 he claimed there would be worldwide catastrophic consequences if Scotland became an independent country separate from the UK, not one journalist in my memory ever asked him to expand on or clarify that statement

      So I’m just going to take a stab at guessing Lord Robertson is an inveterate liar, or as Scotlands First Minister puts it far more politely, a “serial misleader”

      • Capella says:

        IIRC Lord Robertson predicted that Scotland would be invaded by “aliens” if we became independent.
        Scotland was invaded by aliens a long time ago. Time to send them packing. (Apologies to aliens everywhere, no offence intended)

        • Bob Lamont says:

          You are quite correct, it was his area 51 moment in Better Together, one can only presume he shared one of Michael’s special cheese ham and cress sandwiches before broadcast.
          May it be etched on his gravestone “Phone home…”

      • If I was King Charles, I’d be asking Robertson to shut it before 50% of Scots no longer support the union or the monarchy.

        If you are Charles, what’s better: Scottish independence with Charles King of Scots (at least for a while), or a Republican independent Scotland?

      • Golfnut says:

        Lord Forktongue of wormspeak has just informed us that Charles intends to break his oath to uphold and defend the Claim of Right, whoops. Robertson is certainly stupid enough to blurt something like this out, a decent media even just to spare Charles blushes would challenge him over this.

  16. Statgeek says:

    Some funeral goers struggle with the emotion of the moment –

  17. grizebard says:

    Safe to re-engage? At least the overt pageantry is over. Catching some of it the other day, what struck me forcibly was the Ruritanian absurdity of a glorious imperial turnout behind which lies…

    …well, essentially nothing. Another Potemkin exercise, in current terminology. It’s brilliant stage management, but all that glory is the last trump of a now-vanished era. Since there’s nothing to sustain the illusion, it won’t take long before it fades, and the realisation sinks in to almost everyone (except maybe Jacob Rees-Mogg) that UKOK has not just turned another page in its big history book, it has begun the epilogue. Likely a very short one at that.

    • Is it true that His Uriah Heepness (soon to be) Lord Neil Doncaster of Grovel has ordered a minute’s clapping at Hampden tonight?
      Time this man was shown the door.
      He knows what will happen, so why is he organising this tosh?
      So that England will see Scots for what we really are? Boorish hoodlums who don’t love their queen?
      Time this pencil pusher got the elbow.
      Why not a Lady Di tribute too?

  18. jfngw says:

    Truss has been told by the ERG to push ‘trickle down economics’, get ready to be trickled down upon, it’s yellowish.

    Kerrsimodo, after his peek-a-boo performance at a funeral has been made shadow education secretary, the bells..the bells (do schools still use bells?).

  19. Skintybroko says:

    Be reminding Biden of this next year

    He adds that defending the sovereign rights of smaller nations as equal to those of larger ones, embracing the basic principles of freedom of navigation, and respecting international law is the common ground upon which UN nations must stand.

    • Dr Jim says:

      It looks like Biden might have the opposite opinion to Obama when it comes to Scotland, then again the FMs been in Bidens ear quite a few times since he was elected

      • grizebard says:

        It is a historically-informed and open ear, and a well-prepared and assiduous whisperer for it. This is what’s known as “preparing the ground”. Building bridges, making friends. Boring and non-obvious to the ignorant and/or prejudiced, but absolutely essential.


      Joe Biden’s Irish Family History & Surname Origin

      …President Biden’s earliest traceable direct ancestor is his 19th-century great-great-great-grandfather Edward Blewitt (ca. 1795-1872), born in north County Mayo, Ireland…

      …The next job Edward Blewitt did was as a geographical surveyor and valuer, or an apploter, for Griffith’s Valuation office. The evidence for this employment includes an example of Edward Blewitt’s handwriting in a letter to Dublin Castle in 1845.

      The Famine began in Ireland in 1845, and Ballina and County Mayo were among the worst-hit areas. In February 1848, Edward Blewitt found work as an overseer for the Ballina Union workhouse.

      This wasn’t easy work, and Edward would have seen the worst effects of the Famine. The workhouse, built to accommodate 1,200, catered for up to three times that number as people came in search of relief…

      The English/British literally starved his ancestors to fatten themselves. There was no famine in Ireland; there was food enough for everyone. Except, the British took it away in carts guarded by guns as the starving Irish watched on.

      Now they sing songs to Irish people like me telling them to ‘go home now [the famine we caused] is over – god save the king!’.

      • Does Joe Biden Have Relatives in Ireland Today?
        As we explored whether President Biden had any Irish cousins, we researched his relatives that stayed in Ireland after his ancestors left. As it turns out, many of the Blewitt and Finnegan families emigrated or lost their lives during the Famine…

  20. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Quelle surprise !

    BBC responds to complaints over Queen’s death coverage ‘monarchy bias’


    The response read: “Our coverage of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has reflected the strength of feeling this has generated from across the country and around the world; we have featured tributes from world leaders, politicians from across the political spectrum and members of the public.

    “It is important that our reporting includes a range of perspectives, so we have also heard from those who do not believe in the institution of monarchy, their reasons for this, and their views on the accession of the King Charles. We have offered detailed analysis on what this transition means for the future of the monarchy.

    “We believe our reporting has been fair and duly impartial, reflecting the impact Queen Elizabeth II has had on public life and the historic nature of the end of the reign of the longest serving monarch in British history.”


  21. Hamish100 says:

    Well done Scotland. Good football result.

  22. yesindyref2 says:

    The new figures, based on a [1] survey carried out in 2021, show that 52% back independence, while support for devolution has dropped to 38%. Just 8% now think there should be no Scottish Parliament.

    Digging a litttle deeper, gets the following

    [1] British Social Attitudes 2021 survey, unweighted base 1365, fieldwork 16 sep 2021 to 31 Oct 2021

    For me the most significant figure is the 8% for no Scottish Parliament, and the reasons for that are:

    1). while this would be a little popular in England (15%, down from 23% in 1997), over 50% in England support our devolution (54%), with 25% actually supporting our Independence – up from 14% in 1997;

    2). even if that 8% in Scotland were all Conservative voters, that is less than half the support for the Conservatives in Scotland for Holyrood, currently around 18% and slipping;

    3). the strategy of Truss has been, is and probably will remain, to diss Holyrood, diss devolution, along with the SNP and Sturgeon, and this only appeals to a minority of even English voters. She is even worse than BoJo in that respect, and much worse than May.


    It’s time to cut the umbilical cord to your mama the UK Tories, and start your own party here in Scotland – or face electoral humiliation. Those of us who care about Democracy, actually care about proportional electoral representation – do you?

    • Yes, impressive numbers for indy, particularly considering it’s the 3-way question, and not the binary.

      For example, have a look what the results were in 2014. Just 33% for independence vs 50% for devo and 7% for nae parly.

      2021 with changes on 2014:
      52(+19)% Independence
      38(-12)% Devolution
      8(+1)% No Scottish Parliament

      If 33% gave 45%, what might 52% deliver on the day?

      This is why the English government wants to make it illegal for Scottish people to be able to vote; a discrimination based on nationality / ethnicity.

      Independence is now the settled will over devo (max/min).

      N. Irish results showing a similar long term pattern.

      It highlights why those saying ‘nothing has changed since 2014 and if we wait we’ll never win so SNP should have held a snap referendum when people didn’t want it!’ are lying to you.

      Big picture is what matters; not the most recent poll.

      • I’ll add that this is why I keep talking about ‘baseline’ support for indy being at or over 50% now. That has no component of people that will change their minds. It is those dead to the union. Their settled will is independence.

        They were only 33% in 2014. Understand that and you will understand why, in all probability, Yes would win handsomely now. Hence England is trying to remove the right of Scots to their basic human right; the right to vote for the government they wish (self-determine).

      • Also, credit to SGP for noting that the Deltapoll result from the other day also didn’t include 16-17 year olds, which could easily shave 1% of the Yes on top of all the other flaws I highlighted.

    • Azel says:

      Wasn’t recreating the Scottish Unionists basically how Murdo Fraser fought the leadership contest with Ruth Davidson and lost? While it might be what the Scottish Tories should do to save themselves, I don’t think they’ll do it.

  23. barpe says:

    Being the first ‘Debate Night’ since before the summer, I decided to give it a try last night.
    OMG, yon Jardine bloke was dreadful! So obvious he’s on an anti-SNP crusade once again, after getting past the first question (on the funeral et al), he could barely contain himself to get to the inevitable NHS query!
    His cue to then attack the SNP lassie, demanding what she was going to do about A&E times, over and over.
    Anyway, one Debate Night is enough for me!

  24. Bob Lamont says:

    OT but a great discussion which should be widely circulated, exposing as it does the causes of why we are suffering from energy price hikes.

    Varoufakis’s explanation of how we got here from Thatcher’s initial scam is interesting and infuriating in equal measure.

  25. James Mills says:

    Priorities ?

    Cost of Living Crisis , falling Pound , A and E emergency in England , lack of staff in NHS , Care Home crisis , Putin’s threat of nuclear war , asylum seekers , 2/3rds of UK cheese imported ( Truss’s real worry ) ….

    The House of Commons is devoting it’s first day after THE FUNERAL to MPs taking their oath to the new King !
    Really ?
    And in their oath they swear allegiance to the monarch – no mention of the people who elected them !
    Democracy in action .

    • Golfnut says:

      Kind of kills stone dead the legal premise of the absolute sovereignty of the Westminster parliament. The elected lawmakers make themselves subject to the crown.

  26. Capella says:

    Full report on that British Social Attitudes survey in The National:

    Support for independence is at an all time high, major new poll finds

    Sir John Curtice, senior research fellow at NatCen, said the question on independence has been included in the Scottish Social Attitudes survey – a parallel study to the BSA – every year since 1999.

    “This is not asking if Scotland should be an independent country yes or no, it is this long-term question, and the point about that, therefore, is we can show how attitudes have shifted over a long time period,” he said.

    “The 52% is as high as it has been on that question.”

    The BSA report noted: “Since 2014, there has been a marked increase in the level of support for independence, and especially so since the EU referendum of 2016, after which leaving the UK became more popular than devolution for the first time.

    “Against this backdrop, it is perhaps not surprising that Scotland’s constitutional status should have become an issue of lively debate once more.

    “The Union has certainly become decidedly less popular north of the Border.”

    • This is the real gold standard in term of methods and gives the most representative sample you can get. Takes longer and is more costly, hence not used for regular polling. Also a big 1800+ sample.

  27. Hamish100 says:

    I see Glasgow Uni apparently mirrors the welcoming of new people to this country similar to the Tories.

    Absolute disgrace.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Granted that the phrasing of GU’s advice could have been better framed, but it’s a lot more complicated than comes over – The problem is a reduction in available “affordable” private rented accommodation – Note the BBC article’s deliberate avoidance of cost as having a bearing, despite affordability being crucial for a student.

      A further clue to this being a deliberate propaganda piece lies with Jamie McIvor’s distortion “In recent decades, student numbers have increased substantially”.
      Student numbers have NOT suddenly shot up in recent years, you would need to go back several decades to find anything approaching a substantial increase.

      Going by their recent NHS propaganda in advance of NHS England figures being published showing them in crisis, it is likely student accommodation in England will soon be a hot topic, and this is another deliberate deflection.

  28. Capella says:

    Rust never sleeps, Neil Young once sang, and neither does Gordon Brown’ fevered brain:

    Gordon Brown’s Our Scottish Future ‘Scottish Treasury’ plans branded Unionist ‘carrot’ for voters

    A report by Our Scottish Future has outlined a number of recommendations for improving the country’s finances and warned the Scottish Government will need to choose between permanently higher taxes or budget cuts if it did not take action to grow the economy.

    Scotland’s economy is forecast to grow more slowly than that of the UK over the next 50 years, according to the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

    The report, written by Treasury and Scotland Office veteran John McLaren, also recommended that a Scottish Treasury should work closely with Westminster to boost growth.

    • Dr Jim says:

      When Gordon Brown and his mates speak, all I ever hear is *we don’t want Scotland to have the same rights as England or anybody else*
      We have a strange political system in Scotland where we are forced through the power of the Tory controlled media to listen to a dead Labour party defending and protecting a dead Tory party, yet in England they oppose them, Labour also oppose the Lib Dems the Greens and the SNP, yet Labour can’t win an election in England or Scotland

      There’s an odd media fascination with this Labour political party who can’t win anything unless all the members of the Tory party suddenly decide to take their own lives

      • Capella says:

        Labour are completely devoid of principle, any principle. I listened to FMQs today. Mistake. First DRoss plodded through the A&E waiting list saga complete with sad stories from constituents. Then Anas Sarwar repeated the entire farrago all over again. He is incapable of thinking on his feet.

  29. yesindyref2 says:

    We all know about the recent attacks on devolution by the Tories, including the Infernal Market Bill, not “returning”powers from the EU, and the levelling up bypasses of Holyrood, plus the utter contempt our elected government is treated with by the UK Government and its Monisters.

    But attacks on Devolution by the Tories really started on 19th September 2014 at 7 am:

    Cameron was widely criticised for declaring his English Votes For English Laws (EVEL) policy outside No.10 just after 7am as he welcomed Scots voting 55-45 vote to keep the Union.

    the timing of which Cameron apparently regrets now:

    David Cameron regrets announcing “English votes for English laws” just hours after the Scottish independence referendum vote, according to friends of the former prime minister.“.

    Any cuts in the budget for England and Wales (or just England), cut the amount of the block grant next year proportional to population, so that a cut of £10 billion in the public sector spending by England cuts the block grant by 10% of that – £1 billion. So though Evel sound reasonable on the face of it, spending in England and Wales on devolved issues directly affects the finances of Scotland.

    In spite of the attempts by the Tories to undermine Devolution, voted for in 1997 by 74.3% YES to 24.7% NO. support for abolishing Holyrood has held steady at around 8% since 2014, having risen back to 11% in 2012 (after the SNP landslide in 2011). The Tories have not convinced anyone that Holyrood is a waste of time, nor have they convinced anyone that the First Minister is a jumped up councillor and should be ignored.

    And more than that, support for Devolution at 50% in 2014 (Independence 33%) has moved to support for Independence at 52% (devolution 38%) – an almost complete reversal.

    I could tell the Tories what they need to do to temporarily halt the continual decline in support for their Precious Onion. But then I’d have to shoot myself first.

    • I will plot things up later, but the failure to deliver the vow post-2014 seems to have been a major factor in driving up the baseline* 30% (ex-dk) average Yes 1999-2014 to 48% by 2016/17. Then Brexit came home to roost and baseline Yes (ex dk) went into majority by 2019-2021.

      Unionists killed support for their devo baby – and so the union – by not delivering on it. Idiots. Useful idiots that is.

      *These being people who when offered unspecified devolution, which could be devo max, still say their preference is for full indy.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        When Unionists used to go on about the lead NO had in the polls, I pointed out the ones where NO was less than 50% with Don’t Knows included. Meaning that whatever the lead, less than half those polled supported the Union even if they weren’t “YES Yet”.

        There hasn’t been any point in that for 3 years or so now, as NO is just about always below 50%, apart from the odd outlier or fiddled ones with daft questions like SiU put together hoping nobody will notice.

  30. Typical racist English BBC focus on encouraging a / presenting things as a religious divide, when it’s the snippet I’ve picked out what the two general camps (and neutral ground in between) are. Hence you don’t see fans at old firm games waving plain crosses vs virgin Mary statues, but the flag of two opposing states.

    Census 2021: More from Catholic background in NI than Protestant

    …In terms of national identity, 31.9% said they had a British-only identity, while 29.1% said Irish-only and 19.8% said Northern Irish-only.

    N. Irish tend to be pro-EU and pro-protocol. Also open to persuasion on reunification.

    It’s why reunification polls are getting so narrow; the British identifying and Irish Identifying are almost equal now, with the NI identifying splitting ether way, albeit it more pro-EU/pro-protocol as noted. Alliance voters etc.

    • Information was gathered on passports held by people usually resident in Northern Ireland. The statistics were:

      UK passport 53(-6)%
      Irish passport 32(+11)%
      no passport 16(-3)%

      The percentage of people holding a British passport fell in every council area, while the numbers holding an Irish passport rose in all council areas.

      Och lol. Brexit was the most stupid thing you could do if you wanted the union with N. Ireland to continue.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I thought it was a strange road to go down in reporting support for a religion as a definite politic, and without doubt made it appear as though those folk who are now the majority (Catholic) was a worrying statistic for the UK government, and indeed made it sound racist and sectarian as though these people in having slightly different religious practices in their worship of the same God were a *threat*

      We know they think these things in private but to publicly report this as important?
      Wow! just Wow!

      I guess that’s where all this Royal “defender of the faith” stuff comes in, again odd, because what you’re saying to people everywhere is all those who aren’t of the Protestant style practices in their worship are lesser mortals than those who are Protestant, the tricky part for any government in this day and age is all of those people have one vote just the same as the people who’s *faith* you’re defending but pretending not to make a big deal about

      This style of divide and conquer used to work quite well for the UK of England in the past, it helped them build their empire, but still using it today I feel is not going to wash anymore

      We know enough about this in Scotland also with our big two gladiator football teams informed by the same God to hate each other by request of the UK government while simultaneously blessing them both as they carry out their pretend ritualized slaughtering of each other for the supporters whenever they face off in faux mortal combat to decide which religion is best

      But of course it’s just a game isn’t it, we all say sardonically

      • Quite. It’s one thing to point out e.g. ‘non-religious might now outnumber religious in the UK’ in a factual manner, but it is presented as somehow very big and negative news that there are more Catholics in NI than protestants in a part of the UK. It’s like a Daily Mail headline saying ‘Muslims now outnumber Christians in the Midlands!’ and all the dog whistling that would come with that.

        And that’s before you get to what I mentioned about the divide not being really religious – that’s coincidental – but about nationality; something the English want to hide because of the abomination of relic imperialism that the partitioning of a modern European country is.

      • I just pointed this out to a work colleague from overseas and they were quite shocked at it for the reasons we discussed. They are used to the same religious division propaganda in their home country. That being Iran. Where, incidentally, the head of the main religion is also head of state.

        • Legerwood says:

          Charles III is head of the Church of England. Of the Reformed Churches of Europe the Church of Scotland is the only one never to have had a Monarch/Prince as its head. A Titular Head of the CoS is elected each year and serves for a year. Over the centuries since the Reformation the CoS has gone to great lengths to preserve this distinction or separation of Monarch, and whoever is appointed Lord High Commissioner, and Church even to the extent of changing venues for the General Assembly because a physical separation could not be maintained between the Monarch’s representative and the body of the GA.

          Charles’s only role is the accession Oath and possibly appointing his own Chaplain in Scotland. I believe he writes to the GA each year re-affirming the oath to preserve and maintain the CoS.

        • Yes, I noted this in discussions with him, that Scotland is secular, but Britain / England is not. I personally am agnostic. I have no issues with people being religious; however I don’t beat about the bush when it comes to those who preach / force their views on others against their will.

          As a side note, the guy is a non-religious, liberal Iranian. I actually have much more in common with him in my beliefs and politics than say, Liz Truss. Yet for some reason, British nationalists think Truss and I all part of some blood and soil ‘family’, right-wing nut-job racist creepy as that is.

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          Whereas ‘our’ Church is disestablished …

  31. Capella says:

    As Liz Trickle Down Truss meets Joe I Hate Trickle Down Biden (in no way aimed at Liz Trickle Down Truss say BBC)

    • Bob Lamont says:

      It’s not just Biden – “Trickle Down” economics has turned out to be exceedingly slow and subject to evaporation before getting anywhere near the headlined intent – Would “Treacle Down” not be more a more apt term these days ?
      Similarly “Levelling Up”, perhaps the “Tunbridge-Wells” initiative ?

      • Capella says:

        Well you know, Bob, that water runs downhill and when it reaches the bottom – of the hill – it erm becomes a rising tide which lifts all boats. So if you have a yacht you level up and moore off Tonbridge boatyard. And that’s trickle down economics, Truss style.

    • Statgeek says:

      Not convinced of the value at 99p. Not soft enough, and the sheets of paper are the wrong size for the roll.

  32. Golfnut says:

    On a lighter note I see Doncaster City have applied to the SFA to play in the Scottish Cup. They believe they are technically still part of Scotland, that is I think Scottish Crown lands rather than actually Scotland or maybe we should just move the border south.
    Good luck to them anyway.

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