The state we are in 2022

The other day while in the High Street, there was a disabled man begging. I gave him the few coins had in my pocket, then not even a hundred metres further on there was another cold and forlorn person, young man looking far older than his years, sitting on the wet street outside a shop, with only a tattered scrap of cardboard to protect him from the elements. It’s a scene that has become commonplace these days – I was about to write has sadly become commonplace – but that’s the wrong word. ‘Sadly’ implies that there is a tragic inevitability to destitute people, begging for a few coins from passers by to help them get through the day, but there is nothing inevitable about it. These scenes are a product of descisions taken by politicians, decisions which have put decent and affordable housing beyond the reach of many, decisions which have shredded what was once the safety net of the social security system and left it so tattered and threadbare that falling through the net is now the norm rather than the exception.

So the correct phrase is not ‘sadly comonplace’, the correct phrase is ‘criminally commonplace’. Homelessness on such an appalling scale exists because the Conservatives in Westminster have systematically destroyed the stock of social housing by allowing it to be sold off. Many former local authority properties are now in the hands of private landlords who charge rents far higher than the local authorities or housing associations once did, meanwhile the Conservatives have encouraged home owners to view their homes more as an investment than as a place to live, and house prices have soared, meaning that getting onto the property ladder is now impossible for many young people unless they are fortunate enough to have parents who are wealthy enough to give them considerable financial assistance, and the social inequalities which blight Britain, already amongst the greatest in Europe, are perpetuated for another generation.

It’s not just an epidemic of homelessness, food banks have sprung up all over the UK. I am old enough to remember when they were unheard of. The first time I became aware of the existence of such a thing was on my first trip to the USA in 1981, before Thatcher’s malignities had truly started to bite back home. I heard of a food back in the part of America where I was staying and was appalled that in such a wealthy country people should have to resort to charity in order to put food on the table. In my youthful naivety I was thankful that I came from a country where such a thing was unnecessary, where the needs of fellow citizens were valued enough that they could be certain that they’d have a roof over their heads and food on the table.

That was then, this is now, food banks crept in to the UK too, first as an extra top up, then as a vital part of a system that the Conservatives have rebranded from social security – a right – to welfare – a privilege, and moreover a privilege that can easily be taken away. Just like young people and disabled people begging on the streets, what was once unthinkable in its awfulness has now been normalised. Now we are talking about warmth banks, places where people who cannot afford to heat their homes can go in order to keep warm, and this in a country like Scotland, with an embarrassing abundance of energy resources that by rights belong to all of us. This descent into public cruelty and callousness combined with a worship of private greed has been achieved by successive Conservative governments, none of which Scotland voted for, indeed which were not voted for by a majority of people in the UK either. The current unelected Prime Minister enjoys his power on the back of nn eighty seat majority in the Commons won by his party on less than a third of the available vote. This majority doesn’t mean the Conservatives have won the argument, it just means they’ve just rigged the system.

It’s a system which the Labour party will not change, even if the polls are correct and it wins its own unfairly large majority the next time around, Labour is as much in thrall to the drug of absolute power as the Conservatives are. Yet in order to attain that majority they must ape the Tories, promising the same vile policies, just with a sad face emoji. And then the electorate in England will eventually tire of the Labour party and turn once again to the anglo-exceptionalist posturing of a Tory party that now occupies the same political space as Ukip did, and which by the election after the next could very well have moved even further to the right and the whole miserable cycle descends another turn into hellscape.

The Conservatives may currently be facing electoral defeat, but they will do all they can to claw back support. They are likely to do so by doubling down on their talk of a “refugee crisis” and by further demonising those desperate souls who brave the dangerous waters of the English Channel.

The UK does not have a refugee crisis. There is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ or ‘bogus’ asylum seeker. Under international law, anyone has the right to apply for asylum in any country that has signed the 1951 Convention and to remain there until the authorities have assessed their claim. The UK wants to breach the Convention by sending them on a one way ticket to Rwanda. Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Poland, and several other European countries all host more refugees per capita than the UK.

What the UK has is not a refugee crisis, it’s a crisis of scaremongering right wing politicians who are enabled by a right wing press, the same right wing press and politicians who brought us Brexit. Things in Britain don’t look like they are going to become any kinder or gentler any time soon. The UK is very firmly on a trajectory to more cruelty, more demonisation of the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable. Scotland needs to get out.

 My other half is home now, unfortunately he came home with covid. Thankfully he had only mild symptoms and after a couple of days was testing negative and feeling much better.  We self-isolated.  I had no symptoms at all and tested negative, but it was my turn to look after him for a change.


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58 comments on “The state we are in 2022

  1. kayakgreg says:

    We mustn’t become inured to this. You’re right: Scotland is rich in energy resources – no one needs to be cold.
    We must stop using language which conditions us into ‘thinking Tory’: we shouldn’t use “property LADDER” (the idea that property is only to be used to buy and then sell – at a profit – to move on to a bigger property… and on and on) It’s a house. It’s a home.

  2. Shibboleth says:

    We will have to learn how to be more compassionate, kind and tolerant again, even with those we disagree with. There is a great deal of anger and frustration in the world, which is fuelling much unpleasantness. Nowhere is this exemplified more is on social media, particularly Twitter, which has become toxic of late.

    Even within the independent movement, which used to be characterised by all that was good in Scotland, there is now factionalism and real hatred between various groups. This will destroy any prospect of self-governance for many generations. Worse still is the insidious rise of anti-English sentiment – not just directed towards the extreme right wing Brit Nats – but the country as a whole. Just as Scotland is divided politically, so too is England – and you do great disservice to those south of the border who are just as disgusted by the unfairness and corruption that Westminster is excelling in presently.

    I wonder how much of this anger is attributed to SARS-CoV-2 infections? It’s quite disturbing to read some of the more recent clinical papers relating to the insidious neurogenic changes in the brain – and the associated cognitive and behavioural impacts. We’re only 2.5 years into this pandemic and already the world seems to be on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown. Perhaps we need to factor this into our thinking too.

    We should also remember there are some fantastic acts of kindness that mostly go unnoticed and unreported. They tend not to make headlines that sell newsprint, but they are there and they make an incredible difference to people whose lives are truly difficult. I can personally attest to that of late.

    Everyone will have to pull together in the days and months ahead. Be kind to each other, even if it’s just a smile or a compliment.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Absolute rubbish. What you say in that comment is just as Paul described the Labour party, nasty like the Tories, but with a cute emoji to soften the blow. We see you. The English government however are on a divide and rule with an iron fist trajectory. Securing independence is essential for Scotland in order to ditch the English governments’ cruelty, greed and criminality. Scotland is most certainly not anti English, Scotland cannot save England from the cruelty of a corrupt mafia in charge posing as a legitimate government.

      Scotland gets what England votes for. Not for much longer.

      There are very many English people in Scotland, many who also want to live in a country that is not a corrupt dictatorship where their basic human rights are denied, and where their rights to protest against having those rights denied are about to be stripped from them.

      Scotland says no, no to unelected corrupt millionaires in the top jobs in government and no to pompous idiots telling the poor and disabled it’s their own fault for being poor, and kicked while down, by the very government who’s job it is to ensure that the welfare of everyone in the nation’s of the so called UK, have basic needs met. No to oligarchs, no to their fascism being normalised, no to the UK. Scotland says yes to a modern forward looking, and progressive future, one where government is held to account should they work against the best interests of the people who pay their wages.

      Being nice and smiling, all very nice but does not put food on the table or a roof over your head. Smile nicely at strangers, be kind now, while being kicked and beaten by a greedy cabal in charge of whether your basic human rights are met, no thanks!

      Scotland when independent will be a life affirming, fairer and more equal country. The Tory/Labour racist Brexit path is not what Scotland voted for, it’s not what the people of Scotland want. Quite frankly, remaining in the (dis)united kingdom, is not conducive to a happy clappy caring, sharing, ‘kind, pulling together’ situation, because when England starts to really riot at the dystopian future they are headed for, there will be British nationalist false flag riots in Scotland. The English government are a democracy denying, corrupt to the core regime, but that’s for the people of England to sort out, and we wish them well in achieving some sort of semblance of becoming a democratic, forward looking country.

      Scotland is half way there, independence will take our country further along that path, not perfect but where people can afford to ‘smile’, and ‘compliment’ each other. The old BritNat trope of ‘better together’ to keep Scotland shackled to a corrupt, thieving next door neighbour just doesn’t wash anymore.

      Now, do not say cheeeeese, whatever you do! :- 😀

      • Beat me to it, ArtyHetty. But we shouldn’t rise to the bait.
        Covid-19 has been mind altering apparently? It made us all nasty and anti-social, money grubbing Red Blue and Yellow Tories, prowling about bars touching up pretty youngs interns and SPADS?
        Perhaps ‘Shibboleth’ is one of the many guises of ‘Fifi Le Bon’, Kezia Dugdale’s nom de plume in her younger years?

        After all, she and Baroness Rape Clause are on the board of Lady Smith’s Be Nice to Politicians publicly funded Think Tank?
        Now that she has been shooed into a Professorship of Something or Another at Glasgow uni, following in the footsteps of that other abject Brit Labour political failure Wendy ‘bring it on’ Alexander who now sits in the faculty at Dundee University, Dugdale has slipped into political but still somehow active anonymity?

        The Scotia Nostra, the ‘political village’ as I’m a Celebrity’ Dugdale herself described this corrupt little Jobs For The Boys racket,, thrives and prospers, while Scots citizens suffer and die.
        Ignore the ‘shibboleths’ of the ether is my advice to myself.
        But fantastic riposte, nevertheless, ArtyH.
        Autumn leaves to brush up.
        A bientot.

        • ArtyHetty says:

          🙂 Thanks Jack. I know what you mean, but just in case some lurkers who visit WGD, might be influenced into thinking the shibboleths are genuine, a bit like the lying BBC and other propaganda media, sometimes worth spending a bit of time calling them out.
          Enjoy leaf sweeping, I’m waiting for more to fall first. Last year I swept them up, four times. I’m sure the trees were having a laugh, lol!

          • I’m a believer in the Gaia theory, ArtyH.
            We can’t beat Mother Nature.
            During the short time the Earth permits humans to wander the surface, before inevitable extinction, the planet expects us to keep the place as tidy as we can.
            My Everlovin’ has long pooh poohed my procrastination on tackling any number of domestic chores because there is a war on in Europe.
            Have a great day, A.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          “Covid-19 has been mind altering apparently?” – I wouldn’t be quite so dismissive Jack, there has been considerable scientific research done into the after effects of Covid with some quite troubling patterns emerging.

      • Remember, ‘Yes is an SNP cult where everyone agrees with Dear Leader Salmond Sturgeon, while simultaneously being badly divided and riddled with infighting’.




      Yes London event shows Scotland can be example rest of UK follows

      THE Yes movement shows that there is a strong desire for democracy, not only in Scotland but in the rest of these islands.

      Yes London is perhaps not somewhere people automatically think of when it comes to the campaign for independence, but they are working quietly in the background to reassure English voters that Scotland’s independence will be a good thing for English democracy and progressive politics.

      London is also the place where I first joined the SNP, and it is good to see the tradition of independence and democracy remaining strong.

      There’s no doubt that the English government taking Scottish people to court to try and prevent them voting / exercising their fundamental human rights is going to get people’s hackles up, but anger is only directed at said government. That and those who support them by opposing democracy / supporting repression of Scots and other peoples.

      The SNP remain the most popular choice at the ballot box for English (and other) migrants to Scotland, with the Greens as popular as they are with Scots born. Around 1/3 of English migrants back independence for Scotland.

    • Tatu3 says:

      We live in Extremadura, Spain. The people here are friendly, kind and happy. It is one of the poorer areas of Spain. The Spanish here go out of their way to be friendly and helpful and welcoming.
      We are just back from a visit to family in England. What a difference. No one smiles, no one says hello, everyone seems so angry. It is a very depressing place.
      And it’s not down to the weather, it rains plenty here in Extremadura (raining now as I type) and it gets cold. And it’s not to do with covid either…what a stupid theory, everywhere had covid

  3. An excellent piece, Paul.
    We have been boiled like frogs since Thatcher.
    Poverty, malnutrition, death by neglect, begging, in a land of plenty, have been engineered by a hierarchy which fortifies itself behind tall hedges in rich leafy suburbs, a few hundred yards from poverty, deprivation, early death, and despair.

    The Scotia Nostra Elite, England’s agents in perpetuating this descent into social chaos, have no regard for the Common Good.

    The Great Unwashed, the Plebs, the ‘less well-off’, mean nothing to them.
    ‘The poor will always be with us’.
    It’s their own fault for not being ‘aspirational’. (Attr. Baroness Rape Clause.)

    The Rich Folk gamble that Idiocracy TV, booze, 99p frozen pizzas, computer games, Up to our knees in Fenian Blood, Ooh Aah, Up Ra RA, and the lottery, will keep Hoi Polloi in check.
    In Knightswood’s small shopping centre,(Glasgow) there are three bookies, a newsagents, four carry out food outlets, a Tesco’s, and a frozen food supermarket.
    This layout is by design, not accident.

    The Elite foment the classic divide and conquer cocktail, Sellik/Rangers, Proddy/ Kafflik, Edinburgh/Glasgow, and ensure that their media play this for all it’s worth.

    David Cameron’s Big Society, has morphed into Rich! Sunak’s Beg Society.
    I doubt that any of our European neighbours hold Children in Need telethons.

    Scotland will do much better once we say adieu to England.

    Now back to your nursing duties.
    Speedy recovery, Peter.
    Great work, Paul.
    I detest everything for which Sarwar, Ross, and Cole-Hamilton stand.
    Scots citizens are dying in their tens of thousands because of their deliberate political decisions.

    Their days are numbered.

    • Pogmothon says:

      All good and salient points Jack but be kind and give them the names he earned,
      Dross, and Alex FYM Cole-Hamilton.

  4. Dr Jim says:

    The safety net that now isn’t a human right, it’s become a pro poverty policy of the right wing to demean and deride those with less means of access to money in order to scare the middle into believing these others only aim in life is to take from those who have a moderate amount
    Because of course the super rich will never part with what they have under any duress or persuasion, they have armies of accountants, lawyers and pocket politicians who will fight the good fight for them so they don’t have to pay, so the easy target for this manipulation is the middle income folk who are much easier to scare and they vote in vast numbers

    Swarms of illegal immigrants, invasions of illegal immigrants, queues of illegal immigrants, let’s send them to far away camps, but first let’s make it appear there are so many of them there’s no other option for the good law abiding decent folk who have done all they can, given them shelter money food clothing, and how do they thank us? they’re diseased

    This is the language and behaviour of the fascist

  5. bringiton says:

    In the 1930s they had soup kitchens for those forced into destitution by failed economic policies.
    These days it is banks.
    England is all about banks since Thatcher and her fellow right wing crazies destroyed any meaningful economy in favour of casino style betting activities.
    At least in Napoleon’s days the English were regarded as shopkeepers.
    Not even that now.
    A nation of bankers.

  6. James Mills says:

    Little Croesus Sunak is out in Egypt telling The World how the UK is fighting Global Warming – while his Government is busy encouraging more oil and gas exploration in UK waters .
    He is serving up warm words of compassion to the World’s poor and destitute as ”his” people queue at Food Banks and Warm Banks .
    Meanwhile that Champion of Democracy , Sir Keir Starmer , is busy telling The Scots that they are in a voluntary Union which has no democratic exit , and doubling down on his Tory credentials by condemning the number of foreigners in the NHS , something which HE will address as soon as enough naive voters put him into No.10 .

    The State we are in right enough , Paul !

    • ArtyHetty says:

      People in Cumbria are fighting an English governments’ plan for a massive open cast coal mine in their region as we speak. I suspect they will lose, the Tories have one interest and that is to pander to the big corporations who will plonk more dodgy cash into dodgy pockets in the English government.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Scottish territorial waters have been plundered for decades, the revenues stolen, that has to stop, for the sake of the planet. Scotland has the right idea of transition from dirty oil, but it has to speeded up, only with independence can that happen. Even then it will take a while, but to remain in the so called UK, while the English government continues to wreck the planet and plunder our natural resources, is just not an option anymore.

  7. jfngw says:

    The right wing are trying to ensure they stay in control in the USA and UK, they use variations of the same tactics. In the US they try to have votes, ones which are mostly oppose to them, discarded. In the UK they are trying to make it so those who oppose them can’t vote in the first place/

    Although with Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour it’s difficult to see any choice but right wing. Can anyone tell me any major difference between Labour & Tory policies, apart from the sympathetic face as they cut your rights.

  8. Capella says:

    As expected, Boris Johnston asks his prospective peers not to don their ermine for two years to avoid triggering embarrassing by-elections. Tommy Sheppard is on the case.

    Boris Johnson’s request to delay Tory MP peerages is ‘manipulation of democracy’

    “It’s yet more evidence, if more evidence were needed, for the compelling case to abolish the House of Lords, and that is something we look forward to by using the lifeboat of independence to escape this madness.”

    Sheppard said that while the move was “absolutely shocking”, he was not surprised that it came from Johnson, adding: “With him, it’s par for the course”.

    Johnson has made more than 80 nominations to the House of Lords in just under three years he served as prime minister, including billionaire party donor Peter Cruddas.

    Cruddas was behind the campaign during the Tory leadership contest between Truss and Sunak to have Johnson included on the ballot, and was appointed to the Lords in defiance of advice from an independent watchdog.

  9. Capella says:

    Kevin McKenna on the growing totalitarianism of British culture.

    Poppy and remembrance are the centre of a growing new totalitarianism

    Any day now, I expect to see Sir Keir Starmer, the shallowest and most venal British politician of the modern era, appear with a giant poppy covering the entire back wall of his office. He has already decided that one Union Jack isn’t good enough for him and that there must be two. Surely a simple red poppy on his jacket might soon prove to be similarly insufficient?

    The poppy was once a modest and humble symbol of both hope and loss. Now it has become something corrupted, something weaponised for the purpose of chivvying out non-conformists, traitors and dissidents

    And this has been the greatest perversion of them all. This little flower once symbolised the triumph of decency and selflessness over slavery and tyranny. Now it’s brandished as a means of enforcement, of harassment, of subjugation. And in the process, it has grown bigger and become louder.

    • James says:

      As were the army of France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Belgum, the list goes on. Brutal empires stripping countries of their resorces is the history of Euopean countries past unfortunatly.

      I understand that you may at some point be getting French citizenship? This will be the country whos army killed 45000 Algerians in one day just becasue they didn’t want to be part of the French army? France who police force killed between 300-400 protestors in one marching in support of Algerian independence only to be beaten to death or drowned in the Seine after being thrown in by the police?

      This doesn’t seem to bother you, after you want to volentary get citiizenship of France? Yet you constantly go on about the British? you are no different that the right wing Brexiters who contantly rant about Germany, two sides of the same biggoted zenophobic coin.

      • Alec Lomax says:

        Wee bit of whataboutery here, no?

        • James says:

          Not really. Most major European coutries have colonial pasts, most have undertaken horrific acts. Any yet some people completely ignore this instead focusing solely on one country. Wether thats a right wing brexiter bleating on about the Germans or an ‘idependence supporter’ bleating on about the British they are one and the same small minded biggots who have nothing positive to say just spewing out their hate filled rants at any oportunity.

      • Erm, I’m a British citizen and taxpayer.

        You might want to try reading posts properly before responding to them with personal insults based on people’s nationality (‘you [Scottish people who don’t id as British] are no different to’… in my case) brexiter style.

        I don’t don’t like any sort of jingoistic military celebration, no matter which country is at it. Armies are a necessary evil and the day we no longer need them would be the day for celebration. While I am taxed by the UK government and/or prevented from voting by them, I shall continue to voice my opinion appropriately.

        I’m quite aware other countries had empires with armies that committed atrocities. That hardly makes it ok for the UK to have done so, and is irrelevant to my my post. Unlike you attacking other countries brexiter style, I passed comment on the state I live in, of which I am a citizen by birth, and the actions of the army of said state which I currently fund through my taxes. All in relation to concerns raised every year about militarization / politicization of the poppy / remembrance day.

        Incidentally, two of my grandparents (Scottish & Irish respectively) were members of the British army and saw active service. They fought for freedom and democracy, including for Scotland, in WW2. Now the English Tories and Labour are attempting to do what Hitler never succeeded in doing; ruling Scotland without the consent of Scots. Starmer and Sunak etc are spitting on m grandparent’s veteran graves right now. That and those of all who’ve fought for freedom and democracy.

        • James says:

          I’m quite aware other countries had empires with armies that committed atrocities. That hardly makes it ok for the UK to have done so, and is irrelevant to my my post.

          You will have to point out were I said that it was ok for the OK to do so. I mearly highlighted your bigotry in contantly refering to the UK whilst ignoring other countries including ones you have highlighted you want to be a citizen of.

          I’m quite aware other countries had empires with armies that committed atrocities. That hardly makes it ok for the UK to have done so, and is irrelevant to my my post.

          So have I. Any the support I received from the British Legion and other Military charities has been invauable to me. So I will voice my opionion when people try and twist the good work they do into a vile ad nausuim biggoted rant.

  10. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    It is indeed a fact that the STATE we are in as part of a dysfunctional non Union is a consequence of policies implemented by a Tory political party , who have been THE government of the UK, for far too long and who have thus seemingly been given a free pass by some voters who one assumes must think more of their own welfare than that of others…..

    One weapon they use to distract and deflect attention away from their UK now, in it having more homeless people on the street and more foodbanks, is their flooding the main political debate , aided by the right wing media, with false concerns about C*ncel Cul*ure and W*ke as being responsible for many of the negatives/woes within their UK……however who is personally impacted by these in their actual the day to day lives ?……one can hardly state that these false creations are responsible for the cost of living crisis, energy price increases, homelessness increases, foodbank increases, higher unemployment, Tory corruption in politics, Tory scandals and resignations, mortgage interest rates increasing , inflation increasing, public services at breaking point via Tory underfunding and indeed BREXIT etc etc

    Clearly being deployed as a Trojan horse to obscure the REAL issues that are impacting many……it is no coincidence that these false concerns are also flooding the political debate in America….and we know by whom.

    We also know the specific newly created News (INO) channels and also established ones too together with the gutter press promote these skewed non issues to suppress real cause and effect and too the real culprits
    responsible…..thus in failing to identify actually what and who is REALLY to blame for all of the negatives/woes that are impacting people in their UK they protect those who should be exposed as those who blame should be directed at…….indeed if you manage to find and hear ONE person state they are in financial freefall, difficulty, despair and thus suffering and it is, they say, because of C*ncel C*lture or W*ke identity and NOT via the incompetence of the Tory UK government then you will have found a LIAR and a FOOL.

    Tories and their little helpers in the media think by applying ‘Red herrings’ to the political debate they will somehow convince everyone that they, Tories, are free from most of the blame in instigating all of the current mess and also the disgrace that sees an increase in real poverty for many while the TRUE reasons via policies implemented by the UK government are withheld as the actual source in the combined alliance between the Tory party and the media who support them.

    I also do not see any solutions or alternatives being presented by other British Nationalist political parties….indeed the one touted as being the main opposition party seems to want to emulate much of that which the current Tory government has done and still want to do….while the other minor party only seeks , in return for some (only) opportunity for power, to form an alliance with either of the other parties…..where they as a minor party will HAVE to adopt what the main party dictates…..a bleak future in the UK for Scotland indeed.

    It is not irrational or indeed unexplainable to know why Scotland would seek a real alternative path for it’s future via independence….in fact to many outwith these shores it would be deemed irrational and unexplainable for Scotland to want to STAY in the UK all things considered…..the fact that there may be some people in Scotland in the position of being quite comfortable from a financial perspective that then does not mean they should neglect those who are not in the same position as them…..I truly believe that if we are to really address and decrease poverty and inequality ( and the resulting impacts of both) we need to do it OUTWITH their UK because the clear evidence now is that we are never going to do it while we remain in their UK…….

    I fail to see why anyone is not aware that a constant non solution austerity being imposed, that will impact those already in a dire financial situation, is somehow acceptable when much of the financial woes has been the fault of wrong decisions made by various Tory governments whose priority seems to be to protect the wealth, or rather increase the wealth, of those already well protected because of their wealth. THAT is not what I want as a citizen of a country…..they do not have my vote as a current citizen (prisoner) of their UK to implement more austerity because of their obsession with pandering to their wealthy donors thus in turn keeping the Tory party coffers well filled via these donors…..

    There is no persuasive argument I see for still remaining in this NON Union that will convince me that it is the best and only option for Scotland NOW and in the future……if we want better we need to vote for it and the only way we can get it is by voting for independence….at least with that there is some hope and indeed an escape from all of this instability, mess and madness that we are now forced to endure and suffer as part of their UK…more disunited than united if truth be told…..

    It really is not a case of IF but very much has to be a case of WHEN we vote to be independent…..soon would be as good a time as any….indeed the quicker the better as the UK is a obvious failed and flawed state….and what a terrible state it is in….(thanks very much to British nationalism being more of a focus for politicians than the people who live in their UK….and who they, British nationalist politicians, are trying to enforce the people to embrace …..while the same people then have to suffer with REAL issues and problems caused mainly by British nationalist politicians being more concerned with national identity than tackling all the issues that negatively impact and damage the people they are supposed to represent).

    I know who is WINNING the REAL arguments here and it sure as Hell is NOT the Better Together one……as we all currently are forced to live within it’s strict and suffocating boundaries…..Better Apart seems far more apt and hopeful for our future does it not…..the alternative is we all are forced to continue to suffer the here and now of what is being offered by British nationalism in British politics…NO THANKS.

    Sorry Paul and t’others for length of comment…..I should be banned from this site…LOL

  11. Iain W Crichton says:

    With regards to the Poppy.I am 52 years young, And I have never worn a poppy. To me it represents fascism. My grand father fought in ww1. he was at Gallipoli. he had a few choice words about Churchill and his antics. those words Still resonate through this skull of mine. People where Railroaded , threatened and blackmailed into fighting The rich mans war. To Me, great men like John Mclean are the true heroes. Men who spoke truth to power and where Jailed .They frightened the crap out of the Establishment. The motto for Remembrance day is “lest we forget”. As a scot with a dollop of Irish for good measure My genetic Memory does not go back 100 years, but Millenia. “I never forget”. This not off topic. John Mclean Desired a Scottish Republic. Where everyone was looked after. I do not believe food banks would exist in this country If that desire had come to fruition, but the good news is that it can still Happen , and it will.

    • My great granddad was gassed in the trenches. He was discharged for his injuries and made it home, but his lungs were totally screwed and he died young. Never talked about his experience, and the war was never to be discussed in his home. God knows how traumatic it must have been. There is no glory in war / the military.

    • Well said, Iain.
      My father, my uncles, and my grandfather all ‘served’ in two world wars.
      None of them ever wore a poppy.
      Nowadays it is, like the Jack, a symbol of imperial fascism.

      None of my family would ever think of wearing this wee rosette.
      Do we still have ex service personnel in care homes making poppies to raise money for their care?
      Upthread, we are accused yet again of hating the English, that we are as bigoted as Brexiters in the hatred of Johnny Furriner, and that the French, Dutch and German colonial armies were as bad if not worse, than the Brits who slashed and burned their way across 1/3rd of the globe.

      We are Free Scotland; We shall prevail.

      No amount of accusations about hating the English nonsense will avert our gaze from the main prize. Decolonisation.

      I wear a wee flower in my lapel at weddings.

      Not to glorify the pointless deaths of millions who lost their lives to protect the Elite’s wealth and power.

      Young people who join Scotland’s army, navy and air force will not be sent to war and death and disability solely on the say so of a Blair, Thatcher, or Johnson.

      Our army. navy, and air force, will defend Scotland, not invade others.

  12. Brenda Braithwaite says:

    Yes, we do really need to get out.

  13. James Mills says:

    I note that an SNP MSP was vilified for wearing a ‘Yes Poppy’ as it ”desecrated ” the memory of those the poppy was commemorating .
    Really ?
    So selling ”pet bandana with poppy logo ” or ”personalised pet bowl with poppy logo ” ( as advertised on the Poppy Shop website ) is not desecrating their memory ?

    Perhaps if the Government which sends our service personnel into combat
    ( sometimes legally ) were to properly fund hospitals , hospices , pensions etc for our ex-servicemen/women … then there would be no need for charities like the Poppy Fund or places like Erskine Hospital .

    • Yes, somehow that e.g. ‘desecrated’ Keith Brown SNP MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans, who fought in the Falklands for the right of British Falkland Islanders to self-determine. As thanks, the British government are denying him the same right, just as they did to the Irish veterans of the great war when they voted for self-determination on their return home, with the British sending in troops to overturn the 1918 democratic election.

      The first World War veterans who helped lead the fight for Irish independence

    • davetewart says:

      It’s a sick joke that these care homes for service people are Charities.
      Why aren’t they supported properly?

    • Pogmothon says:

      The answer to all of the preceding observations/comments regarding poppy’s/military aggression is quite simple.
      Immediately anyone becomes an MP all of their children are immediately conscripted into front line units, and subject to immediate recall and deployment in that unit in the event of any conflict.
      Ipso facto almost overnight an end to Westminster war mongering.

  14. Ken says:

    There are a small number of people sleeping roughin Glasgow.

    @ talking up Scotland.

  15. rongorongo says:

    It has been interesting to explore Mastodon this week. A massive exodus of folk moving off of Twitter. And a number of Yes people starting to turn up there too – especially on places like ( By design it appears to be much more about conversations and sharing – with much less tolerance for trolls, shitposters and others who seem to thrive on Twitter – so more friendly. Beginners guide for anybody interested.
    As with this blog – Scotland is in dire need of any kind of decent media – so maybe this will become something else worthwhile.
    I’m on there (and special thoughts to those who have been there for years and are having to cope with a massive of incomers with their muddy boots and fancy ideas).

  16. Golfnut says:

    This is good folks, Basque and Doric in the one song, courtesy of the National.

  17. jfngw says:

    After seeing quite a few angry unionist tweets about Scotland’s FM is at COP27 I think I have a inkling to their problems. They actually believe they are inferior to the English, they see Scotland as inferior, the sad part is they are proud of their inferiority.

    Just look at the tweets of Mr Pomme de Kerr or Kings (I presume he’s updated his allegiance now) eleven Fraser to see the level they will sink to to stay under London’s control.

  18. Capella says:

    Allan Dorans SNP MP gives some crime figures for Scotland to provide much needed context.

    Scotland is already showing rest of UK how policing can be improved

    In the year ending June 2022, the police in Scotland recorded 285,974 crimes. This was 5% lower than the 300,747 crimes recorded in the year ending June 2021, and 5% lower than the 301,376 crimes recorded in the year ending June 2018.

    In England and Wales, in the year ending March 2022, overall crime returned to and exceeded pre-pandemic levels. The 6.3 million crimes recorded were 4% higher compared with the year ending March 2020.

    All things being equal, with roughly 11 times the population, England and Wales might have been expected to record around 3 million crimes but recorded more than 6 million. So, overall, crime is twice as high per head of population in England & Wales than it is in Scotland, after more than a decade of these two governments.

  19. Capella says:

    Steve Byrne gives an emotional account of hearing for the first time his own community voice broadcast from the official purveyor of state media. People in other countries take this entirely for granted.

    Scots will struggle to be taken seriously unless we grasp thistle

    I WILL never forget the wave of emotion that I experienced upon hearing Sheila Mann reciting Violet Jacob’s The Field By The Lirk O The Hill in a BBC documentary on Hugh MacDiarmid et al in Montrose. The voice came out of the speakers like the freshest gulp of east coast air, like the softest blanket, like… ma grannie.

    I wept openly, hearing, for the first time, the sound of my own community’s voice playing back at me so clearly on cooncil telly.

  20. Dr Jim says:

    Under new law being created by the UK government journalists can be criminalized and even imprisoned for mischaracterizations and lying, needless to say the news media organizations are incandescent complaining that journalism isn’t a crime, but of course lying and mischaracterizations should be when using the TV press and radio to do it

    The loudest complainant is the BBC

    I’m sure the UK government are doing this for their own end game of suppressing the truths about them, but in Scotland it will have the whole opposite result

    And Scotland will be heard cheering the loudest when organizations like the BBC can no longer blurb their way out of and pass off their deliberate misreporting withholding the truth and just plain straight up lying

    I look forward if this law comes into effect to the many court appearances of the criminals who pass themselves off as journalists in Scotland

    Notice how England’s politicians remain safe from such practices?

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