The back door assault on devolution intensifies

Apparently the reason that there is unemployment in Scotland has nothing to do with the economic policies of Westminster governments in general or Conservative governments in particular, oh no, we have an ‘ethnic problem’ rooted in the deep seated cultural practices and expectations of Scottish and Irish people. So it’s not a Westminster problem at all, oh no. It’s a Gaelic one. Professor Tyler Cowan, a senior economist at George Mason University in the US, made the outrageous suggestion at a conference organised by a right-wing think tank, one of those free market fundamentalist think tanks responsible for Liz Truss’s abomination of a mini-budget which cost the public purse some £30 billion. You might think that certain right wing think tanks would do better to shut up and do more thinking and less tanking.

These are the same people who blamed the lower productivity in the UK on a ‘lazy’ British workforce. The short-termism and profiteering of British management and its decades long systematic under-investment in industry has nothing to do with it in their eyes. Poverty is the fault of the poor, unemployment is the fault of the unemployed, low productivity is the fault of the workers. There’s a definite theme here. Right wing think tanks seem to exist primarily in order to absolve the rich and powerful from any blame or responsibility for anything that ails society.

Meanwhile news has broken of yet another Westminster power grab aiming to by-pass and undermine the devolution settlement. It’s yet another example of the Conservatives using Brexit, which Scotland voted against in a referendum, to attack the devolution settlement, which Scotland voted in favour of in a referendum. What was that again about the Tories harping on about the need to respect the outcome of the referendum? Oh? Not *those* outcomes you say? Those are outcomes which don’t suit the Conservative party, so they don’t count.

The Retained EU Law Bill which is being put before the Commons by our unelected Prime Minister could give UK minister far reaching powers to scrap those European Union laws which remain on the statute book after Brexit, including those in devolved areas. The aim of the bill is to revoke over 2400 pieces of EU legislation that still remained a part of the UK legislation at the end of the Brexit transition period. These include laws which affect competencies devolved to the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments. Hitherto Westminster has needed legislative consent from Edinburgh and Cardiff in order to make changes in these areas. This bill proposes to do away with that, Westminster would be giving itself the power to act unilaterally, in effect neutering key provisions of the devolution settlement.

Naturally the anti-independence Scottish press will be up in arms about this all-out assault on the ‘best of both worlds’ that was promised to Scotland in order to keep this country a part of the UK, and which underpins the guarantees that Scotland will be respected and listened to as the equal partner in a loving family of nations. Oh. No. Sorry. They’re banging on about the ferries again.

This is of course not the first time that the Conservatives have used Brexit as an excuse to attack the devolution settlement. Under Theresa May the Conservatives introduced their UK Internal Market Act, which was passed into law under Boris Johnson. The Act allowed the Conservative Government at Westminster to unilaterally change certain laws and regulations which came under the remit of the devolved parliaments, this was in direct contradiction to the Vow sworn by then Conservative leader David Cameron in 2014 that no Westminster Government would ever alter the devolution settlement or the powers of Holyrood without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament. Despite this, May went so far as to obtain a UK Supreme Court ruling that the Sewel Convention stating this principle, and which had been written into the Scotland Act as a consequence of that infamous Vow, had no legal force.

The Scottish media responded to this gross breach of trust by waving it off as minor tinkering with agricultural standards and food labelling rules, ignoring entirely the fact that it represented a clear breaking of the promises made to Scotland in order to secure a No vote in 2014 and thus constituted an unarguable instance of failure to respect the referendum. But the British nationalists can disrespect the commitments they made to win the referendum as much as they like, it’s only the losing side that must be bound by its rhetoric for all eternity.

The next Conservative back door attack on devolution came with the Levelling Up Bill, which gave Westminster the power to spend on devolved competencies in Scotland, by-passing Holyrood entirely. Michael Gove denied that the Bill undermined the devolution settlement, well he would, wouldn’t he. Gove asserted that the bill ‘augmented’ devolution. It ‘augmented’ devolution in the exact same way that smashing up your car and rendering it inoperable ‘augments’ your transport options by forcing you to get the bus.

However this new assault on devolution seems to be the most wide-ranging yet, and the Conservatives have undoubtedly been emboldened by the fact that they realise the craven Scottish media will do its utmost to minimise the impact that this bill has on the devolution settlement for fear of stoking up support for independence. Devolution was sold to Scotland as the great unionist alternative to independence, but the anti-independence media is failing to protect it. That failure contains the seeds of their own undoing.

The laws and regulations which the Conservatives seek to abolish in this new bill are not the amorphous and abstract ‘red tape’ which the Brexit supporting press likes to make out it is. They are not minor tinkering with food labelling. These are regulations and rules which go a long way toward guaranteeing our workplace and consumer rights and protections. The Conservatives most certainly did not take the UK out of the European Union because they wanted to give us all better and stronger employment and consumer rights and protections.

These are, let us not forget, the same people who blame low British productivity on lazy workers and unemployment on some sort of atavistic work-shy Gaelic culture and who rely on right wing think tanks that give them a fig leaf of intellectual justification for institutionalised cruelty, private greed and the destruction of public services.

This will not be the last Conservative attack on either the devolution settlement or our employment or consumer rights.


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96 comments on “The back door assault on devolution intensifies

  1. Capella says:

    Even the right wing American press thinks the UK is heading down the drain:

    How the U.K. Became One of the Poorest Countries in Western Europe

    Britain chose finance over industry, austerity over investment, and a closed economy over openness to the world…

    In the American imagination, the U.K. is not only our political parent but also our cultural co-partner, a wealthy nation that gave us modern capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. But strictly by the numbers, Britain is pretty poor for a rich place. U.K. living standards and wages have fallen significantly behind those of Western Europe. By some measures, in fact, real wages in the U.K. are lower than they were 15 years ago, and will likely be even lower next year.

    • Alan D says:

      Never mind the American press. Even the Brexiteers themselves know it’s fucked, that their ideological project is naked and exposed as a product of Putin’s efforts to weaken Europe. With a growing majority of the UK public both thinking Brexit was wrong in the first place and wanting to rejoin the EU, they’re finished. There’s a quiet hope which is becoming an expectation that a Labour government will in practice rejoin the single market and even some Tories think they should just get out of the way and let them do it. While rejoining the EU fully can’t be achieved overnight, single marketship is a relative doddle.

      And that is why I’d be cautious about too strongly linking the assault upon devolution with the Tory bonfire of EU regulations, the latter which has been delayed several times and may never actually happen, or may be very quickly reversed in order to faciliate single market membership. If that is what happens, it will not include a reversal of reduced/bypassed devolution.

      Like a magic trick where the tablecloth is whipped away, but most of the stuff on the table stays there. The table accessories are EU regulations, the tablecloth is devolution. Even if the Tories knock some cutlery to the floor, Labour could put those back on the table and not do anything about the missing tablecloth.

      • JP58 says:

        I think you need to remove rose tinted spectacles.
        Firstly Starmer daren’t even mention Brexit for fear of falling foul of press and red wall voters.
        Secondly I am not sure there is a great desire to rejoin EU or single market in England and even if there was it could easily be turned back by Brexiteers appealing to Anglo British nationalism.
        Thirdly do you think EU is going to just let UK back into its institutions after it left in 2014 and caused a lot of hassle when it was a member. The UK needs the EU a lot more than EU needs UK.
        In short no chance of Westminster moving significantly closer to EU for a long time. The only route back into EU in any significant form for foreseeable future is via an independent Scotland.

        • Alan D says:

          Yes. It’s important to understand the differences between becoming a full EU member with all the voting(and vetoing) privileges that entails and becoming a member of the single market. The latter can be accomplished very rapidly – indeed, it was one of the options floated on “Barnier’s staircase”! It would suit the EU very well to have the UK back in, but with nonvoting status.

          Starmer isn’t banging on endlessly about Brexit because he doesn’t have to. It’s self-evident to enough by now, never mind next year or 2024. A poll conducted on 20th October had 49% Rejoin to 37% Stay Out. A similar poll conducted last year was 42-42. Two years ago was 31-38.

          He’s also a classic politician who won’t commit to something when an election may be two years away. Does that mean there’s a possibility that he’ll squirm off the hook? Sure. But he’s got a lot of stuff to dodge, like PR reform, Lords reform, etc.. If he wants a second term, he has to deliver noticeable economic improvement within his first term.

          That is a tall order(see Liz Truss’ 2.5% of GDP!). The only way to get that kind of a boom is by joining the single market. There is no trying to make Brexit work. That’s a dead thing staggering towards its grave.

          • JP58 says:

            I have read your reply which is still evidence free, wishful thinking IMO. I reiterate that if you live in Scotland and would like some of the benefits of the EU back in the near to medium term your only route to this is through a form of self government which would allow Scotland to rejoin EU institutions. Having examined all parties plans for Scotland’s governance the only form of governance on offer that would enable this is independence.

  2. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Sorry to go o/t (kinda) so soon, but I thought you might all want to see this ASAP. Make a note in you diaries:

    Supreme Court to deliver indyref2 case judgment next week

    16 Nov 2022 2 minute read

    The UK’s highest court will deliver its judgment on whether the Scottish Parliament can legislate for a second independence referendum next week.

    The Supreme Court will hand down the decision on Wednesday November 23.


  3. Hamish100 says:

    Interesting that people judging on what Scotland can and cannot do come from outside Scotland.

    • jfngw says:

      It’s an interesting decision, if they say Scotland cannot decide to hold a referendum without England’s permission (that is the effect of their decision as England has about 85% of the MP’s) then they are saying Scots are not sovereign and is in all essence owned by England.

      They can dress it up in all the legalese they like but in my mind it is one country deciding the fate of another, it would then seem to have been easier to leave the USSR than Scotland ending a ‘voluntary’ union.

      We would then be no less just an occupied country with a few placemen running Scotland, that is the purpose of the Conservative power grab, subjugation of Scotland’s resources for their benefit.

      • We are a miltarily occupied colony of England now. Many of our institutions are headed by English born incomers.
        Great piece, Paul.
        They are boiling the devolution frog. The aim is to reduce our parliament to ‘parish council’ level impotence.
        Do they really want an armed uprising?
        Peole will starve or freeze to death this winter because of dross and Jack’s political choices.
        What will it take?
        If the English court decides that we are not ‘allowed’ to exercise our democratic rights, then all bets are off.

      • That said, keep in mind that the findings actually apply to all 4 home nations, even to the Cornish people in theory. The people of N. Ireland and Wales will be listening particularly intently, the English less so as they can’t realistically leave Westminster rule as it’s their parliament.

        And if needed, the next step could be the ECHR / UN, as international law trumps domestic law in such matters. Here, our case would be heard by people from other countries, and rightly so.

      • Golfnut says:

        The Supreme Court was asked by the Lord Advocate whether or not there is provision within the Scotland Act for the SG to hold a consultative referendum on what is a reserved matter within the Scotland Act. That’s it, only the Scotland Act is being tested, not the legal constitutional position of Scotland within the union nor the principal of popular sovereignty in Scotland which denies the claimed absolute Sovereignty of the union parliament. Which ever way this goes, the union parliament loses.

        • Which ever way this goes, the union parliament loses.

          I completely agree. Even if the court decides that as things stand, the Scottish parliament can’t legislate based on the Scotland Act as it stands, I don’t see how it could not also conclude that this presents a problem under international law as Scots should have a democratic means open to them to freely self-determine. If they don’t, then it’s the ECHR / UN that will need to hear the case.

          • James says:

            should have a democratic means open to them to freely self-determine.

            They do, its a pleblisite referendum. Either there will be a referendum be used to self determine or an election will be used to self determine.

            • They do, its a pleblisite referendum.

              The English/British government have of course challenged what you say, and have tried to block such a vote in court. They have likewise said they will not recognise an election plebiscite.

              • James says:

                They have likewise said they will not recognise an election plebiscite

                Which is totally immaterial. Scotland does not need the UK Government to recognize the result of a plebiscite. All it needs to do is say off the back of the result that the people of Scotland have declared that they wish to be an Independent country and set a date that Scotland will become independent. Obviously a organized negotiated separation from the UK would be preferable but the UK Government (or any government) cannot stop Scotland from becoming independent if it wishes to.

        • jfngw says:

          You can have as much sovereignty as you like but if they say we have no legal route to enforce that sovereignty then I can’t see it makes any difference.

          They intend to put up every barrier possible, even if the Supreme Court rules in favour I suspect they will the change the Scotland Act. Will they claim the only democratic route is only through Westminster, I wouldn’t be surprised as they can outvote any Scottish MP’s.

          Westminster has shown it has no real respect for the law when it doesn’t suit them. They will more than likely ignore a plebiscite election claiming there was no opposition case made, then just say ‘what are you going to do about it’.

          Westminster don’t really believe in democracy, only about power, it doesn’t matter if it’s Tory, Labour or LibDem, they are all the from the same mould. Never willingly giving up power over other countries without either international pressure or keeping it is a loss making activity.

          All a bit pessimistic but that’s my opinion of Westminster, inveterate liars. We probably are in for a long fight, they hope the majority will become disheartened/tired of the subject and give up.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Present company, excepted, I hope!

  4. yesindyref2 says:

    With the UKSC making its judgement next week, win win or win, the UK Government has 7 days to save the Previous Union, to agree the Section 30 Order or devolving the power permanently for an Indy Ref, and have a Referendum where they have some chance of winning.

    Meanwhile the UKSC has 7 days to save its reputation as Guardians of the Rule of Law, and hence Democracy itself.

  5. deelsdugs says:

    ‘work-shy Gaelic culture’, and, as Jack says, ‘institutions headed by English incomers’, or perhaps this should be, those in the south, or overseas, who own swathes of Scottish land and property and look to the London contractors, UKME Ltd for example, with their flash websites for staff for their ‘quaint highland homes’. Take sheikh whatshisface who owns Inverinate Estate, he and his gigantic entourage retreat there from the ‘summer heat of Dubai’. There are three, yes three, helipads taking up what was the walled garden. As well as the takeover of the rest of the locals wee hooses.
    Reckon the ‘work-shy Gaelic and Scottish culture’ simply cannae be arsed with their shite.
    Although, the whole job searching is a mire. And of course, there are not many ‘institutions’ that will employ Gaels and Scots in their early 60s, no matter how well educated they are, complete with a wide variety of lifetime skills and experiences…

    • Some stats.

      Methinks George Mason uni doesn’t do these.

      Between July and September this year, the unemployment rate among those aged 16 years and over [in Scotland] was 3.5%, which was 0.3% up on the previous quarter.

      Across the UK, the rate was 3.6%, up from 3.5% in the previous three months.

      The seasonally-adjusted national unemployment rate is measured on a monthly basis in the United States. In October 2022, the national unemployment rate was at 3.7 percent.

      Seems it’s no us that are ‘workshy’? 😉

      Of course Scottish-identifying voted yes in 2014 and overwhelmingly back Yes. Aye, we Scots want to ‘stand on our own two feet’ and don’t want any ‘subsidies’ from anyone, even if these were being handed out, which they are not.

      Sadly, unemployment is on the rise due to the Great British Brexit Recession which is now underway. Scots school kids in the future will learn about this and how it finally brought about the end of the UK.

      • deelsdugs says:

        There are stacks of jobs being advertised, but I’m not convinced they’re actual jobs and have said so to the ‘jobs’ websites.

  6. Dr Jim says:

    Thousands of pages of text to go through said the Supreme court
    So a weighty decision with much deliberation and time taken to come to a fair conclusion then
    So weighty is this decision for the Supreme court that they can announce a week before the actual announcement that they will announce their decision in a week
    So have they decided already and like a circus act building it up for effect? or are they going to make a decision on it any day now yet know they won’t have to *deliberate* on it past next week?

    I can’t see this as a good sign and it stinks of UK interference and manipulation

    The mad bloggers and luniac keyboard warrior scribblers demand everyone pay attention to their ramblings of “Sturgeon has done nothing to *get us* independence”

    I’ll just remind these *people* that the FM nor the SNP can *get us* independence, the people have to want it or not, and that’s all the people of Scotland, because in Scotland there are people who don’t want independence and quite frankly there’s no convincing certain of those people, including the fake bloggers who pretend to want independence but actively try to move heaven and earth every day trying to undermine the case for it by chipping away at folks confidence with their constant attacks on the FM and only party in Scotland who along with the Greens has any chance of pulling it off, and those are the very same tactics as employed by those who are against independence

    The majority of the people of Scotland have to want this then we can move the mountain, until then fake bloggers who like the Daily Mail the Express the Scotsman the Telegraph and the rest of the British controlled media are in the way

    If you want independence don’t read their cr*p and certainly don’t believe it, they have nothing to offer Scotland except more of the same

  7. I’m sure W_S will already have clocked this…

    Must be somehow be ‘anti-English’ right? 😉

    Snowdon: Park to use mountain’s Welsh name Yr Wyddfa

    Wales’ highest mountain will be referred to by its Welsh name, rather than the English equivalent, park authorities have agreed.

    Snowdonia National Park Authority voted to use Yr Wyddfa and Eryri rather than Snowdon and Snowdonia.

  8. jfngw says:

    Anas Sarwar has come clean, he now believes in same hard Brexit his boss does. Trying to sell the ‘make Brexit work’ Starmer nonsense, it’s another version of having your cake and eating it. The EU benefits without any commitments (Stammer the Labour Theresa May, he already has her charisma, I can imagine them running hand in hand through that wheat field).

  9. stewartb says:

    I wrote a blog post on the Retained EU Law Bill for Talking up Scotland on 21 October entitled: ‘Dismantling devolution – the status quo is not an option!’ It included views from beyond Scotland as well as the reaction to the Bill from the Scottish Government. Here are examples of the reactions beyond Scotland:

    The House of Lords Crossbench peer Lord (David) Anderson KC is quoted in a House of Commons Library briefing on the Bill: ‘The constitutional concern, which I can confidently predict, will dwarf all others, is going to be clause 15 and THE POWERS TO REVOKE AND REPLACE LAWS ARRIVED AT BY THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES OF THE EU… WITH STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT. That will hit a very painful nerve indeed.’ (my emphasis)

    And from Wales, from the statement made (23 September 2022) by the Welsh Government ( ): ‘As currently drafted, this legislation could see UK GOVERNMENT MINISTERS GIVEN UNFETTERED AUTHORITY to legislate in devolved areas – CONTRARY TO THE DEMOCRATICALLY ESTABLISHED DEVOLUTION SETTLEMENT.’

    In a letter sent from Mick Antoniw, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution in the Welsh Government to the then Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Jacob Rees-Mogg on 20 September, 2022:

    ‘I have previously made the point, and this has been reiterated by officials, that the starting point should be that any powers to amend retained EU law (REUL) in areas of devolved competence should reside with the Welsh Minsters, with any powers held concurrently in such areas to be drafted to include a requirement for Ministers of the Crown to obtain the consent of the Welsh Ministers before they are exercised.’

    ‘Any power that could see the UK Government legislating in devolved areas without the consent of the Welsh Ministers would be ENTIRELY UNACCEPTABLE, both to the Welsh Government and to the Senedd.’

    So that’s the view of Labour in in the Send. Labour leadership in Holyrood, in Westminster? Deafened by the silence? Or have I missed their outrage at this dismantling of devolution? After all, the Tory government’s UK Single Market Bill seemed to cause little reaction from Labour outside Wales.

  10. yesindyref2 says:

    Eight rallies organised across Scotland in response to Supreme Court

    I might be on the Glasgow one if my legs are fully recovered. 23rd November, no idea of the time. Very important we show we care.

  11. yesindyref2 says:

    OK, time to stop mincing words and tell our elected representatives what they should do for our Independence, and indeed, democracy and self-determination.

    At the rally outside Holyrood next Wednesday, 23rd November, Sturgeon should address the crowd Holyrood – and should announce that beforehand.

    I’ll repeat that,and I hope others will take up the call, whatever the divide that exists, and whatever blog they write and whatever their views on the utility of it, and indeed on Sturgeon herself:

    Sturgeon should address the crowd at Holyrood – and should announce that beforehand.

    I Claim My Right to have the form of Government I choose.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      And there should be a Scottish Government Minister at all the other 7 rallies as well – also announced well in advance.

      They are our representatives, they should represent us.

      Please pass on these demands, and adopt them.

  12. Janet says:

    And on 31 December 2023 an estimated 40,000 smaller businesses will be relieved of health and safety compliance. A race to the bottom?

  13. A follow up point to my post on the last thread…

    This tells us something really important about what voters are finding from talking to those around them. They are not forming this view from the media, that’s for sure.

    It means that older Scots voters are finding that the younger people they know mostly or all backing independence. Granny unionist is finding daughter/granddaughter are Yessers (of course there are lots of exceptions, but this is the demographic pattern). It’s only such an experience that could lead Scots to see the demise of the UK as inevitable, and on quite short timescales. If there was no generational relationship to support for indy, voters would just not see the future as firmly as they do. They really wouldn’t know what the future held, even if 50% were Yes.

    Incidentally, based on British nationalist comments here and elsewhere, I expect we might see their next move as ‘It’s ok that you are denied* a referendum as you can use e.g. a UK union election to vote for indy!’. This of course in no way suddenly makes the UK democratic. Quite the opposite. Self-determination is about freely choosing to vote for indy at a time of our / our representatives own decision. While we can vote Yes via a UK election, as we are not in control of the timing or franchise for that, it’s not democratic, but a last resort. The UK government is in control of that so it’s not true self-determination, even if we might be able to overcome the denial of 16-17 year olds…those lacking id… by force of numbers on the day. Using a Scottish election as a plebiscite could be done at the time of our choosing, however, if we’ve just been told by ‘We own Scotland’ England that a Scottish parliament election can’t be used to vote for a referendum, how could we believe the lie that suddenly and election could be employed directly?

    Everything now is about buying time for the union as there is no evidence to suggest it can ultimately be saved. The irony is that it’s British/English who have broken their union irreparably, yet they don’t realise it. They think the ‘Scot Nats!’ did it. Which is why it won’t be saved; those destroying it are too arrogant / ignorant to believe that it’s their own fault, e.g. through undermining devo as Paul talks about. Just like all Britain’s other problems are blamed on someone else.

    Tick tock.

    *Either because the UKSC concludes so and the UK government represses democracy by not fixing this, or it does and the latter legislates to stop that.

    • Capella says:

      Margaret Thatcher is reported as saying that, if the Scots want independence all they have to do is vote a majority of SNP MPs to Westminster. I believe that was also the policy of the SNP until recently. (Can’t remember when it was changed – maybe some historians on the blog can enlighten us).
      Perhaps an election could secure the principle. When independent we can hold as many referendums as we like and without the interference of a foreign state.

      • Luigi says:

        I think it may well come to that, eventually. I don’t think the SNP mps will be brave enough light the fuse, however, until there is a massive majority in favour of Scottish independence. 60% ???

    • Perhaps an election could secure the principle.

      Just for clarity, 50%+1 for parties standing on an indy ticket would be absolutely valid. However, my point was that if you deny an iref, you can’t pretend the UK is a democracy by saying ‘just vote Yes in a UK election’. That is blocking the internationally accepted way for peoples to vote for indy, while taking control of the process they could use, removing it from them. We Scots can’t set a date nor a franchise for a UKGE vote, but the UK government can, ergo can pick an opportune time and gerrymander, such as with voter id and not letting younger, pro-indy Scots vote.

      Blocking an iref is completely undemocratic, there’s no way out of it. Doesn’t matter if we can find other ways to express our desires where we can at the ballot box. If it’s not on our terms, then we are being prevented from freely self-determining, which is a breach of international law.

      Self-determination does not mean the government of another country setting the date, franchise, rules for voter registration / voting etc, much as some unionists are starting to lie about recently…. I am guessing in preparation for trying to block an iref even if the UKSC says we can and/or should be able to hold one.

      • Golfnut says:

        Nicola told Sunak at the British/ Irish summit last week that a vote on Independence would happen with or without Westminsters permission. An S30 only came into play because Westminster insisted their should be an agreement between the 2 Governments, despite the SG vehemently arguing that permission was not required. It’s worth repeating that if the SC judge that the Scotland Act does not provide for a referendum on Independence, that is not a denial of democracy by the SC, it’s a point of law.
        Westminster denying it is a different matter altogether. Whether they can lawfully do so is the next test.

  14. Eyes down for a Full House!
    They’ll be packed to the rafters in WM today, cheering anf cheering like morons today as jeremy Rrhyming sland plays a game of Budget Bingo.
    Get your cards ready.
    You have every chance of winning the big Prize, a two years freezing starving holiday in your wee but’n’ben if your lucky card has the following spins on it.
    ‘Difficult choices’.
    ‘The independent (aye, right.) OBR forecasts.’
    ”Global inflation’.
    ‘The war in Ukraine’.
    ‘Global oil and gas prices.’
    ‘The Market’.
    ‘NHS Covid recovery’.
    ‘Increases in real terms.’
    ‘Spending review.’
    Oh, yes, let’s not forget ‘Eyewatering’.
    ‘We’ll all pay more tax.’
    ‘There have been mistakes.’ (But not by me, or Rish!, or Suella, or Govie, or Too-Cleverly-By Half, or was other big boys that did it and ran away.)

    You have won first prize. Minus £35 billion.

    • JoMax says:

      You forgot a couple of things, Jack.

      “We’re gonna Make Britain Great Again”.
      “Britain First”.

      Sound familiar? Trump got in first the other day, but it’s the same old garbage designed to rally the ‘faithful’ who’ll swallow anything while the rest of us choke to death, knowing it’s all a giant con.

    • Golfnut says:

      The fiscal black hole, deficit, whatever you want to call is a lie.
      Austerity ended life early, for 330,000 people and caused unnecessary hardship for countless more, I wonder if the OBR has calculated how many lives will be lost because of this next budget.
      We are governed by criminals.

  15. Capella says:

    BBC says the Chancer is due to present his “autumn statement” at 11:30. Bound to be utterly depressing. I don’t think I’ll listen but might tune into FMQs at 12:00 which should be more entertaining.

  16. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Whataboutery….on THEIR terms….ONLY

    Yesterday on BBC Scotland (INO) Radio John Beattie interviewed Scotland’s Chief veterinary officer, a female, and his tone, dismissive attitude and brusque manner was very confrontational and hostile BUT what was really ironic was his claim that WHATABOUTERY was being used in a English/Scottish comparison when the question HE put to her was one on a quote from a farmer that Scotland was crazy NOT to follow England re bird flu outbreak and their action on it…..

    The video interview is on MSM Monitor Twitter account…..but this is what was said………or some of interview anyway….

    He quotes a farmer on birds lost to Bird Flu by saying to her ” he said your decision not to follow England was crazy”

    Vet officer responded “I’m following science. There has been 110 outbreaks in England and 6 in Scotland. The decision not to follow England”…then Beattie interrupts her thus not allowing her to finish what she was saying.

    Beattie’s interruption of her answer was “Sheila..Sheila..Sheila ….I know we’re doing whataboutery comparing to England. But they’ve just slaughtered 32 thousand birds “…then he proceeded to quote other deaths of birds and ended his statement by saying ” could you not have saved those birds”……

    Peeps on twitter identified immediately that is was HE, Beattie, who made the England/Scotland comparison by quoting what Farmer said re Scotland NOT following England……when she responded to THIS she was shot down by him for using SAME comparison i.e. England/Scotland to ANSWER the allegation made by the Farmer that Beattie quoted in his Question… was so blatant it was embarrassing for HIM but not for HER as she came over as patience personified to his hostile interview (bad) technique….also many on Twitter also wondered why the Farmer in question did not take action himself as someone noted on Twitter “The farmer with a life time of experience , knowing the Geese were coming , was too thick to see the threat? ”

    However what was really interesting was that the person also tweeted they had listened to Beattie’s interview with the Farmer, prior to interview with Chief Vet officer, as they also noted via Tweet “Anyway , the farmer was complaining about supermarket prices until Beattie deliberately introduced the comparison with England” !……….ah a well used trick by the BBC in Scotland….if interviewee fails to mention something that can be used to criticise Scotland and the Scottish government then THEY, BBC, raise it in such a way that leaves it open for interviewee to begin to criticise them also……tried and tested formula BBC style….plus they just LOVE to state Scotland should have followed England …Ah England the same one currently being run by the Tories….that party well known for having tanked the economy with their bad management and damaging policies like BREXIT……..well bet many Scots glad Scotland did NOT follow England via Truss’s tax announcement for the wealthy in England…..that would have been a disaster….but at the time the BBC in Scotland thought that by the Scottish government NOT following England on this they would be ” under pressure”….( when this tax policy was then dropped by Truss and Kwarteng the BBC , like Dross, were left looking ridiculous and their response was….. silence and consigned to FORGET IT…AGAIN).

    Tip : Never FOLLOW the BBC if you want news and facts….you will be let down time and time again…..I mean they were the ones who in 2014 tweeted that Oil and gas would run out in 5 years time ….now same Oil and Gas is generating revenue in the billions for the UK treasury in what is now 8 years post their tweet in 2014…….the BBC where truth goes to DIE most definitely for Scotland anyway…..but then being the BRTISH broadcasting corporation THAT is THEIR job is it not…..UK uber alles and #SNPBAD in the news where WE are…always…with the BBC.

    • Capella says:

      Interview should be on this tweet 🙂

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        Thanks Capella….once again so helpful.

        Have a lovely day Capella


      • Bob Lamont says:

        Aye, indeed.
        The original clip was from Indyref Two on Youtube and was a horrendous example of the abuse of “impartial” reporting by the BBC a la HMS James Cook for political purpose
        – Beattie wanted someone attached to the SG to blame aside “Billy” for “losing 32,000 birds last week”
        – Fair play to the Chief VO for keeping her cool despite Beattie’s bullying for an answer which suited his agenda, she stuck to the science and the limits of her powers.

        I suggest Avian Flu has hammered England’s producers hard and the BBC are actively suppressing reporting on it – Search the BBC site for reports on “Bird flu” recently to prove the point – It is statistically impossible Scotland could have been targeted a la “incontinent pigeons” so favoured at Pacific Quay, HMS James Cook were undoubtedly tasked with providing a diversion.
        Perhaps it was time James Cook et al were told it was time to “flock” off.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Just because John Beattie has a Scottish accent doesn’t make him Scottish, he never has been, he’s the faux Scotsman with the kilt dancing on the English shortbread tin for their amusement
        Maybe he didn’t remember he had just compared England to Scotland in his question to the expert before he so rudely and arrogantly tried to belittle her on live radio by interrupting her answer based entirely on his comparison

        He used to play rugby, I understand that damages the brain even worse than being a British Nationalist

        • Bob Lamont says:


        • Beattie was born in North Borneo, still a British ‘Crown Protectorate’ ’til this day, governed by a Trading Company given ‘royal’ approval, just like in the good old days of empire. There is the inevitable butcher’s apron at the top left hand of their ‘national’ flag.
          He is a child of the Brit Empire, his dad managed a rubber plantation, and Beattie came ‘home’ to Glasgow to be groomed at the Glasgow Academy, that well known slum comprehensive school fo the Failed; and of course, rugby..He’s British Lion, doncha know.
          It may be argued by some that he is part and parcel of the Scotia Nostra, the elite, managing the Jock plantation for Morther England.
          Some may argue that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.
          He is ‘the right stuff’ down BBC Jockland way.

  17. Capella says:

    The Chancer says that Scotland is to get and extra £1.5 billion – extra money for “our devolved nations”
    Who is the “we” who has devolved nations?

    • He meant ‘colonies’ wot England still hold on to.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      That would be the one who referred to “the English Government”, Capella.

      [Video embedded]

      Jeremy Hunt accidentally referred to the UK Government as the “English Government” in the House of Commons while responding to a Plaid Cymru MP.

      Ceredigion MP Ben Lake had asked the Chancellor whether the £1.2bn increase in the Welsh Government was a real terms increase, and if not what impact it would have on the rising cost of living in Wales.

      Jeremy Hunt responded: “Because of the way the Barnett consequentials work this is a cash amount that the Welsh Government will receive, but if they do what the English government is doing with schools and hospitals…”


      Nuff sed, eh fellow-Duggers?

      • Capella says:

        Rather confirms my suspicions WS 🤓

      • Azel says:

        To be scrupulously fair to Hunt, the UK Government is acting as the English Goverment and no more re. schools and hospitals. Which highlights how much of a kludge devolution is to be honest.

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          To be scrupulously fair to you, I agree.

          But why be scrupulously fair to Hunt? 😉

          • Azel says:

            Because if I can be and still bash Westminster I won’t pass the opportunity ^^ What is the UK-wide government even doing acting out as the English one? Why are they making the UK-wide parliament spending time scrutinising England-only affairs? Don’t both have more than enough to do with their UK-wide responsibilities like trade and finance?

  18. davetewart says:

    Turned off the comic chancer when he told us that we can’t borrow our way to growth.
    Funny it was only 4 weeks ago that we could borrow our way to growth but only by giving the well off tax cuts.

    Then the plan to get energy freedom by ordering a new nuclear power station which might be commissioned in TEN years time.

  19. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    A Kent TORY councillor has been suspended…..

    It has now been revealed he was previously a member of the openly fascist New British Union…

    It was also reported that he previously stood to be leader of UKIP and as a senior officer in NBU chose the pseudonym Andy Blackhouse, thought to be inspired by Black House the HQ of Oswald Moseley’s British Union of Fascists…

    Also that he attended a march in London with Greece’s neo-fascist Golden Dawn……….

    Pictures showed him dressed in a black shirt with fascist insignia on his arm. He says he joined up after a research project…” research project”…..well that sounds like a STRONG excuse….NOT….operative word being excuse and reality being that it was a WEAK one… NOT a proud fascist then but instead denies the very thing he has been shown up for supporting… brave and noble of him…..seems logical he should be a elected Tory hypocrite…..pass it on to the Baroness as she loves to opine on “values” and a “gentler kind of politics”….just not from HER party obvs…..or indeed her either if you read some of her tweets..

    That is the sort of people NOW being SELECTED by the TORIES as supposed suitable candidates to represent THEIR party and then be ELECTED to represent THEIR party….actually that seems so very apt considering who many of their government ministers are…..a perfect fit for them as a party…..and that some of their current MP’s are UKIP originals…….well that is a pattern that has been developing for a long time…..and BREXIT is a BIG factor in it….

    The UKIP/Brexit party/DUP/Tory collusion still ongoing and blatant….

    Oh but the Tories like to think they have the high moral ground over the SNP and also too over the Green party……more like they have a lack of morals as morals is something they seek to be relinquished via their selection process in those they select to be their party politicians to represent them on all levels…..seems your CV must include some fascist connection…however once publicly exposed then fake shock and suspension (often temporary) is compelled to be done… optics takes precedence over actual accountability in their prior knowledge of what was known but ignored via chosen supposedly suitable ‘candidate(s)’ to THEIR party…….actually SUITABLE for THEM does fit as in who they select as candidates….

    The CONservative and Hypocritical party…..suits them better….mind you the Unionist part of the CONservative and Unionist party is also hypocritical too when one considers this ain’t NO actual Union…..for Scotland that is….or indeed wales and NI either…….

  20. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Quelle surprise !

    Scots backing Wales over England at the World Cup, poll reveals

    17 Nov 2022 2 minute read

    A quarter of Scots want England to do badly at the World Cup, while only 2% say the same for Wales, according to a new poll.

    Meanwhile, 40% wanted Wales to do well, while only 18% said the same about England, the YouGov poll said.



    Diolch yr Alban / Thank you Scotland

    PS It’s only recently I found out that ‘Highland Cathedral’ starts off with the words “Land of our [sic] fathers”.

    Cool, huh? 🙂

    • It’s because you guys don’t go on about 1958 incessantly.

      If only you’d avoided Pelé. 😉

    • jfngw says:

      I have a vinyl copy of Harry Secombe singing this from about 1969, it’s a compilation bought because it had, at that time, an unreleased Beatles track. Also has Rolf Harris on it, I plead ignorance, how was I to know back then.

    • Capella says:

      I have a compilation of Welsh Choral Classics. I could watch the football with that playing although the fans will supply plenty choral music. 🙂

  21. yesindyref2 says:

    Skye and Inverurie join indyref2 verdict rallies bringing total to 10

    It would be good to have a whole load of people out next wednesday the 23rd November to show the world we mean business. Pass it on to your family, friends and yes groups, and please, every blog but up an article about it and links. Remember the days Wings used to push these rallies and marches? Who’ll do it now?

    Wha daur meddle wi’ me.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I think this is picking up momentum, and I hope everybody in the Independence Movement regardless of views on all the divisive things will turn up at one of the 10 venues.

      I’ll definitely be on the steps at Buchanan Street or as near as I can get, as long as there’s no relapse in my healing up cellulitis (which is actually life-threatening if you get it). I have wedding anniversary money to spend on train and a Greggs! I’ll be the one with a YES badge and a Saltire. No toy battleships I fear, they’re in stealth mode.

      Meanwhile even IfS will be there apparently, and it can be identified with the makers plate on it saying “Das rubbernecken sichtseeren keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das pockets muss; relaxen und watchen das blinkenlichten.”

  22. Hamish100 says:

    Surely you should have a wee ginger dug lapel badge to identify you!

  23. As Paul noted the other day though, it’s too late for Britain to get back in now.

    Europeans don’t want the spoiled arrogant problem child that caused nothing but trouble when it was a member, then told them all where to go as it ‘didn’t want their sort coming to the UK anymore’ back. Merci etc.

    Only hope is the end of the UK, then a newly reborn country named ‘England’, humbled by the loss of every last shred of its once vast empire, and on its knees economically like other European powers of the past went through (e.g. post WW2), might have its application considered, at least for the single market.

    Brexit: Record low now think UK was right to leave EU

    Just 32 per cent of British voters now think the UK was right to leave the EU, a new poll has found.

    The figure from pollster YouGov is the lowest on record and the latest continuation of a trend stretching back to last year.

    A full 56 per cent now explicitly think Britain was wrong to leave with the rest saying they don’t know.

    Scotland and Ireland might veto the application though. Depends how iref2 and the protocol / GFA is handled.

  24. Dr Jim says:

    It’s hilarious how week after week DRoss stands on his wee platform of Scotland being done favours by the UK without the slightest hint of irony that Scotland owns 10% of it, or that at this moment in time Scotland is still a constituent part of the damn thing that Scottish voters have no say in, nor do Welsh voters, oh and neither do North of Ireland voters

    One country to rule them all, Engerland, there you are, Tolkien could’ve written about us Scottish Hobbits Welsh Dwarves and Irish Goblins in a concerted effort to rid ourselves of Lordonoor and *restore peace to a vast and troubled galaxy*, eh well that last bit was Star Trek but you get the gist

    Thank goodness for this blog, I’ve just been perusing some of the others and it’s delusion land out there with Orcs marauding everywhere creating havoc firing off misinformation and slaughtering all facts

  25. davetewart says:

    Just heard a bit on LBC radio.

    It was the last labour government that done it, they failed to fix the roof during the good times.
    They nearly bankrupted the world economy.

    The tory government need time to sort it out.

    Seems to me that interest rates were NIL for most of the last 12 years.

    The largess of the rich cynic for Scotland comes to £6 a week per head of population.
    Fuel for vehicles to rise by 12p per litre in March, plus vat.

    Give Rachael her due, it’s a 7% fall in standard of living for the next 2 years.
    Then the yellow brick road in time for the election.

    All the details were released to gaslight us but the *unt says he couldn’t tell us the secret as he’s being honest.

  26. yesindyref2 says:

    Okey-doke. Having a spare hour I finally copied the data from NRS into my own spreadsheets and did some very simple summation.

    National Records of Scotland is the official register for Scotland, your birth, marriage and, err, in a good few decades hopefully, death, are registered there. The statistics below are apparently taken from GP registers. Those tables are accessible from here:

    and here’s the sums from the data “by age”:

    Net migration between Scotland and the rest of the UK
    Year All ages 0-64 65-90+ % of 65+
    2014-21 65,539 60,691 4,848 7%

    Net migration between Scotland and International excluding rUK
    Year All ages 0-64 65-90+ % of 65+
    2014-21 113,779 115,333 -1,554 -1%

    So please let that be an end to being fooled by the PUDU – the Precious Union Disinformation Unit.

    No worries 🙂

    • yesindyref2 says:

      In reply to another agenda driven myth. From the NRS:

      net migration between Scotland and the rest of the UK
      2001-21 – 165,378

      net migration between Scotland and the rest of the world
      2001-21 – 269,079

      Total net migration was 434,457 – close to the half a million when 1999-2001 are added in and 2021-22, but most is from the rest of the world, NOT the rest of the UK. In fact it’s 62% from the Rest of the World, and just 38% from the rUK.

      It’s a dawdle now I’ve got the spreadsheets set up at last 🙂

      • yesindyref2 says:

        One more myth – “flatlining” of the YES vote. In fact according to the BSA / SSAS page 12 “Table 4 Attitudes in Scotland towards how Scotland should be governed, 1999-2021”:

        Click to access bsa39_constitutional-reform.pdf

        Year – – – 2014 – 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2019 – 2021
        Indy – – – – 33 – –– 39 – –– 46 – –– 45 – –– 51 – –– 52
        Devo – -– – 50 – –– 49 – –– 42 – –– 41 – –– 36 – –– 38
        No Parl –- – 7 – –– – 6 – –– – 8 – –– – 8 – –– – 7 – –– – 8

        So, contrary to popular misconception, since 2015, support for Indy has risen from 39% to 52%, at the expense of Devolution which has dropped from 49% to 38%.

        Hope that formats OK, and – time for a well-deserved cuppa 🙂

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I’m in shock.

          Someone averaged the last 12 opinion polls WITHOUT removing the Don’t Knows.

          I’m going to have to go lay me doon.

  27. Capella says:

    Gillian Mackay spells out the blatant cruelty of the the Tory Chancer Hunt whose track record goes right back through the Cameron years.

    Scotland will pay terrible price for Jeremy Hunt’s horrific economics

    Jeremy Hunt remembers those years very well. In fact, he was right at the heart of the government that waged an economic attack against ordinary people and the public services that we all rely on.

    He supported the hated bedroom tax and the rape clause and all of the other vicious assaults on benefits. He backed the disgraceful Universal Credit cut and led the charge when it came to privatising parts of the English NHS.

    He knows the results all too well. Research led by Glasgow University found that more than 300,000 excess deaths could be attributed to the coalition government’s disastrous austerity policies.

    Yet, Hunt was in the Cabinet and in the room cheering on every single one of George Osborne’s brutal budgets. Now that he has even more power than he’s ever had before, he’s taking that same horrific economic vision even further.

    With energy bills and mortgages rising and the cost of food and other essentials soaring, the months and years ahead are going to be harder than ever for millions of people. There is no way to cut £30 billion of public spending without a severe human cost.

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