Tweedledrear and Tweedletrump

On Wednesday it was Rishi Sunak mouthing vague patronising platitudes, and not to be outdone, on Thursday it was the turn of Keir Starmer. Conscious of my obligations to the readers of this blog, I tried to listen to the speech all the way through, fully intending to jot down notes at the interesting bits, but after fifty five interminable minutes I was left with a blank laptop screen while staring at curling corner of wallpaper near the ceiling and wondering if we were going to need to redecorate. This was particularly remarkable because Starmer spoke for less than forty minutes.

Essentially what we have here in the next UK General Election is a choice between two political parties, one of which will leave your granny to die on a hospital trolley while denying that there is any problem with NHS funding, and the other will leave your granny to die on a hospital trolley while looking very sad about it and blaming the previous government. Tweedledrear and Tweedletrump.

The most notable thing about this speech was the way in which Starmer shamelessly nicked so many Conservative and Vote Leave slogans. Take Back Control, only a Labour party hopelessly in thrall to a Conservative agenda could imagine it was a good idea to pick up and run with a discredited slogan that has become a by-word for political lies and deceit. Next week Starmer will be touring the UK in a bus with £350 million a week for the NHS on the side of it. The clear hope here was to pack this speech with enough English nationalist dog whistling to get Lassie and the entire canine entries at Crufts to sit up and beg for a union flag sausage.

Starmer went on to draw a false equivalence between voting for Brexit and voting for Scottish independence, saying, “I couldn’t disagree with the basic case so many leave voters made to me. People who wanted public services they could rely on. High streets they could be proud of.” It’s not clear who was telling Starmer this, because both before and after the Brexit vote all of that ‘ basic case’ was very firmly something that was in the power of the Westminster Parliament to deal with. Brussels doesn’t provide public services to Manchester or Grimsby. If Starmer couldn’t disagree with that ‘basic case’ it can only be because he, like Brexit supporters, is peddling the politics of delusion.

None of these things that Starmer mentioned is related to the reasons that people voted for Brexit at all, not unless you’re the kind of voter for whom ‘high streets to be proud of’ means ‘not hearing people speaking foreign on the bus.’ Starmer completely ignored the role of English nationalism and xenophobia in the Brexit vote. The Brexit vote was driven by Anglo-British nationalist exceptionalism, a hatred of immigration whipped up by the right wing press, and a false sense of English victimhood, the fantasy that England was being held back by the French and the Germans from its ‘true place’ as a global player.

He went on: “It was the same in the Scottish referendum in 2014 – many of those who voted ‘yes’ did so for similar reasons. And it’s not an unreasonable demand.” And a lot of those who voted ‘no’ did so because Keir Starmer’s party told them that it was the only way that Scotland could stay in the European Union. It’s not an unreasonable demand for them to expect that the politicians who told them that a vote for them would ensure Scotland’s place in the EU should actually exert themselves in getting Scotland, if not back into the EU, then at least restoring freedom of movement and eliminating trade and customs barriers with the EU. But no. Scotland is to be sacrificed on the altar of English nationalist vanity so that Starmer can pursue the votes of Brexit supporters in Middlesborough.

What Starmer had to say about Scotland’s yes voters was total arrant, arrogant, and out of touch nonsense. People in Scotland who voted yes did not do so because of a fear of immigration, or because of distrust of Europe, or because of a nostalgic desire to restore a lost greatness. They did so because they recognised that the Westminster system is fundamentally broken and because they wanted a Scotland that was better integrated into the international community, not one whose relationships with other countries are mediated by the imperial great power delusions of British nationalist exceptionalism. People in Scotland who voted ‘yes’ had a very clear and realistic view of Scotland’s place in the world. This is a small nation which must collaborate with its neighbours. But they want Scotland to collaborate as an equal and as a partner, not as a subordinate which is deprived of the power to make fundamental choices about the path that Scotland takes. Scotland’s yes supporters welcome immigration, they actively seek international cooperation, it’s the opposite of everything that Brexit represents.

Starmer tries to co-opt the “take back control” slogan but won’t say how Scotland could take back control if it wanted to. How does Scotland take back control of the referendum process if this is indeed a voluntary union. Starmer has no answer. His ‘Take Back Control’ Bill won’t allow Scotland to take control of its own future. Take back control, except for viewers in Scotland, who can still have people like Starmer dictating to them what their interests and priorities ‘really’ are.

But more than this, any promise to decentralise Westminster’s power that isn’t tied to major reforms such as PR and the abolition of the House of Lords is worthless. It’s like promising to redistribute the hoard of treasure guarded by a dragon while leaving the dragon in place. Take Back Control remains a meaningless and vacuous sound bite whether it’s used by the Vote Leave campaign, or by Starmer dog whistling to leave voters that he is really one of them. In the absence of meaningful reform of Westminster, anything implemented by Starmer’s government could easily be undone or undermined by the Conservatives when the electoral pendulum swings back in their favour as it most assuredly will.

Unlike the Brexit voters in the north and Midlands of England, the voters of Scotland don’t need to be pandered to by Starmer’s Labour party because they won’t vote Tory anyway, so they can be ignored and marginalised while Starmer goes full throttle for the English nationalist vote. Labour’s priorities are crystal clear, bugger Scotland, we need to get Hartlepool back. There was absolutely nothing in this speech to reassure voters in Scotland that the democratic choices of the Scottish electorate will be respected. For all Starmer’s talk of decentralisation he proposes to do nothing at all about the House of Commons, the dysfunctional heart of British political and constitutional malaise. This speech confirmed that Labour has nothing to offer Scotland except contempt and the paternalistic arrogance of a Westminster that dictates, controls, and traduces democracy in Scotland when the people of Scotland dare to vote for something that the Westminster parties don’t like.

For its part the Conservatives have claimed that Keir Starmer was just offering “empty slogans” in his speech. The irony meter lost control and exploded in a million sovereign pieces.


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130 comments on “Tweedledrear and Tweedletrump

  1. Russell Hamilton says:

    Sunak or Starmer?
    What a decision for all the poor English voters.
    Shall they go for another 14 years of Tory austerity and lies?, or the Labour option of continuing the austerity measures and tory policies, only wrapped in a red ribbon.
    Thank goodness we have an alternative to this pair of numpties in having the SNP, and the prospect of independence to give us hope.

  2. You should also have mentioned that Starmer and several top Labour members are in hock to Private health companies. In fact his speech pretty well said he intends to use Private money for health and other services. PFI and privatisation all over again.

    • grizebard says:

      It’s indeed a repeat of the same old Gordo Brood political cowardice. A cunning plan to make our grandkids and great-grandkids pay (way over the odds) for the essentials that he is mortally afraid to ask current voters to pay for now. It’s another kind of gross disenfranchisement, since our successors get no choice or vote on that. Compare and contrast with what our parents and grandparents did for us.

      Meanwhile, here in Scotland we’re sitting on a veritable renewable resources “goldmine” just waiting to be unlocked for the common weal. All it requires is total freedom from the oppressive tunnel vision of London wannabe-hegemonists like Starmer.

  3. ST says:

    For the life on me I really don’t understand Starmer’s doubling down on Brexit. Even if he is paranoid about losing red wall seats in NE England all the indications are that a significant majority of the U.K.want to, at the very least, rejoin the single market. He has nothing to lose in ditching the get Brexit done bollocks. And the utter Hypocrisy of doubling down on a obviously failed Brexit project while telling Scotland Independence would be a disaster! It has long been clear to me and is being regularly and increasingly re-inforced by Unionists that their concerns are not about how Independence will affect Scotland but how it will affect England. Ultimately Unionism is inherently selfish. And Starmer’s stance is the visible example of Einstein’s definition of insanity

    • bringiton says:

      Absolutely correct.
      In an abusive relationship,the abuser always assumes the relationship is all about their needs and completely ignores the other partner.

    • Alex Clark says:

      “It has long been clear to me and is being regularly and increasingly re-inforced by Unionists that their concerns are not about how Independence will affect Scotland but how it will affect England.”

      That’s exactly it, their only concern is what it will mean for them. In particular, how it will look to the rest of the world when England can no longer call itself the UK without them looking ridiculous with Scotland gone.

      Its also about the economics of Scotland leaving and how it affects them, they lose not only Scotland’s energy resources but also her positive trade balance.

      Without Scotland, the UK is significantly weakened and that’s what they’re really worried about and is the primary reason for their opposition to another referendum. They fear that the result will mean the end of the Union and with it the end of the “Great” in Britain.

    • Anonymousey says:

      Labour undoubtedly have some polling that suggests a pro-Brexit stance is their best route to power.

      England is effectively a two-party system at the moment with the LibDem’s still reeling from their Tory coalition. Labour can pretty much count on the bulk of the pro-EU vote either way as those voters are unlikely to vote Tory. A pro-Brexit stance allows them to court both sides.

      Consider also that it’s a seat-based numbers game. While there might be an average pro-EU slant across England, they will still seek to win back a bunch of seats that are particularly anti-EU.

      • JP58 says:

        I suspect your analysis is correct. This goes to show how flawed FPTP is with a relatively small number of voters having a very large amount of influence. Conversely a large number of voters have minimal influence (in Scotland’s case no influence since 1974) on final outcome of Westminster elections.
        I also think Starmer has realised that EU will not make re admission to EU or even single market easy or quick for UK as this would encourage other countries to consider leaving knowing safety net of a speedy return is still there.

  4. Bob Lamont says:

    Brave soul watching that claptrap all the way through, the curling wallpaper corner will doubtless be drawn to Peter’s attention and resolved…🤣

    I’m not so sure Starmer’s stance has more to do with not upsetting the media-mafia and manipulators apple-cart in England than the electorate – eg Labour’s only stint in power in recent history was due to the Blair-Murdoch arrangement, every other attempt was scuppered by a media propaganda campaign, who can forget anti-semitic Corbyn etc..

    Scotland’s media-mafia have tried the same manipulation with less success, yet not a week goes without Labour or the Tories (essentially spent political forces in Scotland) being relentlessly promoted to oust the incumbent SNP and Greens, that’s not a tilted picture you see, it’s BBC “balance”.

    England’s democracy is largely dictated by a few media oligarchs and a thoroughly corrupt government (red or blue), but that doesn’t sit well with Scots…

    • fergusgreen says:

      I think Starmer is desperate to get the support of the Sun before the next election, just like Blair did in 1997. However, he will never get an endorsement from Rupert Murdoch unless he doubles down on his relatively recent conversion to Brexit.

  5. deelsdugs says:

    Great post Paul and it did make me laugh, with thanks to your patience and obligations.

    Just to engage and enlighten a little with:
    ‘English nationalist dog whistling to get Lassie and the entire canine entries at Crufts to sit up and beg for a union flag sausage.’

    Crufts…I get this one, it does become nauseating, but for the exhibitors, who come from all over (or did), it’s about the dogs.
    It’s not all about agility, dancing dogs, obedience, ‘cute and cuddly’ (boak) and the trade stands.

    It’s for the tv, it’s for joe public, numbers, hype and ‘the greatest show on earth’.
    It’s not.
    What they, as in joe public have no idea about, is that dog showing takes up lots of time, money and travelling. It’s a busy hobby, and in order to compete at this ‘prestigious event’ the exhibitors have been to many dog shows up and down the length of the disunited kingdom, camping out, their various flags identifying their presence, at the ‘bog standard’ general championship (which are much more fun) shows to qualify either 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in an eligible class to enter for the ‘privilege’ of attending crufts, if you want to, have spare cash, can be bothered and can get dog care at home while you’re away, as I ponder if I can afford to enter this year. I have a youngster that needs to ‘get out there’ and woo the world.

    Unfortunately, the Scottish Kennel Club does not a lot of power in the world of dog showing, dog registration etc. and for those of us who do exhibit our dogs, Crufts is THE show on the exhibitors calendar. It is a collective gathering of exhibitors, and those in the world of dogs tend to know most of the diehards, who promote their particular breed and breed lines, especially guardian rare breeds that are seriously disadvantaged by those who breed for capital gain and ‘appendage’ bravado with dog fighting.

    The whole brexit thing has caused those who used to travel relatively unencumbered from, and to, European countries to rethink the whole thing. It’s caused me to rethink my entire hobby, which is a great part of my life.

  6. jfngw says:

    I think we’ve found Starmer’s target audience.

    Either that or it”s a migrant ship trying to fool Braverman.

    • I want to be on the lifeboat with the people singing ‘500 miles’.

      • jfngw says:

        I haven’t actually watched this with the sound on, the pictures were enough for me to realise going on a cruise is not for me.

        Reminds me of being in a bar in Tenerife in 1998 when England were playing Argentina in the World Cup, they lost. I left feeling a sense of relief that I could then have the rest of the holiday in relative peace.

  7. Luigi says:

    Labour are fixated with regaining the red wall seats and so they pander to the Brexiteers. IMO they don’t even need them. If only some courage was found, they could trash the discredited tories and pick up seats in places undreamed of. But no, ultra caution prevails and so it’s a red version of “Get Brexit Done” ticket that noone wants. Talk about Starmer stacking up future problems, all for short term gain. Bound to end in tears, sooner or later

    • Labour also know that Brengland isn’t getting back into the EU, or even the EEA, any time soon. The problems the UK is causing with the protocol are just compounding this.

      There’s been a lot of UK polling and articles on this recently. It’s typical Brenglish arrogant delusion. As if they can just choose to re-join! Erm, that’s not their decision, but for EU member states. Will likely include Scotland soon, so best be nice to us you chumps.

      Only way back is, as noted in past posts, for the UK to break up. Scotland, N. Ireland and Wales would be at the front of the queue. England would need to be very sorry for itself after spending a good period of time in the naughty corner. With that, single market access could be discussed, but no special treatment /opt-outs. Same rules as everyone else, Schengen included.

      • James says:

        The UK will be in the process of rejoining the EU by the turn of the decade. You highlight the reason for this in your post, the UK being outside it taking up too much time and energy with it being outside. Once its back in those problems disappear. Plus of course there would be some satisfaction from EU countries in seeing the population of England and Wales admit they were wrong in leaving the EU.

        Of course there would be no opt outs (but this also the case of an Indy Scotland). However the SNP seem to be confident that they could get an opt out of Schengen so if that it the case there is no reason why the rUK would not as well

        • A decade in the naughty corner for England sounds about right, but there won’t be a UK by 2030. Even unionists in Scotland admit this because their grandchildren / children are massively / strongly pro-indy. Over in 5 years according to 54% and by 10 years according to 70%. And of course this is generational, not age related.

          People in the other UK nations don’t appreciate this as their media isn’t telling them the truth. But Scots on both sides know it’s inevitable; simply the British empire completing its retreat to where it all began, i.e. just England (maybe with Wales for wee while).

          A straight-line projection of Y/N polling for the past 12 years shows baseline Yes at 62% by 2030, and that’s those that can’t be persuaded to the union at all, never mind those tempted by indy which create the waves on the rising tide and e.g. jumped on board in 2014, giving Yes a 4% boost on the day. The only way to hold the UK together would be with violent democratic repression etc, and that would mean no getting back into the EU/EEA. Not with something which would make the partitioning of a modern EU state like Ireland seem morally correct by comparison.

          The Scottish government (not sure why you say SNP, as the Greens back this too) advocate a Schengen opt-out simply for as long as the rUK is not part of Schengen, and there’s no reason for the EU to argue against that, since it’s happy for Ireland and other countries to do the same. Various EU countries are not part of Schengen, often because the EU hasn’t let them be so yet. Croatia just joined after being in the EU for 10 years. Membership of the EU is based on the long term goal of schengen plus the Euro (which I’d much favour over the UK £ which is rubbish), but the realtiy is these don’t happen until countries are ready / the EU is ok with that.

          If, as you say, England/the rUK re-joins the EU/EEA and so heads towards Schengen, Scotland and Ireland can and will too. In the end, it’s just free movement without the port queues!

        • Bob Lamont says:

          The SG opt-out of Schengen is easy enough to explain, the CTA – Common Travel Area.

          I’d caution on “UK being outside it taking up too much time and energy” as on the EU side, that is very much a UK internal problem.

          There is no love lost for the UK in the EU – Having adopted the UK Tory energy model wholesale only to find it blow up in their faces when Brexit formally concluded, perfidious Albion is very much the suspicion – The EU finally moved mountains to unpick the flawed linkage from which currently only the UK suffers, yet that scar will take a long time to heal in europe.

          Consequently I’d caution on “The UK will be in the process of rejoining the EU by the turn of the decade” – Those who orchestrated Brexit will be fighting agin it for at least the next 3 decades and they DO have the pull, in England.
          It may have taken them 76 years to finally put Attlee’s 1946 reforms on the rocks, but it’s clear they are still intent on wrecking it 2 or 3 “generations” later.

          As further thought on EU accession consider Turkey – Signed up to a customs agreement in 1995 and has been an EU candidate for full EU membership since 1999.
          It’s now 2023, three decades is likely nearer the mark, the “United (?) dom of England and it’s provinces” will be what ? Cornwall ?

    • Thing is, this pandering to right wing ideology eventually leads them to believing there is no other way. So they become lightweight tories. Happened under Blair and Brown, happening again.

    • grizebard says:

      Labour and courage haven’t been on the same page – same room even – since, oh, about 1951.

  8. James Mills says:

    Sunak listed the priorities of”the people ” – 5 laughable priorities !
    (Who told him these were what ”the people ”wanted more than anything ? )
    Allegra Strachan’s husband is his new political adviser – remember her ? Johnson’s communications guru who inadvertently blew the whistle on Johnson’s Partygate nonsense . So Sunak has a hotline to ”the people ” through advisers who only meet real ”people” by accident .

    Much like Starmer and his close connections to Scotland – through the likes of Sarwar , the Scottish Labour ( sic ) equivalent of Lisa Nandy – and he knows as little of the Scottish priorities as she does !

    All these Labour-types are wittering on about ”devolving power” and ”democracy” and ”levelling up ” yet NO ONE in the media asks the obvious Scottish Question – How does Scotland’s people express a view on Independence when the Labour Leaders refuse to ”allow” them a referendum ?

    Are we back to ”our betters knowing what is best for us ”?
    ”Just do as you’re told and shut up !”

    Labour/Starmer/ Westminster ”taking back control” ? They never gave it up – and never will !

  9. Dr Jim says:

    The Spectator also claims that the *charismatic*?? Anas Sarwar is really making his mark on Scotland for Starmers Labour party
    This must be some other parallel universe Scotland I haven’t heard about

    • jfngw says:

      This is hilarious, I’m at a age were laughing too much is dangerous for my underwear. As charismatic as ditch water.

      Spotted him wandering about Silverburn shopping centre on Wednesday, the hordes of admirers were not in attendance.

    • grizebard says:

      For these distant wishful thinkers, first it was Buffalo Gal who was to be their chosen saviour, then (sensibly) giving a swerve to the total absence of presence that is Alister “Union” Jack, now they have moved up a half-notch to the ineffectual Cash-and-Carry Millionaire. Hilarious indeed to attach any expectations to this inert dependent of “Two Flags” Starmer, but they do need to maintain their supply of copium somehow…

  10. Capella says:

    He also stole Barack Obama’s Hopey Changey slogan from the 2008 US election. Well look how successful that was. No really! He got elected but nothing changed and hope is all that’s left.

    Who is writing their scripts these days? Armando Iannucci?

  11. This is Brexit Britain. Supermarkets now protecting food with security tags and…

    Ambulances called to 800 people suffering from hypothermia

    Ambulances were called out to 800 people suffering from hypothermia during freezing weather in Scotland.

    Figures from the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), published by The Herald newspaper, showed that about 44 people a day were taken to hospital between 1 and 18 December.

    During that period temperatures plummeted to minus double figures while households faced soaring energy costs.

    Charity Age Scotland said this was a “recipe for disaster” for older people…

    …A recent survey by Age Scotland found 62% of older people had cut back on heating to make ends meet.

    The charity said the low temperatures and high cost of heating homes was a “recipe for disaster” for health and wellbeing.

  12. Michael says:

    ‘Tweedled-rear and Tweedlet-rump’. They’ll be a pair of bahookies then?

  13. davetewart says:

    Laughing at the quote from the rich synic’s maths teacher.
    ‘The most stupid idea yet, he doesn’t realise his maths tuition was a short term experiment’.
    The course was abandoned as it was best suited to lazy students.

    They moved onto languages, arts and humanities.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Sunak is such a div idiot liar , what level of maths is required to be the Prime Minister of a country you just have to steal from? surely that’s just Tory Labour lessons in shystering

      What about the kids that can paint like Da Vinci but can’t count to save their lives, or the kids whose life desires are to be geography or history teachers, or even nurses, what’s the point of them suffering maths that they’ll never be able to do and wasting their valuable studying time when all they’ll ever require in their lives is a bit of competence in *arethmotic or spellung* and a *compuntcor* does that 4 you

  14. Ken says:

    Brexi and Scottish Independence in EU are total opposite. EU has 10% of influence. Scotland is outvoted 19 to 1 in Westminster. EU is more democratic than Westminster. The Barnett Formula is a scam to misuse Scottish revenues and resources. Scotland gains from EU membership. Scotland loses from UK membership. Total opposites. An international lawyer who breaks International Law cannot work that out. Unbelievable. They cannot count or read a balance sheet. They need math lesson in Westminster. A failed unelected banker running the show cannot work out a simple maths equation. An absolute disgrace,

  15. Ken says:

    @ Scotland outvoted 10 to 1 at Westminster.

  16. davetewart says:

    Isn’t it a pity that the shapps requirement for minimum levels of service don’t apply to the present government ministers.
    In englerland it appears that during periods of no striking the target time of response isn’t being met so a whizz idea is to pass laws to demand workers don’t go on strike.

    Have I missed something?

    Are the workers going to be stopped from changing job to another employer?

  17. Hamish100 says:

    So kuenssberg sits silent as Sunak states Scotlands A&E waiting times are the worse in these islands which is a lie.

    How long before she is a dame in the House of Lords.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Being *British* is more important than the truth
      They can do each other down, big each other up, agree disagree, but the most important thing is to still be *British* which as we know Rishi Sunak said is shorthand for being English, and no other country shall come between or before

      Below is a list of the countries that British England tells lies about because they make them look bad:

      All of them

    • Alastair says:

      I accompanied a patient to two Scottish hospitals last week. My patient had appointments so we didn’t visit the A&E departments at either place, but I did look to see if there were any ‘ambulance queues’. At the A&E entrance at Hairmyres at 09.30 hrs on Wednesday the 4th, there were NO ambulances present. At the A&E entrance at Wishaw at 10.30 hrs on Friday the 6th, there were TWO ambulances present. Just a snapshot I know, but no sign of the much reported ‘ambulance queue crisis’.
      By the way, at both hospitals my ‘patient’ was dealt with promptly by helpful pleasant and courteous staff, who, to me at least, didn’t appear to be working under undue stress.
      Full marks to them!

      • We’ve all got flu here and Mrs S_S was pretty bad at one point. We phoned the local GP surgery and she got an appointment that afternoon. Thankfully is doing well enough and doesn’t need any hospital treatment. But ‘no waiting for weeks to see a GP’. We can always get a snap appointment asap, often that day, if you say you really need one. If you are in no hurry, it’s maybe a few days later to a week. NHS Borders.

      • davetewart says:

        I was at another Glasgow hospital on Friday, arrived 12:00, no queues at A&E.
        As you say I was dealt with at the appointed time by all staff being helpful and put up with my slow response to necessary questions.
        The whole department made a worrying appointment into a human experience of concern for another.
        When I left there were no Small Mobile Hospitals waiting to discharge.
        My appointment was made 2 weeks ago by telephone due to concern I might not get a letter.

        We should be able to give feedback to the unit of a positive nature, their weebsites seem set up for complaints only.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      THIS was even spotted and highlighted in English blogs, methinks the propaganda squirrel is off it’s leash…

  18. It is reported in the vexillological Trades Papers that the Essex Flag maker Jacks-R-Us has regretfully been compelled to lay off two thirds of its workforce following Rish! Sunak’s coronation.
    Gone are the halcyon Johnson Days, during which Johnson and his ministers plastered their offices, cubby holes and studies, and the Prez style No 10 Press Room, with as many Union Jacks as they could manage squeeze in to our TV screens;
    I have observed before that the Jack is now England’s swastika, the New Arch Right Tories’ symbol of their glorious Brexit Fourth Reich, Empire 2.
    Jacks-R-Us reported record sales; they were coining it in.
    Ominously, Calvin Coolidge Sunak refused to appear in public this morning.
    Laura Kuenssberg and her OB unit had to traipse along to Downing Street last night to record Sunak’s ‘first big speech as PM’, as K billed it.

    There was only one Jack on display, standing limp, flaccid, and weary, in the corner of the room.

    Judging by the number of pre or post recorded Kuenssberg ‘noddies’, those shots of Laura nodding as Sunak uttered the most ridiculous nonsense, the interview was heavily edited.
    Even with Malcolm Tucker strength editing, Suinak came across as a man who hasn’t got a clue how to govern a country.
    But he’ll stop the boats because that is what ‘the whole country wants’.
    We learnt that England has 47,000 shortages in nursing alone, in the final seconds of K’s Hour, from the Nurses’ Union Leader.
    59 minutes, 59 seconds of Nothing, then one second of reality.
    Kuenssberg at her bland best.
    There’s a Damehood in it.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The whole country = England
      The rest of us in Scotland Wales and the North of Ireland are dispensable voters because we have no impact on the election of UK of England governments

      If the populations of Scotland Wales and the North of Ireland were wiped out tomorrow there would be absolutely no change or interruption to the operation of the *UK* because we do not represent peoples of importance to the UK

      The only thing that counts is our land sea and assets, we are unwanted tenants that England must tolerate, squatting on England’s territory for the benefit of world and public perceptions of democracy because we are part of England’s *whole country*

      Yassum massa I is totin that bale, Mm Mm Mm

      • England raped, plundered , and pillaged a third of the globe’s copper, diamonds, spices…it’s what they did.
        Now they have only Jockland left to drain dry.
        They know that they are running out of time..
        The natives are revolting!
        An hour of Kuenssberg about England’s woes, and a play in the West End.
        BBC has already begun packing up in the colonies…Sally Magnusson can only last so long.
        I note that Chubby Dross was running the line at the Motherwell/Hobs game today.
        It’s not as if he has anything else to be doing is it?
        What a disgrace of a man.

        • Dr Jim says:

          DRoss running? Wow! that’s a lot of free dinners to be hefting around, I suppose it might be all he’ll have left, well that and his udder milk job, soon enough
          His party don’t want him, his constituents don’t want him, and the drones sitting behind him in Holyrood are clearly longing to see the back of him

          • It’s not as if he’s got a wife and two young children at home to spend quality time away from his 4 jobs, is it?
            What we, who pay his many wages are expected to believe is that this disgusting little chancer is a full time MSP, MP, Leader of the Branch Office, and can officiate at senior football matches.
            Ridiculous of course.
            But it doesn’t stopp BBC Jockland giving him max coverage as the Great Brit hope.
            They ar4e fucking laughing in our faces.
            pardonnez the French.
            Nobody else wants the ‘leader’Job..
            What fitness tests does the SFA apply to officials?
            He makes Morelos look like Twiggy.

  19. What’s happening in Brazil is the same as the Trumpers and Brexit Brenglanders. A failure by a deeply unpleasant right wing minority to accept democracy.

    Those storming congress and now the Brazilian parliament are the same people who deny Scots iref2.

    Hitler failed time and again to get a majority. He never won the backing of the German people, just as the Brenglish fascists opposed to Scottish self determination won’t either.

    If you don’t support the right of Scots to self-determine, please put on your MAGA hat or swastika armband. Don’t try to kid yourself otherwise. The ballot box is what brings peace and prosperity to the world.

  20. jfngw says:

    Tories 1950’s, ‘You’ve never had it s good’.

    Tories 2020’s ‘We’ve never had it so good.

    It seems the role of PM is now merely a bucket list tick box for the posh boys and girls of the Tory party. They have no other real interest than feathering their own nests.

  21. Dr Jim says:

    A couple of words about Alex Neil ex SNP Minister under Alex Salmond

    Labour, Brexit, the Sun newspaper, he supports all of that

    Well more than a couple of words to describe a man who the only right thing he ever did for himself was to jump ship from Labour when the writing was on the wall and slip quietly into the SNP along with a few others who now aren’t there, and strangely enough can’t seem to stop themselves rubbishing the party that gave them a living, well, until FM Nicola Sturgeon the real SNP finally weeded them out and got rid, because as we all know once an old fashioned Labour, never trust any of them not to return to being British again but still preventing the Scottish door being slammed shut on their wedged in British foot

    Some of these ex Labour are now in another party, see how the sneaky BritScots work?

  22. Ken says:

    Scottish teachers need higher Maths and English. Even with a science degree. Or English degree.

    Scottish teachers are higher qualified and receive higher remuneration than in the rest of the UK etc.

    They do not need higher English and maths to go to university – depending on the Course but they need higher English and Maths to teach. 4 years degree courses, usually. 10% drop out. Some students change course.

  23. Ken says:

    Many people voted Labour in Scotland before Devolution 2000 to keep the Tories out. Thatcher etc.

    Internet 1990’s.

    The Tories delayed Devolution 20 years.

  24. “Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again.’
    Sir Joshua Stamp ersstwhile Chair of BoE.

    The great con; Sunak was lying this Sunday morning that if we give workers decent wages, it will fuel inflation.

    Well the current inflation crisis was not fuelled by wage rises, nor ‘Putin’s war’, nor a sudden global demand for goods and fuel following two years of low growth Covid lockdown worldwide.

    It was created by the banks, and the profiteers.

    We are sold a lie by the politicians.

    The banks, and their Ultra Rich owners and share holders control about 97% of currency in circulation.

    It is not paper ‘money’, it is a procession of IOU’s moving between the Treasury, the Bank of England, and the private banks.

    There is no ‘gold reserve’ to promise to the pay the bearer the sum of’ precious metal, in exchange for the 10 note you clutch to your breast.

    There is nothing backing the 2 or 3% of actual money which we plebs are allowed to keep from our wages.

    When we deposit our cash in a bank, they lend it out without our permission, to another poor sucker who needs to buy a washing machine, a fridge, or these days, food, and charge the borrower whacking interest rates, while paying our miserable savings deposits minimum interest on our deposits.

    It’s a con, run by the Elite (Sunak’s personal fortune £700 million) for the Elite, a pyramid scheme, a ponzi scheme, a fraud.

    To pay a living wage, the Government declares that they would have to borrow the money from ‘the markets’?

    That would be the banks?

    Where do banks/financial markets get the money to lend to our Government? From nowhere. They just print it. And the Treasury and the BoE are complicit in this con man’s carousel.

    There is no money.

    The actual wealth is in the people’s skills, industry and hard work, making things, providing services like health care, farming, fishing, and so on.

    Banks have computers which churn out numbers..based on nothing other than lies, and cons.

    The banks and the markets are not wealth creators, they are robbers.

    Who put mortgages up following the Truss meltdown?

    Are Tesco or Morrisons suffering from inflation?

    Are the big oil companies going under because of inflation?

    Are they heck.
    We the people are being enslaved by the Elite, and it will take drastic action to end this corruption and throw this lot of con artists into jail.
    A General Strike would be a good start.
    Rant over.

    • Capella says:

      Good rant. I also suspect that they know we all saved money during lockdown through not shopping and eating out to help out so the company boards have decided to increase prices and claw back what they believe to be rightfully theirs.

      Lies and mendacity. Jail is the best place for the robber barons but, hey, who makes the laws? Richi Sunak and Co Ltd.

      • If there were an actual Apocalypse, would the billionaires be able to access their loot and pay to survive? No. Their ‘money’ is a mere electronic figure in the banking system. That’s why they invest in London houses, art, and gold bullion.
        But if they are scrabling for food with the rest of the survivors of WWIII, their Picassos and Lowry drawings won’t mean a thing.
        The mechanic, the doctor, the farmer, will be the ‘wealthy’ in a post apocalyptic world…not a writer of fairy stories, or a BBC anchor woman.
        I think of myself as a ‘Renaissance Man’.
        I can do basic carpentry, grow my own food, can tackle the fundamentals of plumbing, electrics, and am reasonably social and altruistic.
        I am the norm, the many, Hoi Polloi, who live in the real world.
        The Elite, and they number in mere thousands, contol the wealth and government policies, no matter whether it is Sunak or Starmer who redecotaes the No 10 flat.
        When March ends, and winter bills have to be paid, the system will crumble.
        Capella, the Scottish Rags and the BBC? Commercial channels are mere conduits for the lies, fearmongering, and threats from the Iron Heel Oligarchy.

        Scottish newspapers are dying Dead Tree Scrolls, funded from London or the US to perpetuate the myth that we live in a democracy.
        It’s that stark.
        8 thousand million are ruled by a handful, because we let them away with it.
        The first step for us Scots is a return to Self Determination.
        Scotland’s Central Bank should peg its currency to our vast Renewable Energy potential, which will be rock solid in Independent Scotland.
        Sally Magnusson’s job is to terrify her frail elderly gullible pensioner audience.
        Think on it. They report chaos death starvation war and the latest Ranjurs or Sellick managers’ pearls.
        5.4 million of us treated as fools on a daily, 24/7 cycle of Scotland is Sh!te loop.
        Not long now.

  25. barpe says:

    Well said, Jack, our Richy Rich PM seems to be assisting the General Strike notion with his every breath!

  26. Capella says:

    Panic levels must be rising. I notice that the Scottish newspaper headlines are completely obsessed by dire warnings about Scottish A&E failings. It was top item on the BBC site earlier today (now replaced by teachers’ strike).
    “Harrowing A&E wards”:

    However, in England it is all about Harry and Meghan and let’s all join the two minute hate against China. No panic in England’s A&E:

    • Golfnut says:

      Coincidental I’m sure that headlines spread fear and alarm and a poll appears depicting Scots dissatisfaction with the service and the SNP just after Sunak declared SNHS worst in Uk.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye, James Cook must have read the real email , “Make squirrels”…

      The “Scotland’s A&E departments not safe for patients, says doctors’ union” piece appeared in number one place on both BBC/Scotland and BBC/Scotland/Politics, as Sunak’s claim on Kuennsberg that Scotland’s A&Es were being outperformed by England’s NHS was being rubbished across social media even in England, as well as severe criticism of Kuennsberg for not challenging what she knows is an outrageous lie.

      Scotland radio and TV desperately attempted to keep the lie alive throughout Sunday, and were equally vilified on social media..


      • Legerwood says:

        Strange how few if any of these stories about NHSS A&Es are accompanied by pictures/film of queueing ambulances and people stacked up on trollies or lying on the floor in A&E depots in Scottish hospitals. Or indeed film of doctors going round the hospital car park training people waiting in their cars to get into A&E as is now apparently happening in England.

        I have ho doubt the A&E departments in Scotland are busy and hospitals in general but not to the extent of the apocalyptic nonsense being spouted from the MSM etc.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Quite why the BMA feel obliged to feed this “Scotland’s A&E departments not safe for patients” hype to HMS James Cook et al is frankly bewildering, but who knows what happens between the original via the editing suite to “..he said nothing…”

        • Fable says:

          In the last year I have visited A & E three times..once in Oban..empty except for me and no ambulances stacked outside..twice in Perth..empty both times masses of people ..seen straight away ..and no stacked ambulances..where the hell are these so called news reports coming from?

          • grizebard says:

            Presumably from a “sympathetic” source as with the care homes situation, where the originator in that case turned out to be a large care home owner and big Tory Party supporter, no…?

            …or some union apparatchik on another Mitigation Hell sortie for Labour, as with that fake nurse a year or three back…?

  27. Capella says:

    Scotland in Union have polled us Scots and we apparently rate the SNP badly on public services. I wonder how we rate Westminster?
    Hope our psephologists are on the case.

    • I’d imagine that the Scotsman’s circulation has now dipped to about 6 or 7 thousand by now, Capella.

      You know how the system works by now of course.

      The day after the SNP Bad headline, Gary repeats this nonsense at 6 in the morning, on Jock Radio, for three hours, then Kaye with an ‘e’ continues the string on her 3 hour phone in, then John Beattie and the lunch time team take the baton for an hour and a half at lunch time, then after two hours of afternoon art and music fluff, the teatime news team take over the story.

      Meanwhile over or Plantation Quay BBC TV Lisa Summers is back at her semi permanent post out side the Southern General, sorry, the Queen Elizabeth hospital, repeating the poll ‘findings’, and any quotes from Humza or Nicola, which Glenn Campbell can manage to get and edit to verify the SNP is shite are aired to ‘prove’ that the mince produced by the Hootsmon the day before is gospel.
      So, this junk spreads like a cancer throughout the Brit Jock media platforms, until, it becomes the esatblished truth;
      we Scots think that the Bad SNP are not handling public services well.
      We are an imprisoned colony of England, held fast in servitude by a Brit Jock Scotia Nostra.
      There is no Free Press in Scotland.
      But the Tipping Point has been reached.
      WE have had our fill.
      The worm has turned.

      • Capella says:

        I do know how it works which is why I avoid exposing myself to it as if it was the plague. But what about our fellow voters who still read newspapers and listen to the BBC? How demoralising it must be to tune in every day to this bile. The Scottish Government should maybe give everyone a tablet (electronic device!) with a browser full of links to online sites where real news can be accessed – like WGD.

        • Sarwar the millionaire dentist would get blanket coverage warning about a national epidemic of tooth decay if ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ gave every Scot free tablet, Capella.
          Up there with Willie Rennie’s public toilets closures SNP scandal.
          Later; things to be done that I can’t put off because of ‘Putin’s War’.

    • grizebard says:

      I thought the BBC didn’t comment on individual polls…?

      (Or is it just the ones that show support for independence rising…?)

  28. Golfnut says:

    Thought I would share this from Wee Skribbles.

    • Capella says:

      You’d have thought with a name like “Liddle” he would have suspected some Scottish ancestry. Maybe he believed it was a misspelt Lidl.
      But yes, the level of racism deemed perfectly acceptable in England is quite shocking as Jeremy Clarkson’s recent vulgar outburst against Meghan illustrated. He is still in his job.

      • The Herald allegedly quietly ‘retired’ Mac whirter following his ‘Coconut Cabinet’ tweet, so that what many interpreted as a racist slur died a death too.
        He is still writing for English Blahs, though, mind, but.
        Soup to make, now tht there is a cease fire in ‘Putin’s war’.

        A plus, mes chiens.

    • James Mills says:

      Some Unionists will say if you don’t find this funny you clearly have no sense of humour – like people who thought housing ads declaring ”No dogs or Irish ” was not racist .

      It stems from the same sources as Boris Johnson’s ”Verminous Scots ” publication or Tory MP Lucy Frazer ”jokingly” advocating sending Scots to the colonies as slaves .

      Yet we Independence supporters are frequently tarred as ”anti-English ” when seeking self -rule .

    • I think it’s fair to say we are all upset to find out he’s Scottish.

  29. Quod erat demonstrandum, Golfnut.
    Of course his colleagues Up Here in the Frozen North perpetuate this Scotland is Shite full of drunken subsidy junkies with bad skin, on a diurnal basis.
    England’s ‘faithful retainers’ peddling their lies up in the Golden Goose Colony.
    It’s just banter, after all. Stop being so thick skinned, ye Sweaty Socks.

    We recall John Cleese barb:-

    “Why do we let half-educated tenement Scots run our English press? Because their craving for social status makes them obedient retainers?”
    He was of course referring to Fraser Nelson, editor of the Spectator.

    As many have often commented before, if Liddle had inserted ‘Liverpudlian’, or ‘Geordie’ instead of ‘Scottish’ into this disgusting little piece of hate crime, the English Northerners would have hounded him out of his job.
    But it’s only the Jock serfs he’s being racist about; that’s what imperial powers do.
    Crush the will of the conquered.
    It is racist. It is illegal. It is Jock Bashing, so, oh, look, another squirrel.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Racism has never just been about colour and Imperial England has practiced it in all its forms against everyone who’s not them
      They’ve redefined what they say constitutes racism and what actually is racism to make it a colour only matter to facilitate easier Englandsplaining

      Just ask everybody else in the world, they know, in fact ask the Tory party members who voted against Rishi Sunak to be Prime Minister (they wont tell you why) in favour of the idiot white woman who was ousted quicker than the life of an Iceberg lettuce only to be replaced by the token furriner who’d take his orders from the same folk who ousted the idiot white woman

      When the time comes the folk who put Token Sunak in place will find it particularly easy to replace him probably with the same guy the UK population got rid of in the first place, oh and he’s white and English too if memory serves, and we’ll never suspect what they did

      Long live King Boris eh

  30. Owen Fraser says:

    … on a parallel can I mention, ‘Chain of Freedom Scotland’.
    The group began a few days back by Siobhan Blaschek with the dream of a chain of folks for independence stretching from our coast to coast. Membership has literally exploded with this single intention but it needs more support on many levels to bring the ‘chain’ to a reality in the very near future.
    Join the group, support the message, which I guarantee Westminster is watching nervously.

  31. Dr Jim says:

    The SNP don’t speak for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t speak for me!
    These are statements frequently used by so called unionists in Scotland in attempts to degrade the support for independence which despite everything they say is actually increasing, but this morning I heard the BBC radio claim the same thing when they dismissed the FMs briefing with misinformation of their own obviously co ordinated with the so called unionists because as usual it was almost word for word the same complaint

    The FM says there will be more beds, BBC says how many? FM says as many as is needed, BBC say how many is that?
    The FM says they will be delivered as soon as possible, the BBC says when?

    The BBC and media in Scotland in conjunction with the so called unionists collaborate on these type of questions for one reason and one reason only
    One bed short, one hour late means headlines of SNP broken promises on NHS and missed their target once again, Nicola Sturgeon can’t be trusted to deliver blah blah blah

    Rishi Sunak says Scotland’s NHS is the worst in the UK which is a huge lie and he knows it, but confidently says it knowing the BBC and the media will not correct his statement nor will they ask him a question on the veracity of his statement

    This morning the BBC says Scotland’s confidence in the FM has gone down because of her handling of the NHS, so now the BBC is speaking for Scotland apparently and simultaneously making sure that the flagship channel of the BBC in Scotland *channel 9* did not show the FM of Scotland’s briefing to the people of Scotland but instead displayed text of various bits of *news* scrolling along with very little of it relating to Scotland

    Given that the majority of voters in Scotland now support the FM and the SNPs proposition of independence for our country the BBC is surely in breach of its duties as a news broadcaster in failing to recognise that *fact* instead they are parroting the so called unionist line almost word for word

    In Westminster today the UK government will strike Scotland on to a list of *countries* that the UK do not agree with over the GRA law making that law unactionable in England and Wales thereby admitting that Scotland is indeed a separate country from their commonly used phrase *whole country* by which they mean England

    This has more ramifications than just a single law

    • Bob Lamont says:

      That is the reason DrJ the use of Care Home spaces being arranged in England and appearing on the BBC/UK webpage warrants only a copy of the UK article “NHS to buy care beds to make space in hospitals” on HMS James Cook, they are so desperate to maintain the illusion Scotland’s NHS is NOT better.
      Unlike the Pacific Quay arranged “dial-a-mob” comments, those from the England on HYS are actually worth a read to at least appreciate public fury as opposed to the “Nikla ate my hamster” variety HMS James Cook orchestrates to demonstrate Scotland is a nascent North Korea.

      When the balloon went up in England due to publicity over its struggling NHS hospitals and increasing revelations via social media from doctors and nurses, the Tories were forced to come up with a plan to deal with the mess they had created – As ever a squirrel is deployed, but ever with the benefit of donors front and foremost….

      Sunak’s ‘it’s worse in Scotland’s NHS’ line was battered to hell and back even on England’s social media, and Kuennsberg got pelters for not challenging what is categoric and provable lie.

      Glell Campbenn will doubtless feature on the Six with an “in my opinion” piece to camera with an earnest “how can SG afford this?” with a cameo by Lazy Winters essentially summarising Tsunami Baillie and Sandesh Gulhane’s rhetoric minus the “keep left” and “slippery surface due to excess hair-gel” signs in due course…. Perhaps a “lunar eclipse” and “Scrubs 102” appearance will be their editorial preference to distance themselves from the shite ?

      • Alex Clark says:

        What would be most useful would be a regularly updated “Travelling tabby” type website that was so successful in presenting data during the worst of the Covid pandemic.

        All the data was sourced from official NHS nd other government websites across the UK and links were provided for further investigation of that data if you were inclined.

        Something like this would put a few noses out of joint and maybe shut up the worst of the offenders such as Sunak and the BBC when it comes to comparison of the performances of A&E departments across the UK. The tables/graphs should be updated as often as the figures are produced, they wouldn’t like that.

        I just wish I had the skills to do it myself as I’m seriously pissed off with the lies they get away with. Even the PM is at it for maximum propaganda effect, an absolute disgrace.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          HMG already thought of that, England are due to stop publishing A&E data monthly in favour of not at all..

          • Alex Clark says:

            Unreal, if they don’t like what the data says then don’t publish it at all. What a shower of spivs this government is. Liars and conmen, a total embarrassment and not fit for the job they’re supposed to be doing.

            It really wouldn’t be hard to do a hell of a lot better than this lot, bring on Independence, and we’ll show them up for the charlatans that they are.

        • Legerwood says:

          Travelling Tabby is still producing Covid data. He updates his website weekly on a Thursday. It may not be as detailed as previously but that is a reflection of the reduction in the production of official data.

          PHS produces updates on Wednesdays each week

    • In Westminster today the UK government will strike Scotland on to a list of *countries* that the UK do not agree with over the GRA law making that law unactionable in England and Wales thereby admitting that Scotland is indeed a separate country from their commonly used phrase *whole country* by which they mean England

      Aye, great to be seen as a different country by the English government. This is going to blow up in their faces though. As usual, not thought through and someone will, rightly, take it to court probably.

      I supposed another good thing would be that… Surely if our gender laws put people at risk, then English Tory MPs / voters will no longer come to Scotland? If they genuinely feel our laws put them /there families at risk, then they wouldn’t come. I note Sunak, with the missus, regularly goes to other countries with the same gender laws as Scotland. This can only mean he sees no risk, and must be lying about believing this exists. Or is he putting Akshata at risk knowingly? I need answers.

      I’m also wondering how many Tory voters will stop visiting Spain (and 18 other countries) over the latter changing gender laws in the same way as us? I mean if these genuinely put people at risk of serious assault, you’d not travel there right? That would be knowingly putting you and your family at risk, and if something happened, it would be your fault. So surely you’d go somewhere with tougher, conservative laws, such as Qatar or Saudi Arabia?

      And what will happen in the north of Ireland? If Brenda pops 100 m down the road to the local registrar in the Republic and comes back as Bob with just a sworn statement needed, will that be recognised? Under the terms of the GFA agreement it should be, as that allows Irish to be Irish in the north. And more Brendas become Bobs then the other way around, as the recent E&W census shows (agreeing with data for Ireland).

      This is so going to blow up in their faces, just as every other policy they just make up on the hoof thinking ‘This will stop the jock advance in its tracks what-ho!’.

      If the plan is to go ahead with this, it’s even more stupid than just outright blocking the legislation. My guess is however, that someone reminded them of the First Law of Tory Rule (Scotland) here. So Scots don’t know much about the ins and outs of this policy, but ‘If the Tories are against it, it must be a very good thing and protected at all costs!’. That and the Second Law, which is ‘F’off English Tories, I oppose this law, but if you try to block it, I’ll support it!’.

      So they’re going down the ‘Won’t apply in Englandshire – Take that you rebellious sweaty socks! That showed you huh!’ route?

      Wonder what Wales thinks given it’s Labour policy too. Also Plaid Cymru, Libs and Greens there.

      Either way it’s all good for driving yet another cross-border wedge in, not just here, but between Wales/NI and England too. To be honest, the Tories are better at campaigning for indy than Yes parties can ever be. They really come up with such great ideas for pushing up the Yes vote.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Spot on, they don’t have a clue, do they? Don’t answer that LOL

        • These countries all use self-id* as per Scottish GRA reform legislation, yet the UK currently approves GRCs from them:

          New Zealand

          This is so going to backfire.

          It’s not even, technically, an attack on the Scottish Government, but on a minority group, and based on their nationality. It’s like the Tories finally worked out a way to be racist and bigoted at the same time, while giving the Yes campaign a boost. True genius. It’s going to end up in court if they go down this route.

          This level if imbecility is why the UK is so utterly screwed.


          • stewartb says:

            I spotted this too! For others, this is the source and the relevant text (with my emphasis):

            Source: HM Courts and Tribunal Service – Guidance: Gender Recognition Certificate: list of approved countries and territories (Updated 21 December 2022)

            ‘If you’ve HAD YOUR GENDER PREVIOUSLY RECOGNISED IN ONE OF THE COUNTRIES OR TERRITORIES IN THIS LIST, you’re on the ‘overseas route’. this means YOU DO NOT NEED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL REPORTS when applying for gender recognition in the UK.

            ‘If the country or territory is not on this list or you do not have a legal document showing your gender recognition, you’re on the ‘main route’ and must provide additional documents to apply.’

            As you indicate, many countries on the list of approved countries and territories operate a self-ID gender recognition procedure. This recently updated guidance seems clear: it indicates that a gender recognition certificate will be issued by the relevant UK government authority WITHOUT any need for medical evidence if the applicant is in possession of a GRC from an approved country, EVEN IF that country has issued a GRC based on self-ID.


            Ireland is not on the list. I suspect the matter is covered by other reciprocal UK-Ireland agreements, perhaps linked to Common Travel Area agreements, and that a self-ID GRC from Ireland would be recognised by the UK government. Anyone know for sure?

          • It’s utter nonsense @stewartb. They’ve been snorting too much white powder down there methinks.

            If you get a GRC under new rules in Scotland, can you get a UK passport and driving license in your new gender? That’s the main purpose right. Simply to be accepted as who you are under the eyes of the law. It’s not a ‘permission to share cubicles with strangers against their will’ ticket or something.

            What if someone from a non-recognised country lands at Heathrow and shows their passport, complete with new gender? If they don’t ‘look right’, then a breeks / bra content exam? Not allowed entry & deported if offending objects (or lack of) found therein? Sunak – thoughts?

            What about if they make it past immigration, and are out in their Hertz car, with, you guessed it, a driving license in their new gender. Invalid? Insurance invalidated too? Prosecute them on both counts? Sunak – plans here? This is all a GRC does in the end; changes what’s specified on legal documents. That’s it. So if you invalidate a Scottish GRC (or one from another country), the implications are legal only.

            Or maybe England is going to employ an army of guards to patrol loos the length and breadth of ‘the country’ looking for people loitering suspiciously by the communal sinks in the hope someone forgets to close the cubicle door so they can sneak a peek / slip in with an unsuspecting user unnoticed (I’m trying to guess here – ask knock off Worst Witch authors for details), demand to see the contents of their breeks (maybe with the use of force if needed?), then, as appropriate, their GRC, and if it’s Scottish, frog march them off the premises? Maybe tell them to ‘Go back to Elgin’ for good measure? TBH, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is actually proposed at some point soon and makes the papers as ‘Blow for Sturgeon’ the way things are going.

            You thought Brengland had lost its mind with Brexit. It’s only just getting started. Going to get ever crazier until independence day.

            • Legerwood says:

              If you are a trans woman you do not need a GRC to use the Ladies. Your right to use women’s spaces comes under the Equalities Act 2010 and those rights as a trans person do not require a GRC. There are safeguards and guidelines for places such as women’s refuges but again no GRC. The GRA2004 was already in place when the Equalities Act was drawn up so the requirement to have a GRC in order to access women’s spaces could have been written into the Act but was not. The vast majority of trans people do not have a GRC.

              • Sure, all the right-wing stuff is so absurd. Deliberately designed to mislead by putting something forward that sounds plausibly concerning, but which falls flat on its face at the slightest scrutiny. I must admit to falling for some of it in the early days because I was simply ignorant of the finer points. Makes me feel a bit stupid. It’s this, and the fact it affects a family member, that has me comment on this topic.

                As for my tongue in cheek post about how ridiculous it’s getting… I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the Tories actually do propose a toilet police to counter our new laws. 🙂 Maybe J. K. Rowling’s next pet project? The UK is getting that surreal.

                Separate, sex-segregated facilities are of course a relic of a sexist, conservative religious past. Totally impractical for families, never mind the trans aspect. Many kids at school hate them due to bullies; that’s not changed since my day. Hence they’re increasingly being replaced by private, gender neutral, ‘family’ facilities where everyone has their own wee cubicle which they can be alone in or share with partner, kids etc as appropriate. Better for everyone, and true equality.

                Refuges are interesting area, and again where the right have been working hard to mislead. The truth is that people using these don’t blanket fear the opposite sex, but their actual abusers, which may be of the same sex! The sexual abuse of men by women is underreported. Then there’s woman on woman abuse, which I recently learned is actually a bigger problem in women’s jails than man on man is in male facilities!

                This is very interesting read:


                Sexual Victimization by Women Is More Common Than Previously Known

                …For example, the common one-dimensional portrayal of women as harmless victims reinforces outdated gender stereotypes. This keeps us from seeing women as complex human beings, able to wield power, even in misguided or violent ways. And, the assumption that men are always perpetrators and never victims reinforces unhealthy ideas about men and their supposed invincibility. These hyper-masculine ideals can reinforce aggressive male attitudes and, at the same time, callously stereotype male victims of sexual abuse as “failed men.”…

                While there’s some quite surprising findings in there, I highlight one part which is very pertinent to the whole GRA issue. The right-wing love to push the idea of women as helpless, vulnerable and weak, with men strong, evil sexual predators. This is of course deeply sexist. While men are much more prone to criminality in general – which itself is driven by sexist stereotyping as per the above quote – sex crimes committed by women are not uncommon. Just, as noted, underreported. While there are some possible genetic factors, sexist societal conditioning is probably the biggest factor in making men more prone to aggression and crime. Most men are not violent / sexually abusive because men are not born like that. It is a learned behaviour. Right wing societies encourage it through sexist stereotyping and promotion of dog eat dog.

                Equality is understanding that both sexes and all groups of people produce some bad eggs. We must protect people from these, but with that based on the presumption of innocence, not guilt. GRA reforms are of course based on innocent until proven guilty, rather than the current procedure, which is the effective reverse.

                Anyhoo, I diverge, but the GRA campaign does not seem to me to be feminist pro equal rights for men / women. Neither sex segregation nor pushing outdated stereotypes of men, women, and trans people, helps at all here. We are seeing the very worst of this right now from the right. But it will be their undoing.

  32. Duncan Currie says:

    Apart from anything Labour Have been promising the the reform of the Lords for 100 plus years!!!! They also promised ‘Home Rule”before WW 1. None of which have EVER been delivered and we can see the y NEVER will and have no real intention of ever doing so!!!!

  33. Dr Jim says:

    Apparently they’re still going to *ask* King Charlie to deny royal assent to the bill thereby declaring openly that English monarchial dictatorship does indeed rule over Scotland when it suits England’s purpose

    Maybe they’ll bring in a bill in England that teaches the spelling and understanding of the word democracy along with the mathematics education that they seem to need in that country

    In the future when we’re asked why do we want independence, Scots can answer, why should England be in a position to deny us what they already have

    • This gets better and better. If he denied royal assent, we’d be an indy republic in no time at all.

      Have they not got the baws to block it in parliament themselves somehow?

      You’d think Charlies has enough on his plate what with Harry’s new book ruffling the Royal ermine. He’s hardly going to be over the moon at being asked to make himself even more unpopular.

      • Dr Jim says:

        It couldn’t get anymore petty with a lip curled up from England on this, they accept some countries with the same laws but not others?

        Petty petty petty wee England behaviour, *Thou shalt not be allowed to ask and answer questions in Scotland* let’s hope this along with their wee Supreme court games garbage will at last waken those up who think they live in a democratic United anything

        Scotland is being forced to remain a hostage to English greed

        No Scots should put up with this, or where will they draw the line and stop, they won’t

  34. Dr Jim says:

    In other news: Since Brexit, inward investment into the UK has dropped by 70% due originally from the Brexit legacy, but now compounded by Rishi Sunaks Tory non strategy of recovery
    The UK, that’s the whole of the UK btw is languishing at the bottom of the G7 table with no sign of changing anytime soon, so says SKY news business report

    Funnily enough Rolls Royce has doubled it’s share value and cannot keep up with its orders for bespoke cars say the BMW owners of the former British car maker

    It seems the rich are getting richer right enough, we don’t wonder how they’re doing it

  35. Dr Jim says:

    STVs contribution to journalism representing their Scottish viewers is now firmly based in total cowardice and cringing obeisance to British thug unionism, if the best Colin McKay and John McKay can come up with when they question the elected FM of our country is ” what are you going to do when the UK government just says NO again and again”

    The question is what is STV prepared to do on behalf of the viewers in Scotland they claim to represent?

    We expect nothing from the BBC but lies and support of UK government intransigence, and when the time comes they will reap the rewards they so richly deserve for their behaviour, do STV place themselves in the same category which will attract the same reward? because if they do not change, it’ll happen

    Nothing is irreplaceable except the country and its people, post independence we will be here

    • Out getting the morning rolls. Geissler on Clockwork Radio reporting that ‘Labour and Conservatives are demanding that Humza resigns..yet again, again, and again…The message to get across to the public…BBC Scotland thinks that our NHS is so bad because the SNP have mismanaged it…it’s nothing to do with Rotund Labour and Tory benchwarmers…how many beds would it free up if the Scottish Government replaced the Health Secretary? None.
      Sarwar and Dross couldn’t run the Branch Office tea club.
      So instead of all hands to the pump cross party support for tackling this unprecedented winter, thes list third rate councillors merely shriek ‘sack him! Sack him!
      They offer no solutions. scots die from 13 years of English Rule, and Baillie and Drodd have nothing to offer but heckling from the sidelines. SNP BAD is their only contribution to resolving the country’s health challenges.
      Dross, the ‘leader’ of the blue Tory Branch Office has so much free time that he can run the line at the Motherwell Hibs game last sunday.
      What solutions do the Red Blue and Yellow Jock Tories put forward.
      ‘Off with his head! Off with his head! Off with his head!’

      The first thing we do on Independence Day is to revamp our electoral system.

      • James Mills says:

        So , if sacking the Scottish Health Secretary will resolve the crisis in the Health Service then clearly sacking the PM , Sunak , will resolve the Cost-of-Living crisis in the UK .
        Labour’s falling poll numbers in Scotland will be overturned by kicking out the millionare Anas , DRoss will bite the bullet and save the Scottish Tories from extinction and The Tailor’s Dummy will … oh , who gives a F*ck !

  36. Capella says:

    Holyrood kicks off the new year with a debate on independence. Tories not happy.

    Scottish Parliament’s first debate in 2023 to be on independence

    THE first debate in the Scottish Parliament of the new year will be on independence – a move the Conservatives have branded “criminal”.

    The Scottish Government has scheduled a debate on “people’s right to choose – respecting Scotland’s democratic mandate” on Tuesday, when Holyrood returns to action after Christmas.

    It has sparked fury from Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross who accused the SNP of “criminal” neglect of other issues.

    • jfngw says:

      I read Foulkes wants the London parties to boycott debates on independence.

      These people are close to Trump supporters, and the protesters in Brazil, they want to prevent the policies democratically voted for being implemented. I see no difference from claiming the vote was rigged and trying to stop the policies voted for by the public being debated, it is an attempt to use undemocratic means to in effect control the country.

      The prevention of a referendum voted for by the Scottish people by English MP’s and their law lords is just another example, using denial to prevent democracy in another country. In fact they have mounted an attack on the Scottish Parliament to remove powers which were overwhelming voted for by the people of Scotland in a referendum.

    • grizebard says:

      “Four jobs” DRoss has a damn nerve going full gammon over SNP “neglect”. When not actively screwing things up, as with Brexit, his puppetmasters in London have been visiting that very thing unwished upon us for the last two decades, while many of his fellow Tory MPs it seems have also been busily coining it in from other sources, to the (inevitable?) detriment of the day job.

      He is an embarrassment to himself, to his party (as if they care), and to the whole of Scotland. Thankfully, it is surely not going un-noticed.

  37. Dr Jim says:

    BBC selling private healthcare now? or have they had instructions to encourage folk to buy it?

  38. Hamish100 says:

    Shouldn’t the overpaid doctors of the nip and tuck and Botox brigade be told to work in the nhs as it’s A “crisis” . Cosmetic surgery isn’t essential.

    Of course some may not be “real” doctors hence they work private. If they balls up they send their patients to the NHS to rectify/ resuscitate- at our expense

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Similarly, Specsavers and their ilk recruit unsuitable audiologists etc., to fit in the latest gizmos such as hearing aids to patients who believe they are getting far better quality appliances than those on the NHS – it appeals to the snob in people who think private is better and also more efficient.

      Yet, because Specsavers, having no qualifications in aural health are not in a position to service these types of gadgets, which they send on to the NHS practitioners – audiologists, hearing therapists etc – for repair.

      This then increases the bill on the NHS (and the customer/patient) – the latter essentially paying twice for the same equipment. It also increases the workload and stress level of the NHS staff who could have examined the patient in the first place and recommended the NHS equipment for them, along with the cheery message that if anything went on, the customer/patient could come back to them at the NHS who would sort the matter out. As it is, NHS hearing is subsidising the incompetence of private providers such as Specsavers, who in return are ‘salami slicing privatising the NHS’ for their own purposes and filling their pockets.

      – Husband of a Hearing Therapist in an NHS Trust Hospital in England.

      (As reported by Mrs W_S).

      • Hamish100 says:

        I think insurance companies should reimburse the nhs for workplace health and safety accidents and health problems caused by illegal practices. Why should the nhs pay for the criminal failures in the private sector?

  39. Hamish100 says:

    I should have made it clear that “ balls up “ is not a medical condition as far as I am aware. 😅

  40. Skintybroko says:

    The BBC are disgusting in their continued attacks on the SG, they know full well the SG works on a fixed budget and only resolution at Westminster can deliver more cash resource. BBC Scotland are Scotlands defacto official opposition – propaganda at its worst. As for SIU – 4000 followers – not exactly a huge following, yet another minority group getting far too much attention

  41. Skintybroko says:

    Maybe all these public sector unions should recognise how much better off their members are in Scotland already in comparison to their rUK counterparts- or do they really believe we are better together and will accept a 20% or more reduction in pay to bring them into line with the rUK after all isn’t the rUK always better at everything and it will save the SG a bucket load of cash.

    • James Mills says:

      You would think that a Scottish Labour Party would be extolling the virtues of a Government that at least TRIES to negotiate pay settlements and offers most workers a HIGHER increase that that offered south of the border .
      Such a party would be constantly throwing the Scottish pay settlement/offers in the face of the Tory Westminster Government and shaming them for their political and ideological intransigence .
      But …we do not have a Scottish Labour Party …we have Millionaire Anas and his cohort of ar8e-licking nonentities in strict obedience to Starmer , the new Tory-lite leader of what passes for a Labour Party in England .

      The next time Starmer or Sarwar stands up for Working People it will the first !
      If they ever announce legislation which helps address the continual debasement of working conditions in the UK then it will be a biological miracle – the first case of an invertebrate growing a backbone !

  42. stewartb says:

    Returning to the matter of Gender Recognition Certificates, I note the BBC News website on its Wales page is reporting: ‘Mark Drakeford backs Scottish gender recognition move’. It reports:

    ‘Wales should have a gender self-identification system similar to the one approved in Scotland, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.’

    And: ‘Mr Drakeford said Wales does not have the same powers as Scotland but would seek them from the UK government.’

    It goes on: ‘Speaking in the Senedd on Tuesday, Mr Drakeford said that anyone who obtains a gender recognition certificate in Scotland and then comes to Wales would have that document “recognised here for all the purposes that you would expect it to be recognised for”.

    ‘Mr Drakeford said he had spoken to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the law and noted that it had been supported by “all political parties in the Scottish Parliament”.

    “We will seek the powers and, if we obtain those powers, we will put those powers to work here in Wales, and we will put proposals in front of this Welsh Parliament,” he added.

    ‘The Welsh first minister was responding to a question from the Conservative MS Laura Anne Jones, who said there were “concerns” about the Scottish legislation after it was “rushed through” and asked Mr Drakeford to “rule out” such legislation in Wales.

    ‘Mr Drakeford refused to rule out the legislation and said he did not accept that Scotland’s rule changes had been passed too quickly. He later added that he was “surprised” by the UK government’s reaction to the Scottish law.’

    And in NI, a report has recently been published to inform and progress the same debate there. The BBC News website’s NI section on 13 December 2022 had this headline: ‘Gender recognition law reform ‘positive for transgender community’.

    It reports: ‘Reform of gender recognition laws would have a “significant positive impact” for NI’s transgender community, a Stormont report has found. The research was commissioned in May 2021 by Conor Murphy when he was finance minister.

    ‘A group at Queen’s University Belfast conducted the review of NI’s current legislation. It has now been published by the Department of Finance and makes a series of recommendations.’


    • This is gonnae bite the British nationalists on the bum. Could even be the straw that brakes the gammon’s back.

      Ironic given the heroic effort they’ve put in on their imagined Trump card. Capital T intentional.

      • James says:

        Agree its going to put a huge target on Sunaks back from the right of the Conservative Party and their supporters. After all the back track is already beginning . It gone from we will block the act to we will not recognize Scottish self id GRC. Obviously this means that the act will not be blocked (there would be no such thing as self id Scottish GRCs if the act was blocked).

        Not recognizing Scottish GRC does not work either. If someone born in Scotland gets a GRC there are issued a Scottish Birth certificate with there new gender / name. Obviously the UK Gov cant stop this from happening. What they could do is stop a Scottish GRC being an acceptable document to be issued a new birth certificate if they were born in England Wales. This would not stand up under legal challenge, so would be seen as another failure of Sunak by the right.

        If there is a leadership challenge on Sunak latter in the year (possibly post bad local election results) the failure to stop the Gender reform act along with not privatizing Channel 4 etc will be used against him by the right of the party, as you say maybe it will be straw that breaks the camels back and gets Sunak kicked out (which would stop any chance of Labour not winning the next election.

        All shows how short sighted the Tories are, blocking the act and or not recognizing Scottish GRCs gains you no voters – people who support you doing that are already voting Conservative. But another leadership contest and/or been seen to not be focusing solely on the things like the economy NHS etc looses you votes, preventing you from winning the next election. As mentioned above Labour in Scotland (along with in England) support self id so once they are in power self id would happen in England & Wales, the only debate is if it would happen in the next parliament or as in Scotland it stretches across two parliaments

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      If you don’t want to use the BBC Wales site as your source, I suggest you go literally to the horse’s mouth and read y Cofnod (the Record of Proceedings of the Senedd) which is partly bilingual, but becomes fully bilingual in later editions. (A boon for us translators!)

      Here’s today’s FMQs – with the particular matter in question starting at 51.

      (Note: ‘Llywydd’ = ‘Presiding Officer’)

  43. yesindyref2 says:

    That the Parliament acknowledges the decision of the UK Supreme Court in the reference by the Lord Advocate of devolution issues under paragraph 34 of schedule 6 to the Scotland Act 1998; reaffirms its belief that people in Scotland have the sovereign right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs; believes that the United Kingdom should be a voluntary association of nations and that it should be open to any of its parts to choose by democratic means to withdraw from the union, and calls on the UK Government to respect the right of people in Scotland to choose their constitutional future.

    Quite similar to the Claim of Right.


    Result 70 for, 54 against, 0 abstained, 5 no vote

    Ah right, so Labour and the LibDems, who signed the Claim of Right, the parties of Devolution, voted AGAINST a reaffirmation of the Claim of Right.

    Liars and oath-breakers; fakers and fools; too many of them in Scotland’s history.

    • grizebard says:

      The good thing about all this is that these long-term posturers and dissimulators now have nowhere left to hide.

  44. James Mills says:

    Some English -based newspapers would call out those ”against” as ”Traitors! ” if this was a vote that impinged on THEIR colonial mindset .
    As it is asserting Scotland’s people’s right to rule themselves without interference from an English court they will denounce this vote as not what the people of Scotland want in a time of crisis – a crisis caused by that same England they so desperately want to preserve .
    Each of the Scottish MSPs who voted against this motion will no doubt put their opposition to Scotland’s people’s rights to self-determination front and centre of their election material when they next offer themselves as ”a servant of the people ”!
    Aye , right !

  45. Hamish100 says:

    You would think SGP would realise the folly of starting an article with “ According to the Herald,…”
    The usual anomie’s or is it enemies then pile in. Still maybe that is the intention. I expect the heralds guru McKenna will now claim Starmer is pro the people.

    • grizebard says:

      It’s a pantomime but they should realise that the panto season’s over. And the only joke left is the one they bring down on themselves.

      Sad what a curdled brew of envy, impotence and disappointment can do to make people see betrayal at every turn. Step by step they seem to be getting ever more comfortable with the enemies of independence and ever less friendly with its genuine supporters.

      What a waste. It’s less like comedy really, more like pathos.

    • Dr Jim says:

      SGP isn’t really an independence blog anymore anyway, it’s more of a complaints dept for angry children who get rewarded by printing their complaints if they contain references to hating the FM and SNP

  46. yesindyref2 says:

    At least with Dugdale, the Scottish Labour supported the SNP in its attempts to insulate Scotland from Brexit. I remember her replying with anguish to some sally from Sturgeon with ” But we supported you for 31 out of 32 votes”. She was the end of decent Labour. Sarwar is a wannabe Ross, what an ambition for a human being is that.

    Tories are Tories, and they were against Devolution from the start, with Thatcher promising a better devolution package in 1979 only to totally betray that promise and repeal the existing Devo Bill. Tories then destroyed the unions, and Sunak is only trotting after her with his wanting to fine unions and ordinary working folk and even imprison them in the workhouse if they refuse to bend under the serf whip and work for their masters.

    That’s what Tories are like, and we, they and everyone knows what they are – greedy and uncaring, I’m alright Jack is their motto. Labour on the other hand used to care about workers and ordinary folk, but now have the gentry in charge, the modern day lairds, the pretendy upper class. All “SIR” Starmer does is say “That won’t work”, when he should be saying “You evil b4st4rd userers”.

    LibDems were bought out by Cameron with his stooge the foolish strutting birkie Clegg.

    I reserve my worst contempt for both parties, they are the betrayers, of whatever principles they ever had.


  47. Holy s**t.

    I’ve not seen such sensationalist right-wing drivel in my cream puff. ‘Throw open the doors to any man!’ Jings. Which door, your cubicle? Ok, you do that and risk someone reporting for flashing you if you want, but the wife will keep hers closed when peeing / changing.

    And you want to know who is actually ‘putting pressure on vulnerable young people to undergo surgery / take hormones; something that they might later regret’. Well, its the likes of this person. Straight from their own mouth. Right there on the BBC. Someone young people are supposed to admire.

    What the heck’s a GCC anyway? You just lied there for maximum right-wing sensationalist effect. That or you’ve no idea about the subject.

    The BBC actually prints this guff. And of course it always includes pictures of transwomen while avoiding those of transmen, even thought the latter outnumber the former measurably. Wonder why they do that? Must have a copy of the Spectator handbook.

    Unlike the Worst Witch knock-off authors, I won’t be ‘throwing open’ my cubicle door to expose myself, nor turning around from the urinal to flash everyone. So transmen are welcome to come in for pee if they want, safe in the knowledge they’ll not see any offending objects. Women too if there’s a big queue at the ladies or something. We blokes follow strict rules here. Face forward. Eyes to the wall. So you are good if desperate.

    This is a new low for the BBC and the UK, which it embodies.

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