Delaying the inevitable

On Tuesday the Scottish Parliament held its first debate of 2023, a year in which, if democracy in the UK was functioning properly, there should have been a Scottish independence referendum. But as we have all learned to our cost, democracy in this Greater Englandshire which likes to be known by the affectation United Kingdom, has ceased to function correctly. Not only do we have a Prime Minister who was elected by no one, not even his own party, and who represents a party which has not won an election in Scotland since the 1950s, but he is using the power given to him in secret and behind closed doors by Conservative MPs to deny the people of Scotland the referendum that they voted for in the Holyrood elections of 2021. Even Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory fulminator in chief, proclaimed during that election campaign: ” People have to be really clear that a vote for the SNP is a vote for an independence referendum.”

The SNP won that election, and together with the Scottish Greens who had an equally explicit manifesto commitment to another independence referendum, won an unassailable pro-independence and pro-referendum majority in Holyrood. However now Douglas Ross wants people to be really clear that they did not in fact vote for another independence referendum after all, because, reasons. Having lost the Holyrood election, Ross and his fellow traveller in Trumpesque democracy denial, Anas Sarwar, are contorting themselves in order to come up with excuses as to why their parties did not really lose the election that they lost. So they appeal to opinion polling, even though we do not have government by opinion polling in this or any other country. If we did, that polling would also result in a reversal of the Brexit that both Labour and the Conservatives are so wedded to.

But just as it’s only some results from the ballot box that need to be respected, it’s only some opinion polling that is used to provide a fig leaf for an anti-democratic coup against parliamentary democracy.

Or we get appeals to the percentage of votes cast, as though the Scottish Government election was a referendum and not an election. Yet of course vote share is no longer relevant when it comes to determining whether the Conservatives in Westminster have a mandate for the horrors that they are inflicting upon us all. Neither would it be relevant if Labour were to win the largest number of constituencies after the next General Election. Labour would rightly claim victory and a mandate to implement its manifesto commitments. It’s only in Scotland when the people vote for another independence referendum that special pleading miraculously applies.

It’s only because of this blatant denial of democracy that last October’s Supreme Court ruling was required. However the court made its ruling based on legislation introduced by those same conniving deceitful democracy denying parties, legislation designed to deprive Scotland of the right to self determination that they have always insisted Scotland has in this supposedly voluntary union that we now know is not voluntary at all. For generations British politicians have lied to the people of Scotland about the nature of this so-called union, and they continue to lie brazenly and shamelessly, even though we know that they are lying and they know that we know they are lying when they insist that this is still a voluntary union but refuse to say how the people of Scotland can exercise a choice to leave it without the permission of the Westminster parties. But this is not a voluntary union, this is Greater Englandshire. Labour and the Conservatives know that too, they are just too terrified to admit it to the people of Scotland.

All of this would be an insult to the intelligence in a well-run and competently governed UK, but we don’t live in a state which is globally renowned for the high quality of its government. We live in a UK which has become an object of pity and derision for Brexit, an epically delusional act of self harm founded in English nationalist exceptionalism and nostalgia. This is a state which replaced a posh populist serial liar with a woman who managed to burn down the economy in under a month at the cost of tens of billions to the public purse, then replaced her with a man who had been rejected by his own party just weeks before, and did so without bothering to give the public any say, yet which still insists that it is the epitome of democracy.

Naturally the Labour and Conservative parties attempted to block today’s Holyrood debate from happening. Both the Scottish Tory Sandesh Gulhane and Labour’s Neil Bibby attempted to prevent the debate from taking place. How very dare the majority parties in Holyrood attempt to debate how they are being prevented from fulfilling the mandate given to them by the people of Scotland by the parties which lost the Holyrood election.

Neil and Sandesh need to accept that there’s an awful lot of us who are delighted that Holyrood’s first debate of 2023 is about the independence issue. It’s a question which needs to be addressed and which needs to be resolved through a vote of the people of Scotland, the undemocratic obstructionism and stalling tactics of Labour and the Conservatives are only delaying the inevitable.

When the debate finally got underway it was characterised by Tories treating it as though it were something else entirely, living in a parallel universe is very much on brand for the Conservatives. Many of them insisted on treating this as debate about what they wanted it to be about, and wittered on about the NHS, ignoring of course thirteen years of Tory austerity and pretending it’s all Humza Yousaf’s fault. Sharon Dowey, who makes Annie Wells seem like an intellectual giant, was typical, going on about the NHS while complaining that she couldn’t go on about the NHS and ignoring interventions directly related to the real topic of the debate such as a question about whether she agreed with Ruth Davidson when the latter said that if the pro-independence parties had a majority in Holyrood then they should be able to hold a referendum.

Eventually the motion was carried, by 74 votes to 50 the Parliament decided: “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.”

This was not a vote about the merits of independence, that is a decision for another day, a decision to be made by the people of Scotland, not Holyrood, and certainly not Westminster. This was a vote about democracy, and the democratic right of the people of this country to determine this country’s future themselves. By opposing it, Labour and the Tories reveal themselves as being opposed to the Scottish right to self-determination, a right that they themselves have always claimed to uphold. As such they have revealed themselves as parties which stand for the subordination of Scotland to the dictates of a Westminster Parliament in thrall to English nationalism.

Democracy ceases to be democracy when parties which lose elections refuse to respect the will of the people. There is only one way of determining what that will is, it is through the ballot box, and in parliamentary democracies such as we are supposed to be living in, a government wins a mandate by achieving a majority of elected representatives in the chamber, whether that’s through a single party or a formal or informal coalition of parties agreeing to work toward a common goal. The parties which failed to win a parliamentary majority do not get to rewrite the rules retroactively so that they can still get their way anyway. That renders elections meaningless. However that is exactly what Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are trying to do now. They are unwittingly proving the case for independence, Scotland cannot be a functioning democracy as long as it remains a part of the UK.

Tuesday’s debate in Holyrood will not alter the determination of the parties of English nationalism to block a referendum. They will never agree to a referendum that they are likely to lose. The purpose of the debate is not to get them to change minds that are already made up, it is to keep the issue front and foremost in the public eye in Scotland where the media is not concerned with holding Westminster power to account, and which is doing its best to make the whole uncomfortable issue go away.

The British media is not at all interested in how democracy in Scotland is being traduced, it is scarcely interested in how democracy in the UK is being traduced. The Holyrood debate was not mentioned at all on the BBC’s UK-wide news, the fate of this so-called union does not register outwith Scotland, and that too is another reason for independence. Apparently the only story worthy of note this week is the latest chapter in the on-going dysfunction that is the royal soap opera. The Windsors are the perfect figureheads for Tory Brexit Britain, just like the ruling party, they trade on nostalgia and privilege, they lie, cheat and backstab, they all hate one another, and they cost the public millions, all of which is done with a media that refuses to hold them to account.

Even the BBC’s Scottish news had little interest in the debate, a lamentable state of affairs that was all too predictable. The debate was mentioned in a brief piece far down the running order sandwiched between items on decarbonisation and a story about MSPs’ pay. Most of the time in the piece was given over to Glenn Campbell giving us his take on the issue. Then it was on to a piece about the health issues faced by firefighters, and then we were back to Reporting Scotland’s comfort zone, the fitba, which was given considerably more airtime than the independence issue. Even a plug for Prince Harry’s book got as much time.

This is what we are up against. Scotland is saddled with a media which does its utmost to distract and deflect from the issue that constitutes the fault line in the tectonic plates of Scottish politics. This is why it must remain the primary task of independence supporters to keep doing all we can to highlight the reasons for independence. But the parties of English nationalism are only delaying the inevitable. Scotland’s day will come.

______________________________________________________

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188 comments on “Delaying the inevitable

  1. bringiton says:

    We’ll said Paul.
    The fundamental issue for the London based parties operating in Scotland is that they know fine well that the UK state can only exist so long as a Scottish one doesn’t.

  2. yesindyref2 says:

    The voters outside looked from Tory to Labour, and from Labour to Tory, and from Tory to Labour again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

  3. Jan McNair says:

    An excellent and very welcome account, in the days of news suppression, thanks wgd. I didn’t watch Scottish msm last night, since Monday’s main story was about the alleged theft of a statue of Clyde, the anthropomorphic thistle, and an interview with a tory doctor in immaculate scrubs. Instead I’m rereading 1984. Though sometimes I’m getting confused about which is which. Are the 24 who voted against the use of agency mainly unelected (list) msps? I’m not a psychologist but perhaps it’s just too daunting to actually take any decisions for themselves.

  4. deelsdugs says:

    They even gave an extended story on Amazon closing down warehouses and Gourock, became Garrick, then proceeded to say that this was in the long term plan for Amazon relocating more warehouses to the south of Englandshire.

  5. Bob Lamont says:

    Indeed well said…
    Still nothing reported of the “debate” this morning on the BBC’s Scotland Politics webpage, yet another case of “the news where you are” but in place of James Robertson’s humour, there’s relentless propaganda.

    My blood pressure was rising as each cliche tripped from tongues in the debate, with even the thoroughly wooden Carlaw attempting to resurrect the “once in a generation” fairy.
    Yet not once was there a glimmer of recognition from any of the Unionist MSPs that what they preferred to discuss as urgent failings by SG, stemmed directly from London government’s budgets, the very reason Scots of increasing majority are in favour of independence.
    Ultimately it was much as the output from HMS James Cook, UK political slant and gaslighting masquerading as fact.

    Yet despite MSM’s best efforts to gaslight the public, majorities for reversing Brexit and Scots holding IR2 are rising north and south of the border, with England’s political parties tone deaf to both.

    Political parties do not own democracy, yet that is exactly where UK politics has taken itself – The electorate no longer lend democracy to politicians, it’s now the reverse and only on the day of an election.

    It is time to end this corruption and reclaim democracy…..

    • grizebard says:

      Ach, it’s all-Union Mitigation Hell now. This parcel of rogues is serially complicit in the Union’s longstanding depredation of our resources and quality of life, then has the shameless duplicity and effrontery to use the consequences against us.

  6. jfngw says:

    So the London controlled parties in effect voted against the claim of right, you can’t become more anti-Scottish than that can you. Shame on them, it’s an affront for them to claim to be Scottish, they put the interests of another country before the one they are supposed to represent.

  7. Hamish100 says:

    As for the anti Scots Spectator article by the columnist Liddle it is almost given the thumbs up by McKenna in the National today.

    McKenna states that “ I’ve been partial to Liddle’s writing in several publications for more than 20 years, so I’m probably biased.” No, you are biased McKenna.

    You are the usual Labourite lurking in the shadows and hoping for the halcyon days in your eyes of Blair/ Brown , Iraq war lies, failed bank institutions along with the rest.

    I do hope the National changes it’s tack.

    McKenna is neither funny but an apologist. McKenna can run back to The Herald and other pro English papers. There is plenty choice.

    • Eilidh says:

      It was also notable in that article that he used it to throw shade at the Snp calling it misogynistic and the most unpleasant political party in the UK. The National are using him as a journalistic unionist troll and he fufills that role very well

    • Alec Lomax says:

      You can take the former editor out of the Scottish Daily Mail but you can’t take the Scottish Daily Mail out of its former editor.

    • I was utterly horrified that Rod Liddle was Scottish. A truly awful discovery.

      I do admit in hindsight this was something of an overreaction. I mean he doesn’t live here or anything.

    • McKenna basically argues that it’s ok to be racially abusive about e.g. Muslim or Jewish people, as long as you are in a country where they are a majority, ergo, can’t be ‘repressed’. So you are fine to go to Dubai and be openly racist about Muslims. Same for Jewish people if you visit Tel Aviv.

      For some it ventured into a darker realm. A few people suggested that if you substituted “Muslim” or “Jewish” for “Scottish” then it could be considered racist. Absolute nonsense, of course. Not since the days of the Jacobite rebellions can Scots say they’re an oppressed minority.

      That said, I note Rod Lidl is in a country where Scots are a minority. We make up just 1.1% of the English population.

      • Oh, and if an Englishman visits Ireland, according to McKenna, it would not be racist at all for him to mock the Irish with classic British jokes about them ‘being stupid’ and ‘all called paddy’. How could it be? The Irish are ‘not a persecuted minority’ in Ireland.

        Brits are likewise free to abuse the Spanish for being that when in Malaga. After all, the later are ‘not a persecuted minority’ in Spain.

        What kind of racist apologist is this chump McKenna?

  8. davetewart says:

    The unionists are so up to date they’re still using the master plan for Ireland from the 19th century.

    Gladstone said that Ireland would be a part of the union and have a say in how they would be governed.

  9. Skintybroko says:

    Another excellent article, shame it doesn’t get front page on all MSM. Given the denial of democracy it should be front and centre worldwide never mind Uk wide.

    As usual our BBC, the one we pay for, is silent, they have ripped up their rules on impartiality, they are abusing Scots day in day out, polling is strongly in favour of the need for a true balance of news particularly when the Yes No divisions are now clearly in the positive for Yes but not according to our media who continue to peddle lies and disinformation to big up the Union – yews it’s on its way out but would have been over years ago if we had an MSM worthy of its role in our society

  10. Capella says:

    Abbi Garton-Crosbie has looked up MPs’ financial interests using a new app.

    MP donations: Who is funding Scottish Tory MPs?

    AN INTERACTIVE tool allowing users to search donations and gifts made to their MPs has been launched – but what does it reveal about who is funding the Scottish Tories?
    The National utilized the Westminster Accounts database, created by Sky News and Tortoise, to see what we could discover about Scotland’s six Tory MPs and who is backing them.
    We have previously extensively covered the finances of the Scottish Tories, including the £100,000 given to the party by the Scottish Unionist Association Trust (SUAT), with opponents accusing the trust of being a funnel for “dark money”.

    https://archive.fo/UVvsy

    Today she covered the SNP MPs’ interests:

    https://archive.fo/4zIom

  11. UndeadShaun says:

    Dross confirming he is really no the brightest..

    PMQ today..
    “Douglas Ross (Con) asks Sunak to confirm his support for Scotland’s energy industry.

    Sunak says the UK will need hydrocarbons for decades to come. Using Scottish gas and oil is better than importing it, he says.”

    So Dross got Sunak to confirm what we already knew England is dependant upong Scotlands Oil & Gas ( and renewables)

    But too wee too poor heyho

  12. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    I think we know what Labour’s ‘Taking back control’ means to Scotland in Scottish councils…..it’s forming alliances with the Tories to oust the party that won most seats in the respective councils……perhaps stealing as opposed to taking would be a more appropriate slogan….and NOT just in councils but via resources within Scotland too (plus with their supposed plan of MORE devolution throughout the UK how will money be divvied up…which PARTS will get preference to MORE funds and powers…Hmm…. well tis HQ reserved power holder aka WM government gets to decide so no REAL change then)….we also know that the Tories ‘Take back control’ was in order for them, as a party, to impose their iron fist on our rights and impose bad policies and also to take control of some of the powers of devolved governments post Brexit.

    Ironic yet not really ironic how the British nationalist parties at Holyrood bemoan any debate or indeed mention of independence yet are silent on Brexit and the impact as evidenced in the here and now……is it because that is the REAL choice and predicament people in Scotland have to decide upon within their current British nationalist UK…… if we stay in the UK we then have to continue to tolerate all of the harm, loss of freedoms and isolation imposed by a British Nationalist Brexit that we Scots rejected as a policy in 2016 and instead wisely choose to vote for independence with at least a prospect of joining the EU again…..and thus regaining some of those freedoms back and and also opportunities to flourish within a REAL Union as opposed to the current one we are supposedly a part of ……which is a Union in name only…. but in practice…..NOT an ACTUAL Union…..as current British nationalist evidence, via action and rhetoric, has proven.

    Scots are not daft they know that in Holyrood all British nationalist parties are linked to…. nay…. are PART of the HQ British nationalist parties and thus tis the HQ parties who dictate policy and direction….currently two of those parties endorse Brexit and the other one hopes that in NOT mentioning it they will succeed in scavenging votes via disenchanted Tory voters……we in Scotland have access to the so called ‘National’ media TV news channels which expose the fact that all the accusations directed at the Scottish government re the NHS, Education etc are NOT unique to Scotland in way of problems indeed in many cases Scotland is outperforming Tory England and Labour in Wales…..

    Unfortunately the media in Scotland (and t’other places in UK) don’t do any comparisons between nations in the UK because that would burst the British Nationalist bubble…….indeed if the respective branch offices in Scotland have ALL of the answers why then do they not pass their proposals and solutions onto their respective colleagues at both WM and the Senedd who seem to be in dire need of help for their respective failing public services……..the Lib Dems were once in a coalition with the Tories at WM and their acceptance of some of the pretty awful Tory policies prove they have history in helping the Tories CREATE problems as opposed to solving them…yet their branch office leader (of sorts) thinks he can dictate what and how the Scottish government should be doing ……don’t make me laugh.

    He without sin cast the first stone…..but in UK politics that is ignored…..instead we have glass house politics where British nationalist political parties backed up by their compliant media condemn and accuse the Scottish government of being the only one that is incompetent, wasteful and obsessed with only ONE determination as in independence for Scotland….while they, as British nationalist political parties (and media) are shown to be incompetent, wasteful and obsessed with ONE determination as in keeping the status quo of their dysfunctional and broken UK aka a (non) Union…or rather their so called but NOT actually ‘Great Britain’……controlled by only ONE nation’s politicians that seeks to pander to those voters who adopt, via either acquired or wilful ignorance, the worst opinions, politics and beliefs that they have derived via either brainwashing or having a lack of reason, lack of intelligence and in some cases are driven, via themselves as people, seeking to promote their hate and desire to generate division and disruption…the old ‘Them and Us’ chestnut….always assured as a winning formula for rogue political parties and media to utilise to gain control of the gullible and also those like minded ‘voters’ who are cut from the same cloth…..” the oppressor would not be so strong if he did not have accomplices among the oppressed” …..

    Unfortunately for the British Nationalists political parties and their now Brexit UK…..the cons now very much outweigh the pros for Scots to want to still live within their UK for many MORE in Scotland…. who as citizens of Scotland are currently seriously considering their decision of now voting for independence ….. the supposed strength and stability of their UK that Scots were promised in 2014, if they voted to stay in the UK , is now a burst bubble and a busted flush indeed tis been proven to be a blatant LIE……a falsehood that never existed and never will exist……

    The LAST thing Scotland needs now for it’s future is MORE lies and turmoil as tis being experienced by us in their UK……all via British Nationalist political parties and their media…BUT that is what we will continue to GET……a continuous propaganda with empty promises, pledges and assurances that will, like in 2014, NEVER be met, fulfilled or materialise IF any voter in Scotland were foolish enough to believe them in the next Indy referendum……

    We now are in the “heady position” of knowing that although some Scots gave it “one last go” rather than “walking out”…..NONE of the “major political parties” have tried to “woo us”….or sought to try and “make us happy”…..we were and are now NOT “more popular” or in a “better position to dictate terms” indeed the desperate prediction by a writer of fantasy (appropriate) has turned out to be just that…a desperate British nationalist FANTASY composed to sway the gullible among us…….the OPPOSITE of what she wrote has happened 100%……

    Time we took REAL control of OUR future and challenged their false arguments , ignored the biased media and reminded ALL of THEM of what the REAL choice for Scotland is in the future…..either living in a broken, divided, poorer and dysfunctional Brexit UK or living in an independent Scotland…… with at least the chance to have REAL choices and opportunities and to be able to vote for politicians WE elect to govern us who will then have FULL powers, ALL of the money and control needed to function as government in an independent country…….. and who in turn, when democratically elected, will hopefully strive to see that their country and it’s citizens live within a country that has an ability to prosper and function as many other NORMAL independent countries do…….. in being able to decide it’s own destiny which hopefully will include re-joining a REAL union as in the EU…..that is THE bottom line….I know, via current position of us within their UK, what is MORE appealing…..and it is NOT what we have NOW in their UK……….or what THEY will PRETEND to be the case for us via MORE lies courtesy of Project Fear part 2 come next Indy Ref…..with a specific fantasy writer’s contribution included I am sure (she can’t help herself in INTERFERING for political and selfish reasons)…THANKS (NOT) but NO THANKS.

    I know I’m like a broken record in all the comments I make on here but it’s not rocket science is it…. to know what the actual score is as far as what is blatantly BEST for OUR future ……surely to *&$£ ???

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      * “well tis HQ reserved power holder aka WM government gets to decide”
      (first paragraph )

      “well tis HQ reserved power holder aka WM government WHO get to decide

  13. Alex Clark says:

    @Undeadshaun
    Good catch, here’s the video of Sunak confirming that England will need Scotland’s Oil and Gas for decades to come.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Tell this to Unionist mouthpiece Sir Ian Wood who told us there was no oil left in 2014.

      My friend is absolutely right, we know we will have to rely on hydrocarbons for decades to come as we transition to net zero, and consuming oil and gas from the North Sea means less than half the carbon footprint of importing that same oil and gas.

      Which obviously makes sense to do it here and in the process support tens of thousands of jobs in Scotland. So I can reassure him that the Scottish Oil and Gas industry has this government’s wholehearted support.

    • Capella says:

      What the Tories have always done, since time immemorial, is create hostility between the North East and the Central belt. Divide and rule. This is the pot that DRoss is stirring.

  14. Dr Jim says:

    Every country England has ever invaded they lied stole and extorted from, they’re doing the same as they’ve always done, except they now do it brazenly on the television that Scotland invented to tell Scotland what we want and what we don’t want
    They lie because it’s all they have left, they at least used to make an attempt to prove their lies, now they’ve given up on that and are just grinning at us while they do it

    The polls say, the polls don’t say, none of that matters, it’s what the people say and Scotland’s people are being denied the right to speak, we are being denied the right to ask or answer certain questions, think of that for one moment, a government in England not elected by three of the countries of Great Britain is denying Scotland the right to the expression of free speech, by no moral authority on the planet is there even the slightest hint of democracy about that

    In the 1930s Jewish people were not allowed and were too afraid to speak
    In 2023 Scots are not allowed to speak and are being denied our very existence as a nation

    Wake up Scotland there’s not a keycard of difference here between 2023 England and 1930s Germany
    What is England prepared to do next if we refuse to be silent? and what are we Scotland prepared to do now about England’s behaviour towards us?

    The government in England is not some invisible autonomous body of aliens who just arrived on earth and took over, they are voted into office consistently by the people of England, and it’s that which is the problem, they do not care about us and why should they, they never cared about any of the other countries England invaded to enrich themselves so they’re certainly not going to turn down the free wealth that pours out of little old Scotland under any circumstances, oh the decent among them might express some concern every now and again at the abuse of Scotland and its circumstances but then some chips are wrapped in that story so Scotland is immediately forgotten then discarded along with the chip paper

    I’ve had enough of being England’s chip paper, they’ve had over 300 years to give a shit about Scotland’s people and they still don’t, so what the hell are we bothering about them for, Scotland can’t wait for the sunrise to dawn on England, because it never will and nor can we can do nothing

    The only successful thing about this union is England got richer and the right to speak
    Scotland Wales and the North of Ireland is just told to shut up by a country where our votes don’t count

    If one of these English politicians or their representatives walked into a pub in Scotland and told everybody to shut up because they ruled the country their face would hit the street followed through by their Arse like a fly on a windscreen, they won’t do that, they do it from the safety of England or the TV or a newspaper

    Why are we putting up with this shit from a country that despises us?

  15. Bob Lamont says:

    Cleverly despite the name is without doubt one of the most dumbest assholes on planet Brexit despite his horses being kept warm https://archive.ph/Zv0Zy
    It’s the same old Empire game of “protocol”, that shadowy figure which vanishes behind a curtain at the mere mention of independence..

    • davetewart says:

      Zahawi was the heated stables on expenses man.

      Agree about cleverly, somebody let him off with a degree for sweetie papers,

  16. davetewart says:

    Congratualtions Scotland.
    Tonight 96% of electricity generation is from renewables.

    Our electricity bill are going to subsidise englandland.

    Throw is the stolen gas and no wonder we can’t get a vote on our release.

  17. stewartb says:

    Returning to the topic of oil & gas/energy mentioned in earlier btl posts, a BBC News website’s article today entitled ‘No new oil and gas fields, say Scottish ministers’ fails to inform its readers about certain important matters.

    It makes much of this: ‘The Scottish government has announced A PRESUMPTION AGAINST NEW OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION as part of its new energy strategy.’ (my emphasis)

    It fails to mention this from the SG’s strategy document on page 97:

    ‘UK’s independent advisors on climate change, the Climate Change Committee, concluded that it would support a tighter limit on production, with stringent tests AND A PRESUMPTION AGAINST EXPLORATION, observing that AN END TO UK EXPLORATION WOULD SEND A CLEAR SIGNAL OF COMMITMENT TO NET ZERO TO INVESTORS AND CONSUMERS. This could have AN IMPORTANT IMPACT WHILE BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS MAKE DECISIONS REGARDING how and when to adapt to net zero.’

    And the BBC then fails to mention this from the same page of the Scottish Government (SG) document: ‘… THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT IS CONSULTING on whether, in order to support the fastest possible and most effective just transition, there should be A PRESUMPTION AGAINST NEW EXPLORATION FOR OIL AND GAS.’ Important detail?

    And as the Tories seek political capital in Scotland by condemning the strategy, the BBC amplifies their views with partial acknowledgement of what’s happening in Westminster. The BBC article notes this from Westminster’s Environmental Audit Committee:

    ‘THE COMMITTEE CALLED ON THE UK GOVERNMENT TO SET A DATE FOR THE END OF OIL AND GAS LICENSING.’

    But from other sources we learn that this cross-party committee also said the government should set an end date “well before 2050” IF IT IS TO REMAIN A CREDIBLE LEADER ON CLIMATE CHANGE! (An end to new exploration licensing is equivalent to an end to NEWLY sanctioned exploration.)

    The BBC article also fails to mention the following:

    From the Press & Journal (6 March 2022): ‘Anas Sarwar: Labour still oppose North Sea Cambo oil field despite energy crisis – Scottish Labour will still oppose the controversial Cambo oil field despite soaring energy bills and the Ukraine crisis.’

    From the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce website (4 January, 2023): ‘Labour wants Rosebank oil field shut before it even begins production’.

    It is decisions to halt development and therefore subsequent production from large oil & gas fields such as Cambo and Rosebank that would have a much bigger impact on the offshore industry – on employment and supply chain business, as well as on energy security, potential tax revenue, balance of trade etc. – than ceasing exploration in what is now a mature oil & gas province and the imperative of a transition to net zero.

    For perspective:

    – the Cambo oil & gas field was discovered as long ago as 2002. The field’s final appraisal well was spudded in 2018. In May 2021, Siccar Point Energy stated that Cambo is expected to produce oil and gas for approximately 25 years.

    – Equinor’s Rosebank oil & gas field was discovered as long ago as 2007.

    Cambo and Rosebank – both located on the Atlantic margin west of Shetland – are fields with very substantial untapped proven reserves.

    As things stand, decisions on (a) whether and at what pace oil & gas exploration continues offshore Scotland; and (b) whether or not the development/production from Cambo, Rosebank and other untapped discoveries in Scottish waters are progressed will be taken ON BEHALF OF the people (and businesses) of Scotland by a government in Westminster – Tory or Labour – which a majority of voters in Scotland reject at a General Election. We will be spectators!

    And it’s even worse for longer term prospects: the future deployment of beneficial Carbon Capture and Storage technologies and the development of a hydrogen economy in Scotland will, as things stand, proceed at a pace and at a scale determined by the same Westminster government. We will be spectators!

    Without the agency of a normal, independent nation-state SOON, Scotland’s energy future and therefore the charting of its linked long term economic, social and environmental futures will largely (again, just like with North Sea oil & gas) be under Westminster’s control! We will again be spectators!

    • Alex Clark says:

      Great post stewartb, I’ll just add that readers of this blog might know Equinor the developer of the Rosebank field better by their original name which is Statoil, the wholly-owned Norwegian State oil company.

      Considering that Norway is one of the greenest countries on the planet I’d put money on them having already in place a plan for the complete transition from oil&gas to renewable energy in place.

      Also a reminder that Norway has the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world that will take care of future generations of Norwegians for a long time to come. Don’t you just wish Scotland had it’s own wholly-owned state oil company for the past 50 years?

      There’s still time to do something about that and Scotland will be the richest energy country in the whole of Europe whether we are Independent or not.

      The only question remaining to be answered is who will benefit from the money generated by this abundant energy wealth, if it’s to be the people of Scotland then the power to make that happen is in our own hands. We must support Independence so as this time we do not miss out on the opportunity to improve the lives of all who live here. Unlike with what happened to the oil wealth over the last 50 years which has been squandered by Westminster governments.

      I don’t want to read of another “McCrone Report” written today that will be released in 30 years’ time. Our time is now.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Excellent Stewart and spot on Alex.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        I mentioned this before – so apologies to longer serving Duggers who already know the story. However, there may be lurkers out there, soft Noers, who might appreciate the following, and help then join us in the warm bath of Yes-hood.

        Anyhow, as part of my professional travails about 18 moths ago, I was invited with fellow-linguist freelancers to attend a buffet lunch organised by one of my agencies whereby we could meet fellow-translators, network, share stories and eat and drink for a few hours. What’s not to like?

        I then got talking to a translator whose work involves translating work from English into Norwegian. We exchanged some pleasantries in the obligatory lingua franca – English – and somehow ended up discussing British politics. I wasn’t going to let on my card-carrying credentials of two political parties, lest I disqualified myself from future commissions on the grounds of being a nasty sep., so I let her speak for herself when she started extolling the virtues of the Norwegian oil fund.

        “Poor Scots,” I said sotto voce, “they’ve got so much oil in the North Sea and they haven’t seen a penny of it returned and invested in Scotland.”

        “You’re right,” she replied. “Scotland has been ripped off for years!”

        I need only remind Scots here of their national poet:

        “Oh wad some pow’r the Giftie gi’e us
        To see oursels as others see us!”

        • Dr Jim says:

          We Scots would only have spent it all on drink cocaine and heroin, so England was doing us a huge favour by stealing all our money and keeping it for themselves
          I thank God they’re in the process of stealing our renewable energy now because once again we’d only waste it on keeping warm, and Scots are used to the cold so not so many of us are likely to die
          In about two years time the fresh water crisis will hit England so they’d best start building the infrastructure to get Scotland’s water piped down to England quickly, I mean we’re alright in Scotland as we can just turn our heads skyward for a drink when it rains, and very few of us actually use it for washing God forbid

          There’s just too much excess of everything up here

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            There’s just too much excess of everything up here
            _______

            – What’s that I hear you say about water?
            – The Celts are positively swimming in it!

  18. Golfnut says:

    Can’t say I really understand this, it’s a list of the top exporters of Covid-19 test equipment by country for 2018.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1081934212006008/permalink/2058195897713163/
    Now as you know this link might not work 🙂

  19. yesindyref2 says:

    This is one of the more interesting initiatives of this year, and all YESsers should rise above petty party squabbling such as is endemic between Alba and the SNP, squabbling which has the Unionists laugh laugh laugh all the way to another 315 years of so-called “Union”.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/23244704.alba-hire-lawyers-probe-alternatives-snps-de-facto-vote/

    But Alba said Scotland should not “just accept” the decision of the court and insisted it must be challenged.

    Absolutely, and even though just a few weeks after the ignominious UKSC decisions, it’s even now overdue. The UKSC just mostly ignored the SNP intervention, treating it with contempt to the extent they didn’t allow an oral submission, nor did they allow any right of reply. They just dismissed the self-evident contention about self-determination with contemptuous waffle such are undemocratic mumbles.

    But the SNP have to play it carefully lest they cast a long shadow over the Scottish Government itself, which is the government in a parliament set up by the Scotland Act, so third party interventions like Alba, with as much support as possible from BfS, AIM, and the wider YES movement, are the straight way forward.

    This is needed to restore Scotland’s absolute right to self-determination, internationally and thence domestically, and it has my full support.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I see the usual negative comments elsewhere from those usual suspects who rail against all Indy parties like howling dogs at a blood moon – how Alba don’t have the money for this so it can’t be up to much.

      This would be the preliminary work, solicitors and KC opinions, and perhaps expert witnesses. They’re not cheap but the total would run into the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands necessary to actually go to court. Such a resulting action would clearly be crowdfunded.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Great posting on that thread by the way, by AP, who has managed a good few paragraphs totally sticking to the point of the UKSC, international law, rather than descending in to pathetic tribal SNP or Alba bashing like the most of them.

      HELLO, the enemy of democracy and self-determination for Scotland is the UK state, the UK Government, the UK Supreme Court and indeed, the UK institutions like the BBC, not the flaming Alba or SNP who should be united in a common cause against them rather than squabbling like pigs in a midden over scraps of rotten food.

      My bold.

  20. Bruce MacDougall says:

    The best way forward for Scotland is using the UN and the International Court of Justice with the Vienna Convention and decolonisation process. There is No other democratic process that Westminster will allow or recognise. The decolonisation process can take 18 months to 2 years to complete, but we’re now waiting for the next GE, around 2 years hence. Whatever the winning margin in that election, Westminster will refuse to recognise the result, until we use the UN and the rest above. WHY WAIT! when that process can be started now.

    • Alex Clark says:

      You still haven’t said what evidence could be provided to any court or other international body that would prove to them that the people of Scotland wanted it to become an Independent country.

      • ST says:

        Alex, it’s not a question of whether the people of Scotland want it to become an Independent country. It’s a question of being allowed to make that choice

        • Alex Clark says:

          I agree with that, we needed the Supreme Court to deny us that route before taking the next step which is to attempt to hold a vote without Westminster agreement and the plan at the moment is to use a General election as a de-facto referendum.

          Assuming that goes ahead, and there is no guarantee that it will not be boycotted by Unionists or that some other undemocratic interference from Westminster will take place.

          Let’s say it goes ahead as planned without interference and the Yes side win a clear majority of the votes but Westminster refuses to accept that the de-facto referendum was a legitimate process to determine the democratic right of the people of Scotland to choose their own future as an Independent country.

          I would say that then would be the time to appeal to international law, the UN and international opinion. For me, it is better if we can first prove to the world that democracy is clearly being denied to the people of Scotland and our right to self-govern is being ignored. I think then our chances of being successful are far greater than going before we have clear evidence that a majority are in support of Independence.

    • Golfnut says:

      I don’t see any reason why this should be a one or the other situation, both are valid, though I believe the GE, if as seems likely happens in 2023, is the quickest route to involving the International community, the international courts and the UN. Of course this depends entirely on the decisions made at both the SNP and Green conferences. Anything less than an unequivocal withdrawal from the Treaty of Union leaves too much wiggle room with westminster.

  21. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Be sure to give him a warm welcome, Scotland!

    https://uk.yahoo.com/news/sunak-heads-scotland-push-union-083744141.html

    Sunak heads to Scotland in push for the union

    David Hughes, PA Political Editor

    Thu, 12 January 2023 at 9:08 am GMT

    Rishi Sunak will use a visit to Scotland to highlight the benefits of remaining in the United Kingdom as he seeks to counter Nicola Sturgeon’s push for independence.

    The Prime Minister is expected to hold face-to-face talks with the Scottish First Minister during his two-day trip, which begins on Thursday.

    Details of the visit have yet to be confirmed, but the Daily Telegraph said it will tie in with the announcement of two new green freeports expected to be near Edinburgh and Inverness.

    […}

    • Absolutely lashing it down for him coming. Hope it soaks the £3.5k suit and Prada loafers. Sturgeon should make him wait 5 mins ootside Bute Hoose. Say she didnae hear the doorbell as she was busy preparing the indy prospectus.

      And I guess he’ll be crossing his legs all day, waiting until he gets back tae his hotel room right? Telling his staff tae dae likewise? Just tae be oan the safe side right? Oan the way hame stoppin aff at the first ‘safe place’ sooth ae Carter bar fir sweet relief… Dangerous place Scotland these days.

      I’ll get my coat.

      Certainly need it the day. Dreich tae say the least.

  22. Hamish100 says:

    Maybe all those TU’s wishing more money should welcome him?

  23. James Mills says:

    Sunak is supposedly coming to Scotland to ” highlight the benefits of staying in the Union .”
    Why does he feel he has to be personally present in Scotland to do this ?
    Does he think that , because we live so far from London , that news does not reach us here ?
    Does he think that in the birthplace of Television we never get any news from the outside world ?
    Does he believe that the media are distorting the ”good news” about the Union and making it appear less good ? ( He obviously does not read the garbage that the ”Scottish ” media present as news if he thinks this )
    Is he going to be meeting lots of ordinary Scottish voters during his visit – most of them called Alister Jack and one called DRoss ?

    After explaining the ”benefits ” of the Union , will he take time out to explain the meaning of DEMOCRACY – not the democracy as practised by the Conservative Party in electing a leader /PM/Cabbage , but the actual democracy that allows the winners of an election to implement their manifesto .

    • Why the need to persuade us to vote for the union if he’s not going to allow us to vote?

      • Dr Jim says:

        We’re *allowed* to vote on what we’re told to vote on as long as we vote the right way, if we vote the wrong way then we don’t get *allowed* to vote again and get sent to bed wae nae tea

        It’s how it works in this British run childrens home of Scotland

        And why is my elected First Minister of Scotland using her valuable time travelling to Inverness to meet a man who even his own party members rejected in favour of the lettuce woman

  24. davetewart says:

    Thousands of jobs created at supermarkets returning to assistants rather than self service.

  25. Onwards to the sunlit uplands!

    https://archive.is/MyqxW

    UK risks being listed as a ‘human rights abuser’, NGO warns

    Human Rights Watch warns UK has ‘very short window’ to reverse legislation, including restrictions on the right to protest

  26. stewartb says:

    This is very O/T but I think may be of interest. Published today, 12 January by the National Audit Office (NAO) is this report: ‘Administration of Scottish income tax 2021-22 – financial audit’.

    See https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Administration-of-Scottish-income-tax-2021-22-Summary.pdf

    It concerns HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) administration and collection of Scottish income tax on behalf of the Scottish Government as part of the UK tax system. The NAO undertakes an annual audit of the HMRC’s procedures.

    Recall that the Scottish Government receives income tax revenue generated only from non-savings, non-dividend income under Scottish income tax policy. The following NAO findings (and claims by HMRC) are especially relevant in the context of what the NAO acknowledges is the divergent income tax policies of the Scottish and UK governments. I think it’s also of interest given past scaremongering from opposition politicians.

    ‘HMRC continues to assess the risk of a Scottish taxpayer manipulating their address to minimise their tax liability. HMRC HAS NOT IDENTIFIED ANY SIGNIFICANT OR WIDESPREAD INSTANCES OF TAXPAYERS CHANGING THEIR ADDRESS TO OBTAIN A TAX ADVANTAGE.’ (my emphasis)

    And at least for now: ‘ In 2021-22, HMRC produced a Scottish Strategic Picture of Risk (SPR). It considers the MAIN AREAS OF RISK TO SCOTTISH INCOME TAX TO BE THE SAME AS THOSE COMPLIANCE RISKS WHICH ARE ASSESSED AT THE WHOLE-OF-UK LEVEL. There are no risks identified in the Scottish SPR which are specific to Scotland as HMRC assesses that compliance risk in Scotland is consistent with the rest of the UK.’

    As background, HMRC estimates the revenue for Scotland from devolved income tax in 2021-22 to be £13.30billion. HMRC charges £0.6million to administer and collect this for the Scottish Government i.e. just 0.005% of the revenue collected.

    (Anyone have a source for the scale of income tax on dividends and savings collected by HMRC in Scotland that goes directly to HM Treasury? )

    • Golfnut says:

      I’m assuming this an additional charge to that already allocated to Scotland as contribution to the UK shared civil service cost listed in GERS.

  27. Alex Clark says:

    “HMRC charges £0.6million to administer and collect this for the Scottish Government i.e. just 0.005% of the revenue collected.”

    Really just £600,000?
    That would cover the costs for about a dozen staff and one small office at most.

  28. Pogmothon says:

    And exactly why are we charged anything at all ??
    Surely this comes under the civil service bill….
    Or is it only this that comes under the civil service bill ?
    How much does HMRC charge Westminster for collecting their taxes in Scotland ??
    Where does this debit show up in the GERS faerie-story ???

    • Pogmothon says:

      TAXATION WITHOUT EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION IS STILL TYRANNY.

      James Ottis’s observation is still true now, and will always be so.
      Even after 262 years Westminster have still not understood this basic fact and the consequences there of.

  29. Dr Jim says:

    Richie Rich says Scotlands health service is benefitting from extra cash from the UK
    Scotland at the moment still is the UK so then we’re *benefitting* from our own money? or are we now independent and Richie Rich didn’t tell us?

    They keep wittering on as though Scotland already is independent and they’re doing us some kind of favour , we hear it all the time, Scotland and the UK

    These one brain celled UK English nationalists just can’t keep their stories straight

  30. James Mills says:

    UK News presenters have no sense of irony or the absurdity of the things they report as ”news” in these strange times .

    King Charles is reported as visiting a ”community facility” ( Food Bank ) in Aboyne then praised for donating a fridge ” from his own money ” . WOW !

    So , an immensely rich man who has no experience whatsoever of want , visits a ”Food Bank” in his Kingdom and donates a fridge while totally failing to understand the grotesque irony involved .

    Did he question why in HIS kingdom there is such a pressing need for Food Banks ?

    Did he pause for a moment to consider that HE is about to have tens of millions of pounds spent on HIS coronation while HIS ‘subjects’ are going hungry and cold while he processes in a GOLD carriage , surrounded by the fat , rich elite who support the status quo ?
    Will the knowledge that Food Banks proliferate in HIS kingdom cause him one moment of shame ?
    Will he immediately do what he and his mother have been doing for decades – try to influence Government legislation- but in the interests of the People rather than their own tax affairs ?

    But he gave a fridge ! How appropriate . It may contain his cold heart !

  31. Ken says:

    Charles pays 10% tax on £20Million. No capital gains, or corporation tax. No Inheritance tax. The monarchy in disarray. The Tories will be voted out. Starmer talking nonsense in NI.

    Support for SNP/Indepence increasing.

    People who support Independence need to go out and vote for it every Election. A higher turnout, Use it or lose it. The power is in the people’s hands.

  32. Iain says:

    I’m surprised adults are still watching BBC Scotland news. I haven’t seen it for about 10 years and feel far better informed than previously.
    TOP TIP: Switch it off. It’s not news.

    • At least half the population are not watching ‘British’ TV/radio anymore.

      Ironically, this is reducing the ‘anyone but England’ phenomenon when it comes to international sporting tournaments. Streaming TV / radio / internet news sites mean people can literally turn off British media and still enjoy a host of things to watch / listen to. As a result, they don’t have to hear ‘Football’s coming home’ ever again, so increasingly don’t give a rat’s bahookie how England does.

      Little did the Brits understand that it was their great British broadcasting that caused ABE back when we had just a handful of terrestrial TV/radio channels. If you want Scots to support England, it’s actually better if Scotland is independent. Then it becomes a choice rather than something that’s demanded of them on pain of being called ‘anti-English’, while being forced down their throats oan the telly/radio.

      The BBC is ultimately speaking to an increasingly small pool of Brits. They should really rename it ‘BBC North Britain’ for that’s it’s audience these days. The biased coverage, particularly since 2011, has been instrumental in its undoing.

    • davetewart says:

      Can only agree, I don’t watch EBC or listen to their radio transmissions.
      Lbc is essentially tory propaganda, even O’Brien is an englander.
      I avoid GB propaganda tv.

      At least France 24 tries to give even coverage on it’s english channel.
      Irish tv has some news coverage but derived from Europe news.
      This site at least has some coverage from participants.
      Think we need to get a station created from all the Indy blogs on social media.

  33. Ken says:

    UK Gv whole Gov Accounts 2019/20. Published June 2022.

    Scottish Gov Account. Published on the internet. Shows how Scottish revenues and resources are misused by Westminster.

    Scotland loses £Billions to Westminster mismanagement and waste.

  34. Sunak apparently waiting for advice before going for a tinkle here in Scotland.

    Sorry, before deciding to overturn yet another bill from our parliament against the will of Scots.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-64260502

    • Alex Clark says:

      Looks like the Tories are backtracking on their threat to block the legislation.

      Somebody has probably realised that imposing your will on the Scottish parliament because you can is maybe not a good look and would likely be another own goal.

      I guess we’ll know for sure in a few days.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Which reminds me, has anybody else noticed the bags under Unionist Jack’s eyes have gotten a lot bigger recently. I think something might be worrying him LOL

  35. Dr Jim says:

    Journalist Ash Sarkar tears the Royals a new one on the BBCs Question Time as she describes them a *hideous cartel* and *bred in captivity zoo animals*
    Sarkar went on to describe the power of Rupert Murdochs press over British politicians who are too afraid to get on the wrong side of him

    Ash Sarkar, my heroine of today, we need more real journalists like this, but I fear the British and Murdoch will make her invisible

    They can’t keep control of fascist Britain if somebody keeps exposing how they’re doing it

  36. Good afternoon, at least to those Duggers who are not hiding under their beds in a triskaidekaphobian stupor.
    I’ve deliberately avoided PMQ and FMQ ‘live’, and BBC Jockland and News Where They are Down There this week.
    And I’m a better person for it.
    I gather that The Tailor’s Dummy lied about an Ukrainian refugee risking returning to the Bombs and bullets in Kyiv, because she would have to wait for years to see a GP in Edinburgh.
    The Tailor’s Dummy, and Christine Jardine and the Red Tory Murray have no clout or influence with Lothian Health Board to right this terrible injustice?
    What’s the point of them as politicians?
    It was all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault.
    Humza must resign.

    The Cash and Carry King millionaire dentist declared that it has nothing to do with Covid, or winter ‘flu, or Strep A or Truss’ crashing the £, or the rip off oil prices, or inflation, or industrial disputes, which were contributing to the Health crisis..it was Nicola Sturgeon’s fault, and Humza must resign.
    The Scottish Leader of the Blue Tories, Simon Lightwood, Labour Wakefield, according to Jo Coburn’s Daily Politics graphics department, was on his pins at PMQ asking the PM if he agreed with him that Nicola Sturgeon and her nasty Scottish Government would shut down oil fields if they were independent at he cost of hunners and hunners of jobs.
    Perhaps the programme’s editor may have been confused, mistaking Dross, whom Rees Mogg swatted away as ‘lightweight’, for ‘Lightwood’.
    He’s having a week of it, is poor 4 Jobs. Running the line at a fitba’ match on Sunday , screaming blue murder about the elected Scottish Government debating Independence in Edinburgh on Tuesday, then doon tae London to have his 30seconds of fame on Wednesday, then back up to Edinburgh to lie about our HS on Thursday.
    He doubtless had quotes and bits of paper to wave from his pet UK /Jock Doctors and ‘Royal’ college physicians and nurses. Humza must go and it’s all Sturgeon’ s fault.

    These three terrible men care not a jot about the health of their fellow scots.
    This pathetic three pronged attack on the Government has grown tedious and laughable.
    They offer no solutions, ot collaboration; they get on their pins every week, and spout some rabble rousing mince, then sit down again, their work for the week done.
    They know in their hearts that the game’s a-bogie.
    Their time is coming to an end.
    Sunak has ventured North..and the English Blahs have not even covered the visit.
    Starmer is in NI, saying nothing new.

    I readily walk under ladders, allow black cats to cross my path, step on paving stone lines, and will pass the salt on Friday 13th without a backward glance.
    What I won’t do is let these terrible little men away with this weekly dross any longer.
    Alister Jack got the catbird seat behind Sunak at PMQ.
    This week, he declared, and the Jock media covered it, that Scots were not interested in getting back into the EU.
    The brazen lies and bombast, up with any longer, we shall not put from this bloated Colonial Panjandrum.

    It is chilling to consider that I still managed to have the above Btit bombardment soak in to my consciousness despite my media free daily routine, either by osmosis or subliminally in the corner of my eyes and ears.
    They get away with lies and threats because we let them.
    No longer.
    Next time Dross declares at FMQ that he has a constituent who has waited 93 years to get a GP appointment, NS should demand:’ You’re an MSP, and leader of the Jock Tories; what have you done to intervene on your constituent’s behalf?’

    It’s all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault.
    Happy Friday 13th, Duggers.

  37. davetewart says:

    Well said Jack.

    Doesn’t say much for the englander’s management of the SNHS IF the health service of a WAR Zone is better.
    Throw their rubbish back at them.

    Questions for all.
    If you wanted a Freeport with a Global reach would you put it around the Black Isle or the Forth?
    If you wanted a Freeport with EU reach would you put in on the Forth

    • In our younger days, our wee family holidayed on the Black Isle regularly.

      As I type, my mouth salivates like a Pavlonian dog as I recall the delicious mince toasties and Guinness lunch at the Plough Inn in Rosemarkie all those years ago.

      This was in the days before they built the Kessock Bridge.

      The highlight on a Sunday morning was gathering at the quayside in Avoch, waiting for the wee ferry to deliver the Sunday papers from Inverness.

      Those were the days.

      Of course Sunak’s visit and the announcement of Freeports and 75,000 jobs reported by Glenn Campbell gets big licks today.

      Dross, First Lieutenant (RN Failed) Andrew Bowie, and David ‘EU Pasta Shapes shortages’ Duguid are clinging on like grim death Up There in and around the Moray Firth.
      They need to be thrown a bone by Sunak.

      The Forth Port development makes sense.

      We’ll need a major refurb of all East Coast harbours come independence when we recommence shipping freight from Scotland to mainland Europe, rather than continuing the farce of transporting our goods by land all the way down to the south coast of England, to join the queues at Dover, Southampton etc.

      HS2 we can do without. It won’t happen anyway.

      • PS Stephen Barclay is considering upping the pay deal for England’s HS staff, but only if they improve ‘productivity, and make ‘savings’ through ‘efficiencies’.
        You may recall my posts on this Tory staff cutting Doublespeak before.
        The English HS is 130,000 staff short; therefore the current team are working all the hours that the Lord sends. They have no choice.
        Has any Blah or TV station called Barclay out on this nonsense?
        130,000 staff short, yet he damnds more ‘productivity’ and ‘efficiencies’?
        These people are insane.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Not necessarily insane Jack, Barclay is attempting to bullshit his way out of an interview knowing full well the Torygraph, Mail, Depress etc will 100% rewrite his being “torn a new arse” as being “a difficult” interview.

      • davetewart says:

        Aye Jack, before the Kessock Bridge a Three hour drive from Inverness to Wick on the wonderful scenic coast road.

        Of course we couldn’t have Irvine, Troon or Hunterston as a Freeport as it would get in the way of the submarines and the Perisher training area.

        • Exactly, dave.
          When we send Trident packing, the whole west coast of scotland will be opened up for trade.
          Sturgeon is wise not to head up to Inverness , instead sending the Honest Man Swinney to suffer this shambolic spectacle of the unelected millionaire’s ‘non visit’ Up Here in the Frozen North.
          Who put him up overnight?
          King Spaniel?
          Come independence, we shall open up our shipping lanes to our continent, and there shall be a border betwixt us and England.
          Unlike Norn Irn, there shall be a land border, therefore customs shall be pretty straightforward in checking goods in and out of God’s Little Mac Acre.
          Bonded warehouses?
          CTA?
          A cake walk.
          Apart from the Border Force armed sentinels atop turrets guarding the Solway Firth, that is.
          All those illegal English immigrants in small boats?
          There used to be a tunnel too?
          Our Border Force will need to be extra vigilant at low tide …they could walk across!
          Our customs force’s government issue knitting needles to puncture inflatables will be of no use them.
          Sunak has vowed to stop the boats!
          That’s to thwart the thousands of Albanian gangsters getting in to England.

          Come independence, will he pledge to stop the English illegal immigrants sailing across the Solway?
          I’m being silly now.
          Special Fish suppers for tea tonight.
          I’m dribbling again.
          Later.

  38. Dr Jim says:

    Scotland has the appearance of devolution but not the reality:

    If health management truly is devolved to Scotland, isn’t gender recognition or reassignment or call it what you will in essence a health issue both physical and or mental? if it is, and I do think it is, then health is not devolved at all, and really nothing is if the English government can overturn any law at the whim of any English government Minister anytime they choose

    Scotland has never looked quacked and walked more like a colonial duck right now then ever before
    When we in Scotland are confronted with bare faced lying English politicians insisting that no matter what we say we want, they say we don’t, and that they and only they can tell us what we want is what they tell us we want and that’s an end of it

    • I’ve had my fill of the GRA Red Herring.
      Of course it is an issue of great concern to those affected, and they have all our sympathy and support in this momentous decision to bring our laws into alignment with the majority of the civilised world.
      I broke purdah, and checked out good old Genn’s piece on the BBC site following Sunak’s trimphant visit to The Northern Golden Goose Colony for one day over two at the end of the week.
      Remind me to check the telly reports of the Great leader’s visit; the cheering crowds, the bouquets of flowers presnted by the daughters of teh great and Good of the Scotia Nostra.
      The packed halls as Rich!, to an compliant media pack, promises us Sweaties that we really matter…
      Campbell’s piece was all about the GRA and would the Real Government block it…the a couple of hundred words as a footer on the Freeports, TU laws, and dinner with Nikla.
      I donj’t care about GRA, nor, I suspect does the vast majority of 5.4 million fellow Scots.
      There, I’ve said it.

  39. Dr Jim says:

    The GRA in itself is not of any great significance, what is is the method by which the English government intend if they dare to strike it down given that they accept this legislation from several other countries around the world
    The legal eagles are fairly unanimous that this is not within any normal legal power of England to do this so they must employ ancient monarchial laws of England and sign King Charles up to *refusing royal assent to the bill*

    That means Scotland is indeed not governed by any legal democracy but by monarchial dictatorship and nowhere in the so called act of union between our two countries was that ever documented as ever existing that England could use the monarch in this fashion rather than the agreed legally constituted democratically elected parliament

    If they get away with doing it once

  40. yesindyref2 says:

    I see the National has come out with a garbled poorly written anti-Catholic piece in its quest against religion.

    • Golfnut says:

      I agree, he possibly understands division but clearly has little idea about democracy and how abuse of the democratic process fuels the very thing he says he doesn’t like. Being heid honcho of an autocratic institution probably doesn’t help.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        I agree, he possibly understands division but clearly has little idea about democracy …
        ________

        Just consider how he (and the Pope is always a ‘he’ and erm … a Catholic) is elected …

        Democracy? More like a Catholic Shamocracy!

    • I don’t see it as anti-Catholic, just total mince of an article. Really the national needs to vet articles better. People pay subs for it.

      https://archive.is/I9kxv

      The pontiff made the assessment in an interview with Spanish newspaper ABC on the subject of Catalan independence from Spain…

      …“Spain is not the only case in the world. Each country has to find its historical path to solve these problems.

      “There is no single solution. Some regions have obtained preferential statutes as a way to solve these problems and in others divisions were made, and a new country emerged. Is now the time for the definitive solution for Catalonia? I do not know. That is for you to say.

      “A couple of years ago we saw the courage of two prime ministers to solve the problem in North Macedonia. In Italy we have an area in the north, the Alto Adige, with its own statute where German and Italian are spoken … and the English resolved the requests from Scotland ‘the English way’.”

      Seems to me he’s probably talking about 2014. That or he’s subtly attacking ‘the English’ for not letting us vote, which London has form on. My guess is he just doesn’t know much about what’s going on and made a passing comment based on remembering indyref1. Overall thing is him just not taking political sides, unlike the Church of England, which thinks it should make laws for Scotland without our permission.

      Scotland certainly isn’t under papal rule, but CoE rule, with Charles at the top of this.

      I say this as a Jedi.

      What’s nice is he talks about ‘the English’ and Scotland. But then it’s only the likes of Alister Jack that sees us as all one nation. Nobody outside of Britain does. Betcha nobody’s ever asked Jack if he’s ‘British’ when he’s on holiday in Europe. They’ll have asked if he’s English. He’ll have responded ‘British’ causing them to look slightly puzzled and think ‘Ok, so English then’ .

      It’s not as if Japanese tourists be like ‘Lets go visit Edinburgh, a provincial city in North Britainshire!’, while Americans are all ‘Outlander was set in North Britain right?’.

  41. Hamish100 says:

    I suppose the point is why did the Pope found it necessary to discuss Scotland and independence.
    This from the head of the smallest city state in the world in Vatican City when it “broke free” in 1929 from Italy
    Too wee, surely?
    Look on the bright side. All Rangers supporters, orange lodges and folk from Larkhall will support Independence. Independence is assured? Oops folk from Coatbrig…….

  42. Hamish100 says:

    Michael Russell has discovered the bbc are biased. Shock, horror!

    Michael we have known this for years. SNP worthies in 2014 and some from the Yes campaign were too close to the bbc and stv luvvies. They seemed to believe that by not criticising the bias, the tv networks would be nice to independence.
    Remember Nick Robinson, attacking Alex Salmond, Cook and his standoff with Nicola Sturgeon. I remember well individuals speaking out for independence of the journalists.
    For me the snp hierarchy were too generous in thinking bbc/stv would play ball.
    They are led by unionists for unionism. It’s good Russell has wakened up.

    • Well, TBH, it’s time SNP politicians were straight up here. With the BBC – the propaganda arm of the British state – complicit in blocking iref 2, no more being polite please. They’ve taken their gloves off, and so should we.

  43. Golfnut says:

    The Times ( comes second in the league of most untrusted media sources, even the Sun beat it) sh#t stirring again.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1081934212006008/permalink/2060251544174265/

    I’m sure there is such an option being put before conference for consideration, whether it comes from Nicola is another matter.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Beat me to it. Yes, hopefully it’s unionist nonsense from the Times rather than Tommy Sheppard, and it’s not a whole load of SNP MPs looking to top up their pensions for the next 25 years.

  44. Told you it was going to get even crazier.

    Even school kids at Murrayfield singing the national anthem is ‘anti-English’ now.

    https://archive.is/NcF7k

    Jack McConnell calls for Flower of Scotland to be replaced

    A FORMER First Minister has backed calls to scrap Flower of Scotland as the country’s unofficial national anthem because of its alleged anti-English “chippiness”.
    Labour peer Jack McConnell, who was Scotland’s First Minister between 2001 and 2007, supported calls from Scottish rugby coach Jim Telfer to replace the song with something more “positive”.

    “At last the movement for a proper national anthem begins,” he said.

    “If Wales and other countries can sing something positive so can the Scots.”

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser also added his support, claiming the anthem was “outdated”.
    He told The Times: “The time has come to replace the outdated Flower of Scotland. Frankly it does little to stir the emotions and can be considered jingoistic with its tone and lyrics.

    If the song was about Scotland trying to invade and rule England, that would definitely be anti-English. As it stands, it’s technically anti-Scots from an English perspective (them invading us), which is why unionists don’t like it.

    That said, I like Highland Cathedral. Very pro-EU, being written by German composers. An ideal one for us going independent and joining our true friends there.

    • Incidentally, I don’t sing GSTK. I’m not a royalist, nor a unionist, nor CoE Christian, so if I sung it, I would not mean a word of it, which would be anti-English / British.

      My guess is McConnell and Fraser never sing Flower of Scotland because they feel it’s ‘anti-English’ right?

      Well, the ‘flower of Scotland’, her people, are >50% Yes now, and that’s getting to the British nationalists.

    • iusedtobeenglish says:

      Obviously never read the 3rd verse either. Unlike GSTK, which mentions crushing rebellious Scots, it says
      Those days are passed now
      And in the past they must remain

      But we can still rise now
      And be the nation once again”

      AOT being “outdated” it’s actually bringing the situation bang up to date. It’s also hardly jingoistic, as it specifically says that the warlike policies must remain in the past, but Scotland can still rise as a nation again. Not the (jingoistic) Best Nation. Just go back to being itself.

      Is it not more “we’ve done/been it once, we can do/be it again”?

      Whether another anthem would be more appropriate after Independence is a decision for the future.

      Incidentally, I’m coming to the conclusion that England needs Independence. We just need Self-Determination. Say YES to EnglIndy 1!

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      “If Wales and other countries can sing something positive so can the Scots.”
      _______

      Just waiting for them to single out these lines of our national anthem as ‘jingoistic’:

      Os treisiodd y gelyn fy ngwlad tan ei droed,
      [If the enemy oppresses my land under his foot,]

      Mae hen iaith y Cymry mor fyw ag erioed,
      [The old language of the Welsh is as alive as ever,]

      ___________

      Oh, and while their at it, can they delete that reference to ‘seditious Scots to crush’ in THEIR National Anthem.

      Though, as eny fule kno, THAT isn’t jingoistic or anti-Scots (and Scotland) at all is it?

      • To be honest, I can’t help but feel the Brenglish nationalists are very touchy and paranoid. They see ‘anti-Englishness’ everywhere. That can only come from a deep seated sense of insecurity. I mean they actually have a country 10+ times the size of our own, yet are desperate for us Scots, Welsh etc to look up to them / admire them. Any perceived slight has them wailing about how nasty we are for not liking them, how their feelings are hurt etc.

        I honestly don’t know how they hope to face the world if kids singing Flower of Scotland, Yma o Hyd etc ahead of the footie has them all angst ridden and paranoid.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Only the population of England is x10 larger than Scotland, physically England is only around 19 to 20 thousand square miles bigger, of course if you took a geographical iron to Scotlands mountain landscape we’d be around twice as large as England

          Of course it’s all relative, but given the place is chokka with my racist Tory relatives, you wouldn’t want to live there given freedom of choice

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Re German composers, the only thing which would cause me to watch the English coronation is the Coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest, composed by Handel. Likewise the only version of Rule Brittania worth listening to is the arrangement by Richard Wagner.
      I used to think Scots Wha Hae should be out national anthem. Roy Williamson never meant Flower of Scotland to be an anthem. My own idiosyncratic choice is No Gods and Precious Few Heroes by the great Brian McNeill.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      It was almost predictable Jack be would released from his box on some inanity, and Turdo would do the support act – What with everything going to hell in a hand-cart with the economy, industrial strikes, cost of living crisis, crippling energy energy bills arriving, stories of the NHS collapsing in Scotland (HMS James Cook, Tsunami Baillie and Disaster Gulhane) only having managed to increase the distrust in all three, an abysmal performance by the latest Prime Charlatan visiting Scotland as PR exercise having bombed, what do you do by way of diversion ?
      Call in Jack Schitt to talk Schitt.

      As aside, there is NO official UK National Anthem, it was as a “popular” song “adopted” in 1745 when the infamous verse “Rebellious Scots to crush!” WS referred to was appended briefly before they realised ‘jingo’ was never going to help establish stability and rapidly dropped.

      I dare say Jack Schitt would object to “Nellie the elephant” being sung by a crowd lest Jackie Baillie take a fence with her in objecting…

      • Hamish100 says:

        Rebellious Scots ……was still in hymn books when I was growing up. Couldn’t understand why a Christian would want to crush the Scots?

  45. Capella says:

    Mike Russell’s article on the national disgrace that is BBC Scotland has some very good comments which you will not be able to read on the archived version. But if you do have a subscription then do read them.

    BBC Radio Scotland isn’t as bad as we think it is – it’s so much worse

    I CAN’T remember when I stopped listening to BBC Radio Scotland but at some stage in the last few years, I must have…

    Yet even accepting the budgetary and resource constraints applied by London-based management, Radio Scotland is currently more of a national disgrace than a national station and that situation has been made plain in the last week as a campaign develops to save three long-running radio series threatened with the BBC management axe.

    These deal with classical music, jazz and piping and are being junked, no matter the rhetoric, not only for cost reasons but also because they make a distinctively Scottish cultural contribution to a station that no longer wants such a thing…

    The Scottish jazz legend Tommy Smith has started a petition on Change.org to try to save the Jazz Nights series, as well as Classics Unwrapped and Pipelines.

    https://archive.fo/rzoWa

  46. Capella says:

    Ross Greer spells out The Scottish Greens’ opposition to Free Ports.

    Freeports in Scotland are effectively subnational tax havens

    DESPITE their name, there is nothing green about so-called “green freeports”.

    There is nothing new about them either. They are a failed Tory gimmick first tried under Thatcher as “enterprise zones” before being reheated under George Osborne and again under Boris Johnson.

    Freeports are special economic zones which offer big tax breaks, lower tariffs and other incentives to (usually very big) businesses. They are designated areas of up to 45km where normal rules and regulations do not apply. They are essentially subnational tax havens.

    In theory, freeports are supposed to lead to the creation of new jobs and more investment in local economies, but the reality is very different. What they really offer is a toxic cocktail of public cash to multinational corporations who don’t need it, a race to the bottom on pay, working conditions & environmental protections and a litany of unnecessary tax breaks for the already wealthy.

    https://archive.fo/RAphj

  47. Dr Jim says:

    If Scots hadn’t been a subjugated nation for over 300 years they’d be as confident as every other normal country, instead of moaning and waiting for somebody else to to things for us then complaining they’re doing the wrong things, they’d be doing it for themselves

    How many times do we have to listen to to ultimate moaners *Nikla Sturgeon’s done nuthin tae get us independence* when they’re too lazy to do anything about it themselves except moan

    It’s we the people who have to do it, the politicians are just there to facilitate and negotiate the deal

    A nation of armchair politicians pointing the finger at somebody else waiting for the sunrise then complaining it’s not bright enough

    Make no mistake if Sunaks fascists told the population of England that they’d all be much poorer without Scotland every single one of them would *reluctantly* vote to bomb us arrest our politicians and shut down Holyrood to bring us to heel
    If they told them they’d be richer without Scotland they’d be demanding a referendum to get rid of us

    Meanwhile Scotland just sits there moans blames and points their fingers

  48. yesindyref2 says:

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/23250704.nicola-sturgeon-set-pull-back-de-facto-referendum-plan/

    It’s reporting the Times for Heavens sake, but if there’s any truth in it and the SNP back off from the de facto GE referendum, I’m out.

  49. James says:

    The article in question is correct, there will be a motion for the ‘de facto’ election to be the 2026 election, but it is only one of the choices the other is for it to be the next UKGE

    It will be the conference to decide which is chosen

    • In the end, the approach is not about securing some sort of vote as that can’t be stopped, not unless all voting is cancelled in Scotland.

      If Scots want independence / it is their settled will, they will have it and that can’t be stopped, no more so than Irish indy, Indian indy…

      Everything is about showing Scotland that Brexit Brengland is not a friendly, democratic country, and that alone should be reason enough to leave asap. The UKSC case was a blinder that London walked right into. It seems the effect was as desired. So it will be a case of poll watching to see, if as over decade of data suggests, that generations of change have finally led to indy being the settled will, or whether that’s still a few years off yet and the latest wave on the rising tide might retreat again.

      Rumours will abound about various approaches to have England on its toes and, hopefully, walking right in again in an attempt to bludgeon Scotland into submission. Each time it does that, more settled will Yes votes are added.

      I can’t help but feel that Sunak may already be spotting the trans trap and rethinking the total idiocy of trying to mess with that ‘just because he can’. Doing that with iref2 bill already appears to have cost the union dearly.

      So the game of cat and mouse continues. However, Scots wanting indy should be focussed not on the vote to achieve that, but ensuring the Rubicon is crossed in terms of support. England is being very helpful in assisting here. Once that happens, the vote becomes a simple formality, confirming what Scots already now know their countryfolk want and must have. And just like any other people they will ‘fight and die for’ that if needs be, although those days should be ‘in the past now, and in the past, they should hopefully remain’. England isn’t Russia we’d hope!

      It’s not legal, it’s all political. This conference is a carefully designed tactical move aimed at twisting the thumbscrew on Sunak and pushing him to say no to whatever is proposed, so fuelling support for indy.

      Personally, if Scots are not ready yet (I believe they are now), I hope Labour get in and Scots see they’re just as bad in terms of trying to stop us voting. It’s expected of the Tories. But Starmer being way more Tory than ‘Devo’ Blair would be a real killer blow to the UK in terms of what’s left of support for it in Scotland. If he brought the UK closer to Europe again, that would make indy easier too.

      Going to be an interesting year and so much could change so rapidly. The UK is a constitutional tinderbox.

      • grizebard says:

        More like a festering swamp that nobody in England wants to do anything to sort out. But too many these days are, it seems, willing to play with matches beside a Grimpen Mire that produces ever-increasing quantities of marsh gas that is potentially highly inflammable…

  50. yesindyref2 says:

    OK, so the Times lied, so why don’t the SNP NEC, or leaders or spokesperson, tell the National that the Times lied, and correct the story, instead of sitting there dumb and numb, making it look for all the world as though they are flying a kite to see if they can kick the can down the road for another 10 years? They mad.

    Anyways, as TM said btl on the next article:

    Relieved that I held my fire until the SNP NEC motion text was published. The Times eh? What are they like!!

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/23251102.snp-national-executive-committee-agreed-wording-resolution/

    Seriously, the SNP annoy the beejeebies out of me, and if there was any other real alternative I’d be in there like Flynn (though he seems to be a disappointing wet blanket Westminster Leader, more interested in accruing Britnat pension baubies than getting Indy).

    • grizebard says:

      You may be right to be frustrated at perceived SNP sluggishness – I share it sometimes – but kindly leave off your ad hominem attacks on Flynn unless you have evidence to prove your wild assertions of bad faith. I dinna ken the chiel, nor anything about what his motivations are, and neither, I guess, do you. Personally, I prefer to watch and judge him by his deeds over time, not launch into a hasty public denunciation from another overindulgence of impatience.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        You’re putting words in my mouth I never said or meant. I am NOT “frustrated at perceived SNP sluggishness”, what I very clearly and inteligbly said was:

        instead of sitting there dumb and numb, making it look for all the world as though they are flying a kite to see if they can kick the can down the road for another 10 years?

        Can you spot the incredibly large, enormous difference?

        As for my opinion of Stephen Flynn, it is my opinion, formed by reading what he has said (not what he was reported as saying) and unlike you, I form my own opinions rather than having them formed for me [1]

        [1] two can play at the game of misrepresentation

        • grizebard says:

          Nuts. You generate a cloud of flummery here to hide the bare fact that you put a negative interpretation on Flynn’s motivation for which you have no actual evidence whatever. Just your own presumptions. Are you seriously claiming that he has outright said “I’m only in it for the payola”, or anything equivalently deducible? No, call it what you like, you’re just publicly indulging yourself in projection, for reasons unknown. Anyone can play the smear game, and lord knows, we already have too much of that going around.

          You are (normally) better than this.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Who do you think that comment about Flynn was aimed at, in the hope it would get there and cause some reflection?

            Hint: the answer is in the question!

            Same by the way goes for most of my comments – they optimistically have a target audience, outside of any echo chamber where most people are like “The SNP are purrrfect” – or “The SNP are tractors!”.

            It’s a noble self-sacrifice, but somebody’s got to do it.

    • Golfnut says:

      I agree with the frustration, and to be honest considering the length of time lapsed between the FM’s original announcement in Parliament regards using the GE as an alternative de facto referendum we shouldn’t have had to wait this long to find out how they intend to approach this issue, conference not withstanding. Again, as I was with the SNP submission to the SC, I find myself underwhelmed at the thought we will yet again find ourselves being asked for an answer to what is in essence nothing more than a rhetorical question ‘ should Scotland be an Independent country ‘
      What on earth are they playing at?

      • yesindyref2 says:

        I’m with SGP on this, and if Alba was comprised of more moderates like him (and had another leader), they’d become more of an option if this carries on:

        So an alternative to the main plan has now been proposed, which would see a Holyrood election used as the de facto referendum instead – but crucially, it would wait until the next scheduled Holyrood election in 2026. That’s no use at all to the people who were actually arguing for a Holyrood de facto referendum, because they almost uniformly expected it to be a snap election held this year. There was never any intention that it should be used as an excuse for yet more delay. 

        https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2023/01/if-presented-with-straight-choice.html

  51. Hamish100 says:

    whit the Times lied !

    I think a level of cynicism is required from any Britnat publication.

  52. davetewart says:

    On utube.
    Just watched the freeport interviews.
    One by STV news
    The other by EBC news.

    The ramble from the english unelected pm is identical in speech and hand movements, well practiced before recording, did they just share the video?
    Hopefully someone wlll put up the two together to show the propagandists for what they are.

    Give stv their place a bit for calling out sunak for ignoring the question and repeating the prepared message.

  53. yesindyref2 says:

    OT

    “The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland requests all whom it may concern to allow the bearer …”

    “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State Requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer …”

    … or we’ll send a gunboat.

    Irish ones have also been biometric for a good few years, making it easy to renew online (apart from the background of the home taken digital photo!!!). GB? Eh? What’s “biometric, some sort of height in metres? But we left the EU …”

  54. Alex Clark says:

    It doesn’t take much for some Indy supporters to start decrying the SNP and attacking its leadership. All it needs is a Unionist rag to publish an outright lie and off they go threatening to storm off in a huff.

    Seriously, you’d think they would know better by now.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Actually, the Times was at least half right, and this is what the National DIDN’T report:

      ( as an alternative for the above 4  paragraphs,  substitute:
       
      In the absence of an agreement already having been reached with the UK government – and given the UK government’s ability to call a General Election at a time of its choosing – the SNP will contest the next UK General Election, on whichever date it is called, on the issue of securing agreement for a transfer of power to enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum. 

      So, the alternative does open the door for back-sliding and treating SNP voters with the contempt perhaps we deserve.

      From the horse’s mouth:

      https://www.snp.org/the-snps-nec-agrees-resolution-to-be-debated-at-special-conference/

    • yesindyref2 says:

      and attacking its leadership

      Speaking personally, if your comment was aimed at me, I didn’t. Attack the leadership, if that’s Sturgeon. It’s not her so far trying to kick the can down the road, this was the NEC and some of the MPs who forget they were voted for by the likes of me to keep themselves in a job for the next 25 years, they were voted for to do everything in their power to get that referendum. Something some of them conveniently forget.

      Now tell me, is it better to haud my wheesht and just not vote SNP again, same as many others, or is it better to speak out loud our opinions to allow them some chance to consider those opinions and reform?

      One of the weakest things to do in support of Indy is to cower away in a corner like a wee sleekit cow’ring beastie, too feart to express any disapproval of the SNP in any way shape or form. That isn’t me.

      • they were voted for to do everything in their power to get that referendum

        They should do everything in their power to persuade Scots of the merits of indy (while keeping all options open on how that will be confirmed). Do that and voting will follow quickly, becoming a formality. That’s what we should be wishing it to be. We need it to be the settled will. Then we can’t lose and there’s no going back / cold feet such as what’s happening with brexit, making it a disaster.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Actually, the same reply goes to you, from the opposite angle, as goes to those who complain about the SNP not having done a UDI or whatever, after getting 45 MPs back in 2019. And it’s what’s in the actual SNP manifesto. Sticking to the constitutuional issue, first in order is this:

          We will work with others across Scotland and the UK to escape from Brexit. In a UK context, we will support a second EU referendum with Remain on the ballot paper. And if it is the only alternative to a ‘no deal’ Brexit, we will support the revocation of
          Article 50

          They tried, and anyone who puts reality above spin should agree they tried, but they failed because of lack of support from the Unionist parties. So then we get to this, which is more or less what I asserted:

          There is no end in sight. A vote for the SNP at this election offers an escape route for Scotland. It’s a vote for Scotland’s right to choose our own future in a new independence referendum.

          https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/www.snp.org/uploads/2019/11/11_27-SNP-Manifesto-2019-for-download. pdf (remove space)

          Hence indeed, now Brexit is done and hurting, so the first option is no longer open, as I said:

          they were voted for to do everything in their power to get that referendum

          • “they were voted for to do everything in their power to get that referendum“

            Which they’ve done, within their legislative power. The only way they can get ‘more power’ is if the people give them that, first by saying they will (in polls, demos etc), and then at the ballot box.

            As noted, the matter is political / democratic, not legal. The Scottish government cannot pressure the UK government, the pressure can only come from the Scottish people. The flower of Scotland must choose to rise now, and be a nation again.

            If ostensible for support for indy is not in obvious majority, then the UK government holds the power because, ultimately, Scots are not saying they want to take that back. And until the last year or so, Yes was, when you look at the bigger picture, in minority. That’s what the whole UK government strategy of denying a vote hinges upon. They even keep saying that. 2021 was the very first time that pro-indy parties actually won a (very narrow) majority share of the vote in a national election.

            But the UK government ‘deny deny deny’ approach fails when Yes becomes the settled will which, all the evidence suggests, it has now. Maybe narrowly, but each day it grows stronger. This year is likely going to prove very interesting.

            If people want indy, they need to stop complaining about what the Scottish government are doing in terms of organising a vote, and instead work on trying to win round as many people as they can for Yes. That’s how we get our independence. That’s what the fight is about, it’s not about the vote itself. If we want it, the vote is a rather meaningless afterthought simply confirming the obvious. Hell, if Scots really wanted indy in a big way, we wouldn’t necessarily even need a specific vote on it. An election itself with most backing pro-indy parties would be fine enough. If Scots feel its their will, and that’s obvious to all at home and abroad, that’s all that’s required.

            Indy can’t be won by a short campaign with slogans on the side of a tartan bus. It’s far more fundamental than that. In 2014 we had no choice but to fight it like that as the SNP were pushed into it. But now the ball is in our court and it’s London fighting a desperate rear-guard action.

            The only way to speed this up is to go talk to voters who are not yet Yes, and try to lead them that way. That’s how this is won. I hope everyone has a few they are working on gently. Not many to go now. Job may already be done.

            • keaton says:

              2021 was the very first time that pro-indy parties actually won a (very narrow) majority share of the vote in a national election.

              They got a majority of the vote in 2015.

              • I said ‘national election’.

                UK elections are not our national elections. Not unless you are Alister Jack or Gordon Brown. 🙂

                They are for another country which is not our own, and our MPs don’t represent the people of Scotland due to FPTP. Pretty much all such elections are actually useful for is protesting (2015, to come good on vow promises now indy was on the back burning for some time to come) or indy plebiscites, where it’s % for Yes parties that’s ultimately key, rather than the disproportionate number of Yes MPs that would in all probability create.

                2021 was the first time that Scots, under PR, gave a majority of votes to Yes parties for their own national parliament. One which represents them without huge numbers of wasted votes, tactical voting on large scales etc. That ties in with coming on 12+ years of polling data suggesting our baseline Yes has finally crossed the Rubicon.

      • Alex Clark says:

        My comment wasn’t aimed at you personally but it was aimed at those who, as I say continually threaten to withdraw their support from the SNP because… whatever it is that irks them at the time.

        With you personally, it’s usually because they are not going hard enough or fast enough for your liking. There are a not insignificant minority who feel exactly as you do and rather than “haud their wheest” they tend to never shut up about how dissatisfied they are with everything SNP, sounding like a stuck record.

        Far from aiding the cause of Independence in my opinion, they are acting against it by attacking the number one vehicle to get us there, the SNP and to a lesser extent the Greens. The Unionists just lap it up when the SNP come under fire from those who claim to support independence, they love it because they know that division is their friend. An unhappy camp is easily led into fighting amongst themselves and they just love that.

        If you choose not to support the SNP then that is a decision for you alone and you don’t need to vote for them to further the cause of Independence as there are other parties too that fit that bill. That’s totally your business and is the same for all of us.

        However, having a go at them does nothing to further the cause of Independence but if that’s what you feel you must do then fire away. I’d prefer though that you didn’t use ammunition garnered from Unionist rags in order to do so as believe me you can’t believe a thing written in them though I’m sure you know that.

        By the way, Stephen Flynn too is also a leader of the SNP but you know that as well.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Jings, even more misrepresentation:

          With you personally, it’s usually because they are not going hard enough or fast enough for your liking.

          I had no problems until after the UKSC judgement, about speed or method. So there’s no “usually” about it, now is there, eh?

          I’d prefer though that you didn’t use ammunition garnered from Unionist rags

          I don’t, and ultimately this was from THE FLAMING SNP – DO YOU THINK THEY’RE A UNIONIST RAG?

          Yet again, here’s that URL, read it for yourself if you can be bothered reading rather than attacking Indy supporters for just expressing our opinions.

          https://www.snp.org/the-snps-nec-agrees-resolution-to-be-debated-at-special-conference/

          By the way, Stephen Flynn too is also a leader of the SNP but you know that as well.

          I well remember that old expression:

          “Nobody likes a smaretar5e”.

          He’s not a leader of the party, he’s a leader of the Westminster group of MPs.

          But you know that as well.

  55. Dr Jim says:

    I’ve had my SNP email from the FM and read it all and I’m outraged that she didn’t *get me* independence by just daein sumthin tae make the NO voters be YES voters by this afternoon, then force the English to give up on their democracy denial and fascist attitude, I have to wait until she does something legal, and that’s not acceptable, she should be forcing all those NO voters to just do the right thing, I mean what kind of country are we living in where we can’t just do what we want when we think it’s right

    So sod the NO voters and the English government, just break out the UDI document and insist them into submission

    Be like Tories, We don’t need no vote

    Absolutely none of that was sarcasmic retric btw

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Like you I respect Sturgeon, and think she’s the best leader the SNP can have, same as FM for Scotland as a whole.

      Sturgeon made the promise about the UK GE being a de facto referendum, back in June IN Holyrood, the chamber itself.

      IF the NEC vote for any alternative to that, then it’s THEY are challenging Sturgeon’s authority, not me, nor any of those others complaining about the wishy-washy NEC watering down.

      Sheppard’s attempts, Flynn’s “It’s my neck on the line”, Hunter and Guigliano “GE win will be a request for an S30 not to negotiate independence itself” – they’re the ones challenging Sturgeon, and if they win with the kick the can down the road garbage, do you think Sturgeon should resign, having lost authority and credibility?

      So who is on Sturgeon’s side- me with the warning, or that wishy-washy lot who are undermining her?

  56. Bob Lamont says:

    Having already watched a snatch of Glenn Campbell’s limp interview with Sunak as comparative to Colin Mackay’s more assertive interview, I was a little nonplussed to see “Sunak has concerns about impact of gender reforms” appear on the BBC/Scotland/Politics webpage https://archive.ph/ODaqU complete with “Analysis by Glenn Campbell BBC Scotland Political editor”.

    Campbell’s version of the interview is quite a departure from Sunak’s total evasion, the only true quote being in the second paragraph – “The prime minister said the government was taking advice on the implications of the reforms “as is completely standard practice” “.

    Shades of Nick Robinson’s “He said nothing….”….

  57. yesindyref2 says:

    One last thing before I return to Picard series 2 “We are the Borg, you will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”, somehow reminds me of this forum for daring to express different opinions from the ordained Q continuum version.

    Cutting McHarg’s thread short, basically all it needs since 2016 is for Holyrood to agree a simple 50%+1 vote to change the election rules so that, yes, the SNP and Greens COULD force an extraordinary General Election this year, 2023, the year Indy Ref 2 was to be held before the undemocratic colonial UKSC decision, rather than kicking the can down the road until 2026, if the alternative resolution is passed in March. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant of the reality (or misrepresenting it).

  58. Ken says:

    People who support Independence should vote SNP etc at every election. A higher turnout to get rid of the opposition. More Indy supporters need to go out and vote every election. Not just a Referendum. Local council elections. Holyrood elections. A higher turnout. GE too. Take another to vote and vote SNP (etc) for Independence supporting candidate. Support for SNP/Independence rising. Needs a higher turnout at every election. To get rid of the opposition.

  59. Ken says:

    Catalonia has autonomy. So does Quebec.

    Scotland dies not.

    Scotland pays for all Westmibster poor, bad decisions. Out voted 10 to 1. A completely different situation. Scotland was supposed to be treated equally. It has not been. Iraq, Lockerbie and Dunblane kept secret under the Official Secrets Act for 100 years.

    Devokution 2000 with too limited powers. Scottish resources and revenues are mismanaged and misusedby Westminster. Losing £Billions.

    Illegal wars, financial fraydvand tax evasion. Supported by Westminster. The migration caused by US/UK. Never ending wars since 2WW. Westminster abuse keot secret under ‘D’ notices and the Official Secrets Act.

    Internet 1990’s. People can exchange and share information worldwide. Liars get found out. The illegal Barnett Formula. No taxation without representation. The UK the most unequal place in the world. Not cohesive and unhappy. Independence would sort that. More prosperity, equal and happy.

  60. yesindyref2 says:

    OK, as always the truth shall set us free, and here it is in Sturgeon’s own words, 28th June 2022, Holyrood:

    If it does transpire that there is no lawful way for this parliament to give the people of Scotland the choice of independence in a referendum – and if the UK government continues to deny a section 30 order – my party will fight the UK general election on this single question –

    ‘Should Scotland be an independent country’.

    https://www.snp.org/nicola-sturgeons-full-statement-announcing-the-2023-independence-referendum/

    Anyone arguing against that being reality is arguing against history, official records – and the SNP itself.

    Sturgeon’s neck is on the line, with the NEC and various SNP people queuing up to be the executioner of Lille with their proposed betrayal of promises.

    Where’s D’Artagnan when you need him?

  61. Dr Jim says:

    If Nicola Sturgeon was immortal and wanted to be FM until the end of time I’ve no doubt in my mind that Scotland would vote for that rather than any alternative no matter what anybody says or tries to promote

    The FM is simply trying to do things in the most legal democratic fashion she possibly can so that when the time comes international pressure and condemnation will force England to do what it should be doing now, which is giving in to the democratic principles it espouses everywhere else on the planet, for everyone else on the planet

    The FM must do exactly what she’s doing, following the principles the world would expect her to follow and exploring every civilised avenue before they give Scotland and her their full vocal support

    Every time the FM speaks all sides jump in delighting themselves and the British Nationalists in disagreeing with whatever she says, it’s the Scottish way, insist on action then when action happens it’s the wrong action no matter what that action may be

    There’s nobody else, it’s just her, so for those who want the last guy back well I’ve got news for you, he tanked it in 2014, he could have won and he chose not to, who the hell loses two arguments with Labour slow brain Alistair Darling twice in a row, and loses badly? wouldn’t have been Nicola Sturgeon would it, she’d have slaughtered Darling both times at a canter and we all know it, but she wasn’t in charge was she, and that’s just one of the reasons why she won’t let the last guy anywhere near any campaign on Scottish independence, apart from all the other toxic sh*t he embroiled and embarrassed our country in since

    Nicola Sturgeon has the job, let her get on with doing the damn thing her way, or vote Tory or Labour at the next election and submit to being England’s serfs again

    • yesindyref2 says:

      … he tanked it in 2014, he could have won and he chose not to, who the hell loses two arguments with Labour slow brain Alistair Darling twice in a row, and loses badly?

      That is just rewriting history. Firstly he did not choose not to win, what nonsense is that?

      Secondly “officially” he lost the first debate, but it was very close, one poll 36% him, 37% Darling, and one or two papers even having him the winner.

      The second debate had Salmond the winner – by a very large margin, papers mostly for him, and a poll saying Salmond won the debate by 71% to 29%.

    • The FM is simply trying to do things in the most legal democratic fashion she possibly can so that when the time comes international pressure and condemnation will force England to do what it should be doing now

      As the Pope said, ‘the English way’ is to repress democracy, even sending in the tanks if needed. They always lose in the end though. He’ll be old enough to remember a good lot of former English colonies going their own way. He’d have been 11 when India finally kicked out the brutal, massacring British, and 16 when they started the concentration camps in Kenya. Oh he knows ‘the English way’ all too well. Everyone beyond the UK borders does. It’s just within these a fantasy picture of ‘We’re all one nation British and our empire was benign’ is painted.

  62. yesindyref2 says:

    YUSS !!!!!

    I just installed Microsoft Power Toys and remapped my flaming retro Caps Lock key, probably a hangover in MS from Duke Nukem, to a Shift Key

    AT LaSSTtT.

    Had to prise it out of my old XP desktop to keep my sanity.

  63. Hamish100 says:

    I don’t normally recommend taking medication but in your case it may help. Lol 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Good Heavens! It seems some people post while totally absolutely drunk as skunks. Have a cup of tea instead, like I do.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Actually, I regret making that “humorous” reply.

      One of the first uses for the internet, was support groups for all sorts of physical and social problems. It’s one of the reasons posters were often anonymous, and why that was “allowed” by news carriers and moderators. Better a few people take advantage of that anonymity for fell purposes, than people be denied the help they hesitatingly and fearfully at times, sought, from their fellow forum dwellers – or bulletin boards.

      Drink and alcoholism are just one problem, some would go to groups like AA, but some would be too ashamed to admit to it. But forums were a blessing for them. Same goes for mental health, and with Covid, there’s been a sharp increase in problems.

      For some therapy works, but some indeed do need medication. To “insult” someone about medication shows a callousness that, frankly, disgusts me. Same of course goes for drinking to excess. Sadly while the insults the unionists throw around are mostly about benefits and Buckie, from independentists it seems to be about medication.

      We should all think more carefully before such casual “insults” – including me. It can hurt the innocent, including lurkers. And of course many, like diabetics, would die without their “medication”.

      • Telling someone to ‘take their medication’ is an old joke for when they’ve gone off on one. Which all of us do at times on here / internet forums. It’s not remotely offensive. Neither is e.g. saying ‘Have you had one too many?’, ‘what have you been smoking?’, ‘Are you off your trolley?’ etc.

        If someone did have mental illness problems, another person knew that and started saying ‘away and take your medication’ to belittle them, that would introduce deliberate motive and make it very offensive. Same for knowingly mocking a person for having a problem with alcohol or drugs. But nobody is doing such a thing.

        Best thing IMO is not to get offended unless there’s genuine cause for offence. It’s all too easy to get into wee rammies on the internet. While it has the benefits you suggest, it’s not so easy to express yourself fully with just the written word, especially in short posts. So misinterpretation is all too common.

        When it comes to indy, I’m as keen as anyone to have that as soon as possible. But my focus is it being the settled will. I don’t really care about how we vote for it. For me, I don’t want to go to bed biting my nails at the result like last time. I want to have a wee dram and drift off knowing we are just signing off what everyone knows is the settled will now. It’s going to come sooner than later the way the long term trend is. Things may happen very suddenly given the disastrous state of the UK right now.

        The best campaigners for indy are British nationalists. Doing a really grand job here, and the SNP should devote all their time to making the former walk into trap after trap. Let’s hope Sunak is really that stupid to walk into the trans trap while he’s still got the UKSC case bear trap attached to the other leg. Then, if all goes well, he’ll propose some sort of legislation to say it’s illegal to vote for indy via election plebiscite. That would be so amazing and would set us on guaranteed course for indy ‘the English way’ as Francis said.

  64. Dr Jim says:

    Brian Cox comes under fire from the independence supporters for using the word federation when speaking of Independence for Scotland on the BBC this morning, this has now been picked up by the divisionists and redefined as *federal* like Gordon Browns plot to prevent independence

    The EU is in essence a federation, each country independent but single purposed when it comes to co-operation, a federal system is like the US which is still one rules all but pretends a certain amount of autonomy to appear democratic to the voters, which is very Labour Gordon Brown fake independence that means nothing

    Star Trek is based on federations of planets, it’s just another word for co-operation but the divisionists and BBC have latched onto it to create the word I’ve just been using, division

    The only way England and it’s supporters have of thwarting the direction of independence is to create division, just keep trying to convince people to disagree on the method because they say it’s *healthy* to have disagreement, well that’s just a big load of animal dump invariably spoken by the people who want to divide
    If you want big a nail hammered in you use a big hammer, you don’t discuss how many little hammers to use and how many people are going to get a wee hit at it, because sure as eggs somebody will bend the nail and you’ll have to start all over again

    And wouldn’t the divisionists just love that

    The FMs in charge, that’s who we vote for, back her or sack her, everything else is designed to undermine her, and that’s doing the work of those who oppose the cause of independence

    Healthy to disagree? who feels healthy following any disagreement? nobody! it’s a convenient lie invented to give those who haven’t the backing of their own argument a position to snipe yet still be listened to, a free losers charter legitimised

  65. Oh this just keeps keeps getting better. This is Sir Starmer ‘stoking division’ between Scotland, Wales and England. After all, north British labour voted for the reforms and Western British Labour back them too.

    https://archive.is/orB4Q

    Keir Starmer: I have ‘concerns’ about Scotland’s gender laws

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Coincidence ? This would be the same “concerns” the BBC in Scotland are attempting to portray of Sunak’s interview with Glenn Campbell, where he said no such thing ?

      • Dr Jim says:

        Suppose we *reframe* the argument to highlight these concerns? Martin Geisler might say in his typical BBC redefining of parameters style, common to the previously referred divisionists

        *Reframe*, ya gotta laugh at the effort they put in to change the subject to a UK diversion they invented to avoid the actual subject for which they have no argument

      • stewartb says:

        Glenn Campbell is trying hard to muddy waters. From the BBC News website today there is this headline – ‘Starmer: ’16 is too young to change legal gender’.

        Then within the article, in the (so-called) ‘Analysis box by Glenn Campbell, BBC Scotland political editor’ we learn: ‘The official position of the Scottish Labour Party was to support that change, albeit that some of their MSPs refused to back the bill at the final stage.’

        Perhaps accurate but this is the actual detail of the Holyrood vote by Labour at the ‘final stage’:

        Scottish Labour 18 for, 2 against, 0 abstained, 2 no vote.

        See https://www.parliament.scot/chamber-and-committees/votes-and-motions/S6M-07312

        Mr Campbell could just as easily have written ‘two of their MSPs refused’ instead of ‘some of their MSPs refused’. Just as wordy but much more precise, much more informative. Of course precision and being informative may not be his objectives!

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          Pedants’ Corner

          Just as wordy but much more precise, much more informative.

          _______

          To be precise,

          … some of their MSPs refused to back the bill …
          has one more character than
          … two of their MSPs refused to back the bill …

          Or is Campbell paid per letter for his scribblings?

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Given the prior distortion of Sunak’s interview by Glenn Campbell headlined as “Sunak has concerns about impact of gender reforms” on BBC/Scotland/Politics https://archive.ph/ODaqU there is definitely a strange propaganda game being played here by or via the BBC.

          Sunak was his normal evasive self in Campbell’s interview, and expressed no such “concerns” despite Campbell’s attempts to encourage it.

  66. Surely Westminster overturning devolved parliament laws counts as ‘stoking division and animosity between the home nations, pushing the UK towards break-up’.

    Why don’t the BBC say this to Sunak and Starmer? It’s very obviously the case.

    • Dr Jim says:

      They must constantly assert their dominance, their superiority, their exceptionalism
      in the projection of their power over their colonials
      Scotland’s parliament doesn’t represent a people, only England’s parliament represents *the* people, and those people aren’t Scots Welsh or Irish, they’re the *British* English people whose votes count

      If Scots were all black people the racism alone towards us would’ve seen Scotland independent years ago

  67. yesindyref2 says:

    Anyways, something you often find when people have disputes is that they are arguing at cross purposes, making false assumptions about the other’s point of view. And the thing to do then is look for a common course of action.

    And it’s very easy to find that – SNP members of which I am not one, should launch amendments from their branch, and try to make sure your voice is heard – and your vote counts. That’s particularly important if it’s the delegate vote system being used, because instead of the action being decided by 100,000 members, it’s decided by just a few hundred, and that means the result can easily be hijacked away from the wishes of the membership as a whole.

    I’m not a fan of James Mitchell, but I agree with him that Sturgeon is a fundamentalist. Her heart and soul is in Independence, and this is where the Sturgeon haters have it the wrong way around completely, when they say she is a devolutionist, or worse, an agent of Wetminster. You what? Did you not see her gracefully win the debate against Michael Moore who refused to lie, and with whom she negotiated the terms of the S30 and Edinburgh Agreement – one question (fundamentalist), not two including devo (gradualist)? And that question and the ref itself to be totally under the control of Holyrood? And then her demolition of hard man Carmichael who she reduced to crying “Help me Rona”?

    Whereas I think the NEC has been perhaps taken over by gradualists, and it’s a bit of a battle. For me, it’s a battle Sturgeon must win, simple as that. She is the leader with a well positive approval rate, against some faceless people who think they rule the roost.

    Get your vote in, or see the SNP be reduced in the same way as it was in 1979, to sitting in the wilderness for another 20 years. It happens in March, the doom of the SNP is decided. (doom as in fate or destiny).

  68. I’m waiting for Starmer to next say he doesn’t believe Scots are mature enough to vote at 16, so would like to see that rolled back for elections and referendums.

    Maybe English people are late developers, but that doesn’t mean Scots are.

    • Dr Jim says:

      16 year old Scots are mature enough if they vote Tory or Labour, but deluded children if they choose SNP
      One could easily turn that right around by saying those over 80years old are out of touch with modern society and should therefore be denied the vote on that basis

      It’s the Labour party way though isn’t it, it always has been how do we *make* people vote the right way, and if we can’t make them do that then they’re the wrong people

      Aye, the very flexible Labour party—–not!

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      16 y/os are Immature, y’say, Mr Starmer?

      _______________

      At 16 you can:

      Get married.

      Enter into a civil partnership.

      Consent to lawful sexual intercourse.

      Leave home without your parents/guardians’ consent.

      Apply for your own home through your local council.

      Have access to many more banking facilities, including all adult services, except overdrafts and credit.

      Buy wine, beer or cider to drink in a restaurant with a meal when a responsible adult is present, but cannot buy it in a bar, off-licence or supermarket.

      Join a trade union.

      Drive a moped, small agricultural tractor, or mowing machine.

      Leave school. If you are 16 between 1 March and 30 September you can leave after 31 May of that year and if you are 16 between 1 October and the last day of February you can leave at the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year.

      Get a full-time job and pay National Insurance.

      Choose your own GP.

      Change your name without the consent of your parent or guardian.

      Be sent to a young offenders’ institution.

      Be prosecuted in the Justice of the Peace, Sheriff or High Court

      Stand for election to become a member of a Community Council in certain areas.

      If adopted, you have the right to access information relating to your birth and adoption. You can obtain your original birth certificate and request a copy of your adoption record and your court record. Find out more on the Citizen’s Advice Scotland website.

      Join the armed forces, but not to train as an officer. You will also need parental consent if you are under the age of 18. You can apply from the age of 15 years 9 months.

      Be legally responsible for babysitting.

      Apply for a passport without parental/guardian consent.

      Consent to medical treatment (if you are under 16 you can also consent to medical treatment if you are capable of understanding the nature and possible consequences of the procedure and treatment).

      Opt-out of being an organ donor.

      Earn the National Minimum Wage for 16 and 17 year olds.

      Work as a waiter or waitress in a hotel or restaurant.

      Buy Premium Bonds.

      Get a piercing without parental/guardian consent.

      Buy a pet – you can own a pet before you’re 16 but you can’t buy one yourself without a parent present until you’re 16.

      You must pay full fare on trains (unless you have a Young Scot card which gives you up to a 1/2 off train fares!).

      Vote in a Scottish Parliament election and in a local council election.

      Source: https://young.scot/get-informed/what-can-you-do-at-what-age/

      • My 15 year old daughter is so much more mature than many adults I encounter, including plenty of pro-UK politicians.

        She’s not happy at all at being told by unionist parties that she can’t vote on Scotland’s future because ‘she decided that in 2014’. She was in primary school FHS.

        Seems some British politicians can’t even do basic maths.

  69. Ken says:

    There are few 16 year old voters. They are mainly older. Elections every 4 – 5 years.

  70. Ken says:

    Internet 1990’s. Devokution 2000.

    Different times to 1970’s.

    Support for SNP and Independence increasing.

    SNP is supported by its members. Largest political Party in the UK (pro rata). Electoral victories. For better policies supported by the electorate.

    People who support Independence need to go out and vote with a higher turnout, every election. To get rid of the opposition. An increasing step to Independence.

    Use the vote or lose it. Take along another voter as well.

  71. This is going well.

    Maybe Scottish Labour are ‘Lightweights up in Elgin’?

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