Prime Minister’s Quarrelling

There’s pointlessness, and then there’s Prime Minister’s Question, where democracy goes to kill itself, who needs to stare aimlessly at peeling wallpaper when every week we are confronted with this joyless exercise in futility. There may once have been a time when the Prime Minister gave a serious and informative response put to him or her by the leader of an opposition party, but that time has long gone. In recent years the last several Conservative Prime Ministers have ceased even to pretend to give an answer to the questions put to them, treating them instead as opportunities to deliver rehearsed and deeply unfunny put downs. You’d have more luck scratching your right elbow with your right hand than in getting Rish! Sunak, the current resident stand up non-comedian of PMQs to give a sensible response to the questions he is asked. It’s supposed to be Prime Minister’s Questions, not Prime Minister’s Quarrelling. There are arguments on primary school playgrounds which are wittier and more informed than the yah boo sucks to you which passes for an answer from the Prime Minister at PMQs.

The truly shocking thing about this weekly farce is that the Speaker routinely enables this naked contempt of one of the very few methods that Westminster allows MPs to interrogate the holder of an office to whom the British parliamentary system gives almost unlimited power. This is proof that the Westminster system is utterly dysfunctional and incapable of holding the powerful to account. Indeed it’s not going too far to say that the entire purpose of the Westminster system is to ensure that the powerful cannot be held to account. It provides the trappings of democracy, but little of the substance.

The current incumbent of 10 Downing Street has no personal mandate, he has not won an election, not even an election carried out amongst members of his own party. He holds office on the sufferance of his backbench MPs only because their dislike of the idea of another General Election is greater than their dislike of Rishi Sunak – at least for the time being.

Sunak is a bizarre mash up of the previous four Conservative Prime Ministers, Like David Cameron he’s rich, immensely privileged and woefully out of touch with the lives of ordinary people, like Boris Johnson he trades in deceit and duplicity, like Theresa May he’s robotic and wooden, an empathy free zone, and like Liz Truss he’s hopelessly out of his depth and a puppet of his party’s most extremist factions.

Tory MPs shouting, screaming and braying while the Labour leader details what the Conservatives have done to the ambulance service in England is not a good look, but it is completely in keeping with the selfish, uncaring, cruel, heinous, ugly selfish bastards they are.

Scotland has its problems with the NHS too, but ambulance response times in Scotland are nowhere near as bad as they are in England. This is a topic about which I have deep personal experience. When a person suffers a stroke it is imperative to get them to a hospital as soon as possible so that they can have a scan and the cause of the stroke be determined. If the stroke was caused by a blood clot – as mine was – the patient can be injected with a clot busting drug which will prevent further damage to the brain. If the stroke was caused by a bleed, they can then be given medication to rapidly coagulate the blood and thus prevent further damage to the brain.

The treatment for one type of stroke is damaging to a patient who has suffered the other kind of stroke. Crucially there is only a narrow time window in which patients can be given the appropriate treatment. If this time window is missed the brain tissue affected by the stroke dies and brain damage is the result. This is why it is imperative to get stroke patients to hospital as soon as possible. Ambulance service guidelines state that patient who have suffered a suspected stroke should be got to hospital within 18 minutes.

I know from bitter experience what happens when this target is not met. I had a stroke during the worst period of the pandemic in 2020 before there were any vaccines. Ambulance crews were short staffed as many health workers were themselves ill with covid, those still at work had to cope with a flood of covid patients struggling to breath and in need of urgent medical care. It took over an hour before I was got to hospital and the cause of my stroke determined, by this time it was far too late to inject me with clot busting drugs and I was left with significant brain damage which has caused disabilities which will be life long and which are serious enough that I was awarded the maximum possible in disability benefit. If It had been possible to get me medical treatment within 18 minutes, I might not have been left with the significant disabilities which now rule almost every aspect of my life.

This week in England in some areas it is taking ambulance crews two hours or more to reach patients who have suffered a stroke. These patients, if they survive, will suffer far more serious disabilities than they otherwise would have. They will require greater rehabilitation resources, higher levels of disability benefit, more in the way of community and social support, all of which imposes a far greater burden on the public purse, not to mention the immense emotional and psychological toll that coming to terms with a serious disability imposes on patients and their loved ones.

But when Starmer asked Sunak a simple question about ambulance response times in England, an issue which has been highlighted all week and which Sunak should have expected, the Prime Minister looked utterly clueless while the monkeys on the Tory benches behind him hooted and howled and threw metaphorical poo. Finally Sunak replied with a cheap jibe about the Labour party, who have not been in power for 13 years. I almost burst a blood vessel and had another stroke.

Then it was the turn of the SNP leader Stephen Flynn to be patronised and fobbed off. Stephen Flynn put it to Sunak that by using a Section 35 Order to block Scottish legislation democracy in Scotland has become collateral damage as the Tories pursue their culture war. He accused Sunak of creeping toward a policy of direct rule. There was more dismissive point scoring from Sunak, at which point I switched off. I only wish that Scotland switches off from Westminster permanently.

I have a physiotherapy appointment tomorrow to help me with my persistent muscle cramps, so I won’t be about. The next new blog piece will be on Monday.

______________________________________________________

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277 comments on “Prime Minister’s Quarrelling

  1. Craig Fraser says:

    I fully understand what you have written regards strokes and waiting times. I had sub arachnoid haemorrhage in May 2009. I survived with not too much brain damage just cognitive and memory deficits. I was taken to Raigmore Hospital it is due to the staff and clinicians and aftercare that I am still here. Survival rate for this type of stroke is 5%. Every 15minute delay in treatment significantly reduces survival rate and how messed up you are. The UK is not fit for purpose and this is blatantly obvious too many l.

  2. bringiton says:

    Flynn is right but understated.
    At Westminster,English law magically transforms into UK law and Scotland’s “independent” Scots law subject to it through Blair’s sleeket devolution act and his Supreme Court.
    Before Holyrood was reconvened,they could hide this by having their Scotland office enact English legislation on their behalf.
    Now that the scam has been exposed,they are brazenly making it clear to Scots that within the UK state,they have little or no say over what happens in Scotland.
    Put that in your referendum and smoke it or to quote Union Jack,”just suck it up”.

  3. davetewart says:

    We now know where the two Ronnies got the idea for the mastermind script for answering the question by reference to my previously prepared non answers.

    The place is a panto, but not even funny.

    It’s not worth wasting your time on it, there are clips available to make it funny.

  4. Hamish100 says:

    Looks like more disruption at Parliament by the put up demonstrations.

    The tories and their allies are trying to bring down the Scots Parliament by their disruptive behaviour and encouraging others.

    They are the dregs of political life.

  5. Alex Clark says:

    Channel 4 just published this on Youtube less than an hour ago, a devasting indictment of what 12 years of Tory rule have meant for the NHS in England.

    They are absolutely running the NHS into the ground through a lack of funding, no doubt with a plan to convince the public that only privitisation can save it.

    Everybody needs to watch this and share it, it’s a simply gobsmacking report.

    England’s NHS crisis in one shocking graph

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Alex not forgetting also John Pilger’s fantastic exposé documentary of the NHS called ‘The Dirty war on the NHS’…..

      • Craig Fraser says:

        Also the books -How to Privatise the NHS in 10 easy Steps by the Birmingham born GP Yousef El-Ginghy & Austerity the demolition of the Welfare State Rise of Zombie Economy by Kerry-Anne Mendoza.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      👍

  6. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    There is no doubt whatsoever that Hoyle is the Tory’s man in the Speaker’s chair.

    He reserves his fury solely for the SNP while he remains INACTIVE as he listens week in and week out to NON answers from both the so called PM and the various Tory ministers who are supposed to answer questions relevant to their office but instead they choose to avoid answering the question by either attacking the questioner and their respective party via a non related topic or deploying a non funny and sarcastic quip confident in the knowledge that it will not be, as a NON answer to a serious question, subjected to a reprimand by Hoyle.

    Sunak often refers to Jeremy Corbyn when deploying his NON answer tactic to Starmer….which is hilarious in the sense that the Labour party worked very very hard to try and oust Corbyn as their leader and have now ousted him from their actual party….he now sits as an independent…..I guess that when desperate and unable to defend you and your government’s position, you as a PM, will resort to deploying a blatant irrelevance and frankly ridiculous NON pertinent response that sees you GRASP at a no longer USED Labour persona non grata aka Corbyn who was DISPOSED of by the supposed official opposition….indeed they never wanted him as leader in the first place…twas the MEMBERS who elected Corbyn as leader NOT the politicians…..we all remember Labour’s #ChickenCoup just after the Brexit vote result….he resigned because he NEVER had the confidence of his right wing pseudo Tory party as it NOW clearly is under Starmer.

    The Tag team of T*** ( rhymes with NITS) as in Ian Murray, Dross and his Scottish (INO) Tory MP’s feed anti SNP Q’s (lines) to the so called PM, Scottish (INO) Secretary and other ministers of the UK government ……THAT is their ONLY job when discussing ANYTHING that pertains to Scotland. However we need to remember that Ian Murray does represent a TORY vote in his constituency …achieved via tactical voting to keep the SNP out…thus he needs to stick to the program which means he is restricted at Scottish Q’s to attacking mainly the SNP while minimising any (obvious) failing of both the Tory UK government and indeed the Tory so called but NOT Scottish (INO) Secretary of State in anything and everything that relates to Scotland’s and it’s politics…..

    The Tories KNOW that Labour must play along in attacks on the Scottish government…not because either of them CARE about their vote in Scotland in elections but because their common cause is in TRYING to Save a NON Union as in keeping the cash cow onboard which is their ONLY concern re Scotland…..and thus via their combined constant attacks on the SNP at WM they need to try and undermine the competence of the SNP’s governance in Scotland and too try and diminish confidence in our government’s ability and performance with the people in Scotland….while laughingly they both, as political parties, are via their own words and actions proving that tis they who are inept and incompetent as both a government and an opposition.

    Yes Paul we do indeed need to “Switch off WM” but to do that we need more people in Scotland to be SWITCHED ON to what has and is happening in this fake country called the UK…..Brexit should be both the Tories and Labour’s Achilles Heel in Scotland as a policy rejected by Scotland and also a proven hugely flawed and failed policy come next GE….but NOT just Brexit we should also be able to emphasise the propaganda used by Better Together in 2014 that promoted a YES vote would lead to higher food prices, energy prices, companies leaving Scotland ( assumption being OUT of the EU post leaving the UK), No relying on OIL revenue as source of income as it was running out (the same OIL the current Tory UK treasury is benefitting from), Jobs would be lost in HMRC offices and via ship building workers (12 Scottish HMRC offices across the country closed between 2017-18 and 2020-21 and NOW Rumours that the UK Government might cancel the contract for the Rosyth multi-billion order Type 32 Frigates), lose investment in Scotland due to uncertainty ( would that be like the Brexit uncertainty that their UK has NOW seen happen as in Brexit has already reduced growth in investment in their UKnotOK .)…..this is not an exhaustive list but aside from Cameron’s fake and as now evidenced unfulfilled plea of us in Scotland LEADING as opposed to LEAVING the UK we can see with our own eyes…. and hear with our own ears…… that all they BT predicted that WOULD surely unfold via voting YES has actually unfolded by voting NO…….

    I understand disengaged voters may not be privy to all of the facts as is…via either relying on a dysfunctional MSM or via apathy however none of them must be oblivious to what is happening in the here and now under a Tory UK government pre and post 2014 as they as citizens are living THROUGH it all……..all of which has been very much enabled by a complicit Labour party pre and post 2014 whose collaboration with the Tories has seen it willingly CON people in Scotland to believe that they would be and still are BETTER served if they remained and still remain TOGETHER within a UK that is now more than well past it’s SELL by date as far as it’s present state is concerned and one where THEY , Labour, as a party have FAILED to be elected post 2014.

    I never watch PM Q’s as no answers are EVER forthcoming and as for the attacks via Dross at Holyrood where he accuses both the FM and various ministers of hiding behind EXCUSES when he himself as an MP hears HIS own PM use EXCUSES week in and week out for failings in the NHS etc is hypocrisy on stilts personified….as does Sarwar deploy the same method but who seems to never highlight WALES via Labour being in charge as a EXAMPLE of a better NHS because he cannot as that would be FALSE….

    Their ONLY combined mission is to keep Scotland in their UK via both the WM mob and the various branch office mobs……all else is inconsequential to them…..and they are doing it deliberately too……aided by their various unelected feeders from the trough aka Labour, Lib Dem and Tory Lords…….whose opinions we neither need , want nor sought but who as ones who are awarded titles undeservedly bestowed by their respective political parties (for a reason obvious to them but not to us) get to have MORE say on our country, it’s politics and it’s future than those politicians that we elect here in Scotland and also more say than us the voters here do on OUR country……..

    Better Together…..100 % NO THANKS

  7. Skintybroko says:

    Currently all the Unionist parties are pushing the doctrine of underfunding services to make them crumble so they can privatise them and be seen to be “saving” the service. Market economy gone mad.

  8. Capella says:

    Thanks for watching that drivel so that we don’t have to. I long since gave up on it relying on short clips on Twitter if anything noteworthy happens. Rishi Sunak is as vacuous as a speak your weight machine. He can’t possibly last.
    Switching off from Westminster can’t come too soon.

    Take care.

  9. Dr Jim says:

    If only there was some honesty and integrity in the Labour party that they would ditch this hatred of SNP on purely grounds of jealousy because they are unelectable in Scotland and just get on with their job of becoming the new Tories that England wants and Scotland doesn’t

    If they did this perhaps Labour as the official opposition in England could then co-operate with the SNP when it comes to PMQs when it comes their turn to ask their questions both leaders declined to ask anything of the PM on the grounds those questions are never answered

    The Tories waste our time by taking their well paid time to insult us

    If the PM can’t and won’t answer questions in any coherent manner then let the media report the shocking reasons given by opposition parties for not asking them

    Westminster parliament PMQs is now a completely pointless waste of taxpayers money and time when we have an unelected dictator presiding by the will of his extremist right wing backbenchers and donors and simply refusing to engage in any kind of meaningful interactive debate, simply because they have no respect for anyone else and nor do they give a damn

    If anyone in Scotland is under some niave illusion that should they wait long enough and by chance Sir Kier Starmers Labour lot win an election in England that something will change in the great world of Englandshire and its colonies then they have a rude awakening coming right at them, it won’t, because the only way Starmer gets elected in England is to prove he’s a Tory, honest guv I really am, then they might, but only might, vote for him

    So there you go all you patient Scottish Labour people waiting for the sunshine, only if England votes Labour do your prayers come true, yes the Tories might be gone Hurraay! but replaced by the new shiny Starmer Tories who’ll remind you an awful lot of the ones the English voted out

    But truthfully once the Tory campaign for re-election gets underway and the Tory munching machine gets going on Starmer he’ll be just as toxic to the English as Corbyn was, and Englands main concern? that Scottish Sturgeon woman might get some influence in *their* parliament !!

    Yeah England’s not racist at all

    I’ve been watching this since I was 14 years old and nothing’s changed, well except I’ll be 75 this year

    There’s only one change can fix this and you know what it is

  10. When Kirsten met Kirsteen, and had a threesome with Michael Blackley, right wing hack zealot of the Golden Goose edition of the Daily Mail. ( ‘GRR a charter for rapists..’)
    You are correct, Paul.
    PMQ is an obscene pantomime, organised for the benefit of the Blue and Red Tory front men to scream at each other across the chamber and nothing else.
    As I pointed out earlier, Sub Lieutenant Andrew Bowie (RN Failed) spent most of the debate on his smart phoe checking his e mails..or perhaps he was on a site researching tractors?
    Apart from the obligatory 4 or 5 minutes of questions from the Scottish Tribe, the entire debacle was devoted to matters English, simply because WM is the Parliament of England.
    It’s time for the Scottish MPs to withdraw from the chamber entirely.

    With yesterday’s danse macabre in mind, I dipped into BBC Jockland’s coverage of our very own FMQ.

    Kirsten Campbell anchored, and her ‘chums’ from the Scotia Nostra Fourth Estate Fifth Column Kirsteen Paterson and Blackley eventually ‘summarised’ the session, yet again interrupted by an alleged oil protest episode.
    The BBC team cut back to Kirsten or is it Kirsty? or Kirtseen? down in the lobby.

    In a panic, she hauled Scoop Blackley on to fill the dead air and ask for his thoughts on Dross’ ‘leaked’ SNP Council cutting 700 teachers..only, she had to admit that she had forgotten what Dross has said…
    She was rescued by the resumption of FMQ from making and even bigger fool of herself than she had up to that point.
    Dross on secret documents and hearsay..Sturgeon slapped him down by actually providing the stats on Education, and comparing them with Tory Run England.
    Anas Sarwar the Millionaire Dentist had consulted the GMB (Richard Leonard is still a list MSP sitting behind Sarwar) and private Care providers…the Red Tory mix…and demanded that Nicola Sturgeon scrap the Care Review and Reform, and pay Care Workers £15 an hour right now!!!
    Again Sturgeon had a Father Ted Dougall moment explaining to the juvenile dimwit how Government’s govern,
    Has he got the Private Care homes back..profits before service?

    YOU hAVE REACHED YOUR ATTENTION SPAN ON THIS COMMENT ON THE HOLYROOD FARCE

    PART II LATER.

  11. Haud oan, shouldn’t England now refuse to recognise Scottish same sex marriage certificates if the marriage ceremony was Church of Scotland?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-64313367

    Church of England bishops refuse to back gay marriage

    Alister? Section 35?

  12. Stephanie Taylor says:

    Since you mentioned your stroke, I remembered a DVD about using acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation. The film is called 9,000 Needles and is about 10 years old. Still valid today, and you may be able to find a copy. You might inquire for local acupuncture practitioners familiar with stroke treatment. I had a stroke and am seeing an acupuncturist in Northern California.

  13. FMQ II…

    Jackie Baillie got away with another lie concerning an anonymous constituent whose year long wait for cancer treatment was of course all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault.

    You may recall her lie during the Strep A crisis from two weeks ago when she declared that many of the families in her constituency had to visit 20 pharmacies to get antibiotics for their children?

    Willie Rennie got a wee public airing. Bless.

    He had just watched a Youtube video of a playground fight in Fife. He was doing his best but what was ‘Nicola Sturgeon’ going to do?

    There were more examples of the ‘what is Nicola Sturgeon going to do about it? nonsense.

    An ash blonde Tory list MSP (understandably, I have forgotten her name) lied about cancer waiting times and Sturgeon put her right.

    But the prize this week goes to Maurice Golden, long term List Tory.

    He quoted an article in the Courier about an accident black spot on the A90; apparently a poor unfortunate family have had vehicles crash into their garden 10 times.
    No laughing matter; nor was it an SNP Bad political point, Mo.

    What was Nicola Sturgeon going to do about it?

    This from Golden’s wiki entry:
    Tory member since 1998
    Tried to get on Dundee council in 2002; didnae.
    Campaign manager for Douglas Taylor (?) in Perth 2005
    Stood in Central Fife 2007. Lost.
    Got the Golden List Ticket.
    Stood in Glenrothes WM by election 2008; came third.
    Stood in Central Ayrshire GE 2010; lost.

    In 2011 stood in Scot Parl election; Lost
    In 2016 stood in Clydebank and Milngavie: Lost
    In 2021, presumably the penny had dropped about sitting in FPTP gigs, he was simply given a List Seat.

    In political terms, the man is a serial failure…yet like Murdo The King’s eleven Fraser, he is right at the front of the queue when golden tickets on the Listory Gravy Train are doled out.
    Money for nothing and the kickbacks for free.
    He is Fellow of The Waste Management Association, and is pushing for a PM Bill ‘to tackle dog theft’.
    This is the quality of benchwarmers who fill the Brit Nat benches at Holyrood.
    And Scotland is shite because Nicola Sturgeon has not attended a Fife school at playtime na dbroke up fights?

    It is all deliberate of course. Reduce the FMQ session of our sovereign Parliament to the level of a wet Thursday night council meeting.

    It’s time Alison Johnstone weeded out this weekly garbage.

    Kirsteen Campbell couldn’t even be bothered discussing the content of FMQ.

    She, and Kirsteen, and Michael decided that they would go off in a tangent and talk about the UK Gov blocking the GRR, and the ‘levelling up’ funds going to Shetlands for a ferry, so there.
    SNP BAD, Dougal.
    and here we thought that it was her job to cover FMQ.

    She knew that NS had again wiped the floor with dross and the dentist.

    Not long now until BBC is reduced to ‘foreign correspondent’ status in Scotland.

    The Brit Nat benches are stuffed with really dreadful political failures, because any Jock Yoon huckster with Brit ambition would move to England. There is no chance in hell that Sarwar or Dross will ever be FM.

    Och, titter ye may, missus.

  14. Sophie Grace Chappell says:

    Get well soon, Paul. Your commitment to getting things written despite your medical sagas is very impressive. And they’re really good things, too!

    • Dr Jim says:

      Alister Jack admits that Trans people are “Not part of my thinking” rather odd thing to say, because that’s what I thought he said he was doing when he used the section 35 order

      Originally the office of Secretary of state for Scotland was created as being Scotland’s representative in England, it’s actually been the reverse for a very long time

      • To be fair, it seems he really didn’t think about anything, gormless idiot that he is.

        • Sophie Grace Chappell says:

          Well, just to return the favour: As a trans person, I’d say I do everything I can to ensure that irrelevant, bigoted muppets like Alister Jack are not part of my thinking.

          • Dr Jim says:

            Those of us with respect for all human rights, and the memories of what has been done in the past to marginalise groups of people because of perceived differences being exaggerated stereotyped and manipulated as threats, stand with you

            There’s an inability to recognise the difference between preference, taste, equality, understanding or the lack of it in some folk so they substitute the emotion of fear, then they politically weaponise it, because fear is cheap and easier and quicker to sell than understanding

            • Sophie Grace Chappell says:

              I appreciate that, Dr Jim. Thank you.

              I increasingly get the sense that the Tories have completely misjudged this. They thought they could use “the trans debate” to divide the independence movement. But the movement is already as divided as it’s ever going to be on that issue–not really very divided at all, despite some loud shouting–and the effect of the Governor General’s stupid intervention is mainly to drive Yes folk who don’t have any view on trans, into the pro-trans camp. I’m seeing a lot of this on social media, and it’s giving me hope in a dark situation.

            • Sophie Grace Chappell says:

              Thanks, Dr Jim. I appreciate that.

              I think the Tories have totally misjudged this, for the usual reason: they have forgotten how different Scotland is from England. They thought they could split the Yes movement over trans, but their intervention is just turning Yes folk who were neutral on trans, into new trans allies. Which is great 🙂

              • Sophie Grace Chappell says:

                Doh, so first the first comment disappeared, then I wrote a new one to replace it, then both appeared together…

  15. JP58 says:

    I am unaffected and unmoved by GRA debate and from what I have read and understand about the bill fail to see how the changes it makes significantly alter impact of transsexuals on society.
    I think a lot of backlash from women’s groups is more about the general issues of transsexuals interaction with women which are already lawful. I am not a woman and would not dare to step in and comment on something that does not affect me.
    I am also sure that government response is primarily political seeing this as an opportunity to take FM and Scottish Parliament down a peg, appeal to social conservatives and discomfort Labour. This is pretty reprehensible when the subject of law is such a small minority in population who as opinion polls seem to show are not very popular or understood by majority of population.
    However this is all pretty predictable from the Tory government and despite all outrage this could and should have been foreseen by FM. I would say that as a bill to pin the power of Scottish Parliament on this is questionable as public support for bill, rightly or wrongly is very low and the subject, again very predictably, is taking up a lot of time and oxygen when there is so much pressure on public services not to mention strategy about how to further independence support appears to be lacking. While it is right for politicians to take a lead on fairness and equality and stand up to bigotry it is dangerous to get too far ahead of where the public stand on a contentious subject such as this.
    I thought the strategy about taking S30 request to Supreme Court was far better as this highlighted a glaring democratic deficit and would only gain support for independence. Fighting for Scottish Parliamentary democracy on a subject which benefits so few people and has support of such a low level is IMO a questionable strategy which may not achieve the desired outcomes. In short this GRA bill may be a piece of legislation which benefits a maligned minority group but it is not good politics to tie it to Scottish democratic make it a high profile cause.
    I have a great respect for FM but between how the GRA has been handled and the confusion about what the best path is to achieve independence I am now wondering whether she still has her finger on Scottish electorate’s pulse. She has been FM for nearly 8 years, including Covid, and receives appalling vitriol from many sources which is bound to wear anyone down. I write this as I read about Jacinda Arden standing down and I don’t think anyone would blame NS if she took the same option?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      You may have missed the propaganda war conducted for at the last five years on Scots over the “GRA”, without which I doubt any of us would have an opinion or frankly give a toss about the GRA or the reforms, no offence intended to those affected.

      SG would have simply have tabled the reforms they put in their manifesto, consulted and debated, then passed the majority view of Parliament into Law, just as many other other countries have done without the slightest fuss.

      So what is so unique about these reforms in Scotland’s case, the torches and pitchforks outfits paid for out of London perchance ?

      • Legerwood says:

        What is unique in Scotland’s case with regards to reform of the GRA 2004 is that opposition parties esp the Tories saw it as a way to embroiled the SG/SNP in controversy. The first consultation passed almost unnoticed and unremarked then all hell seems to have broken out. Interestingly several of the groups who were most vocal in their criticism do not appear on the list of those groups & organisations that contributed to the first consultation.

        It should be remembered, and repeated far and wide, that the UKGov & SGov undertook reform of the GRA 2004 in 2016 based on a report from the House of Commons Women & Equalities Committee. The committee undertook an inquiry into the 2004 Act in 2015. They produced their report with recommendations for reform in 2016. All parties in Scotland had reform in their manifestos in 2016 Holyrood Elections.

        The UKGov held a consultation on reform which garnered over 100,000 responses. Then Johnson took over from May and the whole thing was put on the back burner.

        This is a link to a very interesting report of what happened with the UKGov handling of this issue. Interestingly a certain Liz Truss had a role in it. Also of interest in the report is Chap 3 which deals with the interaction of the GRA with the Equalities Act 2010 which is relevant in the current s35 situation and shows the weakness of the argument put forward for the s35

        https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmwomeq/977/report.html

        • grizebard says:

          All parties in Scotland had reform in their manifestos in 2016 Holyrood Elections.

          Exactly. An inconvenient truth now for the Northern WM muppets and their southern sponsors, and for the media (yes, including you, Channel 4!) who have suddenly taken a big interest in the intricacies that they routinely ignored whilst they were extensively debated online and in Holyrood for the last n years (as you rightly say).

          This is not really about the GRA at all, it’s merely some convenient issue that the unelected Tory UKGov chose to exploit thinking it might prove a weak spot in the Scottish Government’s position. (A sequel to the recent dastardly attempt to bring down Nicola Sturgeon. Anything that might serve to do what democracy plainly won’t.) This time the justification is so weak and the insincerity so blatant than once again the attempt can only fail.

          Though in so straining, the English Tory regime has highlighted in full public view its increasing desperation to suppress the steady move of public opinion in Scotland towards independence. In fact, its repeated attempts at meddling are achieving the very reverse – they’re promoting it! Whatever the rights and wrongs of this or any other issue, more and more people are being driven to conclude that the only way to permanently solve this unhappy situation is to get London off our necks so we can be free to breathe again, to make our own choices our own way without interference, whether merely incompetent (as usual) or (as here) plain malign.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Quite so Legerwood…
          To your “Then Johnson took over from May and the whole thing was put on the back burner” I’d add that this was undoubtedly a deliberate political move to leave the field clear for an all out propaganda war on SG to capitalise on what agents had been agitating previously.

          What concerns me most is where some ordinarily intelligent and decent people honestly believe women only spaces are under suddenly threat, or sex-offenders may “simply” swap gender, etc. under the SB Bill, despite ZERO evidence of any such detrimental effects in Ireland where it has been law since 2015.

          The level of sophistication deployed in propaganda within the UK of late has become alarming, as has the collusion of politicians and the media in prosecuting it openly lying.
          Yesterday Brexit, what’s next ?

          • Legerwood says:

            Indeed. Then Johnson put Truss in charge as Equalities Minister!! Her reform: reduce the cost of obtaining a certificate from £140 to £5 and waffle on about other steps. Interesting when you read the report in the link how Truss and her fellow ministers avoided giving evidence to the relevant Committee.

            Interesting too that the original report in 2016 recommending reform of the GRA 2004 contained a proposal for some form of self-ID as a possible reform of the 2004 Act. Yet all of the publicity/propaganda suggested/implied that this reform was all the idea of the SNP/SG. Rarely if ever was it stated that the recommendation for reform came from a HoC committee or that the UKGov was undertaking the same process on behalf of Eng & Wales or that all the parties in Holyrood had reform in their 2016 manifestos.

            Any suggestion that the FM ‘chose’ this fight is blown out of the water when you trace things back to their origin.

      • JP58 says:

        I don’t disagree with what you have written here.
        What I am saying is you do not pick a fight on the terms that suit your opponent. They and MSM have been banging on about Trans issue down south as well as part of culture wars and this is a fight they want to happen especially if you mix up Scottish Parliamentary democracy with this issue.
        This is entirely different from S30 issue which if you remember Westminster tried to prevent going to Supreme Court.
        Just think why they are spoiling for a fight on one issue and trying to avoid the other.

        • Alex Clark says:

          Read what Legerwood has written, this Scottish Bill has been a long time in the making and it started out with every party supporting the changes to the legislation in their manifestos for the 2016 elections.

          The Scottish government whether that be the SNP or any other party cannot simply chop and change their mind on legislation simply because the Westminster government decide to make it a point of contention and use their friendly media to conduct propaganda and poison the minds of the electorate against whatever bill they chose to attack.

          Nobody was really that interested in this bill until the propaganda machine kicked into gear with a barrage of anti-trans opinions in order to score political points. I believe that the SG was right to refuse to be cowed by this barrage and stuck to their guns.

          Just as they were right in their other bills that have been challenged by Westminster and then failed to become law because the Supreme Court ruled that they were outwith the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make them.

          I find that ludicrous, we elect them to make our laws, and Westminster veto’s them. Unacceptable and that will only change with Independence. the sooner the better.

        • Alex Clark says:

          “What I am saying is you do not pick a fight on the terms that suit your opponent.”

          I cannot believe you are accusing the Scottish Government of picking a fight with the Tory Westminster government when the truth is the total opposite of what you say.

          Union Jack announced he would be using Section 35 of the Scotland Act precisely to start a fight with the Scottish Government over this issue. He wanted to show that it was Westminster who would be calling the shots here and not some jumped up lassie that calls herself the FM.

          If anyone’s spoiling for a fight here it’s Westminster and they have chosen the hill devolution will die on.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          I’m a long time watcher of UK propaganda games in play, so must disagree with your perspective – GRA Reforms were in the manifestos of both the SNP and the Greens who together form the SG.
          You appear to suggest they should not have honoured electoral commitments lest it fall foul of a propaganda war being conducted in the UK ? Does Independence not have the same dilemma ?

          SG’s GRA reforms essentially simplify the paperwork, bringing it into line with many other countries – eg –
          “On 15 July 2015, the Oireachtas passed the Gender Recognition Act 2015 which permits an Irish citizen to amend their gender on government documents through self-determination. The law does not require any medical intervention by the applicant nor an assessment by the state.[10] Such amendments are possible through self-determination for any person aged 18 or over who is ordinarily resident in Ireland and/or registered on Irish registers of birth or adoption. Persons aged 16 to 18 years must secure a court order to exempt them from the normal requirement to be at least 18.[11]”

          Over 7 years ago in Ireland, no fuss, no adverse repercussions, so what makes Scotland so different ? Propaganda ?

    • Dr Jim says:

      The Telegraph the Sun the Herald the Express the Daily Mail the Spectator the English fascist government would all be delighted, that’s just a few extra reasons why she won’t, the main one being she’s not done doing her job yet

      • JP58 says:

        Having got to this point NS cannot avoid challenging it as any FM would have to as Holyrood mandate is now at stake.
        I suspect Labour & Lib Dem support will melt away and this issue, regardless of rights or wrongs of it, will become an albatross that will be firmly attached around NS neck.
        See my reply above about picking your battles carefully to ensure they benefit and do not harm your overall cause which is building support for independence.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I suspect you may have partaken of too much of the MSM cool-aid.

          • JP58 says:

            Please try and be civil. I treat MSM with as much scepticism as most here but also I am a realist and although I support independence I will criticise SNP when I think they misstep. I am not an Alba supporter and think they show many of the faults of ‘true believers.’
            I hope I am not correct but have been wary of how this will impact independence case.
            I take on board comments and know this has been going since 2016 but I would ask why SNP, Labour & Lib Dem MSP’s where whipped. I would have thought this should have been a free vote as it is a personal conscience issue. With all debate and amendments this year it was obvious it was going to be a hot political potato. I am sure there was a way through that could have been taken during debate to avoid this potential outcome whichI repeat is a fight which your opponents want which I suspect will have a negative effect on independencase. Anoutcome we can all agree which we would like to avoid.

            • Capella says:

              I share your concern. As I said on the previous thread, this is not a hill I would have chosen to die on. Westminster has all the advantages of a captured MSM and opinion polls on their side. I hope the SG has gamed this out. Westminster is always ruthless and cares nothing for either women or transgender people. Only power motivates them.

            • Alex Clark says:

              “Please try and be civil”
              I apologise for that last post, it was uncalled for.

        • grizebard says:

          Try looking where the real fault lines lie, please. If anyone is at risk here, it’s not “NS”, it’s the Labour Party, which is now visibly split north/south over the issue in a way it simply can’t (as previously so often) dodge. If Labour hadn’t so enthusiastically voted for the bill in Holyrood, it would not have passed. Period.

          How is Labour going to deal with that now, both here (is the {ahem} “leadership” finally going to “find a pair” now, or instead do a humiliating U-turn?) and down south (is the Grauniad wing going to be happy or further dismayed by alt-Tory Starmer, or is the need to appease the retrograde English “Red Wall” paramount?)

          As for “avoiding it”, why would “NS” want to do any such thing, as you seem to imply? Every example of an overbearing Tory England interfering with our rights, and being challenged fiercely for it by our own elected government, is a god-sent opportunity to convince ever more people that there is no “proud Scot but” middle ground, there is only either miserable English colony or proud free state.

          • It’s actually causing splits in the Tories too. It was, after all, a policy of May’s and has considerable support withing the party. 3 north British Tories voted for it in Holyrood too.

            I honestly can’t understand why Westminster had chosen this hill to die on. If you wanted to drive wedges into Labour and the Tories at Gretna (and Offa’s dyke), this is a rare opportunity.

    • ‘women’s groups’

      To be factually correct, this should be written ‘groups of women’. There are plenty of groups of women supportive of the changes. There a groups of men supportive with some groups opposed.

      I note that the BBC etc, when talking about e.g. Women for Independence, don’t say stuff like ‘Women’s groups support independence’ or ‘Women’s groups are opposed to Scotland remaining in the union’. That would imply women supported independence (which in fact they do, but that’s beside the point).

      In terms of the GRA debate, it’s subtle but insidious difference when it comes to the British MSM. It is especially so when they almost ubiquitously show photos of transwomen / interview these to get a ‘trans perspective’ while likewise have images of anti-reform protestors holding placards saying ‘Men can’t become women’.

      Nobody is suggesting they can (literally change sex), not even transwomen, who will happily tell you they are a transwoman. That and there are more transmen out there than the other way around. But that does not fit the narrative. Placards with to this effect would be too truthful. Facts are really annoying to the nefarious people of this world.

      I imagine you personally didn’t think about the subtle difference in wording (which would be forgivable given the media stories), but going forward, you should use the correct term. We all should. It shows we are trying to be honest. ‘Groups of women’.

      Some have seemed to think I’m an active campaigner on this specific issue. That’s not actually correct. I’m a campaigner for human rights, and will stand up for any group suffering inequality. Mostly, I’m a campaigner for the truth. People lying to me and others for unpleasant reasons really gets my goat, especially if I’ve fallen for some of it initially, which I did in this case back before I took an interest. And OMG the lies are happening at every level with this legislation. I’ve never seen such revolting dung peddled.

      That said, we must be very careful as some ‘opposed’ are actually just worried, which is again forgivable give the lies being peddled, and how, at face value, some of these might seem to be genuine causes for concern. Which is why it’s better to address with facts rather than jump to name calling. There are transphobic bigots aplenty who are loving being able to openly be so, but there are also people who don’t understand the finer points, and have been worried by stories because they don’t understand.

      I had to read a lot, think a lot, go through the logic, the reasons etc before I really appreciated the fundamentals behind decisions being made. I’ve been called transphobic in the early days for asking questions and playing the devil’s advocate. So there are trans rights campaigners who should have their knuckles rapped for being too swift to jump on people.

      The truth, stated coolly and calmly with the facts to back it up, is how you defeat liars, and satisfy those with genuine concerns, that there fundamentally isn’t any risk being created here. Not when you think about it and whether any plausible scenarios for abuse really do exist. They don’t, hence GRC issue has always been a medical assessment, not a criminality risk one.

      If the process of GRC issue created a measurably heighted abuse risk, then the application process would be more comparable to that if you want to work with vulnerable children or suchlike. The checks would be carried out by the police (maybe going through your internet records), criminal phycologists etc. But the issue of GRC has never been considered as presenting a risk in terms of sex crimes. It’s only ever been a medical assessment, hence done by a GP and clinical phycologists specialising in gender. It is being de-medicalised to stop trans people being treated as mentally ill somehow, just like homosexual people were once (appallingly) considered by some.

      Trans people have been in loos and changing rooms with us all the time, keeping themselves to themselves just as we do. The changes will just allow them to legally record their adopted gender more easily, so it can go on their passport etc. That’s basically it. Going by Ireland which adopted this in 2015 (meaning all our nearest neighbours bar England have it in place), a couple of hundred a year will do this, with more women seeking to change to men, in agreement with census data.

      • Placards with to this effect would be too truthful.

        Re-reading this it didn’t come out right, but was probably fully understood in context! The fact that there are more transmen that transwomen is being studiously avoided, such as when it comes to anti-reform protestor placards, and for deeply insidious reasons, certainly not women’s rights.

        I’ve found the BBC particularly revolting for doing this.

      • Pogmothon says:

        Not a reply to SS
        Just seemed like an appropriate point to throw my 2 penny worth in.

        Please feel free to correct me if my opinion requires further thought on any point.
        My understanding is that the rights and privileges of trans persons do not impinge on my rights and privileges, and mine should not impinge on theirs, they should be the same rights and privileges.
        One of the arguments for system change is that physical condition does not relate to gender (took me a long time to understand that, guess I’m just an auld thicko), and the requirement for medical examination, assessment and pronunciation is excessive and abusive.
        It would appear these requirements are more about humiliation and the forcing an individual to conform to the authorities way of things. Similar to the threat of, or actual strip searches by police and customs.
        So physical condition is not a requirement of gender and the scrutiny of such is an attempt at abusive control by the state.

        So gender is mental (of the mind), possibly.

        So gender is how an individual perceives themselves, most probably, if you include into the equation the desire for other individuals and the state to understand and accept their self perception and to be treated equally.

        Oops we’ve arrived at ‘trans rights’.

        However we have also arrived at a separate issue which is far darker and more scary.
        Make no mistake, every power or authority we grant an individual or group will eventually be used, most often against the person’s granting that authority. No matter how piously they claim, “it’s just in case”, “in the highly unlikely event”.
        It will be used, and it is frighteningly uncomfortable how easily it will slide into common usage.
        Ask people (sorry don’t know the current PC term) of Afro-Caribbean appearance how often ‘stop and search’ is gratuitously implemented.

        That is where we are with this section 35 use.

        Trans rights, which should be universal rights have been weaponized in order to normalise the use of this authority.
        And the way in which this has been done is the most frightening part.
        Since we have already established that ‘trans gender’ is not a physical condition, nor in most cases is it a desire to physically move from one state to another. It is in fact a state of mind how an individual perceives themselves and wishes to be recognised.
        That accepted, then this use of the section 35 is as was clearly pointed out by the FM this is the thin end of a terrifying wedge.
        Especially as it is being applied to a mental concept, rather than a physical state, a way of being, a mind picture of self.

        WELCOME TO ROOM 101 AND THE THOUGHT POLICE.

        For that is surely the final outcome of this road. If we allow this to carry on.
        Who will be next, you, your sibling, your child, your parent.
        Be assured that anyone showing compassion, love of people, a social caring mind, thoughts of equality, love of country, religious faith, will be high on the list of candidates for re-education.

  16. #Seatbeltgate is developing fast.

    https://archive.is/wECVn

    The UK is now like a Carry on film that was too bad to be released.

  17. Ken says:

    The Tories will soon be gone. The dregs playing out the last retreat, before the massive defeat. Every Independence supporter needs to ge5 out and vote for Independence supporting Parties. Every election. Many do not vote but spend their time complaining.

    The Tories have underfunded th3 NHS for years, 2015 to 2020 intended cutting it £20Billion. Instead of increasing funding. One of the reasons for healthcare workers wages falling, The cut Education £6Billion a year. Betraying the students and putting up fees to £9000. In thevrest of the UK, The Scottish Gov had to mitigate it, One of the bes5 education systems in the world. The teachers need proper remuneration. Council employ too many untrained classroom assistants. Instead of more teachers keeping class sizes down.with more remuneration for the teachers.

    In any medical emergency get to the doctor, healthcare centre, hospital as soon as possible, Do not delay. Go as quickly as possible, Even an ambulance or paramedic coming can cause delay. Be pro active as possible. Get help right away. Get help urgently from any available, Even going to a Drs surgery, The delay can cost lives,

    People are still getting doctors appointment, clinic appointments and operations, They might have to wait a bit longer for manageable conditions. Instead of getting Covid, with underlying conditions, and dying. Thank goodness people survive. and live a bit longer. No one survives forever.

    The Scottish Gov has out in £Millions to free up beds. £150Billion is spent on the NHS. More in Scotland pro rata for social care. People can stay in their own home for longer. Thanks to the amazing SNHS and all the staff saving people’s lives. Just get there quick as possible. . Do not delay.

  18. Alex Clark says:

    O/T well done Andy Murray

  19. Ken says:

    NS gets great support, That is why she is still standing. The supportbis greater than any acrimony. The SNP follow what the electorate want. They have a manifesto and follow it as much as possible. Caring for people with limited power. Westminster lie and impose policies not accepted by the public. Until people will not vote for them. Swings and roundabouts. Same old same old lies and manipulation, They lie to get elected and then break electoral promises. No one trusts them. They do not vote in Gov they vote out Gov. Even more failings.

    The public support NHS and Education equality. They do not get it from Westmibster. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion.

    The SNP are funded by their members. The largest Party by far in UK electoral history. With the biggest victories pro rata, Nit funded by unions (Labour) and bankers (Tories). The piper pays the tune. The SNP can do what is right without outside influence. (Pro rata). The people trust the Scottish Gov that is why they have been in power so long. Even the limited powers not enough to change things even more for the better. Without another Indy Ref. Especially if more supporters went out and vote for it, use it or lose it. No taxation without representation. Westminster determined to waste Scottish revenues and resources. Voting will stop them.

  20. Ken says:

    An amazing tennis comeback. Ity about Amazon Prime. Andy should be available to watch in Scotland. Not just Wimbledon.

    • grizebard says:

      It was aired by Eurosport, for all those who have a (cable or sat) subscription to that kind of thing. Which is logical enough really, since even with the best will in the world (often absent in our case, of course!) the terrestrial broadcasters can’t possibly cover every overseas sports event that way.

      (It was indeed a riveting “hold on to your seat” match, or so my mrs tells me… )

    • Australian open is free to view on NOW9, if you have a VPN.

      The latter is very useful if you want to watch TV from other countries. Mrs S_S does like to watch channels from her home country on occasion. I also enjoyed the world cup coverage from there by this means so I didn’t have to hear about 1966.

      Was some match.

  21. The wee gypsy dug has informed us that she is naturalised in the laws of mad dogs and Tory ran Englishmen’s supreme courts.

    Her verdict is seeking Scottish Independence is a political and legal right and to never give up the fight.

    The UK leaving the EU customs union was a question that was not asked at the Brexit Referendum. Therefore, the question was published in a Conservative election manifesto.

    This is why the Conservatives had to win the last general election by hook or by crook.

    The conflict of interest being the SNP won similar mandates with their many election manifesto pledges to hold a second Independence referendum.

    The wee gypsy dug says this why democracy and justice must prevail as monstrous bully dogs cannot have our bone and theirs and eat it.

    The wee gypsy dug works on a probono basis.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=491717026464995&set=a.241335604836473

  22. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    BBC QT ( not a programme to watch if you seek political balance in a debate show via both it’s panel and it’s audience) had one James Bartholomew on it’s panel last night who was presented as an author , ex banker and Journalist.

    The theme last night was on the NHS (sourced via their Twitter a/c) and James’s contribution was largely one where he criticised the NHS….according to him :

    ” “We don’t get enough bang for our buck in the NHS system…they get 50% more in Europe and they don’t spend much more money”

    He compared the UK’s health care system to Europe’s and advocates for a different healthcare model….different ?….as in Private insurance based system perhaps ?……a common theme among those who promoted Brexit and too via their newly set up alternate TV and Radio channels like GB News and TalkTV….

    BBC QT Twitter a/c did NOT note in his bio that he had also stood as a candidate for the Brexit Party in 2019 European parliament election ….where he FAILED to be elected….he currently writes mostly right wing S**** (rhymes with FIGHT) for the Telegraph also known as the TORYGRAPH….he is critical of the welfare state….obviously…which he calls “dysfunctional”…of course he does…..

    The BBC QT always manages to place some extreme right wing individual on their panel to seek to appease those voters whose opinions are largely swayed via soaking up extreme propaganda as truth as opposed to using common sense and logic….indeed someone noted that BBC MUST have paid a subscription to GB News as they seem to be selecting both staff and guests from this supposed ‘opposing’ channel…..though I suspect as do many others tis the disproportionate amount of TORY peeps that work at higher levels of the BBC who seek to ensure that RIGHT WING propaganda always has a PLATFORM and a VOICE at the BBC…..

    We all now see the current trend that is happening on the NHS where the debate on the NHS is being steered towards MORE privatisation largely instigated by those who want to convince us ,or rather convince the easily convinced gullible ones who walk and live among us who embraced Brexit, that it, as a sector, is failing and too that it is something that is apparently impossible to continue funding (though reality is under the Tories it has been deliberately and systematically underfunded) under the current system…..THIS is pure propaganda.

    Noting that whatever is impacted in England via the NHS ultimately impacts us in Scotland….we even have Labour dipping their toes into this ‘more privatisation involvement needed in NHS’ argument but not an argument really more a right wing political dogma….

    Currently the ridiculous position in their UK is that some working class people are siding with the right wing propaganda merchants, both political and media, who present the striking workers as selfish and greedy….while seemingly they are unperturbed ,ignoring , excusing and at times even minimising the shocking waste of money that has happened via the Tories…and too the huge profits generated , largely via the Tory government, for specific individuals who just happen to donate to the Tories and who in return are awarded lucrative government contracts…….worth noting THESE are the types of voters whose votes and support Labour under Starmer currently seek to both appease and win over…..

    The recent so called ‘Levelling up’ CON via the Tories clearly does NOT match the money many areas were previously awarded via the EU….and the false messaging on sending money to the NHS as opposed to sending it to the EU via the infamous RED BUS was a message that was clearly intended to present it (CON people) as a way to SAVE and SOLVE funding problems (generated via the Tories) on the NHS ……..thus they, Brexiteer Tories, assumed that in highlighting the NHS as a public service that was, via the public, a service that was considered both essential and valued , that it would then be post Brexit a priority and thus safe in a future Brexit Tory dominated Britain….and look at where we are NOW and too where the debate is being led…..

    PRIVATISATION…..INSUANCE BASED SERVICE…..an opening nay opportunity for Private Health companies whose message is being promoted by some of dubious Think Tanks who are being given a platform via both MSM and newly formed ‘alternative’ media channels….Think Tanks who we all suspect are funded by some of these same Private Health care companies…..

    That is why independence for Scotland is essential because NOTHING is safe or can be sustained via us remaining within the Tory (of different colours) Brexit UK…..the signs are out there re the NHS and the infiltration of privatisation via an insurance based model as a future model for a so called ‘British’ healthcare service and the debate (propaganda) is being forced upon a public that they hope will be receptive to it thus easily persuaded and ultimately compliant to the point of blind acceptance of this Tory (of different colours) road to madness for the (deliberate) death of the NHS ……..and it is being driven using the false argument that the NHS is flawed, wasteful and thus crumbling and tis also being presented by them as a public sector that is unsustainable……. but in reality it has actually been criminally destroyed by the Tories mismanagement, underfunding and their quest to introduce privatisation and thus resulting in yet again MORE money for those companies who donate to the Tories ( and NOT just donations to the Tories via these companies but Labour too…… as it has been reported that both Keir Starmer and Wes Streeting were among the Labour MPs who received funding from private health donors) …….all of this is being orchestrated to pave the way for privatisation and kill off the NHS……which ultimately will lead to a tier system Healthcare service that will see the poor suffer while the wealthy continue to thrive both financially and via their health……ask an American what Private Healthcare means and results in…..the honest ones will not paint a pretty picture of it…..WAKE UP SCOTLAND …….not just your country who needs YOU but you need IT (as independent) to SAVE you from all of this madness and the potential destruction of your lives via the NOW very much Brexit right wing infested UKnotOK……

    Tonight Channel Four news will cover the NHS in Scotland…..oh that should be FUN…wonder who they will seek opinions from and whether staffing shortages via Brexit will be noted….and what ‘FACTS’ will be presented as to WHOSE to REALLY BLAME !

    I’ll shut up now…..LOL

    Have a nice day everyone

    🙂

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      * “INSUANCE BASED SERVICE”

      INSURANCE BASED SERVICE……Doh !

      My pedantic nature compels me to correct my spelling mistake if, by chance, my above comment is read by anyone on here……

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Aye, the “inefficient” NHS in England is struggling because despite nurses and doctors working their socks off the system is wonky, now where have I heard that one before since the return of the far-right in the 1980s….

      For sure today there are IT benefits to be gained, but with a system almost totally dependant on interaction between people, this shaves mere seconds off their working lives – Yet this is the latest “miracle” cure for all NHS ills, according to HMG, except pay of course, as “we can’t afford it”.
      Quite why so many in England are blinded by this “we can’t afford it” hogwash I’ve no idea, presumably overdosed on the Daily Smell.

      There was a sympathetic GMB interview with Pat Cullen on Youtube where she made the salient point – If existing NHS nurses are underpaid such that they need to revert to foodbanks, it can be no surprise they are 47k nurses short (bear in mind this is England’s Trusts which run “efficiently”) and rising, which then leads to increasing stress and nurses finally giving up what they spent years striving for at cost to themselves, only to leave for a less stressful job which pays better, viz Lidl checkouts.
      The latest Tory initiative of “minimum service standards” cannot be met by with the existing staff-roll let alone without nurses on strike, they are effectively banning strikes having neutered the Pay Review Body which was intended to avert such strikes.

      The greater tragedy of this Tory stitchup is that Labour are playing the same game of “we can’t afford it”.
      – Where was “we can’t afford it” at the birth of the NHS and the Welfare State when Britain was on it’s threadbare knees, when food and energy rationing were the norm, and they were in hock to the rest of the planet ?
      The reasoning is simple – Thousands of battle weary soldiers returning from war to a land fit for heroes were not about to put up with what had preceded the war, and the Tories slunk into the shadows.
      Unfortunately they returned, and have been battling to overturn what was accomplished in this country ever since.

      I’m not sure how England’s electorate can address this continuing con given they have the choice of Blue or Red Tories, but I’m fairly sure the “Tartan Tories” have already provided the “enemy” with a free enema…

  23. Holyrood Constituency VI, 12th January. Changes on 1st January and 29th Sept 22.
    46(+2,+1)% SNP
    27(-2,-3)% Lab
    17(+1,+2)% Con
    8(nc,+2)% Lib
    2(-1,-2)% Other

    Only change here, if any, is Lab slipping back to Con maybe due to Sunak steadying the right-wing ship.

    • Note we might have expected any gender reform bill passing effect to start showing by the time of sampling (SNP up a smidgen, but likely just variance), although that would be weird as it was in the SNP’s manifesto, and for a second election running!

      Sampling was before Westminster blocking the bill obviously. Time will tell on that front.

    • No change from this pollster on the indy question too. Survation is one of the least friendly for Yes these days. They’ve got basically the same answer since mid 2021, which is odd.

    • Of note:

      If Scotland became an independent country, do you think it should seek full accession to the EU, participation in the European Single Market through EFTA, or stay outside the EU?
      45% Full accession to the EU
      21% Participation in the European Single Market through EFTA
      19% Stay outside the EU
      15% Don’t know

      In terms of VI, women measurably more pro-SNP and Yes here. 6-7% more in both cases. Support usually low / different for men here. Suggests an outlier, with SNP/Yes support higher. This isn’t usual for polls around the festive period which is a quiet time for politics normally, with respondents less interested.

      Obviously doesn’t fit with right-wing English blog narratives etc on the GRA front too. Facts eh! Great things these.

  24. Dr Jim says:

    When you want to crush a country into being so morose and brain dead so as to just accept everything you want to do to them you must convince the population of certain invented propaganda
    First you convince them the country they live in is not a country, never really was and never will be again, and you do that by changing the name, which the English parliament and its media power has done enormously successfully over the years

    They have normalised the use of the word *Britain* as a replacement name for England Scotland and Wales, yet nowhere on any map of the world is Britain referred to as an actual country, Britain is a geographical land mass in the same way you’d describe Europe or Africa, in both cases containing many countries, now not one person in Europe thinks for one second that they aren’t French or German or Spanish, because nobody has tried to convince them they all have one nationality that is European-ish, that’s what England did to all of us in their efforts to blindfold us while removing our basic right to belong somewhere as is our human right of choice

    We’re only *allowed* to be Scottish when it comes to sports, bagpipes or shortbread tin dancing for the Royals amusement, like shifting live people around on a chess board for the Kings and Queens of old, and when they require us to be *British* it’s insisted upon, like the Olympics or the military

    Breeding us out hasn’t worked, because folk come from all over the world to live here and very much like in America while still remembering their roots and who their people were, so they can recognise where they’re going, and in Scotland it’s turned out the same, a situation that’s always annoyed the ruling classes in England, because they just can’t manage to make us English no matter how hard they try, and they never will despite all the media they constantly throw at us insisting we’re the same

    I’ve often said that if the population of Scotland were all black England would never have gotten away with the depth and ferocity of its racist attacks on Scotland because the world would have seen far more clearly what the English call *banter* is indeed a continuous slew of slurs and belittling innuendos against anyone who is not them, and that’s racism by any definition
    Ask any Irishman, Welshman German Frenchman or any other nationality in the world what they think of so called English *banter*

    When and why did the world just accept this as *British humour* to be ignored because well they’re just an ignorant bunch so don’t pay any attention to them
    It’s not so bad for the rest of the world because they don’t live next door to it and England doesn’t rule their countries

    We don’t have to take this anymore, return the *banter* see how they like it, and when they don’t, why give a sh*t, they didn’t when they coined such phrases as *uppity Jocks* when we dare answer back

    • Anonymousey says:

      Interestingly there is one single aspect of Scottish culture that UK did embrace; Halloween. Unfortunately someone had to fool them first into thinking it was American, hence the pumpkins and “trick or treat” nonsense. Though to be fair obtaining goods via threats is more in line with the English way!

      > yet nowhere on any map of the world is Britain referred to as an actual country

      They’ve largely dropped “Britain” post-empire and are pushing “UK” as the sovereign nation’s name. That’s what they’ve got on the desk at the UN for example. “Britain as a country” seems to be dying a death, being replaced with “UK as a country”.

      Even though it makes no sense at all.

      Consider this, you have a British Passport, & you go to “The British Embassy”, & you carry a “British Pound” in your pocket. Our census has an option for “British” under “nationality”, but not “UK-ian”. This particular notion of “Britain” comprises of the UK, plus all of the so-called “overseas territories” and a few other bits and bobs. No one ever says these places are “UK soil”; it’s always “British soil”. If you were to ask “which sovereign state is Gibraltar in?” then “United Kingdom” isn’t a correct answer imho.

      In practice the “United Kingdom” is a political entity within a nebulous larger state, where it exerts top-down control over the various other political bodies elsewhere, be it the devolved UK parliaments, or places like Gibraltar.

      And sitting at the very top of this political structure is the head of state, a member of family that officially calls itself “the British Monarchy”.

      Yet despite all this they’ve been successfully pushing UK as the more common one in regular use, signing international treaties as the “UK” etc. This is a very convenient re-branding which helps draw a line between them and the many past & current ills of the British Empire. It allows them to legitimately state that “The UK is against money laundering”, while hand-waving the fact that the bulk of global money laundering flows through British lands like the Caymans! We can also claim “the UK does not torture detainees”, while torturing disappeared people to death in secret prisons in Diego Garcia. It’s genius really.

      It’s best to think of it as the UK being the legitimate face of an illegitimate organisation. Kinda like the Teamsters & the US mafia.

  25. Golfnut says:

    Jack getting a second invitation to explain himself at Holyrood.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Rabbit in the headlights

    • grizebard says:

      Nice one!

      (I have a feeling that the enforced propulsion of hapless “Union” Jack from previous self-imposed obscurity into the full glare of public scrutiny will soon enough be giving him much cause for regret… )

  26. davetewart says:

    All hail the glorious leader.

    He has spoken and hence no further discussion is required, back in your box you Scots, we are the bosses.

  27. Dr Jim says:

    Alister Jack is an easier mark to nail over his contempt for Scotland because he just can’t keep it off his face
    I reckon he knows it and why he avoids as much questioning as possible

    STVs Colin McKay should corner him and do his thing on him

  28. What I don’t understand is, that if you’d wanted to use GRA reform as a stick to beat the SNP / Greens / indy with, you’d have done this relentlessly in the last parliamentary session, ramping it all up to a crescendo ahead of May 2021.

    You’d have thrown the kitchen sink at it, blogging incessantly about how ‘Sturgeon was a danger to women and girls’ while the British papers would be filled with stories about fake transpeople raping and pillaging across the country if the SNP/Greens got in.

    You’d even try to split the movement with a new pro-indy party which was opposed to the changes, and have that stand on the list.

    That’s how you’d hit the SNP vote hard if it was going to work at all.

    Haud oan, wait…

    Have folk forgotten the past already? The GRA reform red herring totally failed. The SNP got the highest share of the vote ever in a Scottish national parliamentary election.

    Someone needs to tell this to Alister Jack.

    Actually no, don’t. Just let him get on with it.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Indeed, they did all of that, from zoomer groups we never heard of, to the AlbWing suicide squad, but the Scotia media just couldn’t seem to whip it up enough to interest anybody, hence the nuclear option whispered (from an inside source ) into the heid conspirator’s ear David Davis then whispered into Sunak’s ear, Oops! I mean of course Governor General Alister Jack’s ear, what was I thinking

    • https://archive.is/TetGH

      Nicola Sturgeon pledges gender recognition law reform for trans people

      SNP leader’s vow includes pledge to ensure Scotland legislates for non-binary gender recognition if party wins Holyrood election

      April 2016. It’s been all over the papers for just shy of 7 f’n years.

      Wasn’t long after this that williesovertoiletsland.com made it their pet project and stopped ‘doing anything for independence’, relentlessly telling sensationalist guff about it all in an attempt to harm the SNP. This of course helped propel the SNP + Greens to their historic 2021 victory. Certainly made sure I didn’t consider Alba on the list.

      I honestly can’t for the life of me understand, after all the unionist time and effort that went into this, anyone still thinks there’s mileage in it for the anti-indy cause, especially as 4/5 Holyrood parties back it and the Tories would have too if May’s faction were still running things.

      I suspect there’s mileage in England blocking it however. For the indy cause that is.

  29. Hamish100 says:

    I have to say my wife, daughters and daughter in law have never been asked by the right wing , religious? Fundamental groups that have popped up recently for their views. They tend to believe let folk live their lives.

    Seems to me the same groups should be more worried as we all should about predators wearing blue uniforms in the metropolitan police in England. No certificate required or adherence to current laws required.

  30. Alex Clark says:

    Rich! Sunak has become the 2nd Prime Minister in history to have been guilty of a criminal offence. He has been given a fixed penalty notice for not wearing a seatbelt.

    Tory rich boys eh, what are they like LOL

  31. Alex Clark says:

    Scottish independence poll gives Yes a HUGE lead amid gender bill row

    OK maybe not over the top huge but nice to see.

    https://archive.ph/z1Ywy

  32. Hamish100 says:

    Ot
    I think ther should be a programme called “missing in action” . Individuals or groups who disappear for some time or for specific reasons. Mine’s are
    1. Baroness Mone
    2. Boris Johnson
    3. Baroness Davidson
    4. Joanna Cherry
    Joint 5th and 6 th Labour and Tory parties.
    7th ALBA

    • davetewart says:

      Truss
      Coffey
      kwarteng
      brown of the snp

    • Legerwood says:

      Baroness Davidson was on CH4 news last night if I remember correctly. It was their report on the NZ PM’s resignation. Basically they were punting Davidson as on a par with JA as a politician who knew when to walk away!!!.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The only similarity between Ruth Davidson and JA appears to be they’re both women, after that they’re political galaxies apart , I can’t see JA ever contemplating supporting something as odious as the Ruth Davidson rape clause

    • Capella says:

      Joanna Cherry has a very good article in today’s National. I didn’t post it on here in case it “triggered” anyone.

      • Eilidh says:

        Yes I read it and don’t agree with her that the imposition of the S35 order was not undemocratic and said so on the comments there. She will always be against GRR no matter what safeguards are in place that is clear.Some of the response to my comments there were bizarre one asked me did I campaign against the Scotland Act as I stated I think devolution is a fudge and a con and has been from the start. Don’t know what world they were living in 1997-1998 certainly wasn’t same one as me. Same person also suggested I should read The Herald and watch GB News among others to get a broader range of news

        • Capella says:

          She didn’t say it was not undemocratic though. She said it was a fact of devolution:

          ..to describe the use of the Section 35 power to block the bill as an attack on devolution doesn’t really make sense. It is of the essence of devolution that the devolved Parliament is subservient to the UK Parliament that’s why we as nationalists want independence.

          She makes a lot of other intelligent points. Here’s the archive link for anyone who wants to check for themselves.
          https://archive.fo/ZuCTR

          • Eilidh says:

            My mistake I couldnt remember exact terminology she used I disagree with her I believe it is an attack on devolution just like other things the Tories have done in recent years such as The Internal Markets Bill. It really is becoming a wee pretendy parliament just as Billy Connolly once called it. I really would like to see Joanna as an Msp maybe then she would see that devolution is under threat from various things Uk govt has done. Being in the Westminster bubble is a whole different ball game even for Snp Mps

        • I read Cherry’s article too.

          Unfortunately, while she continues to insist the legislation creates a new risk, she never provides details on this (plausible scenarios etc), nor supporting evidence, such as from countries like Ireland (since 2015). That would be key to winning any judicial challenge, as she must well understand.

          I’m not a gender specialist, but risk assessment is part of my job, including for activities that could kill people instantly if not undertaken safely. That or cost huge sums in lost revenue due to process downtime.

          On a risk severity vs likelihood chart for the local pool changing rooms, Joanna herself would actually present a statistically more severe risk to my daughter than a transwomen attracted to men. However, the likelihood of her being a predator is very low, and the environment not conducive to a heighted risk of abuse. Cherry would have no power over vulnerable people, there are normally plenty of people milling around, kids tend to be with their parents or teachers, there are cubicles for privacy, CCTV on the way in, staff just outside… The risk is therefore extremely low.

          This is why nobody requires to pass safeguarding checks before being allowed to use / enter such facilities, including males who clean the ladies and vice versa. Such checks are kept for teachers, scouts instructors, those working in juvenile detention centres etc.

          As trans people are already legally permitted to use the facilities they wish, and have been doing so as long as we’ve had M & F facilities, it would be up to anyone challenging the bill to explain how a few more of these having a bit of paper in their pockets, whilst doing what they’ve always done, materially changed anything, creating new risk.

          As someone used to doing risk assessments professionally, I personally can’t see this.

          I do remain open to people presenting a plausible scenario with risk properly assessed. Even better if it’s supported by evidence of past incidents. Then I’d definitely listen up for I don’t genuinely don’t want anyone being negatively affected here.

          • Capella says:

            The Sunday Times article 2018:

            Unisex changing rooms are more dangerous for women and girls than single-sex facilities, research by The Sunday Times shows. Almost 90% of reported sexual assaults, harassment and voyeurism in swimming pool and sports-centre changing rooms happen in unisex facilities, which make up less than half the total…

            At least two-thirds of all sex incidents in public pools and leisure centres, whether inside or in the grounds, happen in unisex changing areas. Only a handful occur in single-sex changing rooms, the figures, released under freedom of information (FoI) laws, show…

            There were 134 complaints of sexual misconduct in sports centre and swimming pool changing rooms last year, councils said in their FoI responses. Of these, 120 related to incidents that took place in unisex changing rooms and 14 to incidents in single-sex changing rooms. As well as voyeurism, offences recorded in unisex facilities included harassment, sexual assault and rape.

            https://archive.fo/qVDGp#selection-713.0-721.264

            • Those numbers (for a population size of England / E&W?) nicely back up what I was saying. Risks are extremely low. Much lower than I was actually thinking. Thanks. A useful reference.

              Taking the Wolverhampton centre example (down the bottom) where they had a mix of singe sex with some ‘family’ changing rooms, patrons had a 1 in 47,000 chance of something untoward happening. That’s tiny. You have a much greater risk of dying in a car accident. My bet is this was mainly teenagers too. If you go pick up a clover, you’d a 1 in 10,000 chance of it having 4 leaves.

              Would be interesting to know what proportion of preparators were male, female and trans (I don’t see this data?). Going by the trans population, the odds will be something like 1 in 907,018 the perp was trans. Given men and women are equally likely to suffer sexual assault, with females making up the 3/4 of the perps in attacks on men*, I wonder if the M/F to female perp ratio was closer to 50/50 that people might imagine? I say this as a victim of sexual assault (groping) by women on at least three instances.

              My personal preference is to change alone in a private cubicle, not with other strangers I don’t know. My wife and daughter are worried about women who apparently want to share with them in ‘single sex facilities’. I understand this concern.

              If my wife and/or daughter are with me, then we’d prefer to change together in a family cubicle. This was particularly the case when my daughter was younger and I went alone with her to the pool. Separate sex facilities are very anti-family. Certainly, I pose zero risk to my daughter compared to strange women and other girls ultimately. If she has to go change alone with strange women, the risk of her being assaulted naturally increases. So as a family we are opposed to the idea of only having male and female segregated facilities.

              I certainly don’t want to be forced into sharing with people I don’t know, so give me a private family cubicle layout any day. But why not make these floor to ceiling private. Easy done. Basically eliminates any risk of voyeurism, even though the numbers how how rarely this occurs.

              Certainly old ‘open plan’ M & F were a voyeur’s delight, be they female or male!

              Oh I just remembered I have not counted the times women have lifted or attempted to lift my kilt without permission. In that case, at least another 5 incidents of sexual assault by women can be added to my 3 cases of being groped!


              * https://archive.is/eWktE#selection-765.4-789.425

              • Capella says:

                Rate of offending data:

                • OMG what a misleading graphic. That’s utterly terrible. I’d fail a PhD student for distorting data in that way, especially due to the motive.

                  Firstly, the data does show rates of sexual offending. It shows those incarcerated. Data for unreported cases are not shown, so it’s basically worse than useless in comparing offence rates for men and women.

                  And in what possible world should 11660 show as much smaller graphically than 92, and 92 be enormous compared to 103? Whoever made that graphic is deeply bigoted and was deliberately attempting to make people fear trans people.

                  The figures are, sex offenders currently incarcerated:
                  11660 Men
                  103 Women
                  92 Transwomen

                  Interestingly, the person making the graphic now accepts self-id for trans. That’s needed to quote the 92 value as most of these won’t be in possession of a GRC. But I suspect that irony will be lost on them

                  The 103 number known to be far, far lower than it should be.

                  For example, the CDC’s nationally representative data revealed that over one year, men and women were equally likely to experience nonconsensual sex, and most male victims reported female perpetrators. Over their lifetime, 79 percent of men who were “made to penetrate” someone else (a form of rape, in the view of most researchers) reported female perpetrators. Likewise, most men who experienced sexual coercion and unwanted sexual contact had female perpetrators.

                  As noted, I have been sexually assaulted 8 times by women. If I’d done the same to women (groping them between the legs, lifting their skirt up), I would have been fined or even jailed. But I didn’t report it because, well, of societal conditioning.

                  And not the current trans assessment procedure is medical not criminal.

                • That got posted before I finished somehow.

                  The 103 number known to be far, far lower than it should be.

                  https://archive.is/eWktE#selection-765.29-769.413

                  For example, the CDC’s nationally representative data revealed that over one year, men and women were equally likely to experience nonconsensual sex, and most male victims reported female perpetrators. Over their lifetime, 79 percent of men who were “made to penetrate” someone else (a form of rape, in the view of most researchers) reported female perpetrators. Likewise, most men who experienced sexual coercion and unwanted sexual contact had female perpetrators…

                  For this reason:

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

                  As noted, I have been sexually assaulted 8 times by women. If I’d done the same to women (groping them between the legs, lifting their skirt up to try and see their genitals), I would have been fined or even jailed. But I didn’t report it because, well, of societal conditioning. We man are supposed to laugh this off as the police have better things to deal with etc. Grotesquely, we are even supposed to maybe enjoy it. These attitudes are grossly sexist.

                  If men started reporting such things, it would be quite a shock for crime statistics and Cherry would really need to take off the rose tinted specs.

                  I note again that the current assessment procedure for a GRC is entirely medical. Their issue is not perceived as a criminal risk.

                  Even the figures you quote, misleading as they are, taken at face value, show are more likely to be sexually assaulted by a natal women than a transman. 103 is larger than 92.

                • And I think we are starting to waffle on too much! But honestly, that graphic is so very wrong. Deliberately malicious applies and pears by whoever made it. It won’t help people’s cause to use it, even if it does seem to support their concerns at first glance.

            • Pogmothon says:

              Where are the figures delineating how many of those incidents that caused a complaint involved a trans gender person.
              How many were reported by a third party.
              How many were dealt with by an uninvolved third party.
              How many were dealt with by management.
              How many were dealt with by police.
              Complaints vary considerably by perception and level of involvement.
              And a large number of complaints does not necessarily result in a large number of criminal convictions.

  33. davetewart says:

    Warburton?
    Rosindale?
    Prentice?

  34. Eilidh says:

    I saw that, my flabber has never been more gasted, equating Ruthy the tank commander to Jacinda Ahern. Ruth Davidson was one of the laziest politicians at Hollywood don’t think she ever did constituency surgery. Ms Ahern is a far better politician than Ruth the mooth but like NS she has endured mysogny and back stabbing

  35. Bob Lamont says:

    Well, I watched all 12 minutes of C4’s “NHS crisis: GPs in Scotland quitting due to ‘unsafe situation’” by Ciaran Jenkins, the first 7 minutes of which centred on GP surgeries and doctors quitting.
    Not once were the effects from HMG tinkering with doctor pay and pension arrangements mentioned, nor the staffing hit from Brexit, nor the falling numbers studying medicine, nor a decade and more of HMG strangling budgets, he was not just ignoring the elephant in the room but the entire herd.
    Yet it was in his interview with Yousaf when he reeled off “our fact check team have been comparing the performance of your government versus how it was in 2013…” that I almost blew a gasket, it was yet another Ciaran Jenkins “gotcha” over A&E stats and waiting lists.

    The contrast with how Andy Davies examined Wales was stark, his interview with Eluned Morgan absent a “gotcha”, just good old fashioned journalism.
    Interested in a swap Andy ?

    • Hamish100 says:

      Some of the reasons GP’s are quitting is due to tax and superannuation issues. Oh and for one or two I know it is probably better they do.
      Doctors and junior doctors, nurses, mental health teams, radiographers, OT’s , porters, cleaners and other staff deserve our praise.

    • Capella says:

      But “your government” were in office since 2007. Why did he pick 2013 instead of 2006?

    • Eilidh says:

      I think Ciaron might be angling for a job with BBC Scotland. I thought Hamza’s response to his questioning was good

    • Legerwood says:

      Ciaran Jenkins reports are always pretty shallow, poorly researched and thin when it comes to detail/information. Last night’s report on the state on NHS Scotland was no exception and stood in stark contrast to the detailed reports on NHS NI, and NHS Wales broadcasby CH4 earlier in the week and of course the hour long prog on NHSE.

      He covered 2 GP surgeries that were more or less in the same place – Edinburgh – and from that tried to damn the whole of NHS Scot. I thought the Health Secretary gave a good account of himself.

  36. Ken says:

    New Zealand is one of the most equal places in the world and most prosperous. Scotland could be like that is Independent.

    Davidson’s unelected in the HoL. The most unequal place in the world. Westminster. What a farce. Davidson could not win any election. List. Losers win.

  37. Ken says:

    Derek Bateman gone.

  38. Well, even with the clear outlier that is Survation, our 2023 Y/N ‘indy first thing tomorrow no questions asked, no plan needed, no idea whether we’d be in the EU nor even what currency we’d use – just get me the f**k out of the UK right now!’ polling average is 50.1% Yes.

  39. yesindyref2 says:

    The “YES Movement” comes up with memes for want of a better word, things that catch on and have a strength in the use of language. Someone comes up with it and it spreads. Two examples this week:

    First is Nicola Sturgeon with “governor-general” when talking about Jack. It also gets publicity because naturally some unionists squeal like stuck pigs about it, even while laughing about her being called “Nippy” or “Sturge”. That one may have its origins back in 1998 when the Scotland Act was being debated, ironically by a Tory about the Section 35 (then 33).

    The second is today by Michael Russell who quite naturally and without emphasis refers to the “Secretary of State Against Scotland” for the same person.

    It’s the power of language, and perhaps another reason for all of us posting, so we can give leads and useful aphorisms to those in the public eye.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Apart from that by the way, his article is mince.

      It doesn’t need the FM to resign to engineer an extraordinary general election at Holyrood, it’s a simple two stage process. First change the 2/3rds majority to a simple 50% +1, then call the election.

      I had hoped his Disruption would be of Westminster 😦

      • Eilidh says:

        Yes and at the current time if the Snp did that it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas the electorate would not look kindly on the Snp inflicting what many would consider an unnecessary election on them in the middle of a cost of living crisis. The Snp would very likely lose and we would end with Dross or Sarwar as FM. I am not convinced using Hollyrood as defacto Indy Ref would be good idea at all

        • yesindyref2 says:

          So you agree with me and all those others that have pointed out that Michael Russell is talking nonsense.

          Progress 🙂

          • Eilidh says:

            I am not convinced he is but then again I am not a barack-room lawyer unlike some that hang around on the National’s comments page. Maybe someone should consult Joanna Cherry on this

        • keaton says:

          Yes and at the current time if the Snp did that it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas the electorate would not look kindly on the Snp inflicting what many would consider an unnecessary election on them in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

          If that’s such a problem, wouldn’t it also have applied if we’d had a S30-sanctioned referendum this year?

          • Eilidh says:

            That may have been the case too. Referendums are risky but it wouldn’t not unseat the entire Scottish government although NS may resign if we lost again.

          • grizebard says:

            In the end, it inevitably comes down to what a majority of the People of Scotland want, or are at least willing to tolerate. This is the bottom line. Individual politicians may come and go, but “We the People” remain. And if too many just shrug and sink into self-denying passivity, independence simply won’t happen.

            This basic fact seems to escape those who evidently believe in some kind of magic “easy fix”, one kind of panacea or another. We all need to recognise that at the very heart of the matter is being able to reach people, impress the realities on them and so win them over. “Hearts and minds.” The internet works for younger people, but there isn’t any equivalent for far too many older folk, those who rely almost exclusively on Unionist-controlled press and TV. That’s the unpleasant reality.

            So having some goal lined up with which everyone can engage, something that can stimulate interest and act as a focus of intention, show a way forward, that is essential. Exactly what best is in a way secondary, so long as it is able to achieve traction.

  40. Capella says:

    Mark McGeoghegan in The National analysis thier new independence poll

    Support for independence at 54%: what the latest polling tells us

    Over a year, three prime ministers, four chancellors, and umpteen crises, average constitutional preferences across the polls have swung in the independence movement’s favour by 6.8 points. That is not an insignificant change.

    At the same time, not all polls have Yes ahead. A Savanta UK poll in December, and a Survation poll this week both had No ahead. There remain questions about the size of any Yes lead and how long it may last, if at all.

    Those questions grow larger now that the compound drivers creating it have been joined by the UK Government’s Section 35 order blocking the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill from royal assent.

    https://archive.fo/jHpLr

  41. davetewart says:

    The javid proposes,
    £20 for a GP appointment
    £66 to get into an A&E department.

    Wonder what the charge for an ambulance will be?

    Very USA, first thing the ambulance team do is swipe your credit card.

    • This is the guy would could have hit someone in the front seat with the force of an elephant if the driver had needed to hit the brakes. Ambulances would have rushed to the scene…

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      @davetewart @ 10.55am

      Javid is standing down at the next GE….so is he the nominated one to TEST the ground on this….for THE gradual tentative but perhaps NOT as gradual and tentative as we thought…..as in a ‘baby step’ tactic… for the masses into accepting the actual Tory MASTER PLAN of promoting an eventual Insurance based privatisation of the Healthcare for ALL of us ….Hmm

      First they came for our ? (far too many things to mention) Then they came for our ? (far too many things to mention) and NOW they come for our NHS Healthcare system ………….

      • Legerwood says:

        Javid like many other MPs may have interests in private medical companies.The bank he used to work for, JP Morgan, set up a company, JP Med I think it was called, shortly after Javid became Health Secretary.

      • davetewart says:

        Much like brexit they are setting the discussion, slowly the mugs will think it’s only £20.
        I can remember the half crown to see the doc, just.

        • Legerwood says:

          My sister was born in the 1930s. My mother had to go into hospital for the birth. Cost per day 30 shillings. My father’s pay per week 30 shillings. How long do you think it took them to pay that off?

          Paying to see the doctor was a system that disadvantaged women and children because families would prioritise the breadwinner to go to the doctor if they were I’ll while wife and children would try home remedies.

          Are we really going to stand being taken back to that?

  42. davetewart says:

    What about the camera operator? he would have mashed the driver.
    The rich cynic would have done the ‘security’ man.

    Just saw a clip of zahawi get into a Honda rearseat and it instantly drove away, Do they just not wear belts?
    Do they have the seat belt buzzer disabled?

    Love the clip of rabb do his usual, all is well with the government, just wee slips. move on.
    Honesty, integrity and transparency, newly defined.

  43. yesindyref2 says:

    I see there’s a poll in the National asking if Sunak should resign over the seatbeltgate thing. I voted YES, as one would.

    However, if he did resign and if the Tory front bench resigned if they had done anything wrong, there’d be no UK Government left at all.

    So no change there then.

  44. yesindyref2 says:

    Pretty good article in the Herald, which might be starting to remember that since back into the 19th century, it supported “Home Rule” for Scotland, but recently seems to have forgotten its integrity in its pursuit of unionism – even though it was one of the main papers behind the drive to Devolution in the 90s.

    Since then, Scottish governance and law has diverged on other matters, on student tuition fees, for example, the public smoking ban and the minimum pricing of alcohol, often for the rest of the UK to follow. It has meant that different rules can apply in different parts of the UK and its citizens have come to understand that. And besides, if there was never any difference or divergence, what would be the point of devolution?

    Indeed.

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/23266232.herald-view-alister-jacks-action-threatens-future-devolution/

    • JP58 says:

      Absolutely- there have been a variety of laws passed by Holyrood that have potentially impacted others in UK more than the GRA bill. Abolition of Students fees for Scots springs to mind.
      So why do you think Westminster didn’t use a S35 for these issues but did for this one?
      Why did they try an avoid SC ruling on SC30 request.
      It is obvious they would seek a potential political advantage doing this with GRA bill but trying with issues that had widespread support in Scotland would have boosted Scottish government and independence support.
      My contention is that NS should have foreseen and tried to mitigate the potential negative fallout from this issue which like it or not does not resonate much with public. The Tories may be cruel and appear daft to us but they are not stupid.
      Hopefully this will be a storm in a teacup and pass quickly but I contend that Westminster using a S35 is a potential opportunity to boost independence support and that it has been squandered by allowing a situation to develop where Westminster use it for which doesn’t resonate with a large section of electorate.

  45. Legerwood says:

    For those who may have missed the item on CH4 news on Friday night about the Scottish NHS here is a link to it

    https://www.channel4.com/news/nhs-crisis-gps-in-scotland-quitting-due-to-unsafe-situation

    • grizebard says:

      As per the comments upthread, C4 has its own agenda here. Not only to show that there is a crisis within the NHS (which there undeniably is, given all that has been thrown at it on top of UKGov mismanagement), but the broadcaster is also deterrmined to “prove” that Scotland is no better than anywhere else in the UK. Even eager, as here, to downplay the existence of better SG-union relations and to promote the prospect of a breakdown as has already happened elsewhere. (An evident “levelling down” agenda about which I have already complained to C4.)

      That piece was shoddy tabloid journalism that damages the channel’s reputation and thus ultimately undermines what it is presumably trying to achieve. No hint of progress allowed anywhere – English exceptionalism must trump all.

    • Golfnut says:

      Commercial channels are now bombarding the public with health care and insurance adverts.

      • Not-My-Real-Name says:

        “Commercial channels are now bombarding the public with health care and insurance adverts”

        And so it begins (actually had begun ages ago)…..and will end where they all hope it will all eventually end…..

        The writing IS on the wall….for the NHS….. as far as the Tories of various colours are concerned….or rather HOPE…….both GB News and TalkTV via hosts and guests have been promoting the NHS is flawed, failing etc for quite a while and demonising striking NHS staff….so guess what THEIR solution is…..Hmm

        • Golfnut says:

          One of the instructions given to the likes of Boris and Sunak before the corporations take over the NHS would have been get rid of TUPE, transfer of conditions of employment, that’s also well underway.

          • Eilidh says:

            TUPE is as much use as a chocolate teapot as it is. It only protects an employee until day of transfer then new employer can change terms and conditions to whatever they like. We need better emploment terms and conditions not worse ones

  46. Legerwood says:

    This is a statement about the s35 order and the GRR Bill from various civic groups in Scotland.

    It is a measured response without hyperbole or hysteria which covers the main points particularly on the interaction, if any, between the GRR and Equalities Act 2010 in a clear and straightforward manner.

    https://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/news/news/a-statement-from-scottish-civil-society-organisations-on-the-uk-governments-intervention-o/

  47. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    A tweet from Peter Geoghegan :

    “Last week Christopher Harborne gave £1m to Boris Johnson.

    This week QinetiQ – the UK defence company whose biggest shareholder is Harborne – won an £80m government contract…”

    Harborne :

    “Lives in Thailand where he’s known as Chakrit Sakunkrit and gave an incredible £13.7m to Reform UK (the artist formerly known as the Brexit Party)

    Much of that cash came *after* 2019 general election, when Brexit Party was a busted flush…”

    Like the PPE TORY preferential route (reward) for TORY DONORS …..all other ‘DONORS’ to TORIES reap the SAME RICH reward via TORY government contracts…..

    Donated £1m to Johnson BUT “gave an incredible £13.7m to Reform UK (the artist formerly known as the Brexit Party)”…donated to another party (supposedly another party) but perhaps actually really NOT an opposition party to the Tories…..oh what a tangled web they do weave when first they practice to deceive…..rinse and repeat…..

    There is nothing but nothing any other party has done or could do…especially the SNP….. that can match the corruption , cronyism , nepotism and blatant obvious CONTRACTS FOR THE (Tory) BOYS programme that this Tory government, and previous ones, have orchestrated and fulfilled.

    Reform party…UKIP…Brexit party…Reclaim party….Alliance for Unity….and not forgetting their friends the Tories….Peas from the SAME Pod…..and the Labour party under Starmer desperate to get a piece of some of THAT action too…..and who is it that actually funds the Labour party via some independent sources (as opposed to just some Unions)…who indeed.

    BTW Diane Abbott has tweeted this:

    “Labour could drop Palestine recognition commitment from general election manifesto”

    I bet they ‘could’….after all there is a Labour Friends of Israel as well as a CONservative Friends of Israel group ….of course, when leader, Corbyn had a history of supporting Palestine….and Corbyn was accused of anti-Semitism when Labour was under his leadership ….actually there was a constant 24/7 challenge on this via politicians from his OWN party and the Tories and the media (the Labour party had to find SOME way to try and get (force) him out did they not so were really grateful for the help via their friends in the media and too via the Tory party)….NOW that particular perception of anti-Semitic being rife in the Labour party has all but evaporated, vanished, a NON prominent subject, miraculously all but disappeared , now tis a non BIG nay MAJOR issue/concern/thing i.e. seemingly exists no more to trouble them as a political stick with which to BEAT them with…… as in tis no longer widely reported/promoted en masse by the media (INO) and opposition parties now that Labour is under Starmer’s leadership…..Call the POPE a miracle has happened…..

    Follow those with the MONEY and those that they decide to GIVE it to….then follow those who have GIVEN the money to see what they GET in return…..

    Lobbying as in promoting on behalf of, donations received for your party from (self) ‘interested’ parties (individuals) and donations too for some individual members (MP’s) of your party from these sources, the funding of a political party equals receiving future government contracts or even, if lucky, a Knighthood…….but also do not neglect to note who is also funding opposition political parties as a party and too some of their individual members (MP’s) to understand what is also expected from THEM in return for monies received as in their party’s support and promotion of YOUR interests (business) that is given within the arena that is WM and it’s politics…… and if YOUR party is then elected as the next new UK government…well we all know the story on that via the Tory template of WHO to award government contracts to…..and tis also rewarding for your party to promote certain businesses (individuals) through the various forums of the media (INO) …..as in mainstream, alternate and newly formed media and too via Social media….I mean Wes Streeting was reported to have received a donation from Private Health donors and lo and behold he gave an interview recently where he stated that “Labour would outsource NHS services to private healthcare companies”…..is that the SAME Ones that you received donations from Wes ?

    The UK and it’s politics is a CESSPIT but as per the target of the media is directed mostly at others in Scotland to TRY and keep the blindfolds on the disengaged voters here who are assumed to be oblivious to the actual reality of WTF is actually going on in front of their eyes…..however via recent polls showing an increased support for independence over the less desirable option of staying within the UK…..it may be that MORE voters are now becoming more engaged with the reality NOW as is and thus willingly casting off their former SEE, HEAR and SPEAK no EVIL against the UK as is (or rather EVEL as per the UK as is)…..and it’s an big fat Amen to that….

    Remember they now doth protest way way too much and the attacks are now seemingly relentless…..that is a sure sign that they are on the ropes as far as hoping to win THE real argument for us staying in their fake country aka the UK….and they know it…hence why they are doing it (ever so) deliberately….as in the increased onslaught via them ALL…on anything and everything connected to Scotland and it’s politics….

    Another overlong rant in the bag…..sorry etc

    Have a nice day everyone

    🙂

  48. Fact of the day.

    Based on some figures supplied above and the census:

    • 0.20 % (47.5k/23.8m) of males over the age of 16 state they self-id as a transwomen (E&W census)
    • 0.19% of convicted male sex offenders (92/48,000) state they self-id as a transwomen (graphic further up)

    Conclusion = transwomen are jailed for sex crimes at slightly less than, or at most proportionally, to their population share. Ergo, based on these figures, are not more likely to commit sex crimes than other males.

    Which makes perfect sense. All groups have their bad eggs. Transwomen don’t stand out here from natal males as a whole.

  49. yesindyref2 says:

    From the National: “Row erupts as SNP MPs appear near violent sign at Glasgow protest”

    I’d be pretty sure the sign carrier targetted them, so as it would appear they supported his extremism.

    A march in Glasgow, I waited for it at George Square, togged up with big EU saltire flag wrapped around, badges and a big YES placard slung with string around me. A guy with a loudhailer who was alongside his van moved a few feet next to me. Well, it wasn’t my views and I didn’t want to be associated so I moved along a few feet. He did the same, so off I went again and again along he came. so I moved again, other side of a couple of polis and getting near manky jaiket and co. Along came old faithful and his loudhailer.

    I’d to cross the road before I lost him.

    So yeah, it’s almost certain they were tagged in the same way.

    • grizebard says:

      Maybe even “PSB-central” is finally coming to realise that its precious Labourite devo is on life support in the hands of a homicidal quack…?

    • Legerwood says:

      Definitely they were targeted. You could see that in the report on the news tonight. They had no way to see who had moved in behind them when the cameras rolled. Pity JC was not as charitable when it came to criticising them.

      • James says:

        Which is of course why section 35 was used. The Conservatives knew that any protest regarding it (which this one) could easily be twisted like this picture shows.

        SNP representatives just need to be a bit savvier, if you want to go on protest go on a protest with doctors, teachers, etc, and make the statement that independence is needed for them to get decent pay. No one is going to hijack that with a controversial sign!

        • If Viceroy Jack jumps in to his 4×4 and heads down to carlisle for a pint with his English mates, then heads back home, if he is stopped by Scottish traffic polis and breathalised he would lose his licence, since the drink drive laws in Scotland are more strict than in his homeland England.
          Will he slap a sect 35 on Gretna Green too?
          The legal age of consent in Scotland is 16, in England 18. Hence all those star crossed English lovers heading North to civilisation to get married.
          King Spaniel III got his plus fours in a twist because he couldn’t get married in the kirk and still be defender of the Anglican Faith.
          This GRR nonsense is the usual attempt by England to subjugate Scotland.
          Can we get on, now, and fight for our country?
          Millions of us Scots do not recognise England’s authority over our country.

        • grizebard says:

          And yet SNP reps are oft criticised for not attending pro-indy rallies. Accused of wanting to keep a distance from the lowly plebs. It’s a no-win situation for them.

    • I saw that article, and the person holding the placard in question should be visited by the police.

      Nobody who believes in human rights would wave such a sign.

      We must be careful right now as the UK government, with all its security resources, has chosen this hill to die on, so we must watch out for things not being as they seem. That and of course there are just some total pillocks around.

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, the “pillock factor” shouldn’t be discounted. Self-defeating parasitical morons are a veritable gift to the opposition. (And may often be encouraged for that very reason.)

      • Bob Lamont says:

        There are a group of objectors in place behind the main photo-op, but the individual with the offending placard had placed himself forward of the main group so neither the main group nor the speakers would be aware of what was happening.

        The glasses and face are quite distinct, so somebody will most assuredly recognise him.
        The placard was clearly folded lengthwise for a quick open, snap, fold, walk away…
        If you zoom in on the face, despite the angle of his face and the glasses the eyes are focussed toward the camera, so absolutely a set up.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        My apologies – Having looked at the video clip on Youtube from the National, it was clearly not a hit and run as first thought – The offending placard is clearly visible among those of the others demonstrators behind Thewlis during the speeches, stood between Oswald and Stewart.

        In the cropped image over which the manufactured “row” story was created however, Thewlis is not in shot, so was taken either before or after the speeches.

    • Alex Clark says:

      What a pathetic setup that was, now take a picture of an MSP themselves holding up a placard well that’s different. To imply that somehow because someone walks behind you holding up something you don’t see means you are associated with it is just too ridiculous for words.

      Not for these people though.

      Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said he had reported the sign to the police, saying carrying it was “clearly a hate crime and a public order offence”.

      He added: “Good grief [Nicola Sturgeon], should your MP and MSP [Kirsten Oswald] and [Kaukab Stewart] really be standing under a banner with a guillotine and this the slogan ‘Decapitate Terfs’? And this is meant to be ‘progressive’?”

      His party colleague Jamie Halcro-Johnston said the picture was “shameful”.

      He tweeted: “Scotland in 2023 – where SNP politicians stand smiling in front of a banner which calls for violence against women. Shameful.”

      https://archive.ph/67hk2

      Who would have thought that the Tories would stoop so low? Don’t worry I’m just kidding, the only shameful action here is Tory MSPs trying to score political points for what is clearly a setup.

  50. davetewart says:

    Remember we have 30 similar in the Hollyrood opposition, most of them Listers.

    • Alex Clark says:

      The person that took this picture just happened to be standing right in front of these 2 MSP’s with their phone or camera pointed at them just as the guy with the placard walks directly behind them. And then it winds its was onto the front pages of the papers hahaha.

      What a coincidence and what luck for the picture taker!

      Aye right, too ridiculous for words and you can pull the other one.

    • Alex Clark says:

      That was a reply to myself, sorry dave 🙂

  51. Dr Jim says:

    When all of us attend marches for independence there are socialist workers banners, repent for Jesus placards, and even Manky jaikit waving his propaganda flags pictured behind us, and all photographed by the BBC

    Nobody’s responsible for what other people do behind us in a public place or we’d all have voted against Brexit , been saved by Jesus or even been slain by the lord almighty if we didn’t repent for Jesus
    And all of that could be photographed outside 10 Downing street on College green on any summers day
    How many times have we seen the cameramen shifting positions trying to avoid background banner wavers

    Murdo Fraser and Liz Smith had nothing but lovely mountains behind them as they strolled around breaking the Covid rules and didn’t care about the selfie they took of it, remember that?

  52. JP58 says:

    One last go to try and put a slightly alternative view from an independence supporter who also voted SNP/ Green at last election.
    The aim of current Holyrood government is two fold a)good governance for benefit of Scottish population and to further cause of an independent Scotland. Policy should be implemented in such a way to advance both aims.
    Tactically taking Westminster to UKSC over S30 to clarify Holyrood power wrt Indy referendum was an excellent strategy because most of Scotland’s imelectorate intrinsically think that it should be within power of people of Scotland to decide on holding an Indy referendum. This would include many soft Yes/No’s who maybe don’t even want a referendum at present. In short along withBrexit and Tory governments it something majority of people in Scotland are against and is a foundation to discuss benefits of independence against. I also think that as a lawyer NS was well aware of potential outcome and still realised the political gain of pursuing this with SC.
    I also think that having UK government use a S35 to reject a Holyrood bill is a similar opportunity if it can be engineered for a bill with massive popular support. Regardless of rights and wrongs of GRA bill it does not have massive popular support in Scotland hence Tories eagerness to use S35 unjustifiable as it may be. You did not need to be psychic to seem this outcome and all I am saying is that it would have been beneficial to aim of independence if Holyrood government had tried more to avoid this outcome. We need to be smart as well as passionate to achieve independence and part of this is trying to second guess your opponents which with Tory government let’s face it is is not very difficult.
    A couple of other observations:
    I do find it difficult to comment on GRA bill as it does not affect me though my general attitude to sexual matters is non judgemental and live and let live. I do however think that non trans males should be wary of jumping in and attacking women who may have strongly held views on this subject.
    Last comment from viewing comments is we all want the same ultimate aim which is an independent Scotland. We will not achieve this without listening to differing opinions and being polite to each other when discussing these differences. Please remember to achieve independence we need to win over the soft No’s and this will only be achieved by listening and polite persuasion. Abuse of someone with a contrary view only entrenches them in their opinion.
    I hope these comments are taken as they are intended as constructive input into debate.

  53. Alex Clark says:

    I believe that you are completely wrong. Well before this bill was in any way controversial as every party in Scotland supported the premise that the GRA was unfair on trans people and therefore required change.

    Every party supported the reform of this bill until the Tory party saw an opportunity to use it as a wedge in order to try and create division in Scottish attitudes. I’m getting ahead of myself though because the vast majority of people were unaware that this might even be an issue at all until recently because of the fire and brimestone rhetoric raised by the media.

    Even if all you believed in was devolution and not Independence then it is plain for all to see that there is no real devolution of laws when even a Minister alone is able to impose his will upon the Scottish Government despite the bill being supported by more than 2/3rds of MSPs of all parties.

    That’s the real issue here and I believe that’s how those that support Independence will see it. You seem to believe that support for independence will be badly impacted by the Scottish Government refusing to be cowed by Westminster into dropping a bill that they had committed to in their manifestos.

    I do not believe that and instead, see this as an attack on the powers of the Scottish Government that the people of Scotland voted into power and I believe the vast majority of those that voted for them as their government will see it the same way.

    The Scottish government elected by the Scottish people must be able to make laws in those areas that are within their power without the interference of Westminster. Whether the laws are “good” or “bad”, well that will be a judgment for the people of Scotland.

    For most people, this bill still hardly registers on their radar and there will be little effect if any on support for Independence due to it being passed. More likely that Westminster being seen to walk all over the rights of the Scottish Parliament to make its own laws in devolved areas will have an adverse effect on support for the Union.

    I guess we won’t need to wait long to find out.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Agreed,

    • Old Pete says:

      Totally agree. The Scottish parliament elected by the Scottish people voted to pass the bill. The media and blogs like ‘wings over Bath’ have stirred up hate and misinformation. Our government was elected by the Scottish voters, decisions made are not always liked by all Scotland’s population. The English government and its allies have no right to dictate to our parliament, this is the issue and it is totally unacceptable.

    • Every party supported the reform of this bill until the Tory party saw an opportunity.

      We should not forget supporters of Alba saw this opportunity first, in particular a certain English blog.

      Although I give the author of said blog credit for getting me to support the bill as I found I was being lied to about it by them.

  54. JP58 says:

    I agree that Trans rights did not really register with electorate and that this issue has been stirred up by Tories for their potential political gain both North & South of border.
    I would contend that this was easily foreseable and one way of reducing this impact would have been to allow a free vote rather than whipped and leave it as a conscience vote. For majority of voting public this will be seen as a distraction from independence and positive achievements of Holyrood and hopefully will not having any longer term effect. Having Westminster using the S35 nuclear option would usually be an enormous boost to supporters of independence because it show’s limitations of Holyrood power under current devolution settlement. The effect this will potentially have will be diluted because of the limited support for issue bing discussed especially amongst the less committed independence supporters.It is my view that it would have been politically more savvy to try get Westminster to use the S35 route against a bill with overwhelming support among public as opposed to MSP’s.
    This would have given Indy supporters something to refer to in future to help persuade undecided voters. I doubt the S35 on GRA bill will have this effect though like you I think this is a bit of a storm in a teacup that will pass.

    • Alex Clark says:

      You say that there is limited support for this issue and that may be true, limited support though doesn’t mean outright hostility against this bill, so much hostility that they could change from a Yes to a No. If you could point me in the direction of a poll by some independent body without skin in this game that has asked straightforward yes/no/don’t know questions on whether or not they have support for this bill I would very much appreciate it.

      I personally have only ever seen what appear to be extremely biased questions asked by extremely biased parties who hold very strong views on the subject. None of the polls that I have seen have shone any light at all as to what people really think about this subject or the depth of that feeling.

      • Those pushing polls like the electorate are all clinical psychologists specialising in gender with PhDs in human rights are the same people that pushed this sort of polling back in 2000:

        https://www.ipsos.com/en-uk/public-attitudes-section-28

        We think an expert medical opinion is key! No GRC without one! However, at the same time, we think this sample of 1000 people without any expertise whatsoever in the subject should decide policy here!

        [facepalm].

        Thankfully, our parliament went ahead and ignored polls about ‘the promotion of homosexuality’ (as if schools actually ‘promoted’ LGB over H and converted masses of kids). Scots didn’t vote to close it and those opposed didn’t benefit from doing so.

        The same will happen again. The fact the Tories are mounting such a strong opposition to the gender reform bill should ensure they take a serious hit over it.

    • Capella says:

      Well said. I agree with the points you raise. I could foresee that the Tories would use their power to undermine support for this bill, therefore support for the parliament. On the issue of principle, a free vote, and on the issue of consensus i.e. a topic the majority of people would understand and support, you put forward cogent arguments.

    • ‘I agree that Trans rights did not really register’

      It’s been all over the papers since 2016.

      SNP voters have voted for it twice now, and the British media made absolutely sure they knew this. Certain English blogs which consider themselves, erm, ‘influential’ (stop laughing at the back!), have made this their pet project for like half a decade.

      It registered, but it doesn’t affect voters and won’t (see Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark…), so they’re just not that interested. They’ve been sharing loos and changing rooms with trans people their whole lives without issue, so a few more of these getting a single letter changed on their passport is just not a concern.

      Which is why I really don’t understand the reasoning behind the Tories falling on their own sword over it with the S35.

      The Tory Golden Rule is now kicking into action. If the Tories are against it, it must be really important and the right thing to do. Goes without saying.

      • JP58 says:

        It was also in Labour & Lib Dem manifesto’s but let’s be honest how many voters were aware of it – I wasn’t though even if I had been it wouldn’t have altered my vote.
        You cannot say that if someone votes for any party that they therefore agree with every item In manifesto. That is patently not the case.
        Like NS, and yourself I would imagine, I despise the Tories. They are stirring up controversy over this subject and many commentators are jumping on board to bash NS, SNP and therefore independence movement. This isn’t fair especially as it was supported by all parties in Holyrood but political life in UK is not fair. This outcome was very predictable, should have been predicted by NS and mitigation strategies put in place such as free voting for MSP’s and accepting more of the amendments which would have taken potential controversies out of bill.
        This would have given less opportunity for opponent’s to stir this issue up while still improving current provisions for Trans people. This would have denied the story oxygen and it would have been a 1 day wonder and allowed Scottish government to get back to basic issues of good governance for benefit of all in Scotland and advancing case for independence. I would have described that as good politics and it is what I and many others vote SNP for.

        • You cannot say that if someone votes for any party that they therefore agree with every item In manifesto

          To clarify, I didn’t mean that. I meant that if you voted for a party with GRA reform in it’s manifesto, you backed the reforms. Even if you actually opposed the reforms, you still democratically endorsed them at the ballot box, giving the party you voted for the thumbs up to proceed. That’s what voting means. If you didn’t read the manifesto, the same applies.

          Nobody who voted SNP/Lib/Lab/Grn can complain about these doing what they put in their manifestos. There were alternatives, including the Tories and even a pro-indy party led by a former FM with basically the same manifesto as the SNP, but minus the GRA reforms. The BBC / British media heavily publicised this party and its GRA reform stance too, to make sure Scots knew all about them.

          In terms of bill impact, we’ve had 3 Y/N polls which either cover or post date the passing of the bill, which was given wall to wall coverage by the media. These all show no change in Yes support. The latest Holyrood poll (pre-dates the London block), shows the SNP slightly up or no change on 1st January.

          So the impact of the bill itself, so far at least, seems to have been zero; what you’d expect for a manifesto commitment being seen through. If they were doing something controversial, such as a policy not in their manifesto which the electorate opposed, then you’d potentially see a negative polling reaction.

          We’re lacking data for the effect of the bill now being blocked by London, but early indications are it might be pushing up support for the SNP, which is again the effect you’d expect if there was going to be one. That would follow the same pattern that we saw with the iref bill being blocked.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Dear God can you please stop – You have repeated this “would have given less opportunity” line on multiple posts to afford blame to SNP for tactics which may have seen Indy support drop, but it’s all theoretical.
          Not once have you acknowledged HMG etc must have spent millions on propagandising the issue, not least through the BBC in Scotland, which ultimately had null effect.
          Even Glenn Campbell et al trying to keep the propaganda campaign alive by trotting out the “controversial” has had zero impact, soon to join “incontinent pigeons” in BBC Scotland’s vast library of failed propaganda schemes.

          As several upthread have posited, the vast majority of Scots frankly didn’t give a shit over the GRA amendments and still don’t, but now that it has become a THEM and US scenario thanks to the State of a Minister for Flounce it has now become HMG’s worst nightmare.

          Neither the SNP nor the Greens set up this pissing contest, HMG did.
          I must acknowledge respect (a rarity) for Monica Lennon’s quite forceful summation in defending fellow MSPs by calling a spade a spade – This is a wholly manufactured grievance by Tories in HMG.

          The only lesson here is from Terry Pratchett, never piss off a MacFeegle.

  55. JP58 says:

    To back my argument up look at Colin McKay interview with Rishi Sunak around issue of independence referendum. Sunak was evasive and never answered question because he couldn’t and this made him look poor. This can be repeated ad infinitude and is a boost for independence campaign every time.
    Can you honestly imagine a similar interview and response about S35 over GRA bill? I cannot but am sure there are other areas of legislation which Westminster could have blundered into and imposed an S35 which could have afforded opportunity for a similar humiliating interview for Sunak, Starmer or whoever. A missed opportunity in my view by NS, who I have a lot of respect for, which along with apparent strategic muddle over potential routes for independence referendum has concerned me.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Oh no! another doubting jp58/ Thomas.

      The FM ain’t for resigning or changing. Westminster looks more intransigent and right wing and mired in more dirt and sleaze, labour are pro Brexit although acknowledging its damage to Scotland and supports Westminster to the hilt.

      Realistic check is required by those who claim we should be independent now but without explanation as to how rationally how this occurs. Stamping feet in the corner won’t deliver.

      • JP58 says:

        Hamid – I vote SNP and want independence the same as you.
        I would never go on other more open forums and question SNP policy or NS strategy as this would give succour to our opponents. This forum is for SNP and independence supporters and I am merely questioning whether over GRA bill strategy was good enough. Similarly the S30 SC outcome was predictable and I am asking why did Scottish government not have a strategy worked out in advance of expected ruling.
        I like many others support SNP because of
        a)best party to advance and ultimately gain independence.
        b)best party to advance the Scottish electorate’s interests- although that is no high bar when you look at other parties.
        I thought this forum was a discussion chamber for independence supporters. Constructive criticism is IMO an essential step in achieving independence. If you and others think SNP and NS cannot improve then you are basically just an echo chamber and I am happy to butt out from commenting and just continue to read WGD informative posts.

  56. I am sick fed up hearing about the fucking Trans Bill. Can we give it a rest and get back on track?

  57. yesindyref2 says:

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/23267631.tories-seek-release-ministerial-legal-advice-gender-bill/

    Dear Scottish Executive,

    Please release your legal advice over the GRR as my boss, his Royal Colonial Governor-Generalship, Baron Alister Jack, requests and requires all imperial subjects to bow down to his will and kiss his feet.

    His faithful serf

    Donald Cameron
    Member of the Scottish Toon Cooncil

    • ‘We asked Alister Jack to appear on the programme this morning but he wasn’t available.’
      Again Geissler uses weasel words to excuse the Absent Viceroy’s abscence from public scrutiny.
      In truth Jack doesn’t give a monkey’s about justifying his colonial status.
      He’ll not be here in 18 months time.He’ll be in a subsidised bar in HoL schmoozing with Davidson Goldie Mone Reid McConnell Darling Robertson Kennedy and all the other Jock chancers who sold their country of birth for English coin.
      Oh how they must laugh at the stupidity of the people of Scotland.
      If I were 40 years younger…
      Instead Geissler had Sarwar on live ,and, like Kuenssberg earlier interviewing NS , Martin told us all that GRR was the only politcal story this week. Idiot.
      Sarwar hasn’t a clue about..well..anything remotely to do with governing a country.
      Geissler shoved in a comment that the majority of Scots are against the GRR legislation..a lie of course..but it’s drip drip SNP BAD on Geissler’s watch.
      Most Scots, like me, are neither here nor there about Trans law; fact.
      At the end of January, I’ll be reading my gas and electric meters with more than a little dread.
      I’l guarantee that Geissler and Sarwar won’t.
      Let them eat GRR?

      • Golfnut says:

        A deriliction of duty on the part the state broadcaster and Geissler when you consider the Bills passed by westminster last week.

  58. Straw in the wind, and we need to be very careful with UK subsamples, but these suggest movement to the SNP in the wake of Section 35 gate.

    Might just be noise, but they certainly don’t indicate any movement away from the SNP. Which ties in with the latest Y/N poll from Finoutnow.

  59. Alec Lomax says:

    Alba’s latest wheeze is to dissolve the Scottish Parliament. Perhaps because they can’t get any of their candidates elected to it?

    • Dr Jim says:

      That’s exactly right Alec, and if there’s any kind of general election they know they’ll lose the existing two in Westminster that nicked their votes from SNP voters and end up with even less than they have now

      • Colin Alexander says:

        There shouldn’t be any Scottish MPs at Westminster since the UKSC’s ruling. All Scottish MPs should be home in Scotland holding a Constitutional Convention in accordance with the rights of Scotland’s sovereign power to choose its own political future.

    • Colin Alexander says:

      The purpose of dissolving the Scottish Parliament is to facilitate the promised (de facto) independence referendum. In a referendum on independence, there would be no mandate to elect any MSPs to the Scottish Parliament ( and that includes Alba politicians) as that is not the purpose of a referendum. The same applies to any Westminster election used for the same purpose.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Your repeated efforts to derail the upcoming conference on these issues is noted Constable Colon.

      • Golfnut says:

        Apologies if I’m misinterpreting your comment, I think your saying that we wouldn’t be voting to elect either MSP’s or MP’s to either a Holywood or westminster GE if used as a de facto referendum, how would we register our vote if we don’t voter for a candidate. Or an I taking your comment to literally.

        • Colin Alexander says:

          Golfnut, the UK Parliament website says: “A referendum is when a question is decided by putting it to a public vote.” The indyref question proposed in the indyref Bill was: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

          So, in a genuine de facto referendum, a manifesto would have to clearly state a vote for a pro-indy candidate would be regarded as YES to the question: Scotland should be an independent country? The electorate would then vote for the candidate if they agreed with that proposition.

          If there was any other alternative mandate sought by the candidate, such as representing the constituency in parliament, it would render the vote worthless as a true referendum.

          • grizebard says:

            Back to your irrelevant dancing-on-a-pinhead, I see. Ho hum. Anything that will serve to obscure the issue at the heart of the matter, ie. fairly determining the will of the people of Scotland. Once that is made visible by whatever democratic means has survived the frantic attempts to shut them all down by the enemies of independence, and thus democracy itself, the genuine possessor of legitimacy would be clear to all. Everything else would fall by the wayside.

            There’s no amount of pettifogging distractions by the likes of you, wormtongue, that can obscure that reality. No wonder the unionist camp is doing its damnedest both to try to prevent that happening, and in case that fails, to try to dismiss its significance in advance. As here. Your slippery return presence is ample evidence of that latter intent, and thus betrays its fear.

      • Alec Lomax says:

        Holyrood dissolve itself? Westminster would love that!

  60. Capella says:

    Aileen McHarg on whether the Tories are right to use a s35 order. Guess what? It’s debateable.

    ‘Debatable’ Tories had right to block trans law reforms, expert says

    Aileen McHarg, Professor of ­Public Law and Human Rights at ­Durham Law School, told the ­Sunday ­National: “The GRR Bill doesn’t ­directly change the Equality Act; it has ­consequential effects on it via ­changing the criteria for getting a Gender Recognition ­Certificate (GRC), which is regarded as ­changing legal sex for the purposes of the Equality Act (and other ­purposes).

    “It is certainly ­debatable whether those indirect effects are sufficient to ­trigger the use of Section 35.”

    She added: “The phrase in ­Section 35 is that the Bill makes ­‘modifications of the law as it applies to reserved matters’, which is somewhat obscure – and since the power has never been used before, there is no judicial ­guidance on what it means.”

    https://archive.fo/hTYlB

  61. yesindyref2 says:

    From the Herald. Front page:

    Sturgeon suggests she might not be the person to lead Scotland to independence

    but from the article headline:

    Sturgeon insists there’s still ‘plenty in the tank’

    but from the picture caption:

    Sturgeon suggests she might not be the person to lead Scotland to independence (Image: BBC)

    and from the first line in the article:

    NICOLA Sturgeon has suggested she might not be the person to lead Scotland to independence.

    but from Sturgeon herself:

    Appearing on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the SNP leader was asked if she thought she would be the leader who’s going take Scotland to independence.

    She said: “I would like to think so. I think Scotland’s going to be independent. Nobody would believe me if I say no, I’d rather it was somebody else.

    “But for me, who the leader is that takes Scotland to independence is less important than that Scotland completes its journey to independence.”

    So basically the headline writer, the caption writer, and the journalist’s first line of the article, are all illiterate. Par for the course these days, frankly.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Yet another bogey from the Herald …

    • The Hacks’ defence is that it is their job to write headlines which will prompt potentiasl readers to buy their rags; the end justifies the means.
      Print lies if it sell ‘papers or attracts viewers or listeners.
      So there is no Free Press or a BBC that exists to inform educate and entertain.
      We now have a media which is run by a wealthy fascist oligarchy, for the few financed by the few, and to protect the few from the wrath of the public.

      They won’t change come independence.
      They will ddie off like lamp lighters or Tonto the go to guy for smoke signals in the village.
      I doubt that anybody under 35 buys a Dead Tree Scroll now.
      Come independence, these loss leaders of the British State will go bust.
      English Establishment intervention in our Scottish media come independence will be viewed with the same contempt as Putin’s black arts.
      I look forward to banning blood sports in New Scotland.
      I just threw that in for ne reason..well, it’s Sunday morning..and the start of the New Lunar Year..we are stardust we are…

    • Golfnut says:

      Subtle self effacing counter to the continual ‘ it’s Nicola Sturgeons independence ‘ accusation levelled at the FM.

    • Capella says:

      Orwellian 😱

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Three adjacent articles on today’s Yahoo home page.

        NewsHerald Scotland
        Sturgeon suggests she might not be the person to lead Scotland to independence

        PA Media: UK News
        I’ve still got plenty in the tank to lead Scotland, says Sturgeon

        HuffPost UK
        Nicola Sturgeon Says She Is ‘Nowhere Near’ Ready To Quit As Scotland’s First Minister

        – Over to you.

        AdAporia | Search Ads

  62. Dr Jim says:

    Nicola Sturgeon should definitely resign because that other wummin in New Zealand resigned and that proves that men are more betterer at governmenting than weemin, who should just all get on with knowing their place anyway, and get back to kitchening, weans and herb gardens or some such

    Especially when she’s the most popular and successful politician Scotland has ever had, Aye best to resign now

  63. Welsh_Siôn says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/21/spend-a-day-volunteering-to-mark-coronation-urges-palace

    Spend a day volunteering to mark coronation, urges palace

    People are being encouraged to ‘support their local areas’ in a drive to mark the three-day celebration in May

    Britons will be encouraged to spend a day volunteering in their communities to mark the King’s coronation. The Big Help Out will take place on Monday 8 May and is intended to create a “lasting legacy” of the coronation weekend.

    Buckingham Palace said it hoped to convince as many people as possible to “join the work being undertaken to support their local areas” on the day, which has been designated as an extra bank holiday.

    Details of the volunteering drive were announced as part of plans to mark the King’s coronation weekend, which include street parties, drone displays and a concert at Windsor Castle featuring “global music icons”. It is part of a concerted effort by Buckingham Palace to portray Charles as a more modern monarch.

    “Iconic locations” across the UK will be lit up using projections, lasers and drones as part of a Lighting up the Nation event, and a specially formed choir including refugees, NHS workers and members of LGBTQ+ and signing choirs will perform.

    […]

    __________

    Volunteering for that? No thanks!

    • Hamish100 says:

      I volunteer as does my better half and close family and friends with various groups and to different degrees.

      We don’t do it to support the tax avoiding greedy royals or the politician pals.

  64. Alex Clark says:

    Here’s the clip of Nicola Sturgeon being asked by Kuenssberg if she thinks she will be the leader who will take Scotland to Independence.

  65. A perspective from an independent county.

    https://archive.is/4qAop

    Trans self-ID since 2015 — and no horror stories

    …It has been interesting watching this play out from this side of the pond, given that Ireland has had similar self-ID laws for years now. The Gender Recognition Act was introduced here in 2015 to little fanfare; many Irish people are likely to be unaware of its existence because it has had no discernible impact on their lives.

    There hasn’t been a sudden surge in predatory trans people hanging around bathrooms, waiting to attack — because apparently that’s all men needed to assault women: a dress and a gender recognition certificate. Indeed from 2015 to 2020, only 599 people applied for a gender recognition certificate in Ireland.

    • Dr Jim says:

      As crime figures show, a woman is more like to be sexually assaulted in Scotland by a Met police officer travelling by bus train or car to Scotland specifically to perpetrate that crime than it is even bumping into a trans person at a football stadium containing thousands of people

    • Unlike a GRC, a job in the police gives you access to vulnerable people and power over them, hence the criminal background checks used to vet officers. The current GRC application process is entirely medical as you gain no such benefit.

      Apart from, that is, in prisons. Here we do have evidence that some prisoners, once incarcerated, suspiciously claim to be trans#. Impossible to prove, but can be very suspect. But in prison, a trans status does bring benefits, something it doesn’t outside. It can get you separated from the main prison population. If you are a sex offender, you desperately want this, as other prisoners don’t take kindly at all to those in for sex offences. Throw on a frock and the guards will move you for your own safety. Of course sex offenders also might hope to get transferred to a female prison, but the chances here are extremely low because of criminal risk assessments. Only 6 transwomen are currently housed in female facilities. I suspect these were probably trans before they were jailed, and are not in for sex crimes.

      Which brought me back to whether it’s possible to link transgender identity to propensity for crime, as some have been attempting to stir the pot. The answer is no because: (1) We don’t know the true number of trans people out there*. (2) We don’t have gender identity data for people at the time they committed the crime / before they got caught (see above problem). (3) We also have no idea about the extent of any bias effect, i.e. where a rich private school kid is found innocent while a transwoman is found guilty in the same circumstances. This is a serious problem faced by minorities; black people know all about this. Irish are familiar with it too.

      Anyhoo, I won’t be believing anyone who tells me trans are more likely to be criminals than non-trans of the same sex. That’s just not possible to evaluate currently / there is no reliable evidence to back that up. Also, the numbers in jail claiming to be trans is tiny; even if they were all honest, it’s far too small a number to be statistically very useful. That said, what studies have been done, generally conclude that trans people seem to have the same propensity for crime as those of their birth sex.# Which makes perfect sense. A transwomen is no more a risk that your husband, brother, dad…

      The irony is that the more trans is accepted, the more reliable data we’ll get. But as long as trans people are marginalised / persecuted, so data will be scant and questionable.

      I suspect even now data for the true number of people who are LGB still isn’t that reliable due to lingering bigotry and people ‘living a lie’.

      Apologies to any trans people reading this for me sounding very cold and clinical when making such posts, but that’s the intent. Dispassionate analysis is key to science and good policy making.


      # https://tinyurl.com/3sm8krtc
      *The census question is voluntary and most people saying they were trans didn’t actually specify what their adopted gender was. Also, given the media demonisation of trans people, we can expect the numbers admitting to being trans to be underreported, possibly by large margins. After all, your name, address etc are all on the form.

      • Capella says:

        The answer is 60% – from data supplied to the HoL by the Ministry of Justice in 2021 reported by James Kirkup in The Spectator Jan 2022.

        On these numbers, we can say with some confidence that last year there were between 142 and 145 transwomen in the male prison estate. (This is 146 minus a number between one and four). And 87 of those prisoners had at least one conviction for a sexual offence.
        This means that the proportion of male-born transwomen in the prison system who are sex offenders is between 60 per cent and 61.3 per cent. That is significantly higher than the roughly 18 per cent of the general population of the male estate who are jailed for sexual offences. It is also a lot higher than the 41 per cent estimate that Fair Play for Women made in 2018, to some controversy.

        https://archive.fo/M1s9k

        • No, it’s not 60% as this data is based on self-id, which the spectator doesn’t consider a reliable method for assessing whether someone is trans. Surely, they should only count those with a GRC by the standard process? Because, well ‘fakes’ right? 🙂

          And here I agree there will be ‘fakes’! And likely a lot of them!

          A sex offender claiming to be trans is not the same as a trans person committing a sex offence. These are, statistically, two very different cases, and they should be considered as such, as discussed below.

          This is important, as lumping them together tars innocent trans people with the actions of sex offenders who discover that in prison they can gain some advantages by claiming trans status. Which, as criminals, we can readily expect they’ll do!

          • Capella says:

            So you agree that Self ID leads to fraudulent claims of trans status from exploitative men.

            • In prisons yes. There it can offer advantages as detailed.

              In the outside world it offers none, as everyone is already free to legally use the loos / changing rooms that best suits them. You’ve shared these with transwomen your whole life and you never noticed.

              You can use the gents if you want. People will not stop you. I can use the ladies too. No law against it. Although if I start hanging around in there rather than go in, do what needs done and leave, people will start asking questions! Even I said I was trans, they’d still be like. ‘Ok, but why are you hanging around’?

              Only an idiot of a perv would apply for a GRC to put themselves on the legal radar for no benefit.

              Anyway, in turn you will agree with me that the prison numbers are flawed? If you believe as you do about fraudulent self-id, you must concur here! 🙂

      • Capella says:

        Also Swedish research on patterns of offending – no difference in male pattern of offending following transition. However, females adopt male pattern offending.

        https://murrayblackburnmackenzie.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/mbm-briefing-on-dhjene-et-al.-april-2021-1. pdf (remove space before pdf)

        • They are using self-id data here I understand? So consider that reliable for assessing who is trans and who isn’t?

          Anyway, it’s what I understood. Transwomen* appear at worst no more dangerous that people’s husbands, brothers, fathers etc…

          Men of course are not inherently dangerous. There’s nothing genetic that makes them more prone to violence or sexual assault. These are wholly learned behaviours. Of course you get psychopathic men etc, but that’s not a male trait. Other women are far more of a risk to my wife and daughter than I am, hence they prefer to share their safe spaces with me, a man.

          The saddest thing about this whole debate is people reinforcing grossly sexist stereotypes of women as innocent, weak helpless victims and men as dangerous, sex crazed maniacs. This kind of sexism is what we need to get rid of as it’s a major factor behind the problems society still faces here. It’s encouraging male on female sex assault, while hiding female on male.

          In terms of trans people, we know these using the loos / changing rooms of their choice causes no problems, as that’s what they’ve always done, it’s perfectly legal (Equality Act) and no GRC is required. 1 in 200 people in the ladies is trans and vice versa. Only a total idiot of a perv would therefore apply for a GRC, as this would put them on the legal radar with no obvious benefit! 🙂

          Incidentally, I tried to find data for the number of trans people incarcerated for different types of crimes. Can’t find it.

          There are some data for self-identified trans people in prison, but no distinction is made between those who were trans at the time of their crime (apples), and those who claimed this after they were caught / jailed (pears).

          The number of trans people committing a particular crime is not the same as the number of people who commit a crime who subsequently claim to be trans. These are apples and pears. As noted in an earlier post, there is pretty good evidence we have people convicted of sex crimes transitioning in jail to get themselves separated from the general population, softer treatment etc. Understandable given those in for sex crimes are not looked favourably upon by other inmates; they are at much higher risk of being attacked here.

          So attempts to statistically analyse this data is lumping apples with pears. I’m not sure how you could separate the two though. Ideally you’d know the gender identity of people at the time they committed the crime. That’s the only way you could hope to correlate this with propensity for said crime. As things stand, we have no real idea how many prisoners have decided to claim to be trans as it seems to offer some advantages that it doesn’t in the outside world. We can’t tar innocent trans people with the actions of these as some out there are attempting.

          In the prisons instance I do agree ‘fake’ trans likely exist. These are, after all, criminals, and criminals are not exactly known for honesty! The the prison authorities not shipping them off to women’s facilities. They are wise to this.

          • Capella says:

            Why are men responsible for 97% of violent crime? You seem to think that men are the victims here yet the statistics prove you wrong.

            Either trans people are more dangerous, or dangerous men identify as trans for bad reasons. Or are you suggesting the Ministry of Justice is lying, Hansard accounts of HoL prodceeings are lying or James Kirkup is lying?

            • Why are a small number of men responsible for 97% of violent crime

              I fixed this for you to be factually correct. The original comment was sexist, although forgivable as that’s how the media tend to present things. Equality can only be achieved by not reinforcing sexist tropes.

              The reason there are more violent men is how people are brought up and societal conditioning. Men may be on average larger and stronger, but they are not inherently more violent. Hence the vast majority are completely harmless.

              Right-wing societies promote the concepts of hypermasculinity and femineity, encouraging male violence and females to succumb to it.

              When we have completely rid society of the concept of sexist M & F gender stereotypes, we will have a truly equal society, and a much safer one!

  66. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    The reality now is NOT that we, who support independence , need to declare and justify constantly WHY that is….. as tis blatantly obvious amidst the current and most evident UK political corruption at play via WM and too the damaging BREXIT path that we in Scotland are all being forced to accept as being a part of their UK ……against all of this it would be MAD to NOT want to be FREE from it all……..and they know it…..

    The Pro UK arguments presented by the Pro UK side in 2014 are very much a busted flush…..yet still these same arguments are being repeated in debates, HOC’s, HOL’s , interviews and opinion pieces via TV , Radio and too via the press….as if the people in Scotland were somehow detached from UK political reality and all that has and is going down down down since the the NO vote won in 2014……

    The arguments on the constitution are always framed as OUR side having to defend OUR position ……as they, the Pro UK mob, are ALLOWED to dominate, with their false arguments and supposed truths and facts but NOT actually the REAL truths and facts , via them having an unfair advantage of a excessive exposure and a multitude of platforms in all of the Pro UK media…..i.e. TV, Radio and Press…..

    Imagine having a (supposed) Scottish media via the Press and TV yet as a Scottish media they fail to support and highlight anything that is positive and beneficial that is generated or is instigated SOLELY from Scotland……. but instead they are at pains to support and highlight the position from a UK perspective where they manage to present a skewed Pro UK perspective via a constant and blatant propaganda agenda that includes us seeing and hearing them deploy a constant omission, misinformation and misrepresentation of every issue and matter impacting OUR politics and OUR country (as in Scotland) …..and failing to highlight the political reality that most of Scotland’s woes ARE largely generated and instigated FROM UK political parties and their politics via their RESERVED policies and too is currently also seeing them encroaching upon our DEVOLVED matters post Brexit…… and this is happening very much all because Scotland is still a part of their UK …….

    WHO, via the platform of the UK media , is ALLOWED to speak about and on behalf of Scotland …..other than those who do not live here, those who we do NOT vote for politically and too those individuals who are clearly non impartial, over opiniated and supposed UK ‘political commentators’ who normally never give Scotland a second thought until independence is mentioned. Yet they as supposed EXPERTS and thus supposedly (but NOT) well informed in their chosen field of Politics (LOL) are given an excessive public platform to spout partisan Pro UK propaganda and anti Scottish claptrap, based on nothing other than their mission to keep the cash cow aka Scotland within their UK, all at pains to insist that Scotland, as a country, is too poor and too small to go it alone as an independent country…..with the assumption being but never emphasised that if England were alone it would thrive and prosper (ignoring the HUGE revenue currently derived via OUR resources in Scotland that fill their UK treasury and ignoring too the economic damage via Brexit…a policy many of them endorsed and still do…for reasons…too obvious and too many to note)….

    A parcel of rogues indeed……I mean where in today’s world would any capitalist greedy minded politician, right wing journalist and t’other like minded over promoted peeps via the media ever advocate for keeping (forcing to keep) onboard a country within THEIR country that they say is being subsidised by THEM and their country (it’s THEIR UK apparently as tis also synonymously linked to UK actually being England) ……perhaps in a parallel universe it would be the case that a supposed (but NOT actually) poorer and smaller country some said was being financially supported by their supposed rich country yet STILL they are seemingly so very desperate and so very willing to fight to sustain that position so much so that they spend millions and millions (and all the rest) of pounds to ensure that it is , as a country, is still kept as part of their country……however in the real world ,as in their vision for their UK, that is what we are seeing in them trying to force Scotland to stay within it and democracy for us be damned…..mainly as they see it as ‘what’s mine is MINE and what’s YOURS is MINE also’…..simples.

  67. Ken says:

    UK higher number of people in prison. 1/2 are on the spectrum with additional needs because o& lack of help and support. Lack of diversity training in the professions and in society,

    Many people should be in proper total abstinence rehab facilities and counselling but end up in prison. Prisons are too loud and bright for people on the spectrum. They need professional help and understanding,

    US and Russia have a higher prison rate.

    Thatcher ‘care in the community’ Jail £40,000 a year. Instead of adequate facilities and support. Alcohol, and drug addiction is linked to crime. Drink’s in the wit’s oot. Crime is gender related. Young males. Especially violent crime.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The confusion over autism as a wrap around diagnostic one size fits all excuse as being a disability is still very confused
      Is it or was it the genius mathematician, engineer or great artist who has autism disabled, or is it the rest of us who have not as yet evolved, and it’s we who have the disabilities?

      There are as many theories as there are diagnoses

  68. Ken says:

    UK one of the highest number of people in prison in Europe.

    • Sandy Gay Ecossais says:

      Ken, in the European Greater Area which includes the former USSR and now its Satellites, prison can be for everyone and anyone who does not have political or financial influence! All Gays like myself born attracted to another (1 in 50) or 2 in 100 men only are born this way. That is (1,350,000) 0r 1.35 million in Russia today and everyday being (killed) snuffed out as you would a flame at any bodies whim according to their latest law!

  69. Sophie Grace Chappell says:

    Jacob Rees-Mogg visits a Dundee school to improve their English. “So,” he drawls, “can any pupil here give me an example of a correct use of the word ‘tragedy’?”
    “Ehm,” says Gemma, “if ma 80-year-old grannie passed away the day, that wid be a pure tragedy, no?”
    “Not exactly,” simpers Rees-Mogg, “I would call that a loss.”
    “Haw,” says Ryan, “if ma wee dug went under a loarry, that wid be a tragedy right enough, aye?”
    “No no,” snivels Rees-Mogg, “that would be an accident. Anyone else?”
    “Ah’ve goat it, though,” says Seona, “if the entire Scoattish Tory Party wir oan a bus that went over a cliff edge, that’d be a tragedy, aye?”
    “Oh indeed,” agrees Rees-Mogg, “but what was your reasoning?”
    “Well,” said Seona, “ah reckon if that happened it widnae be a loss, and it widnae be an accident either.”

  70. Ken says:

    The USSR population was over 300 million. The Russian population is now 150million. The Russian federation has half the number. Glasnost and perestroika meant the 150millions got self determination and independence, So much for empire building, Russia wants to protect its borders. 26million Russians died in WW2 protecting the West. The highest proportion of any country. Except Germany. UK/US the eternal warmongers since WW2 have missiles and satellites ranged on Russian Borders. Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania etc got self determination and self government. One of the reasons for Devolution in Scotland was the comparison of democracy achieved in the Eastern European States. EU support for self determination and self governance, especially if people voted for it. Scotland out voted 10 to 1 at Westminster, One of the reason for Devolution the Westminster Gov was not following EU/UN rules and Laws. Breaking International Law.. The right to self government and self determination.

    The reforms and need to change led to the collapse of the Russian Federstion which was no longer viable for economic and other reasons,

    Germany and Russia were devastated by WW2. Germany pro rata had the most dead. Millions died worldwide. Europe was devastated. People were starving, the Marshall Plan, The EU was founded on

    founded as a trading unit to stop starvation and war in Europe.

    France and Britain 1/2 million died in each country. Not the same devastation. US 2 million died 1941. The US made monies out of the war, Debts paid back by the UK in 2006.

    Ukraine battalions fought with the Nazis in WW2. Ukraine is now governed by bandits. The US/UK corrupt politicians are stoking the fires to make monies out of the situation. The US Biden are laundering monies through Ukraine back to the US corrupt administration. Reneging on a 2014 Agreement so Russia could secure its borders. The las5 thing Germany and Russis want is the repeat of war. Now being generated by US/UK including Johnston to make money. Biden, Pelosi and their sons are up to their eyes in the corruption making £Billions and wasting £Billions of public monies. Instead of coming to and honouring agreements.

    Women have more chance of being attacked by the police in the UK than by any trans person in the toilets.
    The percentage of gay people in the population in UK is calculated at 10% +. Over represented in Gov. Women are not treated equally. 30% less representated. Half

    Over half the population. In many countries people are procecuted for their views. That has to change, Julian Assange. For telling the truth. The Westminster Official Secrets Act covering up crime. Including war crimes, Iraq, Lockerbie and Dunblane. Keot secret for 100 years. The UK the most unequal place in the world. Tax evasion supported by Westminster Gov. One of the reasons for Brexit.

  71. Ken says:

    Transgender a minute number of offences compared to other men. 7,500 prison population. 60% is a total miscalculation. Almost negiable offences compared to abuse perpetuated on women (by men) and Police.

  72. keaton says:

    Haven’t been following “decapitate TERFs”-gate too closely. Do we know who took the picture and distributed it? They’re clearly posing, which suggests a “friendly” photographer, but actually publishing it once they saw what was in it doesn’t seem too friendly.

  73. Coffee break Quiz:

    (1) If make a banner with an offensive message and turn up at a march involving many hundreds of people, does that make everyone else at the event, bigoted, nasty and hate filled?

    (2) What if I was to spot one or two people holding up offensive banners at a march involving many hundreds of people, and I tried to imply they represented all those in attendance. Would that make me bigoted, nasty and hate filled?

    (3) Will the public agree to the answers to these questions

    Answers:
    (1) No
    (2) Yes
    (3)

  74. One of the most amusing ironies about the whole GRA debate, is people who say they don’t believe that self-id is a reliable means to assess whether someone is really trans using, erm, self-id data from the census, prison studies etc, in an attempt to prove their claims that trans folks are dangerous etc!

    You either trust self-id, or you consider it unreliable for assessing whether someone is trans. Can’t be both! If you trust it, then you must trust the new GRC process. If you don’t, stop using self-id data to make your case lol. It just makes you look silly! 🙂

    • Capella says:

      If this comment is a sly attempt to suggest that I have claimed that trans people are dangerous then I must insist you retract it and apologise. I have said no such thing. I do not believe that trans people are any more dangerous than anyone else.

      • It wasn’t directed at you. When directing comments at people, I respond directly. We have been conversing above.

        It was a general comment about the irony described, which is seen in some articles you’d flagged up, but also in those others have / those I’ve come across myself.

        Following our discissions, I did go off looking for the data about offending rates, and I am sure you’ll agree there are those out there trying to use such data to prove trans people present a higher risk of sex offences. It made me laugh that such arguments / articles are of course using self-id data.

        As a scientist, if people tried to do this in a serious study, they’d be torn to shreds! People can’t say a methodology (self-id) is flawed, then try to use data produced by that same methodology to argue their case!

        Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

        • Capella says:

          There may well be people out there trying to use data fraudulently. But I have not linked to that. The data I linked to is from the Ministry of Justice as reported in the HoL and recorded in Hansard.

          The facts are friendly. How we choose to interpret the facts is important.

          • It’s not ‘fraudulent’ use of data. Self-id data is what it is, and it’s basically all we have.

            It’s just we have people using self-id data in media articles in an attempt to prove things, while at the same time they say they don’t trust self-id as a method due to people not being honest!

            If I don’t trust method X, and am arguing that with peers, they’ll laugh me out of the room if I then publish a paper where I conclude based on data derived by method X!

            The Ministry of Justice data is based on self-id. Trans prisoner numbers are assessed by self-id, just as estimates for total trans numbers out there come from census self-id data. The number of trans people with GRCs is negligible, and these are issued based, ultimately, on self-id anyway as there is no physical test for trans.

            If people trust the MoJ data and findings, are using census number etc, then they must believe self-id to be a reliable method for establishing who is trans and who isn’t.

            I hope that makes sense.

            • Capella says:

              You may call yourself a scientist but that doesn’t make you logical. It is perfectly possible to cite data collated by self ID and believe that self ID is unreliable. You could claim that self ID is always inherently unreliable. Imagine handing out driving licences, or GP certificates or pilot licences on the basis of self ID. Where it matters society demands oversight and regulation.

              • cite data collated by self ID and believe that self ID is unreliable.

                Like I’ve been doing.

                I’m just saying for example, that someone can’t argue self-id is flawed because people can lie, then say they can use self-id of prisoners to produce a ‘reliable’ number for how many trans sex offenders are in jail. In that graphic you flagged previously*, there is no reliable value for trans people. We have a circumstance where there’s advantage in lying being given to a group of people in jail for serious crimes. So I think we can conclude that there will be a lot telling porkies for this unique situation. A situation which, I note, is not about people applying for a GRC. That’s not needed for trans prisoners to be segregated etc.

                The truth is we have no idea how many transpeople exist, nor do we have any idea how many ‘genuine’ transpeople are in prison. So we can’t know offending rates for particular crimes. Only proper studies of control groups might start to give us ideas.

                I’m on board with offending rates probably being the same as birth sex, which means little to no risk, particularly given the small number of trans people out there. There’s no doubt whatsoever that my wife and daughter are statistically more at risk of being assaulted by another woman (which has happened to both a number of times) than a trans person, or even less likely, a ‘fake’ one of these.

                Public spaces such as loos and changing rooms are low risk environments for offending, hence the very low numbers you flagged up for this previously, and the fact patron vetting is not required for them. Assaults are far more likely in the streets, parks, pubs and nightclubs. The most dangerous places for sexual assaults are private homes.

                This is why we have not had any clear problems, even though trans people have been using the facilities most suited to them all our lives.

                Imagine handing out driving licences, or GP certificates or pilot licences

                You’ve lost me here. These can be tested for.

                You can’t test for trans, except by self-id. Same for LGBH, religion, national identity, ethnicity etc.

                Anyhoo, new blog, new blog! 🙂


                * https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2023/01/19/prime-ministers-quarrelling/#comment-183276

                • Capella says:

                  When you’re in a hole – stop digging.

                  You’ve conceded that people in prison may fraudulently self ID because they see an advantage.
                  What about in women’s sport? Would people self ID in order to win medals, prize money and sponsorship?

                  What about seats on public boards and appointments intended for gender balance? Would people Self ID in order to pick up influence and emoluments?

                  What about sexual deviants? Would people Self ID in order to get access to toilets, changing rooms and dormitories in order to spy on or assault women?

                  By claiming that the number of trans people in prison is unreliable because of Self ID you simply confirm my point.

                  BTW there is a new blog post

                  • I must admit to be a bit confused by the apparent comparison of convicted criminals with innocent people?

                    Convicted criminals may be very dangerous, and must be treated with great caution. People outside of prison are, well, innocent, and should be treated as such. We cannot compare innocent trans people seeking a GRC with convicted criminals in terms of risk assessment / how honest they will be about their gender identity. This would be a terrible thing to do to trans people. Far worse that the current medical assessment we are asking of them.

                    I don’t see what sporting competitions have to do with the Scottish government or GRCs? Who competes in sporting competitions is up to the organiser. They can just have one single event where men, women and disabled people compete together if they want. Up to them. Wouldn’t be very fair though, and would make them unpopular with punters and sponsors. We already have transmen soundly beating natal men in numerous events. That’s because the organisers have worked out ways to make things fair. Scottish government have no say in this. They don’t run the IoC. It’s irrelevant to the GRC procedure.

                    It’s the same for loos. The Scottish government don’t control the types of loos and changing rooms provided in pubs, restaurants, sports centres… It’s up to the owners. The latter just need to legally ensure equal access. So if you want separate F & M facilities, you need to take that up with the owners of an establishment. No use asking the Scottish government. They can’t help here.

                    I can open a restaurant where I randomly direct men into the ladies (they can go in anyway legally). Perfectly legal. Maybe you won’t visit though if you don’t like this aspect.

                    Equality law is about giving everyone the same access. It’s if you want to stop someone (like a trans person) entering, you need to explain why. Stopping a trans person using the loos they want without a very good reason is illegal. That’s the law of the land. Surely you know must know this?

                    Given there are more transmen than transwomen, we can expect more transmen taking ‘males seats’ on boards that the other way around? So it’s men that would affected more here. I’m not concerned. Numbers are tiny.

                    Sexual deviants don’t need a GRC to enter loos and changing rooms. This is what had me lose all respect for Joanna Cherry. She’s a lawyer and she knows this. She knows transwomen are already in the ladies and legally so, causing no trouble. She knows it, yet persists with the myth that this isn’t the case, and that a GRC is needed, with the floodgates about to be opened. I used to respect her, but found she was misleading me.

                    Also, again, the current GRC procedure is not designed to assess whether someone is a sexual deviant. It’s a medical assessment attempting to assess if they are suffering from gender dysphoria. A trans sexual deviant with dysphoria would pass with flying colours. Why do people keep pretending the procedure is to safeguard against perverts when it isn’t? Cherry, sadly, knows this too.

                    I will continue to support the stance of medical experts here:

                    https://www.bma.org.uk/bma-media-centre/leading-doctors-affirm-trans-and-non-binary-rights-in-healthcare

                    I know why they support self-id. It’s the same reason they support that for LGBH. They cannot physically test for these. They can only ask someone if they are trans and accept what they say = self-id. There’s no reason for a GRC applicant to lie here, and no way of testing if they are. They don’t need a GRC to use what loos they like anyway, so why lie? Only a stupid pervert would legally register themselves in this way for no reason.

                    The only benefit a GRC brings is the satisfaction for a trans person at seeing their preferred gender on legal documentation. Something some seen determined to make difficult for them. Why, I don’t know.

                    A prisoner gains advantage from pretending to be trans though. Hence aye, applications here should be treated with great caution. We are very much both on the same page here, and for me, housing transwomen in female facilities should not be the rule, but the exception, as it is because the authorities are wise to it.

                    Anyway, I feel we are going round in circles, so time for a new thread and thanks for the polite debate!

                    • Bob Lamont says:

                      Oh FFS shut up the pair of you, I’ve scrolled further than I’ve walked in the last 24 hours and my thumb’s looking for the equivalent of a hip replacement..
                      Sheesh…

                    • Capella says:

                      😂😂😂

                    • Lol. I think we are a bit too alike in that neither wants to give up! If the referee doesn’t intervene, we can just keep on going into the wee small hours!

                      🙂

    • yesindyref2 says:

      You either trust self-id, or you consider it unreliable for assessing whether someone is trans. Can’t be both!

      Yes it can, you’re comparing apples and oranges, by making both the extremes, rather than shades of grey. To be fair, I think you’re getting a bit carried away here. There are two sides to the debate, or should be. And there is no definitive answer.

      • Fair enough and I did say that for convicted prisoners, there’s reason to suspect they might be making things up as doing so offers advantages that don’t exist in the outside world.

        My point was that people can’t argue that prisoners are lying about being trans, while counting the number of trans prisoners and making nice graphics of this based on self-id!

        I am aware of the flaws in methods, but they need to be too. I suspect they are, but for some reason don’t want to admit their own contradictions.

        Aye, got to stop waffling on here!

        Where’s Paul with a new blog when you need him 😉

    • yesindyref2 says:

      As another wee thing, regardless of whether the infamous photo was sneakily staged or not, other demos have also had hate placards, so you’d have to be pretty stupid not to know that there would be likely to be such placards at Glasgow.

      And there are extreme activists who really do need to be visited by the polis. Apart from being dangerous people, they do transgender people no favours, and the normal activists do themselves no favours by not condemning the extreme element amongst them.

      Same goes for Indy supporters of course.

  75. Dr Jim says:

    With us or against us: But just who is us?

    Jeremy Vine, GB news, SKY, the BBC, the UK government, the print media, virtually all regional TV push the notion that being visibly vocally against or indifferent to the Royal institution of the *Britishness* of these islands is unpatriotic behaviour is clearly now osmosis style propagandized thought policing

    The majority in Scotland must now be nasty bad evil people, we clearly aren’t part of the *us*

  76. Ken says:

    Data and facts are being misrepresented 150 out of 7,500 S not 60%. Crime is a gender issue mainly attributed to men, Especially violent crime. Women are less likely to be assault by transgender people than men and the police. Statistically.

    People can already self ID. It is just being made easier.

    • Crime is a gender issue mainly attributed to men

      It can be stopped, but we need to stop being sexist and reinforcing lies that males are inherently more dangerous.

      https://archive.is/zzyXV

      Brain Development and Physical Aggression

      No child is born preprogrammed for violence but learns to balance pro- and antisocial impulses according to the specific resource and social demands of their rearing environment

      Girls and boys are equally violent in the beginning, with aggression peaking in both sexes between 2 and 4 years old. At this point, they start learning not to behave like this, with social conditioning key.

      Most anyway. Unfortunately, not all kids are brought up in safe, loving environments where they are taught to treat others kindly. Some men are encouraged to be violent, including sexually violent.

      Some women learn to be aggressive too, but they specialise in more indirect (relational) aggression. This is a kind of social manipulation: the aggressor manipulates others to attack the victim, or, by other means, makes use of the social structure in order to harm the target person, without being personally involved in attack. They do this because typically, they are physically less strong.

      Dangerous, predatory men tend to be physically violent while dangerous, predatory women use indirect aggressive manipulation. The latter is of course much less likely to land you in jail. Sexist stereotyping also makes it harder for people to believe women can be guilty of violent / sex crimes, making it easier for them to get away with these.

      Anyhoo, men are not inherently more violent that women. That’s a right wing myth that needs to stop being peddled as it reinforces sexist stereotypes / gender roles that lead to more men learning to use physical violence.

      Theoretically, if society was equal, rates of violent aggression between the sexes would be the same. However, in an equal society, less inequality should mean less violence overall. Violence is driven by inequality and associated right-wing learned behaviours, namely that we should compete for power / resources in a dog-eat-dog way.

      • While you lot chunter on and on, this is what’s happening in the Big World.
        The Clunking Fist got an outing in The Guardian over the week end.

        Brown is Outraged!!! that the Blue Tories are attempting to introduce a two tier health system by stealth; and only Keir Starmer cans stop them in their evil privatising tracks.
        As Brown is a good socialist, we venture to enquire, what is the source of his rage, anger, disgust?

        Sajid Javid declares that the NHS model in England is ‘unsustainable’, and like all far right politicians continues the privatisation drip drip push over the week end by proposing that GPs charge for appointments, and A&E patients also be made to pay for the service.

        Be warned this may be a long post, so I shall release it in digestible chunks. This is merely Part One.

        Brown is spitting teeth.

        Privatise the NHS? Never1

        Until we recall Brown’s 10 year tenure as Chancellor under the Blair Red Tories’ years.

        Major was first to dabble in PFI; private investment in building hospitals, schools, prisons and so on, then leasing the buildings back to the NHS Education, Prison Service, and so on.

        For example the HQ for HMRC in London is owned by an investment group based in the Caymans, and the Revenue merely rent the building.

        However Brown was the man who took PFI to a new level.

        He made the BoE ‘independent ‘ of government and introduced the ‘light touch’ approach to banking in the UK..and we all know what happened in 2008 and beyond.

        I reproduce this from a report on PFI in Scotland from 2006.

        “PFI contributes to large deficits of Scottish health boards
        Money will have to be diverted from patient care throughout the United Kingdom to pay for hospitals constructed under the government’s controversial private finance initiative (PFI), a report from the University of Edinburgh has warned.
        It says that the schemes (now known as public-private partnerships) are already a key factor in NHS deficits and that this problem will escalate as more of these projects are completed. Under PFI, the private sector builds and pays for new hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In return, the NHS pays an annual charge to the private sector—often for 30 years or more.

        The study by the University’s Centre for International Public Health has analysed the situation in Scotland after obtaining data from the Scottish Executive under freedom of information legislation. This shows that the NHS will have to pay more than £2.4bn (€3.5bn; $4.7bn) in charges to private companies over the next 30 years for schemes that cost £602m to build.

        Mark Hellowell, the lead author of the report, said, “The report shows the impact of large PFI hospital schemes in Scotland on health board budgets. Funding is being diverted away from clinical care, staff and supplies, to pay ‘rent’ to the private sector.” The annual “rental” costs are set to increase fivefold over the next five years in Scotland as the PFI programme is expanded further.”

        And on the English PFI con, the report comments

        “The Audit Commission in England has already reported a higher incidence of deficits in NHS organisations that have PFI buildings than in those that do not. In Scotland, the boards with the biggest PFI schemes, NHS Lothian and NHS Lanarkshire, are both experiencing financial difficulties. NHS Lothian recorded overspending of £11.4m in 2005-6, and NHS Lanarkshire’s losses came in at £21.7m, despite cost saving measures including closures of services and sales of land.

        The report says that PFI buildings cost the NHS more than non-PFI buildings. The annual charge that the NHS pays for acute PFI facilities is about 11-18.5% of hospital turnover, compared with 5-8% for non-PFI facilities. This produces an affordability gap that the report says can be filled only by diverting money from patient care.

        “Without a major increase in public expenditure, more of the NHS budget will be diverted away from services to private companies, making already serious financial problems more severe, and creating new pressures for hospital, community and primary care service closures in the medium and long term,” it adds.

        While Brown was saddling our children with billions of debt to offshore money men, Jack McConnell gave Brown back over £1 billion of our money because he couldn’t find anything to spend it on, except his ermine robes.

        Only last year, The Scottish Government reported that councils across Scotland spent £461 million on the upkeep of PFI contracts – almost 10% of the entire council education budgets.

        Not for nothing did I dub Blair and Brown the Red Tories.
        Enough for now, when we’ll look at what Rish!, Sajid and Nadhim were up to when Brown was applying his ‘light touch’ to the City of London.

        Labour’s legacy of financial mismanagement means that councils have to keep paying these charges for years to come – money that could be spent on strengthening our public services instead.
        There’s more on PFI schools, and hospitals, but I’ll not test your tolerance to breaking point.
        Later

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Well done Jack, ooft…

          • grizebard says:

            I heartily second that.

            London mismanagement of our vital interests by all the Unionist parties during their own Buggins’ Turns is what we should be focussing on, not letting ourselves get serially distracted by the side issues and the planted squirrels.

            • These three men will disappear back into the City of London Banking system. Goldman Sachs, Chase Manhatten Bank, Deutchse Bank…will welcome them back with open arms.
              Imagine the insider info these men will take back to their chums in Banks?

              There are just over two million accountants in the world..330,000 work in London, offering advice to the Filthy rich on how to hide their vast fortunes in the Caymans, Jersey, the British Virgin Isles and other far flung English dependencies.

              These very rich men are prize assets, coming back into the fold, after ensuring that the rich stay richer and the poor pay the electricity bills.

              I queried Danny Alexander leaving the coalition and landing an investment job in China at the time.

              There are trillions of our money trapped in offshore secret accounts…

              They are destroying our 4 nations’ public services…
              Yet Sunak declares that there is no money to pay workers..
              Scotland is their last old style colony..they extract our resources and hold us fast as as subjugated serfs.
              It’s our oil, gas, wind wave and hydro energy, our forests, our agriculture, our fish, our timber..yet half of Scotland is owned by rich offshore accounts”trusts’. We aren’t even allowed to know who actually ‘owns’ our land.
              They steal our wealth, then lie about their Union.
              The time is coming…we have reached the end of our tether.

      • Ken says:

        In Scotland 96% of the prisoners are male. It is a recognised fact that more males commit crime by criminologist and university studies. Including more violent crime. Half are on the spectrum and do not get proper support. No diversity in society. Much crime is committed under the influence of drink or drugs. Factual. It’s not a battle of the sexes per se, Those are just the fact. Look it up. The statistics. Most young men, a high percentage have a conviction, Often it can prevent people getting a job. Until the conviction is spent.

        • Sure, but males are not biologically more likely to commit crime. Social conditioning makes a small number of men dangerous. Most crimes are carried out be the same people; repeat offenders. It is learned behaviour, not inherent. Inherently, males and females are born equally prone to aggression as per the study quoted.

          I assume you are not dangerous? I’m not.

          I am wholly against a battle of the sexes. I see men and women as complete equals. It’s sexists like Joanna Cherry (is seems) that see one sex as superior to the other. I’m getting tired of sexists making out I’m a risk, my dad’s a risk, my brother’s a risk. I’m a man but another man committing a crime isn’t my fault. That’s ridiculous. I shouldn’t be more heavily vetted because of some else’s crime? Does Myra Hindley represent women? If a Scots person commits a crime, does that reflect badly on us all?

          There are disproportionately more ethnic minority prisoners. So these must be more dangerous right? Or is it in fact a societal / social conditioning problem? (Answer = Yes).

          When I look at man and I woman, I don’t see one as more dangerous than the other. That would be wrong and false. Why would I look at you and assume you could be more dangerous? I see people as people. Humans. I see no difference between the sexes. We are all equals. I don’t treat women differently to men. Anyone who does is the source of sexism. I’m aware there are more male bad eggs than female, but men are not more dangerous than women. That would need all men to be more dangerous than all women for that statement to be true. I will judge every individual the same way in working out whether they might be a threat to me. Their sex is irrelevant in this process. Only sexists take that into account and pre-judge.

          And women don’t fear men either. A women fleeing a dangerous man who comes upon another man out walking his dog will be very relieved because she knows men, statistically, are safe. The chance of running away from one dangerous man just to randomly run into another is infinitesimally small.

          Women don’t need protecting from men. Women need protecting from dangerous men and dangerous women, just as men need protected from the same. Men are far more likely to be the victim of male violence than women.

          We must stop stereotyping men and dangerous and women as harmless victims. It’s very bad for equality. I am not saying you are doing this, but some opponents of GRA definitely are, and is that a surprise? Social conservatives – who are the most strongly opposed – are not known for their belief in equality between men and women.

          By all means tell people that you see yourself, a male, as more dangerous than women, but don’t tar me with that brush thanks! 🙂

          I hope this better explains my point.

        • And sorry, my response was very general rather than specific to you Ken. I think I’d not been well understood. You make very valid points about factors which socially condition people into crime.

          We need to stop talking about biological sex as a factor. It’s just not. It’s sexism and inequality that’s the root cause. The sooner society stops seeing and treating men/women differently, the sooner it is more equal, the sooner there will be less crime and the disparity in offending rates between the sexes will disappear.

          Persistently reinforcing the idea that males are inherently more dangerous than females, and we must focus on protecting the latter from the former, just holds equality back. We need to treat men and women the same. From the start.

          Transgender is actually really good for this as it is helping blur the lines between historic sexist stereotypes, letting people dress, be named etc as they wish. If women are ‘safer’, then getting men to behave like them should be actively encouraged! 🙂

  77. Here is the first of three ‘backround checks’ of the three filthy rich Blue Tories in the news over the week end.
    Rish! Sunak.
    When Brown was in power, as Chancellor an briefly PM (oh stop laughing at the back there!) there was to be no more boom and bust, and his watchword was ‘prudence’ in managing the economy.

    While Brown was applying his prudent light touch to the uK banking system and Peter Mandelson was declaring that he was perfectly comfortable with the Filthy Rich (his words) Sunak and his wife were amassing a £700 million fortune; his father in law is a billionaire.
    His wife only recently gave up her non dom status and started paying taxes in the UK, you may recall.

    This, from Wiki, on Sunak’s work experience before he became an MP in 2015, and his supersonic rise to PM in 7 short years.

    “Sunak worked as an analyst for the investment bank Goldman Sachs between 2001 and 2004.[12][22] He then worked for hedge fund management firm the Children’s Investment Fund Management, becoming a partner in September 2006.
    He left in November 2009 to join former colleagues in California at a new hedge fund firm, Theleme Partners, which launched in October 2010 with $700 million under management. At both hedge funds, his boss was Patrick Degorce.

    Sunak was also a director of the investment firm Catamaran Ventures, owned by his father-in-law, the Indian businessman N. R. Narayana Murthy of Infosys, between 2013 and 2015.”
    I ask; what prompted him to go in to politics?
    More on Javid and Zahawi later.
    There is a pattern, trust me.
    Brown running the economy was Klondike Time for the carpetbaggers.

  78. Here is Javid’s ‘background check’ from wiki

    “Javid had an 18-year City career, during which he rose to become a board member of Deutsche Bank International.

    Javid joined Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City immediately after graduation, working mostly in Latin America and selling Mexican government bonds prior to the Mexican peso crisis.

    Aged 25, he became a vice president.

    He returned to London in 1997, and later joined Deutsche Bank as a director in 2000. In 2004, he became a managing director at Deutsche Bank and, the following year, global head of Emerging Markets Structuring. He was also an Advisor to Lufthansa in Germany.
    In 2007, he relocated to Singapore as head of Deutsche Bank’s credit trading, equity convertibles, commodities and private equity businesses in Asia,[31] and was appointed a board member of Deutsche Bank International Limited.
    He left Deutsche Bank in 2009 to pursue a career in politics. His earnings at Deutsche Bank would have been roughly £3 million a year at the time he left and the Evening Standard once estimated his career change would have required him to take a 98% pay cut.

    Javid applied for and held non-domicile status for six years during his banking career which allowed him to avoid paying tax in the UK on his overseas earnings.”

    Like Sunak, we ask, why did this man take a ‘98% pay
    cut’ to enter politics?
    Later.

  79. “Zahawi co-founded YouGov in 2000 with Stephan Shakespeare, a former spokesman for Jeffrey Archer. Zahawi was YouGov’s CEO from 2005 to 2010.

    In July 2022 it was reported that, despite being one of the two key founders of YouGov, Zahawi was issued no founder shares in the company.

    Instead, he arranged for the founder shares that would have gone to him to go to a Gibraltar company owned by an offshore trust controlled by his parents.

    Zahawi denied that this was motivated by tax avoidance, saying that he was being smeared and threatening legal action.

    In January 2023, The Guardian was told Zahawi agreed to pay several million pounds to HMRC in a penalty for his tax affairs following questions over his use of an offshore company to hold shares in YouGov.

    The offshore company was the Gibraltar-based family trust Balshore Investments.[14] In a statement, Zahawi said HMRC accepted that an error in his tax affairs was “careless and not deliberate”. (Just like Dross and his MSP/SFA wages, eh?)

    He stated: “HMRC agreed with my accountants that I have never set up an offshore structure, including Balshore Investments, and that I am not the beneficiary of Balshore Investments.”

    In 2008, Zahawi became a non-executive director of SThree, a specialist staffing organisation. He was paid £2,917 per month in 2014.
    He stepped down from the role in October 2017, but maintained more than £70,000 in company shares until April 2021.

    In November 2013, it was reported by the Birmingham Mail newspaper that in May 2011 (one year after he became an MP) Zahawi used as a mortgage lender Berkford Investments Limited, based in the low-tax British overseas territory of Gibraltar, to finance the purchase of his constituency home ‘Oaklands’ riding stables estate (worth at the time £875,000) in Upper Tysoe, near Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire.

    Berkford Investments Limited is managed by T&T Management Services Limited, who services include wealth management services.

    Zahawi responded to the news story by saying: “I did pay stamp duty on my property in Tysoe and have always paid stamp duty on my property purchases. I fully support the 2012 budget and all budgets of this government.

    I purchased my property in Tysoe with a mortgage from a Gibraltar company. This fact and the details involved are fully declared on the Land Registry and to suggest it is in any way hidden would be factually incorrect. Equally, to suggest that in any way I am using offshore to reduce my tax burden is entirely incorrect.”

    In 2015, he joined Gulf Keystone Petroleum, an oil and gas exploration and production company, as a part-time chief strategy officer.

    From 2015 to 2018, he was paid £1.3 million by the company.

    Zahawi’s various roles resulted in his reportedly being the second highest earning MP in the UK as of 2017.

    The Guardian reported in early 2017 that Zahawi had spent £25m buying property around London, for both personal and commercial use.

    Zahawi said in response that “My first priority, before anything else, is my constituency work and I would never, or have never, let anything get in the way of this.”

    This man was Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the Tory Party while all this extra curricular work was going on.

    So these are some of the men running the UK.
    Ex bankers, with vast fortunes, who seem to have the interests of bankers, oil companies, and off shore secret hedge funders ahead of the Great Unwashed.
    It is argued that the Oligarchy run the entire globe now.
    Iread that ownership of half of Scotland is held in secret offshore accounts…
    I ask again, what prompted these men to come in to politics? To control our money for the Banks.

    Sunak and co., will return into the murky world of money for the rich after their stint screwing hundreds of billions of money out of the public purse.
    Those who have gone before, Blair, Brown, Cameron Clegg Osborne, May, Truss, and Johnson, are all very wealthy as a result of a wee dip in to politics.
    The system is corrupt to the core.
    Our only way out is independence.

  80. Ken says:

    Statistically crime is a gender issue. In Scotland 96% of prisoners are males and commit more violent crime. Crimes women commit are fewer and are related to shoplifting to feed their family or not having a TV licence. Those are the statically facts. Too many people on the spectrum are inprison. Crime is committ under the influence and of drugs and alcohol. There is a link. The drink’s in the wit’s oot. Many prisoners should be in proper rehab facilities. More cost effective and appropriate. Many addictive people sell drugs to get drugs and end up in prison. Prevention is better than cure. Getting people off drugs with proper total abstinence facilities.

  81. Ken says:

    The charlatans in Westminster when into politics when the banks crashed. After the bank crash caused by them, they went into politics for personal gain. Many are intent in picking up contacts useful when they leave politics or are voted out. They are involved in awarding Gov contracts to their friends and associates for favours. Illegal activity. Non scrutinised Gov contracts. Including HS2. Civil servants lied about the contacts and contracts awarded. Osbourne associate’s bankers were involved in the Royal Mail and Banks sell off. Represented the sell off for massive fees for consultations

  82. samdog56 says:

    Hello there. This is one of the best and accurate blogs.  Funnily, I watched it also and cannot add anything to what you wrote.I can’t watch it usually and have not since around the dumb EU vote.Its strange and bewildering how a bunch of tax dodging lying  corrupt criminals have the nerve to act as they do and lie after lie. The contempt shown to the Scottish Nats leader is sheer contempt crossed with making jokes.Well the sooner you guys get to hell away from this shower of pricks the better. Hope your treatment went OK, I am a stroke survivor,. 1979.  So I know how shit it really is. I have to ask a quick question from my lady about you dog, she really loves the pictures of him.Is he still with you?He looks a real good terrier and the ginger just adds to the stance.You take care and thanks for the good reading you supply. Warm Regards,  Gordon Rowley.

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