British politics, a consensus of delusion

Every time the deputy Prime Minister Demonic, sorry, Dominic Raab appears on the telly I can’t help but think about one of those crime dramas in which an arrogant area sales manager with a terrible temper and a permanent smirk is spied on by his neighbours in the dead of night, pouring concrete for a new patio shortly after his put upon wife has just gone off ‘for a visit to her parents.’

It might be Raab’s political career which is shortly buried under a hastily built patio, as Rishi Sunak appears to be distancing himself from Raab, who is mired in multiple allegations of bullying and demeaning junior staff in various government departments. Earlier this week ‘Integrity’ Sunak insisted he was not aware of any complaints about Raab’s behaviour when he appointed Raab as deputy Prime Minister in October. A senior civil servant told the press that Raab “has zero self-awareness of what he’s doing, or the impact he is having on the civil servants who have to work with him.” This is a supremely arrogant man, who is both incompetent and inadequate, living off the wits of his subordinates, and making everyone’s life a misery with his furious insecurity. He seems like the kind of boss whose idea of staff motivation is to give them a wedgie and hold their head down the toilet, which may well be how he persuaded Rishi Sunak to give him a job.

However despite his previous denials it now transpires that Sunak was warned about concerns about Raab’s behaviour in his previous departments long before giving him a senior role in his government. Sunak has the same relationship to the truth as his predecessor Boris Johnson, a man whose lies and deceit Sunak was happy to enable for some years only moving against him when he thought he had a chance of taking the top job for himself and Sunak is seeking refuge in a weaselly definition of ‘formal complaint.’ Sunak was not aware of any ‘formal complaints’ against Raab even though he was warned that Raab was the Tory party version Biff Tannen from Back to the Future.

Sunak appointed Suella Braverman even though he knew that she had broken the ministerial code, he appointed Nadhim Zahawi even though he knew there were questions about Zahawi’s tax affairs. He appointed Gavin Williamson, another smirking area sales manager even though allegations about Williamson’s bullying ways were common knowledge on the Conservative benches. And he appointed Dominic Raab despite being warned of allegations about Raab’s behaviour, a man who as foreign secretary refused to return from holiday as the Taliban were approaching Kabul and who denied that he had been paddle boarding as Kabul fell, because he claimed, “The sea was closed.”

Yet Sunak does nothing because he is too weak to act, a hostage to the plotting factions who war with one another on the Conservative back benches. Meanwhile Johnson swans around as though he were still Prime Minister, biding his time until he can plunge a knife into Sunak’s back as Sunak did to him. This is why Sunak is so weak, so afraid to take action about the misbehaviour of his ministers. He is too afraid of gifting Johnson a powerful ally on the back benches.

So Sunak’s government drifts along rudderless and buffeted by one scandal after another, desperately clinging to power in the hope that something might turn up which can turn the Conservatives’ dire polling figures around.

When not refusing to do anything about the appalling behaviour of members of his government and then trying to assure us with all the self confidence of a business consultant whose power point presentation has unaccountably started to display images from the tractor porn pages of Porn Hub that he has acted decisively, Sunak spends his time making equally unconvincing declarations that Brexit has absolutely “nothing to do” with the UK’s ongoing cost-of-living crisis despite figures which show that the UK’s economic outlook is worse than that of similarly sized countries, countries which do not have the benefit of substantial domestic reserves of oil and gas.

However Sunak on Wednesday at PMQs Sunak insisted that the “number one cause” of the cost of living crisis was inflation created by the rise in energy prices as a result of the war in Ukraine, conveniently ignoring the fact that every other country in Europe is also affected by the war in Ukraine, many of them were considerably more dependent on Russian oil and gas than the UK was yet they still have lower inflation than the UK does. Germany’s inflation rate in January was 7.9%, the USA’s was 6.5%, France’s was 6.7%, Italy’s was 10.1%, all of which are lower than the 10.5% reported for the UK.

This week The International Monetary Fund reported that the UK economy will shrink and continue to perform worse than that of other advanced economies, even including Russia, as the cost of living continues to hit households,. The IMF said the economy will contract by 0.6% in 2023, rather than grow slightly as previously predicted, the main cause of this is British Government policy, which perpetuates the economic self-harm of Brexit and which protects the profiteering of the energy companies over protecting households from the rising cost of energy. There is money to invest in public services and in wages for public sector workers, but this government prefers to see it go offshore into the already bloated tax haven bank accounts of the obscenely wealthy. The truth is that the UK does not have a cost of living crisis, it has a cost of Tory crisis.

But then the Labour leader Keir Starmer is quite happy to give a free ride to Sunak over his Brexit denialism because Starmer is equally keen to pander to the pro-Brexit prejudices of voters in the Midlands and North of England. We are all being held hostage to that minority of the electorate which laps up the scare mongering nonsense of the right wing gutter press.

Demonic Raab will most likely be ousted sooner rather than later and another Conservative scandal will be along to take his place in the headlines. Meanwhile both Labour and the Tories will conspire to avoid blaming the B word for the ills which assail the British economy. The only consensus in British politics these days is a consensus of delusion. The Tories would rather burn the entire UK down as they cling to power than call an election and lose office with dignity. The only sane option for Scotland when an election finally comes is to use it to vote for independence.


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147 comments on “British politics, a consensus of delusion

  1. yesindyref2 says:

    In fairness to Sunak, if he does sack any Government member, they’re all tainted so he has a problem to find anyone with experience who hasn’t got dry rot and the death watch beetle to fill vacant roles. His only option would be to appoint complete novice backbenchers.

  2. Alex Clark says:

    Interest rates up a 1/2% today, the 10th increase in a row. They are expeceted to rise again next month and surely will. On top of that food price inflation was way above the 10.1% figure at 16.4% in December.

    The pressure is building on household finances, with a further £500 increase to the energy price cap up to £3000 in just 8 weeks time I think something has to give and this government’s time in power is surely limited.

    Scandal after scandal, prices out of control, millions of public sector workers out on strike and Boris Johnson waiting in the wings. I know what I’ll be voting for next time I get the opportunity and it won’t be to be governed by this shower of greedy, corrupt lying ba*tards any longer.

    • But according to Kirsten Campbell and her Blah ‘chums’ summarising FMQ today the only issue in Scotland of which we are raging is Nicola Sturgeon refusing to say FOUR TIMES!!!! to Dross’ demands, whether the beast rapist was woman or not.
      BBC Jockland ‘s policy is of course to drive viewers away from live politics.
      Their Radio audience has dropped by 20% in a year. Job done.
      The goal for the Plantation Quay English stronghold is to reduce the audience listeners to nil…Total news blackout in the Golden Goose colony..apart from BBC Breakfast and the One Show of course.
      To Kirsten Campbell I suggest; stop talking Unionist rubbish.
      It has become a farcical joke.
      Nobody in my avenue , ‘cos we chat on a daily basis, gives a tuppenny toss about the transgended prison fiasco.
      Harsh, but true.
      We all have chidren whose mortgaes loans, and credit cards have just taken anothe rmassive hit today.
      Tonight, the panel has been stahe managed to concentrate on GRA legislation.
      Let’s not talk about Broken Britain.

      • Incidentally, Paul, yet another acerbic summary the deeds of the evil depraved party of of Douglas Ross’ and Alister Jack’s Party.
        But it will be wall to wall GRA SNP Bad tonight on QT.
        I won’t need to be conscripted come the Revolution.

        • stewartb says:

          ‘wall to wall GRA SNP Bad tonight on QT’

          The issue of self-ID based gender recognition has been across just about all BBC output for weeks. So is it (just) ‘parochialism’ or perhaps something else(!) that accounts for what appears to be a lack of BBC coverage about what’s just happened in Finland? Concerned about dampening down politically expedient flames of moral panic in Scotland?

          Headline: ‘Finland passes new, progressive trans rights laws on gender recognition’


          ‘Prime Minister Sanna Marin had said the law was a priority for her government, and on Wednesday it was passed by a large majority in parliament with 113 votes for, 69 against. There were 17 MPs not present for the vote, but no abstentions.

          ‘Politicians from Marin’s five-party coalition government voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new legislation, although 13 Centre Party MPs voted against. THE FAR-RIGHT FINNS PARTY AND RELIGIOUS CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS ALSO OPPOSED IT.

          ‘The new laws mean transgender people aged 18 and older can legally change their gender by a process of self-declaration, and no longer have to go through an onerous medical and psychiatric approval process first.

          ‘The new Finnish trans rights law HAS NO IMPACT ON EXISTING LEGISLATION IN THE NORDIC NATION WHICH DEALS WITH MEDICAL CONFIRMING TREATMENT FOR TRANS PEOPLE — something trans rights activists say was widely misunderstood even by the politicians who were voting on the proposals.

          “Opponents tried to use this, tried to mix up new laws about legal gender with the concept of gender reassignment treatment,” said Kerttu Tarjamo. “But there are medical guidelines that regulate that, not this legislation.”

          Of course Finland’s decision followed shortly after Spain passed a transgender rights bill allowing anyone aged 16 or over to change gender on their ID card.

          The BBC News website reported this on 22 December 2022:’ It was approved by 188 votes for and 150 against, and now moves to the Senate for final approval.’

          ‘If passed, it will allow anyone from age 16 to change their gender, which they must then confirm three months later. Those aged 12 and over can apply under certain conditions.’

          It’s an ever expanding list! The Canary website on 11 January 2023 had this: ‘A look at the 15+ countries which now allow gender self-ID’ – starting with Argentina in 2012.

          The Canary’s article provided this context: ‘In 2010, the Council of Europe adopted a resolution calling on member states to guarantee the rights of transgender people to obtain official documents with their chosen status without requiring other procedures such as sterilisation, surgery, or hormone therapy.’

          Four years later Denmark became the first European country to adopt this reform. Other European countries have since followed, including Malta, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, and Belgium. In June 2022, Germany also unveiled plans to make it easier for trans people to officially change their first name and gender. On this, Human Rights Watch stated that the ‘simple, administrative self-declaration process proposed would remove the financial and time burdens of complicated court requirements.’

          (One fact I did learn today about Finland that I didn’t know: ‘In 1906 Finland’s National Assembly became the first parliament in the world to adopt full gender equality. It earned that distinction by granting equally to all men and women the right not only to vote but also to stand for election.’)

          • Thanks for this, srewart. jenny should quote you post verbatim tonight.
            Drops mic.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Well expanded Stewart – The Finns have a much freer dialogue about such matters than “Little Britain”.

          • Scotland should not follow Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, Finland*…European but right-wing Tory England.

            Aye cos this is ‘Sturgeon’s pet project’ and the UN, Council of Europe etc are ‘under her thumb’.

            Get me out of this disgusting s**thole of a country that is the UK.

            *Just within Europe

            • stewartb says:

              And still nothing being reported by the BBC on the reform to gender recognition legislation passed yesterday in Finland.

              Given the intensity of coverage given to the topic of self-ID gender certification recently by the BBC and others in the mainstream media – because of what was passed in Holyrood and then vetoed by the Tory Government – it is simply NOT CREDIBLE that what has just happened in Finland’s parliament is NOT newsworthy! A ‘public service broadcaster’ – it’s a joke?

              • An oldie but a goodie.


                A “self-ID” process, allowing changes to birth certificates without a medical diagnosis, was one of the ideas put forward in a consultation undertaken by the last Conservative government, led by Theresa May.

                Of the 102,818 responses received, 64% said there should not be a requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in the future, on the grounds that being trans was neither a medical nor a mental health issue…

                …In a report reviewing reform of the act, the cross-party committee of MPs said the two-year requirement should be immediately removed, arguing there were “significant problems” with the rule and there was “no clear, accepted or agreed definition of what living like a man or a woman is”.

                “The requirement also risks entrenching outdated and unacceptable gender stereotypes,” it added…

                …It added that a requirement for applicants to make a legal declaration that they will live in their acquired gender should remain, calling it an “essential safeguard” to ensure they are doing so with “genuine intent”.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        “But according to Kirsten Campbell and her Blah ‘chums’ summarising FMQ today the only issue in Scotland of which we are raging is Nicola Sturgeon refusing to say FOUR TIMES!!!! to Dross’ demands, whether the beast rapist was woman or not”
        I’ve said it before but it is worth repeating to highlight the nonsense of DRoss the teat puller and his helpers in BBC Scotland playing stupid political games.
        Adam Graham was charged and Court Papers drawn up in his name as a male in 2020 for trial, and here’s the GIANT BUT…
        Were it not for ” Kirsten Campbell and her Blah ‘chums’ ” propaganda campaign (including the Forres Gump) being so much in Scottish news, would this rapist even considered this scam.
        Or did someone pay him ?
        His wife in Court referred to it as a “scam” – What say you Kirsten Campbell, James Cook, or even Douglas teat-puller Ross ?

  3. Dr Jim says:

    Every week at PMQs Sunak and Starmer do their well rehearsed and choreographed pretend joust for the public, the only thing missing is the strictly come dancing band playing the music as they strut their patty cake tango around for 15 minutes so the audience at home can mark their scores, it’s never a 7 btw because unlike dancing on ice there’s very rarely a dangerous misstep

    Too easy to rehearse a dance where Sunak and Starmer don’t have to actually hold hands, they just have to glance to the camera like they *mean it* every now and again

    Job done and we’re all fooled

    • Golfnut says:

      They might not be holding hands but they’re definitely playing footsie and I can just about hear land of hope and glory in the background. OK, that’s a lie, I never listen too or watch PMQ’s.
      Like Winnie Ewing my ambition is is to shut the place down.

      • As I often say, Golfnut, when the last helicopter takes off from the Rooftop at Plantation Quay, I shall be there, ‘playing a tune and dancin’ around’, to quote ‘MacPherson’s Lament’.

        “Farewell ye dungeons dark and strong
        Farewell, farewell to thee
        McPherson’s life will no be long
        On yonder gallows tree

        Sae rantingly, sae wantingly and sae dauntingly gaed he
        He played a tune and he danced around below the gallows tree.”

        Hanging’s too good for some of ’em, maybe ,possibly, perhaps.

        100’s of thousands have died during 13 years of the Blue Tories theft of our wealth.

  4. James Mills says:

    ” Tories bringing back Integrity , Professionalism , Accountability
    and Boris Johnson !”

    Lifted this from Private Eye and neatly sums up the state of Westminster Government today !

  5. Bob Lamont says:

    An excellent article Paul even if limited in expansion by necessity lest it become War & Peace Part Deux.
    But let’s first the address the favoured “Didn’t know” bullshit of multiple PMs, and the queue of Tories backing Sunak up on this occasion – ANYONE about to be engaged in any sensitive capacity has a dossier on the candidate presented to the decision maker which goes into incredible detail and makes recommendations from a plethora of perspectives – Any PM would know every detail including what the candidate had for breakfast before the interviewee even crossed the threshold.
    Despite protestations to the contrary, Sunak would have known to the nearest penny how much Zahawi was outstanding to HMRC including the “agreed” fine before Zahawi paid it.

    You can look back throughout history on the shenanigans within the WM bubble to see the power mafia at play from the early 1700s onwards.
    In more recent times you had Ia(false-i)n Drunken(false hyphen) Smith with his fake CV appointed to destroy Social Security, that was no mere accident.
    Nor was Jeremy Rhyming-Slang’s appointed to devastate the NHS.

    “Oh dear I made a woopsie” doesn’t cut it any more than the Truss/Kwarteng financial devastation was a “mistake” – Your final flourish on “The Tories would rather burn the entire UK down..” I must respectfully disagree – It was policy before, now accelerated as penalty for their destruction.

    • Golfnut says:

      The last great raid on public finance is in full swing before England finally wakes up to the fact it’s not just the Celtic ‘ fringe ‘ being fleeced, it’s them.

  6. Alex Clark says:

    Does anyone think that the General Public are aware that their energy bills will be increasing by 20% on April Fools day?

    This is as a direct result of the Government allowing Offgem to raise the energy price cap from £2500/year to £3000/year on 1st April. I think most people do not realise that the 20% increase on the “price cap” means that there is a 20% increase on the unit cost of every kWh of energy that they use on gas and electricity.

    It doesn’t matter if you are living in a one bedroom flat or a mansion, your energy costs are going up by 20% on April 1st despite Scotland having more energy than it can possibly use and so exports it to the rUK.
    Better Together eh!

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Coincidentally Alex I had an interesting exchange with a dear friend on the East Coast where we compared gas bills for December, her own over 600 quid, mine less than 100, and in context my annual gas bill is below 500.

      Being a touch obsessed and having records going back to to 2016, it was easy enough to spot the maximum consumption, February 2016 with a recorded winter hitting -20 – In today’s (eu side) money that would be 250 quid, and before I embarked on additional insulation etc..

      There is something very wrong in the UK’s energy “market” that folks are being so ripped off, perhaps Zahawi’s stable heating being rejected in MP’s expenses may have a bearing…

      • Alex Clark says:

        Energy costs in the UK are currently the highest in the world. World beating in fact!

        The reason for the 20% rise on April 1st is all down to Jeremy Hunt who in his first budget rolled back on the Truss commitment to no rises until April 2024 and instead said there would have to be a £500 increase in the cap price from this April.

        This 20% increase will happen in the first month after the end of the £66/month subsidy which was the £400 energy subsidy that all households were entitled to.

        I suppose it’s fortunate that we will be going into spring and most people’s bills should be coming down, only they won’t see them coming down at all when they need to make up for the £66 they will no longer receive and the 20% increase on top.

        We really can do a lot better than that for the people of Scotland as an Independent country in charge of our own energy policies and more importantly our entire budget.

    • Eilidh says:

      Some energy bills already increased at the beginning of this year if you have a 2 or 3 rate meter such as Economy 7 or Economy 2000 as my brother has. His bill in January was £400 for the month considerably higher than December there is no mains gas in his estate so he has no choice other than to use electric for heating etc. He mentioned the differential between the standard unit rate and the Economy rate which is for his heating is now only 1 pence per unit whereas it is used to be several pence difference so another con by the energy companies. Martin Lewis mentioned this situation on his show a few weeks ago

  7. Capella says:

    Those geniuses in Westminster know how to run an economy – into the ground.

    Shell reports highest profits in 115 years

    Last year, the UK government introduced a windfall tax – called the Energy Profits Levy – on the “extraordinary” earnings of firms to help fund its scheme to lower gas and electricity bills.

    Despite the move, Shell had said it did not expect to pay any UK tax this year as it is allowed to offset decommissioning costs and investments in UK projects against any UK profits.

    However, on Thursday it said was due to pay $134m in UK windfall tax for 2022, and expected to pay more than $500m in 2023.

    This may look small compared to its profits but Shell only derives around 5% of its revenue from the UK – the rest is made and taxed in other jurisdictions.

    However, critics point out that Shell is a UK-headquartered company and has been paying more to its shareholders than it spends on renewable investments.

  8. Ken says:

    Raab is tarnished now. The appearance of a bully. Not the description fits. The arrogance and ignorant entitled meant and ignorance of these Tories personified. Endless complaints now being revealed. Time to go.

    Shell registered headquarters?

    The UK Gov gets half of North Sea production. 30%+ tax on offshore production. The tax should be high when prices are high and lower when prices are lower. depending on the price of a barrel. Renewables are taking over. Safer, cheaper and cleaner. People to electric cars and renewable energy. Much more cost affective, Nuclear. Westminster spending £13Billion a year, for ten years on decommissioning. UK Gov Accounts 2019/20. June 2022. £270Billion spent on Covid funding over two years, £370Billion over a lifetime. Wasted £Billions on PPE unscrutinised Contracts. Not fit for purpose. £Billion lost on Brexit. The Tory mismanagement. A catastrophe. The Scottish Gov has to mitigate the disaster.

  9. Ken says:

    The unionist grip on the BBC. A vice of toxic negativity.

  10. Ken says:

    Stephen Flynn breaks the tango. Gives them a run for their money and privileges. Brexit leading collapse of the economy. £Billion loses. No growth and deficit depreciation. Increased balance of trade deficit, Lose of £Billions in trade. Higher cost of living and lowering of living standards.

  11. stewartb says:

    O/T From the industry news source, Energy Voice, 2 February:

    ‘Shadow climate secretary Ed Milliband has ADMITTED THE UK WILL CONTINUE USING NORTH SEA OIL AND GAS FOR “A LONG TIME TO COME”, including under a Labour government.

    ‘Appearing on the BBC’s Today programme, presenter Nick Robinson said to Miliband: “We will be using oil and gas in this country, not just for years to come, but arguably for many decades to come, and it doesn’t save the planet if what we do is use oil and gas from Russia, from the Gulf States, from Saudi and elsewhere, rather than take it from the North Sea.”

    Mr Miliband replied: “We’re going to carry on using the North Sea, including under a Labour Government, for a long time to come, YOU’RE RIGHT ABOUT THAT NICK.

    He went on “But why is giving massive tax breaks for new exploration in the North Sea the wrong answer? It’s the wrong answer because, as I say, it will make no difference to the price consumers are paying. The average time it takes, it takes 28 years for new exploration to new production of North Sea oil and gas. The answer for our country is to go for renewables.”

    Energy Voice observes: ‘The statement lands days after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said there’d be NO NEW INVESTMENT IN OIL AND GAS UNDER HIS GOVERNMENT.’


    In addition to the longevity of the oil & gas assets, largely of course in Scottish waters, Miliband was also pointing to the massive revenue potential for government now from the UK’s oil & gas industry to be had through a windfall tax.

    Brings to mind this from the Guardian (and as I recall other media sources) from 20 August 2014:

    ‘Oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood says reserves will decline sharply WITHIN 15 YEARS, raising questions about future Scottish economy’.

    ‘Wood said he believed the “best outcome” would be 15 to 16.5bboe left to extract. That is in the mid range of Scottish government predictions, LEAVING SCOTLAND DEPENDENT ON SHALE OIL AND GAS IMPORTS FROM ENGLAND FROM 2030 ONWARDS.

    “The offshore oil and gas industry CANNOT FIGURE SIGNIFICANTLY IN SCOTLAND’S MEDIUM-TERM ECONOMIC CALCULATIONS,” Wood said.’ (my emphasis)

    The Guardian piece adds: ‘Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor and head of the pro-UK Better Together campaign, said Wood’s analysis “fatally undermines” Salmond’s oil predictions and “blow apart Alex Salmond’s plans for funding schools and hospitals.”

    But now, today, 8 years later, it seems that the offshore oil & gas assets of the UK – substantially in Scotland’s waters – will actually remain important to the UK’s economy – one many times bigger than just Scotland’s – for further ‘decades to come’ and right now could provide a key part of the solution to the UK’s present economic crisis?

    • archiemaclean201 says:

      There are vast supplies of oil and gas off Scotland’s west coast that haven’t been touched yet.

  12. archiemaclean201 says:

    O/T I see the Daily Record and BBC political correspondent, Torcuil Crichton, is standing for Labour in the Western Isles. Wonder which candidate the BBC and the Daily Record will be supporting at the next election?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Good old Torcuil Crichton is only standing for Labour because they’ve become fully fledged Tories, one of which good old Torcuil Crichton has always been

      Torcuil might speak with the accent but he’s as Scottish as Alister Jack or Michael Gove

  13. Ken says:

    Renewables are taking over worldwide. The Oil & Gas industry will take a dive because it cannot compete worldwide. China, US, India are all investing in renewables. Only yesterday men still pump pollution and Oil & Gas pollution. It will die a death. eventually. It cannot compete.with renewables. Cleaner, cheaper and safer. Yesterday man. The unionists trying to exploit Scotland, Independent Scotland can make it’s own decisions, which will be more enlightened. Scotland surplus in fuel and energy. Invested in renewables now earning £Billions. Scotland in surplus in fuel and energy, nearer the source pays more because of Westminster bad, wasted policies. Wasting Scottish revenues and resources like there is no tomorrow. About time they were dumped, Toxic and dangerous.

    Westminster reneged on projects at Peterhead and Longannet. That could have cut emissions. Scotland is covered in coal. Investment could be made in CCS, Scotland has the technology and the facilities in the North Sea. Oil & Gas technology and geological expertise, Other EU countries are investing in the technology in the North Sea. Scotland hinder by Westminster bad policies once again,

    Scotland has to pay £Billions for Hickley Point and GS2 etc. A total waste of monies. Tories slush fund diverting public monies to their associates for donation and diverted taxpayers funds, illegally, The sell off of the Royal Mail etc into Tory supporting banks and consultancies. For donation to the Tory Party. Bribery and corruption. Cash for honours. Yesterday man on the take. Total corruption. Labour took all Scottish revenues and resources to pay for illegal wars, bankers fraud and tax evasion, Labour crashed the banks and the world economy, Now trying to lecture others, The biggest failures on the plant. Plant earth does not need lectures from these failures. Neither does Scotland. Scotland needs Independence to build its own economy and prosper with equality. The UK the most unequal place in the world. The corruption and failure of Westminster plain to see. Just gets worse and worse. Scotland needs to prosper with its own policies. Not lectures from yesterday men. The killing fields. UK/US at it again causing war in Europe. Another disaster. Brexit catastrophic, Plenty of monies wasted on redundant weaponry. No monies to pay essential workers and invest in NHS, Education and support for vulnerable people. The disgraceful Westminster policies. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion, Costing Scotland £Billions and causing misery worldwide. More Independence supporters need to get out and vote at every election. A higher turnout to get rid of the opposition, use it or lose it. Decommissioning Nuclear is costing £Billions. There is no need for it. Far better alternatives. Old technology dying out, as in the Oil & Gas industry holding people to ransom. There are far better alternatives being invested in. Non polluting, worldwide.

  14. Ken says:

    Ignorant and arrogant journalists not employable. They cannot do maths, statitics and cannot count. They cannot read or analyse a balance sheet. The non Dom criminal tax evading owners. Telling lies and causing misery world wide with their total propaganda. People now exchange information and research on the internet. Not view toxic multimillionaires views and propaganda. People are doing it for themselves.

  15. Ken says:

    Scotland will never have to rely on any country for energy and fuel. Scotland (Independent) has so much potential. The best place in the world for renewables, wind, water and solar. Scotland self sufficient and in surplus. Wested by Westminster poor, bad policies. Scotland’s revenues and resources wasted by failure at Westminster. A dive of illegal corruption. Toxic. Killing people. Life expectancy going down in the south. Get a life and vote them out.

  16. James Mills says:

    Magic Money Tree found !
    Unfortunately it is solely the preserve of the Tories and their VIP donors .
    If you can show us the colour of your donations – then fill your boots at the Public Teat !

    If you have overpriced , unfit for purpose PPE which you want to offload then please contact your nearest available corrupt Baroness who will set the money train in motion .

    If you have an impractical , Not-so-High-Speed UK Railway which will link-up the South of England with the almost-South of England and doubles its cost eye-watering cost each year , then we want to hear from you .

    If you are in the business of building experimental , vastly expensive nuclear power stations with no proven track-record of producing electricity , and are actually arms of foreign Governments , then we will facilitate the transfer of UK funds for years to come .

    However , if you are a striking nurse , fireman , teacher , ambulance worker , or other ”essential worker” you can’t have a pay rise – but we will provide unlimited sympathy and , if you are particularly docile , a public ‘clapping” on a weekday .

  17. Capella says:

    Believe in Scotland has a scathing report on how the Westminster government has mismanaged oil revenues and the BBC fails to inform us.

    • Capella says:


      (Nick) Robinson did not mention that Shell, which moved its HQ from the Netherlands to London a year ago, has made no taxable profit in the UK since 2017. In contrast, Shell paid £3.7 billion to the Norwegian state in 2021 for example, far more than it paid in the UK. where since 2016, its subsidies have outweighed the tax it has paid.

      Shell also distributed $26bn to shareholders in 2022 including $18bn in share buybacks. Tax expert Dan Neidle argues that it would be appropriate for the UK to levy a one-off tax on Shell’s UK-based global HQ. “Shell is crying out to be taxed more,” he told the Financial Times.

      “It’s not easy to design a windfall tax”, Today’s business apologist – sorry, business editor – explained

      Business editor Simon Jack implied that Shell should be allowed to keep its massive profits – the highest a UK headquartered company has ever made – because it “got no subsidy” when oil prices fell.

    • Capella says:

      If you look at GERS, the account of Scotland’s finances, you can see a change coming through after 2015/16, when the UK government started to tax the sector differently. The effect of the UK’s tax changes were that many private companies and their shareholders became net recipients of taxpayers’ money.

      This was ostensibly done to increase investment and to protect jobs as the oil price fell – but Aberdeen was hit harder than Norway, which continued to tax energy firms at its usual high rate. Rebates were not specifically linked to any commitment to save jobs. In 2016 Shell, having benefitted from tax rebates from the UK Government and having made many thousands of workers redundant, went on to declare the world’s largest shareholder profit dividend that year.

      Could there be a political reason for under-taxing oil production from Scotland?

    • Capella says:

      The UK Government now takes much more tax on oil and gas at the pump or when heating oil is purchased. In 2022-23, fuel duties are expected to raise £25 billion. Very little of that is credited to Scotland’s accounts.

      Some suspect that one reason for changing the North Sea tax regime is to lend weight to the Unionist argument that Scotland is too poor to become independent.

      Energy taxation is reserved to Westminster

      Shell is not doing anything illegal – it is the UK government’s political and ideological choice to give Shell tax rebates and subsidies. This is reserved to the UK government – the Scottish Parliament has no say on it.

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    So, the dishonest Herald.

    “Headline: “Hospitality boss warns: ‘The Scottish Government is strangling me’

    No they didn’t, they criticised both Scottish (rates) and UK Government (VAT).

    Why lie?

  19. yesindyref2 says:

    Meantime this nonsense seems to be happening more and more in the illiterate traditional media. Instead of writing intelligent readable articles, they do it in FAQ form, and must have some pretty stupid readers in mind. Here’s an example:

    Is there any Rugby this weekend?

    Yes, it’s the start of the 6 nations which involves most of Europe [WRONG]

    Where are the matches?

    They’re in stadiums.

    Thanks. Who’s playing?

    The six nations.

    What do they play with?

    Apart from each other, they play with a ball.

    Oh. What shape is the ball?

    It’s shaped like a rugby ball.

    Oh I see, thanks. Can you see them on TV?

    Yes. There’s a lot of balls on TV.

    Well, you get the picture. But only where you can see the England Scotland match – ITV for some reason, or STV if LIKE MOST OF US YOU ARE IN SCOTLAND.

    Where’s Scotland?

    Scotland is a country on planet Earth.

    Thanks. Are you really thick or do you just pretend?


  20. Bob Lamont says:

    Strewth, HMS James Cook are somewhat lathering it on with the Scotland Politics webpage, presumably with their Rapist and associated articles being reduced from 5 to 2 out of 6 signals recognition as with the incontinent pigeons that it simply wasn’t working, or James Cook got a real email from the Secretary for Flounce in Scotland to cease that blasted racket else his knighthood was orft..

    I sat through the QT episode before finally giving up on the circus act, , as if the panel makeup had not already signalled where this circus was headed, a rerun of the man is a man and woman is a woman diversion to the fact is had damned all to do with the GRA Reforms which are purely and administrative change, it was Jenny Gilruth and India Willoughby floated above the shite, the chief floating turd being one Ella Wheelan.

    Yet in true “impartial” broadcaster mode what does HMS James Cook put out the following day in prime spot on the BBC’s Scotland/Politics webpage, another Scotland Office special ? Pretty close.
    Yet again an unattributed article, relying solely on the ‘Talk TV” interview by Piers Morgan with Sunak to produce the “PM Rishi Sunak on rapist case: Biological sex ‘really matters'” headline.

    There is a reason almost no Scots watch GB News or Talk TV James, but it does seem to be your ambition to to be even more despised than Piers Morgan.
    You’re getting there…

  21. Dr Jim says:

    The Scottish media are different to the rest of the world

    In Scotland the media reports we’re all going to die of Cancer if we don’t eat better, stop smoking, take exercise, stop drinking alcohol, and the demand of what action the Scottish government is taking to prevent all these *preventable deaths* ???? !!!

    In other countries suffering the same Cancer treatment delays due to the Covid outbreak the media in those countries reports the story in this way:
    The public should eat more healthily, take a little more exercise and cut down on their smoking and alcohol consumption, these steps taken by the public can help reduce chances of developing some Cancers and life can be extended by these *preventative* measures

    You see the clear difference between many countries media approach which is one of positive messaging to the public while in Scotland it’s as negative as they can possibly make it by removing any blame to the public themselves and aiming it directly at the Scottish government, and if you remember as most of us do the better together campaign in the run up to the independence referendum 2014 that messaging was exactly the same

    Total negativity, scaremongering, doom mongering and the use of laser focused blame culture is the name of the Scottish media’s game, they might as well just cruise the streets and towns of our nation with loudhailers repeating “You’re all doomed losers the end is nigh prepare to meet thy maker*
    “This has been a BBC broadcast and we’re famous for our world renowned coverage and impartiality, now pay us the non refundable imposed tax on owning a TV “

  22. yesindyref2 says:

    It’s funny really. I just started watching Treason (2022) on Netflix, and (don’t worry no spoilers), and firstly the guy says the head of MI6 is “C” and that stands for “Control”, whereas it’s really after the first head of MI6 (SIS) called Cummings who signed stuff with a “C”.

    And secondly the politicians are so sensible, mature, reasonable, the sort of people you might trust and could probably competently run a country.

  23. James Mills says:

    Actually , I watched some of this and thought , if this guy ( main character ) was the Head of MI6 then this explains why someone like Boris Johnson could become PM and put the son of a senior KGB spy in the House of Horrors .
    John Le Carre’s Smiley would have seen them off the premises before you could say ”Tinker , Tailor …. ”

  24. Ken says:

    M15 lies, illegally,tortured and killed people. Illegally surveillance. Illegal phone tapping. Illegally killing millions of people. Worldwide. Supporting false claims and illegal wars. To line Westminster Gov politicians tax evading pockets. With illegally obtained public monies. Wasting £Billions/Trillions in the process and procedures. Scotland revenues and resources illegally paying for it. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act.

    The Tories are a bunch of absolute greedy liars. Killing their own members and voters. Males over seventy. Life expectancy going down in the south. Not paying the essential workers proper remuneration costs more. The Tory politicians are lying hypocrites, Tax evading bullies. People cannot take any more of this until the next election. The Courts have to stop the Tories illegal actions. Losing everytime. The Tory charlatans are being held back by the Courts. The Tories waste was of time and monies. Siphoning off public money to their associates for funds and donations, illegally. Challenged through the courts until they can be defeated. GE must happen soon for goodness sake.

    Scottish Gov have to mitigate and hold them to account to try and protect Scotland from them. Tory ‘psycho bastard’s’.Their own description of each other, Major and Cameron.Still trying to rob the public purse. Tory Party illegal rounds of donations to the Tory Party of public monies. Totally illegal. Breaking the Law at every turn. Having to be held accountable in the Courts, Another massive waste of public monies. Scotland is paying for the corruption, for which,no one voted. Scotland did not even vote for the abuse of power. Totally non democratic. . Now Raab is toast. More scandal to come along. It is endless

  25. Ken says:

    Fiction. Head of the ‘Intelligence services’ gets poisoned. Not very good at Intelligence. Didn’t see that one coming. Pretty obvious. After trying to blackmail someone. Protecting the State. They can’t even protect themselves. Whistleblowers getting the sack and suing them. Not very secret. The BBC ‘accidently’ released their details. Now no chance of coverup. The Afghanistan evactuation and retreat shambles, Revealed in public in Court. All the poor, decision and procedures open, plain to view. The Tories pychopants cannot hide and conceal it any more. The miscontrol of the civil service and the workers,

  26. grizebard says:

    What strikes me throughout this litany of Tory governmental mishaps is the one thing that nobody anywhere seems to have mentioned, that whatever difficulty the latest resident of No.10 Downing Street has with his appointment of ministers with {ahem} “histories”, his difficulty has been made far worse because not a single one of these appointees has voluntarily offered his/her resignation when exposed.

    I recall that when the Falklands was invaded by the Argentinian junta, the first thing that happened as a consequence was the resignation of the then Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington. Not because he had committed any personal malfeasance, but because he immediately and correctly intuited that the event had occurred because UKGov foreign policy of the time was a failure by giving every impression of indifference to such a likelihood.

    That was what ministers used to do. Take responsibility for their department’s conduct and – like PM-hopeful Profumo before that – for their own improprieties. Nowadays, no chance. They all cling on to their desks, salaries and perks until they almost have to be physically dragged out of their plush offices.

    So while I have no sympathy whatever for Sunak in his “appointment difficulties”, the rot extends far wider. And be under no illusions, under a thoroughly unfit-for-purpose UK political system, the dysfunction is systemic, and likely to infect any party in power. Only by being independent have we in Scotland any hope of getting free of it and starting anew with a clean sheet.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I think it’s always been a priority if the elitist classes to end up in government in England as some kind of destiny and deserved ultimate destination, but now we have a different kind of people deliberately hunting down government positions, a multi millionaire and even billionaire mafia business class

      This new breed replacing the original Etonion twit destiny status breed are not about position state or any kind of governance of nations whatsoever, these are business investors in it to make money, or why would people who’s financial worth is counted in the many multiples of ££millions want to dedicate their time for what is by comparison a pittance to what they usually £pocket£ before and after their so called service to their *country*?

      No, this new breed of so called politician running England and by their right Scotland Wales and the North of Ireland are professional thieves already with oceans of lawyers accountants at their disposal, and now in government the use of civil servants and free access to the worlds economy, its banks and first hand knowledge and access to and of instant business movements

      There’s no such thing as service to anyone’s country with these people, that notion disappeared with the original upper class well born twits who only had several £millions in their banks because that was enough to pass from father to son until the end of time while maintaining their breeding and dislike of lower class rich money making shopkeepers and the like, some of them even coming into the parliament don’t you know, shocking , eh , what next old boy

      What we have now are business criminals but with an ideology to be afraid of
      I don’t believe England will get rid of these people, because on one main important level, they aspire to be them

      • stewartb says:

        Indeed! And with an Anglo/British state whose powerful elites – together with their media allies – have long convinced citizens/voters that they can rely for constitutional and related protections on the ‘good chaps’ theory of government, this ‘new breed’ is a real and present danger to us all.

        The crucial issue now is how many voters know or care! Of course, voters in Scotland may but unless a majority in England cares and acts (votes) accordingly, whilst stuck in this Union we in Scotland will continue, in so many ways, to be spectators!

    • yesindyref2 says:

      They used to have some integrity, whereas the current lot don’t care as long as they can pump their pals full of favours as long as possible.

      The word “dishonest” would curl up and die if compared to Tory ministers.

    • Legerwood says:

      Lord Carrington’s resignation was the last unforced resignation in British politics. I remember at the time Alexander Haig, the US Secretary of State, said that no US politician or US Cabinet member would have resigned like that. You could almost hear the mind of the body politic in the UK snap shut on that thought and since then resignations a la Carrington have been practically unheard of. They usually come, if they come at all, at the end of a long period of mounting evidence of culpability, or more likely, inability to do their job. For sure few go willingly.

  27. ‘English’ NHS. I wonder when an S35 will be used to stop things like free prescriptions in Scotland as these have ‘knock on effects for the rest of the UK’.

    NHS fines mothers for claiming free prescriptions while pregnant

    Stella Buller was recovering from the birth of her first child when the NHS letter arrived. It warned her that she could face fines and charges of up to £435 for claiming four free prescriptions during her pregnancy.

  28. Welsh_Siôn says:

    You may be pleased to know.

    6 Nations.

    Full-time – England 23-29 Scotland
    Scotland claim victory. It’s the third in a row against England.

  29. Alastair says:

    23 – 29

  30. alastair says:

    23 – 29
    What clan does Van der Merwe belong to?

  31. says:

    Can we ‘transit’ him to Scottish citizenship?

  32. yesindyref2 says:

    Yay! And taht was a good win, England were playing well and got stuffed.

  33. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Shall I leave this here?

  34. Dr Jim says:

    There must be some actual real Scots in this Scotland team and less Brits than there used to be
    They keep beating England, that was never allowed as part of the script before when all the you know who’s played for Britain’s Scotland chaps, it was always bend over boys we’re being allowed to make our British masters look good again

    Funny though isn’t it that those Scotty rugby British chaps got OBE’S and stuff for losing so magnificently nicely, some of them even ended up presenting TV and radio programmes on the BBC in Scotland as a reward

    • Fable says:

      Oh very well said🤣

    • stewartb says:

      Not a relaxing watch today, but wonderful result.

      The ITV coverage – at least for me – was tainted by having Scott Hastings involved in the commentary team. Perhaps not for the first time btl here, I recall how pre the 2014 referendum, on a TV panel, Mr Hastings stated (in terms) that he could never vote for Scotland’s independence as it would deprive future Scottish rugby union players of having the opportunity the play for the ‘British Lions’. This nonsense was unchallenged at the time.

      I well remember my disappointment when in 2014 a host of Scottish rugby ‘heroes’ came out publicly against Scotland’s independence. It was many years before I decided to attend another international match at Murrayfield after that.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        There were some of the 1990 Grand Slam team and some other old dudes, including some depending on the unionist media for a few crusts. Money talks! But it also reflects the generation split – over 60s like the BBC Hastingses, Logans and Nicol were NO voters 🙂

        While it was very obvious from things said that at least 3 of the then current team and probably more, were YES.

        Meantime, Scotland go above England in the world ratings:

        1 Ireland 90.70 (+0.07)
        2 France 90.01
        3 New Zealand 88.98
        4 South Africa 88.97
        5 (↑7) Scotland 83.06 (+1.51)
        6 (↓5) England 82.15 (-1.51)
        7 (↓6) Australia 81.80
        8 Argentina 80.72
        9 Wales 78.02 (-0.07)
        10 Japan 77.39

  35. yesindyref2 says:

    From the herald: “Arran Outdoor Education Centre facing closure

    NAC emphasise that it is just one of the options being considered to save money, but it shouldn’t be this one.

    My kids went there, it’s good for self-confidence and does help to encourage a love for outdoor activities, and I hope my grandkids when they arrive, get to go there too.

  36. So rumour has it Truss is making a comeback. Meanwhile the Sam Smith story tells us what the trans stuff in the UK media is really about.

    Migrants, trans folks, ‘anti-English’ Scots…

    Oh man the UK makes me feel physically sick. We need to leave folks, and asap.

  37. Ken says:

    Mixing politics with sport can get a lot of boos and public disorder. Neutrality is often best for all concerned, 50+ and going up. Sport in Scotland would be better off and better funded, Not revenues and resources disappearing down the Westminster illegal drain of corruption and sneeze. £Billions of Scottish revues wasted, that could be invested in communities aand sports Lottery monies disappearing from Scotland unequally, Sports people £🏈Millionaires. Supported by taxpayers monies, Olympics £12Billion+ . Contributed with Scottish monies. £Billions that could have funded sports in Scotland, Commonwealth Games funded by Scottish Gov Glasgow, Showed off Glasgow to the world and brought £Billions in tourism into Scotland. New facilities. Swimming and cycling champions. Scottish champions in every sport breaking records. Scotland disproportionally underfunded. Football bigotry turning poeople off and losing monies and investment for the sport,

    Every good jedal means £Million+ for the owners. Andy investing in Scotland, along with others. Championship golf courses brings in £Billions. The best in the world.

    Tennis, golf, football originated in Scotland. One of the oldest nations in the world. Basis of democracy, and education, The Declaration at Arbroath,. The first country to have tertiary education equal to all. The ability to learn not to pay. Scotland the land mass of invention and discovery. The Chinese 1,4Billion. Scottish invention and discovery changed the world. Telecommunication led on to the internet.

    Scotland held back by Westminster rogues. They will be voted out and Scotland will be Independent. One of the best places in the world. More prosoerous and equal, without Westminster blatant interference and mismanagement,

    At PM QT Richi is always deliberately sitting next to Raab. Giving support . Two bullies together. Rats in the sinking sack. Time to get rid of the lot of them. Multmillionaires raiding the public purse and killing people. An absolute scandal of bribery and corruption. Lie after lie after lie of total Tory corruption. The rest is f the Westminster cabel not much better. Better to be rid of them. Self governance and self determination when people vote for it. Upheld by the UN. Instead of killing people,

  38. Ken says:

    Every gold medal brings £Million to the owner. Profits for everyone else. An example of healthy living does not go amiss. Or an own goal. Inspires plenty of others to healthier pursuits. Exciting watching and entertainment. Much needed relief.from other worries or troubles. Excercise helps relieves depression and other health issues. Obesity or other health issues and addiction. A diversion. Some people get addicted to it. Sports and exercise. Just going for a walk can increase exercise and fresh air. Boasts the spirit.

  39. Ken says:

    Rugby prevalent in the Borders. Dangerous Sport
    Poor internet connection.

  40. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Funny old UK is it not….well served by the BBC though….in that they, as an organisation, live up to… nay…. exceed the BRITISH part of their organisation’s title….

    A UK where some within it, including some Labour MP’s (Angela Raynor as ONE example via her stating in 2022 “independence will let Tories control Westminster forever”), state that Scotland needs to stay within it as if Scotland LEAVES the UK then England will be left at the mercy of the Tory party….

    YET….to watch BBC QT when broadcast from Scotland…..there appears , via the AUDIENCE , to be more right wingers in Scotland than on those RECENT episodes of this programme when broadcast from England….. where much of the English audiences are challenging and attacking the right wing Tory party and it, as the party, who are the current UK government….

    I say funny old UK….but obvs suspect that tis the BBC who are up to their usual ‘funny’ business of planting pro UK extreme peeps, via a majority, whenever they come to Scotland via this fake debate show…….one would think , watching BBC QT, that it was us in Scotland who vote for the Tories and England who want more socialism in their politics…..that’s how much the BBC TRY to ‘game the system’ via their ongoing fight as one of the uber pro UK propaganda channels in their obvious support for the Union against their obvious opposition to Scottish Independence in their UK…..apparently we , in Scotland, all hate the SNP….we only vote for them to be a majority political force here in Scotland and too as a majority party that represents us at WM ….as we are all masoch*sts….who knew ?…..who indeed….NOT ME …nor I suspect do many many others either….

  41. Dr Jim says:

    Does Scotland really deserve independence ?

    Some very confusing polling being reported on Scotland’s independence at the moment
    It appears that yes lots of Scots want independence from England rule, but only on certain days of the week if they don’t like a certain policy or law on that particular day, in which case they’d prefer England to still have the power to overrule Scotland, but again only on that day because the next day they want their independence back again when the government in England continue to make rules or laws they don’t like on all the other stuff

    The FMs personal ratings have gone down over of some of this thinking
    While the majority of Scotland still wants the FM in her job, and they also agree she’s the best person for the job, they only want her to make all of the decisions on that earlier particular day aforementioned, the rest of the time the Scottish electorate appear to want the FM to be just making the warm cuddly decisions that are financially beneficial to certain individuals but not any that might upset certain others if the government in England and the media tell them those decisions are upsetting

    In amongst all of this, the voting public appear to be arguing that indeed we want independence for Scotland but only if it’s nice all the time, because if it’s not then we’re not voting for it

    Am I describing the population of a country, or an awful lot of 12 year olds threatening their mammy with a moody tantrum if she disnae dae whit they waant and dae it noo?

    Some folk should bear in mind that *all* the decisions they don’t like emanate from England and Scotland has zero say in that, but amazingly in Scotland the voting system allows for changes to whomever is the government here, meaning all policy decisions here can be reversed amended or changed by any future government an independent Scotland might decide to elect

    But hey! stick with England where Scotland has and will have no say ever, but just remember this, you won’t be able to complain to your mammy about it later because she’ll be away a big deal in Europe by then and Scotland’s parliament in Holyrood will be a visitor centre for tourists, and you’ll all be saying “well that was another fine mess we got us into” and other descriptive self deprecating Scottish-isms for allowing ourselves to made fools of again………. by ourselves

    • My comments on the National. The poll actually shows support for the SNP up for a UK GE. 🙂

      SNP support rises on the back of GGR Controversy!

      Yougov are historically not a pro-Yes pollster and TBH, I can’t help but wonder if they engineer results sometimes to be closer to what they want. This can be done simply by running the poll a few times and picking the outcome with the results closest to what you want. Their method is finding Yes on 50%, they just need to run a few times and a 47% will appear. Could happen on the first attempt!


      So no changes with MoE then (+/-3% = 6% variance between polls is normal).

      This agrees with Findoutnow who measured a small increase in Yes after the GRR bill was passed with Survation measuring an increase in support for the SNP on early January / September, and no change on March to August Yes at, erm, also 47%.

      If these two pollsters are finding Yes at 50% with their methodology, then 47% is a perfectly normal reflection of that. As would be the 53% Yougov got last time.


      ‘44% of Scots said they would vote SNP at a Westminster General Election’.

      Erm, shows SNP support up on 43% on December 9th, supporting a generally zero change picture. Just noise.

      If you want to see GRR effects, you’d need to look for a surge in the Tory vote, gaining from all the rest. Any movement between SNP/Green and Lib/Lab would just be churn as these all backed the GRR bill. If you are opposed to GRR, you are hardly going to back Lab/Lib are you!

      So, this is the Yougov polling average situation:

      50.3(+3.3)% Yes

      November 2022 – Jan 2023 (3 polls), with changes on March – October 2022 (previous 3 polls).

      Averaging polls starts to give you an idea of what might be going on. Individual polls just can’t. Too much noise.

  42. bringiton says:

    Scotland is in a prison known as the UK where England acts as the jailer who holds the key.
    The biggest single event in recent history was England’s Supreme Court making it clear that within the UK prison,Scotland does not have the right to self determination.
    There is no democratic route to independence under those conditions.
    No matter which way we try to achieve that,it will be blocked by England.

    • Dr Jim says:

      According to Alister Jack he and he alone is the democratic route to Scottish independence
      Apparently when Alister Jack decides we look like a duck then he’ll decide when he’ll allow democracy to take its course

      He says these things with a straight face too, well a Tory straight face, coz that’s Tory understanding of how dictatorsh, Oops erm, democracy works

  43. Hamish100 says:

    I see Jim Sillars is interviewed by the “ Independence paper” The Times. Gesture politics I call it. Another blogger in the The National announces they are joining “ Personally I have had enough of dithering and lack of action so I have moved to supporting Salvo and ALBA”- I suspect they already were with ALBA.

    Well that’s it folks, Independence by Monday morning or is that just more gesture politics. I will sit back and watch the new government formed by Wednesday, EFTA by Thursday and nukes out of Faslane by Friday. A week is a short time in politics right enough.

    Then we have reality.

  44. Welsh_Siôn says:

    the new government formed by Wednesday, EFTA by Thursday and nukes out of Faslane by Friday.

    And first scandal and resignation(s)/sacking(s) the following Monday.

  45. yesindyref2 says:

    I have t0 say that if Joanna Cherry is setting her cap against Sturgeon she’s likely to find herself in the doldrums, except with the fringe.

    I daresay the Times will give her column space.

  46. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Hilarious piece in the Torygraph today where Liz Truss is blaming everything other than HER own incompetence and lack of ability while PM for her fall from (dis)grace… her embarrassingly short time as the TORY PM…..Liz hopes that, we the public , all have very very SHORT memories and too are very very selective in what we , the public, deem as bad (truly awful) and sub standard in a politician……and more so a UK PM (elected to be PM ONLY by Tories).

    A bit like Sunak when challenged on NHS and him citing Covid consequences as what is to supposedly ,but not really, to blame for some of the failing services (mainly due to Tory mishandling and underfunding for years) in the NHS and too also one Steve Barclay (CURRENT English Health Sec) also doing this at a recent commons committee….but HE, Barclay, also added FLU cases also impacting NHS services….aye so their Covid and Flu is UNIQUE in the UK in relation to their English NHS’s current state…..and thus if you believe THEM then Covid and Flu has impacted England much MORE than any of the other country’s NHS within their UK……that sound right but only if you are a TORY or a BRITISH NATIONALIST (also known in Scotland as a ‘Proud Scot’ indeed so proud are they that they support and promote another country over their OWN country…..well I guess that MUST make sense in their heads …..however for others it represents the opposite as in their PRIDE is reserved for any country BUT Scotland…if you read their Tweets on Twitter)………….

    Then on the economy they, Tories, blame the war in Ukraine and other ‘Global’ issues for the DIRE state their UK is in…meanwhile among the other G7 (part of Global) countries their UK is BELOW Russia and is predicted to see a negative growth forecast while many other G7 (part of Global) countries will see a surplus…..what…one wonders…is distinct about the UK compared to other G7 (part of Global)countries……Hmm…..WELL…..

    Brexit…..and as a UK TORY Policy it, Brexit, according to Sunak and other Tories, is apparently blameless…..for all that is going down down down in their UK……….

    Ahh…but that would only be because IT is the SAME Brexit that they, Tories, supported and still insist will remain in their UK… every convenient…..for THEM.

    Meanwhile here in Scotland …GOD FORBID that ANY Scottish government MINISTER (especially the FM) within the Scottish government cites as examples some of the the negative and destructive UK government’s policies and bills that have been detrimental in consequences for Scotland as a country and especially financially…… or indeed if they ever mention Covid/Flu consequences impacting our NHS….as then we have the likes of lightweight aka Dross accuse the FM and her ministers of “blaming all woes on WM” and too him saying that in relation to the NHS that she the FM is “hiding behind the Covid shield”…indeed did Dross when Johnson was PM not cite a list of excuses like the war in Ukraine and Cost of living (TORY) crisis as excuses in him, Dross, not initially saying that he , Johnson, should resign post #PartyGate scandal…..

    Oh so excuses ALLOWED for THEM but NO excuses ALLOWED for us…..

    Tell me is there ANYTHING that we here in Scotland ,and too our ELECTED government, are ALLOWED to do or say……it would appear NOT….meanwhile they are ALLOWED to do and say whatever THEY want and indeed BLAME everyone and anything for THEIR actions (failings)… that is SOME UK democracy ….NOT…..once again I blame the media in their UK….had they, the media, been more balanced, fairer, honest and less partisan in favour of specific political (pro UK) parties then truth would OUT….instead via their wanton neglect and preference for promoting propaganda we have the UK as is….and a HUGE deficit in the REAL NEWS where WE are and too where THEY are also ……

    Here’s a thing about the media….. once some were Journalists in newspapers or political correspondents on various TV channels….THEN they become either advisers or candidates for a political party……when you see their journey unfold you then understand why and how they promoted so much FOR a particular political party and AGAINST another….I mean no one is saying they CANNOT support a party privately when they VOTE at the polling booth….but if they also promote that party as a journalist or political correspondent while simultanously demonising another opposing party then that represents NOT political news and information BUT instead tis pure propaganda and a real conflict of interest…..

    I mean can they, the media here, seriously STILL think that they can make jokes and snide remarks about both Russia and North Korea censoring the media ……as if they, the media here, are a FREE PRESS that are NOT controlled by forces within the political establishment and too their tax avoiding owners whose allegiance to SPECIFIC political parties is all too obvious via their headlines in their newspapers and too the political narrative on all TV News channels via both mainstream (allegedly but not) and too the newly formed rogue channels…………OFCOM seem to be muzzled too….how convenient yet so very apt within their…very much….UKnotOK.

    Aye …so much for shorter comments from me…..but you know there is way way too much to say and expose in all that is wrong with their UK…..never ending it is……but it COULD end when a certain thing happens….we CAN…MAKE IT STOP…..never underestimate the power of THE people when they finally come together as ONE people……YES ?

    Have a nice day everyone (Capella and Jack C what am I like …LOL)


  47. Always worth reminding folks that started variance in polls is +/-3%, so 6% within a 95% confidence interval. This means that if the actually value from the sample is 50%, then 95/100 polls should come up with a number within +/-3% of this. 5% of them will be further out than, and are called outliers.

    So 47% then 47% then 47% can reflect a true value of 50%. Absolutely normal for this to occur. If you ran the poll 100 times, it becomes more likely that you start getting 50%, 49% 53% and so forth, and that if you average them all out, you’ll get that 50% value. Sometimes you’ll get 55% or maybe 45%! Outliers.

    Of course the real world value may be 53%, but your methodology is skewed and gives you 50%. An example of this was pollsters using 2010 weighting ahead of 2014 initially. It was well underestimating use due to false recall (people saying how they voted in 2011 rather than 2010, where they voted tactically).

    So if someone says ‘But the change is 4%+, so bigger than MoE!’ they should be ignored as they have no idea what they are on about. That or they are lying to you.

    There are plenty of British nationalists on the National doing this sort of thing, but they are easy enough to spot. 🙂

  48. Bob Lamont says:

    Totally OT but an interesting collection of letters under the heading ” French set a good example of angry resistance ” in the National, yet what caught my eye was the 7th over Long Covid.
    Whereas the authors pivot on compensation for those put at greater risk during the height of the pandemic, I’d been reading accounts of those NOT on the “front line” having experienced life changing effects from infection by Covid for more than the last year, yet not a cheep on it from the UK’s “impartial” media.
    For background, US research shows an incidence of 15% of the population reporting short term Long Covid symptoms yet a worrying 6% continuing to do so.

    Now consider the preoccupation of MSM over the trans issue before it went into overdrive in 2020 under Johnson which has so dominated UK news – UK Gov estimates reveal 0.36 – 1 % of the population are estimated as trans – Of that cohort let’s assume 10% see it vital their gender at birth is changed on their birth certificate, which is essentially all the GRA enables and Reforms streamline, viz less than 0.1% of the population.

    Now consider the finance and efforts HMG’s “nudge unit” put in to propagandising the GRA Reforms to destabilise the SNP, let alone the fees accumulated for BBC in Scotland’s “independent and impartial” reporters etc. and the inevitable knighthood for playing the “Pitchforks and Torches” game using 0.1% to to ignore 6% of the of the populace who are struggling.
    Only in Britain,

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Indeed….if nothing else…..we , here in Scotland, can ALWAYS rely upon THE media (INO) being selective on what, who and when they, as a media (INO), decide to focus their attention (up)on…

      More so on what, who and when that attention is focused excessively against…

      I of course mean as in them , as a media (INO), seeming to be in direct opposition to …..CERTAIN specific political parties (SNP) and their supporters (people like us who support Independence)…..

      That is the reality of THEIR UK….a hostile media and a hostile foreign government imposing their hostility upon OUR country and very much doing so to demonstrate nay to PROVE that they CAN … long as WE in Scotland stay within THEIR UK…..that’s our future if we, as a country, do not vote for our independence…

      Supposed Free speech and the supposed Free press in their UK equates to NO freedom(s) ALLOWED for Scotland and it’s people…..via UKnotOK

  49. So no boost for the Tories in the latest Yougov poll. 15% for Westminster, which is up just 1% on their December poll, suggesting no change.

    In fact they could be on the way down given Survation, Sanata and Panelbase had them on 17-19% here recently.

    Seem their GRR tactic is not having any effect or even harming them, as you’d expect.

    • Yougov has very high ‘other’ under FPTP (Holyrood constituency and Westminster). Changes are a good chunk of this is Green, which distorts the picture as it doesn’t happen on the day for obvious reasons (no Green standing never mind tactical).

      Table will tell, but polling static. GRR just having no impact. Maybe harming the Tories a bit at most.

    • James says:

      Not on the Westminster Vote as you were expecting as the GRR bill was a Holyrood vote, not UK Parliament vote. Hence why the SNP lost 4% to the Conservatives in the regional vote and Constituency vote in the poll.

      Of course, they have managed to successfully stop the GRR bill from passing via the section 35 order with no obvious negative impact on the vote share and the SNP/Green Scottish Government is not going to be challenging section 35 via a judicial review in the light of polling like this!

      Of course, the Conservatives are totally screwed more generally, they are going to lose the next UKGE by a huge margin, and with Truss breaking cover to be the next Conservative leader post-election, looks like that election is going to happen quite soon (possibly as soon as June)

      • But it’s the Westminster conservatives who’ve stopped GRR the bill. If this was move supported by Scots, then a boost for them might be expected. Instead, there seems to be no change. 4% = no change within 6% variance (+/-3%).

        It would need to be greater than 6% to start to look like movement, even then it might not be as it could simply be outside the 95% interval. Other polls suggest steady picture, supporting this.

        The SNP increased their share of the Holyrood constituency vote in the latest Survation, or at least lost nothing. Same for the latest Findoutnow which showed no change in Yes (slight increase), as Survation found.

        Yougov show SNP constituency going from 50% to 44%, which alone might suggest movement, but the fact other polls show no movement, this is most likely just variance, e.g. around 47(+/-3)%. There’s also around 5% other in the latest poll, which will be probably 3% Green like the last Yougov, so Green + SNP = 47%.

        As usual the tables will tell a little more. Yougov do offer up all the little parties as a choice alongside the SNP, so you get much more variance here. The reality is people don’t vote green on the constituency when it comes to it due to them standing in almost no seats and tactical.

        The average SNP constituency share 2022 to date of all polls is 46%. Nothing seems to be happening here.

        I’m just not seeing any change in polls since that bounce Yes got from the UKSC case. VI has been much more static. The Tories do seem to have picked up some points from Labour since Sunak took over and steadied things. A pattern seen UK-wide.

      • In terms of Tory share of Holyrood Constituency VI we have:

        Simple average:
        2021: 21.1%
        2021: 17.1%
        2023: 16.7%

        No pollster bias average:
        2021: 20.7%
        2021: 17.2%
        2023: 16.8%

        Early doors for 2023, but so far the pattern is consistent with a longer term decline in their support since Brexit, the mini-budget crisis etc. There’s really no saving them here or in England. GRR is utter desperation and the evidence so far is that it’s not helping, and maybe even hurting them further.

        The above also indicates that support for pro-GRR parties might have edged up a fraction in the new Year. Certainly doesn’t seem to have fallen.

  50. Words / actions have consequences. Attacks on the GRR bill have really emboldened the nasty folk. They’ve been slithering out from under their rocks just like they did with brexit and migrants.

    It’s perfectly possible to discuss policy factually, addressing concerns politely and with the facts. But this is Britain, and barrel scraping is it’s forte.

    Ballot Box Scotland to run ‘skeleton service’ over homophobic abuse on Twitter

    BALLOT Box Scotland has announced it will run a “skeleton service” for the rest of the month due to the level of homophobia in Scottish politics.

    The popular polling aggregate service, run by Allan Faulds, said the account will scale down operations “as a matter of self-preservation”.

    The elections and polling account, which launched in 2018, said the treatment of the LGBT community in Scottish politics is the worst it has been in more than a decade.

    Sad to hear as his site is brilliant. Who needs ‘Brengland Elects’ when we have our own top polling twitter feed. Or used to. 😦

    • stewartb says:

      scottish_skier writes: ‘But this is Britain, and barrel scraping is it’s forte.’ and ‘Attacks on the GRR bill have really emboldened the nasty folk. They’ve been slithering out from under their rocks just like they did with brexit and migrants.’

      But this is not just about ‘Britain’ – this is about parts of Britain, to be precise about too many folk in Scotland too. A salutary lesson – which I at least now have to accept with regret – that we are not at present in the early days of a better nation. And too prone to ‘moral panic’ – either failing to recognise one or deliberately, exploitatively stoking one for political ends.

      Recognising that optimism and hope for the future is being proven too often to be based on what – let’s call it a ‘naivety’ – is a hard lesson even after a longish life!

      • Sure, and as an indy country we’ll have our right wingers and nasty sorts. Scots are not special. No better nor worse than any other people.

        What will be different is that we will have balance between left and right, authoritarian and liberal, which is what PR democracy aims to give. A government that represents Scots chosen by the people of Scotland. We’ll still argue about stuff like GRR! That’s domestic politics for you.

        Meanwhile, what’s nice is the really unpleasant parties like the Tories, National Front, Britain First, UKIP, BNP… don’t support Scottish indy. Which should be as good a reason as any to back it. 🙂

  51. Eilidh says:

    I can’t blame Allan I am seriously sickened by some of the comments on the National’s trolling section whoops sorry I mean the comments section. I have 2 weeks until my subscription renews whether I let it renew is still debatable. In the meantime I think I will just mostly stick to the app to read the stories and it has no comments section

    • Alec Lomax says:

      The National btl is suffering from an anti-SNP troll fest. Dancing to the Wkngs tune.

      • Eilidh says:

        Yes I wonder how many new £2 subscriptions were taken up on their recent promotion. Going by a lot of new names posting there and their comments a lot of them are unionist trolls. It would very nice if the National gave their longtime subscribers a wee loyalty bonus but fat chance of that we are just the mugs that keep the paper afloat

        • I think there are a lot of unionist funding Scottish indy using that deal. Shows how desperate they are.

          However, as I mentioned before, there are crossover articles which are being published in e.g. the Herald at the same time. Subscribers to that can comment on these too.

          I think that’s a recipe for disaster in terms of losing subs. By all means the same article can be posted on different titles as appropriate, but just doubled up and not shared between different reader pools.

          • Eilidh says:

            I can’t post anything on the Herald comments section.My National login doesn’t work for the Herald I tried it when you mentioned this could be done before.
            What software are you using to login into the Herald to post comments. I use my android phone to read and comment on the National. A couple of years ago when Calum Baird was still editor they changed things on The National comments section due to the amount of trolling so that supposedly only people with a National subscribtio could post there

            • I don’t think it works like that. What I understand is that some articles appear on both online additions. You see it like it’s in the National, Herald readers see it like it’s in the Herald.

              Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what some commenters were saying; they had Herald subs and the article was there. Both titles (and others) are using the same content platform and comments system, so I guess it’s possible.

              Very bad move if so.

            • Or maybe they were just lying after I thanked them for supporting the cause financially with their sub to the National. 🙂

              Something up as clearly quite a few posters on the National are not indy supporters!

  52. Hamish100 says:

    Yip the same “ contributors’ pile in as soon as any article is displayed against anyone pro FM or pro snp. I suspect in the wide scheme of things a small %.
    The National needs to watch it’s eagerness for click bait does not put off the mainstream reader.
    The trolls behaviour is predictable as we lead up to the conference. They join with the britnats in their attempts to divert us from our independence path,

  53. Capella says:

    Promising signs of leadership from Stephen Flynn:

    SNP opposition to gender recognition reform should be ‘respected’, Commons leader says

    Within any political parties, there has to be space for people to disagree and to disagree without being disagreeable. I think that’s incredibly important,” Flynn said.
    Flynn, 34, supports Holyrood’s bill to simplify how an individual changes their legal gender, which was blocked from going for royal assent last month by the UK government.
    But he added there was “understandable public concern” regarding two recent high-profile cases of sex offenders who began their transition after committing their crimes seeking accommodation in a women’s prison.

    • James says:

      Makes sense. The GRR bill is dead so no point in bickering about it anymore.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Cherry is right, but not in the way she says it, nor should she be pleased unionist rags like the DM, DE – or the Times – appear to support her point of view. The enemy of your enemy is also your enemy.

        Anyways, the Bill can be saved, and for the sake of the transgender people, the Scotgov should call the Bill back into Holyrood whatever the procedure is.

        First change would be to 15A “For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Act modifies the Equality Act 2010” which is pretty meaningless, but add to that, or replace it by:

        “Nothing in this act supersedes anything in the Equalities Act 2010”. I.e. the 2010 has overall priority.

        As it stands, of course it doesn’t modify the Equalities, that would have to be specifically done, which is outside Holyrood’s actual competence, but it could leave legal challenges to be ambiguous, costly and a PITA. Hence the preferably unqualified meaningful addition.

        Secondly could be to totally amend 15B “Initial Review”, where to get past the main stramash, prisoners would be specifically excluded for a period of 3 years while current and future procedures would be reviewed. All that does is confirm the ministerial actions already taken in the full glare of publicity – which aren’t even based on the GRR as it isn’t an Act yet.

        Then LISTEN to the Conservative amendments – Holyrood is supposed to be consensual, not a carbon copy of Westminster and its confrontational nature.

        The SG doesn’t need to consult the governor general, nor get his consent. The Scottish parliament makes sensible changes to address the issues already identified, passes the Bill again and it’s then up to the viceroy to do his worst – from a far shakier position.

        I think a lot of people would be mollified, specially if they make some additions to the 16 and 17 year old over 18 advice, specifically including parents or legal guardians as the first line, and only without their consent have some possibility of other over 18s.

        Sadly it seems too many people in their obstinate extremeness have lost sight of the people who should count – transgender people for the legislation itself, but vulnerable people (women) and some protection against abuse of the GRR by criminals.

        Sadly again, I doubt very much common sense and indeed, compromise with level heads, will prevail.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, different views like those of Cherry do need to be respected, and the word “transphobic” should be banned within the SNP. In particular, Ministers should remember they are ministers and watch what they say.

      • Eilidh says:

        Transphobic as a word should be banned within the Snp seriously!! I didn’t realise we were living in Putins Russia although with Governor General Jackass sticking his nose into Scottish Parliament business it sometimes feels like it

      • I think the word is used a bit to quickly sometimes, but then so are terms like racism, antisemitic (very popular in Westminster politics of late), homophobic etc.

        It is really easy to tell someone who has concerns about the GRR bill because, e.g. they don’t understand the ins and outs of the subject and/or have fallen for some of the sh*t that’s being peddled, from those who, well, are, actually just bigots. Then of course you have those that probably couldn’t give a crap about it (only think of filling their wallets at the expense of others) and would have supported it if told to by England, but are now rabidly against – complete with extreme right wing headlines grabbed from Bath – because they’ve had instructions to this effect. Such as the Scottish Tories (Scottish 3 who voted for excepted).

        So in that sense there’s not much point in throwing the term around.

        • Eilidh says:

          Yes agree that some words are used too freely but banning the use of a word within an organisation or country unless it is offensive or hateful is downright dangerous. I have not liked the policies of the Israeli government towards the Palestinians for many years some would consider that anti semitic even though I have no problem with the Israeli people or Jews across the world. Words are important

          • Words are important

            Aye, totally agree, and I’ve said so numerous times on here.

            Conversely to my post, you can tell when someone is using ‘transphobic’ without due cause, just as you note about antisemitic. Sadly this does happen at times too.

            So there’s no need to clamp down use of either term; those using them frivolously give themselves away, and do themselves no favours as a result!

  54. Golfnut says:

    SS, I know you are into collating this kind of info, do you have data on from current and previous census questions which would determine whether their has been a major influx of English people into Scotland over say the last 10yrs, I know you’ve said in that past that there is a decline in those identifying as British, would that indicate that the claimed invasion of English people into Scotland is false or are we still waiting on that info being released.

    • The newest census will have the latest national self-identity data.

      What we do know is that British as a national identity in Scotland has been in consistently long term decline since the post war baby boomers. Peaks in those born in 1944. It’s why we are where we are.

      Here’s the 2011 census data as a function of the year people turned 18 years old / were able to vote.

  55. Old Pete says:

    In 2014 then according to this graph most folk considered themselves Scottish yet voted to be dictated and ruled by our English neighbours.
    How odd ?

  56. Ken says:

    It is 2023. People and views change. It does not stagnate. . Young people come on board and can vote. Older people die off the register. The past cannot be used to predict the future. The future is unknown. Just generalisation.

    The UK/US not starting wars in Europe breaking International agreements. Threatening peoples Borders. The illegal munitions industry up and running. The corrupt politicians killing people to launder public monies back to the corrupt politicians families, friends and associates. Making them £Billionaires on blood monies, Then funding their positions of power. Until people vote them out. A recurring position since 1900s. Unelected Royalty. The killing fields. The divine right to rule. Religion used as a form of control. Dispelled by Education. The ability to learn not the ability to pay. More equality. Universal Suffrage 1928.

  57. Ken says:

    The US/UK warmongers now starting war in Europe. Endless war they never get sick of it. To line their greedy pockets on other people misery. Blown up the Middle East ruining the world economy and causing mass migration, Now causing trouble in Europe, The warmongers need controlling. Vote them out in Scotland to deminish their poison power. Make the world a better place without so many criminals getting away with it. Still stacking away the loot and illegal gains, The power is in the people’s hands. Use it or lose it.

    Raise the pension, instead of benefits. If there was the power, would guarantee Independence. Or just vote for it to gain the power. To make the world a better place. More prosperous, equal, cohesive and happy.

  58. Ken says:

    The latest whole UK Gov Accounts
    Latest 2019/20. Published June 2022. Therecis akways a two year delay. The accounts data and calculations and results are a year later and then need accumulating before publishing. Interesting results of Westminster mismanagement and fraud. Westminster poor,bad decisions.

    Bad, corrupt pandemic decisions to concentrate on Brexit. Losing £Billions. Total incompetence. A public disgrace. A waste of Scotland revenues and resources that could have been better spent.

    • Ken says:

      People who die in road accidents 88% men. Number of males 18- 24 die in road accidents. 90% males. Male toxitity causes crashes with male victims. In line with drunk/drug driving. Over the influence. Influence of alcohol and drugs. Illegal driving.

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