A matter of (dis)respect

Members of Holyrood’s Finance Committee have for a second time written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, asking him to appear before a meeting of the committee in the Scottish Parliament so that he can answer MSPs’ questions about the impact of British Government economic and financial policies on the Scottish budget. Members of the committee had previously written to Hunt early in November last year to make the same request. Eventually, Hunt’s minion John Glen, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, wrote a brief letter in mid-January saying that neither he nor his boss would be attending. It took them the best part of three months to say that they would not be coming. You can put money on an eventual refusal from Hunt to attend after this second invitation.

There is now a very clear pattern of Conservative Government ministers snubbing invitations to appear before Scottish Parliament committees in order to give an account of British Government decisions. In just the last month Scotland Secretary Secretary Alister Jack has declined invitations to the equalities and constitution committees to give evidence on his decision to block the Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Bill and to explain to MSPs what changes the Scottish Government can make to the bill in order to meet his objections. A couple of weeks prior to this the Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch also dismissed an invite to the equalities committee to discuss her concerns about the GRR legislation, despite going public about her reservations. It seems that UK ministers want the Scottish Parliament to flail around blindfolded in the dark, playing a legislative game of pin the tail on the donkey so that when Holyrood makes an attempt to meet their concerns they can go, “Haha! That’s not it!”

It was a similar story last year when Scottish Government minister Keith Brown was repeatedly snubbed by Conservative ministers when he was on a trip to London. Then Home Secretary Priti Patel and defence minister Leo Docherty both declined invitations to meet him, apparently being unable to take 40 minutes out of their hectic schedules of pulling the wings off flies in order to meet with the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans. But fair’s fair, at least they deigned to reply. Attempts to arrange meetings with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab were not even answered.

Likewise it took numerous attempts in order to arrange for Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove to appear before Holyrood’s Finance Committee in order to answer questions about the replacement of vital EU funds with the UK Government’s levelling up agenda. At least Gove did finally show up, after repeated snubs, that’s more than can be said for his colleagues.

This is not proper or sensible government. It’s childish and insecure lightweights playing pathetic power games, making an ostentatious show of exerting their dominance over Scotland. This is the sort of thing you’d expect in a troop of monkeys, bullying less dominant members in order to ‘put them in their place.’ If it had only happened very occasionally that a Conservative minister snubbed the Scottish Parliament, or it only involved a single individual, we could put it down to circumstance or to the arrogance of a particularly self-important cabinet minister – we are looking at you, Alister Jack. But these snubs happen repeatedly and involve many different Conservative cabinet ministers.

This can only mean either that there is a deliberate policy on the part of the Conservatives at Westminster to display what they believe to be their superiority over the Scottish Parliament, or that there is a widespread attitude of contempt amongst members of the British Government for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament. Admittedly these two possibilities are not mutually exclusive. Cabinet ministers might hold back on open displays of naked contempt in public, but Conservative journalists and commentators need not be so circumspect. In January there was an appalling display of blatant anti-Scottish hate speech from Conservative journalist Rod Liddle when he wrote a piece for the Spectator, a publication with a history of anti-Scottish racism, about his horror at the discovery that his genetic heritage was majority Scots. The piece was naturally brushed off as ‘banter’ to which only a ‘dour and humourless Scot’ might object.

However can you imagine the outcry if I had penned an equivalent piece in the National about learning I had English DNA. Anglo-British nationalist double standards strike again. But you will have to imagine it, because I’d never have written such a racist piece of dross, I would not be remotely concerned if I found out I was of English ancestry, but if I had suffered some brain fart even worse than the stroke and had written it the National would never have published it.

Just this week another Conservative journalist, Amanda Platell of the Daily Mail, dismissed the Scottish First Minister as an ‘overstuffed little haggis,’ on G Beebies TV and then laughed at her own joke, because is seems that asinine racial stereotypes count as wit and repartee in the Daily Mail.

The likes of Platell and Liddle say out loud the kind of thing that senior Conservative ministers think but dare not openly say. Conservative politicians and Conservative journalists move in the same social circles, the attitudes and prejudices that the journalists and commentators openly express are equally held by the politicians. But Tory politicians do not need to say such things for us to know that they have nothing but contempt for Scotland, it is abundantly clear from their actions. Their message comes across loud and clear.

We have come a very long way from the respect agenda which the Conservatives swore to adopt if Scotland voted No in the referendum of 2014. That ‘Union of equals’ which we were also promised has turned out to be as mythical as the benefits of Brexit. But then the Tories were only ever going to show respect for Scotland up until the moment that Scotland gave them that No vote which they so badly craved. Once the No vote was in the bag, it was back to contempt as usual. Contempt is all that Scotland will ever get as long as it remains in this so-called union.


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190 comments on “A matter of (dis)respect

  1. Hamish100 says:

    It’s not childish. Their behaviour is malevolent.

  2. P Harvey says:

    Actions speak louder than words & this is certainly the case here – their utter contempt for Scotland is directed at the FM & Holyrood but the reality is that the main target is the Scottish people. why, because we are not ‘English’ & don’t vote any shade of Tory
    And, since devolution we govern better than them!

  3. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Dear Scotland,

    You and me both.




    The Telegraph has launched a scathing attack on Welsh devolution saying it has “enshrined dependency, resentment and a begging-bowl culture.”

    The opinion article by Sunday Telegraph editor Allister Heath tore apart Wales’s legislative powers saying it had “failed disastrously” and “rather than saving the UK, it has fractured it.”

    Cardiff was bashed throughout the piece along with Edinburgh which didn’t escape Heath’s penned condemnations.

    Wales and Scotland were described as having a “dirty secret” as “Holyrood or the Senedd don’t want the real deal, they are terrified of having to pay for their spending. They don’t want to risk going bust.”


    • scottish_skier says:

      they are terrified of having to pay for their spending

      Huh? Seems with the Section 30 refusal, it’s England which is terrified of having to pay for itself.

    • Dr Jim says:

      They’re losing the war in Scotland so now time to turn their fire on Wales in their usual hostile preventative incompetent fashion
      We hate you, we love you, you’re poor, you’re nothing without us, we love you despite all that stupidity you exhibit wanting democracy, fifty lashes will make you love us, or or or well we’ll do something to you, so there

      March on and be free to choose

    • keaton says:

      Why do Unionists with the name “Alasdair” always spell it in such weird ways

  4. JP58 says:

    Never forget Tories in both Scotland & Wales were opposed to Devolution. They have had to hide their opposition to devolved parliaments due to their popularity with electorate in both countries. Unlike Labour who agreed to devolved parliaments as a way of reducing support for independence Tories think the existence of devolved parliaments increase chance of independence. I personally think Tories are correct in thinking this and hence they must try and belittle and diminish devolved parliaments to try and minimise their influence and then ultimately eradicate them. Consequently Tories have no interest in any constructive working relationship with Edinburgh or Cardiff except on rare occasion when it benefits themselves politically.
    It is a not dissimilar situation to how Tories interact with NHS another popular institution they opposed at inception.

  5. James says:

    Further to the posts on this subject a couple of days ago, Craig Murray has obtained access to Stewart McDonald emails (note the very deliberate use of access which keeps him on the right side of the law) and will be releasing them at some point.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Craig Murray is not known for being very honest, nor for staying on the right side of the law, so I think we should let the latter decide if he’s obtained documents legally.

      Given his wild conspiracy theories about Salmond and false accusations against Sturgeon re serious breaches of the ministerial code, I suspect this won’t amount to much of note either! 🙂

      • James says:

        obtained documents legally.

        Hence his use of the word access. It is illegal to obtain (ie have in your possession, information gained illegally. It’s not illegal to access (ie view) information that has been obtained illegally in order to assess it for journalistic purposes. You cannot actively encourage or commission illegal activity to get information (which is why THE News of the World etc got in a lot of trouble as they were actively encouraging phone taps etc to get stories) but if someone brings you information obtained illegally you can view (access) that information to check its authenticity etc and then publish it if it meets ‘public interest’ requirements.

        I suspect this won’t amount to much of note either! 🙂

        Agreed, hence why I imagine Stewart McDonald will not make much of an issue about them being released. Its going to be embarrassing and likely he’s going to get disciplined and/ or fined for the data breach but if there is nothing of note in them then there is no harm in them being released, it’s only if you have something to hide that you try and block their release!

        • scottish_skier says:

          Aye, sounds about right. Politicians arguing amongst themselves is what we pay them to do, hence I suspect not much of interest for the very future of our nation.

          I just don’t think Murray is very good at not being a criminal, given his recent record. He comes across as very arrogant, dishonest and attention seeking. That’s what landed him in jail last time, so when I hear him, as a British blogger, announcing he will decide ‘what’s in the interests of the Scottish public’ I raise my eyebrows.

          He should take up journalism and focus on real stories up here if he cares for Scotland. We are sadly lacking decent journalists.

          • James says:

            I just don’t think Murray is very good at not being a criminal, given his recent record

            Think its important to mention that he has never been convicted or even charged with a criminal offense or any evidence that he has been involved in any criminality.

            He should take up journalism and focus on real stories up

            that’s the wonder of the Internet, people can easily post stories and let the public decide if its a real story or not. If people think it is a ‘real story’ then they will read and share the story, if they don’t they won’t. Gone are the days were the BBC, right wing media etc control what stories people can read/ watch.

            • scottish_skier says:

              Yes, you are correct, I have misunderstood the specifics. Murray was convicted and served time for an extremely serious offence, but it was not a criminal offence in this instance. Interesting how contempt of court is classified.

              By decent journalism, I just meant unobjectively reporting facts as rather than one sided opinion pieces. We are missing this.

          • Dr Jim says:

            Craig Murray being a patsy for, eh, *others*, is throwing shit and hoping the rumour splashes get printed by somebody braver than him, like the Daily Express, is yet another signal from those *others* of their intent on smearing the FM
            It’s pathetic and we’ve seen it before, it’s a pity these *others* couldn’t be *better persons*?

    • Eilidh says:

      Personally I don’t care what Stewart McLaughlin says or thinks and I care even less about the same from Craig Murray.It may not be illegal but distributing info from emails obtained by fraud is morally reprehensible. Murray is an attention seeker as far I am concerned. He may have been a diplomat but I don’t think his end game is diplomacy these days

      • scottish_skier says:

        I understand it was a Russian hacking group that have provided Murray with the emails he intends to release.

      • James says:

        emails obtained by fraud is morally reprehensible.

        If those emails showed that a company or individual was doing something that could harm people would that still be morally reprehensible? There are dozens of cases where people have stolen information (electronically these days, hard paper copies in the past) which has led to the discovery of major cases of environmental and medical wrongdoing.

        This is why it’s very rare for courts to block information released on the internet from hacked emails etc. If it reveals illegal activity the public has the right to know, and if it reveals something embarrassing you should not do it in the first place!

        • Alex Clark says:

          How do you explain why Julian Assange is in Belmarsh prison awaiting extradition to the US?

          • James says:

            Because he’s accused of leaking documents covered by the US Espionage act ( I believe) and there is no defense of public interest under that act.

            • Alex Clark says:

              Not everything is black and white then.

              • James says:

                Course not, many people think that is wrong and think that this distinction should not be allowed others think it is necessary. The fact it is not black and white is why courts don’t block publication often. The very principle of public interest is that the public decides what is of interest to them, not a judge.

            • Anonymousey says:

              Assange isn’t an American citizen, and was not in America when the “crime” occurred. He’s not subject to US law.

              Would it be valid for China or Iran to extradite you because you spoke critically of something they’d prefer to keep secret?

          • scottish_skier says:

            James: The very principle of public interest is that the public decides what is of interest to them, not a judge.

            How does that work? Is a survey sent out to all adults? 🙂

            And I understood Murray is saying he’ll personally decide what’s in the public interest without allowing the public (that’s everyone here and so forth) any say in this whatsoever, including the member of the public whose personal emails he plans to publish. It’s his typical arrogance.

            Maybe it would be better that a judge decide if there’s anything in the public interest worth publishing here? They’re qualified for such work and tasked with it by us, the public. Murray is not. He just runs a conspiracy theory blog.

            [not responded directly so posts don’t get narrower and narrower]

            • James says:

              It’s a concept that has underpinned open journalism for decades. It’s a very simple concept if someone wants to read a story they can if they can’t they don’t. It’s even simpler these days as you have said if you don’t want to read the story / post you just ignore it:)

              Of course, there is some information that needs protection (ie things relating to national security) and there is legislation to stop this from happening. Also as mentioned earlier there is also the route of injunctions stopping the publication of material if needed. Hence why Craig Murray has taken the normal journalistic process of announcing that he has the information but not immediately releasing it giving people the chance to use the injunction/ court route if they wish.

              Maybe it would be better than a judge decide if there’s anything in the public interest worth publishing here?

              As mentioned above, this 100% possible, a court injunction can be sorted at any time and a judge can make that decision.

              • James says:

                This is what the ECHR says on the matter:
                Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human
                “1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to
                hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by
                public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from
                requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
                2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities,
                may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed
                by law and are necessary for a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”

                This is what I said above, Craig (or anyone else) has the right to pass on information to the public that he has received (ie the details of the emails) and also pass an opinion on them. As it goes on to say there is some information that can’t be released and this can either be through legislation or through the direct intervention of the courts (ie injunctions).

                This, of course, is why the hard-right conservatives want out of the ECHR, they want to be able to block the rights of journalists and others to publish information that they don’t like. You cant have a party gate etc if you can simply block the story!

              • scottish_skier says:

                Erm no. Murray is not going to let the public decide if the emails contain information that’s in their interests. He has clearly said he’s going to pick out and publish, if he can, what he wants them to read from the emails so that he can do this selectively. This will allow him to tell the story he wants, rather than the story the emails tell. If he wants to give people the truth, he needs to release all the emails, so people can decide what’s of interest to them, the public. That’s not happening, he’d deciding. It’s because he’s dishonest.

                Murray is an former convict previously convicted of serious crimes, including putting female witnesses at risk and interfering with the justice system, who as deliberately sought out someone’s stolen property in an attempt to harm them with the aim of personally profiting and/or helping other political parties.

                MacDonald isn’t even anyone in power. He’s an opposition MP.

                Murray is not doing anything in the public interest here, that’s for sure! If anyone ever thought he’s a good guy, they’re seeing the real Murray now. I clocked him with the Salmond thing. My the bulls**t he tried to sell me. Glad I’ve never been so stupid as to donate to his British blog.

                • James says:

                  Murray is not doing anything in the public interest here, that’s for sure!

                  That’s your opinion and you are entitled to it. Obviously, until we know what the emails say nobody can say if there are in the public interest or not!

                  Anyhow think we have both made your views on the matter clear now so ill leave it there:)

                  • scottish_skier says:

                    I reminded myself about the Panama papers and laughed out loud at you saying these are comparable to the personal emails of Steward MacDonald, a lowly opposition MP from Scotland. 🙂

                    Och lol. Aye. Think we’ve done this one for now!

                    • James says:

                      No, I said that the manner in which the information has been gained is the same, this is true. Both involve illegally obtained information being released into the public domain. I used the Panama Papers as an example as that once was a recent/high-profile example of this method being used. As I said yesterday there are dozens of other cases in which illegally obtained information has been released into the public domain. Obviously, the scale of the information being released is not going to be the same, which is why I have not said it would be.

                      You clearly don’t agree with this method of information being released and I do which is fine, life would be boring if everyone had the same opinion.

        • Eilidh says:

          Speaking as someone whose data was stolen from 2 companies I had dealinga with, which has led to lots of bizarre phone calls and emails I struggle to have much sympathy for hackers as most of them are just crooks. Generally speaking the Russian ones are crooks as well as being cyber terrorists. I don’t always believe intelligence services or police but there is a fair amount of evidence the NHS hack was carried out from Russia and I am sure Putin is well aware of this stuff. Most hacking is attempted fraud to gain access to bank accounts of the elderly etc. Occasional info exposing dodgy government dealings does not make up for the wholsale fraud that arises often from hacked email accounts

          • scottish_skier says:

            Yes, Murray is supporting those committing crimes, namely hackers from Russia; a county which is waging war on a European neighbour.

            If someone steals something, I can’t claim innocence by handling the stolen goods, especially if I try to make money out of these by publishing on my blog while soliciting for donations for this.

            I note Murray will be getting and accepting donations from unionists / British nationalists and he knows it. What else would his anti-SNP stuff do but generate this. It’s the same for WoS; both are not targeting Scottish indy supporters, but tapping into a much larger British wallet pool.

            • James says:

              namely hackers from Russia

              Do you have evidence of this? As far as I know, the investigation has not been completed? Do you have a link to the investigation?

              I can’t claim innocence by handling the stolen goods, especially if I try to make money out of these by publishing them on my blog while soliciting donations for this.

              As discussed yesterday he is not in possession of any stolen goods. Nor has he published anything on his blog.

              Out of interest did you raise such concerns when the Panama Papers were released? That was no different, information was obtained illegally and then released into the public domain. If you did raise concerns then good for you, as you are not being hypocritical. Sadly, even a quick search of the internet shows that many people who are vocally saying that what Murray is doing is wrong had no such concerns regarding the Panama Papers, meaning that they are ok with illegal material being used as long as it does not affect the party that they support.

              • scottish_skier says:

                You seem in a bit of a flap about this.

                I understand the police visited him. I’m not surprised if they did. A breach of data protection laws is a serious business, and that’s before, it seems, we are dealing with stolen data that was hacked. Handling stolen goods of any form is very serious. Data is extremely valuable; it’s why hackers go after it.

                As for the origins of the emails, I am reporting what the current story is. So yes, I should have said ‘apparently originated’ from Russian hackers.

                What have the Panama papers got to do with anything? This is simple whataboutery, highlighting the flap you are in. I’d have to go look at what the story was here before I might pass comment, but I’m not that interested TBH. I’m commenting on this story because it’s being discussed here and is headline, Scottish politics related, news.

      • Maggie Barrie says:

        Could not agree more, Eilidh. You’ve articulated my sentiments exactly!

  6. Capella says:

    I’d like to know why Stewart McDonald was awarded the Star of Kiev in 2019 when Volodimir Zelensky was first elected president. I wonder if the emails will reveal all. Just curious.

  7. Golfnut says:

    Whatever Murray has or thinks he has will be spun into SNPbad and NS even badder. Culprits likely to be the Russians, passed to UK gov through some friends and then to murray.
    Anyway, Nicola isn’t going anywhere.


    • Capella says:

      Why on earth would “the Russians” be interested in Stewart McDonald’s emails? I think it much more likely to be our own spooks. Cui bono?

      • Golfnut says:

        Former SNP Defence Spokesperson

      • yesindyref2 says:

        It ended up at a blank page. Any state hacker would have had some sort of sensible landing page.

        I wonder if he’s “hacked” anyone off …

        • Golfnut says:

          Some serious questions, or as the European Court of Human Rights put it ‘ credible accusations ‘,are now being asked about Russian involvement in the brexit vote, the court has asked for a response from the UK gov by I think May 23, that Russia report may yet get an airing.
          That Russia is interfering in UK politics is undoubtedly true, whether it is with the backing of people within the UK gov or those seeking to influence the UK gov remains to be seen.

      • Anonymousey says:

        Russian support for Brexit was to harm the EU, not the UK. They are waging a proxy war with the EU right now in Ukraine.

        Scotland leaving the UK and rejoining the EU is the last thing they want. Hence their support of folk who do nothing but harm the movement like Salmond and Murry.

        Scottish independence would also put control of the key strategic GIUK gap with the EU, and would serve as a “don’t even think about it” warning to any other states thinking of leaving the EU.

        This would be the death-nail in their wider EU-breakup project.

  8. Dr Jim says:

    It really doesn’t matter who’s behind it, we know the intent of it

    Scotland and Britains most popular politician ever must be brought down by any means possible
    Their vile abuse and death threats can’t do it, this is just another pathetic attempt, and every time they do it a little bell rings and another person joins the SNP and her numbers go up again

    Laughing at her hasn’t worked, Ignoring her hasn’t worked, fighting with her hasn’t worked, she must be getting ready to win

    • Alex Clark says:

      That sounds about right, it must mean we’re getting close to the end game.

    • JP58 says:

      History will show that anyone who threatens the supremacy of British state will be attacked and vilified. Add in the fact that FM is a woman from a working class background who is not frightened to express her opinions and this also means she is fair game for both males of a certain age and many in the middle class. I have observed this from friends who consider themselves respectful but think nothing of being abusive about NS.Unlike many other women who receive similar abuse she receives little or no sympathy from progressives outside Scotland (read the columnists in Guardian and Independent who far from pointing out abuse jump in as well.)
      Personally I think that many middle class Scots also do not see SNP as a respectable (in some cases legitimate) political party which reminds me how many middle class protestant Scots voters considered the Labour Party in first half of last century.

  9. Alex Clark says:

  10. Ken says:

    The e-mails were from personal account? Not from sensitive protected Gov e-mail account. This from a former Defence (attack) spokesperson. Breaking the Gov code. Why they were so easily obtainable?

    Defence (attack) policy is reserved. With nuclear Trident dumped on Scotland. By a Westmibster Gov flight waste around the world. A waste of space and money. The Tories running out of time. Craig Murray and Julian Assange should never have been in prison for telling the truth. Regarding illegal surveillance and corruption wotldwide, UK/US illegal surveillance on their own citizens. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Making politicians and their £Billionaires in US Treatening Russian border and breaking International Agreement and Laws. Both US/UK administrations on the way out. Less than two years and running out of time. Illegal war. Everyone is sick of it. Make peace instead of breaking International Law and war. The war machine stoking up again, To line corrupt politicians pockets before they go again. They never get sick of making people sick and hungry worldwide. Killing and starving people. An absolute disgrace. If Trump was still there. None of this would be happening. Gie’s peace. For a change. The Russian and the Chinese have never started wars but have been invaded at great cost several times. Except the Tsar and Emperor starving and killing their own people. The divine right to rule, The Chinese and Russian administration have made their population more prosperous and well off. Reduced poverty. Reduced their population size quite dramatically. With differing results. Like most of the rest of the world an aging population. Contraception and the population going down. Expanding in the US, but still can be provided for. Worldwide absolute poverty reducing. Needs more equal distribution. GCHQ infiltrating e-nails on a massive scale. A complete and utter waste of time. With all the surveillance. Fraud committed by non Dom tax evading owners. People syrveilled 24/7 a day. Tracking mobile phones. Surveillance cameras tracking people from the sky and drones killing people with impunity. Where will it end? In comparison a few illicit e-makes will nit make much difference. A mountain out of a molehill. A storm in a tea cup. In the great reality not much difference.

  11. scottish_skier says:

    This is what happens when the media, politicians etc try to make out a particular group – in terms of a protected characteristic – pose a risk to the public.


    Merseyside refugee protest sees missiles hurled and police van damaged

    PROTESTERS who became violent outside a hotel housing asylum seekers in Merseyside have been condemned by police and MPs.

    In this case it’s ethnicity.

    You can bet your bottom $almnond that attacks on LGB, and particularly T people, are going to spike as a result of the recent media frenzy over GRR. They’ve already been rising sharply as the scare story intensity has picked up.

    Words have consequences.

  12. scottish_skier says:

    The difference between Murray and a real journalist, is that if a real journalist gets a hold of stolen / hacked material, they go to the editorial team with it. This team, with advice from lawyers, makes a very carefully considered judgement as to what, if anything, can be published in public interest. They may decide to publish nothing, and instead just hand documents to the police, which is normally what you do with stolen goods. In the case of emails that revealed potential criminal activity, this would definitely be the way forward.

    If the motive of publishing is simply for person / publication profits, then jail / fines will be the result.

    For MacDonald’s emails to be in the public interest, he and colleagues would have to have been up to something pretty damn serious. Something that warranted investigation by parliamentary authorities at least, if not the police. But then if that’s the case, the documents should be handed to the authorities, not published, as that might jeopardise any future case.

    • James says:

      100%, he broke the law and was punished. Equally, if he is found to of broken the law in the future he should be punished. However, he is entitled to blog about whatever he likes as long as this remains in the law. Like you have eluded to in the past if people don’t want to read what is being written (whether that is a post on the comments on this blog or a blog post on another site) then they can simply just ignore them. No one is going to be forced to read what he posts let alone pay for the privilege! If people want to donate money to him that is their choice just as it is if people donate to this site or SGP etc.

      As I said yesterday if there is nothing untoward in the emails there is nothing to worry about, Craig will look like a crackpot and that will be it and if there is something untoward then the public will know and be able to make their own opinions.

      The difference between Murray and a real journalist is that if a real journalist gets a hold of stolen/hacked material, they go to the editorial team with it. This team, with advice from lawyers, makes a very carefully considered judgment as to what, if anything, can be published in the public interest.

      From his posts, this is what is happening and what he has informed the police that is happening, so as you say he is following journalistic guidelines.

      But then if that’s the case, the documents should be handed to the authorities, not published, as that might jeopardize any future case.

      This would be very unusual, as mentioned yesterday there have been multiple cases of stolen/leaked material used in successful prosecutions. The aforementioned Panama Papers have resulted in numerous prosecutions along with corrupt politicians etc resigning for example.

      • scottish_skier says:

        You seem to have just really said what I said. 🙂

        I just remember last time him saying what he was doing was all above board, legal and in the public interest, when this clearly wasn’t the case. He was putting women in danger and potentially jeopardising a high profile case.

        So forgive me for being a bit suspicious of an ex-convict who made up stories of grand conspiracies against Salmond and lied about the FM breaching the ministerial code.

        I used to read his blog from time to time, then I worked out he was telling big fat porkies so stopped. It was the same with Wings. I guess both see more money in going after the SNP as this opens wallets UK-wide.

        There was no Salmond conspiracy (at least no evidence has ever been produced for one), no £600k went missing (unless the police later charge someone for fraud here), the FM didn’t break the ministerial code, not once, never mind seriously. All just made up.

        I’m not really interested in Stewart MacDonald’s personal emails either. It’s not as they’d influence how I vote. It’s not like he’s my MP or something. However, I think it’s morally wrong to handle people’s stolen personal stuff, never mind put it on display for personal gain, which seems to be Murray’s intent. It’s not a good look.

        TBH, that aside, it’s good news if we have more evidence the SNP isn’t a ‘sturgeon cult’. That just confirms further lies from people I’d already established were liars! Will increase public confidence in the party and make them trust the opposition less for telling them porkies. 😉

  13. bringiton says:

    I too have contempt for people who think it is a good idea to have their government elected by voters in another country.

  14. Hamish100 says:

    Why would “ the Russians” or some hacker provide Murray with any documents hacked or otherwise?

    Look for the motive behind this.

    Who would benefit?

    The right wing unionists in my opinion and/ or the British state.

  15. scottish_skier says:

    It must be remembered that ex-convict Murray was jailed as he presented a threat to public safety, particularly the female complainants in the Salmond case. Furthermore, actions that constitute contempt of court can also jeopardise trials, potentially leading to guilty people being set free to commit crimes.

    What Murray did was extremely serious and he deserved what he got. He pished fully into the wind, and not in the public interest at all, but his own.

    I really had no idea whether Salmond was guilty or not, and at no time tried to argue either way. Quite the opposite; I berated anyone seeming to imply he was guilty and not innocent until proven otherwise. The jury were the only people capable of making an informed decision in the case, and that was their task alone.

    Murray’s blog was appalling in this respect. It was not reporting at all. It was baseless fantasy conspiracy theory rubbish that could have tainted the jury. And for what? They jury found Salmond innocent. So Murray had his wife and child see him jailed for, presumably, some blog earnings. Now he’s up to the same it appears. Some people don’t learn from their stupidity.

    • scottish_skier says:

      On this topic, posting this has me reminiscing about how the Salmond trial was going to ‘tear the SNP apart, burying independence for decades’.

      Then there was that SNP MSP that beat his wife back in the 2011 term. That scandal – and the mythical cover up – was going destroy them at the ballot box.

      I’ve been through so many ‘end of the SNP’ stories I’ve lost count.

      Recently it’s been GGR, and since that’s now failing, it seems #emailgate has kicked off as British nationalists flail about trying to stop tartan tectonic plates moving with their bare hands.

      The Iapetus suture is slowly reopening, politically, and there’s nothing that can really be done to stop it.

  16. Capella says:

    Mike Russell makes a plea to move on to discussing the plebiscite referendum so that we don’t succumb to unionist attempts to “decapitate” the movement.

    Frenzied media attacks on Nicola Sturgeon went from policy to personal

    There will always be legitimate differing points of view about any policy and they are bound to be even more firmly held when the issue involves fundamental rights, protections and vulnerabilities. Passions can run high and things are sometimes said – on both sides, it has to be said – that would be better left unsaid.

    But what we are seeing now is not about the rights and wrongs of any individual policy. It is increasingly about venomous, personalised and at times ridiculous attacks on a decisive, principled and talented woman who has strong public opinions but who values and defends her private space. Someone who works tirelessly for her fellow citizens but who chooses to socialise and be strengthened from within a small trusted circle and who communicates with great skill but who is also understandably frustrated by deliberate hostility and misrepresentation – and is not afraid to show it.

    On a personal basis, I have always hated such unfairness and bullying but there is a political reason to call it out now too.


  17. Scottish Baker says:

    Good Morning all. I have said this before and I need to say it again. To use a Daily Depress Headline, used almost daily, I’m FURIOUS!!!! I’m furious that every time I open a browser there, in my face, is a picture of our FM being humiliated, accused, undermined and numerous other derogatory adjectives thrown at her. The Torygraph (a once quality paper – 50 years ago) a posh paper for those who can read words of more than on syllable, is almost as bad. It is clear to me that the gloves are off and the Dirty Tricks brigade are now attempting to bring down the FM.

    I have not been a great follower of the GRR debate other than to recognise that The Scottish Parliament voted to try to do the right thing. And, what a coincidence, a transgender male is arrested for abducting a young child. I absolutely am not trying to diminish the nightmare the young lassie endured but it does seem a bit too much of a coincidence – how much was he paid, asking for a friend?

    So, this is not an original thought but it occurs to me that our FM might appreciate an email from each and every one of the Dugs to offer her support. I plan to do so via our local SNP MSP so as not to clog up the FM’s inbox. Just an idea Dugs!

    • deelsdugs says:

      I was already thinking about an acknowledgement of support from those of us who have respect where respect is due for our FM.

    • scottish_skier says:

      The grotesque thing about the Borders story, which occurred 20 mins from me, is that some people seemed to think the gender identity of the person arrested is relevant to the story.

      That’s breaking the law. It’s like suggesting the colour skin of someone who robbed a shop at gunpoint is a factor in the crime. ‘Cos that’s what they do right?’..

      The same people used to do this with LGB folks. If a man who molested a child was gay, that was a really important thing for people to be told, cos, ‘you know…’. It’s Section 28 repeal all over again.

      It’s revolting and a symptom of right-wing brexit Britain where hatred and bigotry towards minorities, including Scots, is all fine.

      • scottish_skier says:

        To be sure… I wasn’t referring to you S B, but the British media and BTL commenters on related articles.

        And this is how you get trans people / those who might look like they are, abused and even assaulted in the street.

        It’s the British media / politicians that are responsible for the scenes just witnessed in Merseyside.

  18. Dr Jim says:

    There are various reasons why people vote for political parties, some vote for policies (they say) some vote from habit, some vote ideologically, some vote *against* certain political parties by deliberately voting for other parties they dislike less

    One thing is sure and certain in all voting choices, no matter what folk claim their reasons are ( however convoluted their explanations for doing so) there’s a consistency of evidence that proves the majority of people vote for the leaders of political parties and basically couldn’t give a monkey’s about most of the rest of the MPs or MSPs within that party otherwise the opposition to them wouldn’t focus on how incompetent or otherwise they claim them to be

    If leaders of parties weren’t so important to the parties themselves as the focus and pointy end of of their campaigns to win why does it take armies of advisors and strategists and allies within the parties to help organise them into that position

    It’s sales backed up by advertising and the perception of strength reliability and competence
    Appearance: A leader has to look right, not to young, not too old, not too good looking but not out of the norm odd or unpleasant, like a car or a washing machine or a table lamp the leader has to be of pleasant or striking appearance

    A female leader is always a risk because she’s stuck with the image problem that’s been ingrained in society forever, she can’t wear the time honoured blue suit and tie every day that no one cares about male leaders wearing and never comment about, thus she adds another layer level to criticize with the opposition, her voice can’t be too high, hair too stylishly complicated, too tall, too short, every single aspect of a female leader is up for attack, and attack they will and do, we’ve all seen it and heard it

    Thus Scotland’s FM has been the most successful female leader in the British isles ever because she knew it coming into the job, she used it, manipulated those who attacked her by presenting them with hurdles to fall over and they duly obliged by falling over on a regular basis (remember the shoes?) that was how she got them started on what they thought was a winner, but the public saw bullying, as the FM knew they would and they voted for her in even bigger numbers

    Nicola Sturgeon plays the opposition like a two bob flute and a decade later some of them still haven’t worked it out

    Scottish people in general don’t like bullies, Nicola Sturgeon just cleared the windscreen and pointed them out, the problem the opposition have with Nicola Sturgeon is they don’t and can’t compete with her on a level playing field of just the argument, they’re incapable

    That’s why Nicola Sturgeon is still there and will remain there until she’s done what she’s there for, and the opposition can do nothing about it because all they have is bullying, and that strategy and tactic lost on day one, and is still losing

    Like the man noted about the female Velociraptor before it ate him, “clever girl”

  19. Bob Lamont says:

    Aye, well summarised Paul, I tend to think of it as the “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948) reprise approach, “I don’t have to show you any stinking badges!”
    The reasons for this are plain – Just as the Tories never forgave Attlee for thousands of battle trained soldiers returning from war to a “land fit for heroes” being taken for anything more than a slogan, the “equal and valued partners in a Union” was equally just a slogan which should not be taken seriously, whereas “once in a generation” should.

    Danny Dorling said it best, end of Empire…

  20. alastair says:

    35 – 7

  21. Welsh_Siôn says:

    The Murrayfield Massacre.

    Any chance of *some* commiserations?

    • scottish_skier says:

      Pants, I was too busy fitting a new dishwasher and forgot about this.

      Sorry, but we beat England too. That must help a little?

    • Dr Jim says:

      The Wales loss upset the English commentators much more than the Scots win showing they hate us more than they hate you……….at the moment

      So silver linings

      • archiemaclean201 says:

        I thought the North colony played better than the West colony and so deserved to win. The West colony are building a new team so they will be back!

    • Capella says:

      As long as you beat England WS – that’s the main thing 🙂
      (Somebody has to win after all)

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        As long as you continue to let me post here – I know I’m amongst friends. (Hamish100 even considered me part of the family in a previous post – and so long as he didn’t mean the Corleones, I’m happy with that.)

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I think it was Wales not wanting to deprive Scotland of the Doddie Weir cup in this special year. Thanks 🙂

  22. davetewart says:

    It’s only a game but it needs two teams to play.

  23. scottish_skier says:

    If you are British, I suggest you check under the bed / in the wardrobe for fake trans people before going to sleep tonight. You can’t be too careful!


    Fake trans applicants ‘could trick universities’

    They’re everywhere now. Truly terrifying.

    • jfngw says:

      My grandson has some transformers, I’m keeping my eye on them, just in case they are not robots in disguise.

      • scottish_skier says:

        “We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”

        Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
        Charles Mackay, 1852


        ‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’…

  24. Dr Jim says:

    The Times, a creative weather vane for the discerning English voter? or just another Sun magazine?
    And they have the cheek to use the phrase “ethically dubious” about somebody else

  25. Dr Jim says:

    Football supporters at the Celtic St Mirren game today displayed banners in colourful language describing their dislike of Tory sponger DRoss as he officiated at the match, then sang him a cheery wee song about anal insertion

  26. davetewart says:

    The new minister Fraser, says thousands of prison mobile phones have gone missing.
    Will dross be complaining and will he demand the Russian report be published along with the Isla report.

  27. Alex Clark says:

    End of the road for Richard Sharp the Chairman of the BBC?

    BBC boss in ‘Cash for Boris’ row guilty of hiding his role, says inquiry

    The reputation of the chair of the BBC was severely damaged last night after a damning report by MPs on his role in the “cash for Boris” row.

    Richard Sharp’s hopes of surviving the scandal appeared doomed after a Commons committee branded him guilty of “significant errors of judgement” by failing to declare his role in facilitating an £800,000 loan for Boris Johnson. The report stopped short of asking him to resign.

    But its humiliating verdict that he should “consider the impact of his omissions” on trust in the BBC, and his own appointment, is likely to make it impossible for him to continue, effectively finding the BBC chair guilty of serious misjudgement.

    MPs said the actions of Mr Sharp, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker and significant Conservative Party donor, constituted “a breach of the standards expected of individuals” applying for prominent public appointments.

    The MPs added that Mr Johnson, the then-prime minister, was “fully aware” of a potential conflict after his government backed the man who helped arrange his loan as the chair of the BBC.


    That’s another nail hammered into the untrustworthy BBC’s coffin.

    • Capella says:

      Good – he’ll have to go. But there seems to be an endless stream of bankers ready to head up the BBC. Must keep the “narrative” on track.

    • Azel says:

      Interestingly enough, you find journalists such as the Guardian’s Jenkins opining that Sharp must stay*. Everything for the old boys network to keep going I guess.

      *: Funnily, the Guardian’s staff didn’t let comments open. I guess even they know it would end up with most of their readership telling Jenkins to take a long walk off a short pier.

  28. yesindyref2 says:

    Righty, time to leave the porridge time to soak overnight.


    I’m with the noisy and never boring Angus MacNeil on this one, and if I was a member of the SNP would be campaigning and voting for his amendment – to do two simple majority votes in Holyrood and have an extraordinary general election in Holyrood this October. No need for silly resigning, just get that election on one single manifesto issue:

    “Should Scotland be an Independent Country?”

    Will SNP members grasp the thistle and go for Indy with no hesitation, or will this amendment be kicked into the long grass for another 316 years?

    • Capella says:

      I hope your porridge turned out OK YIR2. I like the idea of n election on 19th October as promised.

    • Eilidh says:

      Snp don’t have a majority of Msps in Scottish Parliament to trigger an unusual election what if Greens don’t go for the latest spiffing wheez from Angus. The Greens have their own agenda that is obvious. I am dubious Unionist Msps would vote for it

      • Dr Jim says:

        Nobody is seriously talking about this, all of these *suggestions* that keep emerging from the odd MP or MSP are exercises in keeping the independence conversation in the news and front and centre, and it’s working

  29. Ken says:

    The Tories are away hiding. Gathering up the ill gained loot. They do not have the courage to take responsibility for the mess and shambles playing out. Aware they wil, be voted out.

    Secret meeting to decide how to get out of the Brexit damage to th3 economy, Having conciliatory meeting with the so called opposition. So they can blame everyone else when the Ballot Box reckoning comes. Theybwill be booted out, Especially in Scotland. Their ultimate fate. They cannot hide from it, Hide from the Scottish Parliament. They cannot hide from the Ballot Box. Verdict guilty. Corruption and scandal of low life’s at Westminster. Killing people.

  30. Ken says:

    Tran people have fiends and family who vote.m. Storm in a teacup. Much ado about nothing. Mountain out of a molehill. Affects hardly any people that can be facilitated.

    Turning into a MacCarthy witch-hunt. Reds under the bed. 1950s.

    Women are abused in their own homes by someone they know. Unless it is a police person on a power trip. Women, who cohabit, the majority, do not have equal rights. They have to put in a claim within a year. They do not automatically get half. (1/3). They do not get legal aid. Legal costs £450 an hour. It can take years and cost £thousands. The Kaw is slow. Even worse now. Letting agencdemabd 6 months up front rent and deposit. Women have to stay in unsafe abusive places. They gave no where to go. The Kaw was changed inEngland recently. Abused women get legal aid so they do not lose the roof over their heads,

  31. Alex Clark says:

    A bit of an odd report in the Times on a Scottish poll of 1415 people carried out in the past week. They headline with 43% of those polled want Nicola Sturgeon to resign now and reveal later that 45% want her to stay “at least until the next Holyrood election”, the rest have no opinion.

    The second big reveal is that Kate Forbes is favourite to succeed her with 7% choosing her as the best replacement. Then there is the inevitable transgender question that is oddly framed around the Scottish Government’s plans to change the law on GRA being a “safety risk in women-only spaces, such as prisons, hospital wards and changing rooms.”

    The bit I thought odd though was when it comes to the Independence question this is all they have to say.

    A separate YouGov poll in this newspaper last week found that support for the SNP, for Sturgeon and for Scottish independence had fallen sharply.

    Nothing in the poll this week then about Independence?


    • scottish_skier says:

      Suggests a net positive satisfaction rating, with another 12% happy enough to not bother giving an opinion either way.

      And yes, the question is designed to be used to imply most want her to step down, which is not what the answer says. Most could want here to remain as FM for multiple parliaments to come. They’d be in the 45% quoted.

      This GGR trans kitchen sink will just be another failed British nationalist assault. One of their more desperate ones given how close we are to the end. It’s not even supported by Scottish unionists; they voted for the bill!

    • Capella says:

      I hope NS sorts out this current impasse pdq. A good majority of SNP members and YES supporters want her to stay. But it’s the undecided that need to be persuaded.
      Maybe SGP will have a look at the tables and return to analysing polling now. 🙂

    • scottish_skier says:

      I note, in my comments on the previous Yougov, there was no evidence either Yes or SNP support had fallen sharply as changes were within MoE. As Survation and Findoutnow has not found any changes over the same period, that backed up Yougov’s ‘changes’ just being random variance.

      Look at the variance here:

      • scottish_skier says:

        Now imagine Scotland where we have a fraction of the number of polls and these are completely random, so three 47%’s in a row is totally normal even if the actual value is 50%. A 45% could occur too, and has at least a 5% chance of doing so each time; 5/95 polls being outside the +/-3% confidence interval.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Look at the Tories. 12%+ variance from poll to poll.

        That’s the 6% (+/-3) variance of individual polls, plus their outliers which go beyond that, added to methodological differences which means different pollsters will get different average values (if they ran 100x). Some more Tory, some more Labour.

        It’s why to treat averages in Scotland with extreme caution. We are lucky if we have 30 polls in a year. We get about 10% of what England does. It’s not because we are a smaller population that this is ok; the variance on a 1k sample is the same for both electorate sizes.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I’d not pass much relevance on what the Times print lately, there is a concerted propaganda campaign ongoing to paint the FM as a liability to the independence cause, the good ole pitchforks and torches game.

      With their GRR campaign failing to move public opinion against it (most didn’t give a toss before Alister Jack’s flounce) despite HMS James Cook promoting it for weeks and still lingering, HMG are desperate for something to work, anything.

      • Alex Clark says:

        The point I was trying to make is that why conduct a full scale Scottish poll of over 1400 people and NOT ask directly the Independence question?

        I’m assuming the question was asked so why are results from a poll last week (which put No in the lead) being promoted again this week rather than giving the result of this latest poll?

        I suppose it’s possible that they are saving the result for next week’s Sunday Times, it’s possible that they didn’t ask the question at all and it’s also possible that they didn’t like the answer they got after hollering how the Independence bubble was burst last week.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          I understood your focus, my conclusion was “they didn’t like the answer”, particularly given your ultimate point…
          As your follow on post on polling highlighted, the dirty tricks department are working overtime to rescue HMG from humiliation…

    • Eilidh says:

      Just curious are these polls done in person or by postal questionnaire otherwise how is it established the people polled actually live in Scotland. I don’t know of anyone friend or family who has ever been asked to take part on political polling. Am I unusual in that respect

  32. Capella says:

    Cambridge academics say we do have people power after all.

    Scotland has right to hold indyref2 without Westminster, experts argue

    The researchers argued that different pathways do open up if an “increasingly popular idea” is considered, which the Supreme Court did not take into account – that the Scottish people possess “the power to create their own constitutional order”.

    Fasel, who is an affiliated lecturer at Cambridge University’s law faculty, said: “Constituent power is a concept that was more or less used for the first time at the time of the French Revolution when political thinkers were trying to make sense of the changes that were happening with this revolution taking place.

    “They were trying to find ways of explaining how really 98% of the French people could create their own constitution.

    “Breakaway is perhaps not the right word here – because they were still operating within France – but they changed the constitution from an absolute monarchy to what turned out to be something closer to a sort of constitutional monarchy in the end.

    “The main point is that it was a concept that was developed to make sense of these changes – where it was now possible to say, ‘Look, the people want to give themselves the new constitution, and they can do so because they are the ultimate source of authority’.”


  33. Alex Clark says:

    Here’s how you can get the result you want in a poll, you simply frame the question to get the answer you’re looking for,

  34. Dr Jim says:

    I’ve been taking the temperature of my grandchildren regarding their thoughts on independence, I should say the old enough ones are already SNP members and now old enough to vote at the next opportunity to do so
    According to them there’s not a lot of conversation about independence within their friendship groups in school or Uni because most of them have already made their minds up on it without being the least bit concerned over policies or strategies or anything else, they just don’t want to be tied to Westminster any longer, they want to be a part of the decision making

    Our young people seem now wired into waiting for the event and are ready to vote YES in overwhelming numbers, the only opposition being some who are the mad football lot and a handful of Labour, and those are apparently diminishing in that age group as they sensibly see that the sectarian racist argument doesn’t apply in a modern diverse Scotland

    One thing that did come across interestingly is the only person their focus is on is Nicola Sturgeon, they like her and feel that she’s doing all the right things, also in this young group they see the gender kerfuffle by the opposition as nonsense politicking on an issue that just isn’t an issue for them

    In terms of other parties only the Greens enter the equation for them, they don’t care about anyone else

    If and when Scotland gets the opportunity there’s one thing certain, our youngsters want independence and they’re going to vote for it, it’s the traditional oldies that are still holding Scotland back

    Apparently us oldies who want independence are considered pretty cool and not entirely decrepit and brain dead, I’ll take that

  35. Alex Clark says:

    Alister Jack is sticking his nose into Scottish government affairs again. This time he’s calling for a delay to the deposit return recycling scheme. He’s reported as telling the Mail on Sunday “It’s not too late to think again and so I am calling on the Scottish Government to pause its scheme.”

    This is coming after the Tories have decided to pause their own similar scheme until October 2025 so now he is saying Scotland must do the same. Vague threats as well.

    His intervention will fuel speculation that the government may act to stop the scheme from launched as scheduled in August following its decision to veto the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.

    It may even lead to further intervention to stop the Scottish Government introducing curbs on the promotion of alcohol.

    I couldn’t see the article on the online version of the Mail and assume it is in today’s print edition only, I read the above here.


    • Capella says:

      This issue came up on Radio Scotland just after 10 am. I didn’t listen myself but am reliably informed that no Scottish minister was able to respond. Fergus Ewing, big business champion, was very critical and demanded it be delayed for 18 months as per a government report. Pity that Lorna Slater was unavailable.
      So yes – it is a likely candidate for another s35 order though the SG might well delay it themsleves.

      • davetewart says:

        Front page of the Scottish mail on Sunday, plus an extension inside.
        Not a peep on the englander version.
        Strange that it was front page headlines when inside is the big report about the tanks for Ukraine being a Third of the UK’s tank foce and the 6 field guns that have been supplied withou Ammunition as we are very short of same.

        I don’t buy either versions but saw the papers.

        More interesting is the torygraph’s take on the sunak proposals to have better trade with the EU.
        Their take is that he’s going to neuter the ERG with english labour votes.

        Could they be gaming the SNPs position on rejoining the EU by defaulting to make brexit work?

        • Capella says:

          I believe they will move to a single market agreement with the EU. Shooting down both Labour and SNP flagships must be more tempting than keeping JRM on board. Besides – BREXIT doesn’t work as everyone can see.

          • scottish_skier says:

            Re-entry to the single market would be a gift for Yes, making independence so much easier, while eliminating the ‘border posts at Gretna / breaking away from your biggest market’ arguments overnight.

            However, the EU won’t reopen negotiations until such time as they think any single market re-entry, with associated full free movement of EEA citizens, will not be just overturned again by an incoming UK government. I listed to an interesting interview on the radio the other week about this with some EU diplomats in response to the recent ‘re-join’ talk in the UK. They just don’t see the UK as stable, and won’t go through a massive renegotiation process until that single market is the settled will of the people and the main parties.

            • davetewart says:

              Torygraph saying that use of Euro would be a condition, BUTT they cite the position of just declaring some time in the future when conditions allow
              Where have we heard that dissed?

        • Legerwood says:

          You might like to watch this from Ch4 news last week. A retired Army officer being blunt about UK’s state of readiness re the Armed Forces and equipment or lack thereof

  36. bringiton says:

    Interesting that a “secret” meeting a few days ago between England’s two political parties to decide what went wrong with Brexit excluded the SNP.
    As usual Scotland has no say in what happens within the UK state.

  37. yesindyref2 says:

    I wonder how many people listen to the garbage studio waffle before the rugby kickoff?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, some clever moves from England, and Italy are no pushover these days. Glad we already beat England.

      But some stupid commentator doing his biassed best to spoil an interesting match by totally ignoring a clear blatant push by an England guy on an Italian, and claiming it was a try whereas the referee looked it over and correctly said no try as it was obstruction. A bit of bias in commentary is one thing, a blatant stupid bit of dishonesty is another. Or he should have gone to specsavers.

  38. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Some number crunching from Cymru for S_S et al. (Source: YouGov)

    Westminster voting intention:

    Conservative – 20% (+2)
    Labour – 49% (-2)
    Lib Dem – 5% (+1)
    Plaid Cymru – 14% (+1)
    Reform UK – 9% (+1)
    Green – 3% (-1)
    Other – 1% (-1)

    Senedd voting intention:

    Conservative – 18% (+1)
    Labour – 43% (-1)
    Lib Dem – 4% (-2)
    Plaid Cymru – 20% (no change)
    Reform UK – 9% (+2)
    Green – 4% (+1)
    Other – 1% (-1)

  39. Maggie Barrie says:

    Paul, how I wish your blogs could be read by the wider public … outwith the the Indy movement.
    This article alone would surely hit home with many individuals, to awaken them to today’s realities. Thank you again. The truth writ large.

  40. Capella says:

  41. scottish_skier says:

    The thing about Sturgeon is, that even if I knew very little about her / her performance, I’d still back her for FM.


    Because all unpleasant people completely despise her. Go on and on relentlessly about her. Spend years writing comments and blogs in a forlorn effort to harm her. Ergo, she must be a good person and good FM for Scotland.

    For example, if James Naughtie wants her to retire, it must be important to the indy cause that she stays. It’s simple logic.

    • Sandy-gay-Ecossais.. says:

      Nicola was first on Putins list to block even before the English-Gov as they knew they could never Bribe her or Scotland and very powerful well liked everywhere when she speaks on Scotlands behalf..

      • Capella says:

        Not so – Nicola Sturgeon was in a list of 13 UK politicians barred from entering Russia in April 2022.

        First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among 13 senior British politicians who have been banned from Russia, the country’s foreign ministry announced on Saturday.

        Those barred from entering Russia also include Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Chancellor Rushi Sunak and former prime minister Theresa May.

        The other politicians banned are Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, defence minister James Heappey and Suella Braverman, Attorney General for England and Wales.


        • Sandy-gay-Ecossais.. says:

          YES so – she was talked about long before that list was published check again of course if you are not biased that is you will find it?

          • Capella says:

            It’s true that she called for a no fly zone over Ukraine in March but that is seen as a naive suggestion risking direct war with Russia, a nuclear state.
            Life is hard enough without going to war with Russia. We wouldn’t do well.


            • Golfnut says:

              NS also called for international assistance in arming small states against aggression from larger neighbours, that aside NS was the only politician on that list you could confidently say wasn’t in the pocket of Russian oligarths.

              • Sandy-gay-Ecossais.. says:

                Precisely what I thought when I read that list GN…I don’t follow any UK EBC news I follow all the European Sites that Putin threw out instead…there you will find Scotland mentioned as a normal independent country frequently…TVP world…France 24…Radio Free Europe…DW English…Al Jazeera…CAPELLA! Showing an archive is the easy way out…we are here to promote Scotland positively and every word we use should be carefully thought about.!

                • Capella says:

                  You asked me to ” check again of course if you are not biased “.
                  I agree words are important and they must be factually correct if we don’t want to mislead readers.

                  I’m not aware that NS called for arming small countries but if she did that is a serious change in defence policy which has not been agreed at conference AFAIK. Many of us do not agree we should be in NATO far less escalate arms proliferation. Many of us prefer diplomacy and observation of treaties and international law to resolve disputes.

                  Removal of Trident is still policy I hope.

                  • Sandy-gay-Ecossais.. says:

                    I did not mislead anyone the fact is they were taking about Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland and Putin in March 2022 on those European Sites and I don’t lie about anything its in my Scottish DNA! I met Nicola in Govan in Glasgow on a Saturday morning in an empty hall waiting on people talking to her she was unelected! We talked about lots of things she was glad to see me and I asked to become a member of the SNP and a form was sent to me.

                  • Golfnut says:

                    I’m not aware that it’s against party policy, since party policy is joining Nato, NATO policy is to provide assistance by brokering the provision of arms to those threatened rather than other states becoming involved in the actual fighting, this strategy is aimed directly at preventing the kind of escalation seen at the start of WW1 and 11.

          • scottish_skier says:

            The fact that she’s on Putin’s radar at all shows how impressive a first Minister she is.

            She’s not even head of an independent country, but of a devolved parliament with no tangible economic nor military influence on the world.

  42. yesindyref2 says:

    BBC presenter (James Naughtie) faces criticism after commenting on Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance

    I’m guessing he never looks in the mirror.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Don’t be Naughtie…

    • scottish_skier says:

      Seems Sturgeon refusing to step down and still getting positive ratings is starting to take it’s toll on folk like Naughtie. You can hear it in the desperate tone of their voices.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      More redundancies at the BBC must be weighing heavily on James Naughtie’s mind or perhaps he’s been done for drink driving again.

      Now if he only had a spare £400,000 to donate to the Conservative Party..

  43. scottish_skier says:

    As I figured. Cannae help themselves. Blocked iref2 bill. Then GRR bill. Next up, bottle return bill to be blocked. Like a spoilt child with a new toy.

    All going to plan for Yes.

  44. Dr Jim says:

    Everybody constantly made comment on Boris Johnsons disheveled clothing, scruffy hair and appearance, his physical condition, some even made the suggestion that he presented himself deliberately in this fashion to attract attention to himself
    but none ever suggested it was a reason to retire

    Nicola Sturgeon attracts all the attention, consequently she attracts all the commentary both good and bad, and as the public face of Scotland and a woman even in todays society a few hairs not perfectly brushed because the wind blew, dark eyes from lack of rest, a mascara smudge, a costume decided less glamorous than the previous day (because she doesn’t have that one male blue suit and tie men wear every day without notice or comment) the enemy is in with the cheap psychological mind tricks playing on the public

    If you say crap enough times it becomes true, now click your heels three times and spew out the hate, “she looks tired she should retire”, and repeat 100 times

    Straight out of the Daily Express Daily Mail Stuart Campbell Tory Labour handbook,
    oh and the others, y’know the pretendy independence party lot that fill up the National newspapers readers comments, because they’ve got some spritely totally out of shape sleepy old guy nobody’ll vote for ready to rule the world

    Aye right! I know exactly what Nicola Sturgeon is tired of, and it’s not her job

  45. James Mills says:

    ” I’m a proud Scot but …I think Nicola Sturgeon looks tired and should consider resigning .”
    ”I’m a proud Scot but …Sturgeon should not have picked a fight with Westminster over Gender as she is a woman .”
    ”I’m a proud Scot but … that Sturgeon woman is no feminist .”
    ‘I’m a proud Scot but … that Nikla woman is always picking fights with Westminster .”
    ”I’m a proud Scot but… Sturgeon has done nothing to get us independence .”
    ”I’m a proud Scot but … why is that woman from the SNP always talking about independence ? ”
    ”I’m a proud Scot but … why don’t we get shot of that FM that no one votes for and doesn’t represent the people of Scotland ? ”
    ”I’m a proud Scot but … why can’t that nice Mr DRoss be FM ? ”

  46. Golfnut says:

    Times article on carving up Scotland’s oil and gas assets by the Civil service,

    Dont forget the article I posted a couple of weeks back on the 1934 Hydocarbon and mineral Act lumping Scotland’s assets unlawfully under the Enlish crown.

  47. scottish_skier says:

    As commented on the National, most of the new Ashcroft Poll is utter mince. Comically leading questions on an election as a defacto iref and the usual guff on GGR aimed at forming opinions on the spot rather than assessing these.

    What we can take from it, is that Yes parties have about half the vote for Westminster, Scots believe they’ll vote for independence within 5 years, and Sturgeon is the most popular politician of all in Scotland.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Part of the reinvigorated propaganda drive by the Tories against SNP, SG and Scots I’ve no doubt…

      • scottish_skier says:

        I do feel they are going all out right now. BBC etc have been way overplaying their hand on ‘attack of the fake student trans rapists’ stuff.

        Odd, as blocking iref2 was supposed to have killed indy ‘stone dead’.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          My hunch is the 60% in England supporting Scotland holding IR2 is giving both Labour and the Tories the willies.

          The wheels are coming off the Tory etc gaslighting bus, hence the desperation to engineer some form of negativity toward SG, but from what I’ve read on English forums, Alister Jack’s flounce GRR etc has not gone down at all well despite heavy MSM promotion….

    • scottish_skier says:

      Oh and Alex Salmond is ever so slightly more popular than Alba, both of which are less popular than Boris Johnson.

  48. Dr Jim says:

    A new Lord Ashcroft poll reveals that the questions were so convoluted the results could in no way be relied upon to be accurate to any degree whatsoever
    This was not a poll this was a self indulgent and deliberate act of confusion to the enemy by a multi millionaire Tory who owns the Holyrood magazine (how the hell did that happen?)

    This *poll* has been printed in the National newspaper which claims to support Scottish independence while simultaneously presenting this absolute dross pile of mince that claims Scottish people mibbeees dae want something and mibbees don’t but mibbeees wait a wee whiley tae see whit Gordon Brown or somebody else says about it all mibbees

    I’m no polling expert but I understand how they work to glean or not to glean accurate information, and this was a deliberate *not to glean information poll* what it is must be close to verging on criminal deception or fraud

    • scottish_skier says:

      If the national keeps publishing such guff as credible polling rather than having it properly critiqued, I’m going to have to consider my subscription. If want to read rubbish about polls from a southern English perspective, I can do that for free on e.g. WoS.

      • Dr Jim says:

        I considered my position on the National quite some time ago, I understand it’s a newspaper and must print certain things it may or may not support in order to preserve some semblance of balance, but recently there have been certain consistencies of imbalance and a shifting of journalists from National to Herald and back with the odd one turning up at Holyrood appearing not to support independence because they’re now working for the Herald when they previously had defended independence, plus the whole non principled position of employing a person like Kevin McKenna, a known second rate scribbler of *what do you want me to write and how much will you pay me to write it* all decided me to have no faith in the honesty of people who employ the dishonest faithless

        So the National and by default the Herald gets no cash from me

        • James Mills says:

          Dr Jim , I note that all the other newspapers have a similar problem of ”balance ”- NOT !
          The National is supposedly an Independence supporting paper BUT … it reminds me more of the ”Proud Scot but … ” affliction that Unionist Scots have developed .

  49. Hamish100 says:

    Agree SSkier.

    The Unionist disinformation unit throw different size pebbles in the water to create confusion and disruption. The news media repeat and exaggerate likewise with a compliant bbc stv sky etc.
    The Nationals editorial slant and willingness to use fill in journalists it appears from what I can see are not from these parts is worrying.

  50. Hamish100 says:

    Maybe the plan all along is to have the semblance of an independence supporting newspaper then to pull the plug on it leaving Scotland with no alternative view other than shades of Brit nationalism.

    Democracy only Putin would smirk at.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      That doesn’t sound like much of a plan unless you’re in Moscow or Londongrad.
      The National was to be the outlier, the Indy supporting paper, and whereas I do still believe the ethos of most journalists and staff are 100% pro Indy, they have to make a living – Without the Herald-National relationship I doubt the Herald would survive.

      The problem with the National (aside McKenna’s farts of fancy) is the number of (I have to believe) unforced clangers they’ve accomplished by frankly lazy journalism in order to copy/paste/fill column inches – As SS observed upthread, the Ashton poll could have been shredded to ribbons inside of 5 minutes.

      Just as the Herald will die, so will the National unless it grows a pair.

      • Nuggets O'Pish says:

        Also the ‘independence supporting’ Sunday Herald. One outrageous picture on the front page and the paper was gone in two weeks. What on earth did they expect. It was a photo of the Glasgow march (2018 I think), that appeared to show equal amounts of unionist and independence supporters. I was there. I saw the unionist support. Rough guess 25 people. Est. 80,000 people on the march, and most of them would have been Sunday Herald buyers.

  51. scottish_skier says:

    It’s always worth a reminder that Y/N polls don’t tell you current support for independence. If you wanted to assess that, you’d ask something like:

    Do you support or oppose Scotland becoming an independent country?
    – Support
    – Oppose

    Yes / No polls are based on a hypothetical snap referendum held tomorrow / now, which is what is asked about. It’s based on the format of VI polling for elections, although arguably it’s not appropriate.

    So you will only get people prepared to vote Yes without any plan on anything, including currency, EU, pensions, saying Yes to this every time. On top of that you will have, at times others saying Yes depending on what’s happening politically / economically as people attempt to say e.g. ‘I’m saying I won’t vote Yes tomorrow as I think we should wait a bit even though I do support independence’ etc but are unable to articulate that. So Y/N should give you die hard baseline +/- those on top who have qualifications around timing, are wavering depending on events etc.

    Average baseline, after 12 years, is now ~50%, hence the sheer desperate panic.

  52. Bob Lamont says:

    On the subject of disrespect….

    • Isn’t Dross a married man with two small children?
      It’s not as if he needs the SFA money, according to his tax retruns. His wife is a sergeant in the polis.
      Whit wae scuttling back and furrit between Edinburgh and London every week, all expenses paid, when does he find time for his young family if he scurries off to Glasgow of a Saturday evening.
      Surely he should resign from his SFA role and spend more time with his money…sorry..family?

      Mummy, who’s that strange man?

      • James Mills says:

        That’s why he includes them in his Party Political broadcasts – so they will have a video to look at to remind them who the C*NT is in the shorts waving the flag !

  53. Skintybroko says:

    Another Douglas has started his campaign with a bit of misdirection , apparently he is standing for Scottish Labour in a Westminster election – unless I am mistaken there is only the Labour Party

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Alexander’s Raj-time Band is re-forming ?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Aye, wee Doogie Alexander didnae get a Lordhood or a knightsbridge address, he just scarpered wae his ill gotten gains as fast as his wee legs wid carry him once he was humiliated at the ballot box

      He’s standing in Kenny McAskill’s seat against the hope that between the SNP and an Alba vote split Labour can slip in, I can tell him now it’s never going to happen because the folk in that seat were so angry with McAskill they can’t wait to vote SNP to get back what was stolen from them (their votes) and they certainly won’t be handing them over to any wee former scourge of Scotland Doogie Alexander any time ever

      Still it’ll be a laugh watching the wee opportunist lose again

  54. Bob Lamont says:

    Just to throw a spanner in the UK works how about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia-Asia_Power_Link ?
    Now just think about that 2,800 mile 3Gw interlink from Oz to Singapore, whereas Scotland’s massive power potential is curtailed to suit the capacity of the “National Grid” and interlinks via Singapore on the Thames….
    Crazy Poms ?

  55. scottish_skier says:

    Ok, unless someone is bumping off all the young folks in their hundreds of thousands, I’m going to just be a we bitty suspicious of Ashcroft polls….

    Not exactly following the herd.

  56. yesindyref2 says:

    From the National:

    SNP reject report 30,000 have quit party over Nicola Sturgeon gender reforms

    What a load of nonsense, of course it’s true every time we read something like this.

    I’ve been keeping a running tally of it, and according to my calculations the SNP now have (minus) -264,312 members, with around 88 members leaving 10,000 times each! Jings they were busy bees.

    I believe every word of it.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Seems we are approaching a crescendo of desperation.

      Ties in with the long term polling trends which show the union on it’s last legs. Even Ashcroft couldn’t fudge it enough to stop Scots saying they overwhelmingly expect (54% to 46%) to vote Yes in the next few years.

      The talk of cross party meetings to try and agree what to do about the total mess that is Brexit agrees with this. They are trying to find a way to save the UK and incorrectly figure a route back into the single market is how to do that. Meantime, EU countries are telling the UK ‘There’s no way back unless all the main parties agree that’s what they’ll make policy and the public clearly back it!’.

      What we are getting is increasingly desperate delaying tactics as they attempt to buy time.

      • Michael says:

        “They are trying to find a way to save the UK and incorrectly figure a route back into the single market is how to do that.”

        Exactly! They’re working together to prevent the ‘golden-egg-laying-goose’ from escaping. But, single market requires free movement of labour, so they’re snookered.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Whilst I agree on the desperation to knock IR2 off track, you’re rather missing the point on Brexit as referred to earlier.
        Reversing Brexit and Scotland holding IR2 are enjoying 60% support in England and rising – Tories and Labour have not been fighting to save the UK but their own hegemony, and they are losing electoral credibility rapidly whoever wins.
        Giving way to Scotland gracefully may take some of the steam out of electoral fury in England in the short term as Brexit remedy would take too long.
        Hell mend them….

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      In the words of the song, us SNP Members are,

      “Yma o Hyd”

      (i.e. ‘Still here’ – for those who have been living under a rock for the last few months.)

  57. scottish_skier says:


    BoE official says Brexit productivity penalty is £1,000 per household

    Back in the UK, a Bank of England policy maker has warned that a wave of business investment was “stopped in its tracks” by the Brexit vote nearly seven years ago.

    Jonathan Haskel, an external member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, said an interview with The Overshoot that business investment had “basically flattened out” after the 2016 referendum.

    That drop in business investment growth, the Bank has calculated, has created a productivity penalty of about 1.3% of GDP.

    This is based on what would have happened if investment carried on growing at the pre-referendum rate.

    Haskel explained to the Overshoot:

    That 1.3% of GDP is about £29 billion, or roughly £1000 per household.

    At the end of the forecast period, the penalty goes up to something like 2.8% of GDP, which is very close to the 3.2% number we found using the totally different reduced form methodology based on goods trade volumes.

    This is a timely point, after The Observer reported that a cross-party summit bringing together leading leavers and remainers has been held, to try to address and remedy the failings of Brexit.

    But look over there, a fake transgender squirrel with a returnable bottle!

    Ashcroft – time for an intervention with one of your polls old boy!

  58. Dr Jim says:

    Some of the people are stupid some of the time, some of people are stupid all of the time, but when all of the people catch the English government lying all of the time, all of the Scottish people will vote for independence for all time

    And the English government will lie to the English people about that too

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