The end of an era

The only story in town in Scottish politics is the sudden resignation of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister. It’s bloody typical that this happens when I am trying to enjoy a few days rest. The haters have finally got what they wanted, but even for those who dislike her there can be no doubt that Nicola Sturgeon has been a towering figure in Scottish politics, and even after more than eight years as First Minister she still enjoys approval ratings that her opponents can only dream of, leaving Anas Sarwar, Douglas Ross and Alex Salmond trailing a long long way behind her. There had been some rumours in the past few days that she was about to resign, but the announcement when it came was a shock to most. It is very much the end of an era in Scottish politics.

At a press conference to announce her resignation, the woman we must now call the out-going First Minister categorically denied that her decision had anything to do with recent controversies such as the heated and often bad tempered debate about Gender Recognition certificates and refused to be drawn on questions about whether it had anything to do with the ongoing police investigation into the party’s finances. She insisted that her decision had nothing to do with short term political pressures, noting that she had dealt with immense political pressures in the past. There are indeed plentiful examples such as the Salmond trial and subsequent investigation into what she did or did not know, and dealing with the covid pandemic. Such pressures, she noted, are very much part and parcel of the job.

She hinted in her resignation speech at the immense personal toll that being in such a high pressure job takes on an individual on a human level. Of course being in a high profile political job means that your actions and views become open to public scrutiny and criticism, that is part and parcel of a functioning democracy, however Nicola Sturgeon has been subjected to an intense, constant, and unceasing barrage of criticism, not all of it justified, and much of which has been unnecessarily and unpleasantly personal, some of which has verged into deeply nasty irrational abusiveness going way beyond anything that’s the normal back and forth of politics. According to some, Nicola Sturgeon is simultaneously a misogynist and a lesbian. This kind of attack is bad enough when it comes from your political opponents, but psychologically it is far more difficult to shrug off when it comes from those who are supposed to be on the same side as you are, even more so when your job means that the normal coping mechanisms the rest of us enjoy are denied to you. She can’t easily go for a quiet walk in the park, or meet with friends in a cafe for laughs and giggles. But she has dealt with those attacks with a personal dignity that is alien to those who resort to crude personal abuse and mud slinging against her.

Nicola Sturgeon certainly recognised that she has come to embody division and divisiveness, and I suspect that she was not referring to the divisions between die hard British nationalists and independence supporters, but rather to the divisions within the independence movement. As we approach a critical moment in the campaign for independence, a historic decision on how to proceed in the face of the anti-democratic intransigence of the Anglo-British Brexit parties, the need for unity within the independence campaign has never been more vital. It is to Nicola Sturgeon’s immense credit that she has the personal and political maturity to recognise that that much needed unity cannot be achieved while she remains leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland. That’s a maturity that is sadly lacking in certain other individuals. But one thing is certain, those amongst her critics who decried her as a careerist have been comprehensively proven wrong.

There will now be a contest for her replacement, the details of which will be announced in the coming days. Nicola Sturgeon will remain First Minister and party leader until her replacement is in place, which we must assume will have happened before the party’s special conference to decide the way ahead for a public vote on independence in the face of Sunak and Starmer’s denial of Scottish democracy. There have been calls to postpone the conference as the last SNP leadership contest took three months, The Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has said that the special conference should be postponed, a call supported by Mike Russell. it’s possible to expedite these things and have a new leader in place far more quickly, but at this stage it seems more likely that the conference will be postponed. We will learn more about the process in the coming days.

But those on the pro-independence side who have devoted their time and energy to demanding Nicola Sturgeon’s removal rather than building the case for independence should be very careful indeed what they have wished for. It’s not just that the special conference is now quite likely to be postponed, Nicola Sturgeon had made the case for using the next UK General Election as a de facto referendum her own. Her successor, whoever that is, may not feel the same obligation.

There is no obvious successor, that is not to say that there is a shortage of talent, but none of those who are likely to throw their hat into the ring enjoy a clear advantage at this early stage. Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has been mentioned as have Angus Robertson and John Swinney. One thing is certain however, it is now less likely that there will be an early Holyrood election used as a referendum on independence. Whoever wins will have very big boots to fill. The new leader will instead first and foremost wish to secure their position and settle in to their post, and get on with the crucial task of reuniting the independence movement. They will be highly reluctant to precipitate an early Holyrood election to be used as a de facto independence referendum until they have got the measure of their new job and of their opponents in the Labour and Conservative parties.

However we are now moving into a new era, both for the independence movement and for Scotland as a whole. You can bet your house that whoever succeeds Nicola Sturgeon will very quickly become a new object of the irrational hatred of the we’re not nationalists we’re British types, who will devote themselves to getting #RESIGN(INSERTNAMEHERE) trending on social media, but we can hope that her stepping down will give the independence movement the opportunity it needs to come back together and to focus on challenging the real opponents of independence, those British politicians who lie to and deceive the people of Scotland about the nature of this so-called union and deny Scottish democracy. British nationalist rejoicing will be short lived.

Scottish independence is not and never was about Nicola Sturgeon, just as it was never about Alex Salmond. It’s about all of us and our hopes and dreams for a better fairer country. Nicola Sturgeon has stepped away in order to give the rest of us the chance to come together and to concentrate on making the case for that better, fairer Scotland. Let’s seize that opportunity with both hands.

OK, now I really am going to take a few days off.


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1,107 comments on “The end of an era

  1. yesindyref2 says:

    SNPTUG inviting the 3 candidates to a hustings, and luckily they “a major figure from the trade union movement”, independent of party politics, had been invited to chair the event. ”

    Can you imagine if the National had the brass next to say they’d be impartial and chair the event?

    Anyways, an important one for Forbes who’ll be asked about Freeports, and finance of the public sector.

    Don’t ask me, I believe a strong economy is the driver of everything for Scotland, including being able to properly fund the public sector.

  2. yesindyref2 says:

    Even some of the experienced and non-hostile commentators get it wrong.

    Kate Forbes is honest, and people recognise that.

    Kate Forbes answers the question, and few politicians do that.

  3. Dr Jim says:

    When all the misquoting dequoting shortquoting and downright lying is over the members will decide on what they see as fair, we can only hope that honesty and integrity figure prominently on the agenda that the candidate selected is the right one

    So far both candidates are independence focused, the third has not yet begun her campaign, but I’d suggest by her previous behaviour and the current company she keeps that campaign is dead in the water before it begins, unless of course the media decides to mix it again by insisting she’s just *Grr eat* and not Alex Salmonds favourite choice at all

  4. Tam the Bam says:

    Kate’s campaign team meeting again this evening. Colin McKay (STV NEWS) even suggesting that Ivan McKee (her campaign manager) may throw his hat into the ring should Kate withdraw.
    Think I’ll go and ask my dentist to extract my wisdom tooth just for some relaxing down time.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I hope Kate doesn’t give in to this garbage, as far as I’m aware amongst the members I know her campaign hasn’t been affected at all, indeed this nonsense might have solidified and increased the support for her, but you never can tell until Tessie O’Shea strikes up a tune

      Ivan’s one of the good guys and knows his business, but First Ministering contains a lot of PR smiley hand shakey baby holding as well as the international stuff and I’m not sure Ivan’s the guy for the endless rounds of happy slappy, good man that he is I don’t know if he’s blessed with that amount of patience, I think his face might fall off

    • Legerwood says:

      High time they got out of the TV studios and into the village halls and streets of Scotland to meet and talk to real people. At the moment they are stuck in a rut danding to the media discordant tune.

      People will ask real questions across a whole range of topics which will be a better measure of the candidates’ abilities than the media with their one topic obsession.

      • Tam the Bam says:

        They cant do that until nominations close on Friday.

      • Wouldn’t it be great, and poetic justice, if they held a hustings event in Stornoway, and an audience member asked a question in Gallic, to which Forbes replied in our native tongue to warm applause, while the 2 Also Rans stared blankly in to the Beam Me Up, Scottie, middle distance?
        No TV fodder debates.
        Why give this pond life free TV programmes to persecute a Christian?

    • Old Pete says:

      Ivan has no chance so I don’t think he will “throw his hat”

  5. scottish_skier says:

    Both top contenders are way better than the sh*te we get from London, so can we just put them as FM/DFM and get on with things?

  6. Alex Clark says:

    I can remember this blast from the past and Ivan McKee knows how to get his point across despite interference in front of the camera.

    • Capella says:

      Yes he was excellent during the 2014 campaign because he knew what he was talking about. But oh dear, the format is so familiar. First the presenter sets the agenda and lets the unionist bloviate uninterrupted. Then Ivan has to answer the unionist’s talking points while being interrupted by both the unionist and the presenter.

      He handled it well under the circs.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Now we know better it’s plain to see how the presenter allows the Unionist voice to be heard but is happy to let the Nationalist voice be drowned out. I wasn’t as aware of the bias then of course as I am now.

        • Dr Jim says:

          You’ve got to have at least three on one for balance
          3 Brits, 1 presenter, two journos, maybe a rabid orange clad audience member or two and the one SNP rep trying to bat balls flying at them from every direction

          Balance the BBC calls that

  7. Old Pete says:

    Maybe a new article to discuss might move things on a bit ? Feel we are being driven by the media and its attempts to make this more a debate on people’s personal beliefs rather on their roads to Independence.
    Would like to read what Paul thinks we should be discussing on this leader campaign.

  8. yesindyref2 says:

    Oh dear. A comment under the sexist National front page (the photoshop has the man in the middle of course):

    Barely read Scottish newspaper with a circulation of under 9000 runs website SNP leadership poll that has received 110,000 machine-generated votes between 7pm and 11pm today, almost all of which are for Humza Yousaf.

    and elsewhere:

    More than 70000 votes for Yousaf in last 10 minutes. Not possible without bots. Worse than disgraceful

    I watched it about 7pm and it was getting about 5 votes a second and on 44,000. Now on 170,000. By the time it closes it could be on a million! A record!

    Only problem is probably only about a thousand different humans if that, but hey, the National will report it as though it’s golddust!

    • yesindyref2 says:

      If it had any socially democratic sensitivity at all, it would put them in alphabetical order.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      This is madness:
      Humza Yousaf 48%
      Kate Forbes 24%
      Ash Regan 28%
      Votes cast: 173060

      Humza Yousaf 48%
      Kate Forbes 24%
      Ash Regan 28%
      Votes cast: 173283

      At 1.20 in the morning, 200 votes in a minute?

      Humza Yousaf 48%
      Kate Forbes 24%
      Ash Regan 28%
      Votes cast: 173385

      Humza Yousaf 48%
      Kate Forbes 24%
      Ash Regan 28%
      Votes cast: 173491

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Yay! Let;s hear it for the Yousaf bot, got it up finally from 48% to 49%

      Humza Yousaf 49%
      Kate Forbes 24%
      Ash Regan 28%
      Votes cast: 175466

  9. yesindyref2 says:

    The bot or person now with RSI hits the magic 50%. I should point out by the way that this in no way reflects on Yousaf himself.

    Humza Yousaf 50%
    Kate Forbes 23%
    Ash Regan 27%

    Votes cast: 182626

    The figures aren’t right I think for just 1% up for Yousaf for 7,000 votes, so I suspect there’s maybe 1 multi-voting supporter for Forbes, 1 for Regan and 3 or 4 for Yousaf. But I can’t be bothered working it out. Give them a loyalty medal each!

    Ah well, back to the Dark Knight.

  10. Old Pete says:

    Hope Kate wins, those votes in the National are ridicules.
    If Humza has any honour left he should withdraw. The poll is disgrace and does no credit to his supporters or the ridiculously biased National.
    My daughter is voting for Humza as she says ” she could never vote for someone with personal beliefs like Kate Forbes” think Kate might be in trouble.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I doubt Humza had anything to do with it, any more than Kate’s honesty had anything to do with the rumpus created in the media over selective framing of what she actually said.
      This is the UK, where propaganda games determine what the truth is….

      • Capella says:

        Same with social media – lots of people tweeting that Kate wants to stop them living their life as they want – the opposite of what Kate actually said.

        • Legerwood says:

          Indeed. Twitter is toxic just now. People running off half-cocked based on a headline. Others, with no sense of irony, saying they want to live in a progressive Scotland inclusive of minorities…but, subtext, only the minorities they approve of.

          • grizebard says:

            How true.

            Remember when the indy movement prided itself in its inclusiveness? Oh fond memory!

            Now we are assailed almost daily by zealots of one stripe or another, all of whom seem intent (wilfully or deliberately) on totally losing the plot.

  11. I think that the National has had its day.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      In fairness Jack, aside some lazy journalism, I believe the majority of the staff mean well but are caught in the news bubble – Copying what are headline stories in circulation rather than delving deeper into what the truth of them is – The Kate Forbes story for instance could have been more carefully looked for what she had actually said, giving an entirely different angle from the pile-on from elsewhere.

      • grizebard says:

        I beg to differ. They were prejudiced against her from the start for their own dogmatic reasons, so were more than happy to run with the pack. They could have been neutral, putting each of the candidates up for consideration for the benefit of their indy-supporting readership, but they chose not to. (And if they won’t, who will?)

        There has always been a distinct political tendency visible within the staff of The National, which is deeply regrettable because arguably it has quite unnecessarily constrained its readership as a consequence. That is clear enough from the various expressions of doubt that have appeared online as to what their underlying motivations are, something that should never have come into question.

      • Why then, do they replicate the Herald’s Ranjurs/Sellick juvenile p!sh sports pages?
        Why McKenna and Salomondites berating the Scottish Government so regularly featured?
        Why the nonsensical leaders’ poll?
        They were flying on fumes before…now Newsquest is clamping down on them.
        It was always just allowed because without even this tiny outlet for Independence Scotland would have not one single media outlet speaking on behalf of at least half of our citizens.
        Their btl function is now clogged up with Unionist and Alba/ Common Weal pests, unmoderated.
        The aim of the fringe nuts was to smother the National, suffocate it, and it’s succeeded.
        Jo Coburn, who is Jewish, according to her Wiki entry, (I shall trail the religion or none of every person to whom I refer here from now on since it is deemed fair comment apparently) featured their Religious Zealot Forbes National banner headline on her WM Bubblegum show yesterday. and Alison Thewliss, declaring her support for HUmza, obliged by repeating the religious persecution nonsense of the Brit Jock Press.
        The Brits want Ash Regan to win..I wonder why?

        • grizebard says:

          You’re really touching on something else, Jack, which is that the independence side is desperately short of representation in the media, so The National, being the only one nominally in support, needed to be more than ordinarily careful how it represented the case in order to reach as wide a readership as possible. Not only to give succour to the existing faithful, but by diligent presentation of the facts, to hopefully appeal to and win over the uncommitted as well. Unfortunately, it has been fairly partisan from the start, and since has allowed itself to become, as you observe, a veritable haven for the fractious axe-grinder tendency, a considerable proportion of whom appear more interested in promoting other matters entirely or are even outright enemies of independence. A descent into little more than clickbait.

          Just consider the situation from a strictly commercial point of view: besides anyone else, one might expect that the substantial membership of the SNP would provide a firm base on which to build its circulation, but what proportion of those people are actually regular subscribers (one way or another)? And if not, why not? It doesn’t take much of a look at the overall tone of its content to understand why.

          • Bob Lamont says:

            I agree much of that but for the partisan aspect which I believe is the inverse, the vast majority of the National’s journalists are pro-Indy, certain notable exceptions aside, but they the assuredly need to up their game.

            The flaw the propagandist have exploited is the default of journalists to the “news pool”, what is current – All the propagandists need do was inject stories and amplify them via the BBC – Most famously incontinent pigeon, Ferry stories, failing A&E compared to NONE, collapsing NHS compared to NONE, Isla Bryson compared to NONE, and Kate Forbes as a latter day Cromwell, all of them fabrications from the Scotland Office spooks.
            YES, the National are failing in their ambitions, but god love them for at least trying in direct conflict with relentless Glenn Campbell “In my opinion…” nonsense..

            One of the more amusing aspects of the last 24 hours with the National was how their polling of favoured candidates for SNP leader descended into utter chaos as @yesindyref2 noted at 1am, 5 votes a second and on 44,000 in the wee small hours, ending up at 182626 votes cast by the time he collapsed just over 2 hours 20 minutes later.

            • Eilidh says:

              I am stil a National subscriber where on earth was this poll. I was on the site several times last night and this morning and never noticed any poll

              • Bob Lamont says:

                I honestly have no idea Eilidh as I’ve suspended my subscription to the National pending them getting a grip that this is “just” a newspaper a la Tom Gordon’s private Fraser impersonatio, but one which can be brutally honest and grow.
                I’d noted other blogs observing on this abuse of snap-polling elsewhere, so @indyref2 was not alone in this observation.

                • Legerwood says:

                  It was online. At least I did one yesterday on the candidates for FM and I think it was The National

            • grizebard says:

              With votes cast by anybody from anywhere and their personal bot farm especially to stop Kate Forbes, presumably…?

              • Bob Lamont says:

                Absolutely – Not even ” You just can’t Colin” and his mates could type that fast even if they had free use of both hands…

          • The National is the Scotia Nostra Oligarchy’s ‘token black’, an intelligence insulting attempt by the Scottish Elite to argue that we live in a democracy, that their attempt at ersatz pluralism is fulfilled by allowing one small underfunded pro Independence ‘paper to be published.
            Likewise the laughable BBC Scotland, whose viewing figures can be counted in the mere thousands.

            I am encouraged that they are going to print and analyse the McCrone Report next week, dropping the paywall to open up the debate to as wide an audience as possible.
            But McCrone was nearly 50 years ago now.

            Commission Ivan McKee to produce an Economic/Social/ Political Case for independent Scotland, a ‘what’s in for me’ covering all aspects financial, social, health, armed forces…the list is not exhaustive…
            Run a series like that national..I’m sure that Gary would pick up the McKee Report and BBC Scotland and STV would run with it the following day.
            There is more fresh water in Loch Ness than in the whole of England Wales lakes together.?
            There are only 5.4 million of us..we feed ourselves from our own produce.
            There is no reason for empty shelves in Scotland.
            Time we started boasting about our vastly rich and bountiful out fellow swithering Scots.

  12. Capella says:

    There are still some articles in The National worth reading and discussing I think. Take Richard Murphy’s explanation of what would be the source of money in an independent Scotland. If you can set aside his criticism of KF “for the moment”.

    Richard Murphy: How the odds are stacked against Scotland’s economy

    Convincing the people of Scotland that its problems can be managed by a government committed to independence would now seem to be a pre-requisite of success for independence. For the SNP, and anyone else wanting to end Westminster rule, this requires at least five things.

    First, Scotland has to have control of the taxation of income from wealth, and of wealth itself within the country. There is a major inequality problem in Scotland which the Scottish Government needs to be able to tackle. So, income on savings, capital gains taxes and inheritance tax need to be under Scottish control.

    Second, Scotland needs to have control of National Insurance when it has responsibility of so much which is supposedly funded by this tax.

    Third, the Scottish Government needs to be able to control the corporation tax rate in Scotland because unless it does it has no effective instrument for the delivery of its industrial policy.

    Fourth, Scotland must have its own VAT system so that it has the economic data to manage its economy which that system supplies and has control of the rates of VAT, many of which are a present biased towards the better-off.

    Lastly, Scotland must have improved borrowing powers. It must have the capacity to issue its own bonds that might fund its own programmes of investment in Scotland. It is wholly unfair that Scottish people are denied this opportunity to save with their own government to build infrastructure that they need for their own futures.

    I want Scottish independence. I think Scotland can thrive as an independent country.

  13. Dr Jim says:

    When the time comes I reckon I will vote for Kate Forbes because she’s an open honest human being who clearly states who and what she is and what her personal life stands for
    At no time has she ever politicked her way out of answering questions, indeed she embraces them and answers as fully as she can
    I don’t see it as political naivety as many have suggested, I see it as a strength of character to defend one’s own position as it applies to her

    And this is where the crux of the matter is regarding Kate Forbes, at no time has she ever said those beliefs and values that guide her life will be applied to the politics of the Scottish parliament which exists for all, at no time has she ever stated her beliefs would be forced upon anyone else, her beliefs are for her life and the way she chooses to live, just in the same way as every other politician on earth would like to say if they had the guts and honesty to say it, but they don’t because they fear the backlash of what happens when you do

    We don’t live in a pluralistic society where all views are respected, we live in a sham of pretend secular democracy where the minority shouts the loudest and claims victim status if their views are not upheld by the majority
    We live in a society where those who hold views that could have imprisoned them just a few short years ago are now given the same rights as all and every other person

    But in these days of the unsocial twitternet these rights have morphed not into equality for all but demands for more visibility of respect, more visibility of equality, more recognition of difference, more and more and more, and if they don’t get it the threats of *action* begin, protest disquiet disruption

    The noise of the minority has now become deafening

    Kate Forbes is a minority, and now we can’t hear her over the noise of the outraged bigger minority than her
    Now Kate Forbes has no right to her rights, and why? well apparently she’s not different enough and that in modern unsocial society makes her divisive

    Our Scottish parliament in part exists to serve all of Scotland and its diversity of people, we even have a specific LGBQT wing within the SNP, well hold on a second, isn’t that more recognition than any other group, not less? yet these are the folk apparently shouting the loudest about excluding another minority, Kate Forbes

    I’m not in the least unhappy with Humza, it’s all fine but the difference between Humza and Kate is he saw religion coming as an issue and politicked his way through it in the normal acceptable way, and that’s fine, Kate looked it straight in the eye and said I’m the same as you but I live my life my way

    It seems the folk who are complaining the loudest about Kate Forbes are the people doing the imposing of their will here and not Kate Forbes, who’s just pointed out by her honesty just how intolerant the so called new tolerant actually are

    I really don’t care who wins this leadership election now, my 55 year membership is over, I don’t like the Scotland on display here that’s driven and twisted by media and twittternet using the outrage of whichever group of individuals is currently in vogue, I’m sick to my stomach of the tiny minded hypocrisy we’ve allowed and fed by mollification to win over A.N Other voting group

    • Dr Jim says:

      After I’ve voted that is

      • bringiton says:

        Well said.
        We need to focus on independence and which person is best equipped to get us there.

      • Holfd your fire until we can see the whites of their eyes, Dr Jim.
        Baron to be Alister Jack sat beside Sunak yesterday at PMQ and barely stirred throughout the latest WM Farce.
        He boasts of Johnson as a ‘friend’. Johnson the liar, adulterer, sexual incontinent buffoon, who is even yet threatening to undermine Norn Irn’s stability.
        Douglas Ross’ friends and colleagues include convicted rapists, bullies, fraudsters, and sexual predators.
        Yet he is given uninterrupted air time and carefully edited FMQ footage on BBC?STV.
        Does anyone know which branch of religion these men follow?
        Do we care?
        Of course not.
        Yet Kate Forbes is being hounded by Brit Jocks because of her faith.
        There is an evil stench running throiugh Scotland.
        Who will they come after next? The friends of Eton/Oxford educated terrible men, or Kevin McKenna and the Catholics?
        I am not an SNP member, but I know what I want from our next FM.
        And it is not an Alba/Common Weal glove puppet.
        We are all Jock Tamson’s bairns.

      • Unchained Unicorn says:

        Dr Jim.
        Thank you for articulating your assessment which is very close to mine. I’m not a member of a church or the SNP. However I can recognise intolerance in myself and others. The complaints about the personal views of Kate Forbes are laced with hypocrisy and intolerance and promoted by a media which would like her to fail.

        I’m disappointed that Humza Yousaf has said very little, if anything, about the personal attacks on Kate and that is not to his credit. I am also surprised that Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney have not called for this behaviour to stop.

    • grizebard says:

      Well, that seems to be where we’ve drifted to, alas. We’re all equal but (to adapt Orwell) my (vocal) minority is more equal than yours.

    • Calum says:

      Well said. There is no one more illiberal than a so called liberal.

  14. Ken says:

    Kate will win, Ir be up there in the decision making. The white noise is irrelevant. Or the Independence opposition will gain. Support for Independence rising. Two women team to put Scotland on the Map. Another first. A new dawn for the Independence movement. Women unrepresented by 30%. Get the women on board. Indepemdence is on the up.

  15. Capella says:

    Don’t write off The National yet – not before their series on the McCrone Report.

    Since 2019, we’ve taken the decision to annually publish that report in full – so people can see exactly how the UK stole away Scotland’s future. This year, you’ll find it online and in our print edition of February 27.

    We’re going a step further for 2023, though. We’re also digging into exactly how the UK’s squandering of Scotland’s oil wealth has harmed us so deeply through the lens of the cost of living crisis – over a whole week, starting on Monday, February 27. It should go without saying that the UK Government poses a MAJOR threat to our renewables potential, and that will be covered too.

    So, we’ll be removing the paywall from our website for the duration of this series. We want you to be able to share the articles far and wide. It’s thanks to everyone who subscribes to The National and picks up our papers that we’ve been able to take that decision – thank you!

  16. yesindyref2 says:

    Good. In spite of the bias, agenda and nastiness of all the media including the so-called Independence supporting vote rigging National which even though it supposedly closed the poll I can still vote on to see the results which show that well over a half million votes are in – and rising – Kate Forbes is hanging in, and being clearer as well.

  17. Golfnut says:

    Parliament doesn’t appear to agree with the supreme court or indeed any of the unionist party’s about who decided whether we are allowed to leave the union or indeed who gets to vote for it.

  18. keaton says:

    Wish we had some recent polls on the contest. It would be interesting to see if KF has been damaged by Jesus-says-sex-is-bad-gate or if, as some have suggested, the OTT coverage has actually benefitted her.

  19. scottish_skier says:

    Forbes is getting it tighter because she’s majority while Christian Scottish (in the last census most Scots were still Christian). Humza is minority Asian Muslim in family background / religion.

    It’s not fair, but it’s not about gender from what I can see. That suggestion seems to be coming from people trying to conflate GGR issues; Kate being an ostensible bill opponent with Humza a supporter.

    White Scottish Christians asking other which Scottish Christians about white Scottish Christian beliefs / practices is just seen as not an issue in the way these probing a Muslim of Pakistani family origins would be.

    A lot of the stick she’s getting is coming from other Christians who are pointing out that being against same sex marriage / children out of wedlock are not Christian beliefs. This is correct as many Christians and churches don’t oppose these. They are personal religions beliefs only, shared by some Christians. But then Forbes has been at pains to basically say this, albeit mudding the waters by noting such views are ‘associated with Abrahamic religions’.

    That said, people’s religious beliefs are private and protected, so they should not be subject to such a personal assault on them; not if they are keeping these firmly at home rather than, wrongly, bringing them to the (non-religious) office.

    Forbes says she does that, and won’t let her personal beliefs affect how she upholds the rights of others, which is what absolutely should be the case, and I tend to believe her. Where she totally f’d up though is saying she’d have voted against freedom of religion / belief in 2014 on the same sex marriage bill. After all, that was a bill aimed at giving those whose religious belief systems allows for same sex marriage parity with others which don’t. It was ending a historical majority religious persecution of minority religions / belief systems.

    As I said before though, I don’t think she saw it that way, being too focussed on her own personal beliefs. She seemed to see it as about her when it wasn’t. This is a fault of many politicians, not just on religion.

    • scottish_skier says:

      She’s not a bigot, that’s for sure. Seems genuinely nice to me. If you want to see hate filled bigots, the Tory party is a good place to look.

      This election is about independence, who is best equipped, and who has the best plan to achieve it. It is also about the society we want Scotland to be – where tolerance is the ruling ethic, poverty becomes history, equality of opportunity is the birth right of every child.

      “Over the last few days, questions have focused on my faith. I feel greatly burdened and heartsore that some of my responses to direct questions in the media have caused hurt to friends, colleagues and fellow citizens. That was never my intention, but I’ve listened carefully.

      “I will protect the rights of everybody in Scotland, particularly minorities, to live and to love without fear or harassment in a pluralistic and tolerant society. I will uphold the laws that have been hard won, as a servant of democracy.

      “I will also seek to enhance the rights of everybody to live in a way which enables them to flourish. I firmly believe in the inherent dignity of each human being; that underpins all ethical and political decisions I make

      I think she’s listening and learning here. Doubling down or mealy mouthed responses is what bigots do.

    • Capella says:

      I think the Marriage and Civil Partnerships Bill is not concerned with religious beliefs. It legalises both civil and religious same sex marriage but does not force religious bodies to conduct such ceremonies. Most religions do not accept same sex marriage. The Church of England doesn’t, the Catholic Church doesn’t and Islam doesn’t (not sure about Hinduism). The Church of Scotland does but won’t force congregations or clergy to participate if they don’t want to.

      Kate Forbes and Ash Regan weren’t MSPs in 2014 but if they had been they would have been able to vote by conscience.
      Humza Yousaf was an MSP but did not attend the vote.,Scotland%20since%2016%20December%202014.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Yes, I agree. Sorry, I was being philosophical again.

        It didn’t force Churches to conduct same sex ceremonies, nor did it e.g. ban people from mixed sex marriages. 🙂

        If people voted against it, they cannot complain in the future if parliament votes to make mixed sex marriages illegal. That or MSP vote to restrict their religious freedoms in other ways, such as forcing them to conduct same sex marriages. After all, they support such moves, having done it themselves!

        That aside, my philosophical point was that the bill gave those people who had religious / belief systems* which allowed for same sex marriage freedom of their religion / beliefs. They were not free to practices these equally before it while others could.

        My ‘religion’ is, I guess, a form of agnostic humanism. I have a set of personal religious beliefs just like Kate Forbes has. While different, hers are as valid as mine. I have my religion, she has hers. Hers involved an established deity, mine doesn’t, but neither is more valid than the other under the eyes of the law*.

        My religion celebrates same sex relationships equally. Those of a similar religion / belief system to my own were denied freedom to practice that freely until the same sex marriage bill was passed. While I am H / in a mixed sex marriage, I have friends and family who have been in same sex relationships and their hurt at being not allowed to practices their beliefs freely was my hurt too.

        In the end, the fact that same sex marriage was illegal in this country was ultimately because a dominant religious group (mainly of Christians) forcing its religious practices on other groups of a different religions belief system.

        It was not making it legal for the first time in human history, but ending a ban that was put in the place in the past at some point.

        *I note that religion is not legally defined very straightforwardly, e.g. there’s not a list of religions and if yours isn’t on it, it’s not valid. Interesting discussion for English law I came across from a quick search here:

        This seems a good approach:
        Employment Judge Burton summarised the meaning of ‘philosophical belief’ as including five requirements:

        (i)The belief must be genuinely held.

        (ii)It must be a belief and not … an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available.

        (iii)It must be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour.

        (iv)It must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance.

        (v)It must be worthy of respect in a democratic society, be not incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others.Footnote

        That absolutely fits my belief on same sex marriage and many other of my beliefs, including on Scottish indy. The courts have even protected the latter under law!

  20. Guybrush Threepwood says:

    The far-left have always been scathing of Christianity in a way they wouldn’t dare do with Islam. You see, the overwhelming majority of Christians in the western world are white, so it’s perfectly acceptable to attack them. While Islam is practiced predominately by non-whites, so you don’t dare criticise their religion (to a point).

    What we are witnessing is the importation of American-style identity politics into Scottish society – which is a distraction from dealing with pesky matters such as poverty and improving the economic opportunities of the working class. What is the point in creating safe spaces on U.S. college campuses if the average working class American cannot afford to go college. Why is there such an emphasis on gender pronouns in the U.S., when there is little campaigning for universal healthcare? The focus on social issues seriously distracts the American left from delivering services that are the norm in the rest of the developed world. Although, the U.S. Democrats are fiscally and economically further to the right than European conservative parties. The SNP leadership debate has been focused on religion and gay marriage, which is bizarre during a cost-of-living crisis.

    Humza Yousaf made one of the most idiotic speeches that I have ever heard in the Scottish Parliament. He was lambasting the fact that most people in positions of power within Scottish society are white. It is hardly surprising that one of the most homogenously white countries on Earth (Scotland is 96% white) would be run almost exclusively by white people. This has nothing to do with racial discrimination and everything to do with the demographic realities of Scotland – similar to how most people in positions of power in South Korea are ethnically East Asian or how most politicians in Pakistan are ethnically South Asian. He conveniently ignored the fact that people who attended private schools are massively over-represented in positions of power, probably because Humza Yousaf is part of that 7% of Scottish elites who attended a private school. We are not the United States. We do not have the same demographics as America. Social class plays a much larger role in Scottish society compared to race.

    Identity politics is something that the YES movement should avoid. I’ve heard people state that the over-representation of straight, white males in Scottish politics is a problem as we should aspire towards a more representative style of democracy. Fair enough, but the problem arises whenever another group within society becomes over-represented. It is illogical to denounce the over-representation of one facet of society but not another. For example, the Holyrood Magazine conducted an interview with Kezia Dugdale a few years ago, who described Holyrood as the ‘gayest’ parliament in the world. The article went on to state that around 30% of MSPs (at the time of publication) were openly LGBTQ (and that is not including party members, staffers and councilors). Yet, most recent census shows that only around 3% of Scots identify as LGBTQ, which means this tiny community are MASSIVELY over-represented in Scottish politics. If you proport that Scottish politics should mirror the community it serves, then you would need to reduce the number of LGBTQ individuals in Scottish politics, but again, the far-left don’t want to go there…because, reasons.

    • Indeed, sir or madam.
      The faux corollary is that if you are a gammon faced heterosexual married male or female with a family, you have not suffered prejudice, bullying, and discrimination like wot I have as a…(fill in the minority).
      The other night on Channel 4 News one guest began by declaring that she was a lesbian and single parent, setting out her street cred and prefixing her pearls from a moral high ground where there is none.
      There are plenty of awful lesbians and bad single mums.
      I am beyond listening to this guff. James Cook fired the religious persecution gun.
      He is in breach of the HRA.
      He should sacked.

  21. Dr Jim says:

    The Ranjurs Christians don’t like the Celtic Christians, and both of those Christians don’t like the Mormon Christians or even the Jesuit Christians, who also don’t really care for the English Anglican Christians which are a bit different to the Church of England Christians who are again different to the Church of Scotland Christians or the Roman Catholic Christians who are different types of Christians in every country of the world it seems, and don’t get me started on the Russian or Greek Christians
    If I missed out any Christians there I offer endless apologies until the end of time

    Now I don’t know what all these Christians are for or against, it would take me the rest of my natural life to research the answer probably only to be told by mountainous amounts of theologians insisting my Christian research was, well the word they always use is *flawed* isn’t it

    Are we all seeing the pattern here? There’s no right answer for this shower of mentals demanding answers to that which in thousands of years of history nobody has been able to answer, so shut up and leave the wummin alone for eh God’s sake?

    Before I set about you using the force of my Jedi light sabre

    • grizebard says:

      The thing to keep in mind though is that it ain’t any Christians who are getting all het up about Kate, it’s the mammon-worshipping mud-slinging hypocrites of the gutter media, who can see a genuine talent and desperately want to neutralise it before it can cause serious damage to the vested interests they serve.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The good thing to come out of all of this is most of the people who are using this argument to abuse Kate Forbes with their garbage are most of the folk who were dead against Nicola Sturgeon already, so once again another pattern forms, and when I see the comments by and from folk right at the top of the National comments section it’s clearer and clearer the reason why they support the candidate who has not yet uttered hardly a stutter, because she’s been advised by those people to stay out of the limelight until the last minute then swoop in with words of wisdom carefully crafted by a bunch of people not even members of the Government or SNP, but members of shall we call them *other parties*?

    • Capella says:


    • scottish_skier says:


      It is a bit like the People’s Front of Judea vs the Judean People’s Front!

      This is why I just made up my own religion to go by.

    • Not forgetting the Liverpool combo the Christians (Ideal World’), Dr Jim.”

      Opening stanza:

      “Before you point the finger
      And hope the whole thing disappears
      Remember empty words will fall
      And fall upon the deafest ears.”

      Vote As h Regan, get the empty words of Alba and Common Weal.

    • Hamish100 says:

      As a Christian your mockery is not funny. Let folk live according to their on beliefs/ faith.
      Isnt a Jedi in a movie? Are they a mental?

      • Dr Jim says:

        The people asking the questions are the mentals
        that was my point

        I don’t care what folk are or want to be but if humour isn’t a part of life then those people who don’t have any humour can start another religion based on that, and I still won’t care

  22. Handandshrimp says:

    It is looking increasingly likely that there will only be the three candidates unless someone is planning on a dramatic 11th hour flourish of their cape to swoop in and wow us all.

    I’m still leaning to Kate but I would like her team to manage their message and focus on things that matter to us all, cost of living, energy, climate change, NHS, the cruelty of the Conservative Government in Westminster and of course independence. We need a successful competent SNP government, one with energy and vision.

    I do not want to be completing my ballot paper based only whether someone would or would not (or did not) vote for same sex marriage in 2014. None of the candidates are proposing to limit same sex marriage or abortion so they are hardly live issues and consequently tell me sod all about which candidate to pick regarding the live issues that do require attention.

    If the intent is to scupper Forbes and deny Regan the oxygen of publicity then I don’t think it is working. I have spoken to a few of my local branch members and they are sympathetic to Forbes over the way she has been treated by the media.

    • grizebard says:

      It’s been difficult for her because the media have been drowning out her messaging with their own confected distractions. I would dearly hope though that the SNP have other internal means of making clear all the candidates’ positions to members rather than merely relying solely on the mischief-making mainstream media.

      • Legerwood says:

        This is a statement from Kate Forbes which is on Twitter. I hope people read it with an open mind then have a good think about what she has clearly stated

        • scottish_skier says:

          Yes, I saw that and linked to the national article above. Should have maybe put the title of the article!

        • And Regan calls for the party to come back together by revealing that she has just spoken to Robin McAlpine of Common Weal…..
          Back door Salmondism.
          She’s toast.
          She’ll be inviting Eck for dinner and a wee drinkie next.
          Her aside to Colin McKay as she rushed by him that Humza’s and Kate’s religious backgrounds have nothing to with the campaign, meaning the opposite of course, that unlike Humza and Kate, her background is irreligious and that their religious beliefs have everything to do with the leadership fight.
          Who the fuck (sorry) is Robin Mcalpine, and why has this anything to do with the SNP choosing a new leader?
          Regan is Salmond’s and Common Weal’s glove puppet.
          McAlpine is a nobody.

          • Capella says:

            Ash Regan is launching her campaign on Friday. I believe she used to work for Common Weel so it’s not surprising if she regards Robin MacAlpine as a colleague. Let’s hear what she has to say.

            • McAlpine is not a colleague. He is a self promoter who invented a ‘think tank’ Common Weal, which boasts that it has no affiliation to any political party. (Aye, right.)
              Her ‘colleagues are fellow SNP politicians, not a ‘think tanker’..
              Today, she gave McAlpine a free plug, out of the blue, an irrelevant pitch, live on STV.
              If it walks like a Weal, quacks like a Weal…
              I’ve heard enough about what she has to say, Capella.

              Salmond and a Think Tank would be at the very heart of her regime…unelected movers and shakers, peddling pitches which were roundly rejected by the electorate.
              McAskill and Murdo Fraser have two pieces in the Scotsman today declaring that Sturgeon was a failure.
              Will Regan bring The King’s Eleven 8 times failure Fraser into her Rainbow Coalition?

              • Capella says:

                Well I intend to hear what she has to say before coming to a conclusion – in this new unprejudiced, tolerant era!

                I admired her courage in resigning so that she could vote with her conscience against the GRR bill. She is said to be left of centre, which is a plus IMO. But apart from that I don’t know anything about her.

                • What you are saying, Capella, is that someone of whom don’t know anything, should become leader of the SNP, because…?
                  What does ‘left of centre’ really mean?

                  • Capella says:

                    No – I’m saying I will listen to what she has to say. Left of centre means that government has an important role in promoting equality through progressive taxation and redistribution. Opposed to right of centre or laissez faire capitalism which means oligarchs make all the rules to enrich themselves and concentrate power in very few hands.

          • keaton says:

            That’s a pretty extreme reaction to her being pictured with a nobody.

        • Dr Jim says:

          This young woman is a good and honest sort, and probably why her constituents returned her with the highest majority ever
          I have complete confidence in her ability and integrity to do the job we want her to do
          What more could any country want than a political leader who can’t find it within herself to lie or dodge, she’s just not made that way

          • Bob Lamont says:

            Well said

          • Skintybroko says:

            Completely agree, hope she continues to stand, John Swinney could heal a rift accepting that her faith won’t overtly affect her politics

          • Alexander says:

            Sorry, but if she is genuine when she states she will not let her strongly held beliefs influence her decisions with regard to Scotland’s modern, progressive values why would she refuse to challenge the UK Government’s Section 30 order? Whether you like the GRR reform or not, it was passed by a significant majority in the Parliament. By refusing to challenge it she is not only contradicting herself re her future intentions not to let her beliefs interfere in how she would govern, but is also capitulating to the UK Government. That sets a very unwelcome precedent and weakens the Scottish Parliament.
            Furthermore, although I rather like her honesty and candour (certainly prior to her appointment of a publicity advisor) it seems to me that independence can only be won if the young vote for it and I rather think they would be put off completely from doing so were she elected as leader.

            • Capella says:

              Probably because the s35 order is lawful because it is in the Scotland Act and a challenge would fail. Why waste time and money on a challenge that is bound to fail.

              Furthermore, months of airing the Self ID impact on e.g. men in women’s prisons would further damage the SNP and SG in the eyes of the voting public.

              Better to amend the bill so that it can pass.

              • Alex Clark says:

                I do not agree that the “challenge would fail”, this is an assumption without any evidence to back it up or if you do have evidence I’d like to hear what it is.

                The FM was very clear that this legislation does not encroach on the equalities act and it would be up to the judges to decide who is right. I’m sure she has sought appropriate advice before making such a statement.

                I do not believe anyway that the decision to challenge Westminster in the courts would be a decision for the FM alone. It would be a collective decision to be taken by the entire cabinet. The Scottish Government is not run by a dictator.

              • Legerwood says:

                Why would it fail? The GRA 2004 was in place when the Equality Act was drawn up and they are not in conflict. All the GRR Bill does is change the process by which the trans person gets the GRC but in no way changes what the GRC does. There are many of the rights given to trans people in the Equality Act that do not require a GRC.

                It is the same with the Guidelines/process used by the Scottish Prison Service. They carry ot risk assessments and place them accordingly on a case by case basis. Whether the trans prisoner has or hasn’t a GRC does not usually override the risk assessment.

                Furthermore the Equality and Human Rights Commission said this in a paper in April 2022:
                “”A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if they are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex (Equality Act 2010, Section 7 (1)). There is no requirement for a trans person to have any kind of medical supervision or intervention, nor to have a Gender Recognition Certificate, in order to be protected from gender reassignment discrimination. Trans people are legally protected from discrimination from the moment they propose to change their sex.””

                So a type of self-id, three last sentence in the quote, results in legal protection under the Eq Act.

                On that basis a challenge would be worthwhile but it would not be the only reason for pursuing such a legal challenge. The fact the UKGov cannot articulate the reasons why the Bill clashes with the new Act is another reason.
                The final one is that using an S35 to stop a Bill passed by a vote of members from all political parties is not the purpose of the S35 especially when their reasons are on such shaky ground.

              • Capella says:

                It would fail because the Scotland Bill gives Westminster the power to prevent a bill – any bill – from acquiring Royal Assent through a s35 order. It is a lawful act.

                Likewise, Westminster can refuse to grant a s30 order. It is within their power and is lawful. The Supreme court ruled on that one.

                If you argue that the GRR doesn’t impact the Equality Act Westminster will argue that it does by a) removing the need for a gender reassignment process and b) lowering the age of consent to 16. and c) opening up the GRC to a wider pool of people without safeguarding women’s right to privacy and dignity and safety.

                They may well have other arguments but it doesn’t really matter. They can stop the bill for as long as they like and there is no legal mechanism for over ruling them.

                The Scotland Act is a prison and we should move directly to independence. The problem with using this issue as a battering ram is that the unionists will make sure that every day there is a new horror story to air in the press and scare the voters. It is a godsend to them.

                • Alex Clark says:

                  It only gives them powers to stop a bill acquiring Royal Assent under certain conditions. Not just because the SoS doesn’t like it.

                  It must either be deemed a threat to national security or it must modify existing law as it relates to reserved matters. If as argued by the Scottish government it does not modify existing law then the S35 would be illegal.

                  If the Scotland Act is a prison then surely you would want to at least test if the locks were sound? Not to challenge this intervention would look weak and give Westminster the upper hand in every law passed in Holyrood.

                  I believe they must be challenged in court and it has nothing to do with which law you challenge them over but simply the fact that you cannot allow them to decide which laws they will allow you to make and which laws they won’t when it comes to devolved matters.

                  • Capella says:

                    They argue it modifies the Equality Act 2010 and so a s35 is lawful. They have the power to do that – they wrote the Scotland Act. They don’t care what we will or will not allow. We have no power to stop them.

                    Yes I would test it but with bill that the majority of Scottish people can support. There isn’t majority support for Self ID.

                  • Alex Clark says:

                    Capella the whole point of going to court would be because the onus is on Westminster to prove that it modifies an existing law. We can very safely say that Scottish legal opinion on that matter is that it doesn’t.

                    It does matter, that’s the point, you are focusing too much on the subject of the bill because you have very strong feelings about that. That too is beside the point because if it can be this bill then without challenge every bill in future could suffer the same fate.

                    Is that what you have accepted? Some SoS for Scotland says “No, I don’t like that new law, issue a Section 35 order” and that’s it, we just accept that and it’s all over?
                    I don’t think so.

                • Legerwood says:

                  There are 5000 or so trans people at the moment who have obtained a GRC via the existing GRA 2004. There is an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 trans people in the UK – in the English 2021 census 90,000 people ticked the box as trans people. All of these trans people whatever stage of gender re-assignment they have reached are legally protected from gender discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. Therefore the idea that introducing a process of gaining a GRC based on self-id will lead to a flood of trans people protected by the Eq Act 2010 is a false one. They are already protected GRC or no.

                  Protections are in place for women and the more sensitive areas eg sex abuse groups etc where trans people can be excluded or separate arrangements made for them


                  • Capella says:

                    So how did a double rapist come to be housed in a women’s prison? What are these “protections”? He wasn’t the only one either. Are women in prison not entitled to dignity, privacy and safety? Do they lose their human rights on imprisonment?

                    Either the protections are inadequate or they aren’t being implemented and we now have de facto Self ID.

                    • Legerwood says:

                      Isla Bryson was taken to a Women’s prison BUT NOT released into the general prison population as per standard SPS procedure. All trans prisoners are kept in isolation until risk assessment procedures are carried out. This process can take 2-3 days and only after they are assessed is a decision taken as to which prison they will go to. This is what happened to Isla Bryson. The final decision was to send her to a Male prison. Whether she had a GRC or not, and she did not, the procedure would have been the same. The GRC in GRR case would be via the GRA 2004. The GRR Bill is not law, yetIsolation, assessment, decision.

                      As to defacto self-Id that has always been the case. A person decides they are trans and decide to live in their trans persona no test or official procedure is required for them to do so.

            • Capella says:

              Also, young people will have to decide whether they want an independent Scotland in which they can elect their own government; or want to stay in the UK ruled by Tories, blue and red.

            • Dr Jim says:

              The UK government owns the Supreme court and any challenge would be costly and doomed to failure, plus the strategy of making people angry about England’s undemocratic behaviour so far hasn’t worked because we can’t publicise it without the media and the media take the side of the UK government to make out as though Scotland is stupidly incompetent by even trying it

            • Alex Clark says:

              She has not said she will refuse to challenge the Section 35 order in court. That simply isn’t true, what she actually said is that she would be “loathe” to challenge it in court.

              Saying you will refuse to challenge the Section 35 order and being reluctant to do so are not the same thing.

              Forbes – who is currently on maternity leave and was not present to cast a vote on the bill – said she had “significant concerns” about self-identification and that she would be “loathe to challenge” the UK Government on it.


              • Alexander says:

                Generally when someone says they are loathe to do something they don’t do it. Especially when they say they have “significant concerns”. Those concerns were obviously not shared by a substantial majority in the Scottish Parliament. All the points I made previously still stand.

                • Alex Clark says:

                  I’m loathe to argue the point with you over this but your points don’t “still stand”. You claimed she “refused” to do something when the fact is she didn’t refuse to do anything.

          • Calum says:

            Kate is my MSP and as an SNP member at the time I voted for her when a new candidate was being chosen. I had never heard of her but she sounded very impressive. This was reinforced when I spoke to her later on. Very able and a really nice person also. She is very highly thought of in the constituency , including opposition supporters. Won by a landslide last time and if there was an election tomorrow would probably increase her already huge majority.

            • Dr Jim says:

              We need more testimony from the guys in your neck of the woods as to her attributes, the central belt is jammed up with media doom and anti everything rhetoric

              • ayeinskye says:

                Dr Jim, I am a constituent of Kates, I canvassed doors for her and Ian, and although no longer a party member ( I am one of those hated on this page) I would vote for Kate again as I did last HR election on the constituency, most of the fundys in the constituency who chapped doors for KAte are now also in Alba, and most if not all would help to re-elect her again, as Calum says, she is massively popular up here, and it is disgusting to see the personal attacks on her from people who don’t know who she is as a person.
                Folk said she came from nowhere, that is BS, she worked for Dave Thompson when he was an MSP and he endorsed her to replace him.
                A lot of local party members are not happy with the attacks ion her by the likes of Black and many are talking about leaving the party if Kate fails to win the leadership contest.

  23. Humza Yusef: “Now is not the time.’
    With polling at 50 50 now is precisely the time.
    That’s what campaigning and winning the argument is all about.
    We moved from low 20’s to 45% in 2014.
    This time we begin at 50% and more.
    When do we restart, Humza?
    Not for me, the wait and see mob.

  24. Scottish Baker says:

    Here’s a thought. If you knew that you were going to be hanged tomorrow I believe that you could come to terms with that. You would by now have made your peace with whoever and would perhaps be enjoying your last meal.

    It would be much harder to come to terms with – well you might be, but then again who knows there is every chance that you won’t, but you possibly will. Let me get back to you on that. Very difficult to come to terms with that!

    So my question is who would you rather be told by? The straight forward honest, let’s say candidate for a senior position somewhere; or a mealy mouthed individual that we normally associate with the sewer. I’ll have the roast beef with all the trimmings please!

  25. Hamish100 says:

    Congrats to the britnats and their media for allowing us to concentrate on religious and faith issues. Don’t Ulsterise Scotland.

    Let’s forget about independence.

    Incidentally some football match, important to some, takes place at the weekend.

    I hope the Police and the football authorities ensure no offensive banners are displayed.

    • Dr Jim says:

      If even 50% of the people attending thought it was only about a game of football Scotland might stand half a chance of defeating the racism it represents

      I enjoy watching football but that’s not and never has been what this is, the only people interested in the actual game as a contest are the players

      • Will the victors march 15,000 strong into Glasgow city centre, destroying everything in their path and terrifying our citizens, and crown their ‘celebrations’ as the hacks and BBC called them, by trashing George square, and assaulting our police and council workers possibly for a third time in 18 months?
        A policeman in the North of Ireland was brutally gunned down in a playground today by two masked thugs self identified as ‘the Real IRA’.
        Hundreds of young people fled in terror, and the poor man is in a critical condition as I type.
        This is the fulcrum for the thugs who will invade Mount Florida this Sunday, the Christian ‘day of rest’.
        They will be shrieking Up to their knees in Fenian Blood and Oo Ah Up The ‘Ra, while the cable TV company profits and commentators gush about it being the greatest club rivalry in the Universe.
        This is the poison in Scotland, the religion of the devil incarnate.
        Hatred is profitable, so it’s ok then.
        Boris Johnson and the ERG are about to plunge NI into more sectarian unrest and violence, because of Brexit.
        But James Cook attempts to demonise one of our citizens because of her religion.
        I doubt that Kate Forbes will be drunkenly pissing in a Mount Florida resident’s front garden on Sunday, do you, Duggers?
        It’s time the National dropped the Herald’s puerile sports pages.
        If there is a Supreme Being out there, I pray to her for the recovery of DCI John Caldwell who was packing footballs into the boot of his car when gunned down for no reason at all.

  26. Alex Clark says:

    Tim Farron was the leader of the Liberal Party going into the 2017 General election. He too came under media scrutiny over his religious beliefs and in particular his opinions on LGBT issues.

    He has been interviewed here for the New Statesman blog in this 12 minute video on what he thinks about Kate Forbes leadership bid for the SNP leadership and about whether or not her treatment by the media today reflects his in 2017.

    I thought it was very interesting given what is happening and very relevant to the question of what does it mean to claim to be liberal or progressive?

    The question he was asked is “whether a political party leader’s faith is compatible with leading a socially liberal party”?

    • Capella says:

      Well that was brilliant. Who would have thought that Tim Farron would admire Kate Forbes for her honesty and integrity. But then he’s been there and fell short in his own estimation. Kate herself raised the question of what it means to live in a liberal democracy. We’re finding out just how liberal our political culture really is.

      • James says:

        Very liberal I would say, as Kate has said her religion has never been hidden and she has managed to obtain a large majority in her seat and serve at the top level of Government. As things stand she has a 1 in 3 chance of leading her party and becoming the first minister. If Scotland was illiberal and did not accept people like her who are members of the Free Church of Scotland then she would not have been able to achieve these things. Nor would Ian Blackford of managed to become an MP and Leader of the SNP group in the HoC as he is a member of the same church.

        However, this does not mean that people can not criticize her. Some people will think that no matter what religion she is the fact that she thinks that it is ok for her to get married but not people in same-sex relationships is wrong. Just as Kate is entitled to hold and verbalize her views others are allowed to hold and verbalize their contrasting views.

        Probably more worrying is the fact that she seems generally surprised about the reaction to her views. Maybe this shows that she is not as politically savvy as maybe previously thought.

        • Legerwood says:

          She has said her personal view is that she does not support same sex marriage but in answering that particular question she made it clear that as a public servant she would defend the right to same sex marriage to the hilt because it is the law.

          Rosanna Cunningham and Fergus Ewan did not vote for same sex marriage yet still retained office as Ministers.

    • scottish_skier says:

      I’d read this at lunchtime. A very much agree with what he said, particularly the bit quoted.

      It’s appalling that liberals are hounding Christians like Kate Forbes out of politics

      However, I do firmly believe it’s not our [Christian] responsibility to legislate to make people who are not Christians live as though they are. That would also be illiberal.

      That’s the way it should be. ‘Do not do to others as you would not have done to you’ as they say in Skieranity and many other religions.

      • James says:

        If I was Kate Forbes / her team I would be pulling my hair out over articles like these. There insinuating she is not going to win. She can only be hounded out if she looses/pulls out of the race, If she wins she hasn’t been hounded out clearly!

        Looks at the media that running these type of articles, I’ve seen them in the Times, Telegraph even the Spectator FGS! They don’t give a fig about liberal views they just see Kate as the biggest risk to the union and want to spin it as going to lose in the hope that people switch their votes from her.

        I think she still has a very good chance, Ash Regan is going to fade very fast whats the pressure builds, and can imagine that a number of her current votes will switch to Kate as they hold the same views on one of Ash’s big target areas (Both don’t belive self id is sufficient, both would not of / did not vote for the GRR bill in its current form etc).

        • Legerwood says:

          MSM Monitor has a poll running on Twitter at the moment & KF is way ahead of the other two. And yes I know these polls are not scientific but as a counterpoint to the one in the National it has its uses. What they both may show is that opinion is divided and there is all to play for.

        • scottish_skier says:

          Erm, aye, for clarity I was agreeing that she’s been badly treated and, with the little golden rule I quoted, there’s no reason at all people who practice ‘religions’ (as the public tend to think of these, i.e. established / organised ones) should not be in government holding senior positions, free from being hassled about their personal beliefs.

        • The SNP membership will decide, nota few dissident MSPs.

  27. yesindyref2 says:

    Politician answers questions honestly rather than a prepared speech, shock!

    How refreshing as some beer bewer said. If only …

  28. Capella says:

    • scottish_skier says:

      To be honest, it’s a bit insulting for anyone to suggest members are sheep that won’t just make their own minds up themselves. Seems to be what everyone is doing here.

      There’s no doubt the British media have gone all out in attacking Forbes, but it’s not as if SNP members slavishly follow what they say! And there’s a competition going for the leadership, so you will have people saying ‘Vote for X, not Y, cos…’ within the SNP itself.

      If Forbes wins, it will be in spite of it all, if she loses, it won’t be because of the British media, that’s for sure. It’s not as if they have a great record in e.g. stopping the SNP winning elections or persuading people that Sturgeon was a bad FM. TBH, they’re probably boosting her chances! It’s certainly making me think that clearly they are scared of her.

      It’s interesting, as I don’t as such have a preferred candidate, so just almost feel like a third party observer in it all.

    • Eilidh says:

      Uh huh and the link to the article quoting Sturgeon only shows first few lines than jumps to start free trial crap. From what I can discern what NS said was the values of an FM matter in a socially progressive country which was what she said on TV the other day and she is right. Kate was exceedingly naive to allow the media to manipulate her into saying what she did.I am sure she was just being honest but the media have framed perception of what she said in worst way possible.I normally agree with Tom Devine but not on this occasion sounds to me that he was trying to blame NS for Kates situation. I still hope Kate wins, Hamza is just not the right person for the job as for Ash Regan absolutely not

  29. grizebard says:

    Getting back to some semblance of reality rather than the further mischief which that poisonous but pathetic hack Ciaran Jenkins was attempting to reheat on C4 this evening, it may perhaps be beneficial this time round to have an FM who is not from the central belt. There are parts of Scotland, particularly the NE, who have felt – rightly or wrongly – that too much attention is being paid to the Glasgow-Edinburgh axis by politicians who are deeply embedded there. Given the locus of power, some of that feeling may be inevitable, but having an MSP from the highlands+islands may be a refreshing change, someone from a more neutral background who can be seen as more equitable across the land.

  30. Alex Clark says:

    Before this contest started Kate Forbes was favourite to win with SNP voters and the general public. I still think she’s favourite to win and if anything the attacks on her and her resolve to stick with it despite the attacks might even have strengthened that initial support.

    The law of unintended consequences working in her favour.

  31. scottish_skier says:

    I really hope all candidates refuse to take part in any ‘televised’ BBC / STV debate.

    A streamed hustings for members with the option to come along, send questions etc is normal for internal party elections.

    We are not electing a president of Scotland at the ballot box.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Totally agree, give the MSM nothing, absolutely nothing.

    • grizebard says:

      Given the treatment dished out by the media so far, the candidates might rightly be wary of putting themselves further in the hands of their sworn opponents, the unelected Glenn Campbell et al. Having evidently learnt from what happened with the others, Ash Regan, for example, gave Cieran Jenkins a deft body swerve earlier today.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, it’s an internal SNP matter, not a TV reality show. The media are trying to make a repeat of the disastrous Tory Leadership Circus.

  32. Dr Jim says:

    It’s not called the *Bashir Broadcasting Corporation* for nothing or the
    * Shock Telly Vultures*

    Good evening I’m John McKay, Scotland is shi*e says a think tank, Scotland is soon to be shi*e says the Tories, Scotland is well past shi*e says the Labours
    and following a FOI request it has been revealed that Scotland will always be shi*e said another Tory funded organisation very very nearly linked to the Health service and staffed by ex Labours

    Meanwhile all and any strikes are the fault of the SNP say all the people made available by the Labour party for interview in a street somewhere

    SNP *claim* there’s more money invested blah de blah blah, but the honourable Labours “say” “naw it’s no”

    England is great !!*Yaay*!!

    “Well that’s all from us tonight we’ll *sh*t on you tomorrow at the same time, and like Judy Murray at her boy’s tennis game we’ll be there, we’ll always be there”

    • Alex Clark says:

      Haha yeah, sounds about right. I won’t need to watch it now if it does go ahead which would be a massive blunder.

  33. Dr Jim says:

    I’ve just been checking some politicians Wiki pages and I’m strangely not surprised to see brand new pictures and the religions of both Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan mentioned
    Now I’ve looked at a pile of other politicians like Nicola Sturgeon John Swinney Alex Salmond and Kate Forbes even but none of these folks mention religion anywhere on their old unaltered bios

    Maybe I’m just a conspiracy theorist or maybe I should have examined many more Wiki pages

  34. yesindyref2 says:

    Worth reading but snippets:

    THE first poll of the views of SNP voters … 31% are undecided… Forbes leads … with 28% … followed by Humza Yousaf on 20% and Ash Regan on 7%.


    only 5% of SNP voters thought the new leader’s faith or personal beliefs are important

    Suddenly the national gets a bit more respectful, and there’s an article by Forbes later today as well.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Note by the way that’s voters not members in case you’re stupid enough to jump to the wrong conclusion.

      Mmm, like I was …

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Suddenly the national gets a bit more respectful

      Silly me, I should have realised this is the biased National that is taking sides rather than reporting.

      Last paragraph is a quote from Yousaf’s campaign manager and guess what? You’re right, none from Forbes or Regan.

  35. yesindyref2 says:

    Kate Forbes must realise that faith offers no immunity to criticism

    Duh! She does. Where were you this week?

    What? What’s that you say? Read the article? Why? You only read headlines not what she actually said, so why should I read your article?

    However, we have yet another attack on a candidate by the National, another attempt to influence the election by a so-called Independence supporting organ that should stay strictly neutral.

    Which means the National is supporting it seems, the view of just 20% (or 27%) of SNP supporters and ignoring the 28% who support Forbes and the needs of the 31% who don’t know yet and would like an impartial, balanced and informative newspaper to read.

    That’s not very bright, frankly.

  36. Ken says:


    2.38Billion Christians
    2Billion Muslims
    1 Billion atheists

    Scotland people declare 32% Protestant
    16% Catholic

    2% Muslim The Churces are losing members. Not attending. Scotland is secular. Churches have rights.
    Unequal opportunity and employment discrimination rights. Religious schools and not working Sundays etc. ,

    Brown/Blair warmongers killing people. Iraq keot secret for 100 years. Official Secrets Act.

    Kate will not lie. Or be a hypocrite.

    Independence is the aim.

  37. The obliging Brit media are blaming the empty supermarket shelves on bad weather in Spain and North Africa.
    It is nothing to do with Brexit that the shops in the EU still have loads of tomatoes peppers and cucumbers.

    1984 yet again.

    Theresa (wake up and smell the Brexit) Coffey was on her pins at WM yesterday urging us all to enjoy the benefits of home grown veg instead, like the humble turnip.

    Of course the political roof fell in on this stupid woman.

    Baldric’s surprise turnip soup in Blackadder. The surprise being that there is nothing other than turnip in the ‘soup’.

    I’ll not be surprised if the Mail or Sun didn’t headline with a the infamous snap of Coffey with a big cigar in one hand and a flute of champers in the other, above a a banner caption,

    ‘EU ban veg from Britain! That’s a Turnip for the books!’

    The supermarkets will be flooded with what they now call previously rejected cattle fodder veg, ‘wonky’ turnips.

    To lighten the mood of a week mired is disgraceful behaviour by our media and the ‘minority’ thugs, I reproduce Monty Python’s Spam skit, revised to reflect Mighty Brexit’s decline and fall.

    We are asked to eat cattle fodder now.

    I have replaced ‘spam’ with ‘turnip’ in this abridged version.
    Younger Duggers; I recommend that you watch the original gem on Youtube or wherever.

    Scene: A cafe. One table is occupied by a group of Vikings with horned helmets on. A man and his wife enter.

    Man: You sit here, dear.

    Wife: All right.

    Man: (to Waitress) Morning!

    Waitress: Morning!

    Man: Well, what’ve you got?

    Waitress: Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and turnip; egg bacon and turnip; egg bacon sausage and turnip; turnip bacon sausage and turnip; turnip egg spam turnip bacon and turnip ;turnip sausage turnip turnip bacon turnip tomato (off menu for four weeks)and turnip;

    Vikings: (starting to chant) Turnip turnip turnip

    Waitress: …turnip turnip turnip egg and turnip; turnip turnip turnip turnip turnip baked beans turnip turnip turnip

    Vikings: (singing) Spam! Lovelyturnip! Lovely turnip!

    Wife: Have you got anything without spam?

    Waitress: Well, there’s spam egg sausage and turnip, that’s not got much turnip in it.

    Wife: I don’t want ANY turnip!

    Man: Why can’t she have egg bacon turnip and sausage?

    Wife: THAT’S got turnip in it!

    Man: Hasn’t got as much turnip in it as turnip egg sausage and turnip, has it?

    Vikings: Turnip turnip turnip turnip (crescendo through next few lines)

    Wife: Could you do the egg bacon turnip and sausage without the turnip then?

    Waitress: Urgghh!

    Wife: What do you mean ‘Urgghh’? I don’t like turnip!

    Vikings: Lovely turnip! Wonderful turnip!

    Baron to be Union Jack will be electrifying the perimeter fence of his turnip fields now that prices are about to rocket.
    Lord, do we need a smile at the end of this terrible week.

  38. scottish_skier says:

    Is it me, or is Ash Regan getting the kid gloves by the British media? Can’t seem to find any negative stories? They seem to be mainly neutral to positive.

    I understand she’s the favourite of former imperial ambassadors and I guess anti-SNP English bloggers from Bath?

    • scottish_skier says:

      I note that anyone getting my vote needs to have been put through the meat grinder by the British press. That’s a key factor in my decision making.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Good search this morning:

    • keaton says:

      Why “imperial”? CM wasn’t the ambassador to a British colony, and he used his office to expose human rights abuses (a rather mild way of describing boiling dissidents alive) by a UK ally, to the chagrin of Whitehall. Not sure how any of that furthers the goals of empire

      • scottish_skier says:

        He was member of the British Imperial diplomatic service for 20 years and is proud of this. Makes a point of highlighting it. Promoting British interests overseas was his job, and he must have been very good at it to rise through the ranks as he did all the way to Ambassador.

        Now he seeks out document stolen from prominent Yes politicians in his efforts to attack the main enemy of the British state, the SNP.

        I have to say I find it interesting that his favoured candidate for leadership is the one the British media is promoting.

  39. Capella says:

    Alex Neil, who was the minister in charge of the Equal Marriage bill, says Humza Yousaf deliberately arranged to be absent for the vote under pressure from religious leaders. Awkward.

    Humza Yousaf ‘skipped’ equal marriage vote, says former SNP minister

    “The truth is he asked to be ‘skipped’ because he was under pressure and he then arranged a ministerial meeting, and that was his cover for not voting, and if he says anything different it’s not true,” he said.

    “There was no reason why that meeting had to be at the same time as the vote on the bill. I remember it very vividly.

    “There is no doubt at all that Humza asked for and was given leave of absence from the vote because of ‘pressure from the mosque’.

    “He asked if he could be skipped from the vote, and the first minister gave him permission, and it was agreed he would arrange a ministerial appointment which would be timed for the day of the debate and the vote, so that he would have cover.

    “I thought to be honest at the time it was a bit disappointing, because it was a matter of principle.

    “He’s parading himself as being very much in favour of equal marriage. Why did he deliberately not vote for it?

    “There’s no doubt in my mind that that is what happened.

    He added: “I was the cabinet secretary in charge of the bill and it was a free vote, so I had to know and be sure that we had the majority.

    • scottish_skier says:

      He voted for the bill at Stage 1, which counts as voting for it. Certainly that’s good enough for me!

      If he’d steered clear throughout, we might wonder why, but then he says he supports / supported the bill, and that’s what matters most, certainly to me.

      I suspect he might have had some trouble for his position on this from some less liberal people that practice Islam; there are reports of this I see.

      This would be less of an issue with GRR as Pakistan has self-id.

  40. Capella says:

    Kate Forbes’ Op Ed for The National.

    Kate Forbes: I’m committed to making Scotland the envy of the world

    MOST mothers dread the return from maternity leave. It has certainly been quite a tough first week back as I launched my bid to be Scotland’s next first minister.

    This election is about independence, who is best equipped, and who has the best plan to achieve it. It is also about the society we want Scotland to be – where tolerance is the ruling ethic, differences are welcomed, fairness is the norm, equality of opportunity is the birth right of every child, poverty becomes history, and the rule of law applies to everyone.

    Independence is front and centre of my campaign; it’s the core purpose of the SNP. I believe that we need to show – right now – Scotland’s potential as an independent small country in Europe.

    At the same time, we need to re-engage the Yes movement, which is full of talent and ideas, in uniting behind the common cause of independence. As a party, we are the largest entity in the movement, but we must build bridges, to those of different parties and none, and create the space to meaningfully engage on the path to independence.

  41. Dr Jim says:

    We get born and we grow choosing the style of life that suits us best, usually created by our families or surroundings, then shaped by our interactions as we plod through life
    We develop personal preferences tastes fashion and style and it makes us who we are
    Most of us are pretty middling mainstream kind of folks who go about our lives not bothering about what other folks do with their lives unless it impacts upon us, then we’ll either like and accept that or we won’t, but what most of us don’t do is impose our life choices on other people

    That’s a pretty basic way of living that usually doesn’t offend or upset most anyone else, but what we have today are minorities of folk who don’t just want to be recognised and accepted, they demand to be approved of, and they demand that approval is made official by either laws or political recognition

    Now here’s where that problem get’s murky, you can’t demand approval for anything from those who don’t want to give it, you can demand recognition, and that’s fine, but you can’t demand approval

    At this moment there are folk who are demanding the official approval of Kate Forbes if she becomes FM, well news for you there folks she already officially does approve of anyone under the protections of the law of the land, what you don’t and cannot demand is for Kate Forbes to become the same as you in order to show her personal approval of your hat your coat or your personal lifestyle choices, she has her own
    and she’s not asking or demanding the same personal approval from anyone else as to her style of hat coat or lifestyle, but that’s exactly what those demanding minorities are demanding of her

    Kate Forbes if she becomes FM will apply the basic law of humanity to others, that means you get the same treatment as anyone else, with accommodations made as in all human kind for differences of lifestyles, you don’t get to demand the world likes you, you don’t get to demand the world prefers what you prefer, they don’t and they won’t

    The folks who consider themselves today different from mainstream in some way may well be tomorrows mainstream, then a new set of folk will come along and demand of themselves to be approved of

    We don’t get the worlds, or indeed any individual persons approval for who we are as individuals by demanding it, or demanding they change their lifestyle to accommodate us

    There are lots of things we all like and don’t like, that’s just taste and preference for oneself, in the western world there’s not one politician who’s going to demand and enforce any law that makes all the people the same as themselves, people are free to choose everything except choosing to do harm to others

    To demand anyone become you is unreasonable and as stupid as demanding that they like the colour of your curtains or enjoy the same curry , the answer you’ll get is

    Ye cannae make me

  42. raineach says:

    I see KF has been asked about her sex life. I wonder how many politicians from any party have been asked that?

  43. Dr Jim says:

    Nicola Sturgeons parents, now in their 70s targeted by abusers

    Who’d be a politician when this is what society can be turned into by opposition politicians? Extremist right wing Trumpian and cowardly

    • Hamish100 says:

      That’s terrible.

      Met them a few times at party events and are nice ordinary people.
      The dregs of unionism have no off limits.

      They should be proud of all their family.

  44. scottish_skier says:

    Quite a friendly write up for Ash Regan from the Spectator. Looks to me like she’s their favourite in addition to being Craig Murray’s.

    Can gender rebel Ash Regan win the SNP leadership race?

    As well as playing to the members’ hearts on independence, Regan used her speech to stress her left-of-centre credentials, though added that a Scotland she led would believe in enterprise as well as social justice. She trails in all polling and bookmaker odds, but Ash Regan will be hoping that talking tough about Westminster and promising to move the party past divisions over gender is enough to shift opinion in her favour.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I suspect support from Murray or Daisley for Regan will be as welcome as a fart in a space suit for her campaign team….
      Daisley’s “ move the party past divisions over gender…” was amusing, he’s clearly been reading too much into James Cook flogging that particular dead donkey.

  45. Hamish100 says:

    She will lose. Then the bathestas will claim conspiracy and ask Donald trump for help as well as the right wing fundamentalists in ALBA. Reagan should have joined ALBA. I’m sure there are vacancies coming up.

  46. Dr Jim says:

    It’s been bad enough the National has been printing Herald rhetoric, now it’s repeating the Daily Records opinions

  47. Eilidh says:

    Well fron what I have just read Regan now saying it is a conflict of interest for NS husband Peter Murrell as Snp chief executive to be in charge of election of new Snp leader. So is Peter personally sending out all the ballot papers then?. Also I have just read Regan didn’t even join the Snp until after the Indy Ref so can I call her an entryist then.Between this her connections to Common Weal and support from Craig Murray no way I would vote for her. I am kind of glad I am not a member so no vote

  48. Hamish100 says:

    Too many careerists turned up at the same time. Saw an opportunity for themselves and not for their country.
    Independence first and foremost.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  49. Handandshrimp says:

    Well I’m a tad surprised we only have three candidates but I suppose we have the rising star, the establishment choice and the rebel, so all the main boxes are ticked. I did think Robertson would have also run but it isn’t a job everyone fancies.

    Still leaning to Forbes. I think she will be the non SNP inclined choice. I fear Ash might prove a bit too much of a wrecking ball, although she might be less so in post and Humza is just too easy a target for the ever unpleasant MSM. If Kate wins I would hope that her tent included space for her rivals. So far this leadership contest has been pretty civilised and the voters like unified parties. The Tory leadership campaigns were weird and left scars and Labour are still exorcising the ghost of Corbyn years on.

  50. malcolmh says:

    Seems likeMhairi’s let rip this pm on twitter.

    • Eilidh says:

      Read the whole of that thread she has posted on Twitter not just clickbait quote on The National.There is no doubt that what Kate said re her personal views on same sex marriage etc has caused a lot of hurt to gay people and others. Two of my closest friends are a gay couple who have been together for over 20 years will they continue to vote Snp with Kate as leader and FM I really don’t know.

      • Hamish100 says:

        Isn’t Kate Forbes also part of a minority and has been a attacked quite relentlessly over the past week?

        Sometimes you have to accept we have different views and respect that.

        The unionists will be smiling as they disrupt and are past masters at divide and rule.

        Personally I can’t say who I will eventually vote for but Regan is too close to the ALBA group for my liking.

        I think SNP were wrong to accept a tv invite.

        There are hustings around for members to attend.

        Too many anti-snp with too many opinions stirring the pot and giventoo much say.

        I cancelled my National subscription. Will return when it’s albanists leanings stop and when the britnats with pretend names in the comments page are removed.

        Sunday National I prefer as a hard copy anyway and seems to be of a better quality read.

        Independence 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

        • Legerwood says:

          Read Ms Black’s Twitter thread. Seemed to be another person who had not read Ms Forbes full answers to the questions posed or Ms Forbes’ statement just the headlines.

          John Nicholson also seems to have waded into the debate but seemingly without naming KF directly.

          • Eilidh says:

            When I posted read the whole thread I was merely pointing out to read the whole thing as so much The National has focused on this week is just tiny bits of what KF said etc. I actually think there was good and bad in what KF said the other day and what Mhairi said today. Kate was being honest which is good but in my opinion she should not have been drawn into so much detail of her religious beliefs on equal marriage etc. Mhairi is reacting emotionally as a gay woman who feels othered/lesened by what Kate said. I doubt either of them have spoken to each other about the details of Kate’s religious beliefs. Ian Blackford is a Free Church member and he clearly has different religious views from KF. However Mhairi raises an important point that what KF said could lose the Snp votes among the gay community if KF elected and that is probably true.Snp cannot afford to lose any votes One thing is clear it is a miracle that NS was able to hold the fractious bunch of Snp Mps or Msps in anything like togetherness for so long. Not a member so no vote pity nominations have closed or maybe the Loch Ness Monster might have been a good candidate.- joke I still think KF is the best candidate

        • Alexander says:

          Yes. Kate Forbes is a part of a minority. A minority which enjoys the right to worship as she pleases, believe what she wants, and practise her religion. She has that human right. She does not, or rather should not, have the right to enforce those beliefs on people who do not share them. She openly admits she would have done so if she had been in Parliament when the Equal Marriage Act was being debated by voting against it.
          She might well believe she is being sincere in stating she accepts the law as it now stands, but given the importance she obviously attaches to her own beliefs over other people’s rights, how can she possibly give that assurance.
          Young people on the whole do not share her views and it is young people who will be needed to achieve independence. If they think it would lead to some narrow-minded society they won’t vote for it.

          • Legerwood says:

            From her statements on the issue of gay marriage and upholding/defending the law as a public servant she appears to have a very clear idea of what is Caesar’s and what is God’s and thus her public and private duty/responsibility.

            She gave a very good example of this when she mentioned Chancellor Merkel in the context of someone voting her conscience then upholding the law that had majority support.

            Ms Forbes was not an MSP in 2014 when the Act in question was passed hut if she had been and voted against it she would not have been the only SNP MSP to vote against it. But as far as I am aware none of them have since tried to overturn the law so why suggest she would try to do so now?

            • Alexander says:

              She obviously doesn’t know “what is Caesar’s and what is God’s” when she says she would have voted against! Who knows what will happen in the future? There may be some other issue which arises. And the point is she will be the leader of the party and FM and thereby wield considerable power.
              And my remarks re young people still apply. There is a real danger this will turn most of them off the idea of independence.

              • Bob Lamont says:

                I doubt you know many young people tbh let alone their views or how much they’re laughing at this wholly media manufactured farce…
                The greatest problem independence had was folks “in the city” determined to undermine it – They’re not daft…

              • Hamish100 says:

                She is allowed to vote the way she’s fit or do you believe she must vote the way you think?

                Are modern independent countries not more liberal than the current U.K. who is blocking the democratic will of the Scots Parliament.

                The conflation of different issues are the old britnat tricks.

              • Nonsense.
                Young people are not daft.
                Black and Cherry are on the usual ego trip.
                They love the sound of their own voices, IYAM.
                They are wearing their sexual orientation as some sort of Crusading badge, and fuck independence any time soon. It all about me me me.

                Methinks that they protest too much.
                Life in London is far too cosy to give up any time soon.

                I still refer to that stank in the middle of the road as a manhole..but sotto voce these days, lest I am overheard and arrested.

                Can we shut the feck up about Forbes’ religion now?
                She is being harassed and persecuted, yes, persecuted, for her religious beliefs.
                Now we are to tolerate Gay Inquisitors outing Jesus cultists and putting them to the sword?
                ‘Render unto Caesar’, is the biblical text with which you struggle, Alexander; Try Matthew 22.22, Eck.
                They are all crawling out of the wood work attacking this woman, and gleefully destroying the independence movement. They are doing our colonial suppressors’ job for them.

                Gay Scotland or no Scotland?
                Whit the feck.
                That’s how the English Empire thrived.
                Get the natives killing each other.
                It’s time that the London SNP MPs left WM and got their hands dirty working for Independence.

          • Hamish100 says:

            How would she force you to do anything? Has she done it to date?
            Would the Scots Parliament agree to it?
            It seems the most narrow minded are those who claim to be liberal.

      • Legerwood says:

        Considering they are fairly senior members of the same party is Ms Black saying this is the first she knew of Ms Forbes’ views? If so does that indicate that nothing in Ms Forbes’ behaviour towards Ms Black in any way suggested that she looked down on/disliked Ms Black because she was gay?

        • Eilidh says:

          Doubt they have had that much contact particularly as recently Kate was on mat leave for months and Mhairi has only ever served at Westminster. Kate as far as I know didn’t go into details about what her faith makes her think of same sex marriage until the other day. I can’t imagine it was a conversation they ever had at a Snp event. Bet the media never asked how faith affected AS views on that sort of thing or NS. It was so obviously a media setup. Ironically if Kate becomes FM there will be some in the churches who will castigate her and call her a hypocrite for not repealing same sex marriage legislation and I say that as a member of COS. Humans – they could cause a fight in an empty house.

    • scottish_skier says:

      I know a high and mighty hate filled bigot when I see one, and I didn’t see that in Forbes. I saw someone who really believes in their faith and wants to be true to it. I also saw someone who didn’t seem to comprehend the implications of what she was saying when she said she’d have voted against same sex marriage. It seemed to me she saw it as something about her, that it was matter her faith and so the correct thing would be to oppose. Very simplistic. Also, given the massive support for the bill, maybe that her doing so would have made no difference? She did not seem to see that voting against would be like Mhairi voting to ban mixed sex marriage. That or banning married women from becoming pregnant. Maybe forcing the free church to perform same sex marriages…

      This seems to tie in with the apology in that the backlash came as shock, and now she’s thought about it and realised all this, she does feel bad. Certainly she didn’t double down and try to use weaselly words to wriggle out, which is what real bigots would have done. You can spot sociopaths a mile away by the fact they just cannot say sorry.

      I am still watching and listening. To vote for Forbes I need to know that she sees things more clearly now and can vote ‘in opposition’ to her own views as ultimately she’s protecting her own right to freedom of religion etc by protecting the rights of others to theirs, such as through same sex marriage. She’s saying she can do this, but really needs to convince people of it. It didn’t start off that well and she’s paying the price. She’s got to keep saying sorry and making up for it when asked, reinforcing that she was a fault here and made a stupid mistake, not thinking it through.

      My overriding concern is her inability to see the implications of what she was saying. This is vital to a good leader as it’s a key diplomatic skill that allows people to win agreement and herd cats. This is why I’ve felt a stint a DFM is needed before FM. Learn the ropes and from mistakes. She has been catapulted into quite high office and FM means becomes leader of a country on the world stage. You’ll be meeting the POTUS and stuff. You need to think before speaking.

  51. Skintybroko says:

    I can understand Mhairi’s rant, she is perfectly correct in that as a minority she is seen by Kate as a lesser person, who shouldn’t have equal rights – appreciate Kate has said she will support existing legislation but does that mean she will demonise minorities that don’t conform to her beliefs in future legislation? Don’t see this ending well for Kate even though I think she is by far the better candidate in general, though maybe not a unifying one?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Apparently you can’t be a servant of democracy unless you approve and endorse everybody else’s position in society, seems to be Mhairi’s submission here, what you can do is demand equality under the the law but….
      You can’t legally demand approval or endorsement of personal preferences , that’s imposing yours on others personal preferences no matter how Mhairi tries to spin that

      Ironically this looks like *straight bashing* from Mhairi, who should know better as a MP in a party that is more inclusive than any other

      • Skintybroko says:

        Good point, could look at it being the polar opposite, does Mhairi deny Kate’s right to individual thought. Always a tricky one, I personally don’t agree with Kate’s beliefs though brought up to do so. Hopefully they can work it out as both are strong characters and defenders of our case for independence

  52. raineach says:

    So we have 3 candidates, Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and Kate Forbes. should be interesting

  53. Dr Jim says:

    There’s just so much more to being Scotland’s FM than policy, and policy is something on which all three basically agree, so next is the job of public relations advertising face of Scotland presentation bit, and who we think has the saleability X Factor that will be instantly recognised, and I don’t mean by wearing a dollop of tartan, if that was the case you could get a Scotty dog and stick a tartan coat on it
    Some folk might say appearance doesn’t matter, but they’d be dead wrong, it counts and counts a lot, we’re in the business of selling Scotland’s brand to the world so……

    Which candidate will be seen as *oh yes that’s Scotland*

    Think of all the previous FMs, absolutely nothing, right? until Nicola Sturgeon came along and !!BOOM!! Scotland appeared on the world map, btw Peter Murrell deserves massive credit for that as well as Nicola Sturgeon

    Why do I think the media and every opposition has piled in on Kate Forbes?
    They can see the same thing happening again and it terrifies them from the soles of their feet to the hairs standing on end at the tops of their heads

    Youth, competence, ability, personable appearance and yet *another* damn Scotswoman, something the men politicians that oppose Scotland shrink from, but something our friends in Europe and the rest of the world embrace, because let’s face it they’re normal human beings

    We want and need our foreign pals, it’s the English we don’t need nor want, until they behave themselves, well they haven’t in the last hundreds of years so no breath holding there

  54. Capella says:

    Yes I see Mhairi Black has accused Kate Forbes of “intolerance”. Oh the irony.

    • Legerwood says:

      Indeed. How long have they been colleagues in the same party and presumably known each others views.

      • ayeinskye says:

        When Kate was only a candidate in 2016, MB was up in Portree with her, and the to was common knowledge that Kate was a member of the FCoS, in fact I managed to blag a selfie with both of them, I think it was the day the big Yellow Vote Nicola bus visited the island

    • Dr Jim says:

      *straight bashing*

      • TC says:

        “Help, I am being straight-bashed: people are criticising me for saying I would vote against their equality under the law!”

        In light of the history of genuine violence, oppression, and yes, bashing of gay people in this country, it is absolutely grotesque for you to equate criticism of someone’s belief that gay people are some how less deserving of legal standing than straight people, with that actual history of homophobic violence and prejudice.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Would be good if folks stopped trying to out tolerate each other. 🙂

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Can you imagine Black as FM?


  55. Alex Clark says:

    Ultimately it’s the party that decides policy and not the leader.

    The leader and their cabinet might want to steer policy in a particular direction but if the party doesn’t want to go there then how does it become policy?

    It’s become quite common recently for parties to get rid of leaders who don’t follow the path that the party chooses and the SNP will not be immune to that.

  56. Alex Clark says:

    Brexit Britain.

    Yesterday in the HoC, Theresa Coffey said:

    “It’s important to make sure that we cherish the specialisms that we have in this country. A lot of people would be eating turnips right now rather than thinking necessarily about aspects of lettuce and tomatoes and similar”

    Today supermarkets are reported to have ran out of turnips,

  57. Capella says:

    How embarrassing that Kemi Badenoch is more liberal than those who want Kate Forbes pilloried for her personal beliefs.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Good grief! she’s a human being
      This response from Kemi Badenoch is the most fair and honest judgement I’ve ever heard her make

    • Eilidh says:

      Can’t read what she said I just get a blank box with sad face emoji in it. This seems to be happening more and more when I read the blog these days. Might be an android thing.

    • scottish_skier says:

      I didn’t have any problem at all with Forbes views on how she wanted to live her life.

      The only thing that had me perplexed was her believing it was morally right for MSPs to vote to limit her freedom to practice her religion / beliefs, even if that harmed nobody.

      She seemed to believe it was e.g. fine for MSPs to vote to force the free church to host same sex marriages. Or at least she thought that was ok in 2014.

      I don’t think that’s right at all. Seems I’m not alone.

      I’m hoping she gets that now after the backlash. 🙂

  58. yesindyref2 says:

    Interesting article in the National about that vote-stuffed poll – and fair play to them being open about it.

    (warning – a bit techy!) I put a chat room on a website of mine back in the 90s. Got it from Matt’s Archive of course, but knew the scripts were often unsafe, stuck some validation in – including what’s called metacharacters just in case. Plus a log of the actual query strings, and then someone actually tried to break through the walls with metacharacters, and I just got rid of the chatroom then. Security is non-stop, so why give yourself work for no advantage?

    So yeah, hats off to the National for being open and honest.

  59. yesindyref2 says:

    Anyways, it’s great really, the National has set the tone for the unionist media of the future, with the attacks which used to be on Sturgeon but are now on Forbes:

    X accuses Kate Forbes of Y

    Next of course will be:

    “Forbes accused”.

  60. Golfnut says:

    I would never trust the SNP or the Scots in general.
    Labour in Scotland playing the divisive card.

    • keaton says:

      It’s been clear for a while that that one’s as thick as a turd sandwich, but still, I thought that must be a fake screenshot when I first saw it. Nope – the tweet is real and remains undeleted. It deserves more attention than it’s had.

  61. Old Pete says:

    As an Irish born Scottish Catholic I can tell Laura McConnell to get to f**k and take her Labour party with her. Bloody check from someone who should be smart enough to no better.
    Vote Kate Forbes, best choice by a mile.

  62. Hamish100 says:

    Any relation to Lord and lady toads McConnells?

  63. Dr Jim says:

    The Labour party are the worst of the British Nationalists, they insult Scotland on a daily basis, then demand we vote for them, then if we don’t they deny the relevance of what we did vote for

    Then they say they’ve changed and will listen to us, then when we still don’t vote for them they revert to their previous behaviour

    The biggest lie Labour have ever told Scotland is that they need Scotland’s votes to win general elections
    Scotland voted Labour many times and got Tories every time, proving Scotland’s votes only count in Scotland so why the hell would we vote for people who tell lies like this
    Scotland hasn’t voted Tory in 60 years proving it’s England’s votes that decide general elections, and in that country they vote Tory, so the only chance Labour ever have of winning general elections in England is if the Tories collapse and die

    Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland have no say and our votes and opinions do not and have never counted

    We might as well be zoo animals

  64. Kate Forbes is an individual who is honest, and respectful towards others with views different from her.She is by far the best candidate and the person that the unionists fear the most.That is why the unionist media are trying to distract her from talking about health care,the economy and independence.I look forwards to hearing her views on those topics,which she has correctly identified as the key issues for the Scottish public.

    • Dr Jim says:

      She was asked what would she do when the UK government refused to negotiate or grant authority for Independence every time it’s asked for

      Kate Forbes replied “Is that not a question the press should be directing at the UK government for being an undemocratic partner in our so called partnership of equals”

      None of this eh erm oh we’ll try again and again stuff, she put the responsibility and fault on the media to do their job, and pointed out the dictatorial behaviour of the UK cabal both at the same time

      You don’t wait until people figure it out for themselves, you tell them straight what’s being done to them, Kate Forbes does that, straight honest talking is what impresses folk

  65. TC says:

    As a gay man, who has struggled mightily with my sexual orientation for about a decade because of a religious upbringing – as a man who has only in the past few years begun to come to terms with that sexuality – I am pretty darn shaken by the reactions I’ve seen from people in this comments section.

    I have seen people eagerly embracing the comments of Arlene Foster and Kemi Badenoch, trying to mould them into liberal champions of the Yes movement, while outright rejecting and attacking the lived experiences of gay men and women. I’ve seen people bewailing the evil persecution visited on Kate Forbes by the gay community, while denouncing us as the REAL persecutors in society for simply announcing that we are not comfortable with our very legitimacy being debated.

    I understand that if people have never themselves experienced having the morality of their existence debated, they don’t see why it would cause so much hurt. But I did expect that more of the Yes movement to have a little more historical nous about it, with regards to the genuine persecution (not just criticism, PERSECUTION) visited on queer people in this country throughout the past century.

    The fact that so many seem to see us as some sort of inconvenience getting in the way of their favoured candidate is quite dispiriting. Even more dispiriting is the fact that you’ve chosen to expound upon all of this on the blog of a gay man, who, if Kate Forbes had her way, would be expressly forbidden from marriage to the man he loves.

    I’m quite sure, given the way the comments have been trending, that my own comments here will be dismissed as an evil persecutor of that lovely young lass who believes, on a fundamental level, that Paul and I are wrong for loving the people that we do, and who would prefer (and VOTE, if given the chance) that we be forbidden from expressing that love.

    But it is worth howling into the wind one more time, on behalf of the rights that queer men and women have fought so hard to win for myself, that criticism of Kate Forbes is not some form of “straight-persecution”. It is not gay people being “hysterical” (I can only imagine the hysteria here if a gay candidate announced they’d vote to disallow mixed-sex marriage; the very same people who are allying with Badenoch and Foster against the evils of “Christian persecution” would be shrieking with fury at the very idea of their happy heterosexual marriages being dissolved).

    It is simply an expression of frustration at the fact that we have fought for decades to be recognised, and now certain members of the Yes community seem only too willing to disregard our anxieties about someone who has told us that although she respects our legal right to formally express our love, she would rather such love did not exist at all.

    • As a christian,I do not have any problem with gay marriages.While I have a different conclusion from Kate Forbes about what the Bible says about that,my earlier email was not trying to brush aside her religious views as an inconvenience.I was trying to explain that in spite of Kate Forbes interpretation of her faith,I do believe that she understands and is non judgemental about people with different views.In fact,her recent comments show an empathic sensitivity to the feelings of others,who are different.Also,I was suggesting that the mainstream media,which is predominant;y opposed to independence is using this to distract her from talking about issues that will impact on the lives of everyone,such as health care,the cost of living,education and the ability to make our own decisions,and to have them respected.
      Dr Bill Reynolds

    • You lost me at :- ‘As a gay man’, TC.
      Obviously new to WGD, you are possibly not aware of the universal rainbow nature of this excellent and vital site.

      I am not taking the bait, TC. I refuse to give examples of the inclusive nature of this site.
      Duggers, be not sucked into defensive ‘some of my best friends are gay’ ‘apology’ to TC.

      It does the ongoing struggle of our LGBT+ fellow Duggers no favours to mask TC’s ostensibly reasonable plea for tolerance in an attack on Forbes because of her religion.

      Now, the Brit trolls are dragging in the Catholics, to undermine Forbes’ leadership bid.
      Divide and conquer is always the Brit way; remember that.

      Paul Kavanagh is an outstanding champion of all Scottish citizens’ rights.

      He is a pro Independence oxymoron; fiery soft spoken reasoned speaker, writer, and friend to regulars on this blog.

      Therefore TC’s measured concerns are shared by us all, I sense, ..sorry, there is a ‘but’.
      Independence is our destiny.
      Let’s get back to making the case for Self Determination.
      Paul is on a well earned break.
      His health has suffered for the cause.
      We are too tight a group on here to be swayed from our path to independence.
      ‘As a gay man’?
      Drop that ‘badge of honour’ prefix, TC.

      • barpe says:

        Well said , Jack.

      • Eilidh says:

        Sorry Jack I don’t think you are helping the situation by telling a gay man to drop the badge of honour or assuming he is new to this blog. I was a subscriber here for over a year before I posted anything. Some people have been hurt by what Kate said and she seems to have taken that on board. It is up to the members now to decide who should be the next leader. Let’s see what happens

        • I am not here to ‘help a situation’, Eilidh.
          Cherry is a successful wealthy politician and barrister.
          Her motives are political, not social.
          She and Black are stirring up the LGBT community to fight the wrong fight.
          I don’t scene set my opinions by revealing my sexual orientation; I expect others to do the same.
          When I was growing up, you got your head kicked in for being in the wrong street.
          Feel free to demand why I feel that I should reveal this little snippet on here.
          Kate Forbes is head and shoulders above the other two candidates. Ash Regan is the stalking horse, standing to eat into Forbes vote so that we are left with the hapless Yusef as FM.
          So can we shut the feck up about anything else other than independence at this time.

          • Eilidh says:

            Agree with some of what you say Jack but not all.A friend of mine has voted Snp for a number of years as she liked Nicola but she voted no in the Indy referendum She is a scientist so wants scientific proof of benefits of Independence- bonkers I know.She remains unconvinced about Indy She told me last week she is unlikely to vote Snp if any of the current leadershipcandidates becomes FM. Personally I wish NS hadn’t resigned but we are where we are. All of the negative and unfair comments re the candidates are bound to have an effect on those who are unsure of Independence. You folks who are members, vote for who you want to support. I will always support Independence but who knows what will happen to Independence support among the electorate in general.

            • Scienist, salaried, middle class, comfortable(?)under the present arrangement, wants scientific proof of the case for independence.
              She has the wit and intellect to research the case for independence herself.
              The information is out there for her to analyse and decide.
              I oft refer to the Brit Scotia Nostra, the professional class, the wealthy, the robber barons who have lorded over us for 300 years.
              What right has your ‘friend’ to demand that you gather up the evidence for Self Determination and present it to her?
              She knows perfectly well what she wants.
              The status quo.
              she is playing you.
              She is part of an upper tier who is doing very well out of it all, and hang those who are struggling.
              Or so it seems to me.

            • Pogmothon says:

              Hello Eilidh
              Please ask your friend what the actual status of Schrödinger’s cat is, today, tomorrow, in a week, in a year.
              Not the possible status dependant on relative conditions.
              The actual physical status at that time.
              Which is of course subject to change every time it is observed.
              When your friend can answer that then they will know how to precisely predict Scotland’s future condition for any given moment in time.

              Apology to Schrodinger for bringing your namesake of unknown sexual orientation and religious beliefs into the comments.

        • TC says:

          Thank you, Eilidh. You seem to have actually engaged with what I said, and been thoughtful about your response. I have actually been reading for years; the characterisation of any criticism of Forbes as bad-faith Unionist propaganda was what finally drove me to comment. I think people unironically quoting Kemi Badenoch as an exemplar of liberalism was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.

          Jack himself has given a fantastic example of the sort of kneejerk, defensive rage that unsettled me enough to comment. If you’re critical of Kate Forbes’s utterances in any capacity, it has to be “bait”, leading back to some sort vast Unionist conspiracy. It couldn’t just be that queer people possibly feel a wee bitty apprehensive about someone who said she would vote against our rights if given the chance.

          I’m glad Kate Forbes seems to have taken that criticism of what she said on board. I certainly don’t expect that she would attempt to roll back on my rights or anyone else’s. I was simply trying to explain why members of the LGBT community might be more anxious than others about such a person gaining the highest office in the land.

          Unfortunately, Jack seems a little too frantically over-eager to jump at shadows and proclaim them unionist conspiracies, to actually maturely engage in the sort of discussion that would make queer independence supporters feel more at ease with Forbes leadership; something that will be vital going forward, if the Yes movement don’t want to drive us away.

          So thank you for your thoughtfulness. It does mean a lot to see that someone at least recognises the difficulty her comments put on the gay community, rather than snarling about gay unionist collaborators.

    • Capella says:

      Kate Forbes is entitled to her beliefs and to express them – it is a basic Human Right. Had she been in Holyrood in 2014 – and she wasn’t – she would have been entitled to vote with her conscience. Had she voted against same sex marriage as others did, she would have been defeated by the majority. That’s democracy, which Kate Forbes upholds.
      Do you?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      if Kate Forbes had her way

      Did you miss the bit where, in Scotland, she gets just one vote same as I do? And did you iss the bit where she said she would support the law AS IT STANDS?

      I personally don’t believe in adultery, I think one of the two in a marriage gets hurt, sometimes badly hurt, but it’s been legal since the 1800s. I accept the law as it is and wouldn’t try to change it. BoJo was a bad PM of the UK, but as far as I was concerned adultery had nothing to do with it.

      If you are so intolerant you can’t support other people, including our politicians and leaders, having views that are different to yours, it is you that’s in he wrong, not the others.

      • keaton says:

        I guess the obvious response is: would a candidate who said that they personally believed interracial marriage to be wrong, but acknowledged that this was a minority view and gave assurances that they would not seek to legislate against it, be an acceptable candidate for FM?

        • scottish_skier says:

          Wrong for themselves according to the rules of their religion / belief system, or wrong for others who don’t practice that?

          I really don’t mind if Kate Forbes is steadfastly against marrying another woman. Don’t mind either of someone absolutely doesn’t want to marry someone of a different race. Each to their own.

          If they won’t interfere in what others do, or attack them for it, then it doesn’t really matter to me.

          Forbes, as far as I know, has not been going around preaching that same sex marriage is wrong… calling people who have children outside of wedlock sinners etc. She has friends and family that don’t practice what she does.

          Clearly people are desperately trying to find instances of her preaching bigotry, and I have found such folks now decrying her for giving her opinion when she was 24 on whether she thought women should be ministers in her religion, even though they don’t practice said religion. Unless you are a free church member, this issue isn’t your business. Same for Islam and it’s rules on e.g. sex segregation.

          Where I disagree with her is where she said she’d voted to restrict the religious / belief freedoms of others, i.e. on the SSM bill. But then it seems to be she had no idea what she as actually saying, i.e. if she opposed that, then she was giving the green light for MSPs to vote to e.g. force her church to conduct same sex marriages. I suspect if you put it that way to her, she’d reverse her voting stance. She didn’t think, and that worries me.

          Organised religion does generally concern me as it can make people stop thinking for themselves if they end up following the teachings of others too much. I can’t help feel this is the case here. If she loves her religious freedom, voting against the SSB bill would have been a monumentally stupid thing to do.

          • keaton says:

            Wrong for themselves according to the rules of their religion / belief system, or wrong for others who don’t practice that?

            I’m not sure this is a real distinction. Moral principles are universal. If I think theft is wrong, then I believe it’s wrong for anyone to do it. If someone steals, I would think that’s bad, even if their personal belief was that theft was morally fine.

            But ok, for clarity, suppose KF had said: “I accept that interracial marriage isn’t going to come to a vote any time soon and I don’t intend to force the issue. But if it did, I’d vote against because my personal belief is that black people shouldn’t be allowed to marry white people.” Should that disqualify her from standing to lead the party?

            • scottish_skier says:

              Don’t think such a thing could stop someone standing for a party leadership, but they’d unlikely get many votes if that was a progressive one! Certainly wouldn’t from me.

              As per my post, I don’t mind at all if Forbes is against same sex marriage for herself. Same if she feels she must be married before having kids. It seems to me she is mainly apply her own moral system to herself (morals are not strictly universal, laws are to all in a country).

              I do care if she’d try to prevent others ‘practicing their religion / belief system’ by voting to stop them doing that; SSM bill being an example (although I note she was talking about what a younger self probably would have done). It would also, as noted, greatly perplex me also, as she’d be saying it’s all fine for MSPs to vote to prevent practicing her own religion freely. But then I don’t think she’s been thinking things through, which is what actually worries me the most.

              Actions matter to me ultimately. How someone treats others.

              I will probably end up voting 1. Yousaf, 2. Forbes, 3. Regan. I do wonder if the first two as an FM/DFM combo might be the clever solution, particularly if they learned to share the role, such as in NoI.

              Yes must be, ultimately apolitical. It needs to be centrist. If too left/liberal, it alienates the right/conservative and so forth. Some balance of views is needed.

              In the end, the FM has no executive powers anyway, but they are supposed to make our country look like a fair, equal, and inclusive one that respects different views, allowing people to live to their own moral codes as long as this doesn’t hurt others.

            • Straw man, keaton, but you know that.
              Headline in the Herald from your wee ‘interracial marriage’ irrelevance?
              “Critics condemn Forbes’ ‘interracial marriage’ row.”
              Can we stick with reality?

              • keaton says:

                Where’s the straw man? I changed nothing in her stated position except for the type of marriage she would have voted to disallow. If there’s a good reason that opposing same-sex marriage should be more acceptable than opposing mixed-race marriage, I genuinely can’t see what that could be.

            • Bob Lamont says:

              This is where the Torches and Pitchforks game expands into racial considerations ?
              As others have pointed out, even if Forbes’ personal religious opinions informed her vote it would be 1 in 129 in the Holyrood system.
              I’d posted earlier on JRM making much the same points over his perceptions of Christianity eons ago and what would inform his vote, where was Ciaran Jenkins or James Cook then ?

            • Capella says:

              Of course it would. It’s racist. She has never said this.

              As for marriage between men and women, you could argue that society has always regarded this as special because it meant the next generation would be looked after and social life of the community would be assured. Births, deaths and marriages have involved ritual since before god was a boy.

              If religious organisations want to restrict their rituals to men and women then what is wrong with that? As long as there are civil means of solemnising contracts then nobody is disadvantaged.

              • keaton says:

                I appreciate that you’ve answered the question rather than ducking it by accusing me of bad faith.

                Of course it would. It’s racist. She has never said this.

                If opposing the marriage of mixed-race couples constitutes racism, why doesn’t opposing the marriage of same-sex couples constitute homophobia?

                As for marriage between men and women, you could argue that society has always regarded this as special because it meant the next generation would be looked after and social life of the community would be assured. Births, deaths and marriages have involved ritual since before god was a boy.

                That’s an argument for keeping mixed-sex marriages legal, not for outlawing same-sex ones.

                If religious organisations want to restrict their rituals to men and women then what is wrong with that? As long as there are civil means of solemnising contracts then nobody is disadvantaged.

                Except that she stated that she would have voted to prevent organisations which *do* want to conduct such weddings from doing so. As far as I know, no politician has endorsed forcing churches to recognise gay marriage.

                • Capella says:

                  Not so – as I commented below, there already was a Civil Partnership Act in place and nobody was suggesting banning that. Voting against the Marriage and Civil Partnership Act would not have prevented civil partnerships from taking place.
                  The argument seems to have centred on whether the word “marriage” could be applied as religious bodies felt they had a monopoly on that. Baptism would probably be the same.

                  There is an article in Wikipedia which gives some interesting history such as the consultation where 67% were opposed to the bill.

                  Unlike the English and Welsh Consultation, the one for Scotland dealt with the issue of same-sex marriage in a religious context. On 10 December 2011, The Scotsman newspaper reported that some 50,000 responses had been received from within Scotland.[16] In reality, when counting was finished, the total stood at 77,508.[17] The Government presented the results and analysis of the consultation in July 2012. Respondents who opposed the introduction of same sex marriage were in the majority, with 67%.


    • scottish_skier says:

      I’m H in a mixed sex marriage. However, as I’ve noted in past posts, I had some family members in same sex relationships, and the same sex marriage bill finally allowed one of these to marry the love of their life not long before they (my family member) died of terminal cancer.

      I’ve never questioned same sex relationships because I wasn’t taught to. My parents didn’t pull me aside and say ‘See your X, well, they’re in a same sex relationship and that’s ok, right?’. Nobody said anything at all because nobody had issues, so I never questioned such things. Children need to be taught racism, bigotry, intolerance. It’s not something they are born with.

      Anyway, I totally got the hurt that Forbes’ words have caused, in part because of this. Not really her belief system which I couldn’t give a flying fig about and neither would the family members I mention, but her saying she’d have voted against. That I could not comprehend from someone apparently a nice and charitable person. She’s certainly not some selfish Tory barstool only interested in lining her own pockets, that’s for sure.

      But what really worried me is Forbes didn’t seem to appreciate what she’d just said. By saying she would have voted against the SSM bill, she was giving the green light for MSPs to e.g. vote to force her church to perform same sex marriages against its will, legally punishing those ministers who refused such requests. If it’s fine one way, it’s fine the other. I don’t think she got this at all, and it’s that which has me most worried, for to be a good leader of a county, such simple logic is a must. You need to see things from the perspectives of all you lead, and the implications of words/actions. Sturgeon is very good at this; it’s what made her such a successful FM.

      I am interested to see what Paul has to say. It’s not like I take direction from anyone in particular, but I think you were absolutely right to express your views as you have, and people should hear such viewpoints. People have a lot of respect for Paul and they know who he is. They can be more suspicious of motives of anon BTL commenters. Forgivable, as concern trolls are all over the place.

      I do feel some supporters are acting a bit like Forbes and not seeing things from perspectives such as your own, in part for the reasons you state. It is possible to cause great hurt and offence without actually intending to. I think this does apply in Forbes’ case. That’s very different from intentionally being hateful and bigoted. When people don’t intend hurt, they are open to being corrected and are apologetic.

      So I might say take that into account too when someone seems to be causing offence. Are they intending too or are they just not seeing what they are doing? Christians like to say ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do’. If they know, they they should be rightly condemned. If they don’t, then just talk to them and explain as they should listen.

      On a different matter, but a good example….

      I had a technician colleague at work. Really nice guy, but we had our disagreements over Brexit. He was like ‘Aye, but there are too many migrants coming!’. I said to him ‘James, but all your office mates (which you really like) are migrants. I’m the only one from Scotland in our team’ (university research group). He was like ‘But I didn’t mean them!’. And he genuinely didn’t. He just hadn’t though about it like that. Strange, but true.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      And don’t try to twist my reply into “You’re comparing gay marriage to adultery”, I’m comparing beliefs, and the rights of people in a democracy to hold different views to the majority, while upholding the rights of the majority.

      As does Kate Forbes and as do I. But do you?

      • scottish_skier says:

        You might at least wait and see if he was actually going to argue that lol! 🙂

        Everyone should be remembering this right now:


        Me included!

      • TC says:

        Thanks for stuffing words I never said down my throat. Always great when someone pre-emptively constructs a straw-man to spit bile at, before you’ve even replied!

        Kate Forbes is welcome to her views. Where I take issue is the fact that she said she’d legislate to restrict the rest of us to her views. Whether same-sex marriage would have passed without her is a moot point. The point is, that she clearly does not keep to the idea that politics are personal, and should not infringe on the liberty of others, is an issue to me.

        If you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, choosing not to enter a same-sex marriage on your own accord is keeping it personal. When you start trying to legislate that OTHERS should not (as she herself admitted she would have done), that’s when it enters the public sphere and becomes open to legitimate criticism.

        I wouldn’t personally enter a mixed-sex marriage. I wouldn’t vote against it if it came up to a vote. Kate Forbes has admitted she would do so the reverse situation.

        That’s the difference. And no amount of stuffing words I haven’t said (but that you’d clearly rather argue against) down my throat, will get around that.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          With respect TC, the straw man was constructed by Ciaran Jenkins and the media machine in the first place, posing the hypothetical question how she PERSONALLY would have voted given her religious beliefs on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act in 2014 – Note the precision of the question to extract a predetermined answer which could then be escalated by a hostile media in the middle of a culture propaganda war.

          In reality, politicians seldom act solely on their PERSONAL beliefs, they take soundings from the electorate, they weigh up the likely voting on a policy, then vote accordingly. There is in reality no way of knowing how Forbes would have voted.

          Given the uproar and hurt caused by Forbes answering the ACTUAL question honestly, do you not find it surprising NONE of the 7 SNP, 3 Labour or 8 Tory MSPs who voted against the Bill on 4th February 2014 have been approached by the media to justify themselves ?

          I don’t agree with Kate Forbes’s PERSONAL view, but I recognise a stitch-up and smokescreen when I see it.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          You just did exactly what I said you would Terence, twisted my reply where I asked very clearly:

          Did you miss the bit where, in Scotland, she gets just one vote same as I do? And did you iss the bit where she said she would support the law AS IT STANDS?

          And then you went on to prove that you clearly had missed the bit where she said:

          And did you [m]iss the bit where she said she would support the law AS IT STANDS?

          instead of that you said: “is the fact that she said she’d legislate to restrict the rest of us to her views.

          that’s not a fact Terence, it’s a blatant lie.

  66. Old Pete says:

    So who would be your preferred candidate from the three on offer TC.e

  67. Old Pete says:

    So who would be your preferred candidate from the three on offer TC ?
    Waiting with interest what Paul’s recommendation for the leader might be ?

  68. Ken says:

    The Law accepts rights for people.

    Women are 30% under represented.

    Women who co habit, the majority, do not have equal rights with others. They have to put in a claim within a year. Legal costs can cost £thousands and take years. They are often the main carers. Women have to live in abusive places and do not have equal rights under the Law.

    The Leader is one of 129. Not a dictator and has to toe the line. Or they do not last long. PM’s in Westminster. A line of failures. Soon to be reactified by a General Election.

  69. Ken says:

    The majority in Scotland supported equal marriage. It happened. Everybody has friends and relations of different persuasion. Scotland is more progressive and tolerant and secular. Progress has been made and will continue. No matter who the leader. The most important things are the economy, poverty and equality. Changing things within the UK. Stopping illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. Then everyone will be safer, more prosoerous and happier. A more cohesive society. If everyone gets out and votes for it. Too many people who support Independence do not go out and vote every election. To vote out the opposition.

  70. Ken says:

    People want equal rights. Women who are not married should have equal rights. Half.

  71. Ken says:

    Women in the 60’s had to give up children to adoption because they were not married. Women who worked part time did not have pension rights. Now retired in poverty.

    Many groups were persecuted. That are not now. Society changes and evolves. The Tories are trying to change the world backwards. Brexit etc. They will be voted out.

  72. Hamish100 says:

    Since the britnats and media have successfully diverted discussion onto an issue over gay rights maybe clarity of the rights in Northern Ireland, Wales and England can be discussed.?
    Maybe I can stir the pot as well.
    Why are head teachers of a certain faith given preferential treatment and vetted by the RC church? After all council workers are supposed to be treated equally. Trades unions and the political parties stay clear of this discrimination. A good HT is a good HT whatever their faith and non.
    Still happy to debate the route to independence too.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  73. Hamish100 says:

    Whoever agreed to a tv hustings debate should reconsider and stop it now. There are SNP hustings options for members both in person and online.
    Maybe as a member I should have been asked for my opinion along with all other member.

    Really bad decision SNP. Still time to change.Who made this decision?

    MPs MSP’s Councillors should avoid the tv debacle.

    • scottish_skier says:

      I held my head in my hands at the TV debate. FFS.

      The BBC etc just want to have them fighting like rats in a sack.

      But then if they can rise above that and refuse to, they will benefit.

  74. scottish_skier says:

    I see from the headlines we SNP are having a civil war again.

    I thought we’d been constantly at war since at least 2007?

  75. scottish_skier says:

    No doubt about this.

    SNP race being malevolently stirred by independence opponents

    AS president of the SNP, I won’t be expressing a public preference for any of the three now formally nominated candidates for the party leadership. I have worked well with all of them and they with me. They know my strengths and weaknesses and I think I know theirs.

    What I will be doing, however, is standing up for the positive and productive leadership contest that party members both want and deserve but which we haven’t yet so far been able to have, although it is early days.

    As the former presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, Tricia Marwick, rightly pointed out this week, all political leadership contests can be toxic at times, largely because they are inevitably about pitting talented and ambitious people against each other.

    The current SNP race is no exception to that rule and neither were earlier party ones. The contests of 2004, 2000 and 1990 were at times fraught and fractious (I know because I was there) and in 2003 we even had a challenge to a sitting party leader that went to a vote at National Conference…

    • Dr Jim says:

      Mike Russell is very seldom wrong, and he’s right again
      There are malevolent forces doing their absolute best to instigate badness

      • scottish_skier says:

        Can’t help but notice ‘Ash Regan supporters’ calling Yousaf ‘useless’.

        Wonder who was saying that at FMQs the other day…

  76. yesindyref2 says:

    I see the National is continuing to campaign for Yousaf.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, “He is expected to tell supporters that the setting up of regional assemblies will help the party decide upon a “collective plan” at the next annual party conference and “kickstart” the Yes campaign.

      And I thought that happened in 2012? Is it back to the future all over again?

  77. Dr Jim says:

    She said this, he said that, it’s a fact, it said it on the news

    Nobody in my entire family purchases newspapers or believes the TV because we all know what they are, but I do have one younger in law who strongly believes that the news is the actual news as he reads and sees it, because well “they wouldn’t be allowed to be biased, they have to be neutral” he says

    He thinks the Daily Express and others are newspapers that are duty bound by law to be factual

    No matter how many times I prove him mistaken he keeps right on reading and believing this sh*t because “no government would allow that” he says

    I point out simple stuff that everybody knows like the BBC nickname is the Bashir Broadcasting Corporation the same organization that also completely protected Jimmy Saville and countless English politicians, even to previous Labour and Tory FMs in Scotland

    He still keeps quoting what he believes is the news at me, because in his mind I’m an old duffer who’s past it and he’s got *soshul meedja* that backs it up and it says on that, then more moronic nonsense spills out

    Now I could easily become offended if I wanted to by what I see as his patronizing stupidity , but the point is he’s him and I’m me, and he thinks I’m patronizing him

    If he wasn’t a good guy apart from that, I’d kill him in the night
    And now I’ve offended folk who are against being murdery, what has society come to when every word is deliberately interpreted as literal intent

    The Cartoon Wile e coyote isn’t shown on TV anymore because of its murdery content, but the Wizard of Oz is fine even though it’s packed from start to finish with murdery witches and ghastly killer ape creatures, and don’t even get me started on what the politically correct faux offended think about the horrors and sexual tensions portrayed in Hansel and Gretel

    I often wonder how I managed to make it this long staying alive as my mother shouted her intent to kill me almost every other week, she never killed me once BTW
    and funnily enough I never once believed she would

    A certain amount of calm down wouldn’t go amiss with some folk who search for reasons not to

  78. Bob Lamont says:

    Having read this morning, the comment “I think there’s a perception that news is news, and that there’s a lot of faith in how news is presented. But, looking critically, everything is editorialised” was only missing “game-planned” to perfectly summarise how the media in the UK operate, and the BBC in Scotland in particular.

    It’s as much about the stories they feature as those buried in the process – eg For the weeks that HMS James Cook recycled the “Isla Bryson” fiction, nothing else was happening apparently to worry our pretty little heads about, no Westminster Tories getting rinsed, no NHS E&W crises, no committees exposing the rampant corruption which has become all too normal in the UK.

    Likewise the orchestrated stitch-up of Kate Forbes – In office since 2018 and noted for her frankness and honesty, her religious beliefs were no secret to anyone, least of all Ciaran Jenkins – He knew exactly what could be exploited by the rest of the propaganda machine, posing hypothetical questions, the faux-outrage articles ready to go the moment the interview was aired.

    It has been pretty obvious a propaganda war has been waged on the public of the UK via the media as distraction to the UK drowning in it’s own corruption.
    To the propagandists it doesn’t matter who the victim is so long as there is a societal difference to exploit and sow division, the good ole torches and pitchforks game.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Many people have identified that the economy is the single most important issue for Independence, and many would say that the future FM should be sound as a pound (as it were) on the economy.

      Guess who is clearly the best candidate for the economy? Yes, that would be Kate Forbes, the Finance Secretary who stepped in at a moment’s notice and impressed even opponents.

      And guess who the scurrilous media are attacking like there’s no tomorrow? Yes, that would be Kate Forbes.

      The Unionists know that Kate Forbes is their doom.

      • James Mills says:

        Kate Forbes must NOT become the next FM because :

        She will replicate Nicola Sturgeon’s tyranny as FM who , you will recall , single-handedly instigated the false idea that people in Scotland wanted Independence from the benign , selfless government of Westminster .

        She ALONE forced voters to support the SNP at election after election – and no one could stop her ! She travelled the length and breadth of the country intimidating even large , dangerous looking men at the Polling Stations , giving them no alternative but to place their crosses against HER party.

        She strong-armed the entire cohort of the SNP MSPs to promote socially divisive policies like the Child Support Payment which was designed to embarrass the open-handed altruistic Welfare System of the Conservative Government .

        She single-handedly coerced SNP , Labour , Green , LibDem and even a couple of Tory MSPs to railroad the GRA Bill through the Scottish Parliament with a huge majority . It took the brave action of Alister Jack to prevent this undemocratic legislation being imposed on the good people of Scotland .

        Kate Forbes is of the same ilk .
        She will single-handedly impose her extreme views on the Scottish Parliament – and none will dare stand against her !

        Sex will be outlawed for the unmarried – just as it is for most married people !

        Abortion will be banned allowing the birth of more unwanted b*stards – there are enough Tories in Scotland already !

        Even socially progressive , universally beloved MSPs , such as Murdo Fraser , will be compelled to agree to fixed terms for List MSPs who have feasted at the Public teat for decades and provided no good reason for their existence , and will be cast into the Outer Darkness .

        This woman MUST be stopped !

    • Legerwood says:

      Bob Lamont
      What is also sadly clear is that some who should know better and have often been the target for the sort of treatment KF is getting, but not to the same degree, have fallen for the media’s line on this issue.

      • Bob Lamont says:


      • Well said, L.
        If Kate Forbes prevails, all hell will break loose.
        A fresh young wave of talent sweeping through the YES movement will rekindle the flames of Independence.
        That said, the fire in this old 75 year old’s belly has never dimmed, although others may be suffering from Brit propaganda battle fatigue.

        • Legerwood says:

          Fire still burning brightly here too.

        • Dr Jim says:

          Makes you wonder about all these folk and what they’re thinking, right now we’re ruled over with an iron fist by a guy nobody voted for ever in Scotland, who denies the existence of Scotland as a country or it’s right to even be one, and by a country who gives their allegiance to a King who’s sovereignty was apparently a birthright given by heaven and to be forever thankful for

          And they’re complaining about a woman from the highlands of Scotland being voted into a position they have no respect for anyway

          Kate Forbes must be even more awesome that I thought, could she be even more so than the last woman from Ayrshire? there definitely must be something scary about our Scottish women that even I don’t know about

          Is she in the Avengers or something?

          • Eilidh says:

            Well Nicola Sturgeon could be the Avenger Tartan Titan and Kate Tartan Titan 2. In the meantime I am wishing for one of those time travelling bracelets Tony Stark had so I can avoid the rest of the arguing amongst Snp members about who said what against whom and then emerge in a timeline with a new Snp leader Time to watch Avengers Endgame methinks

  79. Dr Jim says:

    Here is the news:

    The King has naively interfered in the Northern Ireland protocol agreement, or has been used by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says the news everywhere else, yeah, coz he would never do such a thing deliberately, the Royals are beyond politics and neutral on constitutional issues says the news in the everywhere else

    The Queen, his mother never did such a thing either, did she David Cameron?

    The news everywhere else are such liars, the people know it’s lies but some still think some lies are OK if it’s about the stability of *the country* which is another lie to support the other lies

    The only lies that do us no harm are Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and those curtains are lovely, all the rest of their lies are societal control propaganda tools used by folk who can afford to spend more on afternoon lunch than most folk earn in a week, and they want to keep it that way

    Labour are Scotland’s worst enemy, at least Tories don’t pretend to care

  80. yesindyref2 says:

    You gorra laff. From the Herald:

    David Leask: SNP wannabes should be facing tough questions on foreign policy

    “One by one candidates, in alphabetical order, tell me your views of foreign policy?”

    Forbes: “Independent Scotland will have one”.
    Regan: “Yes, Independent Scotland will have one”.
    Yousaf: “I agree, Independent Scotland will have one”.

    And hey, suddenly harmony beaks out in the SNP!

    • Dr Jim says:

      The treasury subtract a hefty amount of money from Scotland in order to pay for foreign affairs, they insist foreign affairs have nothing to do with Scotland, indeed I understand the ban on FM Nicola Sturgeon receiving British consular assistance (that Scotland pays for) is still in force

      Remember Scotland’s FM making her own way to Brussels from the train station because they refused to send a car to pick her up, that was I believe courtesy of Jeremy Hunt’s instructions

      The EU saw just how equal Scotland was that day, and we definitely weren’t British either apparently

  81. Capella says:

    There’s an interesting thread on twitter pointing out that, at the time of the Same Sex Marriage bill, Civil Partnerships were already legal. The vote was about changing “partnerships” to “marriage”. Those of a religious bent wanted “marriage” to remain a word for male and female partnerships.
    Thread here if you are interested.

    I haven’t checked this out myself btw.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Ah, the old wanting to own a word thing!

      I don’t own ‘maleness’ (GRR debate), and Scotland doesn’t own the world ‘marriage’. So that would have been impossible, at least unless Scotland only recognised marriage certificates from countries which didn’t allow same sex marriage and/or only saw marriages as religious. I believe that is a reserved matter too?

      My marriage certificate is from France. It is a civil certificate, with France secular. Was married in a ‘Mairie’.

      It says my nationality is ‘Scottish’. Bless. 🙂

  82. Alex Clark says:

    It’s about time we stopped allowing the media to lead us by the nose on the leadership contest and let them set the agenda on what is important in this election.

    We and the candidates for leader need now to focus on the other issues that the new leader of the SNP will have to deliver if they are to make a success of the job and move us forward.

    Let’s stick to what should be the agenda and get back to talking about what matters most to all of us. The candidates for leader need to step up and start addressing points around Independence and their plans for governing Scotland.

    That’s what I want to hear and not what the propagandists want me to hear.

  83. Hamish100 says:

    I really don’t care about who believes what , when or where.
    It’s no different from last week last year last century.

    Happy to talk about independence and political issues impacting on this country.

    The new deal with the eu in Ireland is to Scotlands disadvantage economically.

    The rest is an intentional distraction by the britnats.

  84. Legerwood says:

    It is high time KF got out from the media’s straitjacket they have put her in and started holding meetings with real people discussing the issues important to them.

    HY has been all over Twitter after hustings meetings he held in Cumbernauld last night and in Dundee today.

    She has to get out and about and if at all possible, which it probably is, livestream the meetings or put them on YouTube afterwards. She needs to bypass the media and talk directly to people. If she does hot then the media will keep on their current obsession as will others for diverse reasons.

    We need to know how she handles herself in these situations and what she actually says on the issues without her words being filtered through intermediaries such as the media who are not honest brokers in this for her or any of the candidates.

    • Hamish100 says:


      Playing the unionists tune.

      SNP hustings should be enough then we vote- if your an SNP member that is. The 3 candidates say their piece- hopefully about Independence.

      The rest of the news media frenzy is organised flatulence

      • Legerwood says:

        Hamish 100
        How is getting out to meet real people playing the Unionist tune?

        Maybe I should have said SNP members but thought that would be understood. Given the short time for the hustings it makes sense to livestream/film/record them so that all members get a chance see or hear the speech and Q&A.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        The one problem with that is people might have voted before the hustings. I went to one for the depute, and had Robertson either last or first. He came across as arrogant, entitled, privileged and someone who’d already voted for him wished they hadn’t because of that.

        I asked a question about what they would do to make branch meetings more interesting, and more about Independence rather than boring stuff. The other 3 all gave their ideas but Robertson just said it was up to branches as that was democracy within the SNP.

        I voted for Robertson.

  85. yesindyref2 says:

    Mmm, another propaganda piece on behalf of Humza from the National:

    AT the heart of the independence movement is a desire for change …

    … so vote Yousaf who is delighted to be called the continuity candidate which means no change.

    Help me Mr Spock!

  86. yesindyref2 says:

    There were two pins crawling up the wall. One said to the other “What ever happened to gravity?”.

    Well, you could have heard a pin drop.

  87. James says:

    SNP Voters only Panelbase poll 21-24 Feb
    Forbes : 20%
    Regan : 9%
    Yousaf : 18%

  88. Calum says:

    It is beyond belief that the SNP have approved a televised debate. This is not a parliamentary election.
    The decision on the future leader has nothing whatever to do with the Britnat media.
    There is absolutely no benefit to the SNP in having this debate. Undoubtably there are opponents of independence within the SNP – if only they could be exposed.

  89. James Mills says:

    Time for all candidates in this leadership contest to go on the offensive against the (offensive ) media .
    Time after time we get questions fired at independence supporters by the Unionist media about what WE will do if/when the Westminster fearties refuse to accept the democratic will of the Scottish electorate and say they will not ”allow” another referendum on Independence .

    The reply must always be :
    ”Why are YOU not asking the Tory/Labour parties why THEY are being blatantly UNDEMOCRATIC in refusing the mandate freely voted for by the Scottish electorate and given to the party that has won every election since 2007 ? ”

    It is not for Scottish Independence supporters to excuse the cowardly , undemocratic antics of Westminster politicians , whether Tory or Labour by suggesting alternatives to the intransigence of Westminster .

    Put the pressure back on Westminster .

    However , the nature of the UK media is such that THEY will not put this to Westminster politicians so we have to call THE MEDIA out for its refusal to do so .

    In any and every interview given by candidates/supporters of Independence make it clear that by NOT condemning the undemocratic head-in-the-sand attitude of Westminster to election mandate after election mandate by the Scottish people for another chance to address the constitutional question it is the UK media who are complicit in the denial of democracy in so-called-democratic UK .

    A UK media that is 100% supportive of Ukraine in its fight to remain a free , democratic country is the same media which refuses to call out the denial of democracy in its own backyard !

    Time to call out the BBC , ITV , Channel 4 , the gutter press and the really seedy publications like The Daily Mail and The Daily Express .
    The cause of Independence has nothing to lose by attacking these institutions – it’s not as if we will lose their support , is it ?
    So don’t play THEIR game any longer – treat them as they treat us !

  90. Alex Clark says:

    More from the Times poll.

    Kate Forbes is voters’ choice as first minister, poll finds

    The Panelbase survey for The Sunday Times puts the finance secretary in pole position despite a dreadful start to her leadership bid, dominated by criticism of her views as a Free Church member on gay marriage and sex outside of wedlock.

    Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (23 per cent) would like Forbes to succeed Nicola Sturgeon, who announced her resignation this month, while 15 per cent favour Yousaf and 7 per cent prefer Ash Regan, the former community safety minister.

    When asked to rate their performance as government ministers, 31 per cent said that Forbes had done a good job while 17 per cent said she did a bad job, giving her a positive approval rating of 14. Regan is on 3 and Yousaf lags far behind both on minus 16.

    Among SNP supporters Forbes leads Yousaf as the favoured successor by a much narrower margin of two points. Forbes polled 20 per cent, with Yousaf on 18 per cent and Regan on 9 per cent.

  91. Capella says:

    Yes but:

    Nominations for the leader opened at 12 noon on 16 February 2023 and will close at midday on 24 February 2023. The ballot will be open at noon on 13 March 2023 and will close at noon on 27 March 2023.

    There are weeks of this “contest” still to get through.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I think a lot of the “witch-hunt” was an attempt to get Forbes to give up. Well, it failed miserably she’s made of sterner stuff than that. And not only is she still in the contest, she’s in the lead.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The media tactics:
        If they dunk her underwater long enough and she dies then she’s definitely innocent
        If she survives she’s just very good at breathing underwater the witch
        If she pulled out of the contest then she has something to hide
        If she stays in the contest she’s a hard faced con artist to be feared

        If she wins how can you trust anyone who shows no signs of emotion
        If she cries when she wins she’s too emotional

  92. Dr Jim says:

    The question that nobody will ask is how many members will have already made up their minds, and the answer is more than likely most of us, it’s not as if we don’t know the candidates well enough already, we’re not Tories or Labour who wouldn’t know their own MPs if they fell over them, members of the SNP tend to know who most of their representatives are and no hustings or TV nonsense is going to make a lump of difference

    All this hype is for the benefit and demands of the media to try and mess with the general public’s heads, because if you don’t do it you’re accused of being secretive, which is hilarious coming from the media who are the most secretive bunch of backroom plotters and dealers in hypocrisy existing

    And you don’t get to question media unless you can afford to take them to court

  93. Capella says:

    Peculiar Herald front page. Muslim leaders praise Kate Forbes. Dani Garavelli condemns her.
    My sympathies lie with the Muslim leaders on this issue.

  94. Cameron says:

    SNP member here. Not religious in the slightest. Equal rights are hugely important to me. My bro in law is gay. I had kids out of wedlock. Would like some further assurance from Kate i.e. confirm a would be LGTB cabinet post etc. Right now Kate Forbes is the best candidate, no question.

    I’m getting really tired of the reactionary stuff, bordering on hysteria, suggesting a vote for Kate suddenly sees our movement, and everything we’ve achieved, cast into a right wing bonfire. Mechanically, it’s not possible.

    I would want to see Kate work very hard in pulling together our various factions.

    Also, SNP politicians need to start being more aggressive with the press, turn the tables, start asking why Sunak isn’t being asked about #LGBT #Samesexmarrige etc.

    Don’t let them dictate the narrative.

    There’s no media playbook for the SNP/YES apparently and I’m just SICK of it. Just inconceivable this is STILL a thing. We walk and talk as if we’re playing with an impartial media. These people want to destroy the YES movement. When the actual f**k will the @SNP address this and take the fight to them? And BEFORE the next ref!

    • well said, Cameron.
      It’s time the SNP Big Beasts got up off their arses and campaigned up here, not in the Commons Wine Bar.
      It is not beyond the reach of SNP spin Docs to prepare a rebuttal that all politicians repeat when Campbell or Taylor declare that Scotland cannot be independent because England won’t let us.
      A simple riposte would be, is that what you believe, Glenn? Scotland will always be a colony of England, by force?

      • Gay Sandy says: says:

        Well said Cameron and Jack I am fed up waiting and 100% agree with both of you they just need to get on with it…thanks

  95. astytaylor says:

    Kate Forbes and her generation have more future ahead of them than Glenn Campbell and his.
    Time for a new Scotland.
    Here’s to some fresh thinking and new hope.

  96. jfngw says:

    As far as I can tell it is in reality a two horse race between Humza and Forbes, I’m discounting Regan for many reasons. Both are admiral people but Forbes comes with less baggage to my mind. It doesn’t matter which one wins with the media they already have their attack lines prepared.

    Along with the London parties our great media will dip their foot in the sectarian pool, it’s pretty much all they have left. They will strangely forget the voting records of the Labour and Tory leaders on the same subject, if I remember correctly D.Ross wanted some sort of final solution to what he saw as the traveller problem.

  97. scottish_skier says:

    Seems the British media golden rule is working as expected.

    Poll finds Scots voters prefer Kate Forbes for first minister

    KATE Forbes is Scots’ preferred candidate to take over as first minister – with nearly a third of voters praising her performance in government.

    A Panelbase poll commissioned by The Sunday Times has revealed that 23% of voters would like to see the Finance Secretary replace Nicola Sturgeon at the head of government, with Humza Yousaf on 15%.

    Ash Regan was the first choice of only 7%, the poll found.

  98. scottish_skier says:

    Spectator backing Regan / Salmond.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Is Scotland ready for the return of Alex Salmond?

      • Old Pete says:

        Ash on the telly just now, has no decent answers and very poor delivery. Not FM material in my opinion.

      • Ashes to ashes; Vote Regan and get Salmond, Common Weal, and the Scottish Government holed under the water mid term to struggle along as a minority administration until the UK GE or SGE whichever rolls up at our front doors first, because the Green coalition will be wound up by the new leader?

        Humza was holding his own with Geissler this morning, who can now be seen as Alister Jack’s spokesperson, trotting out the same old intransigent Brit diktats; Scotland will be forbidden to do anything because we are controlled by England, the Old Watsonian Brit from birth shouted over the Ash interview.
        Likewise he shouted over answers from Slater on the bottle bank ‘fiasco’.
        He forgets that some of us have travelled in Europe before we were held under house arrest by his Brit Colonial power.
        Return deposit schemes are the norm elsewhere and work just fine, Martin.

        On Scottish bottle bank legislation, Geissler quoted the UKIM bill..England won’t let you, Lorna… England rules, OKUK.
        And he believes that Scotland has the same status as Bavaria in Germany, in his blessed UK.
        Germany has a bottle return scheme, but Bavaria could not have done it independently, MG declared shouting over Slater’s comments.
        One of Geissler’s principle roles is to shout over pro Independence ‘guests’ responses, so that we the viewers are kept in BBC Darkness..
        That ‘Regions’ could not introduce bottle deposit schemes was a blatant lie; it told us what we already know; Geissler considers Scotland a region of England.
        That’s what feepaying education instils in them. God Save The King and Britain/England.

        Ash Regan is there to undermine Forbes’ vote…they are pushing Yusef for a good reason.
        He is not leadership material.

        Laura K had Humza or her ridiculous Sunday Morning Tory magazine…Scotland’s NHS, crime, you name it, got big licks.

        Scotland was Badder than England and Wales she declared reading from her Alister Jack/Ian Murray crib notes…
        She even had a recipe for turnips that was declared ‘delicious’.
        Kate Forbes will win..and that fact scares the bejaisus out of them all.
        MY advice to Ms Forbes? Avoid BBC interviews like the plague.

        • Oh, and ‘Coconut Cabinet’ Macwhirter, sacked by the Herald, but revived by the Spectator, declares that the EU would not recognise Scotland’s democratic vote for Self Determination, and neither would the fabled international courts.
          They just write any old unsubstantiated toss they like now.
          Never let the truth get in the way of a fascist pay cheque.

          • keaton says:

            My local secondary school had a bad reputation because it was a repository for weans who’d been expelled from other schools. The Spectator is that, but for racist journalists.

  99. Capella says:

    Whatever the polls say at this early stage we can be sure that the unionists, the media, the Establishment, the oligarchs, the “progressives” INO, the 77th Brigade, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all will work tirelessly to engineer the vote for their own favoured candidate. We will be bombarded with lies, hypocrisy, threats, ultimatums, warnings and bribes.
    The polls don’t open until 13th March and voting goes on for two weeks.
    Hope everyone calms down soon. 😱

  100. Hamish100 says:

    It seems Ash Regans main aim is to to attack the Greens, destroy the coalition and hope to help her pals in ALBA. Apparently the SNP is in hostage mode?

    She really should just resign from the SNP. At least that would be honest.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Ash Regan won’t even come close, her relations with all the wrong people have already turned the members right off

  101. bringiton says:

    I am not sure what this “Unity” many people and aspiring leaders are talking about.
    Everyone who believes in Scottish independence is unified in that goal,it is how we get there that is being debated,or at least should be.
    At present,there is no democratic route to achieving this that will not be blocked by London so alternative means will have to be found.
    London will never,voluntarily,agree to a democratic plebiscite on independence for obvious reasons.
    We are going to have to find a way to making that position untenable.
    Let’s hope our next leader can give that real meaning and not just aspirational statements.

  102. Capella says:

    Some interesting research on who exactly is a member of the SNP who will choose the next leader.

    ‘SNP membership not as socially liberal as might be assumed’

    Bale said the statistics were from a survey of SNP membership carried out just after the 2019 UK election, but there is likely to have been little change since.

    According to that research, most members are in the 50 to 64-year-old age category at 40%, while 31% are over 65. In terms of younger members, 26% are aged 25 to 49, while just 3% are 18 to 24-year-olds.

    “I think this is one that does always surprise people, although it shouldn’t because once again it’s par for the course for political parties – there is a big skew towards middle age and older,” Bale said.

    “Around 70% of them are 50 or over, according to our figures.”

    He added: “That is much in accordance with what you see in most political parties – in other words, party membership is not only a middle-class sport, it is a middle-aged sport, for the most part.

    “And that, I think, does to some extent mean they are not as socially liberal as might be assumed because obviously older people do tend to have slightly more conventional, conservative views.

    “That’s not to say they are socially conservative or illiberal, but they are not perhaps the social liberals that you might see in, for example, the Green Party. There would be a distinction there.”

    • scottish_skier says:

      I read that Engsplaining article. It contains the sum total of zero information on how liberal SNP voters are. Just talks about age and income brackets.

      It was shock to discover that people in higher incomes can more readily afford the time and money to join political parties, which is the main reason why this is more common for middle class folks.

      The SNP are of course the moderate left of centre Scottish Liberal Democrats; hence the yellow of liberalism in the logo / party colours. This is why the Lib Dem vote so readily collapsed to them when they went centre-right orange book under Clegg, joining with the Tories.

      Scotland does have illiberal voters; they vote Tory. 🙂

  103. Capella says:

    More runes to be read among what SNP voters regard as priorities.

    Polling reveals priorities for SNP voters as race heats up

    SNP voters think a plan for tackling the cost of living crisis is more important than a de facto referendum and place gender recognition reform last on a list of priorities for the party’s new leader, according to a new poll.

    A survey published by the BIG Partnership made headlines with the finding that Kate Forbes is an early frontrunner in the leadership race with 28% of SNP supporters backing her, compared to Humza Yousaf at 20% and Ash Regan at 7%. Nearly a third of supporters – 31% – are undecided so far.

    But the in-depth poll, carried out in the first half of last week, has also provided a series of insights into what the party’s voters think on a range of issues – from the timing of an independence referendum to flagship Scottish Government policies.

    When it comes to the leadership race, while Forbes was leading overall, her rival Yousaf was in front among 18 to 24-year-olds, with 24% backing him compared to 20% for Forbes.

    The third contender, Regan, won the highest level of support for her campaign from this age group, compared to the other age groups backing her – at 14%.

    A breakdown by different areas of Scotland shows Forbes – who is the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch – recorded most support in the Highlands and Islands, with 42% compared to 10% for Yousaf and 6% for Regan.

    However, she also managed to retain a narrow lead ahead of Yousaf, the MSP for Glasgow Pollok, in his home patch, at 30% compared to 29%.

  104. bringiton says:

    The campaign for the next SNP leader is going to be for our right to self determination.
    Many Scots who do not favour independence will definitely get behind OUR right to decide and not Westminster.

  105. Dr Jim says:

    The media in Scotland are detritus, they are British bottom feeders sucking the life out of Scotland’s golden pond, everything in Scotland is less competent or soon to be less competent than in England, they would have us believe
    We are divided they chant, and they chant it every day like a pre match boxer hyping up his own chances by out psyching his opponent who he hopes will just give in due to wobbly legs in the first round

    In martial arts the aim is to disable, if that doesn’t work then cripple, if still unsuccessful, kill in order to save your own life, the UK of England’s Britain is engaged in saving its own life and Scotland is the opponent
    If a man can’t stand, a man can’t fight, and that’s the job of the media in Scotland day after day, making sure Scotland can’t stand

    Against all the odds of a lightweight battling a heavyweight Scotland has hung in there battered and bloodied, but still on our feet while our opponent is slumping in their corner sweating profusely after every round dismayed at how we’re doing it
    This fight was rigged from the start, it’s their referee, their ring, their judges, and Scotland was forced into fighting with one hand tied behind our back

    While England cheats and get’s away with it Scotland must obey their rules or the detritus media accuse us of cheating, for they will not accuse or confront England with cheating, the narrative becomes “But what will Scotland do about English cheating? rather than confront the cheaters, the detritus media lay that at Scotland’s feet as a legitimate problem posed legitimately by the overlords

    The case for Scottish independence isn’t what they say it is, it’s what we say it is, what we decide it is, England’s rules and laws will be enforced upon us as quickly as they can make them

    There is no case to make for Scottish independence except one, does Scotland want to rule ourselves? what else is there?

    Scotland is a grown up country, England isn’t our mammy or daddy that we’re handing in money to live with after we’ve started work, they’re rogue landlords withholding our money and not fixing the damp patch or the washing machine or the leccy

    England has no rights to be Scotland’s landlord in a union of equals has it?

    When and why did they grant themselves the power of ownership and who assisted them in doing that?
    Scotland’s worst enemy in all of this is the Labour party! our cheating opponent, and that’s why they hate us the most
    With virtually no English representation in Scotland Labour still insist they’d enforce what they call *the union* upon us even if we vote against that

    England has every right to vote for what they want, usually Tory, but Labour insist no matter what England votes for Scotland must adhere to that, no ifs no buts no negotiation, Scotland must remain the colony to the north of England, and just thank our lucky stars we’re still allowed to call ourselves Scotland

  106. Following Keenssberg’s Great British tumshie propaganda on her wee Tory Sunday Brexit this morning, through the wonders of Google and more than a smattering of French, and a Brexit avoiding article in the Grauniad reporting a London fruit market wholesale chappie who blames the skyrocketing prices of imported EU veg for the empty shelves, I accessed the Carrefour French Supermarket chain’s online shopping channel.
    I can order and buy tomatoes, cauliflower, leeks, and other legumes online, at reasonable prices, no problem.
    There is no mention of shortages because of Spanish or Moroccan weather, or restrictions on the amount of produce which I can order.

    We are hemmed in by England’s Brexit.
    They can lie to us, because they control the media.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      They’re under orders not to mention the ‘B’ word Jack.
      Kherson (Ukraine) supermarket shelves are better stocked than Kent!

    • Capella says:

      They don’t control ALL the media ALL the time. Here Liz Webster of Save British Food spells out why we have no tomatoes. I’ll try to avoid embedding the video but it is a 2 min interview on LBC.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Very true Jack, I have many connections in Spain having lived there for a few years, and none of them has any problems accessing fruit and veg either for personal or restaurant use

      The real Brexit dividend are the shortages almost all of Scotland’s politicians predicted, Tory and Labour also, until they became converted by English voters determination not to listen to anyone talking sense anymore or they wouldn’t vote for them, so there

      They’ve chopped off their own leg and they’re against any attempt to grow it back because they think that’s what they chose of their own free will

      That’s yer English Stiff upper brain for you

    • Tatu3 says:

      We have a Carrefour (Extremadura, Spain) and it’s full of vegetables and fruit. As are all the other supermarkets

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Jack, I cannot recall which fictitious shipping company was to furnish direct imports to the UK from Morocco (non-EU) according to HMG, but it got no further than a creation of a shell-company, shades of failing Grayling’s non existent ferries.

      In the absence of this British “success” all shipments have to go land transport across the EU from Spain the meet the UK’s red/pink/purple tape and unelected bureaucrats… Lord Frost is possibly still malingering in Morocco..

      I just checked to see the origin of my cherry tomatoes, Turcia, which is currently suffering blizzards and ice….

      It is HMG and the media believing we’re all really thick that irritates the most….

  107. Welsh_Siôn says:

    A Little (pun intended) piece from today’s BBC. He and me have ‘issues’.

    • Lots and lots of words from Little to conclude; unless they reach 60%, no referendum.
      The man from Glenluce has spoken.

    • Capella says:

      I heard him in the closing minutes of World at One today. I settled down to hear what he had to say and felt short changed. It was a travelogue through his childhood in Galloway to current “union in the balance” times without any real insight into the political forces at play in Scotland.

      Like a book with only the Introduction. All the other pages have been torn out for Mr Little.

      What are your “issues”?

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Little issues.

        Did I not mention it previously?

        I was in attendance as a Party Member at the SNP Conference in 2014 (you can see the excerpt where as red dragon carrier, I welcomed the new Leader and she reciprocated on youtube) and Little and me were introduced to each other by a (soon to be) SNP MP – part of the 2015 Westminster landslide for the Party.

        He suggested to Little that an interview with me might be useful for BBC viewers to get the perspective of a Welsh person on the recent independence referendum.

        “Oh, no!” said AL, “they wouldn’t be interested in that at all.”

        He then marched off accompanied by his BBC film crew.

        Draw your own conclusions.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I first noted his title “Special correspondent”, a post and title he vacated in December 2014, secondly his article’s promotion on UK, Scotland and Scotland/Politics web-pages.
      Third I note his childhood memories of Galloway are not only different to mine at 6 years older, but a retrospective falsehood on which to justify his perspective of the Union :
      – No mention of almost everyone across Galloway having been a “Desert Rat” or having personally bombed Berlin despite having been Air Force ground crew – In short, his “Union” was a nation still coming to terms with WW2 over 20 years later….
      – No mention of closure of the Paddy Line, a blessing of his “Union” which essentially abandoned the south-west of Scotland for almost 30 years.

      Yet it is his dismissal of the 1974 election of George Thompson as SNP MP with “few people saw their victory as a serious threat to the long-term viability of the Union” is the most telling of all particularly given he was only 9 – The incumbent Tories in Galloway were incandescent with rage the hoi-polloi had defenestrated “their man”, they were terrified.
      George was ousted by Ian Lang in 1979 and thus began a blatant propaganda campaign by the Tories to lie their way out of public discontent in Scotland, and Lang’s creation of GERS in the 1990s to dissuade devolution.

      Alan Little’s perspectives are a work of fiction on which to build this wordy composition, much as the “Union” is today.

  108. keaton says:

    Is there any case at all for Yousaf being a better choice than Forbes, other than that he voted for same-sex marriage (and even that comes with an asterisk)? In every other respect he just seems obviously worse

    • Capella says:

      I won’t be voting for him after the appalling mess that was the Hate Crime Bill. It still hasn’t been implemented 18 months after getting Royal Assent because it would likely fail a challenge on Human Rights grounds.

      He kow-towed to the “progressive” lobby and kept the protected characteristic sex, which would allow women some protection, out of the bill because it would be too difficult. He promised that Helena Kennedy would hold the umpteenth consultation into what would be best for women. She was supposed to report back by last January but, as predicted, nothing has happened and, as in 2011, the whole issue of women’s safety has been binned.

      We are now in the ludicrous position where a cross dressing man is protected by the Hate Crime aggravator but actual women are not.

      So no. There is every reason not to vote for him IMO.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Yousaf unquestionably voted for the same sex marriage bill. Did so at Stage 1. No doubts about him supporting it, whatever may or may not have happened after that.

      On the topic of women’s rights, Forbes says she is personally opposed to a whole host of these, including their right to marry who they want, their reproductive rights, their right to obtain a GRC by self-id, and their right to e.g. be Church ministers. Or at least she has previously held such views.

      She does say she’ll protect what rights are currently enshrined in law, and of course she has but one vote in the chamber, so I’d not be troubled by her as FM in this respect. I worry more for her inexperience and lack of logical thinking, which has landed her in some hot water of late.

      Yousaf does seem more progressive on women’s rights / equal rights in general, understanding that his rights as a minority are protected by him voting to protect the right of other minorities, even if this seems at face value to be in opposing to the teachings of his faith.

      Having been in government, he’s going to have some baggage from past bills, but these don’t belong to him, they belong to the SNP as a whole. He is but one man with one vote like Forbes.

      I don’t find him particularly exciting / inspiring though. But then this doesn’t matter to me. I’d be happy with a really dull FM if they did a good job. It’s not as if they have an effect on VI / support for indy. People vote for their local MSP and for the party, not for its leader. Sturgeon got ratings way above party support at times because people vote for the party, not for the leader.

      I might still end up putting Forbes first, but I do need to know she will vote to protect equal rights at every opportunity. that’s the most important thing for me. It’s core to my whole belief system. It is my faith, which is as strong as hers.

      I’d also like to the GGR bill progressed to keep Scotland in line with all our our progressive European nearest neighbours rather than right-wing conservative Brexit England. That and the parliament passed it with one of the greatest shows of support for a bill in its history. England cannot be allowed to just walk all over our parliament and the rights of minorities in our country. GRR is the law of the land in Scotland. Or at least any incoming FM should treat is as such. They can’t hide behind English Tories and say ‘Well it’s not law, so I don’t need to protect it…’.

      So Forbes should respect that parliamentary vote as she did the SSM bill. If she says she will absolutely progress it (doesn’t like need to be Number 1, but their should be people working on legal options, new amendments as needed), then I that could see me put her up to No. 1 as it would convince me of her sincerity here in terms of equal rights and fighting for Scotland.

  109. Dr Jim says:

    There are folk that go into politics as a career job and folk that are conviction politicians
    Who needs to be a politician? probably those of the former persuasion
    Who chooses and wants to be a politician? I think the latter

    So which do you choose as the one you think will progress the reason as to why they joined a particular political party when they could clearly have done something else if it were only about career opportunity or money

    For me Kate Forbes could with her background have been successful in any top business field she chose and probably have made considerably more cash than she’s making right now for a lot less hours anguish and anxiety, so her candidacy appears more conviction based than any long term politician for life job

    Kate Forbes doesn’t need this job, she wants it, that says a whole lot to me about her convictions
    None of us knows because none of us are psychic mind readers who fill blogs up insisting they can read the minds of all the people they don’t like, so we do the best we can with our instincts and the information we take in, then we vote and hope we’ve done the right thing for the purpose we want to achieve

    It’s pretty easy to ignore what we don’t want, we see and hear them buzzing around like flies on molasses smelling the chance of a feast on others successes, and the more they’re swatted away the louder and angrier their buzzing will get

  110. Hamish100 says:

    I think we should cut a little slack. Every time the SNP put a policy forward even good for public safety such as alcohol pricing and dealing with sectarianism. Tories Lib Dems and labour put the boot in.
    Remember Frost of Brexit frame. Was for a time with the Scotch Whisky Association talking down Scotland. Court proceedings from memory.
    Complete chancer in my opinion.,_Baron_Frost

    Labour top load their folk in the unions, tories in trade organisations or foundation trusts. Media is britnat completes their control.

  111. yesindyref2 says:

    Well, that was a different game of rugby, I was ready to switch off after 7 minutes when Gilchrist got red-carded, well, the rule is to avoid concussion, and players have to positively make it safe.

    But then the French guy got red-carded as well and it was game on again,with Scotland battling back from 19-0 down to 25-21 down and chances, and not settled till the last couple of minutes. France had to play the whole 80 minutes. The triple crown is still on, and even the championship.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      And the good news is Scotland is still above England in the world rankings:

      1 Ireland 91.33
      2 France 89.47 (+0.10)
      3 New Zealand 88.98
      4 South Africa 88.97
      5 Scotland 83.26 (-0.10)
      6 England 83.11 (+0.85)
      7 Australia 81.80
      8 Argentina 80.72
      9 (↑10) Japan 77.39
      10 (↓9) Wales 76.88 (-0.85)

  112. Potter says:

    Forbes doesn’t agreed Paul should be married and would vote against his right to do so , simple really.

  113. Potter says:

    Strange, I’m sure I heard Forbes,on TV,state she would have voted against same sex marriage. Never heard she’d changed her mind.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Strange only if you chose NOT to listen to the quite specific PERSONAL hypothetical question ?
      Strange also that none of the 18 who ACTUALLY voted against in 2014 have not been asked why ?

      • scottish_skier says:

        We should not allow people who voted No in 2014 to support Yes now.

        Don’t you understand that Bob?

        It’s simple as Harry says.

        • Dr Jim says:

          So now to be FM you have to be LGBT AND straight AND non religious AND agree with everybody on everything, or at least lie about it reasonably well like career politicians do, then if we like the way you look we might vote for you, if all of these conditions are not adhered to however we’ll condemn you to Hades, which is a place just past Highwater
          Do you accept these terms and conditions as outlined before you?

          Every career politician will lie and affirm their total commitment to all of the above

          The honest politician will say I’ll defend your right to be what you want to be under the law

          In a functioning democracy parliaments make decisions based on the recommendations of the voters and the representatives they elect to that parliament

          The nearest non functioning democracy is in the dictatorship of England, whose PM and parliament pay no attention to democracy or the desires of voters unless they happen to be donors to or voters of the ruling party, you know like Russia or Iran or loads of places to be honest

          You could vote Tory or Labour, but both of these parties owe their allegiance to the English parliament, and have both told Scotland as long as they are in power there shalt not be democracy, no matter what you vote for

          So take your pick

    • Legerwood says:

      Her full answer on the subject as reported on BBC web site:
      “now that the gutter press lies. But this is appalling spin. They seem quite

      Same sex marriage

      “My position on these matters is I will defend to the hilt everybody’s right in a pluralistic and tolerant society to live and to love free of harassment and fear.

      “And in the same way I hope that others can be afforded the rights of people of faith to practice fairly mainstream teaching. And that is the nuance that we need to capture on equal marriage.

      “Equal marriages is a legal right, and as a servant of democracy, rather than a dictator, I absolutely respect and defend that democratic right.”

    • Handandshrimp says:

      Not is she likely to say she has changed her mind but she did say she respected democracy and that she would defend the democratic decision to allow same sex marriage.

      Given she looks a better option on just about every other issue the question is, does it matter that she doesn’t agree on a matter that parliament isn’t going to change?

  114. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Anyone pickup on Bernie Sanders on Sophy Ridge, today?

    Bernie Sanders: Scots should ‘go their own way’ if they want to

    US senator Bernie Sanders has aired his thoughts on the question of Scottish independence, saying “if they want to go their own way, they should be allowed to”.

    The Democrat was asked for his gut feeling on the issue as he appeared on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday show.


  115. scottish_skier says:

    Salmond now promoting the Daily North British Labour with an article attacking the SNP.

    • Capella says:

      I don’t see anything wrong with what he said in that article. He may be tarnished but he’s not stupid and I believe he still supports independence. Good advice IMO.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Salmond asking others to call off the attack dogs is a hilarious and astonishing level of hypocrisy, he must’ve read Donald Trumps *how to rewrite history with a straight face*

      • scottish_skier says:

        I actually wasn’t commenting on what he was saying, just noting the Spectator was promoting him.

        His favourite Ash Regan does seem to be who the British media want to win.

  116. Hamish100 says:

    None so blind… 🫣

  117. yesindyref2 says:

    Considering the SNP leadership election will be decided by One Member One Vote, which means up to 106,000 members, it’s fascinating to see how the 106 MPs and MSPs might vote, considering they’re just o.1% of the membership.

    Maybe the SNP should go backwards in time and just make it MPs and MSPs who get to pick the next Leader? And it seems the endorsements of non-members will be paraded through the media in the same way as the Conservative Party Leader elections of last year, which was decided on just the MPs voting.

    So, perhaps we could be told who BoJo, Liz Truss and Rush Sunak are going to endorse for the SNP leadership? I daresay the DT will tell us soon enough.

    Oh, and hows about Penny Mordaunt?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Here’s an idea. Perhaps the National could be allowed to contact all the 106,000 members and give them all a paragraph each in the paper to say who they endorse and why. That at least would be one up on the UK Tories.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        And then there’s Phil and Holly, and Phil could accidentally show a bit of paper revealing who the next leader will be.

        Roll up, roll up for the Circus! No elephants I’m afraid, it’s beneath their dignity.

  118. craig murray says:

    Minimum alcohol pricing did nothing for public safety. One thing I learnt in jail is that minimum alcohol pricing had boosted the sale of “spice” and other drugs. The government#s own study found no positive health outcome. It is pointless, like the ban on drinking on trains. It is a part of the prissy middle classes looking down with disgust at the working class. Minimum alcohol pricing is a fucking disgrace,

  119. Hamish100 says:

    What you learn to in jail is not borne out by other public health evidence. You must look in the wrong place.

    I’ve never been middle class brought up in a cooncil estate but with hard working parents and a strong belief in what is right or wrong.
    I confess I’ve never been to prison though despite my working class background. You seem to imply being in prison has provided you some bonus points in life?

    Personally I think you are a disgrace but I can express myself without cursing despite my upbringing.

    Always thought you were middle class!

    Have a nice day.

  120. Gordon says:

    There is a link to drink/drug and crime. The drinks in the wit’s oot. Most ‘crime’ is committed under the influence of drink/drugs. Not when people are sober.
    Alcoholism drug taking crosses all classes. The way to poverty and deprivation is the over consumption and drug misuse. All drug deaths in Scotland are linked to prescription drugs (methadone) and taking other substances.

    Try living in a household with a drink/drug misuse. The harm it causes in relationships and families. One in ten of the population. 9 in 10 having to deal with it.

    Half the prison population have additional needs. Often undiagnoised with not enough support. People on the spectrum. Prison isnot the right place to be too noisy and bright. The UK has one of the highest prison numbers in Europe. Many should be in proper total abstinence rehab facilities. Prison £40,000 a year.

    Craig Murray should never have been in prison. A total disgrace. The Domestic Abuse Law cannot be dropped or appealed. The Police are acting as judge and jury. With no legal or diversity training. A politician’s sister was charged under the Act. That got dropped.

    MUP consumption has dropped. Scotland drunk 25% more than the rest of the UK. Now 10% and going down. Less people are dying.

    The Scottish Gov has committed. £250Million over 5 years to proper rehab, total abstinence rehab facilities. That should make a difference. 2008 279 eople were referred to Castle Craig. 2018 down to 9 a year. .

    • Hamish100 says:

      The courts decided differently.

      As for the politicians sister – go on tell us who you are getting at? Lol.
      Are you saying they were guilty? You must make your mind up.

      Now for Murray’s tirade on alcohol.

      Is the evidence I provide. Not a silly comment about “ prissy middle classes” unless he was referring to folk he knows?

      I have family members who have destroyed their lives with drink and drugs. Sad for them and their family. That is why the government intervention is welcomed. Go back to my original email the Scotch Whisky association delayed with others led by one ex Diplomat actions which would help to a small degree the lives of those who suffer.

      I think really, he is on here in the past wee while to disrupt along with a few others.

  121. I spotted somewhere among these numerous emails that Eilidh said that a friend of hers wanted scientific evidence to support the efficacy of independence.As a social scientist I do wonder what kind of data her friend needs to indicate that independence works,and for whom? Scientific evidence can be gathered by observational studies and randomized controlled trials.The best evidence comes from meta analysis of multiple studies.

    Anyhow,I always thought that independence was natural and normal,since most countries are independent and want to keep it that way,apart from some collaboration on issues of mutual importance.I have observed that independence means the ability to make your own decisions and to have them respected.I have just returned to Scotland after living abroad for several years in 3 different countries),and that was an informative observational experience for me.For example,I observed that in Finland (same population as Scotland,with fewer natural resources) the infrastructure,health care,education and management of the environment are of a high standards.I also noticed very recently that the shelves in Finnish supermarkets were fully stocked.Quite a contrast to the empty shelves that I observed in Tesco,on my return to Inverness. Now I am sure that Kate Forbes is quite capable of explaining what needs to be done to raise our living standards and quality of life in Scotland to the levels that I observed in Finland.It is such a pity that she is being demonised by the mainstream media,I wish her well because in my opinion she is by far the best choice for first minister.

    As a Christian,I do not share Kates views about same sex marriage,but my observations of interviews with her,indicate to me that she is sensitive to the feelings of gay people and minority groups.I accept her point that we should also be willing to accept her beliefs,irrespective of whether we believe in them or not.

  122. scottish_skier says:

    Won’t this ’cause UK-wide problems’?

    Will Scottish and NoI marriage certificates be valid in E&W?

    Minimum marriage age rises to 18 in England and Wales

    Jack – should you not block this with a Section 35?

  123. craig murray says:


    You are talking nonsense. The official study of Public Health Scotland found that minimum unit pricing had NO EFFECT on the consumption of problem drinkers, but that it had made some poor and suffering people even poorer.

    I quote

    “This study examined the potential impact of MUP on people drinking at harmful levels
    from a broad range of perspectives. These perspectives were gained from a
    substantial collection of rich data from multiple sources, before and after
    implementation, with over 700 quantitative interviews conducted, over 170 people
    reached by qualitative interviews and analysis of survey data from over 100,000
    participants. The study found that there was a marked increase in the prices paid for
    alcohol by people with alcohol dependence and those drinking at harmful levels after
    the introduction of MUP. There was no clear evidence found of any change in
    consumption or severity of dependence although such an effect cannot be ruled out.
    The study found increased financial strain among some economically vulnerable
    groups but no clear evidence that it caused wider negative consequences, ”

    Click to access evaluating-the-impact-of-mup-in-scotland-on-people-who-are-drinking-at-harmful-levels-briefing-paper.pdf

    It is a virtue signaling policy that – crucially – only affected the price of the stuff that poor people drink and had zero effect on the price of a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

    I know some of you want nobody to drink, smoke, eat sugar or fried food and live till 110 as boring miserable people. Lots of us don’t wish to do that and don’t want the nanny state. There are few freedoms left to us – our choice of consolation is under attack too.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I’ve posted on Craig Murray’s blog asking if this is a genuine posting from him.

      Can’t be too careful, actual unionist trolls are about building on splits.

    • scottish_skier says:

      I know some of you want nobody to drink, smoke, eat sugar or fried food

      You know everything don’t you. We should bow to your superior armchair expertise on all subjects, as learned in two decades of UK Imperial diplomatic service.

      Boris Johnson is more modest.

  124. craig murray says:

    “You know everything, don’t you.”

    No I don’t. But I am capable of reading a Scottish government report which is as plain as your face,

  125. yesindyref2 says:

    Onywise, for Craig Murray’s info, many [1] people posting here support Forbes, and some of us if we had a vote (me for instance), would put 1. Forbes, 2. Regan.

    [1] I said “many” not “most”. “Most” would be unintelligently presumptuous – kind of like Murray, frankly.

  126. craig murray says:

    What makes you think I hadn’t noticed you and others were supporting Forbes? Very sensible of you too, if I may say so. But Paul will soon steer you towards Humza and I don’t doubt you’ll find a way to follow.
    I have always hated minimum unit pricing. Here is an article I did on it in 2016
    I have given you the official report on its effect in Scotland after exhaustive study by Public Health Scotland. How it may work in very different societies is irrelevant.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      But Paul will soon steer you towards Humza and I don’t doubt you’ll find a way to follow.

      Good grief, maybe you’re that easily influenced, nobody else who posts here is.

      I have always hated minimum unit pricing.

      Likewise – did you jump to the presumptuous presumption that for some odd reason, everybody here supports it?

      I have given you the official report

      Woopety doopety doo, are you trying to convert me to believe in minimum unit pricing? Absolutely no chance. See my posting on the new thread about the stupid bottle deposit scheme – these things favour the rich and the supermarkets, and discriminate against the poor and the small rural shop. As did MUP. As does the extortionate alcohol licencing scheme.

      There’s nobody less intelligent than someone who presumes what others think without even asking them.

  127. Hamish100 says:

    Hate tends to skew thoughts and beliefs.
    I supposed biased sums you up on this topic. You don’t like the middle class it seems and yet I would say you are middle class. Strange.

  128. craig murray says:


    We know each other in real life and you are not a stupid man. As you know the official report into the effects says it has had no positive effect on health and has made life difficult for poor people who are alcohol dependent. So no, as you know very well I am not trying to convinve you to support MUP.

    Nor am I making any presumption at all about what you think. I am having an argument with Hamish the temperance enforcer, into which you are intruding with nothing useful to say other than to ascribe false motives and misleading suggestions.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      You’re getting confused Craig, firstly this isn’t your blog, you made a posting and several people replied to you, including me. Secondly your reply to me was also confused as you didn’t “give me” any report, that was to either Hamish or Scottish Skier. Thirdly this isn’t email, this is an open blog and anyone can reply to virtually anyone, so you’re not “having an argument with Hamish”, anyone can join in.

      Fourthly, let’s just dissect this statement of yours you made after clearly replying to me:

      But Paul will soon steer you towards Humza and I don’t doubt you’ll find a way to follow.“:

      1). You say “Paul will soon steer you”, implying that I am a sheep and can’t think for myself. Baaaa.

      2). “towards Humza”. Did you not read where I said I “would put 1. Forbes, 2. Regan.”. Note the full stop at the end and the lack of a 3. The leader will be voted on with STV. You may wonder why I didn’t put a 3. PAY ATTENTION !!!

      3). “I don’t doubt” well, there’s that presumption, and a totally groundless one.

      4), “you’ll find a way” oh dear, now you think I’ll do something by deceit, rather than with the open honesty Forbes has shown.

      5). “to follow” Baaaaa baaaa, well, it is nearly lambing season I guess.

      6). The whole thing is patronising, arrogant and – presumptuous. Are you?

      Anyways, yes we did meet, and it’s for that reason I gave you advice what was it, a year ago? To put yourself and your family first. Which I did again a couple of weeks back, and I have no hesitation in doing so again.

      It’s not those vicarious but second-hand thrill-seekers who are urging you on from the safety of their below the line solitudinous keyboards that could end up in prison. It’s you. And if it all went wrong, for 15 years this time. Though luckily it looks like that won’t be happening (yes, I always do know what’s going on).

      And no, I am not a stupid man, but are you?

      So I repeat one last time – maybe third time lucky – look after yourself and your family because as Linus said “Five hundred years from now who’ll know the difference?”.

    • Hamish100 says:

      I don’t enforce anything. You are quite deluded.

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