Escaping the vicious circle

I’m finally back blogging, a few days later than planned. Our visitors stayed longer than they had originally intended to and then I got some upsetting family news which meant that my head was just not in the game at all. However there has certainly been plenty to keep you all occupied in my absence with the SNP leadership contest. Like certain other independence bloggers I am not a member of the SNP and therefore do not get a vote, but unlike them I am not going to express a preference about who the next leader of the party and the next First Minister of Scotland should be. All three candidates are able and capable politicians, all have their positives and their negatives, but whoever finally emerges triumphant, all of us who support independence need to unite behind them and work together to build the case for independence so that it becomes the settled will of the people of this country that we all love and care for

Of course I have my own private opinion on who I would like to see as the new SNP leader and First Minister, but in the interests of unity I will be keeping that to myself. If it is not my preferred candidate who emerges victorious it will be harder to rally support behind the new First Minister. I will work to support whoever wins the leadership race. That person needs to be the candidate who is best able to appeal to the varied factions within the SNP and the broader independence movement, but more importantly to make a plausible case for independence which will resonate with that not insubstantial part of Scottish public opinion which is yet to be convinced that Scotland can only have a future as an independent nation if it wishes to retain a distinctive political culture and identity.

The direction of travel within the British state should be painfully clear by now. All Westminster offers is a future in which Scotland is subsumed in an increasingly aggressively English nationalist nation state, reduced to a historic region with no greater political relevance than Wessex or Northumbria. Keir Starmer’s Labour offers no permanent change from that, merely at best a brief respite before the pendulum of English politics swings the other way, and the Conservatives return to power to undo whatever Labour have done, just as they are currently subverting and undermining the devolution settlement. It is a salutary fact that Scotland has not voted Conservative since 1955 but in the 68 years since then Scotland has had Conservative governments at Westminster for over half the time, 38 years, and when Labour does take power it is only by aping Conservative policies, as we saw with Tony Blair in the 1990s and we are seeing now with Keir Starmer. Only independence offers Scotland a permanent escape from this vicious circle.

Unfortunately there has been far too much division , sniping from the sidelines, and back biting within the SNP and the broader independence movement over the past few years, divisions which have at times descended into sheer nastiness, these divisions have been instrumental in causing the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon.

I’d be lying if I said I had not thought about doing what she did too, and walking away from it for the sake of my mental and physical health and sanity. Over the past few weeks, prompted in part by the decision of Nicola Sturgeon, I have been thinking very seriously about whether I should throw in the towel and leave campaigning for independence to a younger and fresher generation. The recent short break gave me some much needed time to reflect. As regular readers know, I have my own personal challenges in terms of my health and disabilities which will be life-long. These are challenges which mean that I simply no longer have the physical, mental, or emotional stamina and resilience which I once did.

But I am far too gobby and opinionated to give up. Someone who supports independence needs to look beyond the obsession with process which has dominated the narrative for far too long and talk about the systemic failures of the British state which mean that democracy in Scotland can never be respected as long as Scotland remains a part of this dysfunctional polity which laughably calls itself a united kingdom. Someone who supports independence needs to shift the narrative from culture war topics that only benefit the Conservatives and focus on arguments which can appeal to undecided voters and those who are open to persuasion, arguments which demonstrate why the people of Scotland would be far better served by a Scottish government with the full powers of an independent state.

It is all the more important that these arguments are made and these discussions are had because the media in Scotland is woefully unrepresentative of the range of political and constitutional opinion in Scotland. As the BBC is very fond of telling us, Scotland is divided on the question of independence, the media in Scotland on the other hand, is anything but divided on the question of independence. It is, with a tiny handful of honorable exceptions, united in its opposition to independence. This is a media landscape which is extremely unhealthy and inimical to the functioning of democracy.

I do not pretend that this small blog has massive importance or impact, but I do believe that it’s vital to keep it going, and so within the constraints of my health and stamina, that is what I am going to keep doing, however I do need to recognise that my limitations are greater than they once were and that maintaining the pace and output that I managed with ease before the stroke is simply no longer possible. So instead of trying to post a new piece three or four times a week, I will instead aim for two or three and give myself time to recover over the weekends.

Over the next few weeks the focus will naturally be on the leadership contest, but when someone emerges as the winner from as process which the anti-independence media is determined to use as an opportunity to sow more division and rancour, we must come together and work to build an unstoppable movement that will take Scotland to that independence which this country so badly needs and escape the vicious circle of Anglo-British conservsatism which dominates Westminster.


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306 comments on “Escaping the vicious circle

  1. UndeadShaun says:

    Take it a bit easier Paul and just post a new blog less frequently, your health should come first

    But glad your continuing, you wouod be sorely missed if you gave up blogging.

  2. beth says:

    take care of yourself and just do what you are able without putting too much strain on yourself. hope the family issue turns out okay and only do what you can –

  3. Skintybroko says:

    Even at once a week your insights would be welcome, more important to look after your health first and foremost.

  4. Alex Clark says:

    Well said Paul, for me the most important thing is not who wins the leadership contest but that we all accept the choice made by those entitled to choose the leader of the SNP and that is its members. I am not one of them so I too will have no say.

    My interest, like yours, is not with the internal party politics of the SNP but only with what it might mean for Independence going forward. If we are to have any chance of increasing support then the bickering has to end and Independence supporters will need to stop the navel gazing and focus on Independence and winning support from those yet to be convinced.

    I’m glad to hear you say that you will be carrying on with the blog, I think we all have felt like giving up at some point as it has been a long road and there’s still a way to go but I’d hate to just give up and walk away now. That’s what they want and I won’t give in to them.

  5. Capella says:

    Great to hear you are carrying on with the blog. It’s the only vehicle for a broad range of views on what matters to independence supporters. I certainly appreciate the time and effort you contribute to the cause and I’d be very surprised if SG advisers don’t keep an eye on it.

    Two articles a week would be good – if you can restrain yourself! The only problem is if there are too many comments which include embedded video which slow down the load time. But a new page at 500 comments helps.

    Take care.

  6. Mary Murray says:

    Welcome back Paul. I’m glad you have decided not to throw in the towel and stop blogging. However, pace yourself, the independence movement needs your clear headed and astute thoughts on the situation. We live in interesting times.

  7. Sandra Dudgeon says:

    Living with someone who states with conviction that independence should never happen, I am well aware of the struggle we are still facing in our efforts to convert the nos to yes. They are revelling in the party disputes and with the help of the media, they are sitting back now, watching with glee as the leadership fight goes on. It is now even more important that those of us who yearn for independence, do not give them further opportunities to attack.
    I hope whoever becomes First Minister, will remember our goal and bring the independence movement together.
    With the disaster of Westminster and the lack of a viable replacement it is even more important we all come together as one.
    Take care of yourself Paul your health comes first

  8. Roddy Anderson says:

    Agree that whoever emerges as leader should get wholehearted support. The Nicola vs Alex era is over!

  9. Capella says:

    The National are publishing articles on the McCrone Report. Of course, they would like you to subscribe but on this issue they are lowering the paywall.

    Who was McCrone – and why did he write the report on Scotland’s oil?

    MPORTANT: We are lowering the paywall on our site for our coverage of the McCrone Report today. We believe it is vitally important that everybody can access it.

  10. Izzie says:

    I do have a vote and am very undecided in addition the venues for the hustings are far away. I do not do online so feel unprepared to cast my vote. Therefore I appreciate the clear sightedness and calm approach you offer. Keep going and keep well.

  11. Dr Jim says:

    The SNP success has been mainly down to its internal discipline and that has always been a problem for other parties and the media to break down
    This discipline is still not anywhere near as shaky as our opponents would have the general population believe
    There are however half a dozen or so within the party who have been shall we say been *got at* by various people for various different reasons and the media and our opponents amplify that as though it’s somehow a complete collapse of the party
    This just isn’t true at all, they do it to give the appearance that the SNP is like all the rest untrustworthy undependable unworkable, call it what you will, but it’s a tactic to break the will of the electorate into losing confidence in the main goal independence

    The SNP is like any other big business, the bigger it is the more difficult it becomes to manage, but unlike big business political parties suffer from the inability to just sack the poor performers or shunt the awkward nuisances out the door, because they were elected by the voters

    As in any political party there are some who aren’t there from duty, they’re there to pursue their own agenda, that’s why they joined a successful organisation in the first place
    These people are the same as the ones who used to join the Labour party because it was the most successful at that time to either have a nice easy life collecting wages or to create trouble wherever they could

    The SNP suffers from some of the same folk, and that imperfection is perceived as disagreement that can never be resolved according to those who oppose the SNP, so best not to vote for them as your aims will never materialise, it’s over you’re all doomed to failure, just give up

    Whichever new leader is elected must find a way to shunt these people so far back out of the way they’re going to need air pumped in

    Most folk on this site know my views and preference and the reasons for it, for me there’s only one person with the guts to face down the problem people and get rid of the troublemakers, then make sure no more of them gain entry to the party simply by mouthing support for independence without their back story and connections being properly scrutinized

    Being nice is nice but some see that as a sign of weakness and push the boundaries, if you don’t stamp on them PDQ we end up with what we have now, and it will continue until it’s dealt with, including the media

    There’s only one candidate capable of doing that, and everybody knows who that is

  12. Scottish Baker says:

    Health first and foremast Paul. Once secured please continue you with your blog. You are an unparalleled wordsmith. Your contribution is incalculable to the cause. I enjoy every item you produce. Please keep up the good work – after you have secured you health,

  13. pammywammywoohotmailcom says:

    So thankful that you are too gobby and opinionated to give up. I miss your voice when it is not there. But please always look after yourself first – it is what we all want and need.

  14. Capella says:

    Links within this article to all the other McCrone Report articles.

    Tom Devine: The reason the McCrone Report is so significant

    It is hardly surprising that the document remained confidential for so long. The report argued that the oil discoveries in the North Sea had transformed the case for Scottish independence and demolished the old belief that Scotland did not possess the economic resources to go it alone.

    It was political dynamite as McCrone concluded that “for the first time since the Act of Union was passed, it can now be credibly argued that Scotland’s economic advantage lies in its repeal”.


    • Golfnut says:

      The 1901 to 1921 treasury report should have demolished the notion that Scotland needed England, but if further proof were needed

      “Another brief glimpse of Scotland’s contribution to the UK Treasury was in 1952/3. That year, Scotland’s revenue of £409.6m exceeded by £100m the combined revenues of Norway (£183m) and Denmark (£130m).[2]”

      We need to start thinking about how much reparation Scotland claims for the damage they have done to Scotland.

  15. I hope you do continue Paul as I think you are Scotland’s best blogger but only do as many blogs as you feel up to. Your health comes first.

  16. exile says:

    Thank you for continuing to blog Paul. But you must put your health first. If you can write one or two blogs a week that will be great. Best wishes to you and yours.

  17. Bert Logan says:

    Yup – the media is the problem so biased against independence, the BBC in Scotland is awash with ‘Labourites’. I cant watch the BBC – my English wife hates it too.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      People may well remember the former Head of News & Current Affairs at BBC SCOTLAND… John Boothman.
      Married to former Scottish Labour MSP Susan Deacon…Boothman left the BBC under a cloud of bullying accusations. He is now a political reporter for The Sunday Times on Scottish topics and delivers his weekly review on Times Radio each weekend.
      Impartial?…….. I think not.

      tirade of

      • Tam the Bam says:

        … there’s that wee tirade following me about again…tirade off!… BEAT IT!

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Bert is a a Sesame Street character, “Logan” either betrays influence of “Logan’s Run” or more likely “Wolverine” – The chosen Gravatar is a frame-shot from the superb short spoof of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive”…
        You must have hit a nerve to generate that degree of response yet invisibility – 77th ?

      • Iain says:

        Back in Scotland for a funeral, I tried to watch what passes for news on BBC. That would not be considered news in most western countries.

  18. agalianou says:

    So glad you’re back and that you’re not giving up. Like you, I have been wondering about the wisdom of continuing or turning my back on the whole thing. What stops me is the thought that that is exactly what unionists want us to do and it would mean they had won. I can’t let that happen while I still have breath.

  19. Bob Lamont says:

    Well said, and welcome back – As others have commented, take it easier, quality over quantity any day.
    I have NO kind words for those who seek to disrupt the SNP election process

  20. James Mills says:

    Keep on keeping on , Paul !
    Remember , a ”small voice crying in the wilderness ” will still be heard .

  21. scotiahazel says:

    I’ve missed your blogs Paul while you were away. I’m so glad you’re back, but please look after yourself first and only do whatever you are able to.
    I’m so glad you’re too gobby to quit.

  22. aem1f63b1db0dfc says:

    I have become dispirited of late with the independence movement. In the the past I have donated, quite generously, to so-called independence supporters who turned out to be rude, egotistical and misogynistic. It was a painful lesson. I am upset by the the abuse directed toward Nicola Sturgeon. She is the best thing to happen to the independence movement – not that this would be evident in some quarters. There is no reason to feel that you have to agree with her on everything, but she was fair, polite, capable of a reasoned argument, and willing to admit when she got things wrong. I am gutted that she resigned, but totally understand why. So thank you Paul for your willingness to continue. You are a shinning example of why it is important to work for independence. Look after yourself – we need you

  23. Aileen Ford says:

    So glad you are still going to blog. I would miss your writing very much if you stopped. Take care.

  24. Eilidh says:

    I am glad to see you back blogging Paul and very happy that you are going to continue to to do so. Reading your blog often seems like only sane place in a sea of bitterness. You health must come first so look after yourself and only blog when you feel up to it. I too am not an Snp member so no vote and to be honest if I could I would disappear abroad somewhere nice and sunny until the Snp leader election is over

  25. scottish_skier says:

    Guid tae hae ye back Paul. You’ve no missed much. Been pretty quiet on the Scottish Politics front.

  26. Capella says:

    Will the bottle return scheme be delayed? Kate Forbes not convinced businesses are ready. Neither are Humza Yousaf or Ash Regan.

    • James Mills says:

      Didn’t they ( businesses ) say the same about Minimum Pricing for alcohol legislation , smoking bans in Pubs , compulsory charges for plastic bags , National Minimum Wage , stopping putting children up chimneys , ending slavery , …..

      • Capella says:

        Indeed. I get my groceries delivered by Sainsbury (after lockdown restrictions made shopping too difficult). I recycle my bottles and cans via the local authority collection system. What am I to do now? Drive to the local shops and ask them to refund my 20p per item even though I didn’t buy these bottles and cans from them?

    • stewartb says:

      You note that ‘Kate Forbes not convinced businesses are ready’.

      Regrettably, in my view, she went much further. The BBC is reporting that: ‘SNP leadership hopeful Kate Forbes has warned the proposed bottle return scheme could cause “ECONOMIC CARNAGE”.’ (my emphasis) Perhaps the word ‘could’ is doing a lot of work here but I also note her use of ‘carnage’.

      The meaning of ‘carnage’ is the violent killing of large numbers of people, especially in a war. Synonyms include slaughter, murder, massacre, holocaust. (Source: Collins online dictionary.) It is of course not being used literally here but it was chosen for use by Ms Forbes nonetheless!

      If one describes someone’s words as intemperate, one is being critical of them because they are too forceful and may appear uncontrolled. For example the tone of a comment is intemperate. Synonyms include excessive, extreme, over the top [slang], wild. (Source: Collins online dictionary)

      I judge the use of the term ‘carnage’ in the context of a bottle return scheme (for goodness sake) to be at the very least inappropriate from a potential First Minister whom I would wish always to strive to display seriousness and good judgement (and candidly, ‘class’ in contrast to opponents) in public discourse. In short to avoid the intemperate, except perhaps in extremis.

      My concern is that use of intemperate language can be seem as advantageous by some in politics who decide to play the easy, populist card for short term gain. If ‘carnage’ is appropriate in this context what terms are left for use with other much worse ‘bads’ of which there are and will be many? I trust this will not become a pattern.

      • Capella says:

        it’s a metaphor. a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Stewart, if you put – economic carnage – into google you’ll get 9,210,000 results. But if you put quotes around it “economic carnage” you’ll still get 79,300 with titles such as “We All Need to Step Up to Stem the Economic Carnage of the Coronavirus Crisis”.

        It’s very common to refer to it as Economic Carnage, such as “The stock exchange suffered Economic Carnage this week as Liz Truss went ballistic”.

        • stewartb says:

          Indeed – so the ‘could cause economic carnage’ bottle return scheme is being described with the same metaphor you point to being used to refer to the impacts of the infamous Truss budget on the UK economy, causing actual instability in the financial markets, an actual fall in the value of the pound, actual rises in the cost of UK government borrowing and actual rises in mortgage rates – and probably more negatives. No difference?

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Not if you live in a place that’s 17 miles from the nearest supermarket, or even 50 miles plus a ferry. Island shops for instance have a struggle staying viable as it is, and island economies can be fragile.

            For some places a 20p per can or bottle charge, which by the time costs are passed on by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, could be as much as 40p extra per can [1], could lead to more Clearances of island and rural economies. Let alone the unwanted extra costs to families struggling as it is with a cost of living crisis and energy bill.

            All for the sake of gesture politics when councils have mostly got perfectly good recycling schemes.

            [1] as if by magic here’s the guy actually in charge of the not-for-profit


            • Legerwood says:

              So how did the islands cope when you got money back on an Irn-Bru bottle?

              • Alex Clark says:

                I can understand it being applied to bottles because they can be returned to the drinks producer, cleaned and reused. You can’t do that with a plastic bottle or can which has to be recycled as it cannot be reused.

              • ayeinskye says:

                Very few island shops did glass bottle Irn Bru, so 20p deposit wasn’t a problem

                • Legerwood says:

                  I was talking about the 1950s when Irn-bru was in glass bottles as was Tizer etc. I think it was 3d or 6d you got back.

            • Bob Lamont says:

              I suggest your perspective needs a reconsideration – Bottle return schemes were on the go before I was out of nappies, and was still on the go before supermarkets were created, and yes, even on islands.
              Your “gesture politics when councils have mostly got perfectly good recycling schemes” misses the point completely, it is not those users that are being targeted, but those who’ll toss a bottle without consideration.

              The argument is if it’s worth 20p they won’t just toss it away, or if they do some kids will retrieve it and recoup the deposit for sweets, just as kids did in my time.

              I accept it’s an imperfect plan, but it’s better than no plan at all until it becomes the equivalent of the “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”.

              • Alex Clark says:

                If the 20p deposit applied only to glass bottles then it could be managed but the fact that it applies to all single-use drink containers including plastic bottles and cans is I think going too far.

                How are local corner shops meant to handle all this waste, how will they be paid for the work involved and who’s going to count every item returned. Does it have to go back to the producer for recycling or do the councils deal with it?

                Maybe it’s all worked out but it looks like a big ask to me.

                • Bob Lamont says:

                  I don’t dispute it is a big ask Alex, but despite all the recycling initiatives we already have in place, it’s how we incentivise the “it’s not my problem” minority that is the greater issue. It should not need legislation to resolve it but that is where we are, how to make “it’s not my problem” a financial incentive or a penalty.
                  I personally believe the proposed policy won’t work, but I can’t fault them for trying.

                  • Alex Clark says:

                    I don’t fancy paying £3 more than the current minimum price of £13.20 for a case of 15 tins of lager and having to return to the shop with 15 empty cans that need to be scanned before I can have my £3 deposit back.

                    Yep, I’d definitely prefer to put them in the recycle bin and have them collected by the council once a fortnight as happens now. I just can’t imagine pulling them from a plastic bag one at a time in my local Spar and handing them over for scanning.

                    I might need to switch to home brew LOL

                    • Bob Lamont says:

                      To be fair Alex, 15 tins here currently would be under a tenner, and the empties go into the recycle bin alongside the plastics and paper (just the way they do it here) even out here in the boonies.
                      We do suffer the same “not my problem” throwaway clown problem here but they are thankfully rare instances.

                  • James says:

                    how we incentivize the “it’s not my problem” minority that is the greater issue.

                    Agreed, the ‘little louts’ who will happily throw their can/bottle on the floor are unlikely to suddenly stop just to get their 20p back.

                    I believe that the scheme can work given proper time and planning, probably not to the extent that is being forecast, but to some extent.

                    But as the Scottish Government’s own report says it won’t be ready for the planned August launch date.

                    “6.4.9 Given the issues discussed in paragraphs 6.3.1 to 6.3.6, the Review Team concludes that a fully functioning, compliant DRS cannot be achieved for the 16 Aug 2023 go-live target. Some DRS functionality could be available and a minimum viable product or phased/soft approach to go-live seems the only possibility to maintain momentum and support expectations.

                    R3 The SRO should urgently re-evaluate the ‘go-live’ schedule and the Scheme ‘go-live scope’ [redacted].Critical

              • yesindyref2 says:

                Comparisons with the past really are back to another era, when fuel was 42p per litre, soft drinks were relatively expensive, wages were lower, margins far higher – and it was in the interest of Barrs for instance to get the bottles back – the days when the Barrs lorry used to call delivering crates of juice to those who couldn’t be bothered going to Templeton.

                Those days are gone.

                • Bob Lamont says:

                  Perhaps if you were not so desperate to miss the point by citing different times you might consider that recycling packaging was normal right up into the 1970s whether it be a village or a town, be it paper or glass, that was normal.
                  The “throwaway” culture arose since has become the unaddressed problem, a matter which equally plagues the USA despite promoting it initially, and the scourge of plastics.
                  Awareness of recycling is well embedded in communities, it is the “not my problem” group who are the more pressing issue.
                  I’m open to suggestions.

              • stewartb says:

                “gesture politics when councils have mostly got perfectly good recycling schemes’

                Lots of gesturing going on then according to the OECD and others!


                The return scheme is also about incentivising over time the use of packaging materials by industry that are more easily recycled and retain higher value. There is also the objective of collecting packaging in a way that reduces ‘contamination’ of the higher value recyclable materials with all the other stuff we recycle through domestic kerb collections.

                Here is an account of the pioneering Norwegian scheme -

                And here is the web site of the Norwegian equivalent of Circularity Scotland, called Infinitum (formerly Norsk Resirk) – – with links to its informative annual reports in English. Its new name was “inspired by the endless number of times one can recycle bottles and cans that are in the deposit scheme.”

                The deposit return scheme in Norway runs alongside conventional collections. This from a website for visitors to Norway called

                ‘The green, blue and white system: The first thing you will notice is the color-coding. This is to help you decipher what type of waste goes where; there are green, blue and white bins in some areas and plain bins that take the specific green, blue and white bags in others. Plastic packaging goes into the blue bins, while paper and ‘restavfall’ (general waste) each go into the specifically marked white bins.’

                Then there is this on how to ‘pant’ in Norway!

                ‘Once you’ve mastered the ‘green, blue and white’ process, it’s time to get acquainted with Norway’s pant system. Every plastic bottle of juice, water or soda, as well as every can of beer or soft drink, has a ‘pant’ value written on them. This value (usually around 1-2.5 NOK) is what you will have to pay in addition to its regular price when you buy a can of beer, for instance, however, you can get it back when you return the can to the pant machine. The pant machines are stationed in the entrance of all supermarkets; simply place your bottles and cans one by one on the slot, and the system calculates the pant value you get with each one. Once you’re done, the machine issues a receipt with the amount in NOK. You can use that to pay for goods at the supermarket, or you can donate it to charity via the machine.’

                The 2021 Annual Report for Infinitum profiles the example of its successful engagement with Lofotpils AS, a micro-brewer based in Svolvær on the Lofoten Islands, off Norway’s north west coast. See

                I’m been trying to find references to how the return scheme operates in remote rural Norway but so far all the municipality websites examined only have information in Norwegian. Given the scale of take up in Norway – a country with some pretty remote communities and big distances – intuitively, it must work reasonably well.

                Perhaps such comparisons would cut little ice with opponents here of the Scottish scheme anyway. I don’t have time to consult the Scottish Government’s legislation/guidance to evaluate the merits of each and every negative but equally, without reading these details, I won’t be taking at face value what’s appearing in the corporate media.

                But at least the environmentalist in me can wait for a couple of years until (obviously) the best scheme possible is introduced by the Westminster government. Perhaps then the diverse negative criticisms being levelled presently at the Scottish Government’s scheme may have to be put aside in deference to Westminster and all will be well as permission for Scotland to proceed is granted!

    • Handandshrimp says:

      Fair chance it will be delayed by a year for small businesses, such as craft brewers.

      Not sure why such heavy weather has been made of this. Lots of countries do this. How hard is it to copy best practice/most successful schemes. My inclination towards Forbes is in part because she will have a practical approach to these things. Being capable and adaptable is a prerequisite to convincing voters that independence will work.

      Salmond was not without flaws but he was good at getting things done and done well and on time.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      It’s a scheme thought out by people whose contact with grocery shopping is restricted to booking a delivery slot and opening the door to the Waitrose van in their townie house or flat.

      Anyone who shops at all in a small shop will see at delivery times, every small space stacked with the delivery as the 1 or 2 people who work there frantically put it away into fridges and onto shelves, putting the cardboard straight into the recycling bins. No space to spare.

      With all the silly initiatives that put increasing burdens on small shops, they’re closing down like it’s going out of fashion, particularly in rural areas which used to have a small shop but now have to drive 20 miles or more to their nearest shops.

      And even those using the big stores, for those who don’t earn £65,000 a year like government ministers, it makes a difference being able to buy a tray of 24 soft drinks for £8 which they can perhaps barely manage, but which means tins at 33p each to drink over the next 3 weeks, rather than paying up to £1 for the same drink 1 at a time. That would become of course £12.80 and a kitchen cluttered with stupid tins which otherwise they can rinse out and put in the purple bin.

      It just hits the poor yet again, while the rich can pat themselves on the shoulders talking about social justice and easing the burden on the rich.

  27. Old Pete says:

    Discussing with some friends yesterday regarding the SNP leadership, was going to vote for Kate but not so sure now. Just can’t see any of them being the leader we need to push us over the line, most disappointing.

    Living in Prestwick nearest hustings is Johnstone so doubt if my daughter and myself will be heading there. Hustings on the TV, I think this is not a good idea when the media are totally against the SNP.

    Keep going Paul, the cause of Scottish independence needs your input.

  28. bringiton says:

    Keep Right on to the End of the Road.
    Glad you are continuing Paul.

  29. Paul – one of the best nights re Indy for me was when you and the Dug came to Hamilton. As well as clapping the Dug, your passion for Indy and life story to then was very moving. You have been an amazing example of how to respond to life’s serious blows. Keep on if you can – once a week might be enough!

  30. Andy Braes says:

    Don’t ever give up Paul we’re on the cusp.

  31. James Scott says:

    I watched Ash Regan deliver her pitch on STV Scotland tonight, unfortunately she was questioned by I’m John McKay so we learned little about anything concerning anything except that whoever decided to create any ministerial job for this woman (and it might have been Nicola herself, God I hope not) was definitely drunk or heavily anaesthesized on pain medication at the time, as her grasp of politics is not even school student level

    I’m really sorry if folk have been led to believe this woman seriously has the remotest hope in hell of ever becoming FM in the whole of the rest of her natural life, and that’s as kind as I can get folks, I wouldn’t hire this woman to help out in the cafeteria if I was drunk

    She read her prepared pitch from her ipad then ceased to function thereafter mumbling gibberish about *I thinks* and *I thinks some more* and the STV panel heartily agreed, although they were nicer than me about it

    The Tory on the panel was asked if he were to have still been working which candidate he thought the opposition would fear, his answer was unequivocal, Kate Forbes, and he pointed to her finance credentials business education and motivation to progress the independence debate in a more definite and joined up way, and considered that she was the best person to unite the YES movement and keep the Greens onside, which was far from Regans pitch as when she was asked about the Greens not being part of government quoted their 4% stake and dismissed them and smilingly siad she’d just have a minority government, while simultaneously laying out the welcome mat for *any other independence parties*? who have 0% at the moment, she did mention that she’d had *years* of government experience, I don’t know which government that was but it wasn’t one Scotland unless there’s another Scotland somewhere, John McKay never even questioned that, then again John McKay never questions very much at all

    Not what you’d call a car crash interview, more of a very slow bicycle tyre deflation with a quizzical Ash Frank Spencer Regan just staring at it getting flatter
    It was in colour so at least there was that

    • Hamish100 says:

      Thanks for this summation. Glad I missed it, but I can empathise having had 2 slow punctures on my car tyres recently. Deflated is the word as the rest 9f the world sped by.

    • Old Pete says:

      Ash Regan is absolutely not worth voting for in the leadership contest. How she was ever selected as an MSP is beyond me, she sounds disjointed and incoherent.

  32. astytaylor says:

    Glad to hear that you will continue Paul. You are a voice of reason. Miles ahead of the mainstream blaah.
    Take good care of yourself.

  33. Alba Laddie says:

    Where are the SNP leadership asking for the same Brexit deal that Northern Ireland have been granted?

    • Hamish100 says:

      Good point. Listening to radio Ulster and the local fishing association has the best of being in the eu but also to Scottish markets.

      Scotland scuppered again.

  34. GGP says:

    Very glad you are not willing to throw in the towel yet. Your blogs are a fine reminder that there is but one goal…Independence and the unity of those like minded folk…..Thank you for your comments and perseverance. The goal shall be reached largely due to you and your ilk.

  35. Capella says:

    The National continues its series on the McCrone Report and the plunder o the oil wealth. Here are eye witness accounts of what happened.

    McCrone Report: We watched Westminster get rich off Scotland’s oil

    Gibson read an extract of Tony Benn’s diaries which are featured in Crude Britannia: How Oil Shaped a Nation, by Terry McAlister.

    Benn, who served as Secretary of State for Energy from 1975, wrote about his experience at the Forties oil pipeline opening in Aberdeen, which he attended in 1975 alongside the Queen and Prince Philip.

    “The first thing I noticed was that the workers who actually bring the oil ashore were kept behind a barbed wire fence and just allowed to wave at us as we drove by … to be frank, the day was a complete waste of time and money, and when you see the Queen in action, everything else is just absorbed into this frozen feudal hierarchy.

    “All the old bigwigs are brought out into the open as if they were somehow responsible for a great industrial achievement, while the workers are presented as natives and barbarians who can be greeted but have to be kept at a distance.

    “It is a disgrace that a Labour Government should allow this to continue. I also felt that this great Scottish occasion was just an opportunity for the London Establishment to come up and lord it over the Scots.”

    Gibson calls this insight “gold dust” as it shows a British minister understood the injustice which created the momentum for independence – and therefore the logic behind burying the McCrone Report.

  36. Capella says:

    Abbi Garton-Crosbie on why energy wasn’t devolved to Scotland in the Scotland Act.
    I don’t think these articles are behind a paywall so I haven’t archived. There are plenty more links within this article.

    McCrone Report: How the document influenced the Scotland Act

    Professor Alex Kemp, the leading expert in the history of North Sea oil and gas at Aberdeen University, said SNP electoral success in the mid-1970s and the potential wealth in the North Sea undoubtedly had an impact on the UK Government’s decision to keep powers over oil and gas in its hands even as devolution was being considered.

    The author of the The Official History of Oil and Gas, Kemp told The National that essentially the Treasury insisted they needed the money. Kemp said: “It [the UK Government] could see that for a time there would be very big revenues and the Treasury wanted to have full control over them.

    • Golfnut says:

      An other major issue was the 1934 Act which lumped Scotland’s mineral wealth under the English Crown which basically took the mineral wealth away from the Scottish people, which meant they could do what they liked with it. It’s why the revenue is allocated ex regio to the uk rather than to Scotland.
      The Act was unlawful and will be a major issue during negotiations.

  37. Golfnut says:

    Twitter post by Angus McNeill, wealthy Scotland and remember these are not including the actual revenue generated by the oil and gas industry and didn’t mention renewables.
    Comments from the naysayers are up to the usual standard.

  38. Well said Paul.I agree that we need to concentrate on persuading the undecided about the merits of independence,and avoid personal attacks on people with different views.Please take care of yourself.Your contribution is extremely helpful and a good example of how we should behave towards each other.

    Regarding the SNP leadership.I do have a preference,but I have just returned to Scotland after many years of living abroad,and only recently renewed my membership of the SNP. Thus I dont have a vote,in this election.While I will support whoever wins,I do hope that it is the person who is best able to develop a clear strategy for moving us towards independence.We need a plan to circumvent the barriers erected by the UK government,and we need to win the economic argument.I hope that we focus our energy on those goals.

  39. James Scott says:

    Star Trek the TV series was based on the great socially democratic notion of a union, or federation of planets that would all work together for the common good of all without interference in any other planets social structures, and the people of earth bought into that proposition and congratulated themselves on creating such a great peace initiative and swearing to sticking to those rules
    They even had a rule called the *Prime directive* that effectively banned themselves from direct interference with other cultures

    If you remember watching Star Trek you’ll also remember that Captain James T Kirk followed by Jean Luc Picard with earths powerfully armed starship enterprise broke every one of those rules in every episode ever made, right down to the *Prime directive* or as we know it in planet Scotland *section 35*

    But they felt compelled to do it out of altruism

    That’s how you make law that’s right then break that law and still be right

  40. Ken says:

    The people who support Independence need to go out and vote every election.

    50%+ support Independence.

    Turnout Council/local election 40% of voters. Holyrood elections 50% of electorate. GE 60% of electorate. Referendum 85% of electorate. People who suppir5 Independence need to go out and vote every election to vote out the opposition.

    There could be a Hokyrood election. Then a GE. Or a GE. Then a Holyrood election. Soon. People who support Independence need to go out and vote. A local election coming up. The turnout could be higher. Even with STV and D’Hond’t to vote out the opposition. Many people complain but do not go out and vote.

  41. Ken says:

    Local elections in May in the South.

  42. Capella says:

    Meanwhile, back on the campaign trail – Max Wiszniewski, Campaign Manager for Revive, the coalition for grouse moor reform, makes the case for bold land reform.

    SNP leadership race is perfect opportunity tackle land reform

    Whoever is elected, the new party leader should take confidence that tackling this issue properly and speeding up land reform efforts would be popular with the SNP membership that elected them.

    In 2020, despite it getting lost as part of a conference “super-motion”, an SNP membership motion to essentially end driven grouse shooting was backed by more branches than any other resolution that year.

    Moreover, if the enthusiastic support for radical land reform – including progressive land taxation – from the hundreds of people at Revive’s SNP conference meetings is anything to go by, the SNP leadership really can be brave.

    • James Scott says:

      Great idea and another excuse for England to break the Prime directive and invoke S35 again, but this time with the support of Captain King Charlie of the starship Balmoral

      • Capella says:

        Yes it is a good idea, and this time it comes with strong community support according to another National article on a survey by SRUC:

        THE vast majority of Scots support widening urban and rural land ownership to the public, communities and third sector, a poll has found.

        Nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents to a survey of 1500 back the proposal, while just 7% are opposed.

        The poll, carried out by Ipsos MORI for Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), also found Scots consider climate change, building on greenspace and inequality in land ownership to be three of the biggest issues for the future of the country’s land.

        • 80% of our nation Scotland is owned by a couple of hundred individuals, Capella. 18% 0f our land has been reduced to gorse land so that a few hundred chinless wonders can kill animals for sadistic fun.
          We are 5.4 million strong hemmed in to overcrowded conurbations by the Lairds and filthy rich individuals.
          They quite literally run their estates as private little fiefdoms.
          Ban blood sports and compulsorily buy the land for the nation at £1 an acre.
          The Parcel of Rogues Bloody Barons don’t ‘own’ our land. They just held on to it by force and slaughter and have a battery of lawyers defending their rights to the spoils of war.

          • Capella says:

            It always struck me as bizarre that huge swathes of our land are turned to podzol in order to grow a food crop – grouse – that nobody eats.

  43. Perhaps a distraction from the focus of Pauls article today,but I did notice some comments on the proposed bottle return scheme.I am responding to that because I have lived in Finland,where they have an excellent return system that has been there for many years.While living there,I never heard any complaints about the system in use.In fact it was very popular.It certainly contributed to a very clean environment.When my daughter visited me from Inverness,she used to say that Finland was the cleanest country that she had ever visited.I gather that there are concerns about what is proposed in Scotland,but I am sure that those problems can and should be solved.
    Listening to Kate Forbes on STV, I definitely got the impression that she is aware of,and motivated to solve the problems.associated with the bottle return scheme.That is encouraging since we do need a cost effective bottle return system.I was also impressed by her readiness to admit to flaws in what was being introduced.That takes away the negative impact of a media that is constantly looking for reasons to undermine the Scottish government.I found her willingness to recognise problems with government proposals quite refreshing.I do believe that she can take the hear out of the constant negativity from the media that we see almost every evening on TV.I have not yet observed this ability in the other two candidates,so I will follow what they have to say with great interest.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “I do believe that she can take the heat out of the constant negativity from the media” 🤣

      • Dr Jim says:

        The Greens appear to be trying to get their retaliation in before they need to by demanding an EGM with the SNP to decide what they’re going to decide before the election is finally decided, (shorthand, what if we don’t like it)

        Premature certification?

    • Capella says:

      Can you tell me Bill whether Finland has a kerbside recycling service and recycling banks. One of the issues here is that we already have a system in place, paid for by all of us through tax. If the argument is that producers get the profit but externalise the cost then why not tax them?

      Bottles are not included in the kerbside collection (but are at the recycling banks) and I read that the system to be introduced in England and Wales next year will not include bottles either.

      • Legerwood says:

        Our bottles, glass jars etc are lifted by our Council. Glass box goes out every few weeks.

        • Capella says:

          Lucky you! Aberdeenshire Council doesn’t do that.

          • Legerwood says:

            I thought all councils did. I live in Stirling Council area.

            • Capella says:

              Well I’ll have to check now – it would save trips to the bottle bank. Soon I won’t have to leave the house at all!

            • ayeinskye says:

              Most of Highland only have the Blue wheelie bin for recycling, NO GLASS in it, so you have to take the glass to a bottle bank which most areas do have somewhere, but if its supermarkets only for DRS then some places face 0-40 mile each way journeys to get to a local coop which is a bit unfair, and adding even 20p to single use containers is going to add up, no farm foods, Iceland, Ald or Lidl here to get cheaper tins of juice etc and coop is certainly not the cheapest of companies to buy groceries from.
              Its alright forfolk near towns on mainland outside the Highlands who can shop around, but remember what might suit most council areas certainly wont suit highland or Island communities for cost or availability

          • In Glasgow we have a purple bin for glass, a brown bin for garden waste, a blue bin for recyclable paper, cardboard, cans, and such, and a green bin for the rubbish bound for landfill.
            Oh, and we have a GP, and a dentist, and street lights too.

            • Capella says:

              OOOhhh – bin heaven! Well I checked and my council doesn’t do glass collection so I have to drive down to the bottle bank. Post Xmas and New Year were particularly busy trips. Added to my carbon footprint somewhat.

      • Capella,mostly in Finland,you take your glass bottles and cans to the super market and place them on a conveyor belt.The system was started in the 1950ś and has expanded since then to include plastic bottles.Nearly every bottle and can in Finland is recycled that way.I cannot recall ever seing much litter on Finnish streets.The Finns also claim that manufacturing bottles and tins from that process uses much less energy,30 per cent in the case of bottles.Not sure how it is paid for ,but I think that you probably pay a few cents on your purchase.However,the machine at the supermarket also gives you a few cents for every item placed on the conveyor belt.Apart from that system,there are public places where you can deposit bottles,tins,mettle and so on.Everything is highly organised for disposal of those objects and I have never heard a Finn complain about that.

        • Capella says:

          Thx Bill. What I was trying to find out is whether an existing kerbside collection service predated the bottle return scheme in Finland and other Scandinavian countries which are cited as examples of good practice. When I was young, back in the Scottish stone age, you could take bottles back to the shop and get money back. This predated supermarkets and plastic bottles and cans.

          But if you already have a LA collection scheme, as we do here, I wonder what the cost benefit would be of introducing another scheme.

          • Capella,to add to my last reply about the scheme in Finland,people pay a deposit (about 15-20 cents) on purchase of a bottle or tin.When they return it to the conveyor belt located at supermarkets,they get a receipt from the machine.They get the deposit back when they give it back while paying for their groceries at the supermarket.People seem to love that system.I recall once that after christmas and New year,when I took all of my accumulated bottles and cans to the supermarket,I earned 50 euros.Thus nobody pays anything extra for what they buy,I have now checked how the system is paid for.Apparently the Finnish government has farmed out responsibility for running the system to an organization associated with various drink companies.The reward seems to be that they pay no tax on packaging Anyhow,it works and everyone is happy.I must dig into it a bit more.

            • Capella says:

              Thx Bill that is interesting. If you find out more about do let us know.

            • deelsdugs says:

              That is interesting Bill. Thanks Capella for ‘interrogating’ Bill ☺️
              ****Hope there are some official bodies in power in Scotland who will read this blog and look into all in a bit more in depth.

          • Not sure about what existed in Finland before the present recycling system was introduced Cappella. I moved to Finland in 2003 .From my experience of living there,I would suggest that the benefits over the system currently used in Scotland is that people are highly motivated to keep their environment clean,since the system motivates and rewards them for doing so.I saw a good example of Finnish cultural attitudes when I observed an elderly lady getting irritated by seeing a small piece of litter on the pavement.She picked it up.Additionally,the Finns seem to have developed a system that rewards the drinks industry in some way.I must admit,that while I loved taking my bottles to the supermarket and getting my deposit back at the checkout,I never gave any thought to how the system was paid for,since nobody was complaining.I was so surprised on my return to Scotland to hear the controversy around the introduction of recycling scheme here.Actually,I have also been shocked by the constant negativity towards the Scottish government,I am sure that nothing was perfect in the past,before leaving Scotland,but I do not recall constant attacks on the labour-Liberal coalition before I left the country.

    • Over 40 years ago, in Ontario, booze was sold from Government ran ‘Liquor stores; When we first visited the ex pats, it was perfectly normal to return empty beer and liquor bottles to the liquor outlet, and get a discount per bottle on your next purchase.
      There was no outrage, controversy, was fecking normal.
      It is the drinks industry which is squealing like a stuffed pig.
      Let the polluter pay.
      When I was a lad we used to take empty ‘ginger’ bottles back to the cafe and got 3d for each one returned.
      Paid for gob stoppers, penny caramels, Highland toffee, and sherbet dabs.
      These cafes, there were huuners of them, run, mainly by Italians, had no problem returning them to Barr’s or Hendry’s…
      This is yet another BBC Stockade ‘controversy.

      How many hours have been devoted to this, and the double rapist, and the ferry fiasco, and and and and?
      Our local Aldi has already set up a bottle return hub in the car park…
      Our obliging Jock hacks will report anything but but our right to independence.
      They are raping our resources and channelling it back to England.
      Oil and gas are but two of many many resources which are being stolen by England.
      But the life cycle of a Tizer bottle makes the headlines in BritScotia.l

      • James Scott says:

        Part of the controversy over this is the Greens insistence that any producer who doesn’t sign up to the scheme will be banned from selling their products in Scotland
        So of course the big producers will like this plan way more than the little guys because they get to edge out all the small companies, how very American of them

        The idea is great and we all remember it well getting our 3d per bottle, but times have changed massively and if you’re Coca Cola for example or big Tesco Asda or whoever, you just crushed all the other little Cola’s without lifting a finger and expanded your own product into the bargain, I think they call that a monopoly, did that not used to be illegal or something?

        The idea again is great but the expense and exclusion of small producers is a problem and might even discourage new small businesses from even getting into the market, and those small businesses would likely be Scottish, and are those not the guys we want rather than lining the pockets of big Cola or big Pepsi

        Could Iron Bru have withstood this against the giants when they started up?
        Are there other little Ba Bru companies out there this will destroy?

        I’m no financial expert but I have run my own life and businesses all my life and I remember well when big supermarket moved into Scotland and wee dairy, wee butcher, wee fruit and veg, wee everything warned what would happen, we no longer have those choices, big everything wiped them out

        Scotland is small, and a lot of small in a country like ours is better than a few big who can wipe out economies and communities in a day

        I miss the dairy and the fishmonger and so on, they were everywhere and none of us needed to drive our cars to load up with shopping, because they were always just around the corner

      • wm says:

        Jack still keeping an eye on your posts, just found I must be older than you it was only two pence we got when I was lad.

        • You beat me by months, wm.
          I still recall getting in to the Regal cinema in Dalmuir using jam jars as currency.
          Makes me wonder how the cinema dealt with storing and returning the jeely jars to the jam factory.
          Perhaps Jim Murphy may return his Irn Bru crates to their rightful owner now, to be used for their original purpose, as receptacles for storing empty bottles rather than as props for an empty balloon.
          As ever, wm.
          If I were an SNP member and attended a husting event, I would demand that the Brit Hacks be refused entry.
          My privacy is paramount, always.

          • wm says:

            That is another point we agree on Jack, and if I was a member of the SNP I would be organising a protest of some kind to keep media out.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Well, never been to Finland, have worked in Sweden. Finland has 1/5th the population density of Scotland, and most of the rural land is owned by 423 people. Shops often exist on a small plot of land, no place for big containers. Sweden also has high wages, high taxes, a high cost of living and probably still not a lot of supermarket chains. So it’s small shops able to charge higher prices and room to store stuff.

      Scotland – take the old Stop Shop, which barely survived as it is (now a co-chomunn). Not big!

      For the sake of argument you get 40 campervans a week that stock up in Leeds or even Inverness at the supermarket, and carry 2 adults and 2 kids, 2 x 12 beers (at 25 x 25 x 20 cm each), 2 x 24 cola (40 x 25 x 12) and 6 bottles of wine (30 x 20 x 30) plus 2 x 2 litre milk. I’m losing the will to live so you’d have to check the maths but that’s about 0.1 cubic metres. Top up at Portree co-op with the same again so 0.2 cu metres x 40 = 8 cu metres per week; double up to 16 cu metres for other trade at a conservative estimate.

      At 1.5 cubic meters per loaded europallet, that’s over 10 pallets for a weekly collection. Okey-doke! Plus of course £2,400 the shop has to lay out for bottles and tins it didn’t even sell – apart maybe from a couple of bottles of milk for the cornflakes, plus a daily paper.

      you would need to check my extremely mental arithmetic 🙂

  44. Dr Jim says:

    Anas Sarwar’s Labour cause the collapse of Dumfries and Galloway council allowing the Tories to increase council tax by 6%
    Labour received no votes for their own budget proposals so pulled out of the coalition with the SNP administration allowing the Tories to pass their tax hikes

    And there’s yer Labour party working for you folks, NOT!
    If they can’t have it their way they’ll make dang sure it’ll be the Tory way

    But it’ll never be the SNP way, not if it’s anything to do with Anas Sarwar’s rabid Labour British Nationalists

  45. Capella says:

    I see the National Grid, which charges us the highest rates in Europe for the privilege of donating our electricity to them, is spending over £2 b cabling it down to Yorkshire.

    The Yorkshire beach where £2.1bn cable carrying electricity from Scottish windfarms will come onshore

    The £2.1bn link between Peterhead in north east Scotland and Drax in north Yorkshire, is expected to provide enough “green” electricity from Scottish offshore wind farms to power 2m homes in England.

    The cables will run under the sea for 437km before making landfall at Fraisthorpe, a beach near Bridlington, which is popular with dog walkers. East Riding councillors are being recommended to approve National Grid’s plans next Thursday for the 67km stretch, which will cross Holderness and the River Hull before entering the Yorkshire Wolds.

  46. davetewart says:

    And chas the turd will get 2 wayleaves for the cables crossing his coastal land.

    Can Scotland have a Windsor Freedom Agreement?

  47. yesindyref2 says:

    I see the National is continuing to try to dish the dirt on Kate Forbes.

    Apparently, she accidentally stepped on an ant when she was 7 years old, and it was stunned for a couple of seconds before it ran away.


    • Capella says:

      The wee besom!
      Remember when Nicola Sturgeon was accused of cutting her sister’s doll’s hair. I think it was a Barbie. Might have been Ken though.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Well Kate Forbes is Scottish white straight married goes to church and is honest
      these days that’s the easiest group to attack without being called all the nasty names for attacking all the other groups who are protected under the law

      We now live in a world where the majority use the minorities as an excuse to abuse whoever they want, and the minorities go along with it because they think they’re wagging the dog and it’s all about them, it’s not and never will be, they’re being used as tools just as everybody else is

      Power doesn’t have a creed colour religion or gender considerations, it just has the ideology of power money and the acquisition of more of the same

      But you will hear it publicly Boo hoo a lot on your behalf, whatever you are

      • Golfnut says:

        National telling us that Kate Forbes first job at Holyrood was funded by an anti abortion group, apparently this was revealed after an investigation, otherwise known as digging the dirt.

        • Golfnut says:

          Media now complaining that they don’t like the narrative so far, which is a bit, because they set the narrative. We don’t like the narrative either and we know who to blame for that.
          Spectator now complaining that the SNP have banned the media, wish we could.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            I went to two depute hustings in my time, and I wouldn’t want the moronic pests in my face flashing cameras and asking stupid questions.

            Wouldn’t want the media there either 🙂

  48. Eddie Mullen says:

    Glad you’re going to keep going Paul, your contribution would be sorely missed. Glad too that you’re aiming to ease back on the gas and give yourself a break too. ¡Cuídate!

  49. Capella says:

    I once read about research into crow intelligence. They were trained to fly around and retrieve plastic bags and bring them back to base for a reward. This was so successful that they stripped the entire neighbourhood for miles around of every scrap of plastic. They even tried grabbing bags from innocent shoppers.

    Maybe the SG could set up crow patrols to deal with littering. make plastic bottle manufacturers attach a crow tab so they can pick them up easily. Just a suggestion.

    • Dr Jim says:

      It could be part of the Scottish propagandised beaten mindset that this isnae ma country so what the f do I care about rubbish tips on England’s streets
      Too radical?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      🤣 Crows as SG policy featuring on BBC Scotland whilst maintaining a poker face as the public recall horror stories of incontinent pigeons targeting sick kids at QEUH may pose difficulties…

    • scottish_skier says:

      They’re not all clever. We have an idiot of a crow that thinks it’s reflection in my car wing mirror is a rival and was spending it’s time attacking this while pooing on my car door / getting it muddy.

      Have to put a cover over the mirror to stop it.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Would a trainee crow that was part of the scheme be called “a rookie”?

      Asking for someone who should really be concentrating on the day job.

    • deelsdugs says:


      When I had pigs and was taking the grub out in the morning, I had two followed me each day. I called them ‘there you go’ and ‘there your are’. They would help themselves to the sow rolls, take them a short distance, dig a wee hole and bury it. I would run down and retrieve the food and take it back. They cawed at me.

  50. stewartb says:

    The BBC News website is reporting this today (with my emphasis):

    ‘Speaking to an audience in Belfast later on Tuesday, Mr Sunak said the fact that Northern Ireland was able to have OPEN ACCESS TO THE EU AND UNHINDERED TRADE WITH THE UK’S HOME MARKET was “AN UNBELIEVABLY SPECIAL POSITION” UNAVAILABLE TO ANY OTHER TRADING NATION.

    ‘And he said if his deal was accepted, Northern Ireland would be in a “UNIQUE POSITION IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, European continent, in HAVING PRIVILEGED ACCESS NOT just to the UK home market, which is enormous, fifth biggest in the world, but also the European Union’s single market. NOBODY ELSE HAS THAT.”

    So nobody else has it – and nobody else can have it? But why ever not? Because of a Tory Brexit that a majority in England voted for in a referendum and then in a subsequent General Election. And if this is so ‘unbelievably special’, such a privileged trading position, why did the Tories work so hard to persuade England’s voters to throw it away: why are the Tories and Labour intent on continuing to deny the nations of Great Britain these huge benefits?

    And if England is still content, why can’t Scotland have the same benefits as NI even within the UK? After all, we didn’t want Brexit! We could operate red and green lanes for goods too! Of course, it’s because both the Westminster government AND Unionist parties in Westminster won’t allow it: they won’t even permit us the opportunity to express a view democratically.

    From the London Economic as long ago as November, 2021: ‘Northern Ireland’s economy outperforms rest of UK – because Protocol keeps it in single market. It raises concerns about a “two-speed UK” – where different things happen in Northern Ireland compared to the rest of Great Britain.’

    From the Irish News today: ‘Investment continues to propel Northern Ireland’s high growth businesses’.

    Westminster is taking us in Scotland for fools and so far a majority of voters here seem content with their lot – or unaware – or just prefer to follow the lead of the corporate media, the BBC and opposition politicians (Unionists as well as certain others supportive of independence) by focusing attention on ‘bigger issues’ such as ferries, gender recognition reform and/or recycling plastic bottles!

  51. scottish_skier says:

    Ha ha.

    SNP leadership contest: Media excluded from hustings events

    The SNP has confirmed that the hustings events to choose its next leader will be held behind closed doors.

    The BBC, STV, ITN and Sky have joined together to challenge the SNP’s decision to prevent media access.

    Nine events are planned over the coming weeks for party members to hear from the three leadership candidates – Ash Regan, Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf.

    The party has said these will be a media-free “safe space” for members to ask questions of the candidates.

    The Society of Editors called the decision “outrageous” given the contest will decide the next first minister.

    Lying barstools. The SNP won’t be deciding the next FM, the parliament will as normal. I imagine the opposition will put someone forward too, and the leader of the SNP will need to work to win Green support to ensure they prevail as the former don’t even have a majority.

    And why should the media be allowed to film members asking questions of these don’t want that? The media has no rights whatsoever to film / record members. The SNP would need to get permission from all for that and this could exclude those who considered their membership private. Political party membership is a private matter to protect democracy. After all, your unionist boss might see you and cause you problems. Just imagine you worked for the BBC and they saw you there. That could be it for your career in broadcasting.

    • Bob Lamont says:


    • Bob Lamont says:

      I just spotted the title to the photo of Liz Cheeeeeze which says “A Conservative leadership hustings, held in Perth last August, was open to the media”…

      The sheer cheek of HMS James Cook posting that despite his blatant diversion of Tory embarrassment (presumably a call was made, he doesn’t do emails these days) over being booed at Perth, by not less than James himself orchestrating the victimised journalist routine having picked out a small section of the crowd, then having his victimisation broadcast across the media…

      From another James, “The news where you are”…”Tough Shit” 🤣

    • James says:

      In the most predictable u-turn ever the hustlings will now be televised.

      What idiot actually signed off the idea to try and stop it from being televised in the first place? It was going to be live-streamed so the stream would have been leaked onto the net within minutes of coming online. So all you have done is force the party into backtrack within a couple of hours.

      • James says:

        Shows that Sturgeon or her husband are not ‘controlling’ the election as the usual suspects have been insinuating, neither are stupid or inexperienced enough to suggest the idea in the first place!

      • scottish_skier says:

        I don’t mind it being streamed and the media broadcasting that if they get a hold of it, at least if members can come and ask questions without being filmed / named. This could cost them their jobs if their British unionist bosses saw it. We are not dealing with nice, democratic people.

        It’s an issue of protecting member privacy and not having anti-Scottish media present trying to control the event / direct it their way. We are dealing with the media from an aggressive foreign country (English/British) trying to interfere with an internal Scottish party matter.

        It’s a party leadership event, not an election. The election of the FM is a totally separate event which will occur at a later date, once the SNP have selected a new leader. Then all the parties in the chamber can put forward candidates to lead the government, who will be democratically elected by all MSPs in a vote. This is normal in PR democracy as the FM will not old any executive powers as they are not a president. The FM has just one vote like all MSPs.

        As brought up numerous times, a Kate Forbes FM could actually want to force all first born to join the free kirk, following devout teachings, but she’d be powerless to do so unless she could persuade the entire chamber to that effect.

        That’s the beauty of PR check and balance.

        • Is suggestion comment about Kate Forbes from Scottish -Skier meant to be subtle humour,or an attempt to demonise her? Whatever is meant,it does not fit with the advise that Paul gave to us in his article today.

          • scottish_skier says:

            It was meant to be a statement of fact with some tongue in cheek humour. I have her and Yousaf basically equal in the stakes and I’m not sure how I’ll end up ordering them yet.

        • James says:

          I don’t mind it being streamed and the media broadcasting that if they get a hold of it, at least if members can come and ask questions without being filmed/named. This could cost them their jobs if their British unionist bosses saw it. We are not dealing with nice, democratic people.

          That simple to stop, you just don’t have a camera pointing at the audience, only at the stage, you can even put a filter on the mic stream so that the person’s voice is not identifiable if people are worried about being recognized by their voice.

          It’s an issue of protecting member privacy and not having anti-Scottish media present trying to control the event / direct it their way.

          Again easy to stop, as is going to happen when all you do is let one camera, or camera crew in to film the event, they have no way of controlling the event.

          As for the electing the first minister bit, I agree but the candidates need to be told not to say that the winner will be the first minister, ie Kate Forbes in her statement this evening.

          • scottish_skier says:

            Aye, so all fine. No need for the British media to attend as they are not members so shouldn’t be involved; just let it be streamed to members with privacy protected as needed.

          • scottish_skier says:

            And non members can watch to be clear. Just can watch the contenders and their answers, not the public – to preserve democracy.

  52. davetewart says:

    So the editors got to hear the discussions between the rich cynic and the EU?

    They haven’t complained about that.

    They’ll just make it up as usual.

  53. Alba Laddie says:

    I’m going to the hustings in Edinburgh.

    I’m going to ask a question of the candidates as to how they intend facing down our illustrious media and holding them to account for their shameless gaslighting, and indeed, why a functioning democracy of over 5.5m people doesn’t have its own broadcaster.

    I’ll also be asking them to forcefully challenge Sir Keir when him and Broon are presenting DevoMax version 12 to the electorate as to WHY broadcasting isn’t devolved.

    QED I do want the media there, time to take the fight to them as well, and I’ll see what candidate looks most up for the fight and then cast my vote accordingly.

  54. James says:

    In other news, Sunak seems quite passionate about the benefits of being in the EU Single Market. I won’t hold my breath for him to argue that the rest of the UK should have the same benefits …..

    • Alan D says:

      Reading between the lines, that is exactly what he is arguing for.

      I’ve been saying for the last six months that the big Brexit U-turn is coming. Three-quarters of the UK electorate thinks the hard Brexit we’re having is utter bollocks and the less than a quarter which thinks it’s been utterly brilliant isn’t enough to return a Tory majority despite gerrymandering and voter suppression schemes.

      The one thing the Tories have never been is ideologically consistent. They have always done what they believed necessary to hold onto power. It’s why they went along with Brexit in the first place, when most of them knew it was a ruiniously stupid idea but weren’t going to risk being voted out while trying to persuade the electorate otherwise.

    • scottish_skier says:

      I can still see Scotland becoming independent more easily as the UK re-enters the single market in some way.

      I think there’s probably belief in London that single market re-entry would lessen the case for indy when the opposite it true; it would lubricate the breakup.

      They seem to forget that 45% voted Yes in 2014 when the UK was a full member. Brexit really didn’t bring the support boost Yes hoped for. Support for indy is ultimately driven by a long term decline in Britishness in Scotland. There’s literally just no point to the UK anymore. It’s a relic of an imperial time. Likewise, the post-war consensus is basically dead now. The new union is the EEA/EU. The UK being part of this actually makes indy easier.

  55. Dr Jim says:

    I reckon the reason the SNP don’t want the media is because the problem isn’t the live event, it’s the edited versions the media will pump out to the public over and over again once they’ve overdubbed their own narrative style questions with selected portions of candidates replies

    After all the media don’t actually want to be there to supply us with the actual news,
    the media want to be there to supply the public with as much trouble as they can create with their version of the news

    If we lived in a free democratic country our free speech would be protected as private speech if we wanted it that way

  56. Golfnut says:

    Just for clarity, are the hustings being broadcast with the media present and allowed to ask questions/poison the debate or is it just being live streamed.

    • Dr Jim says:

      My understanding is the media will not be involved in questioning, but as I said the media might will show it live once maybe, then edit the cra*p out of it to show time and time again to suit their own narrative, so what the public will see after they get home from work or the next day won’t be what the folks who watched it live would have seen, and more importantly heard, you’ll get to see what the media want to show you minus what the public might consider the important stuff

    • Legerwood says:

      According to the announcement made right at the end of Ch4 news tonight it will be one TV camera. That is often the way the media works when an organisation, in this case the SNP, don’t want unfettered access. Allow one media rep in and their report is shared. In this case it will be one TV camera to film proceedings. The livestreaming will be done by a separate ‘film crew’.

  57. Dr Jim says:

    Kate Forbes was on Scotland tonight interviewed by I’m John McKay
    She smashed it out the park

    • Tatu3 says:

      I’d like to see this, does anybody have a link please. I’ve searched on YouTube and no luck

      • Alan Baxter says:

        just type in Scotland tonight in your browser and it will take you to the programme and then select the date

  58. Bob Lamont says:

    The greatest obstacle to public discussion over anything in Scotland is it’s media dictating what MUST be in the public interest and what must NOT be discussed by simply promoting something else, but ever negatively framed when in comes to the SNP administration.
    eg – Is the “SNP leadership contest: Rivals back media access to hustings” even of passing concern to the public rather than BBC in Scotland objecting to being denied control ?

    A recurring feature on HMS James Cook is Scotland’s “disastrous” NHS – Ever framed as the personal fault of Yousaf and more broadly the SNP, featuring hyperbole from Tsunami Baillie and Disaster Gulhane, and recycling excerpts from previous reports to portray a Health Service in chaos and close to collapse entirely due to political mismanagement.
    Not a cheep on the UK.
    Not a cheep on England.
    Scotland/Politics – “Record high hospital waiting lists increase again” still lurking after what seems like a week but listed as 20 hours old.
    Not a cheep on NI.
    This from BBC Wales –

    It’s not difficult to understand why James Cook et al are so widely distrusted, why can’t we get BBC Wales to take over…

    • Legerwood says:

      A case in point in today’s front page of the Herald: “NHS in Crisis” Nearly 7000 people have waited 2 years or more for an op/treatment. Apparently they are still waiting “MONTHS” after this particular waiting list was supposed to be eradicated.

      I guess the rest of the article is along the lines of: ‘something must be done’.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Probably, and similarly backed up with quotes from Tsunami Baillie and Disaster Gulhane as usual – This is the HMS James Cook version at 23 hours old which I’m certain I read last week.

        The Herald piece will be a Helen McArdle special along similar lines to her “In the NHS recovery drive, is England outperforming Scotland” of the 25th Feb..

  59. Skintybroko says:

    I can understand both sides of the media argument particularly given the visceral hatred the MSM have if the SNP and the way they Mia quote and misrepresent what is said. Having said that I also agree that as this is going to be the new FM voters have a right to understand their position on those things that matter to the majority – health, education, economy etc, however given the way the media works any SNP member asking questions will be seen as fair game and will more than likely be attacked in the papers the same way as the politicians- oh for a truly free press that wasn’t weighed down with always seeing it from the unionist pov

    • scottish_skier says:

      The hustings are an SNP member event related to the party leadership contest. They are not about deciding the FM. It is key in a democracy that party membership is private if wished, and that means being able to come to hustings / meetings without being seen / filmed by the opposition’s media. Hence the use of the term ‘safe space’. Ahead of 2014, there were stories of voters being told by unionist bosses that they’d lose their jobs for backing the SNP / yes.

      The SNP contenders have agreed to take party in a TV debate in terms of part leadership. This is for the benefit of the general public, along with all the interviews, press events etc they’re doing. The audience here will have agreed to be filmed.

      There will be another, completely separate election for the FM, one which is likely to involve at least one unionist candidate standing as an alternative to whoever the SNP put forward.

      The winner of this could then do a head to head against who the unionists put forward for FM. That would make the most sense for any ‘next FM’ debate as it would actually be for this, not for the SNP internal leadership contest.


      • Skintybroko says:

        Fair point SS, always good to get another point of view.

        • scottish_skier says:

          I personally wouldn’t want those lying barstools filming me at a hustings. None of their business that I’m a member nor what I might want to ask.

          If the UK was a democracy and they gave unbiased / fair coverage I might be of different attitude.

  60. Handandshrimp says:

    The only reason the political opposition want the media at the hustings is the hope that they can somehow present the SNP as divided. They are not interested in any discussion taking place on candidates positions. Regardless of who wins the opposition will say they are the worst thing ever.

    Don’t have a problem with a televised debate between the three candidates but equally I don’t have an issue with members only hustings. At the end of the day it is SNP members that have a vote and must choose the best candidate to lead the party.

    If the party allow the media into some or all of the hustings I would hope it is as observers and not participants (unless they are members)

    Attended a branch meeting last night. Good turn out as people obviously want to discuss the candidates. No acrimony or civil war. Some pointed out Kate’s merits, some favoured Humza. Some wanted to hear more from Ash as she has been largely ignored by the press. I would guess from what I heard that the recent poll was largely correct with Kate ahead and a few to still decide. How representative people active in the branch are compared to lay members I’m not sure.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Why is the media not asking about who the unionist parties plan to put forward for FM? These should be questioned about what they propose for Scotland as the election for FM will be them vs the SNP candidate.

      The unionists are selecting their own FM candidates right now, just like the SNP are choosing theirs.

      • keaton says:

        Why is the media not asking about who the unionist parties plan to put forward for FM? These should be questioned about what they propose for Scotland as the election for FM will be them vs the SNP candidate.

        Even if we play along with the idea that the FM election isn’t a foregone conclusion, it seems kinda overkill to get the media involved since only 128 people can actually cast a vote.

        • grizebard says:

          Whit? You seem to be under the not-insignificant misapprehension that only MSPs have a vote in the SNP leadership. It’s actually the entire party membership, which is a tad greater than the hundred-odd you mention. (Or at least was the last time I looked, and no amount of wishful thinking can work that degree of miracle!)

          • Bob Lamont says:

            I believe he was referring to the FM vote in Holyrood.

            • grizebard says:

              Ah, of course. Close reading required. (Thanks.) Likely a shoo-in there, though Patrick might also stand. I would like to see a vote for Sarwar and DRoss, though, as just a wee bit of fun.

              Any winner could of course use the opportunity to have their mandate validated by the entire electorate…. {grin}

      • Some may recall the BBC ‘Press Room’ during the Leaders’ Debate , stuffed full of the Brit Pack, facilitated by Jackie Bird, or was it Kirsty Wark, or maybe Toodle Oo The NooTaylor, as a gaggle of the worst gathered to provide SNP Bad running commentary of the night’s events.
        Daisley, Sevvie, Hutcheon, Macwhirter, Gabby Garibaldi. (sounds Catholic that name?) Peter McMahon of Borders BBC (ex Scotsman editor), who used the antie-room (deliberate pun) as a platform to attack the SNP and Independence.
        To allow the Scots Brit media anywhere near a members’ only SNP leadership hustings event would be madness.
        Campbell and Cook and the paper boys whining nasally about why Scotland needs to still give England our wealth because we are too stupid to handle money would be a step too far for this old observer.

        I repeat, there is no other country in the so called Free World whose Press is controlled by a foreign neighbour.

        England is our enemy, our colonial masters, sapping our wealth and literally, energy, for their own imperial profit.
        I am past listening to these evil men and women.
        It is malicious lies and threats, with which they relentlessly put down their own country Scotland, for their English paymasters.
        Worry not, Campbell, as usual, will 1984 ‘voice over’ what the candidates say, on Distorting Scotland at teatime, giving the Scotia Nostra Brit Establishment’s favourite, an easy time.
        Strave the bastards of information….
        I for one support the tactic that the SNP refuse to appear on any broadcast, or interview with the Dead Tree Scrolls throughout the campaign, and beyond, to be honest.
        It’s not as if the SNP would be surprised when the Brit Jock hacks use this campaign as a battering ram to smash the independence Movement.
        I’d imagine that Salmond and McAlpine will only be too willing to appear on camera pushing the Also Ran Regan.
        Just you watch.

        • grizebard says:

          Oh Jack, you’ve left out Ciaran, who seems to be challenging Sevvie’s position as chief antagonist of the soi-disant progressive Labourite tendency.

          • Jenkins, the GMB /Unison ‘leaders’ pet monkey?
            He’s Welsh, works in England…why would he be up here?
            I repeat; it is up to the members of the local branch whom will be let in to a private meeting.
            I would demand that the hacks be banned from any meeting which I attended.
            If I choose, my political views are private.
            It is my democratic right.
            What feckin’ idiot at SNP HQ thought this would be a good thing?

  61. Capella says:

    A burning question.

    Energy bills: Why does Scotland pay more than England?

    Transmission charges
    In spite of Scotland holding such extraordinary levels of renewable energy, the country still gets the raw end of the deal.

    During the leadership race between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss last year, the pair were told to fix the “rip-off” charges being foisted on the renewables sector.

    For a Scots energy company to connect to the grid, it would cost £7.36 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in the north of Scotland and £4.70 per MWh in the south, in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.

    By contrast, connecting to the grid in England and Wales costs just £0.49 per MWh.

    Figures provided by the House of Commons library in 2021 previously showed the electricity network in Scotland accounts for almost 52% of the total network across the UK.

  62. Capella says:

    Another in the series on the McCrone Report. Not archived as it isn’t behind the paywall and there are interactive graphs embedded.

    McCrone Report: The oil and gas fields in the North Sea since 1975

    As part of our exclusive series investigating the impact of the McCrone Report (a secret government memorandum compiled 49 years ago by the Scotland Office) on energy policy, the cost-of-living crisis and a whole other host of issues affecting modern Scotland, we have put together a series of interactive graphs to set out the scale of production in the North Sea.

    In total, 180 fields’ first production have been logged by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), the rebranded industry lobbyists Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), since 1975.

    The first two oil fields, Forties and AUK, came online in 1975. Since then, a steady supply of fossil fuels has made its way out of Scottish waters.

  63. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Sharing St David’s Day / National Day greetings to you all – and possibly any lurking compatriots of this blog.

    Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

  64. scottish_skier says:

    We are not talking about the Scottish press here, but the press of another country; England / Britain.

    Their interest is to intimidate members who are entitled to privacy regarding their politicial beliefs.

    Private political meetings / hustings are key to a functioning democracy. It’s places like Russia where you can’t do this.

    This is seriously like the Russian press demanding access to pro-Ukraine party meetings in the occupied east of Ukraine.

    Fine have some separate events for the press (which is happening), but inviting people of a different nationality (British) that hate Scots deeply and want strip them of the right to vote to an SNP event is hardly going to have the members happily coming along.

    In a text read out by presenter Kaye Adams, the politician wrote: “Some SNP members are private about their politics, especially business owners and people in jobs where they cannot be political who feel if their politics was made public it could be detrimental to their business or jobs.”

    The programme also heard from party member Sarah from Renfrewshire. She said she would not attend an open hustings arguing that there should be two approaches – events with the media and open to the public and others just for SNP members.

    She added: “I want to question in private. I am a member of a party, it really is important to me, but my job is quite significant and my political views are personal.”

    I’m the same. My politics are private. The British scum have no right whatsoever to know I’m member and what my views are. It’s likewise nothing to do with my e.g. employers.

    This is why they want access; to intimidate people and maybe get a few sacked. From the FM to ordinary members of the public – the brits want to harm you. There is no interest in democracy here at all. It’s the same as what Russia does, just not at the same intensity. Yet.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I would have been attending the Cumbernauld event this evening, now I’m not for some of these reasons
      The British press aren’t the slightest bit interested in SNP branch meetings, and the reason for that? there’s nobody they think is of any interest who is a decision maker or ever going to be, which of course is wrong, because in the SNP we’re all the decision makers

      The media keep punting this idea that like the Tories the SNP are deciding the next FM here, we’re not, we’re deciding the next leader of the party, that can be two different things
      The next leader of the SNP as voted for by the members could face challenge by any other member of the Scottish parliament for the position of FM as has happened before when Ruth Davidson put herself forward for that position, she lost of course because well, Ruth Davidson c’mon

      Nevertheless a challenge could be made, possibly even by one of the other two losers of the members vote, the parliamentary party could if they were mentally irregular and undemocratic enough overturn the wishes of the members and vote for their own placed choice as FM
      If they did that it’s likely the entire membership would cancel their subscriptions and dump the party overboard into a big deep loch somewhere leaving them penniless, so I doubt that will happen, again though, not impossible

      And the main reason for that? the SNP are not Labour or Tories who disregard the entire electorates wishes and do whatever the hell they like

      We’re a pretty democratic lot in the SNP, we’re not England

      • barpe says:

        Like you, Dr Jim, I have my ticket for my local hustings (South Scotland) and was looking forward to it, but am now hesitating following the issue of press attendance.
        What idiots the SNP have been – are we the only ones who know exactly why the media want to be there, and how they’ll report it?
        As for “Debate Night” – words fail me – the ‘selected’ audience (and that nice Mr Jardine) will make sure our people look like idiots. Still time to withdraw, and I’m sure it would help the popularity of any candidate brave enough to tell the BBC to get stuffed.
        Sometimes I just want to cry for my Party – it’s becoming a shambles.

        • Dr Jim says:

          It’s the fear of the British media becoming openly hostile, and that just steams my kettle, they’re already hostile towards the SNP anyway, it’s their job, they’re instructed to be so by their bosses, so what the heck is the difference?
          If the SNP did reject the media and call them out for what they are, OK the party would be blacked out by the media but at least the public over time would get to realise why the British media did it and how dare they blackout the government that we voted for

          Personally I believe the media would give in first

          Get the media blanked, they’re nothing but troublemaking gossips inventing cr*p day after day as instructed by their big England masters

          They make me waant tae puke, and it’s high time Scotland began treating those who refuse us democracy with a heck of a lot more hostility, why the blazes play the game their way, we need to change our attitude, start snarling at them instead of smiling at them

          • I agree that the mainstream media are biased,but it is a great pity if SNP members avoid the leadership debates because of that.It seems like a real opportunity to listen to the candidates views on the economy and the strategy for achieving independence .It is also an opportunity to influence the thinking of the candidates.For example Kate Forbes has said that she wants to listen and learn from all members and to make them feel valid. It seems to me that if the presence of media keeps people away from such important meetings,the unionist media have won.

            Dr Reynolds

            • Hamish100 says:

              That’s why the biased partial media are told to get stuffed.

              I would like to attend a bbc news media brief when they talk about impartiality, code of conduct , fairness…..

            • It’s not an either or question.
              SNP branches are not forced to allow hacks and broadcasters to attend members’ hustings meetings.
              SNP HO should respect the privacy of its members.
              The outcome of the leadership campaign is in the public interest..not the inner debates of a political party.
              We are in a dangerous place when my political views are not mine and private, if I so choose.
              They have no right too barge in like this.

            • Dr Jim says:

              I stayed away and will continue to avoid any contact with the British media if I can at all help it, as I believe because none of them are Scottish, have no interest in any success Scotland could achieve, because each and every so called journalist in Scotland does not see their future in my country, my country is regarded as a stepping stone to where they want to go, and that’s England or elsewhere, and that’s fine for them, but I should not have to tolerate them inserting themselves into something I pay for and give of my time to while watching them attempt to tear it to pieces by the will of who they work for

              We live in a country where the government of another country by law insists we must pay a tax on owning a television that a countryman of ours invented, only to be then used against the population of our country to progress propaganda designed by the people who stole our invention

              The depth of my contempt for the British media is so unfathomable it could never be plumbed

          • grizebard says:

            I think it would be far better for the SNP to let the Brit media be openly hostile, instead of just perpetually passive-aggressive as at present. It would open quite a few more misty eyes that really need to see more clearly…

          • Pogmothon says:

            Naw naw, Dr Jim we need to smile at them, but with a Jack Nicholson smile.
            You know the one. The one that says “Aye Right, ya Muppet”. or the one that says “come a step closer wi that pish an see where you end up”. Cos this is our home honey.

        • The members of any branch can tell Toodle Oo and ‘Coconut Cabinet’ to get stuffed.
          Incredibly, Lorna, or Laura, or Kirsty, or Kirsten, or Lisa, sneered, ‘so much for a Free Press’ at the notion that an SNP branch is perfectly entitled to hold any event in camera, during today’s cosy wee chat with her ex colleague BBC Radio Scotland Brit outpost.
          They actually believe that they can barge in anywhere they like, and we just have to put up with it.
          You surely recall the hacks’ behaviour during Covid briefings, and the disgraceful baying when NS announced her decision to stand down.

          That Taylor thinks that the vast majority of citizens in Scotland believe that our MSM are even minded humble recorders of events is laughable; as is his mock indignation that we would bar them from, basically, private meetings.
          WE are held under House Arrest by England Oligarchy, and Taylor and the vast Scotia Nostra network work tirelessly to suppress information and facts.
          WE are about to have three weeks of wall to wall nonsense from the Rags and Broadcasters lampooning this Leadership contest.
          GRR ,Feries, drug Deaths, A&E waiting lists, what currency will you use…you know the Brit Propaganda message by now.
          We are denied access to world news never mind Scottish news by our media, to keep us subservient to England and the basically Right Wing Oligarchy.
          If somebody films me, let them face the consequences.
          We have endured 13 years of Blue Tories killing us by degrees, taken out of Europe, had our whole civic society threatened by the Iron Heel Despot, and our media say nothing.
          What’s feckin’ ‘[Free’ about the Press in Scotland?
          Johnson, Truss, Sunak….
          Not a word of critcism…just silence. Bird droppings and potholes…
          They are paid a lot of money for mediocrity.

      • keaton says:

        The media keep punting this idea that like the Tories the SNP are deciding the next FM here, we’re not, we’re deciding the next leader of the party, that can be two different things

        Nevertheless a challenge could be made, possibly even by one of the other two losers of the members vote, the parliamentary party could if they were mentally irregular and undemocratic enough overturn the wishes of the members and vote for their own placed choice as FM

        If the current election is for SNP leader and emphatically not for FM, why would it be undemocratic for the parliamentary party to vote for someone else as FM?

        • grizebard says:

          That’s a fair question, and the obvious answer is that it would not be inherently undemocratic. It could even be arranged deliberately as a form of load-sharing, and no harm necessarily then either.

          Though the Brit media’s motivation in trying to hustle the SNP into making the exact same disastrous presentational faux-pas with their hustings as the recent Tory ones is all too transparent. Having an explicit FM election in Holyrood essentially neutralises that. Seeing Sarwar and DRoss fail to get enough votes for the job would surely be a great relief to a majority of onlookers of all political persuasions.

          However, it would be very odd, would it not, if SNP MSPs were to select someone from their midst other than their party leader, if simply out of pique, obstinacy or contrariness? Such divisiveness would not go down well with the wider membership, nor the country-at-large, surely?

  65. Out buying new reading glasses in my bone rattler, when I dipped in to BBC Radio Jockland, by sheer accident.
    Toodle Oo The Noo was being ‘interviewed’ by his ex colleague, Laura, or Lara, or Kirsty, or Kirtsen, (there seem to dozens of them) on the SNP’s U Turn on letting the Hack Pack attend hustings.

    Taylor harrumphed that it would be embarrassing if he and the Brits ‘chums’ were not allowed in the room arguing that the Blue Tories let them film and question the hopefuls when Truss Sunak and co., stood.
    The Tory hustings were of course a total farce, and the English hacks enjoyed torturing them all.

    TOTN argued that if SNP members wanted to maintain their privacy they could submit their questions anonymously to the chair.
    So that’s all right, then.
    Presumably they could wear a balaclava if they didn’t want to be filmed by MI6 either.

    Taylor was actually attempting to influence the format of an SNP branch meeting.

    The arrogance of this man is beyond ridicule.

    No open discussion, no supplementals, Brian Taylor wants to dictate the format.

    Like Bruce’s QT, SNP members at their own meeting will be dictated to by Tom Gordon ‘Coconut Cabinet’ Macwhirter, and Stephen Daisley.
    If I were a member, I would demand that our meeting exclude anybody who was not a paid up member.
    The SNP hierarchy has no authority to invite outsiders…the members decide the format..not publicity seeking Also Rans, who know they won’t win, but will get their face all over the ‘papers and on the telly.
    No names, no pack drill.

    According to Taylor, a member gets to ask a question, gets an answer, and that’s it.
    The Brit Hackerie will be there watching and recording every word, every move?
    It would be forbidden in any other sphere.
    Members of a political party decide local issues. Not a heid high yin from Edinburgh.
    BBC Question Time rules do not apply in real life.
    Of course members could boycott any meeting with tv cameras and Brit hacks present.
    Demand privacy; settle for nothing less.

    • scottish_skier says:

      It’s nuts. They spend every working minute trying to get Yes supporters put out of a job, from councillors to the FM, and aye, you and me if they can too.

      They are denying us our basic human rights due to our (Scottish) nationality; the right to vote to chose the government we wish.

      They’ve relentlessly hounded the leader of our party out of office, which is why we are having this internal election. Now they demand access to our party hustings so they can film everyone to try and intimidate members while twisting what our elected reps say?

      At the same time, they make a big fuss like it’s us that are being undemocratic? I mean WTAF?

      Our democratic right is that our party meetings, hustings etc are private matters if we so desire that. It’s to elect our leader, not the FM.

      The election for a new FM will come in due course, and unionists can stand too. They will.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      And yet Jack, it almost explains that bizarre Tory leader circus with tops 15,000k Scottish members in Perth, they were desperate for a precedent.

      James Cook going out with his Gucchi flak jacket to provide diversion to the Tories being made distinctly unwelcome as headline news made way for the the innocent journalist being “victimised” because he was just doing his job, even when he wasn’t unless winding up objectors has become BBC policy. Yet the precedent was set.

      The last person anyone should be listening is non-existent email reading specialist James T Cook, captain of the Useless Enterprise which is BBC Scotland, exploring strange new worlds of honesty….

      • scottish_skier says:

        I figure the Tories wanted to pretend the new PM of the UK – who has a wide range of executive powers almost akin to a president – was actually elected. So we had a charade of a leadership contest with debates and stuff as if the people of the UK were actually getting a say.

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      TOTN would be wise to keep his head down after the fool he made of himself as self proclaimed War Correspondent of his and the media’s SNP Civil War lunacy.

  66. Hamish100 says:

    Ken, are you ok?
    This is about independence and Scotland

  67. yesindyref2 says:

    I think they do need to live-stream the hustings, just to show there’s no shenanigans at them (presuming there aren’t). But no cameras at ordinary members, just the 3 candidates.

    The live-streams could be restricted to members only, and exclude the unionist press, which is all of it.

    From that point of view, it’s worth looking at Craig Murray’s latest article, which has an alleged breach of the SNP’s rules which should be impartially investigated.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I can’t think of anything worse than looking at anything Craig Murray

    • grizebard says:

      Why exactly is it “worth looking”? The man is an attention-seeking loose cannon with nothing whatever to contribute of any relevance to anyone. Just another channel for baseless smears and innuendo in the hope that it might cause some reputational damage regardless. You don’t have to be a deep-dyed member of the SNP to realise that his spurned-entryism-turned-to-hate offers no advantage whatever to independence. (Which increasingly one comes to believe is actually the whole point of his malign efforts.)

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Well, if there’s a bit of rule breaking going on by over-enthusiastic supporters, it needs to be stopped, and by the SNP. Better that than the unionists thinking it’s Christmas and Santa has brought them pressies.

        And at the moment the upper echelons of the SNP are doing diddly squit about it, and the damage could be large.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          I’m not a member, so have to presume any complaint lodged would be treated as confidential, but initiate investigation at official level.
          And yet you conclude “…the upper echelons of the SNP are doing diddly squit about it…”

          To understand the basis of this, it was necessary to wade through Craig’s “spiel” of the 28th February to get to the meat.
          Essentially Emma Harper had emailed members on the 24th Feb before nominations closed wherein she confirmed her support of Humza Yousaf – A bit cheeky was my conclusion, but I’ve no idea if supporters of other candidates did similar, and Craig made no mention of it were it so.

          However, Craig’s argument of “rule breaking” centred on Lorna Finn’s reminder of the rules – Yet what leapt off the page from her reminder was the phrase “during the period of the contest”.

          If indeed a complaint was made on the 24th claiming the rules “during the period of the contest” must equally apply in the nominations period, or that one/some had abused SNP official email privileges, consider the time between the potential complaint and your conclusion that “…the upper echelons of the SNP are doing diddly squit about it…”-
          5 days spanning a weekend – So essentially 3 working days for officials to investigate and report to the “upper echelons” ? Really ?

          All else is innuendo…

          • scottish_skier says:

            Murray doing his bit for the British diplomatic service, sorry ‘independence’ again is he?

          • yesindyref2 says:

            I hope you’re right Bob, on that and on other things.

            Anyway, it’s good to know what’s “going on”, even if it might not be. And the unionists will be storing this stuff up to use at will. The SNP need to be proactive.

          • scottish_skier says:

            I heard Murray was part of the plot to oust Sturgeon and collaborated closely with the British on this. An SNP source told me.

            I don’t have any evidence, but you can just see it’s true and trust me right? I’ve written a blog article on it, so it must be.

      • Golfnut says:

        I find it very strange that just before the great reveal/scandal regards government ministers emails hit the headlines we had the threat that emails between Nicola Sturgeon and Stewart MacDonald would be revealed. Funny how there always appears to be an SNP bad story as a precursor to ukgov reveal.

  68. Hamish100 says:

    I hope it isn’t about alcohol pricing. His choice of wine is not up to the standard of the prissy middle classes.

    Ps I like a wee tot of red label.

  69. Hamish100 says:

    If the juvenile member of SGP “independista for bathistas” spent more time attacking the tories and labour, they/he/she/it may be considered at least a “puir wee soul” looking for attention from his mammy. Just a saddo looking for a wee home in bath methinks. Lol
    Independence 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • Dr Jim says:

      It’s his life, he has no one, he’s alone, and his mammy won’t let him out to play with the other boys because they’d likely batter f*ck out of him for being an obnoxious wee squint

      • Handandshrimp says:

        SGP below the line is a strange place and has been for a long time. It used to be trolled incessantly by someone called Glasgow Working Class, a unionist with a disturbing predilection for Nicola’s underwear. Now 80% of the comments are by someone channeling McGlashan from Absolutely. An improvement of sorts I guess.

        James is still worth a read though.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Just a saddo looking for a wee home in bath methinks.


      Or a Bath Chair.

  70. Capella says:

    Well I just watched the livestream of the Cumbernauld hustings via SNP twitter. It was better than anticipated because the venue was well staged. The camera was behind the crowd facing the top table and Mike Russell was chairing. He did ask people to say who they were and which branch they came from. But he also read out a question from someone who didn’t want to do that. So privacy was possible.

    I thought they all did well under the circumstances. They will relax more in future I guess. But I probably won’t sit through another 8 sessions!

  71. Capella says:

    The energy crisis/cost of living crisis was made in Westminster. A stark example of how we can never prosper under Westminster rule.

    Richard Murphy: Renewables and a wealthy independent Scotland

    What we know is that the opportunity that Prof McCrone identified in his original report on the oil wealth was squandered. Unionist politics ensured that was the case. As has been documented in The National this week, the gains from Scottish oil revenues did not go back to Scotland.

    They did instead go to Westminster. There they made up one pound in every ten of UK government receipts by 1984. As such they were used to break strikes, break British industry, break society and increase the wealth of the best off as inequality increased at an astounding rate during that decade.

    All of that should teach us two things. The first is that Westminster cannot be relied upon to act in Scotland’s best interests. In fact, it can’t even be relied upon to act in the UK’s best interests. Second, and as importantly, it says that Scotland can become a renewables exporting powerhouse with independence, but not while in the Union.

  72. Capella says:

    More detail on the scandal of the transmission fees rip-off.

    What are transmission fees and why is Scotland charged so much?

    What are transmission fees?
    Transmission fees are payments paid to the National Grid by electricity generators in order to use the large and expensive system of cables, pylons and transformers that transport electricity from generators to consumers – known as the transmission network.

    The payments help to fund building and maintaining the network. The charges are set by Ofgem.

    What does Scotland pay?
    Scottish generators pay the highest rates to connect to the grid in Europe despite the country having the greatest potential for renewable energy. Parties like the SNP insist this is holding back investment in renewables.

    It emerged in 2022 that energy generators in Scotland would be forced to pay £465 million in transmission charges by 2026 while those in England and Wales will get a £30m subsidy.

    Figures provided from the House of Commons library in 2021 showed that the electricity network in Scotland accounts for almost 52% of the total network in Great Britain with 9300 kilometres in Scotland and 8700km in England and Wales.

    However, for an energy company to connect to the grid, it costs £7.36 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in the north of Scotland and £4.70 per MWh in the south of Scotland transmission area.

    The same action in England and Wales costs £0.49, and in southern England generators are actually paid to connect to the grid.

  73. Alex Clark says:

    This is an interesting article in the Byline Times from a Professor at Southampton University who was a Labour MP from 1992 until 2015. Here’s a flavour of it.

    In England, Labour will not even name the nation when it talks about English-only policy (and even calls England ‘Britain’). Denying the reality of political plurality across the UK, Labour wants single party dominance of Westminster, denies cooperation with nationalists, blocks reform to the electoral system and refuses a future referendum on Scottish independence.

    At heart, the party still wants to dominate the Union from England. Anglo-centric British unionism has always relied on unionist members of the Scottish elite who buy into its British nationalism and anti-English assumptions while advocating for Scotland, and it is no surprise that Gordon Brown is the architect of current Labour thinking.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      A refreshingly honest perspective

    • grizebard says:

      Haven’t yet read the article, but my impression is that whatever influence Gordo Broon still has in the wider Labour Party, it is an ingrained assumption throughout the Labourati in Scotland that all they need to do is stick it out and await the return of a Labour Government in England and all will somehow be well again with them also. Whatever else happens around upcoming elections, we need to thoroughly disabuse them of any such belief and hope.

      I don’t myself believe that we’ll see independence until Labour is definitively finished in Scotland, both in Parliament and in its Scotia Nostra media.

  74. Dr Jim says:

    *The British media in Scotland claim the SNP are liars and fraudsters bent on taking Scotland into poverty and destruction*

    I just made that up, but if you have a think about it just for a second the British media in Scotland must be saying that or why do they concentrate all their energy and focus on giving a platform to people who keep insisting on the negative message that Scotland is and will be a failure because Scotland just *can’t*

    Those people have had over 300 years of factual recorded failure towards Scotland but keep insisting it’s a success, while simultaneously blaming the SNP the Scottish population and uncle Tom Cobley and all, but never themselves

    A success for England? yes

  75. scottish_skier says:

    With the BBC headlining differences over the gender bill with respect to the three SNP leadership candidates…

    Amusingly, despite ‘war on w*ke’ Wings informing Panelbase respondents that challenging the S35 re the gender bill ‘is likely to be ultimately determined in the Supreme Court at a significant cost to Scottish and UK taxpayers’ in a desperate attempt to lead people say the bill should be abandoned, his own poll found overwhelming, nay epic, support for it being pursued:

    52% Pursue the bill
    32% Abandon the bill

    Pursue = 22% Challenge the UK government’s intervention in the courts + 30% work to amend the bill

    62% ex DK want it followed up so it is put into law in Scotland.

    I trust those that like to show polling around the GGR bill and how this should lead SNP decision making, will now rally round the bill being pursued and put into law based on this latest finding. 🙂

    • Alec Lomax. says:

      Re Wings , why bother what a Tory blogger in the south of England thinks ?

      • scottish_skier says:

        I actually just came across the tables looking for the lasted Times results. I don’t visit the site – it feels dirty to. Like hanging around ‘conservative home’.

        The questions would have made Scotland in Union blush at how comically leading they are, yet he still didn’t get the answer he wanted. I found that mildly amusing.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Well, in all seriousness, some of us get our fingers and e’es dirty so that others don’t have to.

    • Capella says:

      I have just visited the site to see what poll you’re talking about and I can’t find one. Can you post a link?

      • scottish_skier says:

        Sure, the tables are here:

        Fieldwork was a few weeks ago. As noted to Alex, I was looking for Tables for some polling I understood came from the Times, and saw this commissioned by WoS.

        I’m guessing he has actually published it somewhere, hence the tables being put up as required under BPC rules.

        • Capella says:

          I think you’re being economical with the truth here – all the responses oppose the GRR bill by some margin. Also why would you add those who want to pursue the court case to those who want to amend the bill while leaving out the 32% who want to abandon the bill?

          22% want to pursue the UK gov in court (the HY option)
          30% want to amend the bill (the KF option)
          32% want to abandon the bill (the AR /KF option)

          But Wings hasn’t posted these findings on his site yet. Something to look forward to no doubt.

          • Capella says:

            Oops – it has just been published as we speak!

            • Capella says:

              Oops again – no that is a poll about Rangers/Celtic.

            • Capella says:

              Apologies – I never normally visit the wins site so was unaware that the poll has in fact been published on 20th February with the title The Three Fates. I’m sure anyone who wants to visit te site will be able to find it.

          • scottish_skier says:

            The poll is meaningless as all questions contain leading preambles. This means the answers will not reflect public opinion.

            For example, this question is intentionally designed to get people to say it was the correct action by saying that the bill impacted UK legislation and was beyond devolved powers. That would absolutely be the correct action if this applied.

            B5. The UK government recently intervened to prevent the enacting of the Scottish government’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill, because in their view it has an unlawful impact on the operation of related legislation in England and Wales and exceeds the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament. Do you believe it was appropriate for the UK government to take this action?

            If you wanted to actually get public opinion, not form the opinions of a small sample, you’d ask:

            Do you believe it was appropriate for the UK government to prevent the enacting of the Scottish Government’s recent Gender Recognition Reform Bill?

            The second question is just comically leading.

            The Scottish Government has announced that it currently intends to mount a legal challenge to the UK government’s intervention over the Gender Recognition Reform bill, which is likely to be ultimately determined in the Supreme Court at a significant cost to Scottish and UK taxpayers. The UK government has urged the Scottish Government to instead work with it to present an amended version of the bill which is compliant with UK law, while women’s-rights campaigners have called on them to drop the bill completely.What do you think the Scottish Government should do?

            ‘at a significant cost to Scottish and UK taxpayers’ Lol.

            Even with that, the responses were:

            Pursue the bill:
            22% Challenge the UK government’s intervention in the courts
            30% Work to amend the bill
            32% Abandon the bill entirely

            Which is majority support for pursuing the bill, even with a determined attempt to get a different answer. So I happily stand by what I said.

            This would be a non-leading way of asking:

            In response to the UK government preventing the enactment of the Scottish Government’s recent Gender Recognition Reform Bill, what do you think the Scottish governments response should be?

            This, I suspect would increase the numbers for pursuing and notably, through the courts.

            Here’s the same type of ‘Wings / Scotland in union’ question for indy:

            Scottish unionist parties all argue that independence would come at great economic cost to Scottish taxpayers, and that Scotland would not be able to join the EU. Taking this into account, if there was a referendum on independence tomorrow and the question was ‘should Scotland be an intendent country’, how would you answer?

            Which I trust you’d not approve of…


            • Capella says:

              If you think the poll is rubbish why mention it at all? It is not a small sample, it had 2006 respondents which is a larger than normal sample.

              However, you conflate two responses which don’t mean the same thing at all. If you want to amend the bill you are not in favour of it, you want it changed.

              I understand that you support the GRR and you support Humza Yousaf, but if you misrepresent poll findings in favour of your bias you will only undermine your credibilty.

              • scottish_skier says:

                I mentioned it because I want people to understand what a leading question looks like and to understand who is using these to lie to them. This was an excellent example of push polling. An extreme one.

                I was also, as noted, pointing that most Scots think the bill should be pursued, even when they are told that will ‘cost them in taxes’ and lied to that ‘women’s rights ‘campaigners have called for it to be dropped completely’. Some women’s groups are opposed to the bill and have called for this, while many women’s rights campaigners support it. The poll was a big fat lie. Yet still most Scots thought it should be pursued.

                I’d actually like to know what Scots think, and clearly they think it should be pursued, if at least by amendment. This does suggest they don’t button up the back and are not listening too much to the right wing media from England (London, Bath etc). This is good news for Yes.

          • scottish_skier says:

            Who’s up for chipping in to fund a poll with this question?

            The Scottish government’s Gender Recognition Bill has the support of leading LGBT charities, medical experts including the British Medical Association, the Council of Europe (responsible for upholding human rights in Europe), the United Nations, and was supported by all Holyrood political parties except the British Conservatives. Equivalent legislation is in now in place in over 20 countries including Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and, most recently, Spain.

            In principle, do you support or oppose the Gender Recognition Bill?
            – Support
            – Oppose

            Seriously though. That’s pretty much what questions with long preambles do. 🙂

            • Capella says:

              Depends whether the preamble is factually correct or not. The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls, and the Special Rapporteur on Torture both criticised the Bill. So it is not true to say unequivocally that it has the support of the UN.

              • P Harvey says:

                Few things in life are ‘unequivocal’
                But recently a pattern has emerged
                SS posts & you reply criticising it
                Can I respectfully remind you that this is Paul’s page & its purpose is to further independence
                And as an independence supporter I’m tired of the continual infighting
                Forward, as one, to independence 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

            • scottish_skier says:

              It’s easy to find personal opinions.


              A top UN-appointed independent human rights expert has urged the Scottish Government to pass a new law offering legal protection to people based on their gender identity, including trans women.

              UN Special Rapporteur on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, said in a statement that he was worried that stigma and prejudice against trans women could be behind efforts to postpone consideration of the Bill – which has one remaining stage to go in the Scottish Parliament – or weaken it.

              The UNFE position is outlined here.


              Legally recognize the gender identity of trans people in official documents through a simple administrative process based on self-identification without abusive requirements such as forced medical diagnosis, sterilization, treatment or divorce.

              So we can correct my question to that if you like.

              But I wasn’t arguing for or against, just talking about push polling and how, despite Wing’s valiant efforts, 62% of Scots giving an opinion said the bill should be pursued and not abandoned, with 42% of these thinking it should be taken to court as is.

              Incidentally, I came across this the other day from Deltapoll on the topic of same sex marriage. UK poll. It is a great example of how to ask a polling question to properly gauge public opinion. Zero leading preamble. Just simply ask. It shows how there are still a substantial minority that want to control other people’s personal lives. Mainly Tories. Also shows the common pattern of women being more supportive of minority rights than men.

              • Capella says:

                with 42% of these thinking it should be taken to court as is.
                22% – not 42%

                • scottish_skier says:

                  Sorry but 22/(22+30)*100 = 42%. As I stated:

                  62% of Scots giving an opinion said the bill should be pursued and not abandoned, with 42% of these.

                  The 42% is the % of those wanting the bill to be pursued. For clarity. If we put all those who backed the bill in a room, 4.2/10 of them want that done by the court route, the remainder by amendment.

                  Sorry, %’s of %’s sometimes can be a bit confusing! should have maybe changed to fractions or out of 10. 🙂

  76. James Mills says:

    O/T It appears that King Charles ( not the spaniel ) has deliberately shown preference for one of his sons over the other .

    He has reneged on his mother’s wishes that Harry( and Meghan ) have Frogmore ”Cottage ” ( 10 bedrooms !!! ) , which they renovated at a cost 0f £2.5 million .

    At the same time he , King Charles ( not the spaniel ), has burdened his other son , William , with yet another Royal title .
    Prince William will now add Earl of Chester to his other pseudonyms
    – which for those who are not keeping up with the horrendous workload imposed on this poor boy , his various jobs comprise being :

    Prince of Wales
    Duke of Cambridge
    Duke of Rothesay
    Duke of Cornwall
    Earl of Carrick and Strathearn
    Baron of Renfrew
    Baron Carrickfergus KG , KT
    Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
    and now … Earl of Chester .
    Phew !
    How on Earth is this poor lad to remember what day of the week it is and who he is on that day ?
    Really , his dad should have a little compassion for William . He will be worn out before he has a go at being King !

  77. scottish_skier says:

    One for W_S, and any Irish folks.

    English council flies Saltire on St David’s Day in hilarious blunder

    WE all love folk flying the flag for Scotland and we’d never complain about the glorious site of a Saltire waving in the wind.

    But we can all admit when someone flies our dear flag on St David’s Day by mistake, it’s a wee bit awkward aye?

    Sheffield Council had to apologise this week after it mistakenly flew the St Andrew’s Cross on St David’s Day instead of the flag of the Welsh patron saint.

    The council flew the Saltire from the town hall but later replaced it with the St David’s flag, which features a yellow cross on a black field…

    …And it was not the first time Sheffield Council made such a glaring error. In 2019, the local authority flew the Welsh flag on St Patrick’s Day.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Isn’t it funny how the English keep insisting they love us when they patently don’t even know who we are

      Mibbees us Scots Welsh and Irish just all look the same to them

  78. yesindyref2 says:

    Good grief, the cheating Unionist has been at wikipedia again (I forget his name).

    Scroll down to the “British Social Attitudes Survey” and what do you see? I see a band of angels, ohh, slap slap, I was watching too much commentary on the Scottish Rugby match by foreign commentators.

    But hey, that is appropriate, as the figures are from the table “Table 1 Attitudes in England towards how Scotland should be governed, 1997-2021”, NOT the correct one: “Table 4 Attitudes in Scotland towards how Scotland should be governed, 1999-2021”.

  79. Alex Clark says:

    The Scottish government will take over the running of the Scotland – London sleeper service from June. They terminated the contract with Serco which runs until June and after that like Scotrail it will be run by a company reporting to the Scottish government.

    Fingers crossed that they can make a success of it and use the profits that would have gone to Serco shareholders to instead lower fares or improve the service for users.

  80. Alex Clark says:

    John Swinney has announced that he will be resigning from government alongside Nicola Surgeon when the new FM is elected at the end of the month.

  81. Alex Clark says:

    • yesindyref2 says:

      And now it needs a statement from Yousaf.

      If this election isn’t honest the SNP are finished.

      • Hamish100 says:

        The MSP has been found out, rebuked and has apologised. No big deal. No issue about honesty , more stupidity I would say. Probably has harmed Yousaf’s campaign. SNP is not finished as it will now refresh itself. I suspect Forbes may win.

        • scottish_skier says:

          The harm will be to those making a big song and dance about such things. People make their own minds from listening to the candidates, what their aims are etc. Not what other people are backing.

          I still am not sure how I’ll vote, other than, barring some miracle, I’ll be putting Regan as my last choice.

          Each time someone attacks a candidate angrily, attempting to get me to see them less favourably, I lean towards them more. 🙂

          The public do that too. They hate being told how to vote!

          • Dr Jim says:

            They’ve done everything but position somebody on the grassy knoll to take Kate Forbes out, everything they’re firing at her is bouncing off though

      • scottish_skier says:

        I don’t see how people will change their choice of candidate based said email? That suggests they’re idiots.

        People make their own minds up, they don’t chop and change every day based on who someone else says they support.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The SNP are a very long way away from being finished but Emma Harper does have form for making *mistakes*
        The concern is that this was a favour, if not then she’s just a dunderheid
        Whichever it was she picked the right moment


        • yesindyref2 says:

          Looks like there’s not a lot of interest which is good.

          Shows the benefits of quickly owning up and apologising – takes the wind out of the sails of anyone wanting to pursue it, they then just look vindictive.

  82. grizebard says:

    Among this welter of febrile speculation about personalities, polls and other irrelevances, including not a little “interference” evidently intended to harm the standing of the SNP, is there any helpful information about candidates’ actual policy positions, not least re furtherance of independence…?

  83. Skintybroko says:

    Kate is by far the best candidate, up until her views were aired she had no baggage unlike Humza, now we have two candidates burdened with baggage and a third also ran. Will Kate have time for the likes of Mhairi Black or will they be ostracised. Policy is important as is the route to independence but we need to take everyone with us irrespective of race, colour, sexual orientation etc and Kate doesn’t seem to me to be a unifying candidate. I have several friends that now feel betrayed despite her assurances and they have a vote!

    • Kate Forbes is by far the best candidate,She is the one most feared by the unionists.From what I have seen Skintybrokp she is able to unify the party and does understand the need to vakue the contribution from every member in developing strategy The doubts that your friends have are the consequence of the main stream medias attempts to demonise her.They certainly do not want her since they know that she is a formidable opponent.

      • Skintybroko says:

        It is the youngsters that are not happy, most want to see an independent country where everyone is valued, where does Kate get that message out? All very well saying she will fight for existing rights but will she fight for future rights of minority groups? So far she appears to have kicked the greens into touch along with the LGBT+ community or is that all just media spin?

        • Skintybroko,Kate Forbes has said during the hustings at Cumbernauld that she will work towards ensuring a nation that is tolerant and welcomes differences.I watched the hustings on my laptop and took notes during each candidates speech.Everything that I hear about Kate suggests that she is honest,brave and empathic (Empathy is my area of research expertise).Of course when you are asked direct questions,you do not always choose the right words immediately because at that moment you need to balance honesty with the need to avoid letting hostile media achieve what they want.Most of the mainstream media want to destroy her because they recognise that she is a formidable opponent to their spin.Every day I see attempts to undermine her campaign.I think that Kate has handled this situation well and will grow as she gains more experience.While I do not agree with her on absolutely everything so what?.There are all kinds of different views out there about life situations.What is important is not that we agree with everything,but that we are respectful and tolerant.That is Kate Forbes.
          Dr William Reynolds

        • Eilidh says:

          Speaking as a non Snp member but supporter of Indy since 1974 I am struggling to have any enthusiasm for any of the 3 candidates or the Snp leadership campaign in general and I think that is likely to be the view of a lot of the Snp/general electorate. If I had a vote I would have to hold my nose and vote for Kate but with no enthusiasm involved.She clearly doesn’t support the GRR or BRS whereas I do and I am not sure she can separate her faith based views from the role of FM/ Snp leader. NS was really good to FMQs yesterday I can’t imagine any of the three candidates being anywhere near as good – time will tell I suppose. I don’t think I will watch the TV debates but will try to watch a hustings livestream at some point

          • scottish_skier says:

            I’m not that interested myself, but then I don’t see the SNP leader as important to independence because they just are not. They could be dull has hell and it won’t make a blind bit of difference. Even if they were crap Scotland will still end up voting for indy in due course because it’s nothing to do with the SNP nor their leader. We have utterly s**t UK PMs just as other countries elect idiots at times.

            I’m glad the BBC etc just don’t get this at all and are deluding themselves here.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I concur with Billy – There has been an orchestrated campaign to destroy Forbes’ chances in the SNP leadership contest, obvious from the minute Ciaran Jenkins posed his “purely hypothetical question” on how she would personally vote given her religious views.

      An amusing aspect of this Forbes propaganda campaign is they’ve had to flip positions on their prior gender propaganda campaign to paint Forbes negatively.

      Leadership of the party is determined by the members, FM is elected by MSPs, the last people we should be giving any credence to is the media.

      • Eilidh says:

        Why the Snp agreed to the TV debates is beyond me. The MSM will merely frame them from a unionist POV

        • Legerwood says:

          But if enough people watch them, record them and then get the word out there via social media, blogs etc then people will see the media spin for themselves and it will be another nail in the coffin of the MSM’s credibility.

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, the “position-flipping” is a real giveaway. As is the visible difference in treatment between the different candidates.

        It says everything about the Unionist attitude that they are anxious to have the worst possible choice for Scotland, not the best.

    • grizebard says:

      “I have several friends that now feel betrayed despite her assurances” That is a contradiction that perhaps says more about your friends than it does about Kate. If someone who as yet has done absolutely nothing but freely offered assurances, why could anyone feel betrayed?

      It seems an odd kind of demand for tolerance that is unwilling to extend the same courtesy in return, but that seems to be where we are with some zealots right now. None of which has any appeal whatever to the wider public. Which is where we have to be in order to succeed with that minor matter of …errm… oh, independence.

  84. scottish_skier says:

    Och lol. As I was saying the other day, don’t trust polling from this right-wing, anti-independence party English blog.

    Panelbase rapped for poll run for Wings Over Scotland blog

    A STANDARDS watchdog has upheld complaints against a polling firm relating to leading questions in a survey conducted for the controversial Wings Over Scotland blog.

    The Market Research Standards Board (MRSB) found that its partner Panelbase had breached its rules on eight occasions, having “led participants to a particular point of view”.

    His latest on GRR that I flagged the other day is just another example of badly leading questions and Panelbase are hurting their own rep for running these.

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