Feeling special

Are we all feeling special? Rishi Sunak is currently even more unbearably smug than his base state of resting smug face because the wheels have not yet come off his Brexit deal. This is something of a novelty for Sunak, because when he was Chancellor the cracks typically started showing in his budgets within hours of him standing at the dispatch box to announce them. Boris Johnson and the DUP are both keeping uncharacteristically quiet about the deal which has replaced the serial liar and expensive wallpaper aficionado’s oven ready deal which turned out to be half baked. So Sunak is currently in that glorious phase when he thinks that everything is going to plan, a phase that is invariably followed by the dawning realisation that something somewhere is going terribly terribly wrong.

The DUP has not yet made an announcement about a deal whose success Sunak has said could be measured by whether it leads to the restoration of devolved government in Stormont. But some senior figures within the DUP have already voiced their unhappiness with the new deal. The truth is that the DUP backed Brexit in the first place because they wanted to bring down the Good Friday Agreement and restore a hard border on the island of Ireland. They failed spectacularly in that goal and so are highly motivated to ensure that any EU deal does not work. They are also desperate to avoid a devolved government in Stormont which is led by a First Minister from Sinn Fein, an utter humiliation for the DUP which would highlight both that support for Brexit is very much a minority position in the North of Ireland and more importantly signal the Unionist loss of control of a statelet which was only carved out of Ireland in the first place in order to ensure a Unionist majority. The DUP are highly motivated to find some reason, however spurious, for rejecting the deal. If they do so their enablers on the Brextremist frothing wing of the Conservative party will also be more likely to reject the deal as well, meaning Sunak could find himself in the humiliating position of relying on Labour support in order to get the deal through the Commons.

When you get to my age, and I am quite a bit older than Sunak, you learn that smugness is always a hostage to fortune. That has not happened to Sunak yet, insulated as he is by his wife’s money, but one day, probably sooner rather than later, he will follow the path taken by all Conservative Prime Ministers in recent years and get to the point where the only thing that motivates him to get up in the morning is his bladder.

Sunak gushed about his Northern Ireland deal and how it put Northern Ireland in the advantageous position of having unfettered access to the European Single Market. Sunak described access to EU markets as exciting and good for business. You know, that unfettered access that Sunak and his party ensured that the rest of us were deprived of. But hey, sovereignty and blue passports eh?

Today at Prime Minister’s Questions the SNP chose to focus on the deal and why Northern Ireland, which voted against Brexit, is being given a special status allowing it full access to European markets but this status is being denied to Scotland which likewise voted against Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum and which has voted for parties opposed to Brexit at every election since then.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry asked Sunak at PMQs, after wryly noting that both he and the SNP had been left to clear up the constitutional mess created by Boris Johnson, asked Sunak why if Northern Ireland could have a special status could Brexit phobic Scotland not have the same special status too. Sunak smugly smugged that Scotland already has a special status as part of the UK. He undoubtably thought he was being terribly clever in that patronising posho English private school debating society sort of a way. But the truth is that Scotland does indeed have a special status as part of the UK, just not in the way that Sunak intended.

Scotland is special because it is the only constituent nation in the UK which has consistently voted against Brexit but whose concerns about being ripped out of the EU, the Single Market and the Customs Union have equally consistently been ignored by the Conservatives and by Keir Starmer’s Labour party, both of whom are far more interested in pandering to the English nationalist prejudices of Brexit voting constituencies in the Midlands and north of England than in making the slightest accommodation to the genuine concerns and interests of Scotland.

Scotland is special because it is the only constituent nation of the UK where Labour and the Conservatives deny the democratic will of the people and vie with one another to Anglo-splain away the outcome of Scottish elections to the people of Scotland because apparently they know better than we do what the people of Scotland really voted for when we chose to elect a Scottish Parliament with its largest ever pro-independence majority in an election which was overwhelmingly dominated by the single topic of whether there should be another independence referendum.

Scotland is special because Westminster politicians insist that it is a constituent nation in a voluntary union of nations even as they refuse to tell the people of Scotland what the democratic route to another independence referendum might be. They assure us that such a route exists, but it’s just that it is super top secret so they are not going to tell us.

Scotland is special because it has a devolution settlement which Westminster tells us it respects, even as the Conservatives introduce legislation which allows a party which has not won an election in Scotland since 1955 to by-pass the Scottish Parliament and which wields a veto over Scottish legislation that it does not like, as it did with the GRR bill and as it threatens to do with the deposit return scheme. And yet they tell us that Scotland within the UK is a democracy. It’s clearly a very special kind of democracy. With independence Scotland could be a normal democracy, not the UK’s special sort of non-democracy. I don’t want to be special, I just want to live in a normal European country.


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234 comments on “Feeling special

  1. Hamish100 says:

    England will try and hold onto Scotland as it needs our resources. Business companies in Scotland should be arguing the same deal as for NI but keep quiet as they are tories.

    20p on a bottle to deal with the pollution and waste of Tory supporting companies seems to be the main issue impacting on them. The polluter pays principal doesn’t mean we should pay for their deficiencies.

  2. deelsdugs says:

    Special, preshusshhh and nauseous.

    Excellent stuff Paul.
    Thank you

  3. Golfnut says:

    No, Scotland’s special status is based on being an equal partner to a treaty which created the union, the bastard is smug because no one has yet, and God only knows why not, reminded him that there is no law which prevents one partner from withdrawing from a Treaty of they wish to do so.

  4. Ken says:

    With every month that passes the Tories are on their way out. The absolute mess they have created will come back to haunt them. The disgust people have for them, especially in Scotland. More people who support Independence need to get out and vote at every election. No point in complaining instead of voting. Independence support is still increasing. It just needs to vote out the opposition.

    Scotland needs access to EU markets. Membership of the EU was important to Scotland. More essential workers, nearest biggest market. CAP payments keeping food prices down. Scotland in surplus in fuel and energy, and nearer the source, pays more. EU grants, loans and investment. Brexit is just an absolute catastrophe losing £Billions.

    • benmadigan says:

      Add in the Erasmus programme for students and the Horizon grants for researchers in Scotland’s Universities. All gone!

      PS The Republic of Ireland has extended their Erasmus programme to students in NI Universities

  5. Dr Jim says:

    I reckon Sunak is attempting to carry out the Tory long term master plan of jettisoning Northern Ireland, it’s a pain in the neck for English Empire Tories and not of financial use to them because they can’t get back the whole of Ireland to make it worth it to them

    If the Tories can dump it then they’re not responsible for what happens in it

    As for Scotland, I’m afraid our country’s loaded ££££ and we don’t kerblomb anybody up so they’ll just keep pointing and laughing at us while we’re losing like the other team at a football stadium

    We can’t win when they own the ball the referee and the linesmen
    We need to play them at another game invented by us and don’t tell them the rules because what we’re doing now isn’t working

    England refuses to recognise democracy, their own PM isn’t elected and neither was the last one

  6. bringiton says:

    The “union” was designed from the outset to benefit England alone.
    We have always been an afterthought,if any,when it came to decisions that affect the UK state.
    Now that the bogey man of Scottish independence has been shot,as they think in London,we can now be openly ignored and simply told to “suck it up”.
    New thinking is required if we are to free ourselves from London rule.

  7. This is an excellent critique Paul.Scotland is special because we are a nation that cannot make its own decisions and have them respected.I think that the candidates in the leadership election should be invited during the hustings to comment on that,as well as the obvious need to find a way around that problem.

  8. Capella says:

    Indeed, we are specially disadvantaged. I wonder what the business community think of being cut off from the EU market while our NI cousins enjoy all the advantages – just as we all did before BREXIT. Has BBC Scotland asked them?

  9. Dr Jim says:

    You can’t make England respect Scotland, that’ll never happen, even if or when we become independent
    England has no respect for any country it believes it’s more powerful than
    The political system in England is monarchial, England likes that and they’re used to it, when they vote they’re electing replacement monarchs to remove the responsibility the people might have for making their own decisions, then it’s easy for them to complain about it later, so they want everybody else to be the same as them, and indeed get shirty about anyone who wants to change that system, and that becomes directed at us in Scotland in some sort of who do they think they are attitude

    Rebellious Scots, disobedient Scots, uppity Scots, how many times have we heard it
    These statements are not accidents, they are the concerted propaganda efforts of the British English government to undermine discredit and denigrate that which is not them, and again that’s us, Scotland

    There’s not a country on earth successive English governments have not behaved this way towards, except for those more powerful than them, those people are spoken about in terms of our friends our allies our partners, until England gets what it wants then immediately reneges on whatever they agreed with those friends allies and partners

    Why does England never mention the most successful independent country in these islands, the republic of Ireland, they never mention them, in fact they do their level best to ignore them altogether even right down to the weather map when they’ll point out weather coming from Africa quicker than even mention rain from the west unless it just happens to sweep over Northern Ireland, other than that if they could remove the republic from the map they would

    What England doesn’t want you to know is shut down by them by their use and control over the media

    Well we’ve heard enough of all that Scottish independence nonsense, next question from our helpful plant in the audience, that’s every single political programme you’ve ever seen on TV and heard on radio

    At worst support for Scotland being an independent country is 50% of the people in it
    yet still those people, our people, are spoken about like pariahs rebelling against the state with apparently less intellect than the other 50% which becomes added to England’s official opinion (because it’s their business as well) making Scotland and any desires we may have, an irrelevance

    So what does England respect? what do they understand? what makes them prick their ears up and pay attention?

    If you can’t take a thing from someone more powerful who doesn’t respect you, there’s no point in asking for it

    65 countries became independent from English British control, does anyone seriously think when those places asked for independence England happily answered “Oh yes that’ll be quite lovely here you are then”???

    Scotland doesn’t have a peace agreement the English are desperate not to mess up

  10. Capella says:

    Richard Walker’s article on the death of irony aka The Windsor Framework

    The Brexit deal for Northern Ireland is another UK insult to Scotland

    The Scottish Government put forward compromise after compromise, including pretty much the exact deal as the Northern Ireland arrangement revealed by Prime Minister Sunak this week to much acclaim.

    The same deal for Scotland was ridiculed by Westminster – when it was not ignoring the whole suggestion. There were precisely no meaningful discussions with Holyrood arranged by Westminster in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum, and none have taken place since.

    Brexit has been the predictable mess and Scotland has suffered disproportionately worse than those areas which voted to leave.

    The figures have been available for some time but they continue to beggar belief.

    A report in this newspaper towards the end of last year showed how Brexit had reversed strong growth in Scottish exports to EU countries recorded between 2018 and 2019 when Brexit was “done”.

    During that period, those exports had risen by £420 million. In the two years after 2019, they crashed by £2.2 billion, from 16.7bn to £14.5bn.


  11. Pau says:

    We don’t even have to declare UDI because the treaty of Union isn’t worth the paper it’s written on We already are independent It’s just a question of how to enforce our will

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, and how exactly do you propose to do that? (Not least since ~50% would disagree.)

      Have we not yet had enough of this kind of magical thinking?

  12. Capella says:

    Info plus links to tonight’s SNP leadership hustings at Glenrothes from 6:30 to 8:30


  13. Capella says:

    Ian Blackford writes on the enormous wealth of green energy that Scotland can generate. But within the Union what will be the outcome?

    Ian Blackford: The politics of energy are integral to independence

    Last year, I commissioned a report by the eminent economist Dr David Skilling. The Skilling Report demonstrates that Scotland has the potential to boost our green energy output by more than five times, rocketing from 12 gigawatts of installed renewable capacity to over 80GW by 2050. That would come from a mix of wind, pump storage, solar, tidal and of course hydrogen.

    By expanding Scotland’s renewable capacity and by becoming a green hydrogen exporter we have the chance to pump £34 billion into Scotland’s economy every single year – an investment that could sustain 385,000 jobs. That would dwarf the number of jobs we have in oil and gas today.

    This is a real plan for growth – green, sustainable growth for the long term. Driving better productivity, driving an industrial green strategy, and driving our economy into the future.

    How that green energy opportunity feeds into the wider economy is now an equally vital question, particularly in terms of the supply chain that flows from the actual production of that green energy.


  14. Capella says:

    Also, check out Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp’s excellent article on independence for an energy secure future.


  15. Dr Jim says:

    BBC text:

    Next Politics UK with Jo Coburn:

    *All the events of the week from Westminster and the *regional* governments*

    What’s wrong with this sentence?

    First, there are no regional governments in England, second, they mean Scotland and Wales are regions of England, not countries

    That’s how you do propaganda, use the media to tell lies that you’ll eventually become used to and accept as normal, like when they keep repeating the phrase
    “our country” or “this country”

  16. James Scott says:

    MSP Fergus Ewing backs MSP Kate Forbes in the leadership contest comparing her to his late mother Winnie who as all independence supporters will know was the first SNP woman to put Scotland on the European political map with her catchphrase “stop the world Scotland wants to get on” Winnie was also known in European circles as “Madame Ecosse”

    Fergus, like many of us from that era is knocking on now, but he still knows what it takes and who it’ll take to get the job done

  17. Alistair says:

    Stands and applauds.

  18. Yes Fergus Ewing has declared his support for Kate Forbes.He is my MSP and I am happy about his support for her..She is the candidate that the unionists fear most,because she is able to maximise the yes vote by winning the economic argument.She has many other attributes,but increasing the Yes vote through well evidenced economic arguments is a critical skill.That is why the unionist media is trying so hard to demonise her and distract her from talking about independence,the economy.cost of living,the NHS and so on.Those attacks go on daily (in different forms)in an attempt to undermine her.I fully expect them to fail,and for Kate to grow stronger during the leadership campaign.

    I dont agree with her on everything,but so what.All political parties have a range of views on different topics.It is not important that we agree on everything,what is important is that we respect the views of others.At the first hustings,Kate demonstrated a commitment to tolerance and to welcome differences.

  19. scottish_skier says:

    Latest poll of members.


    Humza Yousaf takes lead in SNP leadership contest poll

    HUMZA Yousaf leads in the latest poll of SNP members’ voting preferences for the party’s leadership contest.

    A new survey of SNP members from Savanta ComRes puts Yousaf on 31%, Kate Forbes on 25% and Ash Regan on 11%.

    Some 32% are undecided but with don’t knows excluded, the results show Yousaf on 46%, Forbes on 37% and Regan on 17%.

    • keaton says:

      My arithmetic is shaky, but if it stays like that I think that means Forbes needs just over three-quarters of Regan’s second preferences to win. Sounds like a lot, but going by the regard in which Regan supporters tend to hold Yousaf, it should be achievable. Then again, I haven’t encountered a single non-payroll Humza fan, so clearly I’m out of touch.

    • Hamish100 says:

      Don’t believe it – but then I am annoyed that I never was asked- How would savanna comres know who is a member?

      • scottish_skier says:

        Was kindae wondering myself. I guess it must be where people on their panel have said so in the past.

        I would not read too much into it, other than it’s a close race between Yousaf and Forbes, with everything suggesting the favourite of the English/British media – Regan – doesn’t have any hope of winning.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “Some 515 SNP members were polled for The Telegraph from February 23 to March 1.” – Ehm, out of over over 100,000 members (< 0.05%) ?

      Of the sample 32% were uncertain, so the sample shrinks to 350, or 0.035% of members.
      Yet 108 pro Yousaf, 87 pro Forbes and 38 pro Regan with the hustings not even begun despite all other polls putting Forbes ahead ?
      There is a distinct odour of "Eau de Latrine", typically sold with "made in London" and "Union" fleg labels attached to it's particularly wide bottom, commonly known as a Coffey…

      • scottish_skier says:

        Are the other polls not of members of the public?

        Technically, a 515 sample of the membership should give a very low margin of error if weighted correctly. But then how would they know that the membership demographics looked like to perform such weighting?

        So caution needed.

          • scottish_skier says:

            I see 4% from a few MoE calculators, at least for the sample size vs an assumed 100k members. Point is that it shouldn’t be that different from a normal poll really, but I don’t see how they can weight so confidently without knowing the specific demographics of the SNP membership.

            But close race between Forbes and Yousaf is what we’d expect from things so far, and within MoE, we could see polls either way.

  20. Hamish100 says:

    Just realised the poll was paid by the Torygraph.
    I will disregard such Tory propaganda

    • scottish_skier says:

      They, like Wings, would most likely back Regan. She seems to be the darling of the British.

  21. Legerwood says:

    O/T Breaking news that teachers in Scotland have accepted latest Pay Offer

  22. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Everyone on here knows me to be something of a shrinking violet – not really one to push himself forward nor to amplify his opinion at the point of a megaphone.

    However, I find it strange that no media organisation (in any of the three languages I speak) has thought it necessary to ask my opinion on who the next Leader of (one of) my Party should be.

    I mean, with respect to friends, colleagues and Party Members in Scotland, don’t I have some sort of novelty (i.e. ‘newsworthy’) value?

    – I don’t live in Scotland (i.e. I live in England)
    – I’m not Scottish (i.e I’m Welsh)
    – I could provide insights a la Rabbie Burns, and perhaps present a picture of Scots, ‘as ithers see us’
    – My right to vote in the Leadership Election is as valid as, and as equal to that of any other Party Member. Or is the fact that I live outwith Scotland and am not Scottish renders their [the MSM] algorithms as ones which ‘do not compute’ and therefore my voice will not (and even, should not) be heard (a case of the Alan Littles – see an earlier post, regarding a BBC interview at SNP Conference, 2014.)

    I’ll let you know if the paparazzi start beating a path to my door.

    But I won’t hold my breath.

  23. scottish_skier says:

    I remember this. Yousaf voted for the same sex marriage bill at stage one. Have to say I’m not impressed with people trying to suggest otherwise. I say that as someone who is basically neutral, and will probably end up tossing a coin to decide between two most able candidates; Forbes and Yousaf.


    Asghar family address Humza Yousaf’s role in man’s release amid row

    THE family of a Scottish man sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy has spoken out amid questions over SNP leadership candidate Humza Yousaf missing the vote on same-sex marriage to meet with Pakistan’s Consul General in Glasgow in 2014.

    Pensioner Mohammad Asghar, from Edinburgh, had a history of mental illness and had been held in a Pakistani prison since 2010.

    In 2014, Asghar was sentenced to death, and Yousaf has said he missed the vote on same-sex marriage – despite supporting it at an earlier stage – to meet with the consul general in a bid to save him…

    …“The writing was on the wall for Mr Asghar, for example in September 2014 a radicalised prison guard entered his cell and shot him in the back. In the past there have been numerous instances of fellow prisoners or police officers killing individuals accused of blasphemy for religious reasons.

    “Humza Yousaf agreed to act after the family spoke out and, indeed, he continued to meet with Pakistani officials including the Governor of Punjab in the weeks and months ahead. The matter was raised by the UK Prime Minister and the family also met with the then first Minister Alex Salmond in October 2014.

    “Over the last two weeks, it has been suggested that supporting a man accused of blasphemy in Pakistan was an easier option for Mr Yousaf than turning up for a vote for same-sex marriage – the reality is very different.

    The key is positive campaigning. Salmond seems to have forgotten how much he advocated that in the past, and is now doing the oh so very British smear approach.

    May the best candidate win.

  24. Dr Jim says:

    The Telegraph says they conducted their wee poll of SNP members
    where did they get the information on members from and can they verify they actually were members?

    The SNP didn’t release members details, they wouldn’t be allowed to

    A tad stinky by the Telegraph? it’s not as if they’re neutral

  25. yesindyref2 says:

    With 4.1 million voters, and 100,000 SNP members, to get 515 members to do the poll, they’d have had to interview 20,000 randomers – and more since not everyone would be happy to be bothered with a poll. I turn them all down, so that’s unlikely to be the way it was done.
    They could have got the SNP member database, but this would be against GDPR.

    So it would have to be a panel of voters who’d expressed membership of political parties. I’d say that would be very self-selecting and very skewed in terms of the normal voting population.

    So very little can be taken from this – except that both Regan supporters and Forbes supporters need to think carefully who to put 2nd!

    • yesindyref2 says:

      As an extra qualification, the branch I was a member of for 3 years apart from the first well-attended meeting after the ref, attendance was about 5% including all office bearers. With Independence never talked about apart from by me in a vain attempt to get it on the agenda, even office bearers and regular branch meeting attendees possibly don’t represent the views of the other 95%. I obviously don’t know the attendance at other branches.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      As yet another qualification, Yousaf and Forbes have been well-known for some time. Regan on the other hand is new, but will be getting better known despite the efforts of some of the media to blank her.

      I’d guess her ratings will go up with time. And no, she isn’t a Britnat or supported by Britnats, that’s just absolute crap.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Mmm, I just read the account of the hustings in the National, and Regan in her 6 minutes talked about the grief after the NO vote, and talking to 16 year olds with YES badges during the Ref so happy to be voting for Indy. That takes me back to the 19th, and in the afternoon seeing DDM in the Herald upbeat, and on Wings people talking about their grief, but some already talking about kicking the Scottish Unionists (mostly Labour) out of Westminter, and others trying to get YES groups back in touch with each other after the official YES Scotland just collapsed in a heap (though some would say that happened months before).

        What she said will resonate with a lot of SNP members I think, considering that the membership of the SNP which was at 25,500 on the day of the ref, shot up to 125,000 in the space of a few short weeks precisely because of the NO vote.

        • Hamish100 says:

          It wasntbjust her that felt that way. I am sure Salmond felt that also for failing to get independence. She certainly jumped on the 2014 bandwagon.

  26. Michael Corleone says:

    The contest is already decided, I’ve chosen the winner

  27. Capella says:

    I see The National are promoting Humza Yousaf today on their website. He is name checked in 5 headlines including the lead article. Kate Forbes is in 1 headline and Ash Regan in 0 headlines. All this follows last night’s Glenrothes husting which I watched via the SNP twitter feed. It was interesting and well managed with good questions from the floor. Surprised I stated for another 2 hours!

    • Eilidh says:

      Newspapers pick a candidate they like to promote in a political leadership race- no surprise there. why they are supporting Hamza don’t know and it doesn’t really bother me they are. I note the National has announced they will shortly have 3 new writers and the amount of negative against them already is pathetic. The amount of bitter men that haunt the place BTL is worrying

      • Capella says:

        Yes I noticed their new columnists. Seemed to be a tick box exercise – one white woman, one black woman and one trans woman. Full house. The comments section started off with the bile that’s true.

        I also read their report on the hustings. Curiously, they missed out what I thought was the most interesting question of the night. Cameron Archibald (weel kent name) asked why the SNP passed so many great policies at conference only for them to disappear into the black box never to be implemented. Job guarantee scheme, minimum income, national energy company, land value tax, national statistics agency, real living wage, social housing and community ownership of land.
        Good question.

        Question and answers at 1:12 – 1:21 on the twitter video. https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1YpKkgnrVddKj

      • scottish_skier says:

        Yes, the btl pejorative comments regarding the gender and skin colour of the new columnists was pretty unpleasant. Some weirdos are also seemingly obsessed with what’s between people’s legs too rather than writing ability. Creeps.

        There is no doubt that many of the usual suspects here on the national are not indy supporters.

          • Eilidh says:

            Sorry I didn’t find a fair amount of the comments BTL re the new columnists nonsense at all some of them were downright obnoxious particularly about the trans columnist. I think a fair amount of the trolls on there fear for their masculinity or small man syndrome. There is quite a few of them I as a woman would not want to meet on a dark night. Some of them espouse support for women’s rights then make blatantly mysognist comments in others. If these people are real Independence supporters which I doubt they are a disgrace to Scotland.

            • ArtyGoose says:

              Well said Eilidh! It’s hard to find forums which are not dominated by ham faced men spouting hatred towards women and minorities. Makes me question whether we truly are a progressive country or just racist and bigoted like little Englanders.
              There are so many important issues to discuss yet they bicker and moan constantly which sucks the energy out of our independence campaign. We need constructive comments and solutions, not hatred and constant gaslighting. I used to be a proud Scot but I am increasingly disheartened with the number of extreme right wing comments becoming mainstream thinking. Have they always been like this or are they just more susceptible to being brainwashed by the mainstream media?

  28. Hamish100 says:


    Agree with the policies disappearing. My MSP when asked shrugs their shoulders.

    Land ownership in Scotland is a scandal.

    • Capella says:

      Agreed, and the SG controls all the levers – the planning process should be amended to facilitate the community buyout scheme which can then implement social housing and so a guaranteed secure home could be available for all. I’d vote for that.

      Also, a national energy company would have been an excellent challenge to Westminster interfering in Holyrood democracy since everybody in the country would have been 100% in support.

      But hey – I’m not a politician.

      • Eilidh says:

        I think disappearing policies are a lot to with the reality of devolution. How exactly would the Scottish government fund a National Energy Company particularly just now or massive community land buyouts. I have friends who like me are Indy supporting Social Democrats but hate they are on a higher tax bracket than they would be in England. The policies I have noted above could only be funded by tax increases that a lot of the electorate would be most unhappy about. I would love to see much more land reform particularly in the Highlands to take land into Community ownership. I should point out Snp Scottish governments have funded far more social housing which is now built than previous Scottish governments

        • Capella says:

          Planning permissions determine the value of land. The land owner could be given permission to build houses then be taxed on the increased value of their land. This is a land value tax. That gives us, the community, an income stream.

          Another way is to withhold planning permission to a private land owner. This reduces the market value. It is then more affordable to the community to buy. We have a land fund.

          Plus, local authorities have the power of compulsory purchase where the community need is paramount.

          • Eilidh says:

            Sounds well and good Capella but most land owners are not interested in building Social Housing they would rather sell the land to developers to build million pound houses for posh folk. That is what has happened in Strathblane and if they do agree to sell some land to a Housing Association for social rent you get 90% for home ownership and 10% for social housing. If I had my way the aristocracy that owns a lot of land in Scotland would be forced to give it to local communities not flog it to them for millions like the Duke of Buccleuch did in recent years

            • Capella says:

              So refuse planning permission. The land value is the result of getting planning permission which is why they sell to multi million pound developers who are the only people who can afford the inflated land price. If the uplift in land value is retained by the community, either by withholding planning permission or by land value tax, then either they will not develop it for luxury housing and/or the community will have money which it can use to buy land.
              It’s the planning process that is the key.
              andywightman.com/docs/LVTREPORT. pdf (remve space before pdf)

    • davetewart says:

      All the windfarms are owned and run by foreign owners.

      Much like the englander water companies.

  29. Dr Jim says:

    No matter which government is in charge of Scotland they’re only an interim management holding company tinkering around the edges until Scotland becomes independent

    We’re never going to be a country that can do great things until we do it

    • scottish_skier says:

      Yes, which is why the leader isn’t really that important. They won’t deliver indy, Scots voters will when they are ready.

      • Dr Jim says:

        I reckon we still need a leader who can inspire confidence in Scotland and who can communicate that confidence, a leader with no fear
        There’s only one of the candidates with those attributes

    • Hamish100 says:

      Agree up to a point. We should pursue as far as we can with devo +- but can demonstrate how independence would bring us so much more.

      More tinkering required!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  30. Hamish100 says:

    Congratulations to our new world junior curling champion from Stranraer.

    Don’t know of it? Not surprising since it is not reported anywhere. Take a bow R Munro. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    If only she was a Brit.

  31. Izzie says:

    I feel like I am being railroaded into giving Humza my vote. Our branch had him visit and MSP, councillors and office bearers were photographed holding placards which echoed the I’m with Nicola slogan. Where did these come from?

    • Hamish100 says:

      When you vote. Vote for who you want. Easy.

    • Dr Jim says:

      You choose who you think is right for what you want them to do
      I do agree Humza seems to be getting desperately panicky about losing more than he cares about winning

  32. yesindyref2 says:

    From the Inverness hustings apparently: “ Humza Yousaf … says that one of the first things he would do upon gaining independence would be to enshrine equal rights in a written constitution.

    This guy doesn’t even understand what a Constitution is.

    • Dr Jim says:

      It’s a laudable thing to say but Scotland would have to be independent first, so that’s presumption number one, then he’d have to be elected to the new position of PM or whatever is decided we’d call it. that’s presumption number two, then Humza would have to know that constitutions are not written by one individual, that’s presumption number three, and of course presumption number four is the notion that a constitution is something no other leader would automatically want to introduce anyway, which I’m sure they all would

    • Alec Lomax says:

      He lives in a country which – the UK-which doesn’t have a written, codified constitution. Instead has a rag-bag of laws and traditions.

  33. Hamish100 says:

    Have you asked him?

    I take it your not a fan but then your not snp either as far as I ken.

  34. Capella says:

    So I listened to the Inverness hustings via the SNP twitter video and it was surprisingly good. It is refreshing to hear these issues being discussed. There was a Humza fan club in the audience primed to clap regularly but not too disruptive I thought. A good performance by the candidates and Kate Forbes was excellent.

    • Dr Jim says:

      If I was depending on someone to catch me in the falling backwards game she’d be the one I’d want standing there

      I really like her solidity, she has an air of strength and confidence

  35. craig murray says:

    I still like Ash’s willingness to be more radical on going for Indy, though I fear she has been persuaded to tone it down.
    But I agree with Dr Jim. It does seem that Kate may have the inner steel and grit needed for such a huge mission. I did not expect to be impressed, but I am.
    Humza very plainly does not have those qualities.

    • Capella says:

      I agree that Ash has a good sense of the need for a fresh start and direction. But she has difficulty articulating that clearly. She may get more polished with practicse.

      • Dr Jim says:

        There’s a video interview with Kate Forbes in the National
        It’s friendly one, but nevertheless she’s very impressive

        • Capella says:

          Thx Dr Jim. A good interview and she comes across as genuine and honest which are rare qualities in a politician. Glad The National is sharing out the limelight.

          • Cappella,just watched the video of the National interview with Kate Forbes.I thought that she expressed herself clearly and her focus on the economy in order to demonstrate the difference between what can be delivered by independence,in comparison to the limited powers of devolution is spot on.She has correctly identified the economy as the key battleground,that must be fought on the basis of linking independence to poverty,jobs,health care ,education,cost of living etc,in order to persuade others of the merits of independence.She said a lot more during that interview,and the more that I see of her,the more convinced I become that she is the candidate that our unionist opponents fear most.

            • Capella says:

              I agree and she also identifies that support needs to rise way above the 50 – 50 line. She believes demonstrating how a sound economy can eradicate poverty is the key to winning that support and I think she is right.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I was at the National’s Sturgeon rally and as always I like to look around and take it all in, but not really listen to speeches. Yousaf’s however was outstanding, up and at ’em inspirational.

      But I don’t think he’s really an original thinker, all his stuff so far is a rehash. He’d have a strong place on campaigns, and it seems the 3 of them get on grand even if they’re in competition.

      There was Salmond with the wheeling and dealing, Sturgeon with the law and constitution, both took that as far as it could go, and now it’s all about the economy. A lot of almost overnight conversions from NO to YES is possible from what I hear.

      So Honest Forbes as FM and a good focus on the economy, and Brave Regan as Constitution secretary, and the job’s a good ‘un.

  36. Hamish100 says:

    Alcohol scrambles the brains it seems. Maybe excessive excitement has the same effect?

    Brave Regan? Give us a break from fantasy politics Alba style.

  37. Hamish100 says:

    Quite tetchy aren’t you.

    Still you feel “ This guy doesn’t even understand what a Constitution is.” and other comments going back in time are in your domain having spent 3yrs in an SNP branch.

    Still you want Regan but don’t get a vote as you are not a member. She won’t win and she won’t become Deputy First Minister or constitutional secretary

    Something Albanists and others will have to just accept whatever time in the morning they post

  38. Dr Jim says:

    Everybody’s entitled to support who they want, but I have to say anybody who thinks Ash Regan has a snowball’s is deluding themselves seriously, indeed it’s quite possible following this election she will no longer even remain a SNP MSP, and if she does it’s highly likely she’ll be voted out at the next election

    Ms Regan was persuaded or used to take on a mission by others to her own detriment, surely there isn’t anyone who doesn’t see that, certainly everyone I’ve spoken to so far is of the same opinion

    Ash Regan herself has indicated several times herself that she knows she is the outsider in this contest
    I’ve no doubt she will receive up to around 12% of the vote, but there it will end

    This election for new leader will be decided on a couple or three things, competence dependability and whether folk like it or not, image, and image is incredibly important, because the new leader will be the face of Scotland, the voice of Scotland and salesperson in chief for Scotland

    Being the SNP FM is not a fun or easy job, there’s no novelty in it anymore, most of the time it’s a miserable hard lonely slog with opposition from all sides seeking ways to destroy you, that’s why the fun bits always look so joyous, because it’s so great to get away from the slog, and as we’ve all seen with Nicola Sturgeon you have zero privacy practically even in your own bathroom

    There’s no amount of money enough you could pay me to do this job, which I couldn’t anyway, I’m a totally unsuitable person

  39. barpe says:

    Started watching Giessler this morning, as he was to interview Kate Forbes, and switched off pretty rapidly.
    I could not bear to watch his facial expression throughout the whole time Kate was speaking – like ‘chewing a wasp’ as the saying goes!
    Never watch that man again – pure Tory stooge.

  40. Dr Jim says:

    Isn’t it amazing that we live in a country where the media are now openly admitting the refuse to do their job and question the England UK cabal on democracy

    The media continually question the SNP in the same way asking “what are you going to do when the UK says no” and they ask this in the full and certain knowledge that the UK government is a refusnik on recognition of Scottish democracy

    Of course every time this question is asked of anyone in the SNP the answer should always be “why are the media refusing to ask the UK government why they refuse to recognise democracy and the will of the Scottish people clearly expressed in every election”

    There’s only one difference between Vladimir Putin and England, and that’s bombs, other than that the two are the same
    Ukraine is a country, Scotland is a country, nowhere in any act of union does it reflect that from the date of that union England had the legal right to refuse the dissolution of the union by any mechanism it chose based on whatever it chose at any given time

    England is involved in dictatorship, it always has been, the difficulty for England now is that dictatorship is now clearly exposed as it was with the other 65 countries they occupied before they were slung out
    The three monkey position the UK government have adopted towards Scotland is a stupid strategy and can’t last, and it can’t last because it’s the same strategy they’ve always used and it has failed on 65 previous occasions or they’d still have an empire wouldn’t they

    Every independence supporter in Scotland has a question to ask themselves,
    “why am I waiting for independence to drop out of the sky by some change of heart from the UK government”? because the answer is it won’t, so what are you prepared to do? just bumbling along until the next vote isn’t enough

    If you can’t take something of your own from someone who refuses to give it back,
    stop asking

    If England wanted to separate from Scotland you can bet your boots they’d just do it the same way they did Brexit, they’d tell every one of their citizens in that country that Scotland was holding them back, Scotland was costing them £billions, Scotland was making laws they didn’t like, Scotland was interfering in their business, and they’d be gone quicker than snaw aff a dyke, but they won’t and why?

    England needs our money, our assets, our oil, our water, our gas, our electricity, our parking space for nuclear weapons, but most of all of that England needs our location location location, because without free access to that they cannot play at pretending to be a world power sailing their boats and flying their planes up and down and over our country giving them access to the North

    Scotland is a first strike nuclear target, that’s how much England loves and needs us

    • barpe says:

      Nail on head, Dr Jim!!
      Correction : NailS on head !

    • Hamish100 says:

      I suppose the question to be asked of the kuenssberg of the world what will England do if when we say Yes.

      A way to go yet for some. Congrats to Muir for winning her race. Sorry to see her wrapped in the butchers apron.

      • Legerwood says:

        Seems to have been a good weekend for Scottish sportsmen and women. Elisha McColgan broke the British 10,000 metres record when racing in California. Laura Muir of course and then the Junior Curling teams, Male and female, winning medals at the Junior World Championships. Of course BBC Scotland will be all over these successes won’t they?

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          Congratulations to all these BRITISH [sic.] athletes … 😉

          From the BBC:

          1. McColgan, who has been dealing with some knee problems in the build-up to her debut marathon on Sunday, 23 April, now holds British records for 5,000m, 10,000m, 5km, 10km and half-marathon.

          Meanwhile, *fellow Briton* Emile Cairess …

          [My emphasis]

          2. Laura Muir won a record fifth European Indoor Championship title as she claimed a superb victory in the women’s 1500m final in Istanbul.

          Muir raced clear on the last lap to clock four minutes 03.40 seconds and become the *most successful Briton* in the history of the competition.

          [My emphasis]

          3. Curling (Not Yet Found on BBC)

          • Bob Lamont says:

            “3. Curling (Not Yet Found on BBC)”
            Probably due to BBC hair pulling…

            • Legerwood says:

              For some reason BBC Scotland does not like curling. A friend in Aberdeen told me the result via Facebook. I think the girls won gold and the boys won bronze.

    • Bob Lamont says:


  41. yesindyref2 says:

    From this article in the National:


    “March 5 – Online only hustings, 1pm – 3pm
    March 6 – Dumfries, 7pm – 9pm
    March 8 – Johnstone, 7pm – 9pm
    March 10 – Edinburgh, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
    March 11 – Glasgow, 1pm – 3pm
    March 11 – The National/SNP TUG, 5pm
    March 12 – Aberdeen, 1pm – 3pm

    The day after the Aberdeen husting, the two-week ballot will open for members to vote.
    When are the TV debates?

    March 7 – STV, 9pm
    March 9 – Channel 4, 7pm
    March 14 – BBC, 8pm
    March 15 – Sky News, 8pm
    March 17 – The Inverness Courier”

    I personally think it’s quite impressive the branches / CAs were able to put together the timetable so quickly and efficiently, and interesting to see that both STV and Channel 4 were able to get their debates in before the members get the chance to vote.

    And I’m very glad to see all the SNP hustings will be over BEFORE the vote starts, even if they’re live-streamed these days.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, just chucking this in here for the laugh. A certain poster below the line on the Herald said this in reply to someone who quoted McAlpine (who is not known for his unrequited love of the SNP):

      You got that the wrong way round Robin McAlpine is a national embarassment


  42. yesindyref2 says:

    Perhaps a question for all 3 candidates at a hustings would be, what do they think of this, and would they do the same for the Independence Prospectus?


    e.g. “The next ten years have been branded the “decisive decade”.

    In the next decade, we face a choice to either lead or to lag behind other successful economies all whilst we recover from Covid, deliver net zero, tackle structural inequalities and grow our economy. We choose to lead.

    • westminster will continue to undermine holyrood and damage scotlands economy at every opportunity just to undermine the snp. i dont think it matters which candidate wins, all elections going forward will be seen as a vote on independence by everyone regardless of the candidates wishes. my preferred “woad” to independence is indyref2, HE, GE. simply because it is in this order that a 50%+1 is most likely. I wouldnt rule out indyref2 but it isnt ours to offer, we need WM’s agreement. we could fold holyrood and bring forward the election to this autumn? a HE does offer the next best chance of a 50%+1 result after indyref2! however, voters dont like politicians screwing around with their vote, it makes the election more of a one off event and would give the unionists the opportunity to boycott the election and holyrood for good. this is what the NI unionists have done to stormont. it wasnt SF who introduced the NI protocol it was the tories. but regardless of how good a deal NI now has, wild horses wont drag the dup back to stormont, their very existence depends on stopping the people of NI even voting. so to that end I would let the natural cycle of elections continue and wait for the next GE. I noticed in the inverness hustings when a question from the audience asked if any were willing to bring forward the HE, all 3 avoided answering the question. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZeZj-5rzNk&t=5659s ) 1hr 24 mins 30 secs . this is why alba are so interested in which candidate wins, the next vote wont be a yes or no, it will be SNP. (if the greens are smart they wont stand at the next GE. ) not that i care what alba think, they got less votes in the last local elections than the “save the airdrie utd party” So the SNP manifesto should read something like, ” Our preferred route to independence is via indyref2, but it isnt in our power to guarantee this option, however, the will of the people of scotland cannot be denied, a vote for the snp is a vote for independence etc” if we get 47% of the vote in the GE we say, better luck next time, and try again at the next HE 11 months later.. also, we dont know how the seats in westminster will fall, a hung parliament might convince the uk gov to grant a s30. if the above form of manifesto wording is used then it gives the scottish gov a mandate to accept. eitherway, we continue in this manner until we win 50%+1, upon which we win the legal and moral right to, eg petition the UN, mount a legal challenge, for indy or a s30 , scotlands claim of right supports our legal position or move to a campaign of civil disobedience,

  43. Bob Lamont says:

    I’ve no dog in this fight, but have been most impressed how Forbes has come out the other side of what was to my eye an orchestrated media pile-on over her religious beliefs following Ciaran Jenkins’ “hypothetical” stitch-up to bring max pressure on her to quit.

    You can see the sheer desperation from propagandists in having failed on this gambit from the HMS James Cook site – Leading is “Ferry Stories” Part XXX and their bizarre promotion of NASUWT as a leading Union among teachers, and let’s be clear about this – No teachers will be pleased at the “paltry offer” from SG, but at least they recognise it’s Westminster where the blockage lies, with Gillian Keegan MP and a Tory government, not that you would know that from Scottish media.

    Bravo to the National over their interview with Forbes, refreshing to watch an interview which didn’t have an agenda other than good old fashioned journalism, and not a “fleg” in sight – I’m old enough to remember when this was normal.

    • Legerwood says:

      NASWUT has about 5000 members in Scotland. It is, however, one of the main teachers’ unions in England. It has been noticeable in the last few years that the MSM has ‘bigged’ it up and often it is the MSM’s go to union for an anti-SG quote.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Why, even when I was in secondary school in Wales – early 1980’s – the NASUWT were known amongst ‘our’ teachers as the ‘NASties’ (with accompanying grimace) in they were far more militant and liable to go on strike, even when our own teachers thought they deserved more money.

        I can’t think why ‘our’ teachers would want to share that sort of information with us adolescent schoolboys and schoolgirls, but they did.

    • Tatu3 says:

      I watched the interview and thought she came across really well. Persuading more people to vote Yes and explaining why and how independence would work would be good.
      Just one question, she said in a Westminster election she thought more SNP seats would be better than 50%+1. What do all you guys think? Thanks

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Can’t we have *both*, Tatu3? 😉

      • Capella says:

        She said that that is how elections work in this country. The party that wins the majority of seats forms the government regardless of the percentage. This was also the policy of the SNP until Alex Salmond changed it to holding a referendum. Margaret Thatcher said that if the Scots want independence all they have to do is get a majority of seats for an independence party.

        • grizebard says:

          Yes. Unionism can’t have it both ways – though it often tries! If a UKGE win in that crook game is a {cough} “landslide” with only 40% of the votes cast, then indy is a “win” with a majority of Scottish seats won. When the party manifesto, of course, is a clear No.1 “a vote for us is a vote for indy”. (It doesn’t even have to be the only point in the manifesto, actually.)

        • keaton says:

          If you’re going to appeal to “how elections work in this country”, you also have to accept that these elections don’t allow for constituent countries to become independent. That’s exactly why we need 50%+1: a vote for independence at a Westminster GE carries no legal weight, so we need it to have moral and political weight.

      • Capella says:

        I’m assuming you mean the Kate Forbes interview!

  44. Hamish100 says:

    The teachers paltry offer as they describe it is far better than their fellow council workers paltry offer including such hard workers as home care and such like and who poorer working terms and conditions.

    The truth is until independence we will always be subject to Englands hands around our resources and our freedom to choose.

  45. Legerwood says:

    I just came across this headline in The Telegraph online. It is the headline of an article by one of their columnists and says a lot about the mindset of not only the Telegraph but its readers. See what you think:

    “”Plummeting house prices are not the real disaster facing dysfunctional post-war Britain””

    Hint – this is 2023, WWII ended 1946.

    Please let us get out of this pdq.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      I’m confused, Legerwood. Perhaps you could explain to me the last paragraph in this piece (with reference to the title):~


      The simple, discomforting, truth is that the housing market has probably been the most dysfunctional aspect of post-war Britain. It still is. This has baleful consequences, not just for the economy overall, but also for the quality of life of millions of people. Sadly, this is not about to change. This is the real housing disaster, not a short period of falling house prices.

      Roger Bootle is chairman of Capital Economics


      • Bob Lamont says:

        Pardon my intrusion WS, the Telegraph references WW2 which ended 78 years ago as deliberate distraction to house and land values exploding in the Thatcher era 35 years later.

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          I get that, Bob … but I see the title of the piece contradicting the final para (or vice versa).

          Still, as being a non-Telegraph reader and bear of little brain with no skin in any game, I can let this pass, anyway. Nuffink to do wiv’ me, guv. ‘Onest.

      • Legerwood says:

        I was not commenting on the dysfunctional housing market but the fact that the columnist in 2023 was referring to ‘post war Britain’. Hence the hint.

        As to housing it did not really become a ‘market’ i e buying & selling, until the early ’70s. Throughout the ’50s & ’60s council house building was the thing then Councils started to row back on that. When I was at primary school in the 1950s I was always in a class size of 45-47 of whome barely 5 lived in private houses and 2 of those pupils were in tied houses – the bank manager’s son and the aughter of the medical director of the local hospital. The rest of us were in council houses or private rentals.

        At the start of the ’70s the buzz words were: ‘you are under mortgaged’. The Sunday supplements pushed that idea because at the time people were getting large pay increases and it drew people into the housing market. Then the oil price rises & miner’s strikes resulted in negative equity that and the ‘feast and famine’ approach by building societies made things difficult. By the end of the ’70s though people were pretty well locked into buying a house as the only way of getting a home and so the helter skelter has continued since.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Not long until we’re talking about ‘Post UK Britain’. 🙂

      • Legerwood says:

        I posted the headline of an article in the Telegraph. There was no ‘last paragraph in my post so not clear why I am being asked to explain what I did not post although I attempted to in my earlier reply to yo seems to be the point I was making was a bit too subtle despite the hint.u

        • Welsh_Siôn says:


          It’s ok – Bob and me (I think) are on the same wavelength. It’s not your fault any of this.

          It’s rather this Bootling about by the author that is rather distorting.

  46. yesindyref2 says:

    Righty. Back in 2022 there was a 10 year plan set out:


    I’d like to see that updated on an annual basis; it represents Scotland under Devolution.

    Forbes has said she wants to set out a plan for Independence, and if it was a bit similar the two could be compared side by side. It could be that some redesign would need to be made of the existing one.

    In addition though, and I pushed this btl on the Herald to no avail during Indy Ref 1, I’d like to see a model of the Scottish economy. It would obviously have a lot of variables, some which could be set to default values, but adjustable. I worked on something like that in a previous life.

    But I’d also like to see that made available to the general public via some kind of app as the younger people might say. We have an app for that. Imagine being able to play with a future Scotland, changing this, changing that, and seeing what it might be like in 5 years, or 10. Obviously the longer into the future, the less the probability that it would come to pass.

    I think it could be a winner – but it would have to be made available straight away to everyone, otherwise the filthy media would get their grubby hands on it.

  47. Gordon says:

    The advantages London S/E was considered to be based on house building in the 1930’s. The inflated prices. The housing fraud in London S/E and the Midlands resulted in the housing/banking crash. Over lending and borrowing.

    The Scottish Gov has committed to build or renovate 6,000 affordable homes a year. Builders build 17,000 homes a year. 58,000 die in Scotland a year on average, More houses become available,

    In London S/E wages are higher on average. House costs are higher. Leaving the same disposable income. There are enough homes in Scotland but not in areas people want to be. For jobs and family.

  48. Gordon says:

    Only 10% of the population passed the 11+. Only 10% went to University. Now it is 50%+. Lifelong learning. 30% from school. 25% mature students EU students and foreign student. Foreign students pay the full costs.

    Teachers are higher qualified and higher paid compared to the South. Colleges and apprenticeships. Many tradespeople left because of Brexit. Building costs and materials have increased because of Brexit. Covid held up building work.

    • Alastair says:

      If your post refers to Scotland, then I can inform you that when we had selective secondary schools here, primary pupils were required to pass the ‘qually’ (Qualifying Exam). The ‘11+’ didn’t apply here. I know ‘cause way back in the 1950’s it was the ‘qually’ I sat (and passed) to gain entrance to my local High School! My recollection also is that while Grammar Schools south of the border would typically accept the top 10% of ‘11+’ candidates, as you state, Scottish High Schools were less selective, accepting up to 25% of ‘qually’ sitters.

      • Eilidh says:

        The qually hasn’t existed in Scotland since towards the end of the 1960s. Since then Comprehensive Secondary School has been the norm

      • Capella says:

        I sat the 11+ Alistair. So it existed in the NE. W didn’t have High Schools though, we had Academies.

  49. Dr Jim says:

    Culture secretary Tory MP Lucy Fraser is hoping that everyone up and down *the country* will join in with the great occasion of the coronation of King Charles

    Well she says that, but she of course doesn’t mean Scotland, viewers and readers may recollect she was the Tory MP who said she wished she could bring back the days when Scots were transported to the far distant colonies

    It’s to do with our disobedience and rebellious nature you see, they want Scotland’s land and sea but not the people who occupy it

    I find it odd in Scotland that anybody would sing God save the King when the King has no intention of saving any of them

  50. Dr Jim says:

    Stuart Campbell and Panelbase in continuous rigged polling fiddle shock

    Shock? really? Mm, I don’t think anybody’s shocked at all

    • scottish_skier says:

      I meant to post this on this thread, but messed up!

      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.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Anyone who associates with this Steve Bannan wannabe can’t be trusted

      • Capella says:

        That refers to a 2021 poll, not the recent one we were discussing on the previous thread.

      • keaton says:

        Would be nice if the article actually reproduced the offending questions so we can see for ourselves what’s wrong with them rather than just having to trust an appeal to authority.

        • scottish_skier says:

          Just look at his recent poll if you want to see what leading questions look like. Comically so. I might put in a wee complaint as it seems these are looked into.

          Some might say he’s defrauding people who contributed to his fundraisers, not realising he was using their money to mislead rather than inform as claimed. 🙂

          • keaton says:

            I’m sure he’s terrible, but that’s neither here nor there in regard to whether an article about misleading questions in a specific poll should actually quote those questions. The only hint we’re given as to what was wrong with them is that a DK option wasn’t provided. SC claims that this is standard practice. Is that true? A reader of the article doesn’t know because its author got bored and went back to bed

            • scottish_skier says:

              Fair enough on the rather poor right up, but it took just 20 seconds to find the article and questions.


              The one decent thing about WoS is it’s easy to find past articles if you know the rough dates.

              Very leading. Look at the size of the preambles. That’s an instant fail before you even get to the leading aspects. And yes, it’s not standard at all to force a choice. That instantly means it won’t reflect public opinion.

            • scottish_skier says:

              Even the 2014 indyref was a 3 option vote and not ‘binary’. You could simply not vote if you didn’t know, didn’t mind, or didn’t care. 🙂

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Tory supporter in rigged polling fiddle shock

  51. will say, regardless who wins, i will support

  52. Dr Jim says:

    Even though I’m a member and should know this, but I don’t
    The voting system is on a preference of 123 style
    What happens about the voter who only votes for one candidate? is that vote invalid ?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      No, they just don’t get added to the winning candidate if theirs is eliminated first.

    • scottish_skier says:

      No, if it is STV voting, then that’s fine. But folk should only do that if they genuinely don’t mind who wins if their first choice does not. If they have any preference over the other two, they should rank.

  53. Capella says:

    This is worrying. It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who writes the software.

    GCHQ drafted in to keep SNP leadership vote secure

    THE SNP is working with UK spy bosses to ensure the ballot to replace Nicola Sturgeon is secure.

    The party said it enlisted the help of the National Cyber Security Centre (a part of GCHQ – Government Communications Headquarters) to ensure the vote was safe from hackers.

    GCHQ had contacted the SNP raising “security considerations” about the online vote, according to the Scottish Mail on Sunday.


    • yesindyref2 says:

      Possibly because of the bots used against the National.

    • stewartb says:

      ‘This is worrying. It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who writes the software.’

      Has it been revealed that the SNP just purchased new, non-standard software? Or has its existing software just been tampered with and its IT staff are either unaware or complicit in said tampering? The plot thickens!

      Anyone know how many organisations across the UK – SMEs, big corporates, public sector and governmental organisations, charities and various other not for profits use the National Cyber Security Centre’s services in any given year? Seeking its advice in a precautionary way and/or seeking its advice in response to a perceived threat and/or in response to an actual incident? I suspect given the reliance on digital technology and the environment we live in, the number is large. It might even be regarded as ‘good practice’ to use its expertise.

      So what is more likely? The Centre has engaged – and (arguably, oddly) made this engagement known publicly – with the SNP with the intention of (‘worryingly’) tamper with its software – as distinct from using the powers of GCHQ to covertly tamper? Or has it engaged in order (not ‘worryingly’) to mitigate any threats to the conduct of the online ballot? In other words, does one seek another conspiracy – and if so, what one and on what evidence? Or in the absence of evidence, perhaps one might consider the less conspiratorial – the more boring – principle of Occum’s Razor just sometimes?

      • Capella says:

        What level of naivety is required to believe that “UK spy bosses” got in touch with the SNP because they want to ensure the vote is secure? Computers are easily tampered with. They are never secure. I don’t believe they should be used in any election. Paper copies of votes can be checked.

    • Eilidh says:

      I am inclined to take anything printed in the Sunday Mail with an extra large pinch of salt, as it is a Unionist fanzine Although bearing in mind what Vlad the horrible and his hacker minions in Russia are up to it makes sense for the Snp to be super careful re the voting

    • yesindyref2 says:

      NCSC works with the UK Parliament, and the Scottish Parliament. They worked for instance on the Stewart McDonald email “hacking”. They work with a lot of companies as well.

      Would I trust them. Hmmm, I look at it this way, if GCHQ want to know what we had for our tea, they’ll also know we’re having the same again tomorrow.

      Incidentally, I hope everyone put a bit of black insulating tape over their laptop camera …

    • Handandshrimp says:

      Certainly, if Donald Trump wins I’ll be suspicious.

    • Golfnut says:

      So, Angus McNeill wrote to Peter Murrell, why are we not told whether Murrell responded or not. The party spokesperson is who? Why are they not named. GCHQ and 77 Brigade are the more likely culprits either directly or, through a third party, to interfere in the election and why would GCHQ volunteer information on its involvement to a newspaper?

  54. Dr Jim says:

    They should invent a system where we can vote *against* stuff
    Let’s see the Tories crow about votes *for* following elections like that

  55. Hamish100 says:

    BBC k with a Y, private health care.

    Isn’t there enough stories and facts of individuals going to private clinics in the U.K. and further afield ending up with medical complications following operations and then demanding the NHS repair the damage at cost to the taxpayer.

    Healthcare has to be rationed , we can’t do everything but the guy with the stunned big toe demands to be seen in A&E within 4 hours.

    As someone once said “wants are insatiable” like the Tory news media for bad stories.

  56. Capella says:

    Ivan McKee backs a change in approach. More focus, better delivery and including the wider movement.

    SNP must learn from Labour’s mistake and not believe it’s invincible

    WE don’t often get the opportunity to take stock of where we are and have a serious, open and far reaching debate about the future of our party and our movement.

    That’s why it’s important that the SNP leadership election gives us the space to raise and discuss fundamental issues about our approach – issues we might normally refrain from airing due to our natural over-riding focus on unity and collective responsibility.

    If we miss this opportunity to understand where we need to do better, where there is a need for a change of approach, we will not do ourselves, our party, or Scotland any favours.

    At the heart of this lies a simple message. People will vote for independence when they think it will make their lives better – and they will come to believe that when they see government delivering for them with the powers it has. They need to see us walk the walk, not just talk the talk.


  57. yesindyref2 says:

    Very interesting questions from the SNPTUG, and their hustings with the candidates is on March 11th, just 2 days before voting starts giving the candidates 6 days to come u with answers.


    During Indy Ref 1 I watched the STUC carefully as a bit of a bellwether on how Indy was doing. They did a very considered report, and I’d say were pretty neutral, possibly favouring Devo-Max a little but certainly not the status quo. They went along with sterlingisation, but only for a few short years then it needed to be our own currency.

    It is one side, and the business and industry side also needs to be considered. Personally I don’t believe in this right and left stuff, I look at it as capitalism and socialism in their old senses. I guess I started the campaign as a socialist capitalist and ended as a capitalist socialist – you can’t have socialism without capitalism, but capitalism on its own is just greed.

    Oh yeah, from history I don’t believe in freeports in the slightest. Sounds a great idea but is nearly always abused.

  58. Izzie says:

    Sorry off topic . I see that it is being muted that we deny the Stone of Scone to Charles for his coronation as a symbolic gesture. Of course we can’t prevent it leaving but they taking it against our will would be an obvious demonstration of our subservient place in this so called union of equals

  59. Dr Jim says:

    Across the central belt of England motor theft is the highest in Europe
    In Scotland motor vehicle theft has virtually been eradicated, yet motor insurers still average the cost of that insurance to cover losses in England

    Yet another bonus of being a *part* of the United Kingdom?

    How many countries in the world pay the cost of crime in the country next to them?

  60. Ken says:

    The 11+ existed in Scotland. 10+ went to Academies. The others to secondary moderns. There was streaming of classes. Only the ‘top’ class was allowed to sit the exam. 10% went to Academies. They only had access to professional careers. Now 50%+ go to universities. Colleges and apprenticeships.

    There were grants and students got benefits. Loans came in later. Education places were expanded because after the 60’s the population fell. The Pill became available. + other contraception. Only available to married women at first.

    • Legerwood says:

      If you passed your 11 plus in Scotland you were told on the basis of your results what course you were being assigned to. These went all the way from 5 years two languages down to 3 years domestic science & no languages. Your parents were sent a letter giving them your course details. In my case it was 5 years 2 languages and I went to the local High School as did everyone in my class regardless of the course they were assigned to on the basis of their 11 plus exams. This was in the late 1950s. The process might have been different in different parts of Scotland depending on what schools were available.

      When you left school after your O grades or Highers you did not need to go to Uni to get a professional qualification. Many professional qualifications were gained through working in the job and a mixture of night classes run by the professional governing body or later – mid to late ’60s onwards – day-release at college.

      I sat my Highers then got a job as trainee Med Lab Technician. Entry qualifications were officially O grades. It did not become degree entry until the 1980s.

      It may be that in the UK as a whole only 10% or so went to Uni but many did not require to go to Uni to gain a professional qualification.

      • Skintybroko says:

        Much the same in my day in the early 70’s but it was an IQ test rather than 11+ and we were streamed accordingly. Back then due to streaming exam results were “better” but not everyone was given the opportunity- Teachers say the SG have destroyed education but they have opened it up to everyone – know of several pupils who were left behind at school but went on to College and subsequently University and came out with good degrees – wouldn’t have happened under streaming.

        • Legerwood says:

          The 11+ was an IQ test although it did contain some questions on what you had been taught at school. I remember in P6 and P7 doing IQ tests against the clock as practice for the 11+ in P7.

          Although everyone from our primary school, and the other feeder primaries in the catchment area, went to the same High School we were effectively streamed on the basis of our 11+ exams.- 5 year pupils, 3 year pupils and the various permutations therein. You could go up a level if you repeated a year. There were 4 boys in our 5 year class who did that and so went from a 3 year technical plus 1 language course to 5 year technical. One became an architect and 2 had their own businesses.

          I thought briefly in the late ’80s and streaming still took place but it seemed to be unofficial and under the radar to a certain extent.

        • Golfnut says:

          Don’t remember much about the 11+, the leaving dance however filled most of the guys with dread because we were going to be forced to dance with a girl. In the run up to the leaving dance we were given dancing lessons with girls and even had to hold hands with girls.

          • Tam the Bam says:

            So tell me Golfnut,did you finally muster the courage to say ” Ur ye dancin?” 🙂

          • Alastair says:

            Tam, Golfnut, Legerwood, Ken and others.
            Your use of incorrect terms and perhaps percentages does surprise me.
            Prior to the Wilson government bringing in ‘comprehensive’ secondary education throughout England, Wales and Scotland, in the 1960’s, the ‘11+’ test only ever applied to England and Wales. In Scotland the equivalent was the ‘Qualifying Exam’, colloquially known as ‘The Qually’. I know ‘cause I was there!
            Pre comprehensive, Scotland had a system of Senior and Junior secondary education. Usually the Senior and Junior secondary schooling took place in different buildings, but not always. For instance, Kirkcaldy High School had both Senior and Junior secondary pupils until the Seniors decamped to a new Kirkcaldy High School campus on the outskirts of town in the mid 1950’s, leaving the Juniors behind in the old town centre building.
            Pre comprehensive, England and Wales term ‘Secondary Modern’ was never used to describe schools in Scotland!
            Senior Secondary schools were known by different names in different places (and sometimes in the same place) in Scotland. They might be called Academies, High Schools, Grammar Schools or even Colleges, it made no difference, and there were many exceptions to the rules.
            For instance at one time Hamilton had an Academy AND a Grammar. Fife mainly had High Schools, but Madras was called a College! The names made no difference. The important thing was that they were Senior Secondaries and they ‘selected’ their pupils.
            By contrast Junior Secondary schools were usually given only geographic names such as Lochgelly East!
            Finally, I may stand to be corrected, but I believe that up to about 25% of 11 year olds in pre comprehensive Scotland were ‘selected’ for Senior Secondary education, compared to about 10% being ‘selected’ for Grammar Schooling in England and Wales.

            • Legerwood says:

              I was also there in Primary School in the 1950s and sat the 11+. It was never called/referred to as anything else in the area where I was brought up. Referring to it as the ‘qually’ may well have depended on the area you were brought up in.

              And as I said and you confirmed there were a mixture of schools and in my case everyone went to the same High School and were streamed within it depending on their 11+ exam results. Colleges were almost exclusively FE.

              • Golfnut says:

                Me to Legerwood, my mum received a letter saying I had a place at Leith Academy and that I would receive a bursary of 19 shillings and sixpence, bit of a nonsense really since that would have got me a tie so I went to our local senior secondary.

        • Tatu3 says:

          1971 – I think I was in the first year to go to the High School of Stirling under the comprehensive system. Anyway I vaguely remember it was a case of whether we’d have to sit the 11+ or not, and in the end we didn’t.

        • Eilidh says:

          In Glasgow I sat IQ tests when I was 8 and 9 we were not streamed afterwards in primary school nor in 1st year of secondary school in 1971. We were only streamed in 2nd year after 1st year exam results.

  61. Ken says:

    Private schools have 25% people f pupils on bursaries and fees paid.


  62. yesindyref2 says:

    From the National:

    Removal van spotted outside Nicola Sturgeon’s official residence

    I wonder if that’s the SNP HQ moving in Yousaf a little bit early?


  63. yesindyref2 says:

    An article by Ivan McKee in the National. This is a guy who during Indy Ref 1 used to post occasionally below the line I think, maybe on the Herald, maybe before that on the Grun, no idea really. I think he posted after the ref on Wings the odd time.

    Anyways, always made sense, supportive, wouldn’t cut the legs off you if he disagreed on detail. And then of course he got elected and into Government. He was an early on for Forbes but then stepped back and I can see why, even though he says in his article that Forbes would be right for the job – I think he’s needed to mend the breaches. Onywise:


    We have a party membership that is viewed as a piggy bank and leafletting fodder (important as those are) rather than a hugely diverse and talented resource than can provide the ideas and energy to deliver for Scotland, and a wider Yes movement that is at best marginalised and ignored rather than mobilised and organised.

    That’s absolutely correct for my 3 years from 2014. I looked on the SNP website at where we could offer our services, and the only choice was leafletting, street stalls, doorknocking – or giving money. And giving money! Which some of us don’t have.

    Nowhere to try and pool the knowledge and expertise of 125,000 members, such as an energy group (not me), a water one (not me), wait for it wait for it, a defence group (me me me), even a QA group for documents right up to and including high level business plans (also me), (a currency and finance group (me too).

    Nope, vegetables, we only want you to put leaflets.

    What a fecking waste of talent.

  64. Hamish100 says:

    A pit of a faux pas by Regan supporter Cherry referring to a WoS Twitter article. A blog well known in polling!

    Cherry needs to reset her views and ideas and stay clear away from that crowd to regain some credibility.

  65. scottish_skier says:

    Funny story. So I’m in Italy skiing. Met some fellow Scots from the plane/bus in the bar after we got there. Good friendly chat and had a few beers. Did think to myself about one guy ‘probably rangers fan that votes Tory’ although he was nice enough.

    The next night was the welcome thingy. See everyone there, and go to join them. English couple are chatting with them too.

    So, likely rangers supporter at some point starts on Sturgeon and how taxes are high in Scotland. ‘Things better in England’ etc (Tory!). Like ‘nobody supports indy and the SNP get 90% of seats’ . Says he doesn’t know anyone that backs them / indy. Really good rant developing. English guy is like ‘What’s Scotland got anyway. whisky?’. He’s joining in.

    Couldn’t help myself. Just politely said ‘Well, I’ve always voted SNP’. You should have seen the Ranger’s guy’s face. It was a picture.

    I didn’t argue or cause I fuss, just gave some thoughts, including on how Holyrood was PR and the 90% of seats for London was a British problem / used to be all labour. Said how I didn’t vote SNP / support indy ‘cos sturgeon’ just as I hadn’t ‘cos Salmond’. Just politely gave some thoughts and took no offence to the earlier chat, including how the leader change is unlikely to make any difference as indy is apolitical – it’s existential, and tied to national identity / the demise of britishness. I didn’t need to get huffy; they two offenders had already successfully made themselves look like idiots.

    Nice, clever, high level Scot (accountant) who was part to the group was quite clam and measured. I think he voted no, but talked of a close friend that voted Yes. This guy skis with a wee saltire on his helmet (must get one for mine). He didn’t look impressed at rangers man and made an effort to politely engage with me on the subject. Maybe a future yesser.

    I’m really hoping I meet the rangers fan type again and the topic if what I do comes up. He was doing the whole ‘Oil’s running out’ guff to someone who’s worked in that industry for 23 years. Dr in it. I usually wait until such folks have finished the rant before dropping that in and just leaving it there. 🙂

    Now, off to dinner. After that, maybe look for a saltire sticker on Amazon.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The oil’s only running out if Scotland wants to take it back, if England wants to keep it there’s amazingly 100 years of production left

      • scottish_skier says:

        Not directing this at you Jim, just updating…

        Aye. And we did all meet up. Ended up sharing a table for dinner. Politics was not discussed again, but the topic of my profession did come up, and so the topic of the energy industry was talked about. I was listened to on that.

        IMO, never tell folk they are wrong and get into political arguments in such ‘civilian’ situations. Just say why you vote they way you do and why, politely and based on facts. Listen, never lecture, and just offer what you know. He messed up that way.

        In the end, we all had a good laugh, and I hope he’ll go away now thinking a bit more and not seeing indy supporters as some sort of enemy.

        Turns out I was wrong on the footie front. Aberdeen fan! But still, i suspect, a Tory voter. Not uncommon up that way. Find these in Bath too. 😉

  66. Ken says:

    The SNP members give time and money supporting the Party. So that the SNP Gov can make better decisions. Other people also donate. The SNP is supported to make independent decisions. The unionists Parties are supported by corporate and trade unions. The Tories are supported by the Banks. The Labour Party by the Trade Unions. They make decisions accordingly. Not is the best interests of the general public and the wider society.. Westminster the most unequal Gov. The UK the most unequal place in the world. An absolute disgrace. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion.

    Successful Gov is capitalist but intervention to make the society more equal. Cohesion makes people more prosperous and happier.

  67. Hamish100 says:

    It seems the Tory rags are still upset over the hassle of returning bottles to the polluting companies. They want us to pay while they take the profits. Remember doing this in the 60’s without any hassle.

    Their bleating has all the malodour of past Tory businesses such as we will go bust if there is a No smoking ban (introduced by Labour incidentally), we will go bust – as it relates to alcohol pricing- delayed the public health initiative by several years and were defeated in the courts. This goes on ad-nauseam

    This is about undermining the Scots Parliament just as the britnats are doing at Stormont and Cardiff.
    There is a dangerous right wing undercurrent in all of this.

  68. davetewart says:

    I can remember the co-op delivering milk and picking up the glass bottles for re-use, didn’t seem to be a problem, the bottles were marked ‘No Deposit’.
    The local ‘Ginger’ company did the same but there was a deposit on theirs.

    Okay we’ve ‘Moved On’, we now have plastic and metal containers but are thrown away.
    Note that thereare now vaping devices thrown away, the battery inside is lithium and worth more that the contents, they are also neede f we want to have EV’s, there isn’t enough lithium in the planet to throw it in the street.

  69. Alec Lomax says:

    I suspect that independista is the Rev incgnito.

    • Alec Lomax says:

      Actually, it’s been suggested that IoS is none other than Alf Baird. I doubth that: Alf has a far wider vocabulary than Indepentista.

  70. Dr Jim says:

    I hope tonight the three SNP candidates refuse to play the media’s game of attacking one another, turn the tables and attack the media
    We keep being told by the media that the public wants consensual politics and co- operation, but it’s the media who arranges and designs confrontational situations to make TV and press into a consumer sales item

    Remember when politics was boring? Who turned it into this? the media
    What do they call it? A media circus
    Why do they call it a media circus? because they behave like caged or performing animals

    The media are the problem, they lie, twist words and invent aggravation to sell themselves as the arbiters of truth on behalf of the public they lie to

    Don’t give the media what they want

    • john says:

      I agree 100% Dr Jim.

      • john says:

        I would also suggest that each candidate publically call out BBC and STV for their negative reporting and lies and obvious bias. Let the audience show approval by applause . It will be hard to edit it out on a live debate.

        • Dr Jim says:

          What sickens me is the media have the ability to edit recut and transmit what they want over and over until whatever original content there was is forgotten and the new media version is seen as what happened as opposed to what actually happened

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